Category: Spotlights

We sit down with scientists, politicians and cultural icons and pick their brain.

FeaturedPoliticsSpotlights

Bernie is blazing a new trail

During his first year in the House, Sanders often alienated allies and colleagues with his criticism of both political parties as working primarily on behalf of the wealthy. Bernard “Bernie” Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Vermont. The longest-serving independent in U.S. Congressional history, Sanders caucuses with the Democratic Party and has been the ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee since January 2015. He is a candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Sanders was born and raised in the borough of Brooklyn, in New York City. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1964. While a student, Sanders was a member of the Young People’s Socialist League and an active civil rights protest organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1963, he participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. After settling in Vermont in 1968, Sanders ran unsuccessful third-party campaigns for governor and U.S. senator in the early to mid-1970s. As an independent, he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont’s most populous city, in 1981. He was reelected three times before being elected to represent Vermont’s at-large congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990. He served as a congressman for 16 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. In 2012, he was reelected by a large margin, capturing almost 71% of the popular vote.

Bernie in the 60’s

A self-described “democratic socialist”, Sanders favors policies similar to those of social democratic parties in Europe, particularly those instituted by the Nordic countries. Sanders is known as a leading progressive voice on issues such as income inequality, universal healthcare, parental leave, climate change, LGBT rights, and campaign finance reform. He rose to national prominence following his 2010 filibuster against the proposed extension of the Bush tax cuts. He is outspoken on civil rights and civil liberties, and has been particularly critical of mass surveillance policies such as the USA PATRIOT Act, the NSA surveillance program, and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. He has long been critical of U.S. foreign policy, and was an early and outspoken opponent of the Iraq War.

You know, I think many people have the mistaken impression that Congress regulates Wall Street. In truth that’s not the case. The real truth is that Wall Street regulates the Congress.

Sanders began his political career in 1971 as a member of the Liberty Union Party, which originated in the anti-war movement and the People’s Party. He ran as the Liberty Union candidate for governor of Vermont in 1972 and 1976 and as a candidate for U.S. senator in 1972 and 1974. In 1981, at the suggestion of his close friend Richard Sugarman, a professor of religion at the University of Vermont, Sanders ran for mayor of Burlington and defeated six-term Democratic incumbent Gordon Paquette by ten votes in a four-way contest.

DesignFeaturedSpotlights

Visiting an artist in his studio

Most often, the term “artist” describes those who create within a context of the fine arts or high culture. People who use imagination, talent, or skill to create works that may be judged to have an aesthetic value. An artist is a person engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing the arts, and/or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse is a practitioner in the visual arts only. The term is often used in the entertainment business, especially in a business context, for musicians and other performers (less often for actors). “Artiste” (the French for artist) is a variant used in English only in this context. Use of the term to describe writers, for example, is valid, but less common, and mostly restricted to contexts like criticism.

Art historians and critics define artists as those who produce art within a recognized or recognizable discipline. Contrasting terms for highly skilled workers in media in the applied arts or decorative arts include artisan, craftsman, and specialized terms such as potter, goldsmith or glassblower.

Wiktionary defines the noun ‘artist’ as follows:

  1. A person who creates art.
  2. A person who creates art as an occupation.
  3. A person who is skilled at some activity.

Artist is a descriptive term applied to a person who engages in an activity deemed to be an art. An artist also may be defined unofficially as “a person who expresses him- or herself through a medium”. The word is also used in a qualitative sense of, a person creative in, innovative in, or adept at, an artistic practice.

Most often, the term describes those who create within a context of the fine arts or ‘high culture’, activities such as drawing, painting, sculpture, acting, dancing, writing, filmmaking, new media, photography, and music—people who use imagination, talent, or skill to create works that may be judged to have an aesthetic value. Art historians and critics define artists as those who produce art within a recognized or recognizable discipline. Contrasting terms for highly skilled workers in media in the applied arts or decorative arts include artisan, craftsman, and specialized terms such as potter, goldsmith or glassblower.

Fine arts artists such as painters succeeded in the Renaissance in raising their status, formerly similar to these workers, to a decisively higher level, but in the 20th century the distinction became rather less relevant.

