Red Ink and Rewrites Too

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Archive for January 2011

A View from the West Point dock…

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An interesting painting:

The Hudson River Looking North from West Point Showing USS Macedonian and USS Savannah, June 14, 1868

A view rarely seen, though you might have years ago as I recall as a small child on the Circle Line cruises that left New York, turned around at West Point and docked at Bear Mountain State Park. One can see a side-wheel ferry-boat that used to stop at the “Steam Dock” in Cold Spring, NY on the east shore of the Hudson River in this painting. Further north one can see Pollopel Island that became “Bannerman’s Castle” in the early 20th century, now a state historic site, and the Hudson Highlands. The east shore “West Point Foundry” appears quiet, lacking smoke, where many cannons and other material was made in the historic ironworks, now an interpretative park with trails through the “sea of brick” and maintained by Scenic Hudson, Inc. Constitution Island appears just beyond the USS Macedonia and USS Savannah in this wonderful Hudson River painting. From about here, one of the “chains” stretched across the Hudson River to Constitution Island and its forts both there and above the river, set to thwart the advance of the British Navy’s large ships in the Revolutionary War for Independence.

Bear Mountain Park is where the State of NY opened nearby an archaeologically excavated and interpreted Revolutionary War era site, Fort Montgomery, across the Popolopen Creek (or “Popolopen’s Kill”), which recently had a suspension footbridge built across, connecting with the park. Another “chain” once stretched across the Hudson River here. Just below that bridge, and by the Bear Mountain Bridge, also on the Appalachian Trail, we once worked documenting two Hudson River wind-powered centerboard cargo haulers for the NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Office. Seen in a 1930s(?) photo in the background of a replica of the Dutch “Half Moon” (original voyage captained by English explorer Henry Hudson), it was a surprise to find they never left that photo! They had an interesting iron rod and wood construction (no threads and nuts, see my: “Ship Architecture Query”) and the centerboard on the sailboat allowed them added control in the tides and winds of the river, pulled up for shallow docking to load and unload. It also, as seen, had a very shallow rudder. That particular area of the Hudson River, under today’s Bear Mountain Bridge, was known as “The Race” as many boats would wait on the tide and then set off upriver, had the appearance of a “race” to one observer cited in an unpublished manuscript in the Field Library in Peekskill, NY. Peekskill is also home of the National Maritime Historical Society (NMHS) of the USA. Our recordings of the two hulks were reported in an article in their “Sea History” quarterly magazine. This Panoramio photo “Route 9W Viaduct Bridge, circa 1918” perhaps shows the two ships circa 1918, found in Google Earth.

It’s Time for the Peace Corps Administration to Wake Up and Reform

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Every Peace Corps volunteer affects an other American. I applied everywhere but Korea, my uncle went into the Army at 31, and, with an anthropolo­gy degree, offered to inoculate Koreans for TB. Since, a former President was jailed. I find it hard to believe a Korean couldn’t do so. Back to square one, where I work in American archaeolog­y and another story.

The Peace Corps thought it might be good to assist the archaeolog­y of the then declared independent Belize in the Mayan culture area on the Yucatan peninsula. I was told a number of people were accepted and shipped there according to a former Stony Brook University classmate. As it turned out, the person in charge of the antiquitie­s for that country, a trusted archaeolog­ist thought the idea a bad one. At the time a terrible civil war was also being fought in nearby Guatemala which has finally ended.

In both cases, and by the way it’s been found that UV light emitters in heating and cooling ducts of large structures is very effective in killing airborne TB bacteria, i.e. in shopping malls, government buildings, etc., that with the proper planning these ideas are good, but need better planning and review and are still important for the work in peace. Tried again, with somewhat different objectives would work. Once upon a time it was stated the Peace Corps were only accepting beekeepers­. Hope they helped the bees.

My condolence­s to the Shrivers, their kin and friends. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Written by georgejmyersjr

01/25/2011 at 9:18 pm

The North of the South – Readers’ Comments – NYTimes.com

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The North of the South – Readers’ Comments – NYTimes.com: “Robert David Lion Gardiner, last ‘lord of the manor’ of Gardiners Island, in Suffolk County, New York was related to the former First Lady, Julia Gardiner, the second wife of the former President John Tyler. He was said to be ‘in charge’ of Richmond, VA during the Civil War. Mr. Gardiner said that his great-aunt, said to have been the prettiest of all of First Lady’s, had a dream that John Tyler would soon die, one night while at their estate in Tidewater Virginia. She rode a horse through the night and met him on the steps of the hotel used as the Confederate headquarters and heard his consternation for traveling in such dangerous circumstances. He died though, shortly afterwards and Mr. Gardiner said both sides held up the hostilities to allow the grieving former First Lady Julia Tyler (nee Gardiner) and her entourage to cross the battleground and return to New York where her father had been the US Senator for New York. He and others had been killed on the USS Princeton when an experimental gun, the so-called ‘Peacemaker’ exploded in salute of Washington’s Mount Vernon in passing on the Potomac River. That event had literally thrown the widowed President Tyler together with the young Julia Gardiner, in a national tragic mourning for a number of people. She would later live her life on Staten Island after a much publicized court case over a contestable will, setting precedent, named large properties in Manhattan, thought scandalously changed. Ironically, I suppose, Mr. Gardiner related, he served in naval intelligence in WWII aboard a newer USS Princeton, and related of denying when in law school, of being ‘that Gardiner’.”

