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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.

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Archive for November, 2011

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbToday, we see the large ships moving from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway, a system of locks, canals and channels that permits ocean-going vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the North American Great Lakes, as far as Lake Superior. While Lake Ontario is connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River, any ship or cargo that was be to moved to the major cities on the four other Great Lakes required the hard process of portage across the land separating the lakes. The canals, including the Welland Canal built between 1825 and 1833.

Toronto_1901b

The biggest obstacles to the passage between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie were Niagara Falls and the difference in elevations. The falls made the Niagara River non-navigable to shipping. The difference in elevation between the two lakes required a system of locks to raise or lower the ships in relatively small increments. The construction on this canal started the same year that the Erie Canal opened between Lake Erie and the Hudson River.

The early 19th century was a time of great advances in transportation. First, the great canals in this country were built and opened. This facilitated the movement of manufactured goods and produce to reach the rich markets of New York City and Chicago, as well as other cities along both sides of the lakes. The great railroad systems of the east coast began their building in earnest in the 1830 to compete with the canals for the freight business. These culminated in the building of the first transcontinental railroad was built between 1863 and 1869 to connect the Mississippi River Valley (Council Bluffs, Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska) with the Pacific Coast terminus on the San Francisco Bay (Oakland, California).

It would be followed in the 1950s by President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s creation of the Interstate Highway System. Getting from point to point was made easier with a network of airline connections between most major cities in this country and abroad; many regional centers were also included within this major airline network.

But let’s go back to the starting point of linking the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean that was enabled when the Welland Canal bypassed the barrier of the Niagara Falls… GLB

    
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

    

[ 4426 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Canal:

    

“I took the Canal Zone and let Congress debate; and while the debate goes on, the canal does also.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“The most important event I covered was the Panama Canal debate, which dragged on for months.”
— Jessica Savitch

“Regarding the Panama Canal Treaty negotiations, they will find us standing up or dead, but never on our knees; NEVER!”
— Omar Torrijos Herrera

continue reading…

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Today we start a series on the 24 days of the Advent Calendar. Advent is a Church celebration of looking to the nativity of Jesus Christ and formally begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The Advent Calendar, by Old World Traditions, starts on December 1st. The calendar has twenty-four doors with a Bible verse, toy or some other treat behind it. One door is opened on each day of the Advent month, culminating with Christmas Eve. Check out the previous post from earlier this week for more information about Advent Traditions. For each day of this Advent season, we will add one of these posts with devotionals prepared by the Lutheran Hour Ministries for your enjoyment and celebration of the true intent of this Christmas season.

Magi_(1)

Take this as an opportunity to sit down with your family and focus your family members. I hope that it might help take our attention off of the commercialization of the Christmas season and refocus it to the real meaning of Christmas. Even though I am using devotions from the Lutheran Hour, the content applies to both Protestants and Catholics alike. Use the scripture reading from your favorite version of the Bible to get the observance started.

Please enjoy this exploration of the concepts that look forward to both the nativity of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1310 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Advent:

    

“A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message, an advent of sense.”
— Thomas Harrison

“After the advent of the written word, the masses who could not – or were not permitted to – read, were given sermons by the few who could.”
— Theodore Bikel

“Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise.”
— Karl Rahner

“The salvation of the elect was as certain before His advent, though accomplished by it, as afterwards.”
— John Nelson Darby

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbThe fate of Palestine has been an issue from ancient times. It is a land that lies along the Mediterranean Sea has been a land of conflict from the days of the settlement by the children of Abraham through present times. The Jewish people, the descendants of Jacob, and the Arab people, the descendants of Essau, have been in conflict from those ancient times. Outside powers were able to bring some temporary resolution only through the application of external control. Through most of the last two thousand years the Jews have been dispersed throughout Europe and Asia, leaving the territory of Palestine to the settlement by the Arabs.

Altalena_off_Tel-Aviv_beach

All that changed in the early days of the 20th century. The Balfour Declaration included the first proposal for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. But until the end of World War I, that land was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. As part of the Treaty of Versailles, the League of Nations issued mandates for a variety of lands, including Palestine, were awarded; Britain took over the oversight of Palestine. After World War II and the Nazi Holocaust that sent millions of Jews to their death created a cry for the Jewish homeland once more. Britain was against such a move since it would destabilize the territory.

But in 1947, the new United Nations General Assembly issued Resolution 181. This resolution called for the partitioning of Palestine to provide a Jewish homeland at the expense of the Arab peoples living in those parcels. This is much like the partitioning of India to create a homeland, Pakistan, for the Muslim population of that subcontinent; partitioning required the relocation of the current occupants if they were living in the “wrong” areas. This same relocation in Palestine with the displaced Arabs living in essentially refugee camps, where many of them still live all these years later.

The result has been a series of Arab-Israeli Wars, starting with the one in 1948, over the land. Emotions and passion run high within these camps, especially over the develop of Israeli settlements in lands given to the Arab population of Palestine. Where will this end? Who knows!

