No. 250 November 2003
ART HISTORY DISSERTATION TOPIC, NEED ONE?? I don’t need one, but do you? Know someone who does? As discussed in the August 2003 Newsletter ( http://www.nku.edu/~yannarella/news0308.html ) U. S. Department of State has jurisdiction over and announces all foreign artwork imported for exhibitions American museums. Beginning as early as 1970, different Offices have inserted Art Exhibition announcements in the “Notices” section of the Federal Register. (1) From 1970-1978 the State Department, (2) from 1979-1982 the International Communications Agency, (3) from 1983-1998, U.S. Information Agency, and (4 again) as of 1999 the State Department, have issued Art Exhibitions announcements “Notices.” All these “Notices” are included in the Federal Register Cumulative Final Annual Index for those years and each Annual Indexes provides a Federal Register for each Notice. Every Notice entry lists all the Name(s) of the Artworks approved for import. These Federal Register entries identify the specific sculptures, paintings, etc. the Museums, and the exhibition dates. The collection of the information in these Notices could create a new database of information about “the history of museum exhibits and exhibitions” in the United States. Analysis could result in new information about America museums and their exhibitions as well as any geographical distribution of these exhibits and any patterns of art genera which are favored or neglected. I wonder if anything like this has been done. At the Federal Register home page http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html one can search the Federal Register V. 59, 1994 to date, and then the Annual Indexes (as of 1969) are available in many Federal Depository Libraries.
SPACE MUSIC KRONOS PRODUCTION Using data records which traveled on five different NASA spacecraft Dr. Donald A. Gurnett has shown “we can hear the sounds of space by using scientific instruments on spacecraft as our 'ears.' Scientific instruments detect and record radio waves, then transmit the recorded information to Earth. Once the transmitted information has been received at Earth, the data are processed for use in scientific studies. This processing also allows data to be converted or translated into sounds.” He has collected three kinds of Sounds of Space http://www-pw.physics.uiowa.edu/~dag/sounds2.html (1) whistlers, (2) chorus, and (3) Auroral radio transmissions.
From a database of classical music, Walt Disney created Fantasia, and similarly, the multimedia production Sun Rings, by the Kronos Quartet is based the on sounds of space collected by University of Iowa Prof. Don Gurnett over a 40-year period. The musical portion of Sun Rings was composed by Terry Riley and performed by the Kronos Quartet, and accompanied by a visual production created by visual designer Willie Williams.” The Sun Rings website provides a list of the 2003 performances and the 2003 and 2004 Tour Schedule. There is also a list of the 12 media news articles from 2001 to 2003 plus links to pages about the Kronos Quartet and the people involved in this new musical genera. All this and more are found at the Sounds of Space and the Kronos Quartet "Sun Rings" home page (http://www-pw.physics.uiowa.edu/space-audio/KronosSounds.html).
ALAS, POOR YORICK DE-PARTS INTO HISTORY In March, 1997 (http://www.nku.edu/~yannarella/news9703.html ) that we first learned about Yorick the Bionic Skeleton. Yorick, the FDA bionic skeleton, aptly named since his function was to display all the FDA approved medical devices created to replace human body parts. His body parts include all the electronic devices and mechanical parts which could be found in any living person. He was created in the early 1970’s to be an teaching aid for medical students, and has appeared at medical conventions, conferences, training courses, and health fairs nationwide. Yorick was moved to the Smithsonian Institution for a final appearance in the American History Museum medical devices exhibition “Inventing Ourselves” in mid-November 2003. “Alas, Poor Yorick De-Parts” by Carol Rados, in the FDA Consumer, V. 37 No. 6, November-December, 2003 page 9 (HE 20.4010: 37/6) includes a full size picture of Yorick which is also available in the online version at http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2003/603_yorick.html. Yorick is also pictured in “Meet Yorick, Man of Many Parts,” by Victoria Dawson, Smithsonian Magazine, V. 34, No. 6 September 2003 page 43 which is in paper or online ( http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues03/sep03/mall.html#one ). She describes Yorick’s ride to the Museum and tells why Yorick retire to the Smithsonian Institution’s American Museum of Natural History, Division of Science, Medicine, and Society. Yorick is now part of America’s history.
REINDEER HISTORY & RUDOLPH’S ANCESTORS WERE SIBERIAN In 1867 United States purchased Alaska from Russia and in 1890, W. T. Lopp and H. Thornton arrived to establish a school at Cape Prince of Wales on the Seward Peninsula. Also, in 1890, Dr. Sheldon Jackson, Presbyterian missionary and General Agent for Education in Alaska, represented the U.S. Bureau of Education. He and Capt. M. A. Healy sailed to the Seward Peninsula. Sheldon and Healy conceived the idea of transporting reindeer from Siberia to the Seward Peninsula and in 1891; they used private funding to transport sixteen live reindeer to Alaska. Later that year Jackson sought federal appropriations from the U.S. Bureau of Education and in 1982, there was the first major importation of domestic reindeer onto the Seward Peninsula at Port Clarence. They even brought in Siberian natives to instruct the Alaska natives in reindeer husbandry. 1892 was the beginning of a 76 year history of the “reign of reindeer” in Alaska which can be found in an Alaska website. Alaska Reindeer Herdsmen: A Study of Native Management in Transition http://www.alaskool.org/projects/reindeer/history/iser1969/RDEER_1.html by Dean F. Olson was published by the University of Alaska’s Institute of Social, Economic and Government Research in 1969. Dean’s brief but interesting 10 page "Alaska Reindeer History" is followed by a well documented discussion of the of Alaska’s reindeer industry from 1892-1968 as part Alaska’s Natives economic and social life. Olson’s 1890-1968 chronology of events and list of 98 footnotes identify reference sources include U.S. Bureau of Educations Annual Reports 1892-1917, and the Annual Report on Introduction of Domestic Reindeer in Alaska 1890-1905 can be found in the U.S.Congressional Serial Set by those interested in knowing more about Rudolph’s ancestors.
