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  • Bill Scanlon
    Below you will find; 1) The REAL Perfect Storm USCG 2 ) When can we expect to get High Speed Wireless at Sea (anywhere)? RedZone featured in Interface Tech
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 7, 2006
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      Below you will find;
      1) The REAL Perfect Storm USCG
       
      2 ) When can we expect to get High Speed Wireless at Sea (anywhere)?
      RedZone featured in Interface Tech News
      3) Moby Dick's revenge: Ships to avoid whales
      Shipping lanes off state to be shifted to aid leviathans
      4) Weather buoy transmits data on ocean conditions from Maine coast
       
      5) Some happy that a family film flaunts dire facts
       
      6) Some new Eye Candy for our Harbor Cruises: The ICA
      How they did it
      They had to get the land. They had to get the money. And they had to stay true to their risky vision –
      even if it meant building on an undeveloped waterfront site.
      Dive in. The water's fine. More ICA
      The museum's debut exhibits showcase art's engaging new wave
       
      6) Sailing Adventure"
      SEA Education Association (SEA) offers college students a study abroad that challenges them intellectually
      and physically by combining a sailing adventure of a lifetime with the study of the deep ocean.
       
      7) An OLDer Article but still relevant;
      Newsweek
      A German company is introducing sails it
      says may help propel ships across the sea cheaper and faster than modern engines.
       
      The Real
      "Perfect Storm"

      http://www.uscg.mil/news/PerfectStorm/Realstorm.html
      Coast Guard photos by Chief Petty Officer Scott Vriesman
       

      When can we expect to get High Speed Wireless at Sea (anywhere)?

      October 21, 2006
      RedZone featured in Interface Tech News
      In the article entitled
      Connecting the Coast: RedZone brings Wi-Fi to Downeast Maine, RedZone founder Jim McKenna discusses how broadband wireless and mesh technology are being used to provide affordable high speed Internet service to Maine communities. The article cites examples of how this same technology is being successfully deployed to provide affordable high speed Internet access city-wide in major markets around the world, including Boston, Philadelphia, San Franscisco, and Taipei, Taiwan. McKenna also talks about wireless security, and briefly discusses RedZone's plans for expansion.
       
       
      Moby Dick's revenge: Ships to avoid whales

      Shipping lanes off state to be shifted to aid leviathans

      By Beth Daley, Globe Staff | December 6, 2006
      In ship-versus-whale encounters, the whales invariably lose, but score one for the whales this time.
      The International Maritime Organization, based in London, is expected to vote later this week to shift the busy shipping lanes off Massachusetts up to 10 miles north and to narrow them by a mile to reduce collisions with whales, the first time such a detour would be directed in US waters to protect an endangered species.
      The move, government scientists say, will reduce the risk of ships striking North Atlantic right whales by up to 60 percent and the risk of striking other large baleen whales by as much as 81 percent.
      "This makes it more possible for whales and ships to coexist," said David Wiley, research coordinator for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, who came up with the idea.
      Three years ago, the International Maritime Organization, a United Nations agency, shifted shipping lanes in Canada's Bay of Fundy 4 miles east to protect right whales, the first time that a world shipping lane was altered to protect an endangered species.
      The US government has been trying to do the same for several years and has documented the vast number of right whales and other large whales that feed and frolic in the middle of the current shipping lanes off Massachusetts. Ship strikes, along with fishing gear entanglement, are some of the greatest threats to the world's remaining 350 North Atlantic right whales.
      From February 2004 to April 2005, at least four adult females, three of which were carrying near-term fetuses, were killed by ship strikes along the East Coast.
      Redrawing lanes is not simple; changes must be submitted to the International Maritime Organization, which can take more than a year to review requests and make a decision. If the request is approved, the shift will take place in June to ensure there is time to make changes to navigational charts. An International Maritime Organization official said this week that a subcommittee on navigation and safety recommended the change and that such recommendations are usually adopted by the agency.
      Not everyone is happy, however. The Massachusetts Port Authority and the Boston Harbor Pilot Association say that the proposed change could cause more ship collisions because it narrows each inbound and outbound lane by a half-mile, leaving each lane 1 mile wide, rather than the traditional two miles. They also say they were never given the opportunity to comment formally on the new design before it was submitted in April to the International Maritime Organization.
      "These changes are likely to increase the chance of vessel collisions," said Gregg Farmer, president of the Boston Harbor Pilot Association. Pilots from the association, commissioned by the state, board large vessels to help direct them safely into and out of Boston Harbor.
      Farmer said he is in favor of moving the lanes to save the whales, but not at risk to maritime safety. "We knew about other proposals for the whales, but never heard of this one until we couldn't comment on it."
      US Coast Guard officials say they narrowed the shipping lanes in part to avoid a security zone around Northeast Gateway, a proposed liquefied natural gas port 13 miles off Gloucester. They say the lanes were designed before technology such as the global positioning system made navigating more precise.
      And, they add, the two 1 1/2 mile-wide lanes -- with a 1- mile safety zone between them -- are still wider than many of the world's shipping lanes. The proposal would lengthen the roughly 45-mile long shipping lanes by about 4 miles, probably adding 15 minutes each way to the trip in and out of Boston. The lanes are narrowed only for the 30 miles closest to Boston.
      Wiley and researchers at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration examined whale-sighting data off Massachusetts for several decades. They discovered that whales tend to feed in two distinct areas that form an hourglass-like design off the coast. The new lanes cut through the narrowest part of that hourglass.
      "If you can find a measure with relatively little economic impact, navigational impact, and risk reduction for whales, you really have to push for it," said Gregory Silber, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
      Beth Daley can be reached at
      bdaley@....
       
