• Green Scarf Dispatch Company

Weekend 213.3 (bits and bobs)

En Route on the Sloped Road(1) “What other commute can compete with the sights of the limestone Landwasser Viaduct and the Piz Bernina peak?” – MONOCLE, February 2012

(2) Kibun is NO Toast but he’s squishy nonetheless

(2a) PRICELESS: “Botan! Plushie mode. This is one of Botan’s seven tricks. When she’s like this people will think you’re a plushie enthusiast rather than someone smuggling a boar into class.”

(3) Can a Papermaker Help to Save Civilization? (NYTIMES)

(3a) Ed!t

More Goodies from the Train Show

This is the second pamphlet/brochure from the train show and this one is in fantastic shape. This is a promotional piece (12 panels) for the second year of the 1939/1940 NY World’s Fair and includes an advertisement for New Railroads on Parade. This dramatic musical extravaganza was presented by the Eastern Railroads. The pamphlet/brochure is underwritten (sponsored) by the New Haven Railroad!

“Streamlined AIR CONDITIONED Coaches offer you every modern travel luxury and convenience at amazingly low 2¢-a mile coach fares. Make the Grill Car your modern rendezvous en route! Refreshments, sandwiches, complete meals…at low prices.”

There are also ads for the American Jubilee, Aquacade, and Magic Fountains.

“COMBINING WATER, fire, and sound in a starlit symphony, this inspiring show is given nightly at the Lagoon of Nations…FREE!”

Romantic. Some of the other panels include editorials for local hotels (plenty of rooms and low prices) and affordable dining options (eat within your budget).

Makoto Shinkai

Weekend 200.1

Box Car IFound a pamphlet from the 1948 Chicago Railroad Fair at the Housatonic Model Railroad Club / Fairfield Historical Society train show this morning.

From the pamphlet

Retracing The Growth of a Nation
As American railroading has grown so has the nation. Steel rails have been the veritable backbone of our country in its development from a loosely-knit federation of infant states on the eastern seaboard to a thoroughly united empire.

The B & O’s initial efforts shortly after the War of 1812 making American railroading a practical reality for the first time…the history-making debuts shortly later of such famed early trains as the old DeWitt Clinton in upper New York…the Pioneer puffing its way out of Chicago on its maiden trip only a century ago to open up the plains of the West…and the great streamlined mammoths of recent years have all played their part in American destiny.

In Chicago this summer, the Chicago Railroad Fair graphically retraces this parallel history of railroading and the nation to give America its first great outdoor exposition since the war.

1948 Chicago Railroad Fair: Connection to Walt Disney
“Walt mused that Ward Kimball, a railroad enthusiast himself, always seemed relaxed, so he called Kimball and asked if he wanted to accompany him. They took the Super Chief from Pasadena…The president of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, Lenox Lohr, who hosted the fair, let Walt and Kimball backstage at a pageant called Wheels a Rolling, presented on a 450-foot platform off Lake Michigan embedded with tracks for historic locomotives. Walt was even allowed to run several of the old engines and appeared briefly in the show…In addition to the show, the fair featured exhibits—”lands,” one observer called them: a replica of the New Orleans French quarter erected by the Illinois Central Railroad; a dude ranch; a generic national park with a geyser that erupted every fifteen minutes, sponsored by several of the western railroads; and an Indian village set up by Santa Fe…But for all the fun and diversion Walt enjoyed at the fair, it was, like the trip to Goderich the previous summer, a journey into the past as well—a journey to rediscover himself and to rekindle his passions…Once they were in Chicago, Kimball, a musician, wanted to visit some jazz clubs. Walt refused. Instead, one night Walt coaxed Kimball into riding the elevated train with him as Walt, looking out the window, described the scenes of his youth in the city.”

Excerpt from Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler

Historical Context
“Hansen’s economics were part of a broader return to the frontier in the 1930s. Richard Slotkin has written of the revival of the Hollywood Western in 1939 as a renewed engagement with the idea of the frontier at precisely that moment when the United States had to negotiate its role in the new war in Europe. The frontier, as a myth about expansion, boundaries, borders, or more generally about national identity understood in terms of territory, provided a fertile trope for filmmakers to editorialize on the politics of the day. The frontier, as an inherently American experience, provided a conceptual border between Old World Europe and native traditions. As Slotkin argues, repetition over time conventionalized the frontier myth, creating a “deeply encoded and resonant set of symbols, ‘icons,’keywords,’ or historical cliches. In this form, myth becomes a basic constituent of linguistic meaning and of the processes of both personal and social remembering…The home front turned to the frontier as a persuasive keyword that helped “Americanize” planning by couching it as a modern, urban descendant of manifest destiny, the next stage in the development of “American Civilization.” Linking planning to the frontier connoted expansion, progress, freedom, and rugged individualism, all of which posed important counterpoints to the Depression and to the totalitarian associations of of fascist or communist planning. Frontier rhetoric also fed American desires to frame their experience as exceptional, rooted in the character of the land itself and therefore inevitable.”

