Saturday, May 10, 2008

Courtney Friel Is Such a Radiant Ray of Sunshine...

John French <> wrote:
Date: Sat, 10 May 2008 07:34:06 -0700 (PDT)
From: John French <>
Subject: Courtney Friel Is Such a Radiant Ray of Sunshine...

Courtney Friel is such a radiant ray of sunshine...

Courtney exudes beauty and yet seems to possess this innocent naivety about how pretty, beautiful & hot she actually really really is which makes her even more accessibly appealing and likable.

Moreover, I have definitely noticed she's obtained more confidence, poise and professionalism in her delivery and onscreen presence in general === which is becoming more naturally organic each and everyday she's on air.

I am a huge Courtney Friel fan because she actually moves me when I see her in a way where I see the light and feel good about myself and want to do better as a man and human be-ing so she'll think I'm pretty groovy.

Courtney has the potential to be an E.D. Hill as she matures on the serious side = And a Jules Asner with her entertainment interests, accessibility and down to earth attitude and approach which is refreshingly congenial toward organic rockers and actors = And she even has potential for cross-over where she could do some acting herself like an Ellen or Rosie.

Best of Organic Roses,
Giovanni French

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Friday, May 9, 2008

If You Missed This One You Missed One of the 100 All Time Best Movies on Allot of Respectable Lists

At some time in our youth, many of us have soberly concluded that these large people in our house cannot be our parents. They are clumsy or brutal, lacking the divine spark we surely possess; and rather than being stolen by gypsies, we were left on their doorstep by some superior beings as a test of our ability to absorb pain and indignity. Léo (Maxime Collin), 12, is nourished by this conviction as he watches his deranged Québecois brood mismanage their lives. He renames himself Léolo after determining that his mother had actually been impregnated by a Sicilian tomato. This is the first of Lauzon's extravagant fantasies and, like other, odder ones, it is cogently grounded in the solitude that can smother any child—anybody. Lurching from the everyday obscenities of Léo's home life to his rapturous dream life and back again, Léolo takes the elixir of Latin America’s magical realism and spikes it with the tartest French-Canadian satire. Our young hero does survive a (hilarious) suicide attempt, but Lauzon, alas, did not live to make another film. He died in a plane crash at 43.—R.C. From the TIME Archive: "For a movie that worms inside a child's hopes and fears, that understands how kids can be both shaped by their family and in righteous rebellion against it, you should see—immediately—Leolom"—TIME Magazine, Apr. 5, 1993 >>

"Leolo" centers on the adventures of the title character (played by Maxime Collin) around age 12, when he is a tortured and introverted boy in a family filled with insanity. The 1992 film by Jean-Claude Lauzon is comic yet darkly angry.

Leolo (1993)
BY ROGER EBERT / July 31, 2005

I came in after a midnight screening this year at Cannes, and found Richard Corliss leaning over a yellow legal pad in the dining room of the Hotel Splendid. He was, he said, working on the list of the 100 greatest films of all time, which he and Richard Schickel would soon publish in Time magazine. "Which one are you writing about now?" I asked. " 'Leolo,' " he said. Yes. "Leolo." A film that stirs in the shadows of memory for everyone who has ever seen it, a film that cannot be classified and can hardly be explained, a film left orphaned by the early death of its director, Jean-Claude Lauzon, who died with his girlfriend while piloting his Cessna in northern Canada in 1997.
He made only two features, "Night Zoo" (1987) and "
Leolo" (1992). He could have made more, but spent his time shooting commercials, or fishing. He was believed to be the most gifted young filmmaker in Canada, but when the elder statesman Norman Jewison offered him a job directing Gene Hackman in a thriller, he turned it down, rudely. Ken Turan of the Los Angeles Times believes "Leolo" might have won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1992 if Lauzon hadn't made an obscene suggestion to Jamie Lee Curtis, one of the jurors. Turan tells me he heard the story from Lauzon himself: "He found himself next to Jamie Lee at the buffet at the Hotel du Cap. He introduced himself and said, as I remember it, 'What the boy in the film does to the piece of liver, I want to do to you.' " The only caveat raised by this story is that Jamie Lee Curtis is not a shrinking violet and might as plausibly laughed as taken offense.
I met Lauzon once, at lunch after "Night Zoo" premiered at Cannes. He was long-haired, outspoken, a little wild, ready to offend or take offense. His movie was about an ex-con whose father is dying; the old man's deathbed wish is to shoot an elephant, and so they break into the Montreal Zoo with his dad in a wheelchair. You get the feeling, after seeing that film and "
Leolo," that they are not a million miles removed from reality. There was mental illness all through his family, his childhood was not easy and his hero Leolo says, "They say I am French Canadian, but because I dream, I am not. They say he is my father, but I know I am not his son because he is crazy. Because I dream, I know I am not."
Because he dreams, he thinks he is Italian, and the man posing as his father is not his real father. The boy in the movie is born Leo Lauzon, but renames himself Leo Lozone. In his dreams, his real father is a Sicilian who masturbates on a box full of tomatoes destined for Quebec. His mother falls on the tomatoes in a Montreal street market, squishing them, and nine months later Leolo is born. He spends the entire movie trying to get his family to stop calling him Leo.

