Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Coming Week ~ July 29th to August 4th

With this post I come full circle. I started this enterprise a year ago this week with Sunday, July 31, 2011 and Barbara Gittings. I'm constantly adding individuals to the calendar and looking forward to another year filled with Pride.

Earth Postage Stamps--Peacemaker Series #'s 81 - 85

Peacemakers from Somalia, England, Italy, India and China take this series down to it's final 15 members. How many of these Peacemakers did you know?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Newseum - Chapter 1: My First Impressions

Something that I have long wanted to do was visit the Newseum here in Washington, D.C. It is the newest addition to what has got to be the largest concentration of museums within walking distance of one another on the planet. Whereas most of the others are free, the Newseum is expensive. I forked over just under $25.00 for my admission, and that cost had dissuaded me in the past. So let me begin my observations by saying here after the fact that it is worth the price of admission. Let me also state that you do not experience even half of what the place has to offer in my "10 Chapters" here.

By any standard, this place is awesome. In fact, its technology casts a dim light on two of the other old timers on the Mall: The Museum of American History, and the Space and Aeronautics Museum. After experiencing this place, they gotta step up their game!

You visit actually begins before you even enter with a gallery of today's front pages displayed along the exterior of the museum.

The paper are both domestic and international. Here front pages from cities in Ecuador, Mexico, Turkey and Canada, in the next section papers from cities in West Virginia, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii were displayed.

After paying your are ushered down to the ground floor for a short video explaining the logics of movement through the newseum.

Everywhere you turn you discover something of interest. The ground floor also contains a cafeteria, and next to it is a display of images from the cartoon sections of newspapers. But you haven't seen anything yet!

Newseum - Chapter 2: Photo Finish: The Sports Photography Of Neil Leifer

The first exhibition that you encounter on the ground floor is one of sports photography. So many iconic images from every sort of sport and venue taken by Neil Leifer. One of the things that you quickly realize about this "newseum," a high premium is placed on videography. Accompanying this exhibit was an extraordinary video looped interview with Mr. Leifer in which he himself talks about the images and his career as a sports photographer. I realized then that this was not going to be an in and out visit, nor likely one where I could fully experience all that this place has to offer.

He called this his greatest photograph, and honestly how could you disagree?

Newseum - Chapter 3: G-Men And Journalists

The second curated exhibition on the ground floor was "G-Men And Journalists" featuring artifacts and information about the highest profile crime cases of the past 100 years. Included in the exhibit besides the ones I captured in these photos were The Kidnapping of the Lindberg Baby, The Rosenberg Espionage case, The Uni-Bomber, and the Branch Davidian Cult Siege and others. The types and quality of artifacts was amazing. Though not very photographically interesting, the largest single piece was the cabin where Ted Kazinsky lived in Montana.

Here you have Daringer's death mask among other items.

This model chillingly represents just how much of the Murrow Federal Court building Timothy McVey's treason brought down in Oklahoma City.

Right after I snapped this photo a group of Japanese tourists posed in front of this KKK robe for a picture. Kind of made me wonder...

The most powerful portion of this exhibit was the part dedicated to 9/11. Here we see portions of the jet planes' engines retrieved from the smoldering wreckage of the twin towers.

And this collection of personal effects left me breathless.

In another area of the museum, a multi-story portion of the communication's antenna was displayed against a back drop of front pages from around the nation and world reacting to the news of 9/11.

Newseum - Chapter 4: The Fall Of The Wall

Once you cover the galleries on the ground floor, you will want to experience one final time the exhibit of this section of the Berlin Wall.

It comes complete with an East German guard tower.

Which you can see from various perspectives as you take the glass elevator like a rocket to the top floor!

Newseum - Chapter 5: A Roof With A View

Best view of the nations capitol short of Dodge Thompson's office in the East Building of the National Gallery of Art (A view I've had the privilege of experiencing on a few occasions...)

Also a totally irresistible photo op!

Speaking of the East Building of the National Gallery you can watch it as it gets a face lift to keep the marble slabs of its exterior skin from free falling on some unsuspecting tourist's head!

the National Archives on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

The Smithsonian Castle over on Independence Avenue.

All along the railing is an illustrated timeline of the great moments of news making down on Pennsylvania Avenue over the years.

And the money shot! And I don't mind telling you that this was no easy pic for yours truly as by this point in my exploring of the sixth floor balcony my acute acrophobia was tilting my world toward space specific vertigo...time to retreat to the interior!

Newseum - Chapter 6: Vistas With A Chopper

The openness of the central space of the interior of the museum creates a sense of grandeur and allows for the display of large objects like this communications satellite and a news helicopter.

As you travel the six floors of the museum, you get to experience these objects for multiple vantage points.

Newseum - Chapter 7: Campaigning For The Presidency

This gallery held artifacts representative of the history of Presidential elections.

The final exhibit featured images and cartoons from the current contest.

Newseum - Chapter 8: First Amendment Gallery

The First Amendment gallery celebrates the freedoms of Religion, Press, Assembly, To Petition, and Speech.

They were designed as pyramids that depicted key moments from the origins of the freedom, to pivotal points in the evolution of the freedom, to modern issues challenging or highlighting the freedom today.

An adjoining wall held a mural collage of examples where issues around the Freedom of Speech made the news.

Newseum - Chapter 9: International Freedom Of The Press

One exhibition uses a large world map to illustrate international freedom of the press. One factoid associated with this section of the museum read: 1 out of every 6 people alive live in a country that has freedom of the press.