Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quatermass' Martians At Hobbs End

Digging a London Underground station expansion near Hobbs End in 1967 led to an unearthing of a craft containing the remains of its long expired occupants. Was it a V weapon from World War II or something else? Better call Bernard Quatermass of the British Experimental Rocket Group. He'll figure this thing out.

Spoiler Alert: 5 Million Years to Earth was the US title of Quatermass and the Pit (UK) movie released in 1967 as the third in a series of Quatermass serials. The premise centered on the thought that creatures from another planet, Mars in this case, arrived here million of years ago to enslave early humans. The creatures accomplished this through telepathic means but ran into a problem. Along the way clues of their identity were tied to what was considered evil. Interesting concept.
Watch the 1967 trailer here.

This movie fuses several interesting elements - world war ii, martians, anthropology, old religious traditions and beliefs. Perhaps that's why this 42N blogger loves it. By the way, Spike Milligan loved it too. Read this early spoof of the movie here.  Know that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winter is Almost A Third Done

Winter blew into 42N country during the first week of December with lasting snow coverage and extreme cold. January has been no different. We await the vernal equinox.

The snowy farm (above) was photographed on St. Steven's Day last month. The property overlooks the Cedar River. This week while the river produces ice jams the City of Cedar Rapids is considering ways to manage the flows. Know that.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Nile Kinnick and the 1939 University of Iowa Football

Nile Kinnick and the 1939 Hawkeyes are remembered for a number of University of Iowa football accomplishments. That year the Hawkeyes finished at the No. 9 spot in the final AP rankings. During the 1939 season Nile Kinnick was associated with 107 of the 130 points Iowa scored, played 402 out of 420 possible minutes and set 14 school records.

Kinnick's awards from the 1939 season included being named a consensus first team All-American, the Big Ten MVP, the Walter Camp Award winner, the Maxwell Award winner, AP Male Athlete of the Year, and the Heisman Trophy winner - the school's only Heisman winner to date. The 1939 Heisman Trophy is currently on display at the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame.

Besides the larger than life statue of student Nile Kinnick dedicated in 2006 at the stadium bearing his name, is this team autographed football. The 1939 Hawkeyes penned their names on the ball (double click on the photo to see a larger version) which is on display at the University of Iowa Football offices just a block to the northwest of Kinnick stadium. Know that.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Baby in Red Chair - A New Year Begins

The beginning of any new year is often characterized by an image of a baby being welcomed by an old bearded adult from the previous year. Keeping this tradition alive is today's January 1st post of Baby in Red Chair, an oil on canvass painting attributed to an unknown artist possibly from Pennsylvania during the period 1800 to 1830.

Baby in Red Chair is an example of American folk art. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, was a pioneer in the realization of this art form as both creative and historic. She spent much of her time and family's resources to collect and preserve art. Today her expansive collection can be seen at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in Williamsburg, Virginia. While the painting is just one example of many, the plans for the museum includes expansion of the neighboring DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in 2010 and 2011 allowing for possible more room for the Rockefeller collection.

Baby in Red Chair is one of the most popular paintings in this collection. However visitors will also recognize other works of early American life displayed in the exhibit. Abby's foresight to preserve folk art allows the two hundred year old "baby" to both welcome the viewer into the past and also into the present with a timeless pose. Know that.