We have all we need for everyone to live well.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Seeing the Unseen

Knowing comes to us in many ways. Not all are rational. Not all can be articulated in words. Some of our knowing is knowing that mystery abides, that we will never have better than a fleeting, sidelong glance, or a brief glimpse beyond the veil.

Paul Laffoley

Paintings that function as metaphysical machinery. Article here. Slideshow here.

Alchemy: The Telnomic Process of the Universe, 1973. Source: http://paullaffoley.net/paintings/

Luigi Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus

Hypnogogic imagery brought into the waking world. Articles here and here, and here.

Composer Alexander Belau was inspired by the Codex to write a symphony:

The Voynich Manuscript

A mysterious book from Central Europe in the 15th or 16th century, by an unknown author, in a language found nowhere beyond its pages, of unknown import. Article here. You can page through the entire volume here.

Alex Grey

Access galleries of work by this visionary artist of physical and metaphysical anatomy here. Article here.

Source: http://alexgrey.com/art/paintings/soul/bond/

Carl Jung's Red Book

Carl Jung, Freud's contemporary and early colleague, was one of the greatest explorers of the human unconscious. Article here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Those Darn Robots

Boston Dynamics’ Atlas Robot Walks Like a Human Over Field of Rubble (Singularity Hub)  

Surprisingly simple scheme for self-assembling robots  (MIT)

Ford car takes control of steering to avoid collisions (BBC)


Survival Research Labs' An Explosion of Ungovernable Rage:


Sunrise Walk – October 10

 "Whatever it was I lost, whatever I wept for
Was a wild, gentle thing, the small dark eyes
Loving me in secret.
It is here. At a touch of my hand,
The air fills with delicate creatures
From the other world."
– James Wright

 "Sylvia's hair is like the night,

Touched with glancing starry beams;

Such a face as drifts thro' dreams,

This is Sylvia to the sight.

And the touch of Sylvia's hand

Is as light as milkweed down,

When the meads are golden brown,

And the autumn fills the land..."
– Clinton Scollard

 "ragged wool hanging

the wet milkweed seeds

tethered, connected

moored in their pods

tied still to the ground

hovering limp, heavy

above the earth

waiting for drying

to give them flight, new birth"
– Raymond A. Foss

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Links and Miscellany – October 2

Greek financial crisis has biological health effects; Young adults in Greece suffer more from stress and mental health problems and are less optimistic about the future than Swedes of the same age The horrible psychological and social costs of high youth unemployment (and long-term unemployment generally) are compounded by the fact that the problem could be solved in a day, at the stroke of a pen. There is no shortage of meaningful work to do, no shortage among the unemployed of the skills required to do that work, no shortage of money to pay for the work, and no shortage of real resources for the newly employed to spend their income on: housing, food, clothing, health care, transportation... New money to end unemployment or for any other purpose is simply an accountable measure of public initiative, upon which there are no constraints beyond a citizenry's imagination. Our only real constraints are real resources, of which we have enough for all to live well. That we fail to do this is a stupendous failure of imagination and an enormity.

Bad luck? Knocking on wood can undo jinx: study Much of the fury displayed by self-appointed defenders of science against "pseudo" science and metaphysics is misdirected. We should rather be much more seriously studying and exploiting the placebo effect in all its manifestations, and in general the connections between one's thoughts, one's health and well-being, and the creation of one's external reality.

How to stay sharp in retirement; Motivation key factor in preserving brainpower later in life, Concordia University researchers show

People who exercised more than four hours per week in their leisure time had a 19 percent lower risk of high blood pressure than people who didn’t exercise much; Physical activity at work was not linked to a lower risk of high blood pressure

More corollary and direct evidence for the hygiene theory of disease:
Vacuum Dust: A Previously Unknown Disease Vector Striving to be extra-clean doesn't necessarily make us healthier.

Adults who move to farming areas where they experience a wider range of environmental exposures than in cities may reduce the symptoms of their hypersensitivities and allergies considerably 
Scientists who share data publicly receive more citations Science v. practice of science, episode n+1.

