photos: early 20th century america, semi-vegan, hooray for the montana supreme court for ruling against corporate campaign spending

These first few photos are from around 1885 to 1927, the turn of the 20th Century.

african-american school early 1900s . This is not typical of the time. many African-Americans did not go to school because most public schools were for whites only. While there were some relatively good schools, most were not and the children were generally poor and not as well dressed.

car train ferry detroit river early 1900sThe Detroit River ferryboats

Other ferries that worked on the Great Lakes include the Badger, which carried railroad cars from Michigan to Wisconsin across Lake Michigan. At one time 15 railroad ferries crossed the lake Michigan.

cowboys 1901. A couple of these are actual boys. Better on a horse than in a mine all day. The U.S. cowboy tradition is directly derived from the Spanish vaqueros who had originally been the first Europeans to settle the west and southwest.

ladies walking in the park early 1900s. At the same time cowboys were still moving herds of cattle to sometimes distant markets you could have witnessed a scene like this in growing metropolises such as Chicago, Philadelphia or New York. Though the vast majority of America’s lived what we call hand-to-mouth in the South. Those extremes between the haves and work-hard for-not much beget the beginning of the progressive era ,

During the “reckless decade” of the 1890s the impulse for reform was driven by the Populist Party, which was made up of farmers, small businessmen and reform-minded leaders who were willing to confront the growing problems in the country. The situation was summarized dramatically in the Populist Party platform, issued at its convention in Omaha in 1892, which read in part:

The conditions which surround us best justify our cooperation: we meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political, and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot-box, the legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are demoralized; most of the States have been compelled to isolate the voters at the polling-places to prevent universal intimidation or bribery. The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; business prostrated; our homes covered with mortgages; labor impoverished; and the land concentrating in the hands of the capitalists. The urban workmen are denied the right of organization for self-protection; imported pauperized labor beats down their wages; a hireling standing army, unrecognized by our laws, is established to shoot them down, and they are rapidly degenerating into European conditions. The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of these, in turn, despise the republic and endanger liberty. From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two great classes—tramps and millionaires.

luna park at night, coney island, 1927. That was the same year Coney Island got its first roller-coaster ride The Cylcone. That year also included the transmission of the first transatlantic telephone call from New York to London. Wouldn’t yea know it there were regulations back in those good old days – The U.S. Federal Radio Commission (later renamed the Federal Communications Commission) begins to regulate the use of radio frequencies. The current behavior of some of our members of law enforcement against Americans exercising their 1st Amendment rights is not new – The Colorado state police opened fire on 500 rowdy though unarmed miners during a strike, killing six of them. So we have a tradition of practicing scorched earth capitalism in the U.S. We could get wild and crazy and have a humane, sustainable and enlightened capitalism, but conservatives call that socialism is what has been over a century of successfully demonizing basic morality.

The Flatiron Building, or Fuller Building.

From Wikipedia: The Flatiron Building, or Fuller Building, as it was originally called, is located at 175 Fifth Avenue in the borough of Manhattan, New York City and is considered to be a groundbreaking skyscraper. Upon completion in 1902 it was one of the tallest buildings in the city and the only skyscraper north of 14th Street. The building sits on a triangular island block formed by Fifth Avenue, Broadway and East 22nd Street, with 23rd Street grazing the triangle’s northern (uptown) peak. It anchors the south (downtown) end of Madison Square, and the north (uptown) end of the Ladies’ Mile Historic District.


Marijuana Policy Highs: The Top Pot Stories Of 2011 (SLIDESHOW). Hard to believe but the prohibition of marijuana begin in the 1920s. A kind of insanity has surrounded its regulation and criminalization ever since. That might not follow strict rules of philosophical discourse, but such is the nature of people who believe personal marijuana use amounts to criminal activity.

Recipes for the Semi-Vegan

Many vegan dishes (like fruit salad and peanut butter and jelly) are already beloved, but the problem faced by many of us is in imagining less-traditional dishes that are interesting and not challenging. Here are some more creative options to try.

The recipes are at the link. I thought if I included that great graphic people might be tempted to click over. I’m not a vegan, but my usual diet is only a few degrees away – OK except for the days I go for the country ham and eggs breakfast.