Written by georgejmyersjr

01/25/2011 at 6:13 pm

Memo to RMN: In the event of a moon disaster: On Roger Ebert’s Journal

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Thanks for this. It was often rumored that a prepared speech was drafted. As a kid on Long Island, where at one time the Grumman Corporation was the single largest employer, 25,000, I had contact with some of those in aerospace as it was where the Lunar Excursion Modules (L.E.M.) were built. Grumman started as an aviation machine shop, and I was told in the same tradition, parts were manufactured by various small firms, so no one place had “the big picture” as told to me by one in that part of the organizing. His son would later marry an EDO company’s daughter, that company formed an alliance with Neil Armstrong’s company, to bid on government contracts that now have a “high bar” to get over to bid. I thought part of the LEM “stick” housing was machined in a barn behind my folks house in Centereach, NY, having wandered in there one day and so told. Glad they landed safely! 

January 22, 2011: The RMN that Roger Ebert refers to is the then President of the U.S. when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, Richard Milhouse Nixon, not the Réunion des musées nationaux, though when he later lived in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, he was often seen frequenting the French restaurants in New York City. Water damage has made that former residence, unfortunately, not salvageable, said to be owned by a Japanese pension fund company as an investment. Perhaps American preservationists should have taken a more active role, Japan so far away.

The original LEM “Eagle” I am given to understand crashed back into the Moon at an unknown location. The other LEM’s to have carried astronauts (total 12) to the surface of the Moon and back into lunar orbit for the “rendezvous” and return to Earth, were crashed into the Moon for seismic experiments, the analyses of the data were in the news recently. Two independent researches have shown that the center or the core of the Moon may indeed be molten.

Speaking of preservation, there’s a discussion about the “artifacts” of space and how they could or should be preserved and legal definitions described. Here’s an article on “Space Archaeology” in the LA Times.

Written by georgejmyersjr

01/18/2011 at 11:21 pm

NY agency focusing more on aging bridges – WSJ – 12/7/10

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Comments: The Tappan Zee Bridge was not designed for the interstate traffic it receives daily. It was a NY State “thruway” and a toll road, that was not anticipated to carry as much as it does now. Today it links many resources. Other projects have perhaps been held up by it, i.e. a nearby truck-to-train transfer for produce, would have then again transferred in the South Bronx off the rail-cars to special trucks that would fit under every overpass in NYC, lowering produce costs by at least 5% once so-called Oak Point Link, 30 years ago. It was thought to eliminate a lot of truck traffic into and around the city by limiting unloading to the Tappan Zee area for special containers on trains shifted to special, smaller trucks.

“New York ranks 46th among the 50 states in the amount of greenhouse gases generated per person. This efficiency is primarily due to the state’s higher rate of mass transit use.” – Wikipedia

Can Investors Help Replace the Tappan Zee? – Metropolis – Wall Street Journal

One of the comic book blogs has the “cartography” of maps of that medium as a focus. One of the “panels” had the location of the fictional cities of “Gotham” and “Metropolis” both opposite on the Delaware Bay between Delaware and New Jersey down near Cape May Point, NJ and strategically close to the cities of Washington, D.C., Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia, PA and New York, NY.

Written by georgejmyersjr

01/14/2011 at 2:01 pm

Draw the Curtains: Gigapixel Cameras Create Highly Revealing Snapshots [Slide Show]

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“Researchers are developing cameras that can take digital snapshots made up of more than a billion pixels”

If they are reading this the site referenced has a picture labeled “Seattle OR” which of course should be Seattle, WA. I worked with a Rollei close-range photogrammetry system, a medium-format camera, though 35mm was also available, in development as Intel 80387 (i387) math chip made the process available from a number of photos registered on a large tablet which allowed 3D measurements from software to be obtained from a sequence of photos, (or photo) with the factory documented camera and lens for aberration or distortion. I think this method might aid the science of close-range photogrammetry, where very accurate measurements are needed. Was that pipe on the oil platform, to be replaced, as it was on the “blueprint”, or how much needs to be adjusted, or other uses, accidents, preservation, “as-builts” etc.

Scientific American article comment.

Written by georgejmyersjr

01/07/2011 at 5:47 pm

Glenn Close Explains Her Cameo In Lewd Navy Video

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I was just watching “Mind Meld” (2001) I bought and gave for the holidays, with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy in an unmoderate­d interview. Towards the end Mr. Nimoy, who once served in the US Army, dons a USS Vulcan cap, from the US Coast Guard vessel and shows a USS Enterprise cap under it he keeps on his shelf. I would hope an apology to Glenn Close is in order. She’s an honorary Riverkeepe­r of the Hudson River in NY/NJ, as is Harrison Ford.  Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Written by georgejmyersjr

01/04/2011 at 7:15 pm

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