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      Media Cloud – Solutions For Media Analysis

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          Yabberz has an interesting collection of individuals, many of whom as commentators are truly impressive. The range seems to span between those mostly interested in presenting anecdotal chat to those who might well be considered as something resembling investigative journalists. So I'm wondering if there are any here who have used, or might be interested in using Harvard Berkman's Media Cloud information analyzer site. It verges on the "Big Data" of things, not simplistic at all. Going that extra mile, a bit of extra "work" to potentially increase one's effectiveness and credibility and value as commentator...

          Side benefit of usage just might be to further reduce the tendency to resort to ad hominems and other fallacious mechanisms...

          http://mediacloud.org/

          Media Cloud is a massive data set of news — compiled from newspapers, other established news organizations, and blogs — and a set of tools for analyzing those data. Some of the kinds of questions Media Cloud could eventually help answer:

          — How do specific stories evolve over time? What path do they take when they travel among blogs, newspapers, cable TV, or other sources?
          — What specific story topics won’t you hear about in [News Source X], at least compared to its competitors?
          — When [News Source Y] writes about Sarah Palin [or Pakistan, or school vouchers], what’s the context of their discussion? What are the words and phrases they surround that topic with?

          As Berkman Fellow Ethan Zuckerman puts it (not in this particular video), it’s an attempt to move media criticism and media analysis beyond the realm of the anecdote — to gather concrete data to back or contradict our suspicions.


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          John Trumbull

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              The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton December 26 1776 -- John Trumbull

              As we approach the presidential inauguration, John Trumbull's name comes to mind. Usually when we picture early American painters they are folk artists, unschooled and untrained with only a scant knowledge of perspective. Some of their work might remind one not only of the hobbyist in the hamlet one mile down the road who likes to paint pictures but also see at times traces of medieval work. Although I have seen exquisite examples of the latter so precise and meticulous in detail that it makes me wonder about the sophistication of their craft. An example which always comes to mind is that of a rosary portraying the last supper carved out of boxwood as part of the permanent collection of New York's Cloisters. Ah, but my memory has betrayed me. It was not the last supper but a triptych of microscopically carved figures: the Journey to Nazareth and the Nativity, the Journey to Nazareth and the Adoration of the Magi, and Presentation in the Temple. This piece was of Northern European origin and created in a period more towards the Renaissance than the Middle Ages. But such craftsmanship did not emerge from a vacuum as if suspended in a bubble over time's arrow.

              1500–1510. South Netherlandish. Boxwood

              When we look at early Americana, we are reminded of the portraits of John Brewster Jr. or those of Edward Hicks or the stiff wooden figures of Ammi Phillips. Yet each of them blew life into their creations. Their portraits stare back at us and onto eternity. America was inventing herself from scratch, but there were highly trained artists among them. The father of American painting was Benjamin West who through the backing of several Philadelphia patrons send him to Europe in 1760. There he tarried in Italy for three years absorbing its aesthetic ambiance before arriving in London where he was adopted as Britain's leading painter. Unanimously elected to the Royal Academy as their second president, West served that venerable institution for twenty-eight years and played a centrally important role of instructing and mentoring early American painters. Among his students was none other than John Trumbull. Among the panoply of Early American greats were the likes of Gilbert Stuart perhaps best known for is portrait of George Washington, John Singleton Copley, Rembrandt Peale, and Thomas Sully. Two inventors with artistic leanings were included in West's list of students: Robert Fulton and Samuel F. B. Morse.

              At that time landscape painting was considered a low art. Portraiture was a bit higher. The highest visual art subject matter was that of historical painting for which most of these artists were known. However one should take note that as a mentor, Benjamin West had advised John Constable to give up portrait painting and devote his time to landscapes. Perhaps this advise had paid off as he became known as one of Britain's greatest landscapists and much admired later on by no other than the French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix.

              General George Washington Resigning His Commission 1822-24 -- John Trumbull

              John Trumbull attended Harvard University where he was not only exposed to European history but to the portraits that hung in its halls. His love for painting may have been born on campus. When he returned to his hometown of Lebanon, Connecticut, he picked up the brush and resumed painting. However war interrupted his plans and aspirations briefly serving in the Continental Army as an officer in Connecticut's First Regiment witnessing the battle of Bunker Hill. He continued to aid the war effort as a cartographer. And although he fought Britain upholding the right of the thirteen colonies for independence, he traveled to England in1780 for the noble purpose of studying art. Again, he traveled to London four years later. In both instances he journeyed to London to study under Benjamin West who encouraged Trumbull to paint contemporary themes in particular the events that had just unfolded in the founding of a country.

              Trumbull wanted to depict the founding moments of the United States and executed eight works on the Revolutionary War with the purpose in mind to impart what had transpired for generations to come of a period in history which shone a light on individual liberty and human progress. Today we might think of this episode which brought about an independent country in not so lofty terms. However, the mindset of those days was the onward march of reason permeating society through the rule of law and effective governance that would be the epicenter of a contagion of similar changes witnessed later on in Europe with the French storming the Bastille.

