Friday, July 27, 2007

Still on Vacation

My ankles are swollen, a sure sign of high humidity and even higher dewpoint. Relief is forecasted on the way by this evening, when the wind is supposed to shift around to the northwest and blow cooler and, more importantly, drier air, this way. We did finally get much needed rain, though, some on Wednesday night and some last night. We went to Chicago yesterday and I'm as red as a lobster today and I think my hair is two shades lighter! It wasn't supposed to be sunny - hah! On the other hand, it was worth taking some extra abuse from the sun while on the architectural tour via boat on the Chicago River. Isis treated us and it was not only informative, it was breathaking in parts. The architectural mix in Chicago is astounding. Chicago passed a law a few years back and so new developments along the river need to be set back from the bank a minimum of 30 feet and public access walkways and greenery have to be added. We saw the Trump tower project going up, and saw where the ground has been broken for what will be Chicago's tallest skyscraper, a design by Calatrava. We spent some time in Millennium Park, lunched at the Castle & Elephant (yummy burgers!) and rode the escalators up and down at Marshall Fields (it will NEVAH be Macy's to me). I won't be back to work until Tuesday. Here's an interesting article on Da Vinci's "Last Supper" from the International Harold Tribune: Experts skeptical on claim of new discovery in Da Vinci's "Last Supper" July 25, 2007 MILAN, Italy: A computer analyst claimed Wednesday to have discovered new images in Leonardo Da Vinci's "The Last Supper," one of the world's best-loved religious paintings. But some experts were skeptical, dismissing the claim as another spin-off of Dan Brown's best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code." Slavisa Pesci claims to have discovered new images in the 15th mural in the dining hall of Milan's Santa Maria delle Grazie church by superimposing a reverse image on the original image. When doing so, Pesci said he observed, for example, that the two figures on either end of the long table appear to become knights, and that another figure appears to be holding an infant. "It came to mind to scan "The Last Supper" and print it on transparent paper, then superimpose it in reverse on the original image: the result is a new painting, with other figures," Pesci told a news conference.Pesci assigned no meaning to the images, saying he was not an art historian, but suggested it might have reflected Da Vinci's well-known interest in mathematics. But Alessandro Vezzosi, a Leonardo expert and the director of a museum dedicated to the artist in his hometown of Vinci, was skeptical, saying "The Last Supper" was so degraded by time that it was difficult to draw any new conclusions. While he had not yet seen the presentation, he noted that computers lend themselves to any conceivable alterations and that some have inaccurately held that Da Vinci's famed "Mona Lisa" is actually a self-portrait. "I don't like to be negative, because I admire discoveries reached scientifically," Vezzosi said. "If this computer analyst did not make a historic discovery, I hope he created something artistically beautiful." Indeed, reinterpretations of the painting have been sprung up ever since "The Da Vinci Code" fascinated readers and movie-goers with suggestions that one of the apostles sitting on Jesus' right is Mary Magdalene, that the two had a child and that their bloodline continues.

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