The boy at this age discovers masturbation, and becomes fixated by the comely neighbor Bianca (Giuditta Del Vecchio). She is a few years too old for Leolo and many years too young for Grandfather, who nevertheless pays her to bathe and comfort him. Leolo spies on them through a window in the ceiling, and later uses this vantage point in his plan to use an elaborate system of levers and pulleys to murder the old man. Well, Grandfather has it coming; he once tried to drown Leolo in a plastic wading pool, although for Leolo the experience was not without benefits because he experienced wondrous visions.
If the movie sounds depraved and depressing to you, it is because I have failed to convey the deep amusement and even love that Lauzon conveys in his material. Leolo reminded me of the sex-crazed adolescents in Fellini's "
Amarcord," with the difference that Fellini's memories were nostalgic and his hero's family was eccentric in a lovable way. Leolo uses dreams to deny the reality of his family, and sees himself in a struggle to survive its demented grip. There seems to be no escape. His brother Fernand (Yves Montmarquette) is humiliated by a bully, spends months turning himself into a muscle-bound bodybuilder, and then is humiliated again. "That day," says the film's narrator, speaking for Leolo, "I understood that fear lived in our deepest being."
What small portion of hope Leolo finds in his childhood comes from one book, the only book his family possesses. It comes into his life one day when an old man (Pierre Bourgault) visits their home and uses the book to prop up one leg of an off-balance kitchen table. Leolo reads it at night by the light from the refrigerator, wearing gloves and a muffler. The man, called the Word Tamer in the narration, lives in a room jammed with books and maps, and rummages in garbage cans for treasure. That is how he finds and reads Leolo's journal, which is written a page at a time and then thrown away. It is a good question whether he, Leolo or the journal is speaking in the narration: All three, I think.
The technical brilliance of the film is astonishing. Lauzon was filled with quirks and impulses, sudden inspirations and wild inventions. Some directors with such hyperactive imagination create movies that are elaborate and yet empty; Lauzon is so motivated by his resentments and desires that everything he creates is pressed into the cause and filled with passion. There are scenes that cannot possibly exist, and yet they do. Set decoration that is a fantasy and yet insists on being a reality. A soundtrack that incorporates opera,
Tom Waits, the Rolling Stones and what sounds like Gregorian chant. Music that evokes the presence of evil so clearly that it could be a theme from "The Exorcist." Yet everyday Montreal street life bursting with life and joy.
Reading Neil Lee's online memoir of Lauzon, I was reminded of the childhood of
Francois Truffaut. Lee writes: "Lauzon's childhood was a rowboat awash in a sea of madness, driven by winds of psychosis ... nearly all of his family -- with exception of his mother -- were institutionalized at one point or another. Lauzon himself escaped a life of petty street crime only through the intervention of Andre Petrowski, then the head of the NFB's French film distribution. It is to him that 'Leolo' is dedicated, and rightly so, for Petrowski was the man responsible for guiding Lauzon out of the gutter of his youth and into filmmaking."
Petrowski of the National Film Board is paralleled in Truffaut's life by Andre Bazin, the film critic who guided Truffaut out of juvenile delinquency and into film. Lauzon was "a flirt, a troublemaker," Cameron Bailey remembers in a memoir. "He made demands on producers and festival directors. He didn't behave." It is perhaps not tragic that he made only two features, but remarkable that he made any at all.
When a great movie exists all by itself, it is in danger of being misplaced. We tend to want it to belong to the lifework of a director, or in the mainstream of a genre. Yet some films are singular: Laughton's "
Night of the Hunter" or Jodorowsky's "El Topo." Either you find it or you never do. You have to approach it directly, not through other films. The experience of seeing "Leolo" is, for me, like watching a high-wire act. How can Lauzon keep his balance when he careens so wildly to one extreme and then another? How can he create these characters, so grotesque, and make them human, and have sympathy for them? How can Leolo be so weird and inward, so angry and subversive, and yet somehow so noble? How can this story hurtle itself in every direction, and yet find a destination? I don't know if Jean-Claude Lauzon finished "Leolo" and decided he had nothing else he needed to say. But if he did, I can understand that.
Buy or rent Leolo from Facets

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hitting Both Sides of The Isle = "Ethical Realism: A 21st Century Foreign Policy" Yesterday's World Affairs Luncheon Discussion @ the Duquesne Club w/ Dr. John Hulsman

John French <> wrote:
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 14:41:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: John French <>
Subject: Hitting Both Sides of The Isle = "Ethical Realism: A 21st Century Foreign Policy" Yesterday's World Affairs Luncheon Discussion @ Duquesne Club Dr. John Hulsman