The term may also be used loosely or metaphorically to denote highly skilled people in any non-“art” activities, as well— law, medicine, mechanics, or mathematics, for example.

Often, discussions on the subject focus on the differences among “artist” and “technician”, “entertainer” and “artisan”, “fine art” and “applied art”, or what constitutes art and what does not. The French word artiste (which in French, simply means “artist”) has been imported into the English language where it means a performer (frequently in Music Hall or Vaudeville). Use of the word “artiste” can also be a pejorative term.

A quick cone at the Bi-Rite Creamery
SpotlightsTravel

Exploring San Francisco’s Cuisine

Although the Financial District, Union Square, and Fisherman’s Wharf are well-known around the world, San Francisco is also characterized by its numerous culturally rich streetscapes featuring mixed-use neighborhoods anchored around central commercial corridors to which residents and visitors alike can walk. Because of these characteristics, San Francisco is ranked the second “most walkable” city in the U.S. by Walkscore.com.

The culture of San Francisco is major and diverse in terms of arts, music, cuisine, festivals, museums, and architecture. San Francisco’s diversity of cultures along with its eccentricities are so great that they have greatly influenced the country and the world at large over the years. In 2012, Bloomberg Businessweek voted San Francisco as America’s Best City.

Food trucks are a source of ethnically diverse, and gourmet street foods, with concentrations of various trucks at regular times and places. Notable grocery stores, which often focus on locally-grown organic produce, include the Rainbow Grocery Cooperative and Bi-Rite Market. Johnny Kan opened one of the first modern Chinese restaurants, in Chinatown in 1953.

beach

The city is the birthplace of the local variety of sourdough bread, the Mission burrito, and steam beer. Fisherman’s Wharf has served local specialty Dungeness crab for decades. Food companies include Anchor Brewing Company, Boudin Bakery, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.

PoliticsSpotlights

Barack Obama is just getting started

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States, and the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at University of Chicago Law School between 1992 and 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000 to Bobby Rush. In 2004, Obama received national attention during his campaign to represent Illinois in the United States Senate with his victory in the March Democratic Party primary, his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July, and his election to the Senate in November.

He began his presidential campaign in 2007 and, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008, he won sufficient delegates in the Democratic Party primaries to receive the presidential nomination. He then defeated Republican nominee John McCain in the general election, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. Nine months after his inauguration, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

During his first two years in office, Obama signed into law economic stimulus legislation in response to the Great Recession in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Other major domestic initiatives in his first term included the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare”; the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.

In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya in opposition to Muammar Gaddafi, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. In January 2011, the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives as the Democratic Party lost a total of 63 seats; and, after a lengthy debate over federal spending and whether or not to raise the nation’s debt limit, Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

PoliticsSpotlights

Here comes Hillary

Clinton had been preparing for a potential candidacy for United States President since at least early 2003. She was the first woman nominated by a major party for the presidency.

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26, 1947) is an American politician who served as the 67th United States Secretary of State under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013. She is the wife of the 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton, and was First Lady of the United States during his tenure from 1993 to 2001. Clinton subsequently served as a United States Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009, and is a candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 presidential election.

An Illinois native, Hillary Rodham graduated from Wellesley College in 1969, where she became the first student commencement speaker, then earned her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1973. After a stint as a Congressional legal counsel, she moved to Arkansas, marrying Bill Clinton in 1975. She co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families in 1977, became the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978, and was named the first female partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979. While First Lady of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981, and 1983 to 1992, she led a task force that reformed Arkansas’ education system, and served on the board of directors of Wal-Mart, among other corporations. In 1988 and 1991, The National Law Journal listed her as one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America”.

hillary-young

Hillary Clinton in 1975

As First Lady of the United States, her major initiative, the Clinton health care plan of 1993, failed to reach a vote in Congress. In 1997 and 1999, she played a leading role in advocating the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act and the Foster Care Independence Act. The only First Lady to have been subpoenaed, she testified before a federal grand jury in 1996 regarding the Whitewater controversy, although no charges against her related to this or other investigations during her husband’s presidency were ever brought. Her marriage to the president was subject to considerable public discussion following the Lewinsky scandal of 1998, and overall her role as First Lady drew a polarized response from the American public.

