New Old Ohio

ov1890A couple of Ohio History Connection sites are reopening this weekend after pretty big makeovers. On Saturday I visited Ohio Village which moved from the 1860s to the 1890s since I last saw it. I’ll reach the Hayes Presidential Center, which reopens with new displays after a major renovation. Saturday’s journal has been posted.

The journal for the trip is here. This entry is to let blog subscribers know of the trip and to provide a place for comments.

Da Vinci — The Genius

dvtg01A new exhibit opened at the Cincinnati Museum Center just over a week ago. Da Vinci — The Genius opened on Friday the 20th and I was there on Monday. It’s a dandy. The exhibit is billed as having “17 themed galleries” and I’m sure that’s true. Another simpler — though not entirely accurate — view is that’s its the “Mona Lisa” and everything else. I say that because the “Mona Lisa” display is quite large and is different from the others. It is the last area reached in the exhibition and the last discussed here.

The bulk of the exhibit consists of modern implementations of devices envisioned by da Vinci some five centuries ago. Using his drawings and descriptions and utilizing materials available when the the ideas were committed to paper, more than 70 of da Vinci’s concepts have been brought to life. Most are full size.

dvtg02dvtg03Devices related to flight appear early in the exhibit. The photo at the top of this article is of the helicopter-like Vite Aerea. In addition to wings, screws, and propellers targeting actual flight, da Vinci sketched out mechanisms intended to test ideas or measure natural forces. Almost all of his “flying machines” were impractical because of weight or other issues. A partial exception is the “parachute” seen in the foreground of the second picture. In 2000, British daredevil Adrian Nichols stepped out of a hot air balloon with a ‘chute built to da Vinci’s specifications. Jumping from 10,000 feet, Nichols rode the 500 year old design to within 2,000 feet of the surface before turning to something more modern. Freeing himself from the pyramid shaped device and deploying something more up to date was not because of any failure of the device to do its job but to prevent being injured by the heavy wood frame on landing.

dvtg06dvtg05dvtg04Leonardo’s earth bound inventions were more viable. The second picture is of a machine used to cut threads on a shaft. The third picture shows an area that breaks from the normal “hands off” museum policy. Here attendees are encouraged to touch and operate the mechanisms to better understand the principles involved and to better appreciate da Vinci’s genius. Da Vinci didn’t invent the “Out of Order” sign but it can be useful in his world. On the day of my visit the Ingranaggio a Lanterna don’t work cause the vandals took the handle.

dvtg08dvtg09dvtg10Enlarged examples of da Vinci’s anatomy studies are displayed as are reproductions of several other drawings and paintings. His “Last Supper” is the subject of a video. The anatomical drawings demonstrate da Vinci’s talent but are also evidence of his boundless curiosity. It’s obviously good to have a healthy supply of both but I find myself thinking that curiosity without talent is to be preferred over talent without curiosity.

dvtg13dvtg12dvtg11A sad truth is that concocting dreadful machines of war was frequently da Vinci’s “day job”. That’s not to say that it was entirely unpleasant to him. He had an interest in the science and art of war at an early age but he often obtained patronage for his artistic endeavors by promising the means to destroy enemies. He certainly wasn’t the last artist/scientist to find that the case.

dvtg14Of his Stanza Degli Specchi, an eight-sided mirrored room, da Vinci said that someone in it “will be able to see every part (of himself) endless times”. There are, of course, parts of me that you are better off not seeing even once but this from-the-shoulder shot is alright.

dvtg17dvtg16dvtg15In 2004, researcher Pascal Cotte was given unparalleled access to the original “Mona Lisa”. The painting was removed from its frame and photographed multiple times with a purpose-built ultra-high-resolution multispectral camera. Analysis of the captured data has resulted in things like an understanding of the original colors and a possible explanation for the apparent absence of eyebrows and lashes. The data was also used to produce a full-sized replica of the original. That’s it in the second picture. That’s also it in the third picture in a true “dark side of the moon” rear view. The two large portraits on the far wall relate to Cotte’s most controversial claim. Cotte believes that four fairly distinct layers can be identified in the painting and that one is an almost finished picture of a completely different woman than the one visible on the surface. On the right is a recreation of that other portrait. Everyone agrees the the painting changed during the many years da Vinci worked on it. Some authorities, however, believe all changes were along the lines of constant tweaking. They are not ready to accept that substantially completed layers were overlaid with other entire layers.

dvtg18Leonardo da Vinci is believed to have spent about fourteen years on the “Mona Lisa” and he still wasn’t entirely done with it when he died. You can use your mobile phone and a chair, frame, and background provided by the museum to complete your own in a fraction of a second. Bring your own Lisa.

Da Vinci — The Genius runs until September 25. Major restoration work will close much of the Museum Center on July 1. The Children’s Museum and the da Vinci exhibit space are in the basement and will remain open. Entry will continue to be through the main doors of Union Terminal.

