Photos by Alice Bampton, Visual Specialist and Senior Writer, Communication and Service Promotion Team
Photos by Alice Bampton, Visual Specialist and Senior Writer, Communication and Service Promotion Team
Today is Move-In Day for the Class of 2018! Our incoming first-year students have never lived in a world without wearable cellular telephones, AMBER Alerts, computers that can defeat the world chess champion, or cloned sheep.
Television shows, from their point of view, have always displayed a score from the TV ratings system.
These millennials may have played with a Furby or with Teenie Beanies—miniature Beanie Babies included in fast-food children’s meals. At Christmastime, many of them received a “Tickle Me Elmo” doll.
They may not realize that the “save” icon for Microsoft and other products is an image of a floppy disk. Even if they do, they probably have never used a floppy disk.
Adobe Flash, MP3 (audio format), wikis and JAVA have always existed in their lifetimes, as has Amazon.com.
Certainly you could add examples not included on this list. Please share your own ideas/observations about the class of 2018 in our Comment section.
Article by Gerald Dierkes, information services specialist for the Information and Research Assistance team, senior copy-editor for the Communication and Service Promotion team and a liaison to the Department of Theater. Graphic by Joanne Quinn.
Intriguing developments about “The Triumph of David” have occurred since our previous blog post about this Cortona painting. The painting has been completely cleaned and, over the Memorial Day weekend, varnished. And, most impressive, Anthony Lagalante, PhD, associate professor, Dept. of Chemistry, received a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation for technical analysis of the artwork. Dr. Lagalante received the notification and a check for $24,000 at the end of May.
Although varnishing is normally the final step in the creation of an oil painting, the conservator, Kristin de Ghetaldi, explains, “We always put a thin ‘isolation’ coat of varnish on the surface of paintings after we have removed as much of the unoriginal restoration as we are able. This helps to bring back some of the saturation but also serves as a barrier layer between the original surface and any materials that we then add (fills, inpainting, etc.).”
Currently the interns, volunteers and de Ghetaldi are filling areas of paint loss and toning the fills with red gouache (gouache is opaque watercolor paint) to simulate the original ground of “The Triumph of David.” To observe the conservators in action, visit the Reading Room in Falvey Hall (aka Old Falvey) or watch the live feed. The conservators are happy to answer questions about their work.
For more information about the conservation project – “About the Restoration;” the Kress award; biographies of the conservation team; the chemistry of the painting; a biography of the donor, Princess Eugenia Ruspoli (1861-1951, born Jennie Berry in Alabama); and more – go to projects.library.villanova.edu/paintingrestoration/ or from Falvey’s homepage, click “Projects” and scroll to “Conserving a Giant …”
For more information about the artist, Pietro da Cortona, see “Dig Deeper: About the artist Pietro da Cortona.”
Last fall this blog post informed you of a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment, aka “CAVE,” coming to the Library. This summer construction accelerated, and the Villanova Immersive Studies System (VISS) will open soon.
“It sounds similar to watching an IMAX film in 3D,” a colleague informed me. I explained that it’s much more than observing. It’s more like the holodeck from Star Trek, the television series. The VISS allows participants to become virtually immersed in a setting in which they can move about and even circle around the 3D image an object, such as a statue or tree, as though they were in the actual setting. The VISS also includes sound.
Funding for the VISS comes from a $1.67 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant: “the largest NSF research grant ever awarded to the University.”
Photos by Luisa Cywinski and Alice Bampton.
Visit this little guy and all his friends in the Cyber Lounge in the Connelly Center.
Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion Team and Special Acquisitions Coordinator in Resource Management
It’s been one fin-tastic Shark Week, hasn’t it! And since we know Falvey Memorial Library patrons love sinking their teeth into a good book, we’ve custom-designed a special Shark Week souvenir wallpaper for your laptop or mobile phone! Now, you won’t forget to head for the library every time you think you need a bigger book!
To change computer wallpaper, open the link and drag the graphic to your desktop, then open your monitor settings to switch wallpapers. To change your smartphone or tablet background, drag graphic to the desktop. Email or transfer it to your Camera Roll via Dropbox or your preferred method, and then open Settings to change Wallpaper/Brightness on your mobile devices.
Now excuse us while we tuck back into one of our favorite summertime reads, Finn-egans Wake.
The Panama Canal celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The 50-miles-long canal across the Isthmus of Panama officially opened on August 15, 1914, although a French crane boat, Alexandre La Valley, had already traveled the Canal’s full length from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, completing its journey on January 7, 1914. However, the Alexandre La Valley had traversed the Canal in stages during the Canal’s construction. On August 4 the SS Cristobal, cargo steam ship, made a test run through the Canal.
