2020, Lockdowns & Friends.

 

Alex, Polly Waffle, Jenny, Jude and Me wish you all

A HAPPY AND SAFE CHRISTMAS 2020

What a Year 2020 has been mega bushfires, covid 19, unemployment, grinding poverty and the rich get richer.
AND two times we tried to organise an Old Guv Get Together, only to be torpedoed both times by the virus.
Let’s hope we will be on a winner in March 2021.
T’was a week before Christmas,
And all through the town,
People wore masks,
That covered their frown.
The frown had begun
When a global pandemic
Changed everything.
They called it corona,
But unlike the cigar
It didn’t bring good times,
It didn’t bring cheer.
Air flights were grounded,
Travel was banned.
Borders were closed
Across air, sea and land.
As the world entered lockdown
To flatten the curve,
The economy halted,
And folks lost their nerve.
We rode the first wave,
People stayed home,
They tried to behave.
When August emerged
The lockdown was lifted.
But away from caution,
Many folks drifted.
Now it’s December
And cases are spiking,
Wave two has arrived,
Much to our disliking.
It’s true that this year
Has had sadness a plenty,
We’ll never forget
The year 2020.
And just ‘round the corner –
The holiday season,
But why be merry?
Is there even one reason?
To decorate the house
And put up the tree,
Who will see it,
No one but me.
But outside my window
The sun gently blazes
And I think to myself,
Let’s deck the halls!
So, I gather the ribbon,
The garland and bows,
As I play those old carols,
My happiness grows.
Christmas is not cancelled
And neither is hope.
If we lean on each other,
I know we can cope,
Rob Powell❤💚

Child Labourers – 1913 by Lewis Hine.

Between 1908 and 1911, the photographer and social reformer Lewis Hine travelled the U.S. for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) documenting child labor — in factories, textile mills, canneries, and coal mines — focusing in particular on the Carolina Piedmont.
Amongst the hundreds of photographs he made in this time is this unique set of composite photographs of Southern cotton mill workers.
Each image was created by purposively rephotographing several workers upon the same photographic plate. The idea of overlaying portraits in this way was not without precedent.
The technique was invented in 1880s by Sir Francis Galton who used multiple exposures to create an “average” portrait from many different faces.
For Galton, the primary purpose of the method was so as to advance his views on human ideal types, and it could be argued that Hine used it in a similar way (albeit divorced from the somewhat suspect context of phrenology), to generalise his observations regarding the damaging physical effects of the back-breaking factory work on young bodies.
However, the fact that Hine overlays faces of quite different physicality perhaps implies a subtler motive, one perhaps more orientated around the haunting quality of the final image.
The composites were never published in Hine’s lifetime, although the portraits of the same children used in the process do appear in posters for the NCLC alongside such headlines as “Making Human Junk: Shall Industry Be Allowed To Put This Cost On Society?”.
In general, Hine’s heart-rending images from his time with the NCLC — often the result of putting himself at great personal danger — helped to influence the change in several laws, including the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act of 1916.
[Source] From: Library of Congress
Source: Lewis Hine’s Composite Photographs of Child Labourers (1913) | The Public Domain Review

A young Child in a charcoal field in India.

A young child engulfed by plumes of smoke from burning coal inside an unregulated charcoal production field in Jharkhand, India, which holds some of India’s largest coal reserves.
Image Credit: Photograph by Ashley Crowther
Source: Paper tigers exhibition: Australia’s contemporary photojournalists – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian

The Art of Hospital Muralist Scribe.

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If you have ever taken a child to Children’s Mercy Hospital, you can’t miss the colorful murals in waiting and exam rooms.
The artist who creates the vivid and whimsical animal characters, landscapes and seascapes in vibrant colors is Donald Ross.
Ross also goes by Scribe, a name from his roots as a graffiti artist.
You may have also seen his work in Westport, the Crossroads, or even as part of the design of some new city buses.
His paintings have been exhibited both nationally and internationally.
Scribe is now the full time mural artist at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
via Graffiti Painter Becomes Hospital Muralist | KCUR.

Young Esme’s Anti-Littering Message.

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Germantown Friends School second grader Esme Fa Harrison helps install her artwork at the corner of Germantown Ave. and W. Coulter St.
by Brian Hickey
Esme Fa Harrison, an adorably introspective Germantown Friends School second grader, just saw a picture she’d drawn last year become a work of “street art” outside her school.
via Second Grader’s Drawing Becomes Anti-Littering ‘Street Art’ in Germantown | NBC 10 Philadelphia.

The Iconic ‘Candy Cigarette’ 1989.

Sally Mann’s Candy Cigarette is one of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century.
Featuring a young pre-teen girl gazing directly into the camera, cigarette in hand, the image is striking and resonates with the viewer in its drastic colour contrasts.
Through her clever use of background images and subtle body language, Mann is perhaps telling the story of a defiant young woman straying from the straight and narrow path.
Source: “Candy Cigarette” (1989) by Sally Mann ~ vintage everyday

The First Children’s Picture Book, 1668.

