Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Earthrise on Christmas Eve

December 24, 1968

Peace on earth,
good will to all

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mellwood Artists At Library

Artists from the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center will have work on display from December 18 to February 8 in the Louisville Free Public Library's main branch. The works on display are varied and beautiful, ranging from ceramics, to print, to wood, to fiber. (OK. This is a bit of self-promotion, I have a fiber piece there.)

If you are downtown, stop by the library's Bernheim Gallery to see what some of your fellow Louisvillians are doing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pug power for the holidays at the University of Louisville

Ramsey family holiday card
Danzig U.S.A. has made much of the pug's status as the dog breed of the Cardinal Nation. The official 2008 holiday card of the University of Louisville drives home the point.


Editor's note: Here is a bonus animal image, from the UofL Law School's holiday card:

Law School holiday card

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ashley Cecil calls on Champions 4 Her

Champions 4 Her
Ashley Cecil has issued a call for artists to take part in next summer's Champions 4 Her fundraiser:
I’m looking for a few more visual artists who are interested in participating as a street painting facilitator. It entails meeting with the group you will be assigned to at their facilities for a series of sessions to collaboratively create a final design of what will go onto the pavement at Water Front Park the day of the event. Each group will consist of some combination of clients of the organization, volunteers, and/or staff (few of whom will have any artistic experience). This is not an opportunity for artists to showcase their own work. The objective is to guide your group through the art-making process and give them creative license.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Penny Sisto Exhibit at Uzoma

Fiber artist Penny Sisto's exhibit "Rude, Crude and Lewd" will be on display at uzoMa gallery from December 5 through January 23, 2009. The opening reception is Friday, December 5, from 6-8 pm, and she will hold an artist workshop January 11, from 2-4 pm.

For more information, contact Angela Ramsey Robinson at

Sisto's work is passionate, intricate and beautiful. I am certain this exhibit will be no exception. The image I have included here is from her Immigrant Series. (Click on image to go to her gallery page.)

(cross-posted on B's Dreams)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ex libro lapidum historia mundi

Mazon Creek lagerstätte
Mazon Creek lagerstätte
All geology represents the present-tense freeze-frame of the earth's history, condensed conveniently in the chemistry of rocks and soils. Though the course of any single organism's life is infinitesimally minute by comparison with the history of the earth, only one species in the earth's parade of life — ours — has managed to crack the code. It is as though some geological variant of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle prevents observation over a more meaningful time span. Any organism attaining the power to unlock the earth's secrets also acquires, by that very stroke, the power to destroy the earth itself.

The true wonders in this world do not hide. Rather, they wait in plain sight, obscured not so much by ice or vegetation as by the shades we draw across our eyes. Most of geologic history belongs in this category of true wonders. Terrestrial history accretes at rates too slow for any mortal observer to notice. But it leaves records in the form of rocks and soils and layers.

CoccolithophoreOn extremely rare occasions, the chroniclers of geologic time pause to pick one fragment of one organism — a leaf, a wing, a shell, a bone — and enshrine it in some durable medium. The imprints of Carboniferous ferns, horsetails, and club mosses, insects in amber, the barely perceptible bas-relief of a mollusk, cliffs colored by coccolithophorid shells, even the hydrocarbon relics of ancient plant life that humans so casually burn and polymerize — all these bear mute testimony to worlds long past.

As with sediment, so with sentiment: Our efforts at self-understanding have no chance of overcoming the mindless buzz of being and doing. We cannot understand feelings of the moment, with deep emotional footprints and even with lasting practical consequences, until we stop acting upon those feelings and seize the opportunity to look backward, in the serenity of solitude.

Editor's note: Cross-posted from Jurisdynamics.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Veterans Day

Glory Land

With new dress blues and shiny shoes
And the strut of a brave brass band
Daddy took-up his country’s flag
And marched to glory land.

Without his shoes and new dress blues
But behind the band and flag
Daddy came home from glory land
Wearing a burlap bag.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The body of an American

Editor's note: This item was originally published in The Cardinal Lawyer on Veterans' Day 2007. It is a timeless message, though, and for that reason I am posting it here despite being a week late for Veterans' Day 2008.