H/T to here for this, Supreme Court upholds state ban on direct corporate campaign spending

The Montana Supreme Court on Friday overturned a lower court ruling and reinstated the state’s century-old ban on direct spending by corporations for or against political candidates.

The justices ruled 5-2 in favor of the state’s attorney general’s office and commissioner of political practices to uphold the initiative passed by Montana voters in 1912.

A conservative group is already whining so this decision is very likely headed to the federal appeals courts. Fingers crossed it might go back to the SCOTUS. It is possible that a better argument could be made this time.

I might do another post much later today, I just ran out of time. As much as I like this version of Rhapsody in Blue by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, I prefer the version by the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra. Unfortunately I cannot find that version to share with you. This is a great piece of truly American music to start off the first day of the new year.


a few 20th century innovators, congress is filled with pirates, night train wallpaper

Dr. Linus Pauling Pointing to a Scientific Model. Linus Carl Pauling (February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994) was a U.S. chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, and educator. If Crick, Watson and Rosalind Franklin had not been the first to discover the helical structure of DNA, Pauling was one of the scientists that might have discovered it. A good medium length biography of Pauling is available via The National Academy of Sciences.


National Cash Register Pavilion, 1939. In the commercial sphere NCR was to technology in 1939 what Apple or Sony are to technology today. They are still big players in the day-to-day transaction of business. They have about a one-third share of the entire world’s ATM machine market.

Margaret Bourke-White in Flight Suit, 1943. Note the camera in her right hand. Bourke-White (June 14, 1904 – August 27, 1971) was a photographer who specialized in photo or documentary journalism. Among many firsts, she was the first female photo-journalist allowed to be in war zones and the first female photographer, for what was then the preeminent all-photographic magazine for publisher Henry Luce. Not reading Life in its glory years would be like not being on the internet today. Life came out weekly and it was the must read magazine. It was what people talked about at work instead of viral YouTube videos or who friended you or what the most popular tweeters said. Bourke_white eventually became an editor and photographer at Fortune. The image I’m using is copyrighted. There are lots of Bourke-White’s photographs on-line.

US House of Representatives: Internet pirates

The House, of course, has been mired in Internet controversy since Rep Lamar Smith introduced his Stop Online Piracy Act(SOPA), which establishes a regime of national censorship in the name of fighting copyright infringement. So it is with some amusement that TorrentFreak points out that more than 800 of the IP addresses assigned to the House of Reps were involved in copyright infringement over BitTorrent, according to the YHD database.

Passing SOPA might work out for everyone. Most Americans are fed up with Congress, especially conservatives. They pass SOPA and then we insist the FBI start arresting them all. If Obama let’s SOPA or PIPA pass it will cost him LOTS of young / core voters (2012 election).


night train wallpaper


German auto manufacturers’ high profits and high pay show why U.S. labor laws need to be stronger. Foreign car companies with good paying jobs, strong labor, health care from the state as in Germany, Sweden and some degree Japan, continue to embarrass U.S. conservatives and libertarians who insist the path to happiness and prosperity is through a dog-eat-dog anything goes economy.

Grizzly bear mom and the posse


No Sharks Were Harmed in the Making of This Shark Fin Soup

But the practice of finning—removing the fin while at sea and dropping the still-living shark back in the water to drown—is considered cruel, not to mention unsustainable. According to a fact sheet put together by the bill’s proponents, even though current federal law prohibits finning, there is no regulation of the number of sharks killed for their fins—tens of millions every year—and thirty per cent of ocean sharks are threatened with extinction.

For most of 2010, Corey Lee, the former chef de cuisine at The French Laundry, worked on the recipe for a faux shark-fin soup: course sixteen of eighteen on the tasting menu at his acclaimed new restaurant Benu, in San Francisco. He told me that he wanted to challenge himself with a modern interpretation of a classic dish, one he remembers eating as a child in Korea. “The soup is very comforting—very rich and soothing, very savory,” he said.

To prepare his version, which is served (untraditionally) with steamed black truffle custard, he said, “We make a tang—soup with broth—a double bouillon with chicken, Chinese ham, aromatics, and Shaoxing wine.” The “shark fin” texture—he describes it as “gelatinous and brittle at the same, like properly cooked jellyfish”—comes from treating the broth with hydrocolloids, a procedure he arrived at with the help of some food scientists at the San Diego branch of C.P. Kelco, a major producer of culinary and household gums.

