Bits of Stone
Roger Givens’ 2013 calendar offers excellent photographs, important message
For the third consecutive year Roger Givens has produced a local calendar with interesting national photographs, each integrated with an appropriate message from the Book of Psalms. The calendars sell for $15 and the profits benefit a project of Mount Lebanon Baptist Church, being used in support of its purchase of 50 acres of land nearby.
The title of the calendar is “Behold His Glory, Celebrating the Majesty of God’s Creation.”
Many remember Roger as the founder of Blount Discount Pharmacy. He started out working in wedding photography and then earned his qualifications as a pharmacist and founded Blount Discount.
The Armory Place store has frequently had the largest volume of a single local drug store in Tennessee.
Since he retired from the pharmaceutical business, Roger devotes more time to his hobby of photography. He travels some with well-known Ken Jenkins of Gatlinburg, making five or six trips a year to record the nation’s scenery and photographic sites.
This year’s calendar includes a photograph of the Becky Cable house in Cades Cove and a rural farm scene from Blount County. Other views are from as far west as Idaho and Mount Rushmore to the New England Coast in the east.
The calendars are scarce but a wonderful way to help a deserving project.
DENSO’s Dave Ogle had an outstanding term as United Way campaign chairman
The name Dave Ogle is familiar to all who worked hard on the recently successful United Way of Blount County campaign. I had the good fortune of meeting Dave soon after DENSO arrived when he was serving as “translator” between early corporate arrivals and local media. It has been interesting to watch and appreciate his development as a community leader.
The Wisconsin man with a warm smile led the county to a successful completion of the county campaign and DENSO associates in exceeding the company goal by 15 percent.
Associates at DENSO, Blount’s largest employer, gave more than $207,000 and the company gave $53,000 to the campaign. Associates also provided strong help to the Burger Lunch event which raised $5,750 and featured service responders who grilled and helped serve the hamburger meals.
DENSO developing large ‘Head-up Display’
The international firm expects to have the world’s largest windshield display of driver information on the market in 2015. The idea is to eventually provide full windshield displays of information critical to the driver who will not need to take his or her eyes off the road to check the speed at which they are traveling and other important information.
The new, larger display can allow drivers to view pedestrians, objects of obstruction or virtual lane markings at night or during low visibility. It can integrate vehicle navigation and can project virtual directions and lane guidance on the windshield to provide information to the driver more quickly and naturally.
Most of all, it should greatly improve safety. Such DENSO products are normally available in a number of American and foreign vehicle brands.
The firm is also developing an interesting project with Toyota electric vehicles in Japan. Without going into great detail, it will enable charged electric vehicles to supply power to homes and other related exchanges and trade-offs. This would eliminate some of today’s problems.
Mental_floss offers different take on art, important things of history
Some consider looking at life from a different perspective and a lighter vein as a waste of time but others of us consider it both informative and entertaining.
For example, in the January-February issue of Mental_floss magazine is a page of information about the famous painting of Mona Lisa which Leonardo da Vinci began with a sitting in 1503 and finished 16 years later.
While the subject’s identity has been hotly contested, most scholars think the painting depicts Lisa Gherardini, 24, the wealthy wife of a Florence, Italy, cloth merchant.
It was groundbreaking at the time it was painted because of the close focus on the subject and Lisa’s gaze at the viewer.
Though an Italian painting, it has always resided in France. King François I acquired it after Leonardo’s death and hung it in his royal bathroom.
It then was on the wall of Napoleon’s bedroom until it was moved to the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1804.
By the early 20th century the Mona Lisa was receiving so much mail it had its own mailbox at the Louvre.
50 years ago Mona Lisa visited Washington
Fifty years ago, on Jan. 8, Mona Lisa made her first visit to the United States. The French government lent the Mona Lisa to President John F. Kennedy and the American people. Before the tour, France had its value assessed at $100 million, more than $760 million in today’s money and still a Guinness record. They decided it would be cheaper to have heavy security. Today, the painting is protected by bullet-proof glass as well as good security.
While on exhibit at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., four hours of visiting was added each day and patrons still stood in line for two hours for a glimpse of the portrait, which fortunately I had visited five years earlier in Paris.
A former fortress, the Louvre may be the world’s greatest art museum.
It became a public museum in 1793, two years before the founding of Maryville and Blount County, with 2,500 paintings.
It now has some 30,000 on display. Its website listing of Renaissance period art places Mona Lisa after Michelangelo’s Slaves.
We usually recall an American cartoon when we think of Mona Lisa. This hurried American, caught a cab to the Louvre, anxious to impress associates with his knowledge of art, he told the cab driver to just wait at the door, he was going to run inside and take a quick look at the Mona Lisa!
Whether hanging in an in-house out house or the world’s most significant museum, at 490 years of age she still looks pretty good.
American Indian Museums tell rich story of heritage
• The National Museum of the American Indian, operates two museums, one in lower Manhattan and one on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
They have more than 825,000 items on display representing more than 12,000 years and 1,200 indigenous cultures throughout the Americas.
In an effort to overcome the all-too-often primary thoughts about Indians as reflected in cigar store Indians, tepees, tomahawks, peace pipes and Indian givers it points out:
Sixty percent of the world’s food supply comes from crops first cultivated by Native Americans, including potatoes, beans, corn, peanuts, pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, peppers, nuts, melons and sunflower seeds.
Native Americans were the first to raise turkeys and honeybees for food purposes.
To facilitate trade between tribal groups, native societies developed a complex system of hand signals that foreshadowed modern sign language.
They also invented or pioneered in the use of many items we take for granted such as canoes, toboggans, snow shoes, baby carriers, tobacco, rubber and quinine.
Like many nonprofit organizations, it is in need of support. Gifts that are tax-exempt for federal income tax purposes may be made to National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 96836, Washington, D.C. 20090-6836.
• The world of today continues to learn from its past. Brenden Foley, 43, maritime archaeologist and his Greek colleagues, work with numerous robots to speed up that effort.
Their initial effort involved 100-foot deep water off the coast of the small rocky island of Dia.
The island is about eight miles north of Heraklion, the capital of the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea.
Heraklion has been an active port for 6,000 years and many ships have wrecked on the undersea cliffs of Dia.
Popular Science magazine reports Foley’s goal is to speed up location and examination of ship-wreck sites and make maritime archaeology a hard science. He uses the latest equipment such as $15,000 rebreathers which enable divers to work longer under water and far more expensive robots.
He is focused on Bronze Age wrecks from 3500 to 1200 B.C. and plans other projects in the Mediterranean Sea.
There are an estimated 300,000 sunken ships over its nearly 1 million square miles, around which much of early civilization spread.
Unless he can speed up methods, he estimates it would require 2,658 years to map the floor of the Mediterranean!
Dean Stone is editor of The Daily Times.