Mary McHugh and James ReganTomb of the Unknown

There is perhaps no finer tribute to American veterans than John Dos Passos's "The Body of an American," the concluding chapter of 1919, part two of the U.S.A. trilogy (1930-36):

Whereasthe Congressoftheunitedstates byaconcurrentresolutionadoptedon the4thdayofmarch last-authorizedthe Secretaryofwar to cause to be brought to theunitedstatesthe body of an American whowasamemberoftheAmericanexpeditionaryforceineuropewholosthis lifeduringtheworldwarandwhoseidentityhasnot beenestablished for burial inthememorialamphitheatreofthe nationalcemeteryatarlingtonvirginia

Unknown SoldierIn the tarpaper morgue at Chalons-sur-Marne in the reek of chloride of lime and the dead, they picked out the pine box that held all that was left of

enie menie minie moe plenty of other pine boxes stacked up there containing what they’d scraped up of Richard Roe

and other person or persons unknown. Only one can go. How did they pick John Doe? . . .

how can you tell a guy’s a hundredpercent when all you’ve got’s a gunnysack full of bones, bronze buttons stamped with the screaming eagle and a pair of roll puttees?

. . . and the gagging chloride and the puky dirtstench of the yearold dead . . .

The day withal was too meaningful and tragic for applause. Silence, tears, songs and prayer, muffled drums and soft music were the instrumentalities today of national approbation.

Unknown SoldierJohn Doe was born (thudding din of blood of love into the shuddering soar of a man and a woman alone indeed together lurching into and ninemonths sick drowse waking into scared agony and the pain and blood and mess of birth). John Doe was born

and raised in Brooklyn, in Memphis, near the lakefront in Cleveland, Ohio, in the stench of the stockyards in Chi, on Beacon Hill, in an old brick house in Alexandria Virginia, on Telegraph Hill, in a halftimbered Tudor cottage in Portland the city of roses,

in the Lying-In Hospital old Morgan endowed on Stuyvesant Square,

across the railroad tracks, out near the country club, in a shack cabin tenement apartmenthouse exclusive residential suburb;

scion of one of the best families in the social register, won first prize in the baby parade at Coronado Beach, was marbles champion of the Little Rock grammarschools, crack basketballplayer at the Booneville High, quarterback at the State Reformatory, having saved the sheriff’s kid from drowning in the Little Missouri River was invited to Washington to be photographed shaking hands with the President on the White House steps; —

Read the rest of this post . . . .* * * * *

though this was a time of mourning, such an assemblage necessarily has about it a touch of color. In the boxes are seen the court uniforms of foreign diplomats, the gold braid of our own and foreign fleets and armies, the black of the conventional morning dress of American statesmen, the varicolored furs and outdoor wrapping garments of mothers and sisters come to mourn, the drab and blue of soldiers and sailors, the glitter of musical instruments and the white and black of a vested choir

— busboy harveststiff hogcaller boyscout champeen cornshucker of Western Kansas bellhop at the United States Hotel at Saratoga Springs office boy callboy fruiter telephone lineman longshoreman lumberjack plumber’s helper,

worked for an exterminating company in Union City, filled pipes in an opium joint in Trenton, N.J.

Y.M.C.A. secretary, express agent, truckdriver, fordmechanic, sold books in Denver Colorado: Madam would you be willing to help a young man work his way through college?

Unknown SoldierPresident Harding, with a reverence seemingly more significant because of his high temporal station, concluded his speech:

We are met today to pay the impersonal tribute;

the name of him whose body lies before us took flight with his imperishable soul . . .

as a typical soldier of this representative democracy he fought and died believing in the indisputable justice of his country’s cause . . .

by raising his right hand and asking the thousands with the sound of his voice to join in the prayer:

Our Father which art in heaven hallowed by thy name . . .

* * * * *

Unknown SoldierJohn Doe’s

heart pumped blood:

alive thudding silence of blood in your ears

down in the clearing in the Oregon forest where the punkins were punkincolor pouring into the blood through the eyes and the fallcolored trees and the bronze hoopers were hopping through the dry grass, where tiny striped snails hung on the underside of the blades and the flies hummed, wasps droned, bumble-bees buzzed, and the woods smelt of wine and mushrooms and apples, homey smell of fall pouring into the blood,

and I dropped the tin hat and the sweaty pack and lay flat with the dogday sun licking my throat and adamsapple and the tight skin over the breastbone.