Now if someone could convince Robert DeNiro to stop serving endangered blue-fin tuna sushi at the restaurants he owns.

rain on window wallpaper, skin is wired for touch, equal outcomes my aunt fanny

How Skin is Wired for Touch

Compared to our other senses, scientists don’t know much about how our skin is wired for the sensation of touch. Now, research reported in the December 23rd issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, provides the first picture of how specialized neurons feel light touches, like a brush of movement or a vibration, are organized in hairy skin.

Looking at these neurons in the hairy skin of mice, the researchers observed remarkably orderly patterns, suggesting that each type of hair follicle works like a distinct sensory organ, each tuned to register different types of touches. Each hair follicle sends out one wire-like projection that joins with others in the spinal cord, where the information they carry can be integrated into impulses sent to the brain. This network of neurons in our own skin allows us to perceive important differences in our surroundings: a raindrop versus a mosquito, a soft fingertip versus a hard stick.

“We can now begin to appreciate how these hair follicles and associated neurons are organized relative to one another and that organization enables us to think about how mechanosensory information is integrated and processed for the perception of touch,” says David Ginty of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The neurons involved in this physiological network were difficult to study. The air receptors travel from the hair to the spinal cord, so the signal from the airs on your calves travel about a meter. Each hair follicle type in turn has its  distinct array of mechanosensory endings. While we do not have hairs over every square inch of our bodies there might be nerves like the ones activated by hairs near the skin surface. The original journal article is here – The Functional Organization of Cutaneous Low-Threshold Mechanosensory Neurons


rain, water drops

rain on window wallpaper


I like or used to like when I played with them Legos, but I ‘m not a Legos geek. That said this is pretty amazing – The Large Hadron Collider ATLAS Detector has been recreated in Lego. The pictures at the link are better. I used this one just because I liked the little figure inside. In case anyone misses it, you’re looking at about $2,600 worth of Lego bricks.


Why Mitt Romney’s Opportunity Tack Won’t Work

So Mitt Romney, writes Thomas Edsall in The New York Times, wants to make the election about entitlements vs. opportunity.  He warns darkly against a government that “provides every citizen the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort and willingness to innovate, pioneer or take risk.”

Romney, and other conservatives have been making this utterly bogus assertion for years.  President Obama and Democrats have never advocated equal outcomes for everyone. The notion is a absurd. Even the most progressive liberal would find such a society tyrannical. Conservatives will not and cannot argue with the reality of Democrats on public policy and the concept of equal opportunity. When Romney or the daily yodels of right-wing pundits insist that Democrats want to legislate equal outcomes they are being cowards.  Democrats want everyone to have a CHANCE to prove themselves and to achieve. Because most Americans believe the same thing – it is a challenge that most Americans are personally familiar with through their own life experience – so the integrity challenged conservatives twist that to mean wanting everyone to have equal outcomes by force of law. We love those Horatio Alger type legends of the shoe shine boy who becomes the CEO and multimillionaire, but real instances of that are miniscule. Those are the top tend to leave the vacancies at the top to be filled by others of similar education and economic status. Trying to get everyone that wants a college education or a couple of years of specialized training is a very modest attempt to level the opportunity playing field, not to predetermine the final score. Romney and other conservatives may want loosen the tin foil and listen to some real working people and their experiences working with lazy moronic overpaid bosses.


Science geek eye candy, Fractals – Kleinian groups Page 5


joshua tree wallpaper, redemption and second chances

joshua tree wallpaper

The whole scandal over Stephen Glass and the stories he either completely fabricated or greatly enhanced via his imagination, for The New Republic happened 14 years ago (1998). There is no Cliffs Notes version, but there is a critically acclaimed movie about those events called Shattered Glass (2003). If you care about the profession of journalism or issues of private and public integrity, the Glass scandal it might seem like a relatively small ripple compared to say the lie factory that Bush administration official Douglas Feith headed at the Pentagon called The Office of Special Plans( that  office was eventually closed). That is the thing about ethics, there is always a worse transgression to find. The Glass-New Republic fiasco may have resonated because at the time The New Republic was till thought of as an insider intellectual liberal political and arts magazine. It was one of those publications that sometimes bent over so far backward to be fair to conservatives, that conservative elites read it, and liberals suffered from whiplash. It was like a small underground band that only a few people were clued into. Even today it is still a kind of boutique magazine for wonks; print circulation is very small at around 50,000 ( Sports Illustrated has a circulation of about 3.5 million. The number of readers for both magazines is another matter, maybe three to four times higher than their subscription rates). With that background here we are 14 years later – Glass’s Road to Redemption