      Weather buoy transmits data on ocean conditions from Maine coast

      December 5, 2006
      PORTLAND, Maine --Weather watchers have one more tool at their disposal to get the latest information about ocean conditions along the Maine coast.
      The Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System, or GoMOOS, has deployed a new small weather buoy at the mouth of the New Meadows River near Harpswell to take measurements of wind speed, waves, circulation patterns, temperatures, salinity and even fog and sea smoke.
      The buoy is the 11th in the network of GoMOOS buoys in the Gulf of Maine used by mariners, scientists, weather forecasters and others to get ocean conditions from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia. The newest buoy is the first of its type that aims to record ocean conditions close to shore.
      The buoy is mobile and can be easily moved from place to place. It is slated to stay at the New Meadows River site for two years.
      "What we envision in the future is a set of these buoys that we can move in and out of bays and estuaries to do some fine-scale measurements of what's happening in those areas," said Tom Shyka, the chief operating officer for GoMOOS.
      GoMOOS is a nonprofit organization that operates buoys that serve as floating research stations, transmitting a wealth of data about ocean conditions. The information is on the Internet, available to researchers, ship captains, fishermen and those who are simply curious.
      The newest buoy, "Buoy D," was placed at the mouth of the New Meadows River in eastern Casco Bay because GoMOOS members said there was a need for buoy data from close to shore. The river is known for having large numbers of menhaden die off in the 1990s; it also has experienced toxic algae blooms that have resulted in shellfish closures.
      The new buoy, designed by the GoMOOS buoy program at the University of Maine, is smaller, lighter and less expensive to build and maintain than the other buoys in the network.
      The data transmitted by the buoy will be particularly valuable to those who manage the waters in and around the river, such as the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Marine Resources, as well as town officials, Shyka said.
      ------
      On the Net:
      Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System:
      http://HYPERLINK "http://www.gomoos.org/"www.gomoos.org
       
