January 1st, 2009

krazy koati

Love is all you need

And a most happy new year! Particularly where it's needed.

For my father I had an unusually well-received gift: Works Progress Administration poster art for various National Parks and Forests and Stuff. These were made at various points in the 1930s in that fashionable style of one or two colors and backgrounds that urge one to SEE AMERICA, sometimes without bothering to specifically identify in what state a particular national forest or park might be found, although it might identify the art as from the Federal Art Project, New York City, and somehow Central Park didn't make the cut. That's not so bad for Yellowstone, which is pretty unambiguous, but some of these places out west I know I've never heard of and I'd have to search for them on the Internet. I don't know what people in 1936 would do. Wait, I suppose. My father estimated he'd been to nine out of the thirteen featured.

The posters have a reasonably interesting history, which is to say that after they were used in the 1930s they were pretty much forgotten about and rediscovered by accident on their way to being thrown out. I do hate when that sort of thing happens, particularly when it's a poster trying to drum up some interest in one of the many, many spots in the Rocky Mountains: this one advertises that there are NO MODERN CONVENIENCES (which in that era I believe meant pillows and wood for fires), that one can get there only on foot or on horseback, that the temperatures are BELOW FREEZING EVERY NIGHT, and, oh, that there are NO TREES to obstruct that view of rock-like mountains. Rocky Mountain National Park, here I come!

I noticed that among other things a spot in Saint Augustine, Florida, was featured and shown off by the Department of the Interior. This is even though Saint Augustine is most assuredly not the interior of the United States. It's right at the very edge. Maybe back then they were trying to count Cuba.

Trivia: The Roman Emperor Commodius tried to rename the first month of the year `Amazonius', after one of his many names. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered The Language Of Symmetry, Mario Livio.