Sunday, June 23, 2019

Links for Later 6-23-19

  1. Why the band The National are Big Divorced Energy.
  2. Laurie Anderson on Reality and Non-Reality.
  3. Right now I’m writing something, and people are asking, “Is it fiction or is it real?” I was like: “Well, I’m really not sure where that line goes.” And I’m really not. And, being an artist is what? Real or fantasy or…? Even when I’ve tried to work in the real world, it seems more deeply fantastical than anything I could make up. The fact that it happened, does it make it less fictional than if it never happened? I’m not sure. It’s the same in VR.
    Recently, I spent time in a pyramid in the Yucatan—in a secret pyramid by James Turrell. Jim built a huge pyramid with a lake on top and a viewing device. It’s over Cenote, an underground lake, which are all over the Yucatan. They were made maybe a billion years ago or something. Meteors punched through the crust and made these underground lakes. They’re all connected: If you drop a note down in one of them, it will show up in another. They’re all connected by lakes. 
    Me and three other people were there to talk about the future of the planet. We didn’t come up with anything, I have to say, but we had a really good time. One of the things that reminded me of this was that you looked up at the sky through an ellipse shaped hole; you looked at the sky all night. Around this hole was another ring of light, which always was shifting. It wasn’t like camping and looking at the night sky; it was like looking at yourself looking at the night sky. Your interpretation of what black is always influenced by, “Is it surrounded by lime green or baby pink?” As the sun rises and the sky goes through every single phase that it could, from black to blue, including pink and red, you realize that even so called, “Seeing things,” is an act of comparison, memory, labeling and, fiction. It was never that as clear to me before as that. I’ve thought, “Oh, the sky is green!” I said, “Because it’s ringed with pink.” “Oh my, it’s brown!” “Because it’s against dark blue.” 
    We talked in this desultory way about what we could do. And, I mean… I’ve missed the thinkers in the last year. I haven’t heard from very many thinkers. The level of discussion has sunk to the rock bottom. Although, just when you think you’ve found a rock, you might find something else, like the slime beneath it. I’m fairly terrified and trying to not be; I’m trying to be an informed person who’s getting a lot of energy from a terrible situation. I largely blame myself for not seeing that we just very slowly didn’t seem to have a middle class anymore. I thought, “Where have I been?”
  4. Oral History of Bennington College in the 80's

Monday, April 08, 2019

African-American Graveyard Buried Under Upper Arlington High School

An African-American graveyard was established by a freed slave and blacksmith named Pleasant Litchford on the site where Upper Arlington High School currently stands. While some of the graves were moved when the school was built in 1955, it is unclear whether all of the graves were properly relocated.

From WOSU:

Upper Arlington School District will study whether remains may still lie beneath the high school’s campus. Superintendent Paul Imhoff said they are working with an archaeologist and plan to conduct a scan of the area to identify any graves that may not have already been cleared.

Construction of the first high school revealed the cemetery in 1955. The district moved remains they found, but it built a parking lot and possibly part of the building over the area.

Upper Arlington resident Mike Renz has encouraged the city and school district to further explore the cemetery, and he said construction of the current high school above the cemetery illustrated the community’s segregation at that time.

“You don’t handle human remains in such a casual way,” Renz said. “You don’t build buildings or parking lots over graves no matter who they belong to.”

Now, the district wants to address its previous mistakes and respectfully manage the cemetery as it tears down the old high school, Imhoff said.

“This is not a proud part of our history, but it is a part of our history, and we feel strongly that we are not going to hide from that. We’re not going to pretend like it didn’t happen,” Imhoff said. “We’re still in the process of determining what (the right thing) is, but we’re certainly dedicated to doing the right thing and honoring these people whose final resting place was on that site.”

In addition to searching for more remains, Imhoff says he expects some kind of memorial to be placed on the cemetery’s site.

Pleasant Litchford, a freed slave who came to Columbus from Virginia in 1828, established the cemetery in the 1800s. As a blacksmith, he started buying land in what is now Upper Arlington, and founded the cemetery for his family and other African-Americans who were excluded from white cemeteries.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Goodbye, Dad


William Gosnell 1931-2019



GOSNELL William Francis Gosnell, 87, of Upper Arlington, passed away at home Sunday, January 20, 2019, after a long illness. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Francis and Katherine Gosnell and his sister, Mariana Gosnell. He is survived by his wife, Norma L. Gosnell, son, Scott Gosnell, sister, Molly Rudy, sister-in-law Irma Pinkerton and brothers-in-law Bill (Gayle) and Jack (Sophie) Hall. He was a devoted uncle to his nephews and nieces, Doug, Steve, and Kathy; Jimmy, Tommy, Shirley, Silvia, Kelly, Karen, Steve, Cathy, Danielle and Kim; their spouses and partners; and a great-uncle to his many grand nephews and nieces.