In his early 20s, as a staff writer for The New Republic, Glass committed one of the most egregious journalistic hoaxes of all time, writing an astonishing 42 articles over a two-and-a-half-year span that were either partially or entirely fabricated. For The New Republic, Rolling Stone, Harper’s and others, he turned in articles that had made-up characters, invented dialogue and imaginary scenes. When the truth came out, it was a huge scandal; Glass’s journalism career was, quite properly, destroyed.

But should the rest of his life also be destroyed?

[  ]…Once again, no one would hire him. But one lawyer, Paul Zuckerman, after first tossing his résumé into the trash, fished it out. “Maybe I should give this guy a second chance,” he later said he thought, and he brought Glass on as a law clerk. During the judicial proceeding, Zuckerman described Glass as one of the finest people he’s ever hired.

Zuckerman wasn’t alone. In all, 22 witnesses testified to Glass’s good character, including Professor Bloch, the judge he had clerked for and, most remarkably, Martin Peretz, who was the sole owner of The New Republic when Glass fabricated his stories and was deeply embarrassed by the scandal. “I always thought redemption was within his means because he was fundamentally a good kid,” Peretz told me.

There are or were not the last I checked a lot of comments on this opinion piece at the NYT. Though as one might expect what was there ran both ways and brings up the most salient issue at stake. The particulars of the Glass saga are interesting to me with the realization they might seem like small change to others. What fascinates me is the people who believe in redemption versus those who do not. We’re talking more about humanist redemption here then religious. Glass committed a series of egregious acts that compromised the integrity of dozens of other people and put their jobs at risks. Obviously he could not and did not get another job doing journalism. He moved on and as the editorial notes  has turned his life around. Legal professionals have to some extent put their own reputations on the line for speaking up for Glass and his attempts to become a better person ( TNR owner and sometime editorial writer Marty Perez in fact has his own ethical problems). Should the State Bar of California decide, in not letting Glass be certified to practice law, be right in passing judgement that no, this person is not capable of redemption( Insert obvious joke about lawyers and ethics here). That despite the passage of 14 years and te attempts to turn his life around Glass does not deserve a second chance. This would be a peculiar position to take, not just because of lawyers judging other lawyers – a profession rife with ethical lapses – but because as a society, partly because of Judeo-Christian tradition – we as a nation believe that people can be – in the words of all of my childhood ministers – be saved. I don’t think Joe Nocera at the NYt is making the case that Glass should be given the key to the city and to forget Glass’s past. Only that he be given a chance to prove himself. let’s say Glass was a white-collar criminal that embezzled some money. Got out of prison and was clean for 14 years, wouldn’t most people say that he had truly reformed or been redeemed. The afternoon talk shows, especially when Oprah was still on, were filled with people who behaved badly – not necessarily illegally – and audiences were both fascinated and joyful about the wayward finding a new life. I’m leaning toward forgiving if not forgetting, but I can understand the feelings of people like the judge who initially throw Glass’s resume in the trash. We talk a lot about second chances, its difficult to actually make the decision to give a known transgressor another chance.