EXISTENCE, IDENTITY (CARDS), AND REGULATIONS When you are born, you get your parent(s) surname and also a given name on a birth certificate. At the same time, you are also given a social security number, which is a necessity for your parent(s) income tax form, and you may even get your own health insurance card. Next your name is input into relevant databases where your parents’ names already reside. In the computer age, one’s existence is linked to the database(s) in which he is found and in the ID cards in her/his pocket. At the age when you interact with computers, you acquire a unique “user name” (or PIN, personal identification number) number, and password. Sometimes a person can be considered lost or non-existent if his name does not show up as it should in a computer. Insofar as all our ID cards (such as birth and death certificates, health insurance cards, marriage licenses, drivers, occupational licenses, etc.) are controlled/regulated by Federal and State laws, one’s existence is regulated. Society now requires you to prove you were born, and later someone must prove you died. Currently our computerized existence defined in terms of regulated ID cards and PIN numbers actually predates computers. Russell Baker, a New York Times journalist in May 1975 wrote an editorial which was reprinted in the Congressional Record. “The author’s encounter with Government control (i.e. regulations) in but one day’s time.” Russell relates how there are regulations for almost every aspect, function, action, and what and who are encountered every minute of the 24 hour day. What Russell forgot to include is that regulations not only, “bring” people into (birth certificates) and “send them” out of existence (death certificates) but also “regulate them at almost every step along the way, from beginning (birth) to end (death). Regulations stop with the “buried body” at the person’s “Earthly death.” Upon death, if and when a “religious soul leaves the State,” Government regulations cease because of previous Supreme Court Decisions recognizing the “Separation of Church and State.” Baker’s editorial was reprinted in the Congressional Record, V. 121, Part 14, June 12, 1975 page 18724.
DOCUMENTS THAT SHAPED AMERICA -- COMPUTERIZED Have you seen a copy of the original Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America? Yet, there a paper version of the Sherman Anti-Trust of 1890, the Federal Income Tax amendment of 1913, the Child Labor Act of 1916, and the Women’s Right to Vote Amendment of 1920 (events in America’s history) which many people have not seen. These events in America’s history, and many others from 1776-1965 can be seen (with your computer) as preserved publications. Initially, paper documents which were created to “realize, record, and preserve” each historical event and the documents for this era of history have been preserved in the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The NARA is the America’s official repository for the housing and preservation of America’s history. To promote a better understanding and education of the American public, the National History Day Organization, the NARA, and the USA Freedom Corps have put together a website Our Documents (http://www.ourdocuments.gov). Our Documents provides a list and copies of 100 documents from within the 190 year period. The Documents anticipates and answers two questions, Why Were these 100 Documents Chosen? http://www.ourdocuments.gov/content.php?page=why_these_100 and why 1965 was the last year to be covered? The List, and each of the 100 Documents can be printed or downloaded include the Constitution of the United States of America, the Declaration of Independence, treaties, Supreme Court Decisions, Congressional Laws, Constitutional Amendments, and Speeches, Messages, Press Releases, and the Great Seal of the United States. This could be a fascinating computer course in American history.
ELECTRIC CLOTHES DRYERS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH? Clothes dryers can be hazardous to your health! “In 1998, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there were approximately 15,600 clothes dryer fires resulting in 20 deaths, 370 injuries and $75.4 million in property damage.” When a clothes dryer is drying clothes at its normal operating temperature lint is created and caught by a removable filter. In some instances, lint escapes and goes out the heat exhaust duct pipe. In houses which have the dryer in the basement, the exhaust duct pipe must carry the lint up to the ground level and through an above ground vent. This exhaust duct pipe design allows for the possibility of lint buildup and a partially or even completely blocked exhaust duct. In some instances, the filter goes uncleaned, and the heater temperature operates at a higher than normal temperature. Each of these circumstances is fire hazardous. In 2002, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) completed a test program to evaluate the four different designed types of residential clothes dryers under various conditions. They tested dryers under normal heating and airflow conditions and dryers with partially and fully-blocked exhaust ducting. They also tested and evaluated the ignition characteristics of lint for each type of dryer. The test results are intended to help current users to avoid lint fires and to assist dryer designers in designing a safer machine. All the research information, results, pictures, graphs, charts, data, and conclusions can be found in U.S. Consumer product Safety Commission, Final Report on Electric Clothes Dryers and Lint Ignition Characteristics, May 2003, Main Report and Appendices A-J, dated May 2003. This two part report was issued in complete version on a PDF file on a CD-ROM by the CPSC and is some Federal Depository Libraries under Y 3.C 76/3: 29/C 62/CD. There is also an online version (http://www.cpsc.gov/LIBRARY/FOIA/FOIA03/os/dryer.pdf ) which does not include Appendices A-J.
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