The shell had his number on it.

* * * * *

The blood ran into the ground.

The service record dropped out of the filing cabinet when the quartermaster sergeant got blotto that time they had to pack up and leave the billets in a hurry.

The identification tag was in the bottom of the Marne.

The blood ran into the ground, the brains oozed out of the cracked skull and were licked up by the trenchrats, the belly swelled and raised a generation of blue-bottle flies.

and the incorruptible skeleton,

and the scraps of dried viscera and skin bundled in khaki

they took to Chalons-sur-Marne

and laid it out neat in a pine coffin

and took it home to God’s Country on a battleship

and buried in a sarcophagus in the Memorial Amphitheatre in the Arlington National Cemetery

and draped the Old Glory over it

and the bugler played taps

and Mr. Harding prayed to God and the diplomats and the generals and the admirals and the brasshats and the politicians and the handsomely dressed ladies out of the society column of the Washington Post stood up solemn

and thought how beautiful sad Old Glory God’s Country it was go have the bugler play taps and the three volleys made their ears ring.

Where his chest ought to have been they pinned

Poppiesthe Congressional Medal, the D.S.C., the Medaille Militaire, the Belgian Croix de Guerre, the Italian gold medal, the Vitutea Militara sent by Queen Marie of Rumania, the Czechoslovak war cross, the Virtuti Militari of the Poles, a wreath sent by Hamilton Fish, Jr., of New York, . . . . All the Washingtonians brought flowers.

Woodrow Wilson brought a bouquet of poppies.

Editor's note: The photos of the burial of the Unknown Soldier appear on ArlingtonCemetery.Net.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Visiting Harland

Harland Sanders is buried at Cave Hill Cemetery. One can follow a yellow line from the main entrance to the colonel's grave. It's really worth the visit. Cave Hill is beautiful, filled with wonderful flowers, trees, and monuments. The Sanders memorial is a delightful walk and a bit of Kentucky history. As the trees turn, before it gets too cold, take a moment to visit the colonel.

Upshot: The Cathedral of the Assumption

World Religions
Philanthropists who paid for the resotration of Louisville's historic Cathedral of the Assumption will be honored and thanked for their contributions in November. The foundation overseeing the renovation has changed its name and mission and is now focusing on interfaith relations among the world's religions. It is based at the cathderal offices.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pug power in the Cardinal Nation

Danzig U.S.A. has long acknowledged that the pug is the unofficial dog breed of the University of Louisville. And now it's official:

Mimi and Mason Ramsey

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

Lake Nevin at Bernheim Forest
Photo credit: Mari Mar, Friendly Pines. This image depicts trees around Lake Nevin at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest.

BernheimHalf an hour south of downtown Louisville lies a refuge for all seasons, the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. Bernheim's attractions include an arboretum and 35 miles of hiking trails.

Lake Nevin, Bernheim ForestIsaac Wolfe Bernheim, a German immigrant who succeeded in distilling, established the forest in 1929 by assembling 14,000 heavily farmed and logged acres in Bullitt and Nelson Counties. Frederick Law Olmsted designed Bernheim Forest's original layout. Bernheim gave his Forest for the future enjoyment of his fellow Kentuckians.

Today's forest consists of an arboretum and a natural area. The arboretum contains formal and informal plant collections. The visitor's center is Kentucky's first platinum-level LEED-certified building. In the natural area, primarily a beech-maple forest, visitors can explore over 35 miles of hiking trails, ranging from casual strolls to a strenuous, all-day excursion on the Millennium Trail. The Quiet Garden offers especially serene views of Lake Nevin, the largest of Bernheim's four lakes.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Beacon of Freedom

The Town Clock in New Albany, Indiana stood as a beacon of freedom to 19th century runaway slaves looking for a narrow place on the Ohio River where it was safe to cross and safe to land. Many runaways crossed at Louisville, a large slave trading market early in the 19th century. This photo, taken as Louisville peace pilgrims went to the site on Saturday, illustrates how narrow the river is at this point.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Summa cum debitum

Summa cum debitum
So while we’re focused on debt, bail-outs, rescue plans and the appropriate public policy to deal with the financial crisis created by mortgage-backed securities, let’s look at, think about and even do something with the monumental problem of student loans.