But now, let’s get into our exploration of some of the relevant issues related to the United Nations’ Partitioning of Palestine in 1947… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4506 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Palestine:

    

“There is no more Palestine. Finished.”
— Moshe Dayan

“We are totally committed to ending partition and to creating the conditions for unity and independence.”
— Gerry Adams

“Zionism demands a publicly recognized and legally secured homeland in Palestine for the Jewish people. This platform is unchangeable.”
— Theodor Herzl

continue reading…

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Today we start a series on the 24 days of the Advent Calendar. Advent is a Church celebration of looking to the nativity of Jesus Christ and formally begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The Advent Calendar, by Old World Traditions, starts on December 1st. The calendar has twenty-four doors with a Bible verse, toy or some other treat behind it. One door is opened on each day of the Advent month, culminating with Christmas Eve. Check out the previous post from earlier this week for more information about Advent Traditions. For each day of this Advent season, we will add one of these posts with devotionals prepared by the Lutheran Hour Ministries for your enjoyment and celebration of the true intent of this Christmas season.

3080831278_d413383c86

Take this as an opportunity to sit down with your family and focus your family members. I hope that it might help take our attention off of the commercialization of the Christmas season and refocus it to the real meaning of Christmas. Even though I am using devotions from the Lutheran Hour, the content applies to both Protestants and Catholics alike. Use the scripture reading from your favorite version of the Bible to get the observance started.

Please enjoy this exploration of the concepts that look forward to both the nativity of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1322 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Advent:

    

“A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message, an advent of sense.”
— Thomas Harrison

“After the advent of the written word, the masses who could not – or were not permitted to – read, were given sermons by the few who could.”
— Theodore Bikel

“Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise.”
— Karl Rahner

“The salvation of the elect was as certain before His advent, though accomplished by it, as afterwards.”
— John Nelson Darby

continue reading…

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumbToday, we are posting the second supplement to the posting on the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. This celebration lasts for eight days and consists of a series of candles being placed in a menorah and lighting one additional candle each day until all eight candles are lit on the last day of the observance. As the candles are lit, a blessing is prayed in Hebrew. Since this posting is intended for my English-speaking, non-Jewish audience, I have included only the English text for each blessing. Please refer to the full article for each day if you wish to see the Hebrew (or its transliteration).

Hanukkah-US-Military-GITMO-Dec-28-08

The description of the activity each day is intended for children, so it is simply written. As far I can determine, the blessings and procedures are correct. I hope that these procedures will help you to better understand this celebration.

So, let’s start our exploration of the Blessings used during the last four days of Hanukkah… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2057 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Blessings:

    

“Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.”
— Socrates

“Experience teaches us that we do not always receive the blessings we ask for in prayer.”
— Mary Baker Eddy

“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.”
— Harold Coffin

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbEdwin Land was a scientist who challenged the traditional views of the psychological research in color vision by proposing an alternative model of color processing. His early research was on polarized light waves; he posited that using only two color spectrums could produce a full color image. This was his Retinex theory of color vision. Initially, he was scorned by the academic community. He was vindicated in 1947 when he brought out the first successful instant color camera.

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It should be remembered, that color photography at this time was a novelty and Kodak’s color film was imperfect. There was not only bias in the academic community against Land’s theory of color, but the general use of color film amongst photographers was questioned. True photographs were done in black and white, and the elegance of a photograph, especially one to be considered as art, was based upon the creative use of light, shadows, and special printing techniques in the wet darkroom.

Yes, some photographers were active in their use of color photography. A pre-Kodachrome process for producing color images involved a subtractive process called the carbro printing process produced vivid, full color images; it major proponent was Richard C. Miller. The drawback of this process was the 10 hours of darkroom work required to produce a single print. Kodak brought out its color film, but it suffered from color variability in the early years and the color prints were subject to fading when exposed to light. Some of the early photographers using color were Steven Shore, Ernst Haas, and Pete Turner.

This opened the way for Land’s instant photographs based upon his use of special filters and producing both negative an positive images in the camera. This process has recently be revisited and we are now seeing a new breed of instant cameras hitting the marketplace.

But enough of history of color photography. Let’s start our exploration into Edwin Land and his new innovation, the instant camera... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4731 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Edwin Land & Polaroid:

“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”
— Edwin Land

“Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.”
— Edwin Land

“Don’t undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible.”
— Edwin Land

continue reading…

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Today we start a series on the 24 days of the Advent Calendar. Advent is a Church celebration of looking to the nativity of Jesus Christ and formally begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The Advent Calendar, by Old World Traditions, starts on December 1st. The calendar has twenty-four doors with a Bible verse, toy or some other treat behind it. One door is opened on each day of the Advent month, culminating with Christmas Eve. Check out the previous post from earlier this week for more information about Advent Traditions. For each day of this Advent season, we will add one of these posts with devotionals prepared by the Lutheran Hour Ministries for your enjoyment and celebration of the true intent of this Christmas season.

StPetersBasilicaEarlyMorning

Take this as an opportunity to sit down with your family and focus your family members. I hope that it might help take our attention off of the commercialization of the Christmas season and refocus it to the real meaning of Christmas. Even though I am using devotions from the Lutheran Hour, the content applies to both Protestants and Catholics alike. Use the scripture reading from your favorite version of the Bible to get the observance started.