Hi Megyn (I will be blogging this tomorrow but wanted to give the hottest woman of the new everyday media a sneak peak --- Yeah, well, beside Hemmer, I thought you may like
to view this):
As I mentioned yesterday I headed to the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh's Luncheon Discussion Group (LDG) @ the Duquesne Club w/ special guest, Dr. John Hulsman, co-author — with Anatol Lieven — of Ethical Realism: A Vision for America's Role in the World.
It was great. And something I really enjoyed which was even better than my golf drive later yesterday was Dr. Hulsman driving it down the middle by hitting both sides of the isle ---
1). Dr. Hulsman asked us to imagine a president of a country being told that he and his country would only be talked with, listened to, dealt with if they no longer believed in everything they believed in, stood down, rolled over, forgot their culture, principles and ways – and willingness and plans for implementing adapting to our U.S. ways as an only option to bring about any chance of mutual discussion ---- He further exclaimed if that was asked of one of our presidents and they obeyed those kind of demands that they would be "toast" and our president no more and no longer electable for anything!
Just because we disagree w/ people or see them as a threat doesn't mean we should isolate them and not have any diplomatic discourse w/ them --- We need to engage everyone we can in diplomatic discourse especially our threats or perceived threats. Dr. Hulsman proclaimed that this type of attitude and behavior is unethical and immoral.
2). Dr. Hulsman declared that our "potential" presidential candidates need to be honest w/ its party and stand-up and educate and curtail and all its money, momentum and propaganda that will only lead to let downs and disappointments --- To get to the point, there is no way a Democratic President could bring the troops home immediately! It's just not feasible. It's a lie for votes.
Dr. Hulsman debriefs and interviews officers who come home from Iraq and Afghanistan and these officers are all saying that there is no way that we can totally be out of those regions any time soon = that best case scenario it will take one month per brigade to pull out and come home = Thus, we're looking at like four years!
We need to be honest here = The "potential" democratic presidential candidates need to be honest w/ its people or there is gonna be a major let down and then what? What's to be said then? Where will the trust be? Quit the lies and tell the truth! Again, Dr. Hulsman proclaimed that this type of attitude and behavior is unethical and immoral.
Dr. John Hulsman
Special Luncheon: Ethical Realism: A 21st Century Foreign Policy
May 6, 2008
In Cooperation with the American Council on Germany Pittsburgh Eric M. Warburg Chapter
Sponsored by the Carnegie Bosch Institute
America faces a world more complicated than ever before. Our foreign policy should reflect the times, recognizing our real strengths and weaknesses and the changing dynamics around us. As we move forward into the 21st century and into a new presidency, what might this foreign policy strategy look like? What values would it reflect? What is the way forward?
Dr. John Hulsman is co-author — with Anatol Lieven — of Ethical Realism: A Vision for America's Role in the World. Previously Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, he was appointed in 2006 as the first Alfred von Oppenheim Scholar in the newly founded Alfred von Oppenheim Centre for European Studies at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. He is contributing editor to National Interest and a frequent commentator in print and broadcast media. He holds an M.A. in Modern History and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews.
Best of Organic Roses,
Giovanni French

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Brian Kilmeade!!! !!! !!! !!!

A Young Studly Greg Gutfeld:
"Brian, these muscles may be covered-up by the results of too many pork scratchings
but I can still fill-out that tee-shirt and you should see me in a shorty robe --- Email me and let me know which one you want me to be wearing while I'm waiting for you after work at the Chambers Hotel on the Upper East Side to give you your birthday present."

Greg Kelly: "Happy Birthday, Old Sport!"

Courtney Friel: "Hey, Brian, you know what would make the Kentucky Derby more fun = YOU!"

Julia Boorstin: "Brian, I heard that YOU are the hottest of all guys in the world of the new everyday media?!"

Liz Claman: "After work let's go have some drinks, baby!"

Maria Bartiromo: "Brian, I already have a pearl necklace but for your birthday you can give me a ride to Miami in a private jet..."

Molly Henneberg: "Hey, Brian, the NY Giants may have won in 2008 but 2009 is for the Washington Redskins, bud! ...

Happy birthday!"

Megyn Kelly: "So, I'm the hottest woman of the new everyday media and you're the hottest guy of the new everyday media?! I guess, we're okay w/ each other then, Kilmeade ---
But John French never sent you a dozen white roses!!!...
so who's really hotter?!
= I think = It's ME!!! Ha!"

Suzanne Malveaux: "Brian, you know I cover D.C. NEWS and you, my friend, are a legend down here for calling The First Lady by her first name, Laura, when you were at the White House! Have you ever been invited back?! Let me know, I can get you in for your birthday!!"

Rebecca Jarvis: "Brian Kilemade is so HOT & hilarious! If hilarity were a pogo stick I'd bounce up and down on him all day."

Tracy Brynes: "Brian, you look great for you age! Really!!"

Veronica De La Cruz: "Yeah, Brian Kilmeade is really funny & cute! If funny were Cheerios I'd eat him for breakfast every morning probably with sliced bananas and lots of milk dribbling down my delightful chin."

Robin Meade: "OMG!!! I really gotta pee while they do sports but first I'll do a little dance here for Brian Kilmeade on his birthday"...

Jamie Colby: "Happy birthday, Brian, you're genius & gorgeous, kid!"