Survival after cancer diagnosis in Europe is strongly associated with how much governments spend on health care In the U.S. we prefer the "Breaking Bad" model.

"The Writer" is a 240-year old programmable handwriting automaton built by clockmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz (h/t BCP).

Take a tour in 1950 of the Wurlitzer jukebox factory, a remarkable film on many levels.

Your daily dose of beauty.
Blaze of Glory

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Walking Music – A Disquiet Junto Project

About seven months ago I began participating in the Disquiet Junto, "a series of weekly communal music projects [that] explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity." Weekly assignments are made on Thursday night and are due by the following Monday night. The word "junto" is taken from "a club for mutual improvement established in 1727 by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. Also known as the Leather Apron Club, its purpose was to debate questions of morals, politics, and natural philosophy, and to exchange knowledge of business affairs." The Disquiet Junto is primarily a Soundcloud group found here; there is more about the project on moderator Marc Weidenbaum's Disquiet website.

There is no expectation that contributors complete each assignment – you can come and go as you please. I appreciate the challenge of responding to such widely varying assignments under short deadlines, and the very different responses made by a diverse collection of musicians and sound artists from all over the world. It is a supportive and enthusiastic group.

These are the instructions for the latest project:
Disquiet Junto Project 0091: Walking Music

This week's project takes as its source material that most natural and quotidian of rhythms: the sound of walking.

The instructions are simple. You will make four recordings of yourself walking. You will then combine those recordings as you see fit into a single original piece of music. You will add nothing to the four recordings. You can cut up and otherwise transform the source audio as you see fit, but it should always be recognizable as the sound of walking. The resulting track will explore various themes, including texture, rhythm, percussion, momentum, and the inherent musical qualities of field recordings.

Deadline: Monday, September 30, 2013, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Your track should have a duration of between one and five minutes.

Information: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto.

Title/Tag: Include the term “disquiet0091-walkingmusic” in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: Please consider employing a license that allows for attributed, commerce-free remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track, be sure to include this information:

More on this 91st Disquiet Junto project, which explores the musical qualities of footsteps, at:


More details on the Disquiet Junto at:


Associated image found via Flickr:


- end -
I made a field recording as I walked through the rural property where I reside, along lanes and trails and through meadows, over a variety of surfaces that included gravel, grass, leaves, snapping twigs, and a creek crossing with chunks of concrete as stepping stones. Throughout the walk I kept a rhythmic pace to facilitate combination of different segments of the recording. I selected four excerpts of the recording that had distinctive sonic qualities, including a graveled portion of a lane, tall grass in a meadow, a creek crossing, and a squirrel’s chatter.

In the project recording, the four excerpts are first heard unaltered and in sequence; the excerpts are then combined and processed in various ways to complete the piece. Here is the result:

This is a section of the path I walked to make the initial field recording.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gamelan Girdles the Globe

If I could choose the circumstances of an alternative life I might very well choose to be born in Bali at a time before modern Western influences. Bali, where "we have no art – everything we do is art", perfected a sustainable agriculture centuries ago; the people satisfied all their material needs with only three or four hours of work a day, and used the remainder of their time for creative endeavors and interactions with family and friends. Among the extraordinary achievements of the Balinese is their music, one form of which is the gamelan orchestra. I embraced this music wholeheartedly upon first hearing, as have many others, including Western musicians whose compositions were influenced by the gamelan.

Here is an image of a gamelan orchestra. Every gamelan is a set of matched instruments, in tune and in tone with one another. There are a number of amateur ensembles in the U.S. and I wish to someday have the opportunity to play with one of them.

This is a classical presentation from Bali.

This is Armenian-American Alan Hovhannes' Koke No Niwa (Moss Garden) for clarinet, harp, and percussion.

This is Californian-American composer Lou Harrison's Main Bersama-Sama (Playing Together).

And this is the British progressive rock band King Crimson's Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part 1.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Links and Miscellany – September 28 – One of Those Good News, Bad News Kind of Days

Iran Hacked US Navy Computers The cyberwars are well underway, and since the U.S. has declared the Internet a free-fire zone I don't think we can expect any nation to play nice.

