Tomorrow’s anniversaries include IBM introduction of personal computing in 1981, the worst commercial plane plane crash at Mount Ogur, Japan took 520 lives (1985) and the Night of the Murdered Poets, Josef Stalin, an antisemitic, ordered the trial and conviction on trumped up charges of 13 prominent Jewish writers and leaders (1952). Birth anniversaries include cinematographer Cecil B DeMille (1881), actress Jane Wyatt (1910), baseballer Christy Mathewson (1880), oater Buck Owens and famous Mexican comic actor Cantinflas (1911).
Andy Warhol, always the media buff, has a new video. They installed a streaming webcam on his grave at St John Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park. They did this to coincide with his birthday (August 6) last week. Filmography was always a big interest to him, two of his projects was Empire, an eight hour long film of the Empire State Building and Sleep which showed John Giorno sleeping for five hours. I remember when I moved up here, there was a video loop in the Warhol Museum of his mother sleeping in a chair. So what would be more fitting than a film at his grave site. Apparently the location on the web has not been released yet. I’ve read a dozen different stories on this and none have an actual address to watch the webcam. There is talk that from the website, you will be able to buy flowers and other memorabilia and watch as it’s delivered to the grave.
Let’s debunk some misconceptions on adopting pets and animal shelters. #1, very few shelters are actually “no kill” facilities. Most shelters euthanize viscous, dogs that can not be rehabbed. Many euthanize animals in their care that have lasted longer than their standard in the facility due to no one adopting it. Sometimes animals are euthanized just because the shelter has reached capacity. It is estimated the between 3M to 4M animals are euthanized each year. Another misconception is that there are “only mutts” in shelters. First of all, as my friend Tony from State College would say, “There are no such things as weeds, just misplaced plants”. Second of all, around 25% of shelter animals are full breed animals. (And many “mutts” make a much better companion than some of those over bred “pure breeds”). Another misconception is that animals in shelters are dysfunctional, why else would someone get rid of a perfectly fine pet. The main reason pets are in shelters is their previous owners can no longer take care of them. Elderly moving into restrictive housing, young professionals moving to new cities, allergies, the list goes on. If a shelter takes in an animal with behavioral problems, they have professional programs to treat the bad behaviors. They would never let a pet be adopted that they didn’t feel comfortable with. It could actually be a liability to them. And here’s the worst part, the vast majority of 18 to 34 year olds would purchase a pet from a breeder or pet store and aren’t even aware of the needs for adoption from shelters. It’s not even on their radar. Here’s some local shelters: Animal League , Animal Rescue , Western PA Humane Society , Animal Friends and Good Dog Rescue .
Next Wednesday, August 14, Irish and Blues band Cue Ball will be performing at the Hemlock Court behind the mansion at Hartwood Acres. It’s “free”, but it’s also a fund raiser by the Friends of Hartwood, founded in 2003, a volunteer group who’s current project is trying to stabilize the stables and barn. They’re requesting a $5 donation and would happily accept something more generous. I didn’t know Hartwood has a dog and even a horse cemetery.
Durham, North Carolina is home to Organic Transit, the manufacturers of the ELF vehicle. It’s a bicycle/electric vehicle hybrid that turns heads when you’re traveling around. The ELF features solar electric assist, disc brakes, and spacious interiors that keep you out of the elements and in view of other drivers. CEO Rob Cotter was working on Porches and BMW and was interested in bikes and their efficiencies came up with the idea for this 130 pound vehicle. They have either sold or have orders for 200 ELF’s. This Made in the USA product is expanding into a production facility in California later this year and hope to increase production to four a day (from one). Their base price is $5,000.
Leaving Brooklyn Navy Yard on September 6, the Station to Station: A Nomadic Happening is scheduled to arrive at the Pennsylvania Station Downtown on September 8 (Across from the new Pittsburgh Transportation Center at Liberty, Grant and 11th). This is a multimedia exhibit will have some fairly edgy music, sculpture and other art forms. The train itself will be LED emblazoned and carry artist Doug Aitken, the organizer of this, and the traveling pieces/artists. They will combine with local artists here for the show before moving on to it’s next stop, Chicago.
Yarn and knitting as a public form of art has been growing in popularity in recent years. A current trend is “yarn bombing”, it is a current trend around the country where people install knitted panels of all sorts around trees, parking meters, even cars. It’s likened to graffiti, in that it’s colorful urban art, but unlike graffiti, it is easily removed with no damage to other people’s property. Knit the Bridge opened this past weekend and runs through Sunday, September 8. The organizers of Knit the Bridge estimated they needed 572 panels measuring 34″ by 72″ (about the size of a standard blanket), they got 650 panels donated by local artists. The project has recruited 90% of Allegheny County municipalities to participate, over 1,800 people have been involved either knitting or assisting in other ways. After the exhibit, the organizers intend to launder the panels and donate them to homeless shelters, not how cool is that?
Southside’s having it’s Secret Gardens Tour next weekend. What’s cool about this tour is we all think of Southside as total hard scape, and much of it is. But tucked away behind walls are a lot of creative use of limited space. You will get to see a traditional Japanese garden, a contemporary pocket garden, a biodome on a roof by the Rex Theater and much more. The self guided tour is next Sunday from 10 am until 2 pm and cost $7 and can be purchased on line at South Side Community Council Tickets. The tour starts at 18th and Carson Streets.
Well, that’s about it for now, take care and enjoy,