Antonio Vivaldi – Concerto for 4 Violin

the big lie and fannie may, policy outcomes strongly reflect the preferences of the affluent, too connected to fail

The Big Lie is directly descended from the Third Reich,

From Chapter 10 of James Murphy’s translation of Mein Kampf:

But it remained for the Jews, with their unqualified capacity for falsehood, and their fighting comrades, the Marxists, to impute responsibility for the downfall precisely to the man who alone had shown a superhuman will and energy in his effort to prevent the catastrophe which he had foreseen and to save the nation from that hour of complete overthrow and shame. By placing responsibility for the loss of the world war on the shoulders of Ludendorff they took away the weapon of moral right from the only adversary dangerous enough to be likely to succeed in bringing the betrayers of the Fatherland to Justice.
All this was inspired by the principle–which is quite true within itself–that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

—Adolf Hitler , Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X[1]

Big lies about public policy and national security continue. One, among several, of the reasons they seem to succeed so well in the U.S. is that the general population does not want to believe that one of their fellow citizens, regardless of cultural or political differences, would be so cynical, to stoop so low as to betray their own country – as the Bush administration did in regards portraying Iraq as an imminent security threat. It is not that any political group is pure as the driven snow of pre-Industrial Revolution, the conservative movement has wrapped its ideology, the antithesis of the ideology of a democratic republic, in love of country, of goodness, family and their interpretation of Bible scripture. Let’s say there was a movement that wanted to undermine the framework, the ideals and the aspirations of a democratic republic. We could hardly expect that movement to be honest about its objectives. For better or worse real life is not like comic books or old TV melodramas. The bad guys are hardly going to make themselves obvious. As Sinclair Lewis said, “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” That quote is from 1935. Around the time the Right ( forget the political labels Democrats and Republicans) decided that any attempts to help Wall Street were good, but helping ordinary Americans was Marxist. The far Right have not changed much since. They lost a lot of ground for 40 years, than came the Silent Majority, the Regan Revolution. Both embodiments of Lewis’s warning. A lot of good people bought into a lot of policies that were  not in the best interests of middle to blue collar America because it was sold as the godly and patriotic thing. It was crap wrapped in red, while and blue velvet. So it goes with the Myth about Freddie Mac and Fannie May caused the Great Recession – The Big Lie

You’re chosen for an investigative panel related to your topic. When other panel members, after inspecting your evidence, reject your thesis, you claim that they did so for ideological reasons. This, too, is repeated by your allies. Soon, the echo chamber you created drowns out dissenting views; even presidential candidates begin repeating the Big Lie.

Thus has Peter Wallison, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a former member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, almost single-handedly created the myth that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac caused the financial crisis. His partner in crime is another A.E.I. scholar, Edward Pinto, who a very long time ago was Fannie’s chief credit officer. Pinto claims that as of June 2008, 27 million “risky” mortgages had been issued — “and a lion’s share was on Fannie and Freddie’s books,” as Wallison wrote recently. Never mind that his definition of “risky” is so all-encompassing that it includes mortgages with extremely low default rates as well as those with default rates nearing 30 percent. These latter mortgages were the ones created by the unholy alliance between subprime lenders and Wall Street. Pinto’s numbers are the Big Lie’s primary data point.

Blame must be shifted away from private banks, i.e. the private business sector at all costs. I read a lot of conservative blogs and other sites. This Fannie-Freddie lie is repeated endlessly by pundits and echoed by their commenters. Where is their evidence? They have none. They cannot get the most basic facts right. Freddie and Fannie do not make loans, much less sub-prime loans. They buy loans from banks. Many conservatives loved this up until…ahhh 2008. Buying loans from banks allowed the banks to quickly recoup capital and make more loans. Most sub-prime loans did not meet Freddie-Fannie criteria. F&F loaned a much lower percentage of sub-prime loans than private banks. That the right-wing American Enterprise Institute cronies Peter Wallison and Edward Pinto shrilly insist otherwise does not make it true. The Federal Reserve and independent studies show AEI and their “scholars” are lying. Will the zombie lie about Freddie and Fannie stop if people like Joe Nocera, Paul Krugman, Kevin Park and data set after data set proves they’re wrong. Of course not. The Big Lie is an old success story. It is tried and true. To stop believing the big lie about Fannie and Freddie is to believe that a huge chunk of conservative mumbo jumbo is wrong. In religion is is like Galileo claiming the earth revolved around the sun, to prove one piece of dogma wrong opens up the door for questioning all dogma. In this case if we question how fellow Americans who claimed to be god fearing patriots betrayed their country ( a lot of the world’s bankers betrayed their countries and they used ultra-nationalism as a cudgel as well)) that is just a slippery slope to questioning a lot of the twisted tripe conservatives sell as patriotism. And we can’t have that now can we.