      Some happy that a family film flaunts dire facts

      By John Donnelly, Globe Staff | December 6, 2006
      WASHINGTON -- Michael Hirshfield has long struggled to get across his earnest but wonky message: that global warming and over fishing are killing off the oceans' food supply.
      Then, along came the animated movie "Happy Feet" and, voila, tens of millions of youngsters -- and their parents -- across the country are suddenly aware that man-made problems are threatening the penguins near the South Pole, and almost everything else in the South Seas.
      The blockbuster film, the top box-office hit for the past three weekends, is about emperor penguins struggling to survive with a depleted food supply, and one tap-dancing penguin's epic search to learn what is causing the colony's fish to disappear.
      "It's huge to be able to start a conversation that doesn't have to go into a boring, scientific food-web explanation, and just say, 'You know, like 'Happy Feet,' " said Hirshfield, the Washington-based chief scientist at Oceana, an ocean protection advocacy group. "And everyone will get it."
      "Happy Feet" took environmental groups by surprise. The film studio, Warner Bros., gave them no tip-off about its environmental message. Now, advocates are trying to figure out how to capitalize on the movie.
      At the New England Aquarium, which has 65 penguins -- including the rock hopper, the same species as Lovelace , a key character in the film -- children are peppering guides with questions about penguin behavior. And environmental groups are rushing to craft messages on how youngsters can help the penguins, amid hope that questions being asked by children will soon become political concerns for their parents.
      The film is projected to take in $180 million to $190 million in the United States alone, about eight times the figure for the much-discussed Al Gore documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth." Environmentalists say "Happy Feet" provides a rare chance to spread their messages on global warming, over fishing, and the dangers of oil spills to an audience that doesn't usually follow public policy.
      "The generation that will be seeing this movie, the children, will be the ones facing the critical issues when the big problems are going to happen -- possible global fish extinction in 40 to 50 years" for many species, said Matt Rand, director of the marine fish campaign at National Environmental Trust, a Washington-based advocacy group.
      A study published recently in the journal Science predicted that if over fishing of depleted seafood populations continued at current rates, the world would run out of commercial stocks by 2048.
      Wayne Z. Trivelpiece , who has researched penguins for 30 years at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , said in an interview yesterday that all species in the South Seas are touched by the effects of global warming.
      Penguins and some large sea animals survive on the shrimp like krill, which themselves feast on algae embedded in the northern edges of the Antarctic ice. But increases in temperature in the last three decades have caused the ice to melt away at its northern edges, forcing penguins to move south and causing supplies of krill to diminish. In the historically rich krill-breeding grounds, ice is now appearing, on average, only one winter in five.
      That, said Trivelpiece, has led to sharply reduced numbers of krill. Huge trawlers from Norway, Russia, Japan, Korea, Ukraine, and Poland, among other countries, also have been catching an average 100,000 tons of krill in recent years , for feeding farmed salmon and for pharmaceutical uses . With the increasingly depleted stocks, the commercial catch is becoming more of a threat to the survival of krill. Environmentalists want not only to reduce the trawlers' catch, but also to force them to fish in a wider area.
      Researchers have found that when young Adelie and chinstrap penguins in Antarctica venture out on their own, usually every March, fewer than half now survive because of the reduction in krill populations, he said.
      "When they go out for first time with no parental oversight, with the krill population reduced, the probability of returning has declined radically," Trivelpiece said.
      He and other scientists wish the movie had focused less on over fishing and more on global warming, but he added: " Anything that raises the consciousness of what goes on in the Antarctic is important. The Antarctic is sickly and deserves to be in the forefront of people's minds."
      Conservationists don't harbor notions that the movie will immediately create a pro-environment mindset among the very young. They acknowledge that the movie's soundtrack and the penguins' personalities are the major draws for most moviegoers.
      Trivelpiece took his two daughters, ages 9 and 14, to the movie last weekend, and they were more moved by the music than the message. While both have been to Antarctica and are "pretty savvy about this stuff, they liked the music and the dancing more than anything else."
      And at the Boston aquarium, many children in the last two weeks have asked lots of questions about the penguins, including which species they are and why they aren't living on ice like the birds in the movie. (The answer is that the three species of penguins at the aquarium are from temperate zones in the southern hemisphere, where they live on land and don't eat krill.)
      But few aquarium visitors so far seem worried about the penguins' chances of survival.
      "The kids ask if our penguins dance a lot," said Justin Boepple , 25, visitor education specialist at New England Aquarium, which for two weeks has featured a program titled "Walk Like a Penguin." "I tell them they don't dance, but say that the rock hoppers hop some."
      For more information on penguins, see the New England Aquarium's Web presentation,
      www.neaq.org/penguins.
      John Donnelly can be reached at
      donnelly@...
       

