Here’s a picture from Easter Sunday, 1956. We’ve got two dressed up girls - Laurie Ekwall and Nancy Lundstrom. Take a look at the bandage on Laurie’s leg, I wonder what happened? If you de-focus your eyes they kind of look like pastel cupcakes :)
Nikon 9000 ED 35mm Kodachrome scan, 4000 dpi.
Today we’ve got the picture perfect image of the 1950s family. I love the fall clothing represented in this photo - so stylish! And, the magic hour effect of the light. I can hear the leaves crunching under foot just looking at this picture. From left to right we have Frances Ekwall, Cathie Ekwall, and Kenneth Ekwall.
Nikon 9000 ED 35mm Kodachrome scan, 4000 dpi.
I just finished Michael Pollan’s book, “The Botany of Desire.” The book covers the botanical evolution of four plants: apples, tulips, cannabis, and potatoes. This was my first Michael Pollan book and I think it was a great introduction to his writing. I don’t intend to discuss the book much. The premise is quite simple, Pollan investigates the relationships that have developed between humans and plants. More specifically, he discusses how these plants have evolved to meet our tastes and desires. The relationship is of course two-fold, as we have bred, engineered, and selected that which we prefer.
For me, the most interesting discussion centered on genetically engineered potatoes. Pollan plants, investigates, and discusses a breed of potato called the “NewLeaf.” NewLeaf potatoes are the result of engineering mastery from the Monsanto corporation. They have been bred to resist the most vicious of potato killers, the Colorado potato beetle. If a Colorado potato beetle starts eating a NewLeaf the beetle will quickly perish. Pollan discusses how after he harvested his personal crop of NewLeaf’s something in him didn’t want to eat them. He left them in a sack on his porch for weeks. Finally, he decided to get in touch with a friend of his at the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). He wanted to check with an authority figure and learn their perspective on genetically modified foods. He was quickly told that the FDA knows nothing of NewLeaf potatoes because, quite simply, the United States goverment doesn’t recognize them as a food. The US government recognizes them as a pesticide and therefore places them under the jurisdiction of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). So, there you have it, a pesticide disguised as a food. Sounds delicious, no?
Here’s a link to "The Botany of Desire" at Amazon.
Today we’re going to take a look at some pictures Guy Spencer took during a road trip he took with his family in the 1920s. I believe they drove from Nebraska to Colorado. The pictures certainly look like they were taken in the Colorado Rockies. If you look closely you can see Frances (my grandmother) and Dorothy (my great-grandmother) in a couple of the pictures. I can’t imagine what a road trip would’ve been like almost 100 years ago. No air conditioning, limited roadside accommodations, shoddy roads, but beautiful scenery. Let’s take a journey :)
I had a thought the other day about my phone. I'm a pretty cost conscious consumer and am always looking for various ways to save a buck. So, over the past couple of months I've been using Skype and/or Google's new phone calling service (part of Google Voice), instead of using the minutes on my AT&T iPhone plan. When I'm at home it's a piece of cake to use my desktop computer for all the phone calls I need to make. And, the digital call quality is very, very good. I prefer using my headset on the computer. Now, here's where my thoughts start taking over ...
WiFi is everywhere. I can get a WiFi signal at Starbucks. At McDonald's. At Barnes & Noble. At the library. Pretty much everywhere I go. One of the only places I can't get WiFi is when I'm traveling in the car. And, even that is debatable. If I had a mobile hotspot I could just take WiFi with me everywhere. So, why do I need a data and minutes plan on my phone? Shouldn't I just buy an iPod Touch and use it for all of my calling needs (via Skype and/or Google Voice)? Then, I downgrade my existing plan to the free-est of the free old school flip phones and get a super discounted voice plan for emergency calls only. Boom, I figure that move could help me shed about $100/month on my phone bill. I'd still be able to download and enjoy all the apps available in the Apple App Store, I just wouldn't be able to enjoy them over the mobile providers network. But, come to think of it, how often am I actually drawing data from AT&T's network? Most of my power use is done over a WiFi network. Of course I'm speculating here and should probably find some hard data about my individual data use. I'm not going to because I don't think it's that important. The point is WiFi will probably keep spreading and will be more and more available whenever and wherever I need it.
To top this off, I read an article just the other day (the day after I had this thought) about how Verizon is moving towards a data-centric network. LTE 4G is their giant push towards data accommodation. They want more people using their data network because data plans are more expensive than voice plans. That's how they make money. More people on smartphones paying extra bucks for a big data plan. We'll see what the future holds - data plans controlled by the carriers or WiFi offered by retail, public, and private spaces that will cover all an individual's data needs. To take a look at that article click here.
Next time you see me I may be sporting an iPod touch and a super cheesy flip phone :)
I scanned this image today and couldn’t resist posting. It’s a picture my grandfather (Kenneth Ekwall) took while on a trip to Europe in July 1984. He was travelling with my grandmother (Frances Ekwall) and his sister (Velma Lundstrom). Ken took this picture in Sweden. I love the color, the composition, the earth, and the sky. So lovely :)
35mm Kodachrome scan, 4000 dpi
I honestly don’t know who took these photos. My gut tells me these were shot by Guy Spencer (my great grandfather) on one of several trips he took to New York. I have a letter he received from someone in Newburgh, New York, thanking him for his visit. Regardless, here they are, pictures of Niagara Falls from the 1920s.
Good morning! Today we’re taking a look at a trip my grandfather took to Chicago in the late 1930s. Here’s a picture of him standing outside the Museum of Science and Industry, with Chicago in the background. According to my aunt my grandfather really enjoyed this museum and returned with the whole family in the 1960s.
Here’s another picture I think is pretty cool. My grandfather must have taken this while riding the “L.”
I know this photo is from recent times, but I saw it in my Flickr stream the other day and I think it’s a great shot. I’m not sure who took this - it was either my sister Rosie or my lovely Laura. I love the light, the composition, and the setting. Have a fantastic Saturday :)