black and white bench by the river

Those that have more get more, Inequality and Democratic Responsiveness

By allowing voters to choose among candidates with competing policy orientations and by providing incentives for incumbents to shape policy in the direction the public desires, elections are thought to provide the foundation that links government policy to the preferences of the governed. In this article I examine the extent to which the preference/policy link is biased toward the preferences of high-income Americans. Using an original data set of almost two thousand survey questions on proposed policy changes between 1981 and 2002, I find a moderately strong relationship between what the public wants and what the government does, albeit with a strong bias toward the status quo. But I also find that when Americans with different income levels differ in their policy preferences, actual policy outcomes strongly reflect the preferences of the most affluent but bear virtually no relationship to the preferences of poor or middle-income Americans. The vast discrepancy I find in government responsiveness to citizens with different incomes stands in stark contrast to the ideal of political equality that Americans hold dear. Although perfect political equality is an unrealistic goal, representational biases of this magnitude call into question the very democratic character of our society.

It is not the case that the middle-class and lower income blue collar America never gets what it wants, it is that there is a pretty strong bias in paying attention to and catering to those at the very top. Many Americans across the economic spectrum really have bought into the distorted picture of the captains of industry being some how deserving of special credit and treatment. Ironic for a country founded on egalitarian ideals, where titles such as Prince and Lady were done away with.

snow, landscape, trees

winter morning haze

Smart Guide to 2012: The networks that run the world

It’s the same for any complex system: from the global economy to the human brain, understanding the connections is key. To make sense of the world you’ve got to know network theory – the branch of mathematics that holds the answers. Network analysis is really taking off, thanks to a mass of data on complex systems, combined with heavy-duty computing power to crunch the numbers. One emerging theme is that biological networks can resist perturbation, up to a point. Disturb the system enough and things go awry – which is what happens when we get sick.

[  ]…Because networks created by human activities (Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world. Nothing innately wrong with capitalism. It is simply easily corrupted and frequently used as a form of social-Spencerism ) aren’t shaped by natural selection they may collapse if disrupted. This is why network theorists are busy studying connections between big firms. “Too big to fail” is only partly right: “too connected to fail” is the message from network theory.

I’m a little skeptical about making too strong a link between biological systems and artificially created ones. I can see similarities, though neuron based systems don’t tell us much about how to keep man-made ones from breaking down.

black and black photography, portrait

one moment

worker by august sander. From his “Man of the Twentieth Century” project. That also included women.

Lizzy Parks – All That

american masters of design, ray and charles eames

Charles & Ray Eames were a husband and wife team of artists. Despite the names and the confusion they have caused for some media reviewers, theywere not brothers. PBS did a documentary on them as part of the American Masters series. A short biographic essay is on-line, Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter

Charles and Ray Eames headed the most creative design office in post World War II America. Frequently photographed in matching clothes, poses, or both, each brought a rich array of talents to their life/work partnership (1941-1978) as well as a contagious enthusiasm for life and art.

Dazzlingly bright-eyed, Ray looked like a cross between Dorothy in the enchanted Land of Oz and an artistic version of the energetic and engaging Jo March in Little Women. Charles, who looked (like) film star Henry Fonda, was handsome, charismatic and thought by many to be a “genius”.

Their studiously simple lifestyle revolved around their “laboratory” workshop and office in Los Angeles. No one worked harder than this pair; and no one took greater pleasure in their work. Together, they (and those who worked in the office) created some of the most iconic furniture of the twentieth century, which, together with their architecture, interiors, films, multi-media shows and exhibitions helped shape how people thought about objects and buildings.


You can watch the entire documentary on-line, but apparently it is blocked for countries outside the United States. I can appreciate the frustration with that since I would like to watch some BBC programs on-line, but they are blocked for countries outside the U.K. The trailer is available, EAMES: The Architect and The Painter – Trailer

Arts and Architecture magazine cover by Ray Eames via library of congress

Charles and Ray leaving Los Angeles for
Moscow with the Films for the
1959 American National Exhibition,
photograph. Library of Congress.