The September 24, 2013 magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck the Baluchistan province of northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 350 people and leaving more than 100,000 homeless, created a bizarre-looking island in the Paddi Zirr (West Bay) near Gwadar, Pakistan.
Source: NASA Earth Observatory website

World’s biggest solar thermal power plant fired up in California Circular arrays of mirrors reflect sunlight to central towers, heating water to produce steam, which spins turbines and produces electricity.
© BrightSource Energy

Bond market algo-traders steal a march on competitors, get market-moving information from the Federal Reserve milliseconds early – leaks from the Fed's "lockup room" suspected. The financial sector is now 40% of the U.S. economy but is good for very little. In almost every instance, making money off of money is an abuse of We the People's currency, serves no public purpose, and makes the lives of ordinary citizens not a whit better.

31 Photos From the Golden Age of Airships, When Zeppelins Ruled the Sky (Gizmodo) From childhood I've loved airships almost as much as steam locomotives.

Super luxury "Seven Star" train unveiled in Japan Bringing the opulence of passenger airships to the rails.

Discover Thomas Jefferson’s Cut-and-Paste Version of the Bible, and Read the Curious Edition Online (Open Culture) You can, virtually, leaf through the well-used original here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Your Daily Dose of Ecstasy

Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music that has manifested as a type of popular music centered in Pakistan but which has spread across Asia. It is exemplified by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan who is widely considered to have been one of the best singers the human race has ever produced. Here's a little Nusrat to make your heart beam.

And courtesy of Daniel Ladinsky's powers of translation, here is a little Hafiz:

Venus Just Asked Me

For just one minute out of the day

It may be of value to torture yourself
With thoughts like,

"I should be doing
A hell of a lot more with my life than I am —
Cause I'm so damn talented."

But remember,
For just one minute out of the day.

With all the rest of your time,
It would be best
To try
Looking upon your self more as God does.

For He knows
Your true royal nature.

God is never confused
And can see Only Himself in you.

My dear,
Venus just leaned down and asked me
To tell you a secret, to confess

She's just a mirror who has been stealing
Your light and music for centuries.

She knows as does Hafiz,
You are the sole heir to
The King.

Finally, a fragment from Rainer Maria Rilke's Uncollected Poems:

Looking up from my book, from the close countable lines,
into the finished-full night outside:
how in starry measure my packed feelings scatter,
as though a bouquet of wildflowers
were being untied:

youth of the light ones and bending sway of the heavy ones
and the tender ones' hesitant curve—.
Everywhere joy in relation and nowhere any craving;
world in excess and earth sufficient.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Links and Miscellany – September 25 – AV Edition

Bang On A Can All-Stars perform Steve Reich live at Nantes Cité des Congrès July 26, 2012 (mp3, audience recording) Clapping Music, Cello Counterpoint, Piano Phase / Video Phase, Nagoya Guitars, New York Counterpoint, 2x5 / création française.

The Residents – Eyes Scream (1990) (video) "This irreverent pseudo-documentary about the band The Residents blends comedy with live clips, music videos, interviews and documentary footage. Spanning the years 1972 to 1990, and including clips from the recent album The King and Eye and fragments of the band's 'media mercenary' work, the program romps through established notions of pop culture, the music industry and the nature of musical invention, replacing them with the iconoclastic vision of The Residents. Director: John Sanborn. With: Penn & Teller. Producer: Debbie Lepsinger. Produced by The Cryptic Corporation."

The Residents – Twenty Twisted Questions (1972-1991) (video) "Twenty Twisted Questions is a 1992 Laserdisc by American avant-garde group 'The Residents'. It is a compilation of the band's history up to Freak Show, their then multimedia project."

Laurie Anderson – Aive From Off Center – Episode J (September 1, 1986) (video) "Late Show" from 'Home of the Brave' and "What Do You Mean We?"

