Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Is it true: Oregon, Arizona, and Canada Named

vaudeville
Flora Spiegelberg, "Reminiscenses of a Jewish Bride of the Santa Fe Trail" in Sharon Niederman, ed., A Quilt of Words: Women's Diaries, Letters and Original Accounts of Life in the Southwest, 1860-1960. Boulder CO: Johnson Books, 1988, pp. 27-28—

During the long expeditions of the Conquistadors, Coronado went from Mexico to Colorado in search of gold and silver treasures. He was greatly surprised to find among the peaceably inclined Indians a well-regulated community life in their pueblos or villages. While the Conquistador was transversing what is now Oregon and Arizona, he met several tribes of Indians with very large ears, so he called them "orejones," or "Big Ears." Another tribe that had very long noses, he called "Nazizones," or "Big Noses." We Americans have translated these Spanish names to "Arizona" and "Oregon." 

Another similar incident: the first explorers of what is the province of Canada today, were Spaniards, as usual, in search of gold and silver, and not finding it. As they marched away, they said, "Aqui Nada," meaning, "There is nothing." Later on, when the French explorers came and asked the Indians the name of their country, they replied what they had heard the departing Spanish say, "Aqui Nada," and thus the French changed it to, "Canada."

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Graphic Design Alum | Matthew Menz at UNI

Poster © Phil Fass (2019)
Coming Thursday evening of this week: Matthew Menz, graduate of the Graphic Design Program at the University of Northern Iowa, and now Amazon Web Services Director in San Francisco, will speak in the Art Auditorium, Kamerick Room 111, at 7:00 pm, September 12, 2019. Free and open to the public. Made possible by funding from The Elena Diane Curris Endowment for Design.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Typecasting | Twain translated from the jug

Digital Montage © Roy R. Behrens (n.d.)
Mark Twain, No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger: Being an Ancient Tale Found in a Jug, and Freely Translated from the Jug. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982. This is very odd novel, perhaps one of the strangest books ever written by the American humorist. This passage is a description of a character called Frau Stein, as if written by someone who sets metal type by hand—

…she was a second edition of her mother—just plain galley-proof, neither revised nor corrected, full of turned letters, wrong fonts, outs and doubles, as we say in the printing-shop—in a word, pi, if you want to put it remorselessly strong and yet not strain the facts. Yet if it ever would be fair to strain facts it would be fair in her case, for she was not loath to strain them herself when so minded. Moses Haas said that whenever she took up an en-quad fact, just watch her and you would see her try to cram it in where there wasn't breathing-room for a 4-m space; and she'd do it, too, if she had to take the sheep-foot to it. Isn't it neat? Doesn't it describe it to a dot?

Einstein and Wertheimer | Street Peek-A-Boo

D. Brett King and Michael Wertheimer, Max Wertheimer and Gestalt Theory. New Brunswick NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2005, p. 122—

He [Albert Einstein] seemed also to relish his intellectual and social exchanges with [his friend, Gestalt psychologist Max] Wertheimer. Wertheimer was once amused when he and Einstein consecutively covered their right and left eyes with their hands to test the effects of retinal disparity (the slightly different images of the same object on the two retinas because of the spatial separation of the eyes) as they stared at a church steeple.  Watching these figures on the street corner, a crowd soon gathered and the two were surprised to see that the onlookers were also engaging in this curious behavior, shifting their hands back and forth over their eyes. more>>>