Ten to the power of one slide from a slide show for Powers of Ten. “These elaborately conceived and executed panels were created by the Eames Office for Powers of Ten. Forty-two large square images that mark the powers of ten were used in the production of the film and later reproduced for the 1982 book, Powers of Ten: A Book About the Relative Size of Things in the Universe and the Effect of Adding Another Zero, written by Philip Morrison, Phylis Morrison, and the Office of Charles and Ray Eames. ” Difficult to see clearly on this small thumbnail, but it is a picnic scene. Also Library of Congress.

Wire side chair, 1951
Charles Eames (American, 1907–1978); Ray Eames (American, 1912–1988); manufactured by Herman Miller Furniture Company, Zeeland, Michigan
Metal wire, painted black. This and some other furniture designs can be seen full size at the Metropolitan.There is an on-line slide show here – A slide show at the Metropolitan Museum – Charles Eames (1907–78) and Ray Eames (1912–88). We’ve probably all seen the ubiquitous plastic chair design by Charles that still is common in bus depots, airports and laundry-mats.


no good deed goes unbrutalized, black and white photos, HIV Replication 3D Medical Animation

Good Samaritan in West Virginia Brutalized by Police Chief Justin Burke Childers

Teter, who had undergone spinal surgery and had 16 probes implanted near his spinal cord, says he told Childers he was disabled from spinal surgery and asked him not to cuff him behind his back.

“In response, defendant Childers threw Mr. Teter into the snow on his face, pushed his knee between Mr. Teter’s shoulder blades in the exact spot where Mr. Teter had 16 probes implanted near his spinal cord, and handcuffed him,” according to the complaint.
“Mr. Teter told defendant Childers he was hurting him and asked him to call an ambulance because he feared the defendant had moved the probes and his spinal cord would be injured.

“In response, defendant Childers rolled Mr. Teter onto his back, yelled, ‘Disabled my ass,’ and pushed his boot into Mr. Teter’s chest.”


Mr. Teter had take in upon himself to sweep some snow from the streets. he had injured no one. Department of Highways workers gave him a “thumbs up” . Teter was not violent or resisting arrest. He was never prosecuted because prosecutors could not find he had done anything illegal.

black and white tree roots

black and white farm road. this one has a very light chrome effect.

“Linus and Lucy”. Because it was part of a holiday themed show, it is thought of as a holiday song. If you forget about that, it is simply a classic piece of jazz that has a festive edge to it.

HIV Replication 3D Medical Animation

Probably the same people who thought invading Iraq was cool get reactionary over photo of female sailors’ homecoming kiss

Virginian-Pilot reporter Corinne Reilly tells me that reaction to her story about two female sailors’ homecoming kiss and the photo that ran with it (on the right, below the fold) “has run the gamut, but the vast majority of messages I’ve received have definitely come from readers who found the story and photo offensive.”


The Seattle Times also got a lot of negative feedback – probably semi-professional complainers. of course people who liked it or didn’t have strong feelings about it would not be counted in the reaction. The Times reply to readers was pretty good,

Dear XXX

I’m sorry that you found the photo on today’s front page offensive. That was not our intention. We selected the photo because it depicted an historic moment for the U.S. military, vividly illustrating the end of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” era in a striking twist on the Navy’s “first kiss” tradition.

As you know, treatment of gay and lesbian members of the U.S. military has been hotly debated for years, including at military installations around the Puget Sound region. As politicians and military leaders argued, the effect on individual soldiers and sailors sometimes got lost. This photo, which both our picture and news editors described as iconic, showed what the policy change meant at street level.

Part of our responsibility as a news organization is to reflect the reality around us, even if it might make some readers uncomfortable. We do not make those decisions lightly. We debated how and where to use this picture extensively. In the end, we felt the historic nature of the photo merited front page treatment.

While you may not agree with this decision, I hope this explanation helps you understand it. We were not trying to push a political agenda. We were trying to show the real-world effect of a political change of policy.

I hope you will reconsider your decision to cancel the paper. Just as we value lively debates in our newsroom about how to display news, we value lively debates with our readers about whether they think we’re doing a good job. We need readers like you who care enough to call us to account when you don’t think we’re doing our jobs well. It keeps us on our toes and helps inform the choices we make going forward.

Kathy Best
Managing Editor, The Seattle Times

All the bold is mine. I wonder if these same people would have also complained about black Americans pictured sitting at formerly white only lunch counters.