From IMDB: "For generations, Mel Blanc was one of the most famous Hollywood voice actors with his myriad of voices for classic animated characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and scores of others. However, animation was only one of the fields where Blanc shone through in his long career. This film covers the life of this amazingly talented and big hearted actor, comedian and musician as he became one of the performing greats from the golden ages of American animation and radio through to the 1980s."


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Links and Miscellany – September 24

Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government One reason democracy is so difficult. In this study, the “Science Comprehension Thesis”, which identifies defects in the public’s knowledge and reasoning capacities as the source of such controversies was refuted, while the “Identity-protective Cognition Thesis”, which treats cultural conflict as disabling the faculties that members of the public use to make sense of decision-relevant science, was supported. When confronted with scientific data that are at odds with their political biases, even highly numerate persons reject the data and retain their biases.

Gun retailers strongly support expanded criteria for denying gun purchases, UC Davis survey finds "The survey is believed to be the first of its kind to gather the views of federally licensed firearms dealers and pawnbrokers on important social issues and the firearms business itself."

No detectable association between frequency of marijuana use and health or healthcare utilization "Researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found frequency of marijuana use was not significantly associated with health services utilization or health status. These findings currently appear online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine."

Online time can hobble brain’s important work "Erik Fransén, whose research focuses on short-term memory and ways to treat diseased neurons, says that a brain exposed to a typical session of social media browsing can easily become hobbled by information overload. The result is that less information gets filed away in your memory."

The Pursuit of Hopefulness in Entertainment Media "Participants were assigned to one of three media groups - underdog narrative, comedy, and nature scenes - or a no-media control group. Those in the media groups were assigned to view one 5-minute video clip per day for five consecutive days. Following this period, those in the underdog narrative group felt more hopeful and reported greater motivation to pursue their own goals than those in other conditions. And, partially consistent with Prestin’s second hypothesis, the emotional experience of hope was durable, with hopefulness remaining at elevated levels up to three days after the final media exposure."

A new index of happiness based on migratory flows and not on subjective answers to surveys "The first places in this ranking are occupied by countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway, Israel, South Korea, Sweden, Canada and Australia. Bolivia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Cameroon, Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, Afghanistan, South Africa and China are at the bottom of the list."

Why humans are musical: Self-generated sounds of locomotion and ventilation and the evolution of human rhythmic abilities Maybe...

Covert operations: Your brain digitally remastered for clarity of thought Using fMRI biofeedback to retrain one's own brain.

Mysterious, beautiful, achingly poignant short from experimental filmmaker Nick Abrahams set to music by Icelandic ambient rockers Sigur Rós:

This three-part documentary on the life and work of Carl Jung is full of rich information, not least of which is the exposure of science and technology as the central myth of modern life, and its new religion.

Life Always Gives You Exactly What You Need, Exactly When You Need It

From one of my favorite guerrilla ontologists, Rob Brezsny:
OBJECTIVE: To explore the secrets of becoming a wildly disciplined, fiercely tender, ironically sincere, scrupulously curious, aggressively sensitive, blasphemously reverent, lyrically logical, lustfully compassionate Master of Rowdy Bliss. 
DEFINITION: Pronoia is the antidote for paranoia. It's the understanding that the universe is fundamentally friendly. It's a mode of training your senses and intellect so you're able to perceive the fact that life always gives you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. 
HYPOTHESES: Evil is boring. Cynicism is idiotic. Fear is a bad habit. Despair is lazy. Joy is fascinating. Love is an act of heroic genius. Pleasure is your birthright. Receptivity is a superpower. 
PROCEDURE: Act as if the universe is a prodigious miracle created for your amusement and illumination. Assume that secret helpers are working behind the scenes to assist you in turning into the gorgeous masterpiece you were born to be. Join the conspiracy to shower all of creation with blessings. 
GUIDING QUESTION: "The secret of life," said sculptor Henry Moore to poet Donald Hall, "is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for your whole life. And the most important thing is — it must be something you cannot possibly do." What is that task for you? 
UNDIGNIFIED MEDITATIONS TO KEEP YOU HONEST: Brag about what you can't do and don't have. Confess profound secrets to people who aren't particularly interested. Pray for the success of your enemies while you're making love. Change your name every day for a thousand days. 
TO READ AND HEAR THE REST OF THIS PIECE, go here: http://bit.ly/xROwHE

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Links and Miscellany – September 22

Points in Space Critically acclaimed collaboration for the screen by choreographer Merce Cunningham, composer John Cage, and filmmaker Elliot Caplan. If you have any affinity at all for modern dance, this is a must-see. And if you do not, this just may change your mind.