              Signing the Declaration of Independence 28th June 1776 1817 -- John Trumbull

              A second edition adorns the Capitol's rotunda, but in 1831 a third and final series was never completed due to Trumbull's failing health. Five of the eight paintings for the third series were completed. These works are currently on display at Connecticut's Wadsworth Atheneum. Daniel Wadsworth founded the museum on his father's estate. His father Colonel Jeremiah Wadsworth had George Washington as his guest in his home in Hartford. He was Commissary General to the Continental Army and later stepped into politics. His only son Daniel was an art patron who by founding this museum helped preserve the birth of American art now featuring a part of the oeuvre of John Trumbull who was a friend of the family. His niece married Daniel Wadsworth.

              Trustees to the museum had purchased the five last paintings of the American Revolution third series and were put on display at the Atheneum's opening in 1844. I always ask what legacy a famous artist leaves behind. The obvious answer would be his or her oeuvre – the body of work. But such work would have to be seen by the public for a society to cherish them. People would be hard put to value that which never sees the light of day and that which remains locked in safes or buried in cellars or seen only by a privileged few. Alongside the artist's output as a legacy there is also its accessibility by a viewing public.

              Yorktown Surrenders -- John Trumbull

              Artists also leave behind other bequeathals. In the case of Robert Douglas Hunter, for instance, he left behind not only valuable still lifes but the fond memories of his students who benefited from his critiques and passed onto the the next generation of pupils his understanding of the fine arts. The artist as instructor leaves behind not only a student body but the content of his lessons. Loyal disciples remember and reiterate the salient points of painting that they struggled to master under his tutelage.

              Trumbull had students as president of New York City's American Academy of Fine Arts, but unlike Hunter his students balked at his demands many of them withdrawing from his courses in 1825. The academy closed some fourteen years later on account of changes in popular taste for the visual arts and a fire that destroyed its permanent collection. While his students had turned against his heavy handed approach to painting, his inspiration remains for artists aspiring to bring life to history. Perhaps then his legacy is only found in his body of work commemorating a time and place in human history where a country far from moral perfection was founded on ideals upon which few had thought possible. His work therefore stands as a monument for those formative years.

              The Sortie Made by the Garrison of Gibraltar by John Trumbull 1788

              Sources:

              http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/features/slideshows/american-portraits-of-the-late-1700s-and-early-1800s.html#slide_1

              http://blog.metmuseum.org/cloistersgardens/2009/12/18/boxwood/rosary-bead_324/

              American Art Review Kellaway, Thomas R. ed. & publisher. John Trumbull: Visualizing American Independence pp. 64-67. American Arts Media, Inc. Leawood, Kansas. February 2017.

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              7 Days

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                  Great message for all of us.

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                  One Of The Many Bridge World Events That Keeps Me Busy - Gates And USA TEAM

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                      In Chinese, as the English Version is still in post production. Bill Gates representing the USA against the Italian Lavazza Team and two of the powerhouse Chinese teams from Beijing. The order of finish:




                      A multiple World Champion and #1 Woman in the World, American Jill Meyers with Teammate Bill Gates.




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                      Pundit Post

                      Statements To Take Very, Very Seriously

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                          These were passed on to my wife by a friend. None of the three of us wrote them, but of course we all endorse them. Whole-heartedly. Like.

                          1. I hate Russian dolls, they're so full of themselves.

                          2. I asked my North Korean friend how it was there, he said he couldn't complain.

                          3. My girlfriend started smoking, so I slowed down and applied Lubricant.

                          4. Don't let an extra chromosome get you down.

                          5. I haven't talked to my wife in three weeks. I didn't want to interrupt her.

                          6. People used to laugh at me when I would say "I want to be a comedian", well nobody's laughing now.

                          7. My wife told me to stop impersonating a flamingo. I had to put my foot down.

                          8. Throwing acid is wrong, in some people's eyes.

                          9. My wife and I were happy for twenty years; then we met.

                          10. I haven't slept for three days, because that would be too long.

                          11. The first time I got a universal remote control, I thought to myself "This changes everything."

                          12. My grandfather has the heart of a lion and a lifetime ban from the local zoo.

                          13. Say what you want about deaf people...

                          14. I've spent the past four years looking for my ex-girlfriend's killer, but no one will do it.

                          15. I saw a sign that said "watch for children" and I thought, "That sounds like a fair trade."

                          16. I refused to believe my road worker father was stealing from his job, but when I got home, all the signs were there.

                          17. I recently decided to sell my vacuum cleaner, all it was doing was gathering dust.

                          18. People say I'm condescending. That means i talk down to people.

                          19. You can never lose a homing pigeon - if your homing pigeon doesn't come back, what you've lost is a pigeon.

                          20. Whiteboards are remarkable.

                          21. I was at an ATM and this old lady asked me to help check her balance, so I pushed her over.

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