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John Comenius’ Orbis Sensualium Pictus (or The World of Things Obvious to the Senses drawn in Pictures) is, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “the first children’s picture book.”
Originally published in 1658 in Latin and German, the Orbis — with its 150 pictures showing everyday activities like brewing beer, tending gardens, and slaughtering animals — is immediately familiar as an ancestor of today’s children’s literature.
This approach centered on the visual was a breakthrough in education for the young, as was the decision to teach the vernacular in addition to Latin. Unlike treatises on education and grammatical handbooks, it is aimed directly at the young and attempts to engage on their level.
The Orbis was hugely popular. At one point it was the most used textbook in Europe for elementary education, and according to one account it was translated into “most European and some of the Oriental languages.”
Its author John Comenius, a Czech by birth, was also well-known throughout Europe and worked in several countries as a school reformer.
His portrait was painted by Rembrandt, and according to an 1887 edition of the Orbis, Comenius was even “once solicited to become President of Harvard College.” (Although he never came to Harvard, one can still find his name engraved on the western frieze of Teachers College at Columbia University.)
Even if he is less celebrated today by name, his innovative ideas about education are still influential. In his Didactica Magna, for example, he advocates for equal educational opportunities for all: boys and girls, rich and poor, urban and rural.
Despite his progressive aims and lasting educational influence, Comenius does not come off as a thoroughly modern schoolmaster.
When we turn to the first page of the Orbis, we find an opening sentence that would seem peculiar in today’s children’s books: “Come, boy, learn to be wise.”
We see above the text a teacher and student in dialogue, the former holding up his finger and sporting a cane and large hat, the latter listening in an emotional state somewhere between awe and anxiety.
The student asks, “What doth this mean, to be wise?” His teacher answers, “To understand rightly, to do rightly, and to speak out rightly all that are necessary.”
Read More via In the Image of God: John Comenius and the First Children’s Picture Book | The Public Domain Review.

The First Wizard of Oz Board Game, 1921.

OzGame1FinalPictured is the game board of the first Wizard of Oz board game, sold by Parker Bros. in 1921.
Frank Baum published 14 Oz books between 1900 and 1920. Well before the classic 1939 movie came out, the books spawned many theatrical adaptations, as well as saga-themed objects like dolls, figurines, and this board game.
The story’s popularity was such that this wasn’t even the first Parker Bros. Oz game.
That was the Wogglebug Game of Conundrums, a card game published in 1905 and based on a character from Baum’s second Oz book, the sequel to Wizard. (You can see Wogglebug in the bottom right-hand quadrant of this gameboard.)
Many of the characters and places scattered around the 1921 board will be unfamiliar to people who know the Oz story from the 1939 movie or the original book (by far the most famous of the series).
The presence of Woot and Ugu shows how familiar the whole Oz series would have been to the game’s audience.
OzGame3Final
Parker Brothers re-released this game, with wooden playing pieces instead of pewter ones, after the 1939 film became a hit.
via Wizard of Oz: Story-based board game sold in the 1920s..

The Chaos Of Being A Parent.

best-case-scenario-realistic-family-chaotic-photography-danielle-guenther-3__880by Adomas
Traditional family photos are shiny, peaceful and nice to look at, but they rarely depict reality.
After another photoshoot of a family with little kids turned into total chaos, photographer Danielle Guenther decided she should try to depict what parents are really going through
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After posting a few of these images on her website and Facebook, she quickly started getting requests from parents, asking to photoshoot their own chaos. “Parenthood is messy, but wow, the unflattering side can still be so beautiful,” – says Danielle, who is also a mom of a 5-year-old herself.
She urges to “capture the moment, because in the end, all we have are the memories…“
More info: danielleguentherphotography.com | Facebook
See more Images via Photographer Reveals The True Chaos Of Being A Parent | Bored Panda.

Youngsters prefer reading Printed Books.

Woman-reading-bookSixteen to 24-year-olds are known as the super-connected generation, obsessed with snapping selfies or downloading the latest mobile apps, so it comes as a surprise to learn that 62% prefer printed books to ebooks.
Asked about preferences for physical products versus digital content, printed books jump out as the media most desired in material form, ahead of movies (48%), newspapers and magazines (47%), CDs (32%), and video games (31%).
“It is surprising because we think of 16-24s as being attached to their smartphones and digital devices, so it does shout out,” said Luke Mitchell of agency Voxburner, which researched questions about buying and using content with 1,420 young adults.
The two big reasons for preferring print are value for money and an emotional connection to physical books. On questions of ebook pricing, 28% think that ebooks should be half their current price, while just 8% say that ebook pricing is right.
The top-rated reasons for preferring physical to digital products were: “I like to hold the product” (51%), “I am not restricted to a particular device” (20%), “I can easily share it” (10%), “I like the packaging” (9%), and “I can sell it when used” (6%).
Mitchell said that qualitative comments about preferring physical books included things like “I collect”, “I like the smell”, and “I want full bookshelves”. “Books are status symbols, you can’t really see what someone has read on their Kindle,” Mitchell said.
Voxburner questioned 16-24 year olds online between 25 September and 18 October.
Half of the respondents were sourced through student moneysaving website Studentbeans.com, and half through a broader youth research panel.
via Young adult readers ‘prefer printed to ebooks’ | Books | theguardian.com.