Philosophers at work Tenth graders in Madison, Wisconsin were asked to make drawings of a philosopher at work.

Antibacterial products fuel resistant bacteria in streams and rivers Corollary evidence for the hygiene theory of disease.

Antibiotic resistance threats in the US 2013 Centers for Disease Control (pdf) "...the potentially catastrophic consequences of inaction... Estimates vary but have ranged as high as $20 billion in excess direct healthcare costs, with additional costs to society for lost productivity as high as $35 billion a year... The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world... up to 50% of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed. Antibiotics are also commonly used in food animals to prevent, control, and treat disease, and to promote the growth of food-producing animals. The use of antibiotics for promoting growth is not necessary, and the practice should be phased out..."

US nearly detonated atomic bomb over North Carolina in 1961 "Using freedom of information, Schlosser discovered that at least 700 'significant' accidents and incidents involving 1,250 nuclear weapons were recorded between 1950 and 1968 alone."

Robert Heinlein Imagines the Year 2000 in 1949, and Gets it Mostly Wrong The perils of prognostication.

Isaac Asimov’s 1964 Predictions About What the World Will Look 50 Years Later — in 2014 On the other hand...

A recent discovery for me, this remarkable progressive rock concept album from 1971 by Serge Gainsbourg. As Josh, my partner in The Main Sequence, said, "I love the contrast between the cool acid rock and Gainsbourg's louche recitations." Some additional context here.

What they're sailing in the America's Cup this year. The very rich have some nice toys.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Nearly the Equinox

The cosmos proceeds. The world turns. From a peach turning apricot horizon sprang Old Sol to illuminate this crisp autumn day heavy with dew.

And under the aegis of the nearly full moon I was, once again, a gnomon.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Links and Miscellany – September 20

There is no dark side of the moon, as shown by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Glimpses of our robot infested future:


A peaceful summer morning.

Turkey Totem

The several local family groups of wild turkeys have flocked together in recent weeks and I've seen quite a bit of them, in the woods and fields and even around the house as they pass through on foot, snapping constantly at something – insects? grass and weed seeds? They're notoriously wary creatures, so it's been a rare pleasure to have so many up-close viewing experiences.

The hens lay large clutches of eggs, as shown in this image of a nest I stumbled upon last spring, but evidently not many survive.

The flock at the largest I've seen lately consists of four hens, nine juveniles, and a tom.

They roost high above in old growth hickory and oak trees. Beneath these trees, and in lesser numbers along the trails in the woods and around the fields, I've found lots of feathers and have been assembling these into a totem at one of the lane gate posts.

Speaking of rare experiences, yesterday I came upon a whitetail doe resting in tall grass in a clearing in the woods that did not startle until I was just ten feet away. She bounded off but only to a distance of about 60 feet, then turned and came several steps back toward me. We considered one another for about five minutes in which time she came forward several more steps before finally turning aside to be lost from view behind a bramble of blackberries.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Links – September 19

