batoracle's blog

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

another slideshow

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Guess it's time to start this up again since we need it for class. Howdy y'all!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

personal walk-through

Hana suggested I put up some of the paper I wrote about my block, so here it is:

For my final project, I wanted to choose a block that was different, and yet would still have meaning. I chose 5th and Arch, where Benjamin Franklin was buried at Christ Church’s Burial Ground. Ben’s tercentenary birthday is being celebrated all over Philadelphia this summer, so it’s timely, and Ben has been a hero of mine since I was a little girl. My father was an electrical contractor, so when I first learned that Ben “invented” electricity; I automatically equated him to my father.

Being Jewish, this area serves importance to me in two ways. The southern side of the block houses the future site of the National Museum of Jewish American History. This walk will serve to show these personal ties the two sites.

Benjamin Franklin
Founded in 1719, Christ Church’s Burial Ground is the final resting place of many noted individuals. From the official Website:
· Dr. Benjamin Rush --Signer of the Declaration and "Father of American Psychiatry"
· Julia Stockton Rush -- Daughter and wife of signers of the Declaration
· Commodore William Bainbridge -- Naval hero of War of 1812, captain of "Old Ironsides"
· Dr. Thomas Bond -- Physician and founder of America’s first hospital
· Sarah Franklin Bache -- Leading fundraiser of the Revolution
· Dr. Philip Syng Physick -- "Father of American Surgery"
· Philip Syng, Jr. -- the most prominent silversmith of the 1700s
Besides the famous leaders, the Burial Ground has many everyday people whose stories should never be forgotten. Some of these are:
· John Taylor -- gravedigger who buried Benjamin Franklin
· Timothy Penney -- a two-year old who died, as did many others, in the smallpox epidemic of 1752
· John Clark -- a Philadelphia merchant who died in 1803 while attempting a rescue in a burning building
And of most historic note:
· Benjamin Franklin -- Scientist, philosopher and signer of the Declaration and Constitution.

20,000 Americans attended his funeral services in 1790.
Although 5000 people are buried here, there are only 1400 markers, many of which have been worn down to nothing but rubble.

Among his many inventions and discoveries, Franklin’s most noteworthy include:
· The famous kite experiment which would uncover the nature of electricity and lightning and how it is conducted.
· The invention of the lightning rod.
· The creation of swim fins.
· Invented the catheter.
· Bifocals. Tired of switching glasses for reading and regular daily wear, Franklin cut down his two pair and combined them to create the world’s first pair of bifocal eyeglasses.
· The invention of the glass armonica, a musical instrument using glass bowls and water. An instrument that would never need tuning.
"Of all my inventions, the glass armonica has given me the greatest personal satisfaction." - Ben Franklin
· Franklin was the first to chart the gulf winds of the Atlantic, which would become invaluable for ship courses and trade routes. He noticed the wind and current patterns on his many trips to and from England.
· One of the first to note storms movements from west to east.
· The Franklin Stove. His came up with a new way to conduct the heat from a stove that would serve to prove cost effective in also heating homes. As he felt this invention served the greater good, he refused to take a patent out on it.
· Women’s Lib? Under the pseudonym “Silence Dogood” he wrote critical articles regarding the world in general and how women were treated in particular.
· The first political cartoon. Owner of the Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin also edited and wrote for the paper. His Gazette would become number one in the colonies.

· Organization of the Junto, a group for young workers to join together to improve self-worth and civic pride.
· Daylight savings time.
· Suggested lighting and paving Philadelphia's streets.
· Helped launch the first subscription library in America.
· Helped found the American Philosophical Society.
· Formed the group that founded Pennsylvania Hospital.
· Organized Philadelphia's Union Fire Company.
· Formed the Philadelphia Contribution for Insurance Against Loss by Fire
· Helped set up the US Postal Service, serving as Postmaster General.
· Organized a night watch and militia for protection of Philadelphians.
· Founded the University of Pennsylvania.
· Wrote the Poor Richard’s Almanack to predict weather patterns based on his previous observations.
· Suggested the Wild Turkey as America’s national bird, disliking the eagle’s status as a bird of prey.

