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Yesterday was the 150th birthday of Chicago sculptor Lorado Taft, the city’s most famous. On the occasion, Vicki and I visited his monumental work, The Fountain of Time, on the west end of Hyde Park’s Midway Plaisance. We were on a full day’s tour, called The Devil in the White City tour, led by historian Barbara Geiger. My I-Phone pic of the sculpture is attached.

We enjoyed the story of Taft’s employment of a number of young women sculptors to help get some work done for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. It was highly unusual for women to do such work then. Fair organizer Daniel Burnham, hearing of Taft’s plan, was reported to have said, “I don’t care if he employs white rabbits, as long as he gets the work done.” The talented ladies were henceforth known as the “white rabbits.”

After more than a dozen years of work Taft’s Fountain of Time was unveiled in 1922. Based on poet Austin Dobson’s lines: “Time goes, you say? Ah no, Alas, time stays, we go.” the fountain shows a cloaked figure of time observing the stream of humanity flowing past.

If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?

— courtesy of erudite scientist Steven Wright

— made from 7 I-Phone images I took Monday night from the 22nd floor terrace of the club

Click on the song near end  of this out-take from the article — it says it all!

“That investigative journalists have consistently been way ahead of the authorities, the S.E.C. included, in uncovering Wall Street’s foul play, is a scandal. If this culture remains in place, the whole crisis will have gone to waste.

“As a reminder of the unchastened status quo, Blankfein remains the gift that keeps on giving. On Thursday, The Financial Times reported that he had been calling clients to argue that the S.E.C. case against Goldman would ultimately “hurt America.” The opposing point of view was presented by Ira Glass on his radio show “This American Life” this month. With reporters from the nonprofit journalistic organization ProPublica, it told the story of another hedge fund, Magnetar, that gamed the housing bubble. Bankers who worked on Magnetar deals walked away with their huge bonuses well before disaster struck — or, as the program put it, “bankers made money even when they were buying things that eventually blew up the bank.” Not to mention the economy. And it was all legal.

“To award the audience a bonus, “This American Life” concluded with a Broadway song commissioned from a co- author of the satirical musical “Avenue Q.” Titled “Bet Against the American Dream,” it distills a complex financial saga to its essence: Those who shorted the housing market shorted the country.

Go online, listen to it and laugh. But the fact remains that those who truly hurt America are laughing harder still, all the way to the bank.”

The Best Apple Advertisement Yet – Stephen C. Webster – Brave New Hooks – True/Slant.

Before 15,000 McDonald’s people from around the world, McDonald’s essentially re-launched it’s iconic “I’m Lovin’ It” ad campaign, refreshed and intensified for today. Check out the bear commercial — “there’s always one left at the bottom of the bag,” or “bottom of the car,” as the case may be.

Marketing: McDonald’s Unveils ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ 2.0 – Advertising Age – News

“Gibbs started out two decades ago as an intern on Capitol Hill, and still seems to feel that he’s found his calling. “In many ways, I’m still wildly idealistic about what it means to be in public service and what you can accomplish in order to make people’s lives just a little bit better,” he says. “I think it’s a tremendous honor. I remember driving into the White House at the very beginning. You’re on the Ellipse south of the White House, you look back, you see the building itself, and I remember saying to myself that if I ever drove here in the morning and didn’t think to myself, ‘Wow, you’re at the White House! You’re working 50 feet away from where the president of the United States is working!’—if that ever lost its allure, if that ever lost its ability to make your heart beat a little faster, that would be the day I would go in, type a quick letter, sign it and give someone else the opportunity…. Thus far, my heart still quickens.”

from The Daily Beast, extract from story on Robert Gibbs, White House Press Secy. by LLoyd Grove

It’s the birthday of writer and naturalist John Muir (books by this author) born in Dunbar, Scotland (1838). He fell in love with the Sierra Mountains in California and spent much of his time hiking and camping there. He was largely responsible for the creation of Yosemite National Park in 1890, and in 1892, he helped found the Sierra Club. He published many books, including The Mountains of California (1894).

April 2010

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