William was a 1949 graduate of Upper Arlington High School. He went on to receive both his Bachelors and Masters of Arts from the Ohio State University. He served two years in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War before resuming his studies. Following college, he taught History, Government, Psychology and Sociology for forty-two years at Northland High School, and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 1993. He was constantly amazed and delighted to see his students grow and develop as people.

William met his wife Norma when both became members of the recently opened Swim and Racquet Tennis Club; they would go on to become club champions in mixed doubles, to remain lifelong partners in tennis and in life, to celebrate the birth of their son, Scott, and to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. He described himself as “a good egg, slightly cracked,” but will be remembered for his kindness, interest in everyone he met, capacity to generate a lecture on any topic at any length at the drop of a hat, boundless curiosity and thirst for knowledge, and his belief in treating everyone among us with dignity and justice. His favorite advice was from the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure: “Be excellent to each other.”

He was a sixty-eight-year member of First Community Church in Marble Cliff, where the memorial service will be held on January 30, 2019 at 11AM, despite his previously stated preference for “a traditional Viking funeral with burning ship and so forth,” “to be set adrift on an ice floe,” or “to be shot bodily into orbit from a large cannon.” We will miss him terribly.

Service will be held in Burkhart Chapel at the South Campus of First Community Church, 1320 Cambridge Ave. 43212, at 11AM, January 30, 2019. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the educational charity of your choice.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Links for Later 9-11-18

  1. The dye from the murex snail was responsible for both Tyrian purple, used in Imperial robes and tekhelet, the "perfect" blue dye of Hebrew prayer shawls.
  2. Antitrust legislation rises from the dead, thanks to Lina Khan and others like her.
  3. Harvard started paying its workers a living wage. Could other companies do the same?

Friday, August 17, 2018

State of the OH15 House Race

Collecting and reposting my state of the election notes from https://www.facebook.com/groups/IndivisibleOHDist15/permalink/505002666610097/

The polling from the week before the 12th's special election showed Rep. Stivers about 7-9 points ahead. The 15 point lead predicted by 538's "standard" model is likely an overreaction to the narrow R win in the 12th.

He has much better name recognition and is currently running an unopposed air campaign (TV/radio/internet ads), plus an incumbent advantage. He's also one of the Republicans' top fundraisers.

Against all that, this is going to be a blue wave year, with about a +10 advantage for the Democrats. Neal's fundraising has been much more vigorous than usual for the district, though to get up to par would require a massive surge. The Senate and Governor's races may provide some additional coattails.

Based on the distribution of votes from the past couple of elections, the Democrats need to bank large leads in Franklin County and Athens, and reduce the Republican lead in Madison and Fairfield (Lancaster area).

Franklin is a game of suburbs: Upper Arlington, Hilliard, Grove City, Obetz. (going from D-->R strength).

To win, the Democrats must have both an excellent ground game (GOTV), which I think they have, and an impactful and constant air campaign (TV/radio/internet). While I've tweaked Rick Neal about this on a semi-regular basis, it's really an area where ODP has fallen down, and the bulk of the criticism needs to fall on them. Failure to market on air leads to poor fundraising numbers and poor turnout. Failure to get on air in the summer allows their opponents to set the terms of the debate.

Absent a compelling purchased ad campaign, I'd expect that every down-ballot Democrat should be throwing themselves in front of every camera and microphone in the world, acting as if they've already won and are just waiting to be sworn in. Earned media can make the difference.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

In Search of Forgotten Colours - Sachio Yoshioka and the Art of Natural Dyeing



A compendium of four short films from the Victoria and Albert Museum:


This is a compendium of four short films with English subtitles. Sachio Yoshioka is the fifth-generation head of the Somenotsukasa Yoshioka dye workshop in Fushimi, southern Kyoto. When he succeeded to the family business in 1988, he abandoned the use of synthetic colours in favour of dyeing solely with plants and other natural materials. 30 years on, the workshop produces an extensive range of extremely beautiful colours. Mr Yoshioka generously made two gifts of naturally dyed textile and paper samples to the V&A in 2016 and 2017. The process of creating these samples was recorded for a documentary broadcast in Japan in May 2017. The programme also explored the background to Mr Yoshioka’s passion for natural dyeing and his long-standing quest to revive historical colours whose methods of making have been forgotten.

(via kottke.org)