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Posts Tagged ‘Grover Cleveland

“You cannot get a grip on blue… blue is sly, slick, it slides into the room sideways, a slippery trickster”*…

 

Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, ca. 1665

Michelangelo couldn’t afford ultramarine. His painting The Entombment, the story goes, was left unfinished as the result of his failure to procure the prized pigment. Rafael reserved ultramarine for his final coat, preferring for his base layers a common azurite; Vermeer was less parsimonious in his application and proceeded to mire his family in debt. Ultramarine: the quality of the shade is embodied in its name. This is the superlative blue, the end-all blue, the blue to which all other hues quietly aspire. The name means “beyond the sea”—a dreamy ode to its distant origins, as romantic as it is imprecise…

The whole fascinating story at “True Blue- a brief history of ultramarine.”

* Christopher Moore, Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art

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As we dip our brushes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1886 that a gift from France was formally received in the U.S.: it was on this date that year that “Liberty Enlightening the World”– a token of friendship from the French to the U.S. better known as the Statue of Liberty– was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland.

Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor, it was built by Gustave Eiffel (his Eiffel Tower served as the statue’s armature), who had it shipped from France encased in more than 200 crates, then reassembled it and placed on its pedestal on (what was then known as) Bedloe’s Island, where Cleveland took her in.

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Written by LW

October 28, 2016 at 1:01 am

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies”*…

 

A cartoon depicting William Jennings Bryan as a Populist snake, swallowing the Democratic Party, dated 1896

As if things weren’t weird enough…

By a number of political measures, this year bears an uncanny resemblance to the transformative 1896 presidential election… It pitted Republican William McKinley against Democrat William Jennings Bryan. Although McKinley won—the incumbent, Grover Cleveland, was a Democrat and the economy was bad—Bryan’s candidacy ushered in an era of fiery oratory and Democratic Party populism. Indeed, Cleveland’s pro-business Democratic Party largely vanished from American politics.

That probably sounds at least a little bit familiar, what with Trump’s populism and his own brand of fiery oratory. But, political scientists Julia Azari and Marc Hetherington argue in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the similarity goes well beyond personality….

So what does this mean for the future of American politics? “[W]hen political conflict between the parties becomes polarized, the same polarizing issues tend to become divisive within parties as well,” Azari and Hetherington write. “[T]he fate of previous eras of division suggests that this brand of politics is rarely sustainable in the long term. If not in 2016, it seems change is likely to come soon.”

The eerie similarities, then to now, detailed at “If History Is a Guide, American Politics Is About to Get Weird.”

* Mark Twain

As we batten down the hatches, we might recall that it was on this date in 1957, at 8:54p, that Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, a Democrat (of the Dixiecrat variety), began a 24 hour and 18 minute filibuster, the longest ever conducted by a single Senator.  Thurmond was speaking in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1957; his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act led him to switch to the more comfortable home of the Republican Party.

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Maps of the Mind…

Mo Costandi, the Neurophilosophy blogger for The Guardian, has created a wonderful side-site, Neuro Images, a collection of pictures of the brain.  From the scientific (like the image above) through the historical…

… to the fanciful…

… readers will find a treasure trove at Neuro Images.

[The title of this post is borrowed from the title of Charles Hampden-Turner’s extraordinary survey of theories of consciousness and mind through the ages.  It’s sadly out of print at the moment, but readily available used (e.g., here)– and well worth the effort.]

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As we wrestle with mental maps, we might spare an incisive thought for William Williams Keen; he died on this date in 1932.  A pioneering physician, Keen was the first “brain surgeon” in the U.S.; he successfully removed a brain tumor from a patient in 1887.  He was the first physician to perform a decompression of the skull and the first physician in Philadelphia to use Lister’s antiseptic surgical practices.  Indeed, in 1892 Keen, with James White, wrote the first American surgery text based on Listerian principles.It was later superseded by Keen’s Surgery its Principles and Practices, which became the “Bible” of American surgeons.  Keen is also remembered for having assisted in the now famous secret operation performed on then-President Grover Cleveland in 1893, in which was the Commander-in-Chief’s upper left jaw was removed to rid him of a malignant tumor.

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Written by LW

June 7, 2012 at 1:01 am

Crime Blotter, Air Travel Edition…

Lynsie Murley, a 24-year-old Amarillo woman (pictured above, via Facebook), sued the TSA for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress in connection with a May, 2008 incident at the Corpus Christi airport.  As Smoking Gun reports:

Murley charged in her lawsuit that she was “singled out for extended search procedures,” and that a TSA agent frisked her and “pulled Plaintiff’s blouse completely down, exposing Plaintiff’s breasts to everyone in the area.”

TSA employees, Murley added, “joked and laughed about the incident for an extended period of time.” After leaving the security line to be “consoled by an acquaintance who had brought her to the airport,” Murley returned to the line, where a male TSA worker said that he had wished he was there when she first passed through. The employee, Murley recalled, added that “he would just have to watch the video.” The incident left Murley “extremely embarrassed and humiliated,” according to her complaint.

The government settled the suit.

In a resonant but still unresolved case, SG also reports on the case of Iurii Chumak…

The 53-year-old was arrested last month after allegedly groping a flight attendant while onboard a British Airways flight traveling from London to New York…  According to the FBI, Chumak placed his hand up the flight attendant’s skirt and “grabbed her genital area” when she bent over to pour coffee for another passenger. Although the incident was witnessed by a second flight attendant, who immediately placed him in restraints, Chumak maintained that he had simply been “drinking on the airplane, fell asleep, and woke up in restraints.”

Since his bust, Chumak has been locked up at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. He was named last week in a misdemeanor criminal information charging him in connection with the in-flight April 28 incident (the filing of an information–in lieu of a grand jury presentment by federal prosecutors–often indicates that a defendant is negotiating a guilty plea).

 

As we reconsider our travel plans, we might console ourselves that it was on this date in 1886 that President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom in a White House ceremony.

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Know your intellectuals!…

One of the gentlemen above is (American professor and philosopher of social habit) Michael Pollan; the other is (French professor and philosopher of social institutions) Michel Foucault…

Take the test– that is, look at the other pairs of photos– at “Michael Pollan or Michel Foucault?” to see if you can tell them apart!

As we get in touch with our inner structuralist, we might recall that it was on this date in 1885 that another gift from France arrived in the U.S.: it was on this date that year that “Liberty Enlightening the World”– a token of friendship from the French to the U.S. better known as the Statue of Liberty– entered New York Harbor.  Encased in more than 200 crates, the statue was reassembled, placed on its pedestal on (what was then known as) Bedloe’s Island, then dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in October, 1886.

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