Over the last decade or two, we have transformed a significant number of young people into a legion of debtors holding degrees awarded summa cum debitum. In many cases, students have been prepared for jobs that don’t exist or a life’s work that cannot amortize their student loans. And just as mortgages were bundled and sold as investment securities, student loans have been packaged and sold as bonds, many on the infamous auction-rate securities market that collapsed last February.

The adverse social, civil and political impact of student debt is not limited to those who incur it unwisely, those who fund it improvidently or those who invest in its securitized structures unsuccessfully. Civil society depends upon a wide range of skills to invent, perfect, make, maintain and operate its wheels and gears. When the allocation of work is driven by the need to pay onerous loans, terrible societal dysfunctions result.

Many young people have started life with little and some have started with nothing but today a significant number are starting with even less.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

David Jones. Jr.on Civic Greatness @ IdeaFestival 2008

The Common Denominator of Great States

Vest Advertising interviewed Louisville business and civic leader David Jones, Jr. at the Louisville IdeaFestival 2008 on the thesis of guest speaker Amy Chua, a Yale law professor and avid historian; viz., that great civic hyperpowers were talent magnets built on tolerance and inclusion of minority cultures and religions:

David Jones, Jr. sees Louisville as a fertile field for the seeds of multiculutralism and talks about how his own business has benefited from the diverse talents of diverse people.

Friday, September 26, 2008

East of Eden is Eden

These pastoral scenes are slightly east of Metro Louisville.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Windstorm 2008

Windstorm 2008
A hurricane force windstorm (winds exceeding 75 mph) blew through Louisville in September leaving in its wake numerous fallen trees and countless uplifting examples of courtesy and kindness. Electricity was restored to all after six days.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The last of the true believers

A thematic anthem from Nanci Griffith, one of Danzig U.S.A.'s favorite artists:

Oh, he said it was the sound of the winter calling
from up around the bend
Or it could be the cry of your restless heart
for the love of your long lost friends
Me, I think it's just the summertime
and the heat of these Texas winds
They keep on slapping my face with dust so thick
that the tears won't roll again

Nanci GriffithChorus:
Last of the true believers
Have you grown weary all alone?
You could go home again, home again, home
Last of the true believers
You pack your things and go back home
You could go home again, home again, home

You can't stay away forever
'cause they say love doesn't last that long
and the ghost of the one that you loved the best
is bound to be long gone
So you fall for the one you believe in
and take pride in the heart you hold
'Cause when the wintertime pounds upon your door
it's shelter from the cold

[Repeat chorus.]

There's a shadow on our wall
where I once stood with him in mind
And there is an empty space beside him
where I do take my rest at night
Oh, I will be the last of the true believers
if truth is his heart to lend
'Cause the wintertime sure looks cold to me
coming up around the bend

[Repeat chorus.]

Oh, I could go home again, home again, home
Well, it looks like home again, home again, home
Oh, I could go home again, home again, home
Well, he brings me home again, home again, home . . . .

Monday, September 8, 2008

Where I go

Green River
The Green River near Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Natalie Merchant, Where I Go, Tigerlily (1995)

climbing under a barbed wire fence
by the railroad ties
climbing over the old stone wall
I am bound for the riverside

Well I go to the river to soothe my mind
ponder over the crazy days of my life
just sit and watch the river flow

find a place on the riverbank
where the green rushes grow
see the wind in the willow tree
in the branches hanging low

well I go to the river to soothe my mind
to ponder over the crazy days of my life
watch the river flow
ease my mind and my soul
where I go

well I will go to the river from time to time
wander over these crazy days in my mind
watch the river flow
where the willow branches grow
by the cool rolling waters
moving gracefully and slow

child it's lovely
let the river take it all away
the mad pace, the hurry
the troubles, the worries
just let the river take them all away
flow away

Kentucky River
The Kentucky River near Shaker Village, Kentucky

A Journey to Ithaca: anchor at the island when you are old.