Ainsley Earhardt: "Jamie, you're so right!!! Brian is not only hot & hilarious = He is genius too!!!In fact, if intelligence were biscuits and gravy I'd go down South just to eat him."

Betty Nguyen: "That Kilmeade!!! ...if talent were the moon, astronauts would travel hundreds of thousands of miles just to probe him."

Domenica Davis: "Brian, wow, oaky, it seems everyone agrees you're hotter than a pair of balls at a baseball game in Houston (in old school uniform wool pants)."

Christi Paul: " I don't Brian?! I just don't know?! I waited for you! I was waiting for you! And you never showed! You never showed! I don't know if I can ever forgive you for that, Mister!"

Erin Burnett: "Who doesn't love Brian Kilmeade?! If hot & dynamic guys of everyday media were oil fields, I'd work him until he gushed all over the place and then cap-it and sell-it for big money!"

Caroline Shively: "Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! You smell like a monkey and live in a zoo!"

"...and look like one too!"


"Happy Birthday, Dear Brian!!! ...from your foxxy friends!!!"

Gretchen Carlson: "Ewh-la-la... You're okay w/ me, Brian

= Happy Birthday!!!"

Best of Birthday Roses, Gianni French

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Why in the World Doesn't Volvo Use "Safety Dance" song by Men-without-Hats for an Awesome Commercial Already???

Volvo ÖV 4 was the first car built by Volvo. The designation ÖV4 stands for , "Öppen Vagn 4 cylindrar" in Swedish, which means Open Carriage 4 cylinders. The model ÖV4 was often referred to as "Jakob" but that was just a name for one of the 10 pre-series ÖV4 that was ready on July 25 (John French's birthday) Jakob's name-day. All 10 prototypes were assembled in Stockholm at the company AB Galco, Hälsingegatan 41 where Gustav Larson worked at that time. Only one of the 10 pre-series cars manufactured during 1926 was saved for posterity and is housed in Volvo Museum, in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Volvo means 'I Roll' in Latin, and the arrowed Circle is merely the conventional map sign for steel - Sweden's most famous industry before iKEA came along. The circle and arrow represent the shield and spear of Mars, which are also an alchemical symbol for iron. Each of the "classical" planets was associated with a metal: Sun=gold, Moon=silver, Mercury=quicksilver, Venus=copper, Mars=iron, Jupiter=tin, Saturn=lead.

On May 11, 1915 AB Volvo submitted an application to have the trade mark 'Volvo' registered as a name for several different products. Then on July 25, 1924 when
Gustaf Larson andAssar Gabrielsson met by chance over a plate of crayfish, and after enjoying their meal agreed to start up production of 'The Swedish Car'.

The Volvo Safety Center

The $81 million dollar Volvo Safety Center is the most technologically advanced crash-test facility in the world.

Stockholm, Sweden; October 2000 -- "In our new crash safety laboratory, we will have capabilities far superior to those of the competitors. We can quite simply move the reality of the roads into our crash laboratory" said Stefan Nilsson, Director, Volvo Cars Safety Center.

There is no such thing as a typical accident. Real-world accidents do not always happen at a fixed speed or at a perfect 90 degrees. In an industry first, Volvo Cars new Safety Centre takes real-world factors into account, enabling engineers to crash test cars moving at any speed up to 100 kph (62 mph) and at any angle, from full head-on to a 90-degree broadside collision

So, in short, if I have to hear "F-R-E-E Credit Report . com, baby"--- 25 times every single day then why the "H-E-double-toothpicks" can't I hear, "doot doot doot da doot doot da doot ta doota --- doot doot doot da doot doot da doot ta doota --- doot doot doot da doot doot da doot ta doota --- doot doot doot da doot doot da doot ta doota" ??? ??? WHY ???

Video Description

S-s-s-s A-a-a-a F-f-f-f E-e-e-e T-t-t-t Y-y-y-ySafe, dance![Spoken]We can dance if we want toWe can leave your friends behind'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't danceWell they're no friends of mineI say, we can go where we want toA place where they will never findAnd we can act like we come from out of this worldLeave the real one far behindAnd we can dance[Sung]We can dance if we want toWe can leave your friends behind'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't danceWell they're no friends of mineI say, we can go where we want toA place where they will never findAnd we can act like we come from out of this worldLeave the real one far behindAnd we can danceDanc¨¦e!We can go when we want toThe night is young and so am IAnd we can dress real neat from our hats to our feetAnd surprise 'em with the victory crySay, we can act if want toIf we don't nobody willAnd you can act real rude and totally removedAnd I can act like an imbecile[Refrain]I say, we can dance, we can danceEverything out of controlWe can dance, we can danceWe're doing it from wall to wallWe can dance, we can danceEverybody look at your handsWe can dance, we can danceEverybody takin' the cha-a-a-anceSafety danceIs it safe to danceIs it safe to danceS-s-s-s A-a-a-a F-f-f-f E-e-e-e T-t-t-t Y-y-y-ySafe, dance!We can dance if we want toWe've got all your life and mineAs long as we abuse it, never gonna lose itEverything'll work out rightI say, we can dance if we want toWe can leave your friends behind'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't danceWell they're no friends of mine[Refrain]Is it safe to dance, oh is it safe to dance [6x]Is it safe to dance

Best of the Roses, John French

What Region Was the First to Deliberately Drill for Oil and Launched the Modern Petroleum Industry?