Sadly, the official opening held on August 15 was overshadowed by Germany’s invasion of Belgium on August 4, followed by Great Britain declaring war that evening. The grand celebration planned to mark the completion of the most expensive construction project funded by the United States became a modest, local event. No international dignitaries attended the ceremony.
The first civil governor of the Canal Zone, Major George Washington Goethals (1858-1928), who had served as the chief engineer for the Canal (1907-1914), observed the passage of the first ship through the Canal on opening day. Bellisario Porras, the president of Panama also attended the opening. A steamship, the SS Ancon, used by the Panama Railway to carry supplies for the Canal’s construction, made the first official transit of the Panama Canal on the opening day; Captain John A. Constantine piloted the SS Ancon’s passage through the Canal. The Ancon’s captain was G.E. Sukeforth. The toll charged the SS Ancon for its use of the Canal was 90 cents per cargo ton.
In 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt had declared the need for a canal in Central America to join the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He was not the first American president to see the need for a canal. In 1869 Ulysses S. Grant created the Inter-Oceanic Canal Commission and sent an expedition to explore possible routes for a canal. However, Grant’s hopes were not realized. Even earlier, in 1839, an anonymous author wrote two articles published in The Democratic Review advocating the construction of a “Ship Canal to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.”
On November 18, 1903, the United States signed the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty (Canal Treaty) in Panama; the treaty gave the U.S. the right to build a canal in return for an annual payment of $250,000. In June 1904 the Americans began their construction and the Panama Canal was completed in 1914, two years ahead of schedule.
Construction of the Panama Canal cost the United States about $375 million dollars. Of this, $10 million was paid to Panama and $40 million paid to the French company, Compagnie Nouvelle, which had begun construction of the Canal in 1879. In 1915, the year after construction was completed, the Panama Canal earned approximately $4 million in tolls. The building of the Canal under American administration cost about 5,600 lives, although the majority of these were not Americans.
It takes eight to ten hours for a ship to travel the length of the Canal, and about three of those hours are spent going through its locks. (According to dictionary.com, a lock is “an enclosed chamber in a canal … with gates at each end, for raising or lowering vessels from one level to another by admitting or releasing water.”)
Tolls are determined by the size and weight of the ship and its cargo capacity or, for passenger ships, by the number of berths. For current tolls see www.pancanal.com. Since the 1970s many cargo ships have become too large to use the Canal, and beginning around 2001 suggestions were made to expand the Canal. In 2007 construction began, dredging the existing canal and constructing additional larger locks. The project is expected to be completed in 2015 at a cost of $5.25 million dollars.
In 1977 President Jimmy Carter signed a treaty giving the Canal to Panama. Under Panama’s ACP, the state-owned agency, tolls have increased, traffic through the Canal has grown and service has improved.
Selected Falvey resources:
“Two Articles on the Projected Ship Canal to Connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.” Reprinted from The Democratic Review for October and November, 1839. Washington, 1839.
Expansion of the Canal:
“The Panama Canal: A Plan to Unlock Prosperity.” The Economist, 03 December 2009.
“Agreement reached on Panama Canal dispute.” 04 August 2014.
When a leather-jacket clad
Water skiing lad
Wants to prove his manhood,
Obviously he should
show, making his mark
by jumping the shark.
And now those joyful Days have passed,
But I’m still here. I will outlast
these weaker species. That’s the score.
My kind outlasted dinosaurs.
and reef shark.
I’m whale shark
silky shark and
great white shark,
(Take your pick.)
also crested bullhead
(Give my memory a shake) Oh,
Right—I almost forgot mako.
Now, before you disembark
‘cause your species’ fate looks dark,
think how long there have been sharks
—makes your time look like a quark!
O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
O Captain! My Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
“O Captain! My Captain!” is a poem written by Walt Whitman in 1865. It is an elegy or mourning poem, written to honor Abraham Lincoln. The poem is an extended metaphor with Lincoln serving as the captain of a ship, symbolizing the United States.
The poem was featured prominently in Dead Poets Society, the film that featured Robin Williams‘ Oscar-winning portrayal of John Keating, a teacher at a stuffy boys-prep school. The students show their support for Keating at the end of the film by standing on their desks and reciting the poem, in defiance of the school’s headmaster’s decision to fire their beloved teacher. The poem has been featured in several anthologies, including Whitman’s Sequel to Drum-Taps and later editions of Leaves of Grass. Comedic legend Williams passed away yesterday at the age of 63.
These volumes and the film are available for borrowing at the Library. Falvey also has other films featuring Williams.