A Journey to Ithaca #12

A Journey to Ithaca: Make haste slowly, festina lente

A Journey to Ithaca # 11

this image would be cropped to eliminate the wing of the Cessna (intentionally included by the photographer but a great irritant and distraction to many who look at the image).

A Journey to Ithaca: To learn and learn from scholars.

A Journey to Ithaca # 10

A Journey to Ithaca: Pray that the road is long.

A Journey to Ithaca # 9

A Journey to Ithaca: Ports seen for the first time.

A Journey to Ithaca # 8

A Journey to Ithaca: Always keep Ithaca in your mind.

A Journey to Ithaca # 7

A Journey to Ithaca: Let your thoughts remain lofty.

A Journey to Ithaca # 6 Let your thoughts remain lofty.

Note: in this image, the face of Justice Brandeis will be clearly visible. Look at 9 o'clock then into the image about one fifth of the distance of the width.

A Journey to Ithaca: there are many ways to Ithaca.

A Journey to Ithaca # 5 will enter ports seen for the first time There are many ways to Ithaca. Make haste slowly.

A Journey to Ithaca: do not fear.

A Journey to Ithaca #4
When you set out on your journey to not fear.

A Journey to Ithaca

A Journey to Ithaca #3
When you set out on your journey to Ithaca, pray that the summer mornings are many.

Journey to Ithaca

Journey to Ithaca #2
Always keep Ithaca in your mind.

Journey to Ithaca: A Picture Gallery for a Law School Classroom

Journey to Ithaca #1 When you set out on your journey to Ithaca, pray that the road is long....That the summer mornings are many... Constantine Cavafy (1911).

Note: When classes begin at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, Dean James M. Chen introduces students to Ithaka, the celebrated poem by Constantine P. Cavafy.

The proposed picture gallery for a law school classroom uses pictures of Louisville, the launching point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the George Rogers Clark cabin to illustate notable lines from the poem. Eleven more images follow. The exhibition, however, will use only nine.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Same Skyline, Different Worlds

Louisville's business, commerical and financial district shares the horizon with a net fisher seen here casting the net. The fisher has ample parking for his enterprise.

Louisville Indiana

A Fresh Perspective
In search of a new way to look at Louisville, I went to the front perch of General George Rogers Clark--in Indiana! Sitting there in the rocking chair, I SEE Louisville from a fresh, Indiana perspective, the same perspective enjoyed by the great American explorer, conquistador and patriot. General Clark loved his cabin (built near the launching point of the Lewis & Clark Expedition) but moved to Locust Grove in Louisville to live with his siter after his health failed.

ps, the entire photoshoot is on my Flickr site at a gallery called Louisville views from Indiana.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Art vs. Art

Art vs. Art, a painting competition in which artists compete against each other and the losing art is destroyed, is coming to the Mellwood Arts Center on September 6, noon - 6 p.m. Art vs. Art is a fund raiser for Primary Colours, an Indianapolis-based arts nonprofit.

In the first stage — the paint-off — the program invites artists to come to the arts center, pay a $10 fee, and paint for 4 hours. The supplies are provided by the competition. You can stop by to watch the painting at Mellwood and later go online to view the paintings and vote for your favorites from the following cities: Louisville, Columbus, Ohio, Hammond, Ind., and Indianapolis (Indy's paint-off is September 13; the other three are September 6).

Once the paintings have been painted and the votes have been tallied, the top 32 will be part of a death match, in which the audience votes for its favorite art, and the losing art at each level is either sold or destroyed. Yes. You heard it. They destroy the art, unless you, the audience, saves it.

If you'd like to see painters at their craft, and would like to have some fun, visit the Mellwood Arts Center on Saturday. I think the event will be a lot of fun.

A Classroom Picture Gallery #28 (last in round 2 series)


Doing well in Capture Kentuckiana voting although some have asked me to crop out the wing of the airplane (which I include to help define space and perspective).
** **
Note: The images included in round two have limited and simple subjects. Round one images are more panoramic. With the exhibit limited to nine images, panoramic views are the most cautious way to capture Louisville ethos.

A Classroom Picture Gallery #27


Doing well in the Capture Kentuckiana voting.

A Classroom Gallery #26


This image is doing very well in the Capture Kentuckiana voting.