Please enjoy this exploration of the concepts that look forward to both the nativity of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1321 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Advent:

    

“A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message, an advent of sense.”
— Thomas Harrison

“After the advent of the written word, the masses who could not – or were not permitted to – read, were given sermons by the few who could.”
— Theodore Bikel

“Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise.”
— Karl Rahner

“The salvation of the elect was as certain before His advent, though accomplished by it, as afterwards.”
— John Nelson Darby

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbAdvent is a church tradition that is especially prevalent in the older denominations of the Christian Church, especially in Europe. It is a season that starts four Sundays before Christmas and therefore will vary from year to year. It was intended to focus the parishioners’ attention on the Nativity of Jesus (Christmas Day) and, secondarily, on the Second Coming of Christ to execute judgment on the peoples of the earth. It is tied to traditions from both the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament Canonical Gospels. It is also related to the development of a dual Messianic expectation that developed during the inter-testament period, especially during the time of the Maccabees.

StPetersBasilicaEarlyMorning

The Advent traditions are especially associated with the Catholic Church. They are slightly different in the Eastern Orthodox Church. This celebration was timed around the Winter Solstice and the feast of Saturnalia practiced by the pagan Romans. The Council of Nicaea co-opted this holiday in the setting of the date on which the Nativity of Christ would be celebrated. We will deal with this more in a later post.

But now, it’s time once again to dive into our exploration of Advent that starts on this Sunday… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3187 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Advent:

    

“After the advent of the written word, the masses who could not – or were not permitted to – read, were given sermons by the few who could.”
— Theodore Bikel

“The salvation of the elect was as certain before His advent, though accomplished by it, as afterwards.”
— Karl Rahner

“No matter how difficult your situation may be you have to follow the Lord of the Second Advent completely.”
— Sun Myung Moon

continue reading…

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumbToday, we are posting the first supplement to the posting yesterday on the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. This celebration lasts for eight days and consists of a series of candles being placed in a menorah and lighting one additional candle each day until all eight candles are lit on the last day of the observance. As the candles are lit, a blessing is prayed in Hebrew. Since this posting is intended for my English-speaking, non-Jewish audience, I have included only the English text for each blessing. Please refer to the full article for each day if you wish to see the Hebrew (or its transliteration).

Hanukkah-US-Military-GITMO-Dec-28-08The description of the activity each day is intended for children, so it is simply written. As far I can determine, the blessings and procedures are correct. I hope that these procedures will help you to better understand this celebration.

So, let’s start our exploration of the Blessings used during the first four days of Hanukkah… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2031 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Blessings:

    

“A good government remains the greatest of human blessings and no nation has ever enjoyed it.”
— Dean Inge

“A sense of blessedness comes from a change of heart, not from more blessings.”
— Mason Cooley

“All are agreed, that the increase of learning and good morals are great blessings to society.”
— Joseph Lancaster

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbFor years, the main train station in New York City was the Grand Central Station. The Pennsylvania (Penn) Station was merely a satellite station. But both of these stations stood besides those stations along the east coast, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles as structures of great beauty. They were built in the Beaux Arts style with beautiful colonnades, vaulted ceilings, great arches, and marble floors. If it were not used as a transportation hub, one would think that it was a museum!

It is an interesting contrast with the European way of doing things. In Paris, for instance, an old train station was remodeled to become the Musée d’Orsay and is used to display parts of the world-class art collection of the Louvre. Preservation of historic structures are a cultural treasure and repurposed instead of replaced.

Lake_Shore_Limited_Train_49_on_08_12_08_enters_Croton_Harmon

As so often happens in this country, the station’s above ground structures underwent demolition in 1963. It had served its city well since its opening in 1910. But it was not dead. After extension planning, a new complex that included the Penn Station, Madison Square Gardens, and a new set of office building towers was designed and built; the new station opened in 2002. This rebuilding was also an opportunity to build some inter-line infrastructure in the rail system itself. This resulted in the Penn Station becoming the Amtrak hub for New York City instead of Grand Central Station.

Again, looking at Europe, there are two ways to go about restoring a city. In Germany, after World War II, cities were given the option of replacing their bombed out building with historical replacements or rebuilding them using modern structures. We see the differences in these approaches where Frankfurt chose to modernize while Munich chose to restore their war-damaged structures. I wish we had the same wisdom as Munich sometimes since I see beautiful, historic buildings torn down when they are 40-50 years of age and new, “efficient” structures built in their place.

But it’s time now to explore the old and new Pennsylvania Station in New York City’s lower Manhattan and its function within the east coast’s transportation system… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4264 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Train Stations:

    

“A train station is where the train stops. A bus station is where the bus stops. On my desk, I have a work station.”
— Unknown

“In the Soviet Union it was illegal to take a photograph of a train station. Look what happened to them. They tried to classify everything.”
— Tom Clancy

“When you are on a railway station platform waiting for the train that is due, and when you come to know that it arrives five hours late, how do you react? You fling abusive words at train.”
— Sri Sathya Sai Baba

continue reading…