Q: What Region Was the First to Deliberately Drill for Oil and Launched the Modern Petroleum Industry?

A: Pittsburgh, PA

The Oil Region Alliance: History of Oil Region Board of DirectorsLink to Oil Region Alliance Website

1859 - August 27 -Edwin L. Drake's well, drilled 69 ½ feet, struck oil near Titusville PA (first well deliberately drilled for oil) and launched the modern petroleum industry August 30 - John Grandin & H. H. Dennis drilled in Tionesta,PA - first dry holeOctober 7 - Drake's well ignited by gas and destroyed - first oil well fire on record, well house rebuilt and oil equipment replaced
1860 - April - Steamboat "Venango" carried first load of petroleum to Pittsburgh
1861 - May - A. B. Funk's "Fountain Well" reached 460 feet & flowed 300 barrels per day Annual U. S. crude oil production increased from .5 million barrels in 1860 to 2.1 million barrels in 1861October - Phillips Well #2 on Tarr Farm came in at 4000 barrels a dayNovember - First shipload of petroleum to cross the Atlantic shipped from Philadelphia to London
1862 - Humboldt Refinery established near Plumer, by John Burns & the Ludovici brothers.Jacob Vandergrift and Daniel Bushnell shipped crude from Oil City to Pittsburgh by bulk barge tows, more than 20 Allegheny River shipping companies in Oil City.Oil Creek Railroad reached Titusville from Corry, first railroad into PA Oil Region.
1863 - Pennsylvania legislature passed first anti-pollution bill preventing running of tar and distillery refuse into certain creeks
1864 - "Coal Oil Johnny" Steele began spending spree
1865 - Pithole Creek oil field discoveredCol. E.A.L. Roberts used explosives to increase "Ladies Well" flow near Titusville, PA April 9 - Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse ended the Civil War.April 14 - President Abraham Lincoln assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. Six weeks later, well on Pithole Creek, in which Booth had a share, struck oil.Van Syckle oil pipeline connected Miller Farm on the Oil Creek Railroad to the U. S. Well, a distance of approximately 6 miles.

Best of Pittsburgh's Rusted Roses, John French

oil prices and ferris wheels

John French <> wrote:
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 15:20:14 -0700 (PDT)
From: John French <>
Subject: oil prices and ferris wheels

Dear Wolf and Jack,

This morning while watching one of the networks (it might even have been CNN) the man who just purchased the famous "Pacific wheel" in Santa Monica was on and he was boasting about how well certain people in Oklahoma are doing because of the record high oil prices --- further boasting that he's gonna use the Ferris wheel in a big new development w/ lots of big time shopping in Oklahoma City and, well, that Oklahoma City was just named the country's most recession-proof city.

So as I am driving down Route 65 / Ohio River Blvd outside of Pittsburgh to Seven Oaks CC up in the hills not all that far from Ohio I realized that all these good people out on the roads everyday (to quote Sting: "packed like lemmings into tiny metal boxes") need to be on these roads driving everyday and furthermore all of them oil and gas.

Well, it made me think that I'm gonna get off of my ass and take the money I have accumulated in mutual funds and the additional monies I will be putting in every two weeks and put it all into a "responsible" oil company.

Hitherto even though I have been opposed to doing this because I think oil companies are irresponsible --- 1). as a shareowner at least I will have a voice that can nag them from within and 2). oil prices and Ferris wheels have allot in common as this shit w/ big oil and a government who is supposed to be looking out for its people as representatives of the people just keep going fucking around and around and unfortunately nothing is gonna change it no matter if you have McCain (she don't lie - she don't lie - she don't lie = McCain) or the first woman president ever or the first black man ever as president --- therefore, while this Shit keeps spinning round & round why not have it make me some money so I can do some honest good w/ it?

BTW, the inventor of the Ferris wheel, Mr. George Ferris = He was from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania --- for centuries hard working people from Pittsburgh has been wiping this country's ass --- we hope the rest of you start to realize this and give us a little RESPECT (sock it to me - sock it to me - sock it to me - sock it to me - just a liitle - just a little bit) ...

P.S. Suzanne Malveaux and Carol Costello look HOT today = A+++(+) .... If hot & engaging women of everyday media were cotton candy they would be melting in my mouth --- because that's how sweet and hot they are = really.

North Side: George Ferris

The Big Ferris Wheel

It Is the Chief Sensation of the World's Fair.
Inventor Declared a Genius.
When He First Broached His Plans to the Directors of the World's Fair
They Thought He Was Crazy--
A Description of the Wheel
As It Stands in Midway Plaisance.

From The Alleghenian, 1 July 1893.
World's Fair, June 28.-- Special. By Robert Graves.

