For over 5000 years, granular mixing has been a topic of acutely practical concern. Paleolithic cave painters mixed their colors from blends of ochre and animal products; ancient Chinese and Egyptians blended inks and cosmetics from pork soot, crushed pearls, and compounds of lead; Aztec priests prepared drugs from concoctions of herbs and roots; and Michelangelo pigmented the Sistine chapel frescoes with blends including chalk, charcoal, and lead.

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