My Faves for Thursday, January 03, 2008

“Photo of the Day: He Made History Tonight.” Obama won in Iowa!! Yes, he did it. It’s time for change!!This beautiful photograph pays tribute to Obama’s historic achievement, and is presented for you in stunning high-resolution.

[tags: art, photograph, Barack Obama, Obama, news]

“Obama Wins in Iowa!!” Yes, he did it. It’s time for change!! This article includes photographs, videos and music.

[tags: news, Obama, Obama wins, Iowa Caucuses, photographs, videos, music, Josh Groban, You Raise Me Up]

“Photo of the Day: We Are One World.” This is a beautiful, colorful photograph presented for you in stunning high-resolution. The photograph is accompanied by music audio (We Are the World). Enjoy!!

[tags: art, photograph, One World, One Voice, Obama, news, music, We Are The World]

See the rest of my Faves at Faves

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Obama Wins in Iowa!!

Josh Groban: You Raise Me Up

Sen. Barack Obama won the Iowa Democratic caucus on Thursday, dealing a setback to national front-runner Hillary Clinton in the first nominating contest of the 2008 U.S. presidential election. The Iowa victory buoyed Obama, a first-term Illinois senator who is trying to become the first black U.S. president, and gave him momentum as he headed into the Jan. 8 primary vote in New Hampshire.

Barack Obama: One Voice

Michelle Obama: Change We Can Believe In

(Please Click Image to Play the Video)

Michelle Obama: Be Not Afraid

Michelle Obama: The Closer

Barack Obama: One Voice for America

Michelle Obama has the potential to be as committed to rebuilding America as a First Lady as her husband would be as the President. We need to believe in America again. Obama can do that. If you are an Iowa Democrat, do yourself a favor and listen to Michelle Obama. Don’t throw this chance away.

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Marion Mahony: A Pioneering Woman Architect

The Pioneering Marion Mahony:

Women make up only a small proportion of the architecture profession today. A century ago they were hardly represented at all. Which makes Marion Mahony, the first woman to obtain an architecture license in Illinois, seem all the more remarkable. Marion Mahony was the second woman ever to graduate from the architectural program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After graduation in 1894, she immediately began working with her cousin, architect Dwight Perkins in Chicago. The first woman to take an architectural license in Illinois, and one of the first, if not the first, to receive her license in the United States, she has played an important historical role in American Architecture, although one that has been unjustifiably neglected. Mahony came to work in Oak Park early in her career, at the Studio of Frank Lloyd Wright. An important collaborator on some of the most renowned buildings designed during Wright’s Prairie School period, she was also responsible for some of the finest decorative designs, art glass and furniture coming from Wright’s studio, and the Prairie School at large. Most of the beautiful, now-famous, architectural presentation drawings and water colors that helped Wright promote his practice, his building designs and his career, were drawn or painted by Mahony.

Biographic Notes:

Marion Lucy Mahony was born in Chicago in 1871 and grew up in nearby Winnetka, where her family had moved after the great Chicago fire. She became fascinated by landscape as the area around her family’s home was being carved up into suburbs. She received her architecture training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After returning to Chicago, she went to work for her cousin Dwight Perkins in a studio designed by Perkins and shared by several architects, including Wright. In 1895 Mahony became Wright’s first employee. Barry Byrne, who came to work in the studio in 1902, reminisced in several articles after Wright’s death about the informal design competitions among that architect’s employees. He recalled that Mahony won most of them and that Wright filed away her drawings for future use, chastising anyone who referred to them as “Miss Mahony’s designs.” In 1909 Wright left his wife for a client’s wife, Mamah Borthwick Cheney, with whom he fled to Europe. The scandal caused an uproar. Wright’s Oak Park studio closed its doors, leaving his draftsmen and his clients in limbo. Before his departure, Wright had searched for someone to finish his outstanding commissions, but none of his former employees were willing. Wright finally convinced an associate from Steinway Hall, Herman Von Holst to take the job. Von Holst realized that he needed someone with a better understanding of Wright’s design concepts to please Wright’s clients. So he promptly hired Marion Mahony to finish the designs. Mahony worked with several other Wright employees to complete the firm’s commissions. In her later years, Mahoney took on few commissions and did virtually nothing to enhance her reputation. In the United States a few works attributed solely to Mahony survive, including a mural in the George B. Armstrong elementary school in Chicago, and several private homes in Decatur, Ill. (The Decatur houses are the subject of a new book, Marion Mahony and Millikin Place: Creating a Prairie School Masterpiece, published by the Walter Burley Griffin Society of America as part of its continuing effort to assess her contribution.)

Marion Mahony: A Pioneering Architect:

By 1908, Mahoney had been working for Frank Lloyd Wright for a decade. She had developed a smooth, free flowing style of rendering derived partly from Japanese woodblock prints, with lush vegetation flowing in and around floor plans and elevations. Her masterly compositions also made the buildings appear irresistibly romantic.

Mahony’s drawings, retraced in ink, formed much of what came to be known as The Wasmuth Portfolio, a compendium of Wright’s designs published in Germany in 1910. The portfolio established him as America’s reigning architectural genius, and it also influenced European Modernists like Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier.