There is nothing in the World's Columbian exposition that compares in genuine novelty and sensationalism with the great vertical wheel which stands in the very center of Midway plaisance. In these letters I long ago predicted that this giant structure would be the chief sensation of the World's fair, just as the Eiffel tower was the chief sensation of the Paris exposition, and my prediction has been verified. Though the wheel has been in operation to the public but a few days, vast crowds of people constantly surround it watching its movements, and thousands more pay their half dollar apiece for the privilege of going around upon it.

Considered from the engineering standpoint as well as from that of popular interest this is a greater marvel than the Eiffel tower, which earned a great reputation for its builder and a small fortune for its owners. Whereas the Eiffel tower was simply a bridge a thousand feet long erected upon a strong foundation and placed on end, a simple construction like a couple of Chicago's tall steel buildings stood one upon the other and resting upon a tall foundation of sufficient strength to hold them, the vertical wheel is a bridge 825 feet long, 30 feet wide and constructed of steel, twisted into a circle and hung upon an axle round which it revolves by means of the force given it by powerful steam engines. The Eiffel tower involved no new engineering principle, and when finished was a thing dead and lifeless. The wheel, on the other hand, has movement, grace, the indescribable charm possessed by a vast body in action.

What the genesis of the vertical wheel was in the brain of its inventor is an interesting thought. Undoubtedly it had its origin in the horizontal merry-go-round, and that started in the whirligig which country boys used to make with a post and a plank set across the top of it, pinioned at its middle. From the whirligig to the flying horses or merry-go-round was but a step. The merry-go-round has had its greatest development at the sea shore resorts of Coney Island and Atlantic city. At the latter place the owner of the merry-go-round owns also a good share of the town. The nimble nickels flowing into his coffers in an uninterrupted stream all summer long have enabled him to buy no end of corner lots and erect brick blocks thereon.

Some one saw that the horizontal wheel was coining money and concluded to go it one better by building a vertical wheel. There are vertical wheels at the sea shore, and some of their kind have been brought to the World's fair and may be seen outside the fair gates taking passengers round at the old rate of a nickel a ride. These small vertical wheels must have been the suggestion to Ferris, the bridge builder and engineer. He said he would build a wheel that would astonish the world, and by the side of the little wheels of the sea shore be as the ocean itself to a mill pond.

He prepared his plans and came to Chicago to ask permission to erect his wheel within the World's fair grounds. At first the fair directors only laughed at him. They thought he was crazy, that he was a crank. Then they granted him a concession, but without any thought that he would ever build his wheel. After a time they concluded that it was not wise to bother themselves further with such a visionary individual, and they cancelled the concession. They were not going to have a wild-eyed man with wheels in his head lumbering up the center of the plaisance with his contraptions. But Ferris, confident of success and backed by ample capital, stuck to the scheme and induced the directors, after a time, to again reconsider their action and again permit him to go ahead. This is the brief history of the struggle this genius had to secure recognition even from such progressive and wide-awake men as the directors of the World's fair. Such has been the history of genius ever.

It is almost impossible either by picture or description in words to give you an idea of what this wheel is like. A mere statement of its dimensions, 250 feet in diameter, 825 feet in circumference, 30 feet broad and weight more than 4,000 tons, does not mean much to the average mind. It may help the reader to understand what the structure is like if I say that the highest point of the wheel is as far from the ground as the top of one ten-story building would be if it were put on the roof of another building of equal height.

When you look at this wheel as it stands on the plaisance you are struck by the resemblance it bears to some mighty bicycle. It has the same sort of a hub, the same rods and struts running therefrom to the periphery, the same light airiness [of] model. In truth, it seems too light. One fears the slender rods which must support the whole enormous weight are too puny to fulfill their office. One cannot avoid the thought of what would happen if a high wind should come sweeping across the prairie and attack this structure broadside. Would the thin rods be sufficient to sustain not only the enormous weight of the structure and that of the 2,000 passengers who might chance to be in the cars but the pressure of the wind as well? Engineer Ferris says the wheel is strong enough to do all this. Other engineers, some of them men of eminence in their profession, say the same thing. Therefore the public seems content to take it for granted that the wheel is not only the greatest novelty of the age, but that riding upon it is as safe as riding over a bridge that is placed horizontally on masonry piers.

There are thirty-six cars on the wheel. Each is 27 feet long, 9 feet high and 13 feet broad. It is like an enormous bird cage. Human beings are to be the inhabitants. The doors are closed when the passengers are within, and locked. The windows are covered with a strong wire netting. There is a conductor to each car to look after the comfort of the passengers. No crank will have an opportunity commit suicide from this wheel, no hysterical woman shall jump from a window. From platforms built on the ground six cars are loaded at one time. Each car will seat, on revolving chairs, forty passengers. Therefore the thirty-six cars will seat 1,440 passengers. But with standing room occupied the wheel has a capacity of 2,000 persons.

As soon as the first six cars are loaded the man in charge gives the signal and the steam is turned into cylinders of the thousand horse-power engine which moves the vast machine. Slowly, with just enough trembling and oscillating to make the nerves of passengers quiver, the wheel must make one entire revolution. By this time the occupants of the coaches have become somewhat accustomed to the novel situation. They have ceased to think of the possible danger and are occupied with the beauty of the panorama which lies far below them.