  • Flame amplification and a better hi-fi loudspeaker? A Popular Electronics article from 1968. "Flame which behaves physically and electrically like a high-fidelity loudspeaker ... and has inherent amplification besides," explains Dr. A. G. Cattaneo, manager of United Technology Center's Sunnyvale, Calif., Physical Sciences Laboratory, and one of flame amplification's three co-discoverers. h/t JH
  • A world of machine-driven alphas and lesser beings Truthdig. Tyler Cowen's Average Is Over – "It might be called the age of the genius machines, and it will be the people who work with them that will rise. One day soon we will look back and see that we have produced two nations—a fantastically successful nation, working in the technologically dynamic sectors, and everyone else. Average is over."
  • Wide-Faced Men Make Others Act Selfishly "Two assistant professors of management at the University of California, Riverside and several other researchers have previously shown that men with wider faces are more aggressive, less trustworthy and more prone to engaging in deception. Now, in a just-published paper, they have shown, in a series of four studies, that individuals behave more selfishly when interacting with men with wider faces and this selfish behavior elicits selfish behavior in others."
  • Exposure to Pig Farms and Manure Fertilizers Associated with MRSA Infections "Researchers from Geisinger’s Henry Hood Center for Health Research and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have for the first time found an association between living in proximity to high-density livestock production and community-acquired infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA."
  • Lifestyle Changes May Lengthen Telomeres, A Measure of Cell Aging UC San Francisco. "A small pilot study shows for the first time that changes in diet, exercise, stress management and social support may result in longer telomeres, the parts of chromosomes that affect aging. It is the first controlled trial to show that any intervention might lengthen telomeres over time."
  • Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend TED Talk. "New research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others."
  • Harold Budd & Eraldo Bernocchi Fragment One and Fragment Two Gorgeous musical dreams.

At dusk a couple days ago, a young buck stopped by to browse windfalls from the big apple tree in the kitchen orchard.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Steam Up!

I spent a very enjoyable Saturday on Labor Day weekend at the 2013 Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, a celebration of farm power from the early days of mechanization. The main attractions for me were the steamers – traction engines, locomotives, and stationary engines – but there was much else of interest...

...including this carousel powered by a stationary steam engine and accompanied by music from a Wurlitzer mechanical military band. You might want to let the following video play while you scroll through the rest of the photos.

I arrived shortly after the gates opened, early enough to wander around while the steam traction engine (precursors to today's tractors) and locomotive crews were firing up their equipment for the day. The fireboxes are fueled with wood or oil to raise stream in the boilers that power the pistons.

Most of the farm engines were rated in the 25-40 horsepower range, but this giant Case was 110 horsepower, with drive wheels four-feet wide and eight-feet diameter.

This is a Kelly Springfield roller for road construction, beautifully restored.

The reunion grounds are a permanent museum surrounded by narrow gauge railroad tracks, and there is an excellent collection of locomotives and rolling stock. This locomotive is wood fired.

This locomotive is oil fired.

This is the famous Westinghouse air brake unit that revolutionized railroad safety by "failing on".

At the height of the steam railroad era, all sorts of curious vehicles were made to travel the rails, including this hack of a Ford Model A.

Most of the uses to which farm traction engines were put involved driving accessory equipment, such as this lumber mill, with belts from power take-offs.

This Advance-Rumely was powering the mill.

These are images from the big parade by many of the more than 900 tractors on display, including about 80 steamers.

I attended the tractor pull competition, which involves pulling a special sled that continuously adds effective weight to the tractor's drawbar, to see how far it can go. This recording captures a remarkable bit of work by a traction engine operator as he changes gears on the fly to win the event.

Here's a larger image of competitors lining up for the tractor pull.

During the steam era, stationary engines had many uses, from generating electricity to pumping water to air blowing to driving line shafts that could run an entire machine shop. The steam for all the engines in this building is provided by a central boiler.

This next set of images is from the threshing exhibition, separating feed grains from the surrounding chaff and attached straw.

This is a traction engine-driven veneer mill that shaves long layers just a few millimeters thick from rolling butts of timber.

Steam power never completely replaced horse power on the farm; that didn't occur until gasoline, diesel, and electricity became ubiquitous in the 1940s and '50s. This is a well drilling rig from about 1910. It can bore a 36-inch diameter well to a depth of 120 feet. The horse in this exhibition amazed me for being so attuned to his human partner operating the rig. The man was giving a running commentary to the audience as he and his assistant lowered and raised the bucket, attached and detached drill shafts, emptied and cleaned the bucket. Amidst his patter he would issue one-word commands to the horse who responded instantly and without error; he knew exactly what speech was for him and what was for others. Working animal partners have almost vanished today; we live in a thoroughly human-focused world.