Excerpt from 194X: Architecture, Planning, and Consumer Culture on the American Home Front by Andrew M. Shanken

Weekend 193.0 (Planes, Trains and Automobiles)

(1) Window of the World

(2) FIAT Drive In

(3) Ryōmō Line

(3a) East Japan Railway Company

(3b) Iwafune Station

(3c) Tribute to Makoto Shinkai (Part III)

(4) Tony Parsons jets into Heathrow airport as writer-in-residence

(4a) Heathrow writers-in-residence give new meaning to airport novels

(5) The One Airport to Avoid Is… (WSJ)

Weekend 192.1

(1) Trouble on the China Express (WSJ)

In a blistering essay titled “The Derailed Country,” posted online this past week and then quickly removed by censors, Han Han, one of China’s most popular bloggers, mocked the leadership for what he characterized as a heartless approach to development. “They think: ‘We built this. We built that. You don’t need to care what happens along the way, or who gets the benefits, as long as you get to use it,'” Mr. Han wrote. “Why aren’t you grateful? Why all the questions?”

Limestone Commentary (Rails as a Metaphor)
I stopped writing about politics (and have been happier for it) but everything in this article about China’s government could be written (or said) about the U.S. in terms of graft/corruption, abject obtuseness, lack of transparency, doublespeak, and shameless bias of the fourth estate.

‘Do not be desirous to have things done quickly,’ said Confucius, China’s most famous philosopher, some 25 centuries ago. ‘Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.’ China’s leadership is now suffering the consequences of ignoring this traditional wisdom.

More Limestone Commentary
Not sure expediency is an attribute of good democracy, particularly of late against a rash of manufactured crises.

You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid. — Rahm Emanuel

Weekend 191.0

Westport Train Station(1) Un’Introduzione al Disegno Italiano

(2) China Train Crash Shows Fast Expansion Problems

(3) Spending dispute halts airport construction

(3a) Dulles Metro station should be functional and awe-inspiring

(3b) Airports authority endorses aboveground Dulles rail station

(4) It’s a new day.

Weekend 190.0

Absolutely gorgeous summer day in New England!

(1) Bright Colors Struggle to Bloom in South Korea’s Silver-Car Nation (WSJ)

(2) Adventure on the Rails (WSJ Magazine)

(3) Custom Cycling’s Big Wheel (WSJ)

He hired two people to take care of the business side of the shop. ‘The big thing I have learned is to free myself up to do what’s important to me and what I enjoy.’

(3a) My sister basket bike.

(4) Lone surviving tree offers hope to restore destroyed forest in Japan

(5) 10 Psychological States You’ve Never Heard Of

(6) China vs. America: Which Is the Developing Country? (WSJ)

(6a) With “Elites” Like These, Is It Any Wonder We’re Screwed? (ACE)

(6b) The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life

(7) Limestone and the Palace of Westminster (WIKI)

The stonework of the building was originally Anston, a sand-coloured magnesian limestone quarried in the village of Anston in South Yorkshire.

Thomas Friedman was devastated…

China’s High-Speed Rail, Highly Suspect

High Speed Rail To Nowhere…Winning The Future A Wasted Billion At A Time

Weekend 160.0 (WSJ Edition)

(1) The Twilight of Battle

The Fighting Temeraire by J.M.W. Turner

“The great battleship being towed up the Thames by a squat, steam-powered paddle-wheel tug. All the glory of the past is being dragged to oblivion beneath the cloud-haunted light of a setting sun. It is a picture that tells a story, and it is consistently voted Britain’s favorite painting.”

The fighting Temeraire
Built of a thousand trees,
Lunging out her lightenings,
And beetling o’er the seas

– Herman Melville, The Temeraire, 1866

“Never more shall sunset lay golden robe on her, nor starlight tremble on the waves that part at her gliding.”

– John Ruskin

(2) Why the Mind Sees the Future in the Past Tense

(2a) Less Than a Full-Service City

(3) When Clarity Isn’t a Virtue

(4) Subsidy Trains to Nowhere

*I generally start Saturday with a cup of coffee from Starbucks and a copy of the Wall Street Journal Saturday/Sunday edition AND what a rewarding endeavor. How else would a business graduate learn a word like uchronias?

Counterfactual worlds are known as uchronias—a variant of the word utopia (Greek for “no land”), substituting chronos (“time”) for topos (“land”).

Sanriku Railways in Iwate Prefecture

Title: Sanriku Railway Company’s 25th Anniversary
Illustration: Mibu Natsuki

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