Of a more personal note to me is that this is the final resting place of David Salisbury Franks. Franks was a Jewish soldier and aide-de-camp to Benedict Arnold. He was exonerated from the charges of treason that his superior faced, although his name was sullied from his association with Arnold.
Found among a pile of dead soldier’s headed to the unknown soldier’s mass grave, Franks’ body was rescued and buried at Christ Church by a Christian neighbor.

The far side of the graveyard wall is where the future site of the new National Museum of American Jewish History will be constructed. Currently, this spot holds the Statue of Religious Liberty.

and finally:

One afternoon when I was visiting my block, I caught a squirrel running through the park section of the Jewish Museum. I am a huge animal lover, and I love squirrels, so I followed him for a little bit with my video camera. I had worked for a summer at the AARK Wildlife Preserve tending to abandoned or wounded animals, and the squirrels were my favorites.

A couple of weeks later, I visited the Benjamin Franklin exhibit at the National Constitution Center and found yet another personal tie. Apparently, Ben was also an animal lover, and loved squirrels so much, that he adopted one he found on the forest floor one day. He named the little guy “Skugg” (which was the dialect term for grey squirrel) and even mentions him in his letter to Miss Georgiana Shipley dated September 1772 (200 years before the year of my birth). The quote: “Here Skugg lies snug as a bug in a rug” (printed in The Stratford Jubilee, ii. 1, 1779).

There is even a cartoon Skugg figure around many of the Ben Franklin artifacts at the NCC that tells facts about the display.

Quotes of note
Ben Franklin’s Funeral and Grave: “He Was Able to Restrain Thunderbolts and Tyrants”
"No other town burying its great man, ever buried more of itself than Philadelphia with Franklin," Carl Van Doren in his biography of Franklin.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," written in regards to preparation in case of fire.
"A penny saved, is a penny earned," from Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack, inspires people to throw pennies on his grave for luck.

To learn more, go to:
National Museum of Jewish American History official website,
The Franklin Institute Online,

Thursday, May 04, 2006

walkabout pics

tons of photos from our Philly tour

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

for a bit of levity

I'm in a rotten mood from the last 2 posts. I know I shouldn't let things get to me but I am a sensitive person. Mean people suck.

So here's to put a smile on:

defending my choices

I don't see why I should spend yet another week trying to defend my actions or reactions, seeing as how I already went through this last week. I have learned through this class that art and science can be combined to make interesting and moving experiences. Everything is in the eye of the beholder. After all, Fitzgerald didn't intend for Gatsby's green dock light mean anything, but many of us have spent whole class periods discussing it. So one can find in anything, anything they want to find. Or anything that their mind brings to them. As long as it's not hurting anyone, who cares? Try to at least appreciate the work put into it, even if it's not your cup of tea.

just one image

So I don't put this into any "box" for anyone, I'll just post it with no comment.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

some shots for class

This is just so sad. The lone fry.
Joe is a Ho Ho
construction in the catacombs
mass consumerism creates mass garbage
did Stephane eat all of that?

Friday, February 10, 2006

does no one listen anymore?

The assignment was to do question phone tag. So I was chosen to start it, and now everyone is bitching at me. I really don't know when it was decided that students didn't have to do the assignments if they didn't want to, because I sure would have opted out of writing those two 3o page papers last semester.

cool maps

I had no idea where to find a cool map, so I just started out on the internet. I tried my township, but couldn't find this poster-map that was a cartoon of my neighborhood with all the businesses listed. I had that in my playroom as a kid, and I always thought it was pretty original. This one kind of looks like it, but it's from Taos, NM:

So then I tried to see if there was a map of the Star Wars galaxy, because I have seen them in the front covers of some SW novels. I found this one: which I think is so cool because it looks like it was taken from a NASA image, and whoever made it went to a lot of trouble to make this fictional universe look real.

this week's assignments for our absentees

1. The "host" (me) has to text message a question to the class. Whoever gives the best answer (or perhaps the most obnoxious answer, since some people are being mean) has to text a question the next day to the entire class. Next host is decided by me, Shannon, and/or Natalie.

2. The other assignment is to find a map/chart of some sort that is very inventive or original.

3. There is also reading that she handed out that you guys can get next week.