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2007.03.23 18:16
...and speaking of random tangents
Miers Fisher's Ury journals (1804-1819) are voluminous. Quite overwhelming. I might go blind. But, if you want to know what direction the wind was blowing where I live on any given day two hundred years ago, I can now tell you. We're at a high point here, 200 to 220 feet up. I have a feeling the winds are blowing the same way again.
1804, some day in January: "Killed 12 stags." I told you there're lots of deer around here, still.
Miers' last year at Ury, 1818, was fairly equally split between living at Ury and living in the City--108 Arch Street--back and forth very often. I'm pretty sure I know the route he took; I take it pretty often myself now. I love 'Indian' trails.
23 Dec 1818 "Left for Ury." 30 Dec 1818 "headed back the City." Miers' last Christmas was spent at Ury, and he never made it back. He died mid-March 1819 at Arch Street, and kept his journal until his antepenult day.
Did you ever wonder why the even house numbers are on one side of the street and the odd house numbers are on the other side of the street? Well, as far as Philadelphia is concerned, it's because Miers Fisher made the suggestion while he was on the Common [City] Council 1789-1791. So 108 Arch Street in on the south side of the street and was back then between 5th and 6th Streets. That's right on axis with Independence Hall, and if the house were still there today, it would be right across the street from the U.S. Constitution Center. Location, location, location.
Held a letter in my hands today that was written in New Harmony, 11 August 1826. Helen Gregoroffsky Fisher had remarkably nice penmanship, as remarkable as her command of the English language. She was quickly responding to Redwood Fisher's letter that she received the day before. Held several of Redwood's letters in my hands today too. Specifically his supercargo letters--from Batavia, from Isle of France, from Cape of Good Hope.
I wonder if Miers Fisher ever though his journals would return to their location of origin.
ps
Look what else I found in the Way Back Machine. How quondam can you get?


2007.03.13 17;59
...and speaking of random tangents

Philadelphia Civic Center
1981: Site of College Graduation.
1974: Sat on the stage with other honor students at High School Graduation.
1974: Site of Senior Prom

2007.03.23 15:44
...and speaking of random tangents
The 25-years-ago blog stopped after Spring Break. Final jury was a bit of a letdown--a small group of insecure students lobbied for presentations with no public jury feedback and got their wish. I was just over worked and almost missed my German final. Graduation was OK, got the AIA Student Award for Excellence in Design, and that afternoon at home I came down with Scarlet Fever. Apparently I had streep throat most of the semester and didn't know it and thus did nothing about it, and then it was too late. My grandmother nursed me back to health. A week or so after being well again, the outer skin of the inside of hands and the soles of my feet began to separate from the inner skin and then began to peel off in large pieces. Apparently that's what happens after you survive Sacrlet Fever.
And then I went to document Gunston Hall, Virginia for the summer. They had Guinea Hens roaming about the garden there, until one weekend someone killed them.


2007.03.13 15:09
...and speaking of random tangents
I have no idea what a wild turkey was doing walking through my neighborhood today. I've gotten used to the small Canadian geese formations often flying overhead (several families of geese live year round just down valley at Pennypack Creek), but I've never seen a wild turkey walking in Philadelphia. The turkey did look sad, and probably hurt, but what could I do? I only hope it made it across Pine Road and into the woods.
Maybe John James Audubon is now a female turkey and came back to Ury for a random visit. Maybe they'll all start coming back.


2007.03.13 14:35
...and speaking of random tangents
wild turkey sighting; 2007.03.13 12:45; Ury
driving around the block on the way to market...
"Look, there's a big bird walking across the road. Is that a turkey?"
The bird is walking very slow. Is it wounded? We slowly drive by a few feet away.
"I think it's very old."
"It's probably just going back into the woods."
Within the various biographies of John James Audubon you'll find ongoing discrepancies regarding his whereabouts during his first several months in the United States. The discrepancies stem mostly from the biographers not knowing where Ury actually was.
For the record, Audubon arrived from France at New York City sometime August 1803. The first thing he did was go to a bank in Greenwich [Village] where Audubon's father had money waiting for his son. Within a day or two Audubon became very ill. The ship's captain had Audubon taken care of by two Quaker women at Morristown, New Jersey (25 miles west of New York City). Miers Fisher, the agent of Audubon's father, went to collect the young Audubon once he was well again and brought him back to Ury. Audubon stayed at Ury perhaps as much as a few months, but then insisted he be taken to Mill Grove, his father's farm not far from Norristown, Pennsylvania.
And from there on Audubon's life is like one seemingly random tangent after another.
Back to France, back to Mill Grove, Pittsburgh, PA, raft down the Ohio River, Louisville, KY, Henderson, KY, then somewhere along the Mississippi where the Ohio River enters, then down to New Orleans, then north on the Mississippi again, then back to New Orleans, then back to Philadelphia, then back to New York, then Liverpool, England, then Manchester, then London...(this is where I stopped reading one of the biographies, and I may have messed up a little on the sequence of places). And this was just the first 15 years or so since Audubon first came to the US.
I hope that wild turkey made it safely back into the woods. Are wild turkeys among the Birds of America?