Now comes the most interesting feature of the trip. The wheel is set in motion at a more rapid pace, though still not very fast, and is not stopped until a complete revolution is made. It is an indescribable sensation, that of revolving through such a vast orbit in a bird cage, that of swinging in a circle far out over the plaisance in one direction, then turning in the other direction, and still higher, and finally beginning the descent from such a great height. People wonder what would happen if the pinions which hold the cars through their roofs should break, or refuse to revolve. They wonder how they would get down if the machinery should break and the engineer be unable to further revolve the wheel, thus leaving them dangling in mid air. While they are thinking of these things the movement ceases, then starts up again, and finally it becomes their turn to step out on the wooden platform and down again to mother earth.

I have no desire to advertise the wheel when I tell you a trip upon it is worth taking. You cannot advertise the wheel, anyway, any more than you can advertise the fair, or the Atlantic ocean. They are all too big. They are their own advertisement. The novel sensation, the opportunity to study a great engineering work, the beauty of the scene presented from the great altitude, all combine to make the trip on this structure fully worth the time and the cost.

As yet there is not the slightest reason to fear the safety of the machine. The steel towers which support the vast bicycle wheel are bedded and bolted into thirty feet of concrete. They are calculated to support five times the weight and the wind pressure produced by a tornado of a hundred and fifty miles an hour. Motion is imparted to the mass by means of huge cogs in which a link belt fits. If anything should break and it be desirable to stop the machinery there is a powerful brake operated by compressed air. The axle which runs from the top of one tower to the other, 140 feet in the air, is the greatest steel forging ever made, being 82 inches in diameter and 45 feet long, weighing fifty-six tons. How Ferris ever got it up there is a mystery to me, but he did it. The cars are so attached to the wheel, it is said, that it is impossible for them to fail to turn so as to preserve the center of gravity.

What is the principle, the chief principle, on which the wheel is constructed? It is that of a bicycle wheel, as I have said, except that this wheel does not rest upon the surface but depends from the steel axle. The lower half of the wheel simply hangs from the mighty axle, and this lower half supports the upper half by means of the steel framework of its two rims. That is the whole thing in a nut shell. The wheel, though apparently rigid in its construction, has just enough elasticity to make this method of support possible, and yet not enough elasticity to produce any appreciable trembling or slipping effect.

Now the World's fair directors are glad they changed their minds and decided to recognize this genius. Not only have they thereby secured the greatest sensation of the fair, but without a dollar of outlay on their part have made certain of an enormous revenue. The exposition gets one-half the earnings of the wheel, and it is estimated the total receipts will average something like $10,000 a day during the remainder of the summer. The cost of the wheel complete, was about $250,000. Engineer Ferris is likely to reap a rich reward for his boldness and enterprise.

Best of Organic Roses,
Giovanni French

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

"I'd like to dream My troubles all away On a bed of California stars Jump up from my starbed Make another day Underneath my California stars" ........

Stop = In the Name of LOVE ...
Saints Peter and Paul Church, San Francisco

Mrs. John French in our Tuscany Suite @ Kenwood Inn & Spa Sonoma California
Admiring the vineyards from the Tuscany Suite @ Kenwood Inn & Spa Sonoma California
"Wow," I thought - "This is like Falcon Crest."
Admiring the vineyards from the Tuscany Suite @ Kenwood Inn & Spa Sonoma California
At night I swear I could feel the vibration of the rattle snakes tongue writhing in the cool Sonoma Valley air while they sense and track the field mice running foolishly out in the open - soaked by the radiant light of the full moon - I swear I could feel it all - The silence was so stimulating to me that I couldn't sleep and drew a long bath through the night

Mrs. John French (right) @ Jack London's Wolf House

In 1911, Albert Farr, a well-known San Francisco architect, began to collaborate with the London's on an American rustic home, which would someday house their unique collections. The home they began building shortly thereafter was huge: 86 feet long with two 82-foot wings. The house was U-shaped and built around an open court that measured 45 feet by 58 feet. In the center of the court was a 15 foot by 40-foot pool, spring fed and stocked with black bass and trout. A guest could expect to be invited to catch his own meal from the pool. The five-foot wide gardens surrounding the pool were the only formal gardens on the ranch grounds.

