In this week’s issue of The Usonian, I’m excited to bring you a post about Neon in Nevada, a new initiative of the UNR and UNLV libraries to create a digital database of Nevada’s historic neon signs, which are rapidly disappearing.
This is the first edition of The Usonian’s new series, “Urban Feature,” about architecture and design.
Check out the Neon in Nevada post here. To read back issues of The Usonian, go to the newsletter’s homepage. Don’t forget to subscribe!
(Photo by Chelsea S. Miller, used with permission from Neon in Nevada).
I want to thank Brian Rowe for inviting me as a guest on his new cinema history podcast, “Film at Fifty,” which spotlights films which came out fifty years ago on the day.
This week we discussed “I Never Sang for My Father,” an obscure, Oscar-nominated Gene Hackman movie about death and aging (as well as the career of Gene Hackman). So, if that sounds fun for your virtual commute, we’ve got you covered.
The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, and basically anywhere you get your podcasts.
Since the pandemic began, we’ve all had Zoom calls and Zoom meetings. They have their challenges—but what about a Zoom dissertation defense? That was the scenario faced by four Princeton Geosciences Ph.D. candidates this past spring.
It was an honor to be asked to write the cover story for this year’s issue of The Smilodon, the newsletter of the Princeton University Department of Geosciences which traces its history back to 1927.
“Guyot Hall under Quarantine” spotlights the experience of four Princeton Ph.D. candidates who received their doctorates during the COVID-19 lockdown. Taking center stage is their spectacular research—from tracking earthquakes in the most remote reaches of the South Pacific to studying the potential for life on Mars.
“Archibald MacMartin, the Musical Mineralogist” traces the life of a mysterious alumnus who left Princeton with 2,500 exemplary minerals in its collection—as well as founded the first independent music periodical in New York.
Working from home today? Tired of reading about COVID-19?
Maybe you’ll read about Texas. Last week, I got the chance to spend time in San Antonio and Austin, TX during the 2020 AWP Conference (which, of course, was marred by the then-dawning novel coronavirus pandemic).
During my travels, what I learned was this: If San Antonio offers a glimpse of Texas’ past, Austin might just yet be a glimpse of its future.
On September 15, 2018 I had the extraordinary opportunity of giving a talk at the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece, where I discussed the 1960 plans of architect Constantinos Doxiadis for Eastwick, Philadelphia, featuring some ‘cameo’ appearances from Robert Kennedy and Kevin Bacon. You can watch the talk here, courtesy the Bodossakis Foundation. Many thanks to Simon Richards and Mantha Zarmakoupi of the Delos Network for inviting me and allowing me to speak on this subject, one that has occupied my globetrotting research for the past three years.
The Delos Network is an initiative sponsored by the UK Arts & Humanities Council, with academic support from University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, and the University of Pennsylvania. This was the second of three conferences to discuss the work of global architect and urban planner Constantinos Doxiadis (1913-1975), the first such conferences in over a decade.
Thanks to the Delos Network and the University of Nevada, Reno, for financially supporting my visit.
Last June, I had the opportunity to visit Vergina, a small village in Northern Greece that is home to the tomb of Philip II, Alexander the Great’s father. It was a tremendous experience, full of the power and splendor of ancient Macedonia. In terms of the difficulty in navigating Greece’s public transit options, however, it amounted to a modern odyssey. The perfect exp
To read my travelogue of my visit to Vergina, full of awe, frustration, and some witty observations, check it out on Medium:
On May 10, 2018, I had the pleasure of presenting a poster entitled “Rocks all the way down: The earthshaking history of Princeton mineralogy” at the 3rd annual Princeton Research Day event.
Charting the history of Princeton mineral and earth science from the early American republic to today, “Rocks all the way down” showcases how mineralogy both formed the foundation and ongoing continuity of earth science at Princeton. And given Princeton’s place in several scientific revolutions over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, it is a fundamentally important story that explains how and why we came to better understand the natural world.
The effort is part of a project funded by the Princeton University Department of Geosciences, to be eventually published in article form.
At “PRD,” it was wonderful to connect with so many members of the Princeton community in discussing the University’s rich history in the earth sciences.
You can view the poster below; featured photo is courtesy of Georgette Chalker.
In 1989, The Taos News asked residents to predict what Taos would be like 20 years into the future. Nearly three decades later, I asked them how it all turned out—and what they now hope for in the years to come. What emerges is a startling portrait of a community’s transformation over the years, and a new vision of what may be on the way.