2007.03.12 21:46
...and speaking of random tangents
From what I recall, the "stairs" are like half ramp/half stair--low riser to long sloping tread; somewhat like the ramp/stair up to the Campidoglio, Rome. Looks like a code variance was applied for and received.
Just in passing, that whole ramp was to be part of a second separate building which never got built.
As to "It raced so fast the pulse exited a specially prepared chamber before it even finished entering it," that book may already be written---perhaps either Einstein's General Relativity or Special Relativity. (But don't quote me on that.)
As it stands, to me, the sentence relates the pulse being quickly stretched between the entry and exit points of the chamber.
But the sentence may not even be correctly describing what really happened:
Perhaps it meant to say the pulse completely exited the chamber at a time in the past relative to its entry time.
or
Perhaps it meant to say the pulse bilocated, being at two locations but not at the same time; again, the second space/time occurred before the first space/time.
(I wouldn't trust how journalists describe the result of the experiment at this point.)
This is what the whole time warp theory is about. Or at least it's what it used to be all about. Or maybe theories quickly exit before they finish entering.
It is said that St. Catherine de Ricci (at least) once in her life bilocated. A very rare attribute, even among 'saints'.

2007.03.12 17:05
...and speaking of random tangents
"In a sense Asimov, Heinlein, and the masters of American Science Fiction are not really writing of science at all . . . They're writing a kind of fantasy fiction about the future, closer to the Western and the Thriller, but it has nothing really to do with science . . . Freud pointed out that you have to distinguish between analytic activity. which by and large is what the sciences are, and synthetic activities which are what the arts are. The trouble with the Heinlein-Asimov type of Science Fiction is that it's completely synthetic. Freud also said that synthetic activities are a sign of immaturity, and I think that's where classical Science Fiction falls down."
--Ballard, Speculation, 1969.
Upon first reading this passage, thoughts of how Piranesi's Il Campo Marzio dell'Antica Roma and particularly the Ichnographia Campi Martii have been largely misinterpreted by 20th century architectural 'scholarship' came to mind. The synthetic quality of Piranesi's archaeology (before archaeology was formalized into a science) is all the critics/theoreticians saw, and they completely discounted the analytical aspect of Piranesi's archaeology. Basically, a non-analytical analysis resulted in a synthetic interpretation.
The wonderful thing about Il Campo Marzio dell'Antica Roma (including the Ichnographia Campus Martius) is that the distinction between the analytical and the synthetic is never manifest--the work seamlessly embodies both natures.
[note to self: think about an updated republication of "Theatrics Times Two" and "Theatrics Times Two, too".]
"Science now, in fact, is the largest producer of fiction. A hundred years ago, or even fifty years ago even, science took its raw material from nature. A scientist worked out the boiling point of a gas or the distance a star is away from the Earth, whereas nowadays, particularly in the social, psychological sciences, the raw material of science is a fiction invented by the scientists. You know, they work out why people chew gum or something of this kind . . . so the psychological and social sciences are spewing out an enormous amount of fiction. They're the major producers of fiction. It's not the writers anymore."
--Ballard, Speculation, 1969.
Is Herzog and deMeuronís plan for the Parrish Art Museum a great great great grandchild of the Ichnographia Campus Martius. Catherine de Ricci wo bist du? ten years ago.
Now to complete the digital terrain model of Ury.


2007.03.11 14:35
...and speaking of random tangents
Getting something other than light to travel faster than light, there's the real challenge.
It sounds to me like they stretched a light pulse, rather than make it go faster. But, by all means, forget what I say before I even finish saying it.
Maybe now they'll start tearing down buildings before they're even finished construction. Hey, it's only a theory.

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