Clinton had been preparing for a potential candidacy for United States President since at least early 2003. On January 20, 2007, she announced via her website the formation of a presidential exploratory committee for the United States presidential election of 2008, stating “I’m in, and I’m in to win.” No woman had ever been nominated by a major party for the presidency. When Bill Clinton became president in 1993, a blind trust was established; in April 2007, the Clintons liquidated the blind trust to avoid the possibility of ethical conflicts or political embarrassments as Hillary Clinton undertook her presidential race. Later disclosure statements revealed that the couple’s worth was now upwards of $50 million, and that they had earned over $100 million since 2000, with most of it coming from Bill Clinton’s books, speaking engagements, and other activities.

DesignSpotlights

A Design Philosophy

Philosophy of design is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of design. Philosophy of design is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of design. The field is defined by an interest in a set of problems, or an interest in central or foundational concerns in design. In addition to these central problems for design as a whole, many philosophers of design consider these problems as they apply to particular disciplines (e.g. philosophy of art). Although most practitioners are philosophers, several prominent designers and artists have contributed to the field. Graphic design has seen many changes and influences.

History of the Philosophy

The field needs more depth, in a sense graphic design needs to find itself, all while evolving at the same time. It’s debatable how the background of graphic design needs to be shared. There’s the discussion of different designers, and their notable works. Portrayals of how the physical art has changed and been inspired by past all while embracing the future.

Graphic Design as a field is young. There is not enough information about how it came to be. There is subtle information about society accepting messages being put in front of them. There’s not enough information given to design students about where the concept for graphic design comes from, or at least an understanding about the original forms of communications that used more than words, or why typography has such a large impact.

Herman Miller’s Design Philosophy

In the 1948 Herman Miller sales catalog, George Nelson laid out his view of the company’s design philosophy. These five simple statements echoed the education that Gilbert Rohde had provided for the company in the preceding decades.

  1. What you make is important.
  2. Design is an integral part of the business.
  3. The product must be honest.
  4. You decide what you will make.
  5. There is a market for good design.

This simple set of statements has defined a company’s product philosophy for many, many years. It’s no coincidence that Herman Miller has remained a contemporary, sustainable, design-driven business.

PoliticsSpotlights

The legacy of Lincoln

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. In doing so, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy.

Born in Hodgenville, Kentucky, Lincoln grew up on the western frontier in Kentucky and Indiana. Largely self-educated, he became a lawyer in Illinois, a Whig Party leader, and a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, where he served from 1834 to 1846. Elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1846, Lincoln promoted rapid modernization of the economy through banks, tariffs, and railroads. Because he had originally agreed not to run for a second term in Congress, and because his opposition to the Mexican–American War was unpopular among Illinois voters, Lincoln returned to Springfield and resumed his successful law practice. Reentering politics in 1854, he became a leader in building the new Republican Party, which had a statewide majority in Illinois. In 1858, while taking part in a series of highly publicized debates with his opponent and rival, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, Lincoln spoke out against the expansion of slavery, but lost the U.S. Senate race to Douglas.

In 1860, Lincoln secured the Republican Party presidential nomination as a moderate from a swing state. With very little support in the slaveholding states of the South, he swept the North and was elected president in 1860.

When I am getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say and two-thirds about him and what he is going to say.

His victory prompted seven southern slave states to form the Confederate States of America before he moved into the White House – no compromise or reconciliation was found regarding slavery and secession. Subsequently, on April 12, 1861, a Confederate attack on Fort Sumter inspired the North to enthusiastically rally behind the Union in a declaration of war.

As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican Party, Lincoln confronted Radical Republicans, who demanded harsher treatment of the South, War Democrats, who called for more compromise, anti-war Democrats (called Copperheads), who despised him, and irreconcilable secessionists, who plotted his assassination. Politically, Lincoln fought back by pitting his opponents against each other, by carefully planned political patronage, and by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory. His Gettysburg Address became an iconic endorsement of the principles of nationalism, republicanism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy.