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President James A. Garfield in the Rear-View Mirror …

From XCED today: Comic site

 

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The article is on the death of President James A. Garfield. I wonder how the recent events of our time will appear in the rear-view mirror (probably unnecessary) of the robocar.

 

 

 

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A Heads-Up …

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It must have been difficult for the Bourbons to go from Louis XIV The Sun King and cited expounder of “L’État c’est Moi” to devolve to Louis XVI The Restorer of French Liberty who died by the guillotine as plain old Louis Capet.

I think Williams Professor Susan Dunn‘s book The Deaths of Louis XVI and her course Sister Revolutions in France and America would be interesting to read and take during this time when an American President can equate the raid on his lawyer to an attack on America.

The Bourbon timeline from XIV to XVI was 149  years.  How quickly things may work in our time and without the guillotine.

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Onward and Upward! College and Mobility: How’s that working out?

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Sunday’s NYT Opinion page has a very interesting article:  How to Level the College Playing Field with specific actions that can be taken through public and college policies and practices. The article is by Harold Levy, former Chancellor of New York Public Schools, and Peg Tyre, Education Journalist.

In the article were references to The Equality of Opportunity Project and their quest: How can we improve economic opportunities for our children? We use big data to identify new pathways to upward mobility.

And indeed they have used big data. And what it compares is percentage enrollment by income percentile by students and their mobility after graduation by income percentile … the payoff for a college education. Which schools do better? Which do worst? Are some colleges the work horses of the working class to upward mobility?

Here is the study as reported in The Times.  And here is the Williams data.

Heavy analysis of statistical data is not my long suit (you have probably noticed). But these data require reading and conclusions by experienced hands. Perhaps there may be some thoughts to pass on to the college administrators.

I look forward to reading your views.

 

 

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A Sunday Break: Bard College finds an answer to space needs …

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A Shipping Container Prefab Lab Is Built in Only 4 Hours … 

Recycling! Efficient use of limited space. No bulldozers, backhoes, or long construction times!

A possible solution to the problems PTC points out? At least the containers are small scale. Perhaps more imaginative architectural answers are needed by Williams.

Read the full story in Dwell  by Lucy Wang, March 29, 2018.

 

 

 

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For the Williams Hot Stove League …

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As long as the chairs are all pulled up for speculation of the new Prexy, have a shot at the opening of the baseball season.

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A Sunday Break: Chapels …

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From Dezeen 28 March, 2018

The Vatican City will make its debut at the Venice Architecture Biennale this year, by building a series of chapels by architects including Norman Foster (above), Eduardo Souto de Moura and Teronobu Fujimori.

London-based Foster + Partners has imagined a tent-like structure made from wood, built around three symbolic crosses. “Our aim is to create a small sanctuary space diffused with dappled shade and removed from the normality of passers-by, focussed instead on the water and sky beyond,” 

Curated by architectural historian Francesco Dal Co, the Holy See Pavilion will feature 10 chapels, designed by prolific architects from around the world.

The architects were asked to base their design on a chapel in Stockholm designed by Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund in 1920, featuring a striking triangular roof supported by slender columns.

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“With this small masterpiece Asplund defined the chapel as a place of orientation, encounter and meditation, seemingly formed by chance or natural forces inside a vast forest, seen as the physical suggestion of the labyrinthine progress of life, the wandering of humankind as a prelude to the encounter,” said Dal Co.

A ‘chapel’ is a private place of worship serving a residence or institution for meditation, prayer, or small religious services. It is interesting that The Holy See would recognize the chapel  “as a place of orientation, encounter, and meditation”. The ‘chaplain’ is a member of the clergy attached to this private chapel, or ship, or as some may remember, their military unit. It is assumed in most cases that the chaplain will serve those who come seeking advice, consolation, or other problems they may encounter.

In an institution with diverse religions, nationalities, races, sexual orientations, and philosophies, I can imagine a chaplain helping many through their personal encounters in new situations with which they must now deal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@ Report on Building: a sidebar … how not to build with character …

 

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Granted! I am not walking the campus every day/year… in fact, it is every five years. So this is an interjection from an old fart on examples of what not to design in a building that has appropriated detail. I bring this up because of the challenges to do more than build a bland box that meets LEEDS certification.

Also granted, the examples probably weren’t designed to meet the standards. The only reference on campus from my casual knowledge are the “Ironic Columns”. I quote the examples to burn into your eyeballs, examples of Post-Modern gone mad.

https://www.dezeen.com/2018/01/23/10-buildings-that-represent-new-age-postmodernism-roundups-architecture/

 

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A Sunday Break: Celebrity Politicians …

 

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 12.24.49 PM Arne Carlson ’57                                                     Jesse Ventura

This feature on the BBC caught my eye … Cynthia Nixon of Sex and the City running against Andrew Cuomo for Governor of New York, I  know, I know. How do celebrities get into public office. Is it their good looks, screen charm, reputations? A quote from the article:

“The facts show that people like Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump have had great success in politics,” says Dr Sharon Coen, senior lecturer in media psychology at the University of Salford.

“If they are already in the public eye, they are already present on people’s radar – we feel like we’re friends with them, or a version of them.

“This increases the feelings of likeability, familiarity and trust – which are all key factors that are determinant in the success of a political candidate.”

From California have come three, Senator George Murphy, and Governors Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It seems to be a California tradition.

But it may be of Sunday Williams interest that Minnesota’s popular (at least with me) Arne Carlson Class of ’57 was succeeded after two four-year terms by professional wrestler Jesse Ventura. As a pro-wrestling bad guy, his motto was “Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat!”. Ventura decided to serve only one term. Arne has some interesting observations  for a Republican.

 

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@ PTC above: The Village Beautiful … Does it still fit?

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The Science Center on Hoxsey Street     Mrs Dagmar Bubriski (2016 photo)

Photos : The Berkshire Eagle

… or hasn’t this appellation been used for a number of years? Scale, so important to environment, seems to have been lost. I was always impressed that earlier additions kept the village skyline and village plan intact. Sense of place had continuity.

The mission of the college has certainly changed and with it the structures necessary to serve the goal. I know that coming students will view the new environment as ‘their place’. Nevertheless, it seems to me that visual clues to Williams historical legacy are being lost in a desire to no longer be a village.

The 2016 story and arguments in The Berkshire Eagle

 

 

 

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The Class of ’68 and a view of the values of the March today …

The Class of ’68 in preparation for their 50th reunion this spring has set up an interactive blog to offer classmates the opportunity to exchange views, greetings, exhortations and whatever else new members of the old guard choose to do.

Here is a post on “Never Again” written by ’68 classmember W. Franklin Reed, an attorney in Pittsburgh.

From his post …

We may again be witnessing another unique moment in history when the “followers” become the leaders and the “leaders” become the followers. DZDJewaWAAALPjpBy failing to take seriously the protests of the “Never Again” movement reacting to the Parkland high school massacre (effective gun control) and women in the “Me Too” movement (sexual harassment and equal rights), the Trump administration and their allies are making the same mistake that the “establishment” figures of the 60’s did and, like them, may have some catching up to do. Indeed, they, and the National Rifle Association in particular, have been fatallymisconstruing what rights are actually protected by the Second Amendment (that was a pun, in case you missed it).

 

For those who were thinking about today’s marches, an addition for a perspective on voting eligibles by generation name:

 

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A Sunday Break: Travel Oregon …

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Watch the ad!

 

(OK, OK, I live in Oregon) …

Never-the-less, the anime ad in an exaggerated style is very well-done by Portland advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy. You have probably seen their ads for Nike for years. They have an impressive list of clients who want memorable creative.

https://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2018/03/13/travel-oregon-slightly-exaggerates-the-state-in-a.html

The locations being exaggerated are actual locations, just hyper. The single-track biking trail and  most of the scenery are typical of our area. Tourism has helped build Oregon and is supported heavily by the State budget.

Our Columbia River Gorge area is the only National Scenic Area in the US. Sports tourism including wind and water sports, kayaking, skiing, biking, sailing, mountain climbing and their extreme counterparts saved Hood River in the 1980s from becoming a stagnant orchard-and-timber town. Tourism has also resulted in a major increase in population as tourists become residents and bring business with them. A good local example in the Gorge is In Situ across the river, now owned  by Boeing.

Gone are the days when Governor Tom McCall said famously referring to Oregon’s tourist industry in a 1971 speech,  “I urge them to come and come many, many times to enjoy the beauty of Oregon. But I also ask them, for heaven’s sake, don’t move here to live.”

 

 

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A Sunday Break: Minimalist Oscar Posters …

Last week’s Oscar ceremony is over . You may have watched or read the reviews and viewpoints. I can just say two words to Ephblog … “inclusion clause”.

However, that is not my point this first Sunday am 2018 in DST. It is this story by Dan Howarth in the 2 March edition of the on-line Dezeen Magazine featuring minimalist designs by Chungkong for six of the nine finalists for the Best Picture award.

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Four of the movies with their studio release posters are shown above with Chungkongs’s posters for compare and contrast.

From the article …

The colourful designs are intended to capture the essence of the movies in as little detail as possible. Oriented portrait, each features the movie’s title and a director credit at the top, and a summarising quote from the film in smaller text towards the bottom.

The Shape of Water, a love story by Guillermo del Toro about a mute cleaning lady that falls in love with an aquatic humanoid creature, is depicted with the outlines of their faces covered with bubbles – all in blue-green shades.

The poster for the Best Picture-winning The Shape of Water also is a reference to the famous optical illusion of a footed vase and two facing profiles.

Now where did that hour go …

 

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Snow: a constant at Williams …

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… and perhaps a meditative blanket over the rough terrain reported in Ephblog.

 

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From today’s NYT: Nakesha Williams Class of ’93.

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Thank you, disappointed, for the first name correction.   I won’t be posting a Sunday Break tomorrow in order that this post remain on top.
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We interrupt this broadcast to bring you this important warni …

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… Honey, what did I do with that damn shovel!

 

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What are they thinking …

fpn_1519693387__screen_shot_2018-02-26_at_45715_pmI am an old guy who appears on campus every five years for reunion. Reunion is a time for nostalgia, for visiting sites, hearing interesting lectures, and having meals with classmates.

As a result, my awareness of current campus issues seems to come from Ephblog.  This latest post below on EDI/DPA is entirely new to me. And concerning.

Even in the olden times, there were a finite number of courses that could be taken in four years … “Golden Opportunities” as I believe President Shapiro put it. In these same olden times. there was a requirement that courses taken include a sampling from all three academic divisions. I think this was a ‘good thing’.

I now understand that there are new requirements for courses to be taken. The initials EPI and DPA seem to be their acronyms. I also assume from reading the blog that these requirements come from the administrative side of the college rather than the faculty. This might have always been the way, even in the olden times.

I would like to know what Hopkins Hall is thinking said in a positive manner. I recognize that since those 50s days of yore, more student involvement and activism may be a desire. 

I ask the writers of this blog to write 25 word mission statements for EPI and DPA as they would be written by their proponents.

Thanks in advance!

Dick Swart ’56

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A Sunday Break : STONED?

Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 12.25.18 PM Yes. Completely stoned with US Gold in the Mens Curling 10 – 7 over Sweden!

As the NYT reports …

Five consecutive victories culminated Saturday night in something that has never happened before: an Olympic gold for the American curlers as they defeated Sweden, 10-7, before a flag-waving throng from back home. Shuster and his four teammates — Tyler George, Matt Hamilton, John Landsteiner and Joe Polo, who served as the team’s alternate — defeated Sweden, the top-ranked team in the world, so soundly that it conceded the match with several rocks to play in the 10th and final end.

Why am I wasting your time on news you already knew, you grumble. It is because it is time that Williams has a curling team at the club level at least!

This has happened in Pittsfield, where a year-old club believes the great results from the  Olympic will swell their ranks.

1509335600Certainly this sport with opportunities for Mens, Womens, and Mixed teams could be a great addition and might even save the ice rink in the old field house.

Apologia in advance: • If indeed the ice rink is not in the old field house, what do I know! • If indeed there is a current club, I couldn’t find a listing. But here is a reference to a former organization.

 

 

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February 22 : This is Washington’s Birthday …

… back in the ’40s, candy stores sold cardboard hatchets with red ax heads and blue handles filled with red hard candy cherries.  Are we losing the man to ‘President’s Day’? Does it matter?

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A Sunday Break : Portraits, Presidents, and First Ladies …

The portraits of President Obama and the First Lady have been unveiled at the Smithsonian National Gallery this week. I know this news is well-known and may produce varied reaction. But I have thoughts on the question of presidential portraits. 

I take President James A Garfield Class of 1856 as a starting point:

Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 12.12.56 PM This is the official White House portrait done by a popular artist of the day. Garfield’s considerable talents may or may not be visible in this conservative style. Remember, he did not want to run for president and was surprised at the convention when in a speech he was making in support of another candidate, he asked an impassioned question: “What do we want?” and the answer was “Garfield”

 

 

 

 

And now ‘Compare and Contrast. as the writing on the board went in days of yore.

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President Roosevelt is by John Singer Sargent, portrayer of society in the Gilded Age. President Obama’s portrait is by Kihinde Wiley. Much has been said about the changes in society and attitudes towards portraying our presidents. You can make your own compare and contrast.

I add as a thought that President Teddy Roosevelt did not like the portrait painted by the French very successful painter of the rich and/or famous Theobold Cartran. This official portrait was a gift from the French Ambassador. Roosevelt burned it.

But Chartran had far better luck with his portrait of First Lady Edith Roosevelt. Here is another ‘compare and contrast’ …two First Ladies: Edith Roosevelt and Michelle Obama. First Lady Obama’s portrait by Amy Sherald.

 

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 The two portraits vary in style, yet each capture the grace, ease, and intelligence of these two women.The use of the dresses is so important to both portraits! Mrs Roosevelt is credited with spurring on the establishment of the National Gallery where these are on display.

