Interacting with Modernism

One of the problems of having a big, famous Modern building is there’s no way to add to it – you end up making everyone angry that you’ve messed up the earlier architecture. The S.C. Johnson Company had two buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright – now they have a building by Norman Foster that sits near them and comments on them. Here’s a review from the Chicago Tribune with several good photos.

Messianic Hopes Disappointed

No, really, Hah!
What is it with people who actually put their hopes in politicians? You’d think that a social scientist might have shown a touch more skepticism – if you didn’t actually know that almost all employed American social scientists were already registered members of only one party and therefore have their hearts broken over and over again by the sad fact that something like a minority of their countryfolk always ever with them.

Solving New York’s Budget Crisis – Cage Fighting?

Governor Paterson proposes:

* A $1 increase in the cigarette tax, raising the state tax to $3.75.
* A new soda tax that will cost consumers 1-cent per ounce — a 16-ounce bottle will cost 16 cents more, a 64-ounce bottle 64 cents more.
* The governor also plans to legalize and sanction cage fighting.
* And allow wine to be sold in grocery stores.
* And introduce 50 speed cameras on highways to catch unsuspecting motorists with fines of up to $100.

I’m all in favor of selling wine in grocery stores – and I know Wegmans will jump right on that. Maybe he means that he’s going to sanction cage fighting inside the New York State Assembly. THAT I’d pay to watch.

Science Fiction Query

I was talking to a friend tonight….she’s interested in music and dissonance – and sound. She has a long-standing interest in science fiction and cyborgs.
So I am remembering a short story that couldn’t have been published (given my life and my high school library) after 1975.
The mute-but-not-deaf protagonist works for a service that sweeps for left-behind sound. In this world sound keeps reverberating – and one client is a failed or retired opera (?) singer. And he can here the sounds that he’s removing.
Any help?

A new year is upon us…

Well, a new semester. We start up tomorrow, and just to greet the returning students – fresh snow! It was so warm here last week that everything melted off except in places where snow plows had pushed it into deep piles – everything was muddy, just like March. Not Geneva at its prettiest. But this morning we start with a nice inch of snow. I don’t think we’ll get much more than 2 or 3, but what do I know? I’m a Southerner!
I’ve been running around in circles getting this term started – I’ve already had enough meetings for my taste, and I have 3 more scheduled this week: Budget Advisory Task Force today and then a Review I committee and Library Committee tomorrow. Then Thursday both my classes have their first meetings. I am moderately ready – I think I could print the syllabi now, but I left them to marinate on my desk overnight and we’ll see if I still feel happy about them later today.
Much to my horror I found out when I sat down at the computer that the last time I taught these two, Greek and Islamic, we were still mainly using slides. Neither course is just sitting there with usable lectures on the server. Of course i have the slide sheets from previous iterations, but it’s a lot more work that I thought I wasn’t going to have to do for daily class prep. The good part is that we’ve acquired a LOT of new images since 2007 in both areas, particularly of Islamic architecture, so I would have been integrating those anyway.

Movie Sale!

So someone pointed me to a dvd sale on Amazon. Since I left 2 box sets with my parents I was feeling movieless. I was thinking about German language help, my eternal britophilia, and FUN. Here’s what I bought:
The Queen
Gosford Park
Run Lola Run – sometimes better than Memento at the multiple version thing!
Wings of Desire (The Criterion Collection) – mmmm, Wim Wenders and Bruno Ganz.
Downfall – mmmmm, Bruno Ganz. Yes, this is where all the parodies on youtube have come from.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Single-Disc Edition) well, I didn’t think I needed more than a single-disc edition, but it was pretty fun! Blame it on Danyal.
Il Divo – oh, Italia!
Fellini – Satyricon – oh, Italia! Despair about you has been going on for a LONG time!
Purple Rain – hey – I bet my sister and I can still do all the right hand gestures to “I wld die 4 u”
sex, lies, and videotape – Look, now I have my own copy! And it’s on DVD, ironic 80s heh heh heh.