The Small Trailer Enbrewsiast

ste1When the largest brewer in Dayton, Ohio, started thinking about something to take to local festivals, someone asked “What about that old local company?” As soon as he explained what old local company he was talking about, someone else asked “Why not?”. Next thing you know they’re dragging a nearly sixty year old camper out of the weeds and working on a new beer recipe to go with it. Both had their official debut Saturday.

ste2The brewery in question in Warped Wing Brewing Company. There were already several breweries in and around Dayton when it opened just over two years ago but Warped Wing immediately became the largest. Most of the others are rather small with little or no off-site distribution. Warped Wing’s founders had canning in mind from the day they opened and their draft products are available in many area bars and restaurants.

ste3The “old local company” of interest was Trotwood Trailers who operated for many years in a Dayton suburb of the same name. The company actually got its start in the 1920s with tent campers like the one shown in the poster. It was still operating when fire destroyed the factory in 1981. More information about the company can be found here and here.

ste4ste5I stepped right up to try out the draft version of the new Trotwood Lager. It’s an easy drinking American stye beer with 4.0% ABV and 20 IBU. Modifications have reduced the 1957 Trotwood Economy model’s suitability for family camping but with eight working taps it probably doesn’t matter. Being the sort of guy willing to go the extra mile when needed, I also tried a can for the sake of completeness.

ste8ste7ste6Ohio law prevents carrying a beer purchased outside inside and vice versa. With the sake of completeness still in mind, I stepped inside while my hands were empty. Even though the festivities and music were outside, cool temperatures brought quite a few people inside. Or maybe it was the game room.

Now about that title. I certainly mean no disrespect to Pat Bremer and his seriously informative Small Trailer Enthusiast website. It’s just that sometimes these ideas come and I lack the discipline to ignore them.

dpww1dpww2My stop at Deeds Point before visiting the brewery was pure coincidence. Taking these photos was not. I had some time to kill before the brewery opened and the park was a convenient place to do it. Once I realized that the bronze Orville was demonstrating the twisting of a box that led the brothers to the warped wing principle that allowed them to control their flyer and that gave its name to the brewery where I was headed, a picture seemed super appropriate. As I’m sure you’re aware, it wasn’t getting off the ground that was the breakthrough. It was controlling the aircraft and getting back on the ground that set the Wright Brothers apart.

Trip Peek #37
Trip #109
Christmas Escape Repeat

pv87This picture is from my 2012 Christmas Escape Repeat trip. The repeat in the title is due to my spending Christmas where I had in 2010 aboard the Delta Queen in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The picture is from the New Year’s Eve celebration in Raleigh, North Carolina. I’d thought of ending a year in Raleigh ever since I’d learned that a giant acorn was “dropped” from a crane to mark the occasion. The two holidays anchored the trip with the Chickamauga battlefield, the city of Atlanta, and a little Dixie Highway filling some of the spaces in between.

Trip Peeks are short articles published when my world is too busy or too boring for a current events piece to be completed in time for the Sunday posting. In addition to a photo thumbnail from a completed road trip, each Peek includes a brief description of that photo plus links to the full sized photo and the associated trip journal.

Rhinegeist Maker Day

rmd01Libraries and breweries can both be considered major contributers to the advancement of mankind and one of each came together on Saturday to give that advancement a boost. In early 2015, something called MakerSpace opened at the Cincinnati Public Library. MakerSpace provides many pieces of modern techonogy in support of learning by doing. A selection of MakerSpace equipment filled a section of the Rhinegeist Brewery on Saturday afternoon.

rmd02rmd03rmd04Library personnel were present to assist people of all ages with hands-on activities like decorating ping-pong balls and making buttons. Most MakerSpace equipment made available at the brewery was from the low-tech end of the spectrum but some higher-tech and decidedly more complex equipment is part of the set up at the library. 3-D printing is among the high-tech capabilities available at the library and one was being demonstrated at the brewery but it was not part of the hands-on activity. That’s it in the opening picture midway through printing a copy of a Pokémon Pikachu.

rmd07rmd06rmd05Ella Mumford, who I know through my friendship with her proud father, is Team Leader for the Main Library’s MakerSpace. The table top version of Ella as a 100% redhead is a product of 3-D printing. Being a library presentation, there are, of course, some books on display. While these happen to be about the concept of the “maker” movement and not the product of it, book publishing is a MakerSpace capability.

rmd08rmd09Several cornhole games were taking place in front of the MakerSpace area and the brewery’s normal activities (i.e., selling beer) continued. The markings on the floor are for the whiffle ball games frequently played here.

Trip Peek #36
Trip #39
Tennessee Turkey Trot

pv25This picture is from my 2005 Tennessee Turkey Trot trip when I ran away from home to spend Thanksgiving in Nashville, Tennessee. It was the first time I had attempted a full fledged holiday escape and was just a little tentative. The photo is from my night at the opry. Each winter, the Grand Ole Opry returns to its original home at the Ryman Theater for several shows. I got a great seat for one of those shows along with a picture with “Minnie Pearl”. Other Nashville area attractions I took in included Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage and the Country Music Hall of Fame. The escape seemed to go well with no one actually cursing me when I was close enough to hearing range and other Thanksgiving and Christmas escapes would follow.

Trip Peeks are short articles published when my world is too busy or too boring for a current events piece to be completed in time for the Sunday posting. In addition to a photo thumbnail from a completed road trip, each Peek includes a brief description of that photo plus links to the full sized photo and the trip journal it is from.