What are presidential portraits supposed to do? In these new times, a move toward capturing the energy of the sitter may become more important than a more conventional and expected view. Who was the President? What do we see? Why do we see it?

Which of course leads me to this thought … how will an artist choose to capture the energy of the 45th president and his First Lady?

 

Now that most of Sunday has past, even here in Pacific Time, it is time to turn in your blue book (s).

In order to check yourselves against others views, please go to Comments Two and Four for three interesting reviews, one by a constant contributor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Guns”: the four-letter word that must not be spoken …

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Redux of 6 November, 2017 

 

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RE: “Husband” Post Above …

VALENTINE%206… Sophie Johnson in The New Yorker Daily Shouts, 14 February 2018

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/culturally-relevant-valentines

 

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A Saint with a Lesson …

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all we need is love… 

Typed on a 1969 Olivetti Valentine portable designed by Ettore Sottsass, the leader of the Memphis design group in Milan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ettore_Sottsass

P1040390    P1040389

 

 

 

 

 

 

The back of the typewriter  becomes the top of the cover complete with handle. With the machine out, the case becomes a waste basket.

The Pelikan pen holder with an M200 in its’ beak is to remind me of my love for fountain pens. You need a lot of love to go around today!

 

 

 

 

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A Sunday Break: Coats, Hats, and The Queen…

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 12.20.56 PMThe Queen paying tribute to Williams or Churchill’s mother. 

Well, yes. I am an Anglophile, now that you ask.

For me this has meant a lot of tweed. But for the Queen, it means selecting from a seemingly limitless array of colour (the showy Anglophile’s preferred spelling) and varied styles reflecting the times in her choice of coats.

https://www.vanityfair.com/style/photos/2017/07/queen-elizabeth-rainbow-coats

…and the hats. Unlike Boston women who “have our hats”, the Queen manages  to wear a brimmed or toque number to suit her assemblage.  And eye-catching creations they are.

https://www.vanityfair.com/style/photos/2012/05/diamond-jubilee-hats-queen-elizabeth

What with Phil’s grim prediction of more gray and the unbelievable Grimm tales from the WH, I add this colour blotch to the blog.

 

 

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‘Twitter’ and Leadership: a topic for discussion?

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A Sunday Break: Clash of the Fields!

As we gather to watch the Super Bowl at the new US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, consider this:

The Super Bowl has never been played at Farley-Lamb Field.

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Why is this!  

Other schools’ fields have been honored to hold this event with its’ influx of tourist dollars and publicity. Yet the only football game aired from Weston was the Williams-Amherst game in 2007 when ESPN featured the game with the lede : The Biggest Little Game in America.  And the score was W 20/A zip.

Is this because our leftist faculty and administration are destroying the proud record of elitist right-wing helmet heads who have made Williams teams a tradition since 1884? Shame, I say!

Here is a reference to other stadii with whom we compete for you to peruse and thus formulate your thoughts for action and/or deconstruction:

https://www.dezeen.com/2018/02/01/super-bowl-stadiums-past-present-future-american-football-nfl-championship-venues/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Dezeen%20Digest&utm_content=Daily%20Dezeen%20Digest+CID_7c6e605b889c70dc30c2d6918b63b6a7&utm_source=Dezeen%20Mail&utm_term=Hard%20Rock%20Stadium%20by%20Populous%20Miami%20Florida

Your comments most welcome!

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2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 …

Watch out for that first step, it’s a doozie!

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It is 9pm ET ! If you have the desire to watch something else …

The above suggestion for those who may be feeling some need for elevation …

James MacGregor Burns and PoliSci 1-2 in Griffin Hall were my first course, first day at Williams in 1952.

https://www.williams.edu/feature-stories/burns-and-fdr-a-conversation/

Excerpts from SOTU:

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/30/trump-state-of-the-union-2018-speech-quotes-379314

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The Greatest Show on Earth!

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Can you believe that back in 2011 The Adams Memorial Theater would be the stage for a circus?

https://events.williams.edu/event/theatre_228

Elephants are no longer a part of the Barnum and Bailey Circus.

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A Sunday Break: Winter Study on Typewriters …

… a Williams Record feature:

Paresky Extravaganza Clacks out Personal Poems for Students

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Be Sure to Play Fantasy Admissions!

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Join DDF, abl, hmm, and so many others in building your dream team to make Williams

 

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It’s fun! It’s a battle of statistics, interpretations, and predicting the results!

Compare Williams with its peers and figure out how to beat those Ivied bastards and the other green quad-oriented SLAs!

And while you are at it, have the thrill of arguing points endlessly with fellow verbose Fantasyers.

Results of your dream team may be compared with the actual results for Williams and those other guys!

 

 

JUST TWO MORE DAYS TO BE A CONTENDER!

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