Some have said that the specifics of Marion’s life fell victim to the primary scholarly effort to establish and fix the canon of “great men” whose genius-personalities, buildings and texts would become central to the story of architecture.

That Mahony spent her most productive years in Australia, where she and her husband designed a plan for the new city of Canberra in 1911, has also lowered her profile in the United States. But the Australians take Mahony as seriously as we take Frank Lloyd Wright.

One of those Australians, Christopher Vernon of the University of Western Australia, has written extensively of Mahony’s talent as a designer. Mr. Van Zanten goes so far as to say that Mahony, after Wright and Louis Sullivan, was “the third great progressive designer of turn-of-the-century Chicago.”

Wright, who more than most architects cultivated the image of the lone genius, never acknowledged Mahony’s contributions. Still, it is generally accepted that the rendering style through which Frank Lloyd Wright became known was Marion Mahony’s.

Marion Mahony: The Works of a Pioneering Woman Architect

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Photos of the Day: Ushering in 2008

Recognizing Our Changing World

Recognizing Our Changing World

“The avoidance of reality is much the same everywhere, and has much the same consequences.  The Russian people were taught for years that they were better off than everybody else, and propaganda posters showed Russian families sitting down to abundant meal while the proletariat of other countries starved in the gutter.  Meanwhile the workers in the western countries were so much better off than those of the U.S.S.R. that non-contact between Soviet citizens and outsiders had to be a guiding principle of policy.  Then, as a result of the war, millions of ordinary Russians penetrated far into Europe, and when they return home the original avoidance of reality will inevitably be paid for in frictions of various kinds.  The Germans and the Japanese lost the war quite largely because their rulers were unable to see facts which were plain to any dispassionate eye.  To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.  One thing that helps toward it is to keep a diary, or, at any rate, to keep some kind of record of one’s opinions about important events.  Otherwise, when some particularly absurd belief is exploded by events, one may simply forget that one ever held it.  Political predictions are usually wrong.  But even when one makes a correct one, to discover why one was right can be very illuminating.  In general, one is only right when either wish or fear coincides with reality.”

George Orwell, 1946.

A World of Change

Rufus Wainwright: Across the Universe

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Chippendales’ Mr. December: Very Sexy Steve Kim

Steve Kim: Andrew Holleran’s “Dancer from the Dance

Chippendales’ Mr. December: Very Sexy Steve Kim

And Yet I Dare to Hope

Reflections on Hope

As the New Year approaches, my thoughts have turned to the idea of hope. With some irony, I recalled how modern popular culture has incorrectly come to reify the ideas of the “ego,” the “self” and “identity,” mistakenly thinking of them as real, concrete objects. Further, I considered that we may well have deceptively done the same thing with the idea of hope. The following considerations may serve to illustrate some, though certainly not all, of the complications attending the idea of “hope.” For example, the meaning of hope is not exhausted by the distinction between hope as a conscious quality of emotion that is associated with our actions (realistic hope) and magical hope. In addition, there are all kinds of mixtures between realistic hope and magical hope.

Hope cannot be fully described and its role in the individual not fully understood without at the time describing its relation to acceptance (of reality, of the world, of one’s own situation, of others). The strength (or depletion) of the influence of hope cannot be fully described without at the same time accounting for the presence or absence, and quality, of disappointment during times of frustrated hope. It can be claimed that hope is always hope for improvement of one’s own, someone else’s or mankind’s condition. From this perspective, it becomes particularly vital as an emotional influence that can provide nourishment to the pursuit of our goals. However, the more certain one needs to be that hope will not be disappointed, the more one is functioning in the realm of the idea of hope in which there is reward for effort, and one begins to engage in (either less or more extreme) magical hope.

At the extreme point of magical hope are those reformers, revolutionaries and prophets who are convinced that ultimately they will succeed, that their paths alone are the right ones and that only those paths can lead to ultimate salvation. A polar position is pessimism, a view that nothing can be done to relieve man’s painful state in this world. Even the position of pessimism can take different forms. For example, ideological and contemporary political conservatives feed the masses a magical, fantastic sense of hope, in which they themselves do not actually believe. Another, surely more preferable form of pessimism, is perhaps best represented by Camus’ Sisyphus. In this case, the fact is accepted that we cannot know and yet we still have to make the effort. This is acceptance of reality, of man’s finite situation, without abandoning effort despite being unable to rely upon hope as a resource. It is a position where the effort is still maintained, but because we want to make it, even if it will turn out to have been in vain. This is very difficult and courageous, because it calls for giving up all hope for reward.

Finally, to complicate matters further in trying to clearly specify the meaning of hope, the issue of degree of certainty inevitably becomes involved. For example, if I could not expect with some degree of certainty that by taking the subway or bus I will arrive at a certain chosen destination (or goal), I well might give up the effort altogether. In others words, the attempt to specify the meaning of hope is even further complicated by the need to clarify the many relationships between hope and expectations.

And yet I dare to hope.

Josh Groban: You Raise Me Up

Happy New Year!!

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