It was the burning of "Wolf House" that led to the early death of Jack at the age of 40. He had written over 40 novels and 2,000, shorts stories and news paper articles during his literary lifetime. That spark of life, the awareness of conciseness that kept his dreams alive and lead him on with an inner light has been dimmed and no longer is he the "Flaming Comet"; and so as of November 22, 1914, he writes no longer.
John French in Washington Square - in San Francisco - just met Lawrence Ferlinghetti @ his City Lights Book Store and Publishing in North Beach
I had forgotten what street I wandered onto and from where and what city I was in until I looked up at this building and realized I was in the ChinaTown of San Francisco, CA
Wednesday, July 21, 2004 John and his wife Leslie were in court today. Because the other hearings which are scheduled before the 9:30 trial start time ran late, the jurors were not brought in until 10:00. Jim's sister Anne and her daughter, Tristin, entered the room as the testimony was beginning. Mr. Jeff Forer, counsel for the Morrison family, conducted the direct examination of today's witness, Mr. Mark Hurwitz. Mr. Hurwitz has been an attorney since 1962, and first represented Pam in 1971 to handle matters for her after Jim's death. After Pam moved to Sausalito, CA, Mr. Hurwitz had no further business dealings with her.
Mr. Hurwitz was hired by the Courson family in 1991 to represent them locally on issues dealing with The Doors and the partnerships. Another attorney, Ms. Roberta Cairney, was already representing the Coursons on intellectual property matters. Mr. Hurwitz answered questions related to business deals such as licensing, contracts, merchandising, proposals, and commercial offers in which he represented the Courson interest.
Rear Admiral Morrison arrived during the morning break from 11:00 to 11:25, and was expected to testify later today. Just before the lunch break at noon, a tall young man took a seat in the courtroom. When court resumed at 1:40 p.m., he was with the Morrison family: Rear Admiral Morrison, Anne, and Anne's daughter, Tristin. I spoke to him later during the afternoon break (2:55 to 3:20), and learned that he is Anne's son and Tristin's brother, Sefton.

Mrs. Giovanni French - North Beach - San Francisco
The Mansion Inn - Bodega Bay, California
@ the Grateful Dead House
Chris Dowd (on right -my old Marquette University mate who moved to San Francisco w/ our other friend from Marquette University Lake Grey)
John French (age 27 = a heavier version in between when I was younger and now).
Oh, yeah, and I was spending so much time in Atlanta that I became a fan
of the Braves and, of course, I always liked Howard Finster and Coca-Cola so when I saw this t-shirt
@ the world headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company = it was a no-brainer ... @ the Grateful Dead House

Chris Dowd (on right -my old Marquette University mate who moved to San Francisco w/ our other friend from Marquette University Lake Grey)
John French (age 27 = a heavier version in between when I was younger and now).

Oh, yeah, and I was spending so much time in Atlanta that I became a fan of the Braves and, of course, I always liked Howard Finster and Coca-Cola so when I saw this t-shirt
@ the world headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company = it was a no-brainer ...
Golden Gate Bridge

Mrs. John French - San Francisco, California Golden Gate Bridge
In the Limo after the union of Mr. & Mrs. Giovanni French --- best man and witness #1, Chris Dowd, and his girl, Lisa, as matron-of-honor and witness #2
the Kitchen on the first floor inside the Tuscany Suite @ Kenwood Inn & Spa Sonoma California
the Kitchen on the first floor inside the Tuscany Suite @ Kenwood Inn & Spa Sonoma California

the Kitchen on the first floor inside the Tuscany Suite
@ Kenwood Inn & Spa Sonoma California

the Kitchen on the first floor inside the Tuscany Suite
@ Kenwood Inn & Spa Sonoma California

Under the "California Roof" such a fun time talking & laughing and taking in the sun drenched, beautifully refreshing Kenwood Inn and Spa of Sonoma California

a heavier John French Ghirardelli Square -on the waterfront in beautiful San Francisco!

@ Kenwood Inn & Spa Sonoma California

Patio entrance and balcony for the Tuscany Suite
@ Kenwood Inn & Spa
Sonoma California
Mrs. Giovanni French in Pacific Heights
Patio and entrance for the Tuscany Suite
Sonoma California
I love this because her name is "Deanna" French ---
And, she's a Tri-"Delt"
The Museum was built by Charmian London in 1919 after Jack London's death in 1916. Charmian called it "The House with Happy Walls" and it was designed to be a museum as well as a home for Charmian. She lived in the house from 1934 until 1945. Today, it serves as a museum and a small gift shop.
The museum is a two-story building. Items on display a scale model of the Snark, a complete set of first-edition books by Jack London, Charmian's Steinway piano, many of the items Jack and Charmian brought back from their travels around the world, and several displays depicting the life and adventures of Jack London

Chris Dowd (far left) & his girl, Lisa (middle) and Mrs. French (right)
The house was built at a cost of $ 80,000 1910 dollars. " Wolf House " was named in honor of his early experiences in the gold fields of the Yukon Territory, Canada. It was to be a monument to his life and his great "Log Cabin" in the sky. On the evening before he and his wife Charmian were to move into this magnificent structure it was set on fire by unknown persons.
The structure's foundation was one piece of solid concrete designed to be earthquake proof. If the ground were rocked, Wolf house would shift intact. The foundation was engineered of sufficient strength to support a forty-story skyscraper. As London once stated, "My house will be standing, Act of God permitting, for a thousand years."

View from Pacific Heights
This home looks similar to a French gothic home in Pittsburgh, PA owned by a lengendary NHL Star but yet this home is in Pacific Heights in the city of San Francisco
John French in front of a house on Russian Hill in San Francisco, CA author Jack Kerouac (1922-1969 - original name Jean-Luis Lebris de Kerouac) - called home -

Best of California Roses,
John French