Adjectives and the young

I just read two papers which were – um – overly described. Every mention of the building in question came with a triple-whammy of “glorious, gilded, and compact” or some such [not a real occurrence to protect the offenders from obloquy and me from google]. Where DO they get these things? I took to bracketing them and writing “choose one – and be sure it’s a correct one” above the cadences of description.
Yes, the annual tidal wave is here – no rest from now till May 18th.

What do you do if you own a miilion things?

What do you do if you own a million things and can’t possibly have them all out at once? Well, you can set up dense-pack storage areas and open those to the public. This is a shot of the Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art, a Visible Storage area that holds the entire reserve collection of American Art. Daunting!

Some crab meat with that?

I am feeling very sinussey today – it’s the temperature swings, I figure – and I happen to be between Netflix movies, so I hit on Deadliest Catch on tv. Gosh. I’ll never eat crab meat in quite the same way again! And who knew what a large percentage of commercial fishemen in Alaska were Vikings? Or Scandinavians, at least, going on their names.

Pity the tuition-driven college

Schools whose endowments might recover some this year are probably feeling better. We’re talking a good line, but when I read things like this I worry. A lot.
February existing home sales drop 0.6 percent: Existing home sales fall for third straight month raising worries about housing recovery
Florida unemployment hit record 12.2 percent in February
From what I hear our admissions numbers are no worse than last year – maybe even a scootch better. But for an institution as tuition-driven as we are, that’s scant comfort.
We haven’t tried changing the default font in email yet – maybe we should?

Cue the theme from JAWS

This year, the system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes, an important threshold it was not expected to cross until at least 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Stephen C. Goss, chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, said that while the Congressional projection would probably be borne out, the change would have no effect on benefits in 2010 and retirees would keep receiving their checks as usual.

Yeah – you can always keep ahead of Ponzi/Madoff schemes for awhile – by distributing capital. But that’s before Obamacare.
via Megan McArdle

I went to NYC and drew a lot

I had a great time in New York City – I saw people, ate good food, bought new glasses frames, went to the Met over and over again (that handy out of town membership pays off), and drew a lot. Here are two pages of eyes, with bleed-through from a previous page. Drawing is a great way to study things closely – I wish I had more discipline.

The Mourners and the Belles Heures at the Met were well worth the trip. The Mourners, alabaster figures from the tomb of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgandy, and his wife Margaret of Bavaria, are notionally walking in a funeral procession. They were arranged in double-file in one of the medieval galleries leading to the Lehman Pavilion and the Belles Heures show. They were spectacular examples of late Gothic naturalism – highly detailed figure studies, swathed in heavy cloth. There was enough color left on them to imagine them once being even more vivid.

Here is a really neat website for the Mourners – go, select any mourner, and look at him in detail! Drag and rotate!

The Belles Heures de Jean de France, duc de Berry show was overwhelming. FAR too much to take in. I visited on three successive days and still didn’t really do it justice. The Limbourg Brothers were even better than I thought. More about that later.

Talk about springlike! First home men’s lacrosse game

For the Hobart & William Smith alum readers who haven’t been keeping up – the Bos is gone – but will rise again before the football season. So everybody is playing on the McCooey Field astroturf for now.

A good many folks grumbled when this particular construction project started that in these difficult times we are spending money on athletics. I guess this is one of those times when sitting on committees to talk about this and that makes me a bit more resigned, if not always happy. We’re putting up new locker room space, new seating block, lighting, and astroturf. About half the cost is covered by an alum gift to the Capital Campaign that was given only for this purpose – evidently despite some pleading. The other half comes out of the capital improvement bond.

At least one local construction company with local employees is at least somewhat busy on this project. So I’m resigned – I just wish some alum were obsessed with the hoped-for performing arts center instead.

Anyway – a dreamy early spring day in the sun. And the Statesmen beat Binghamton. The Herons were off playing in Florida or some such.

Nothing like a disbound book of hours to attract medievalists

Like a moth to the candle flame. You see, when I visit a museum or library where a book is on display I usually get to see 2 pages – at whatever place the book happens to be open. But when they take a book apart for conservation there’s the opportunity for a big show! Spread it out!
So, I’m headed to NYC the second half of the coming week. Look at this (deeply unimaginatively designed) web page of pages from the Belles Heures of Jean de France, duc de Berry.