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UPDATE: Villanova’s Automatic Virtual Environment

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.”

 

UntitledThe CAVE—aka the Villanova Immersive Studies System (VISS)—arrives … some assembly required.

 

 

RS7959_1725Formerly Viewing Room 4 in Falvey Hall, this space has been prepared to house the VISS.

 

 

RS7973_DSC_2181 copyInstallation begins!

 

RS7981_DSC_0370An installer prepares one of the VISS’s many projectors.

 

RS7980_DSC_0369The enclosure begins to take shape.

 

RS8005_DSC_2216Testing the Villanova Immersive Studies System (VISS)

 


Photos by Luisa Cywinski and Alice Bampton.

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Foto Friday: Not a Shark

Orange-fish

 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

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Shark Week wallpaper for people who like to sink their teeth into a good book

MOBILE-SHARK

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!

Download the laptop version here.
Download the mobile version here.

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.


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Throwback Thursday: 1914 Corr Hall Housed Theology and Philosophy Library

 

Corr Hall

Corr Hall 1914

Philadelphia Inquirer, page 7, vol. 170, iss. 53, February 22, 1914

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Panama Canal Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary!

Panoramic image of the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal from the Library of Congress  http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007663303/

Panoramic image of the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal from the Library of Congress. (Click on image to enlarge.)

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.

William Howard Taft, half length, standing, facing right, with Col. George Washington Goethals and others, in Panama, 1910. Image from the Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3b01935/

William Howard Taft and Col. George Washington Goethals, 1910.
Image from the Library of Congress.
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3b01935/

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.

Editorial cartoon featuring Theodore Roosevelt  from Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2013651586/

Editorial cartoon featuring Theodore Roosevelt
from Library of Congress
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2013651586/

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.

Don't miss the various live webcams from the Panama Canal

Don’t miss the various live webcams from the Panama Canal

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.

Dig Deeper:

Official Panama Canal website

Panama Canal Timeline

Panama Canal Museum

Selected Falvey resources:

Center of Military History. The Panama Canal: An Army’s Enterprise (2009)

Panama’s Canal: What Happens When the United States Gives a Small Country What It Wants. (1998)

Panama Fever: The Epic Story of One of the Greatest Human Achievements of All Time – The Building of the Panama Canal. (2007)

Considerations on the subject of a communication between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by means of a ship-canal … (1836)

“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:

United States Maritime Administration. Panama Canal Expansion Study: Phase I Report, Developments in Trade and National and Global Economies. (2013)

“The Panama Canal: A Plan to Unlock Prosperity.” The Economist, 03 December 2009.

“Agreement reached on Panama Canal dispute.” 04 August 2014.


imagesArticle by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. 

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A Shark Week poem: Your Program Tanked? Don’t Blame the Shark

Flight of sharks

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.

I am
blue shark,
bull shark,
night shark,
nurse shark,
dusky shark,
goblin shark,
zebra shark
and reef shark.

I’m whale shark
lantern shark,
lemon shark,
leopard shark
sandbar shark,
sharpnose shark,
silky shark and
great white shark,

bignose,
blacknose,
bluntnose and
broadnose

gulper,
spinner,
thresher,
tiger,
copper,
sleeper and
cookiecutter

blacktip
whitetip
silvertip
(Take your pick.)

bonnethead,
hammerhead,
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!

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O Captain, My Captain

Whitman_Poem_O_Captain_My_Captain_09MAR1887_handwritten

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:

But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

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;

Here captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

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;

Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my captain lies
Fallen cold and dead.

“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.

 

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Sea Yarns, Shark Yarns, No Yawns!

Moby_Dick_final_chaseLife on the sea promises adventure, excitement and life-changing experiences. Ever since Homer’s Odyssey, people have enjoyed sea yarns, and some of the most memorable feature sharks. The following seafaring tales—many available at Falvey—will satiate your craving for a satisfying sea yarn.

Odyssey by Homer

Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Benito Cereno” by Herman Melville

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner by Daniel Defoe

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff

The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

Film—The Caine Mutiny

Film—Mr. Roberts

Film—Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Film—Voyage of the Yes 

What’s your favorite sea story? Please use the Comment section to tell us.

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It’s Shark Week and we’ve got fintastic shark art from the Digital Library!

SHARK DIGITAL
http://digital.library.villanova.edu/Record/vudl:312089

Did we, ahem, whet your appetite for more Dime Novel adventure? If so, be sure to check out our fascinating full collection of Dime Novel and Popular Literature from 1860 to 1930.

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Foto Friday: Morning Poem

Lilies

 Morning Poem

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches —
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead —
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging —

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted —

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
lavishly,
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

Mary Oliver

Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion Team and Special Acquisitions Coordinator in Resource Management

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Last Modified: August 8, 2014