       
      New Eye Candy for your Harbor Cruise;
      How they did it

      They had to get the land. They had to get the money. And they had to stay true to their risky vision -- even if it meant building on an undeveloped waterfront site.
      By Geoff Edgers | December 6, 2006
      IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE a get-to-know-you breakfast, a chance for the new director of the Institute of Contemporary Art to sit down with a powerful trustee. Before the coffee had even cooled at the Charles Hotel restaurant, Paul Buttenwieser stunned ICA head Jill Medvedow with his news.
      Well-known for his cultural philanthropy, the Belmont psychiatrist had been on the ICA board for six years. As he saw it, life at the museum had become dismal. No money, no prestige, no art collection. I'm on the way out, he told her.
      Caught off guard, Medvedow made her first important request as museum director.
      Please, she asked. Could you give me a year?
      He gave her eight. On Sunday, Buttenwieser's patience, and Medvedow's drive, will be rewarded as the ICA opens its $51 million home on the waterfront, the first new art museum in the city in nearly 100 years. The road has not been easy. To succeed, ICA leaders had to raise more money than ever in the institution's history, in a city historically dismissive of contemporary art. They faced battles with their neighbors, government regulators, and their own construction company. And with only weeks to spare, they had to delay their glitzy opening.
      If they had failed, they would merely be fulfilling expectations, and remain a blip on the city's cultural radar.
      "It's one thing for the Modern or the Whitney . . . to raise $60 million," says David Ross, the ICA's former director. "It's another for a small, cutting-edge institution like the ICA."
      Building muscle They said we couldn't do it.
      The six words became Medvedow's mantra as she met with city officials, cajoled donors, or picked up a shovel to signal when the building broke ground.
      The skeptics had a point. By the time Medvedow arrived in 1998, attendance, which had peaked in 1991 at more than 120,000 visitors, had fallen to fewer than 16,000 a year. The nomadic museum had moved 10 times since its founding in 1936. Its late-'90s home, a former police station on Boylston Street, was so small the museum had to close between shows. There wasn't enough room to move out borrowed works and keep visitors coming through.
      The ICA also couldn't acquire art. Dependent on the largesse of wealthy collectors, museums recognize that a permanent collection serves as an important signal of status.
      In the '80s and early '90s, under Ross, a director with a flair for attention-grabbing shows, the ICA drew crowds, particularly for a controversial exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe photography. But by the mid-'90s, Ross had moved on. So had the ICA's buzz.
      By hiring Medvedow, 52, a scrappy New Jersey transplant, the trustees took a calculated risk. She had started up galleries in Seattle, and the contemporary art program at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. But she had never run a museum.
      In public, Medvedow, not quite 5-foot-2, came across as peppy, warm, eternally optimistic. Behind closed doors, she developed a reputation for being fearless, unyielding, even difficult. She wouldn't take no for an answer.
      Yet no is what Medvedow got when she asked Sheryl Marshall, an art collector who made her money in venture capital, to join the ICA's board in 1998. Not giving up, she enlisted salon owner Mario Russo, a longtime trustee, who invited Marshall to a dinner at his Beacon Hill home.
      All her reasons for not joining -- business and fasmily commitments, the seemingly overwhelming work that might go into repositioning the ICA -- seemed to evaporate as she stared at the massive Shelburne Thurber photograph of an empty apartment on Russo's wall.
      "I just looked around and I just realized contemporary art was something I always loved, that he was right," said Marshall. "I was being foolish saying no."
      Yet at her first ICA meeting, Marshall looked around, surprised.
      "And I said, 'This is the first board I've been on that has no quote , unquote downtown white guys,' " Marshall said.
      By that, she meant business leaders with clout -- the kinds of people who populated the boards of the city's cultural giants, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Her first recruits included Henrique de Campos Meirelles, then president of Bank of Boston, and Bob Davoli, president of Sigma Properties. Davoli led to Jean-Francois Formela, a senior partner at another venture capital firm, Atlas Venture.
      The outspoken Marshall also helped recruit staff. In 2000, Medvedow sent Paul Bessire, who m she was trying to lure away from the Museum of Fine Arts, to visit Marshall at her office.
      "I said, this is not the [expletive] MFA," Marshall remembers telling the ICA's future deputy director, who had managed the MFA's institutional fund - raising efforts. "This is a different crowd, and people were not going to be driving up with three generations of money to be the first ones to write checks for tens of millions of dollars.
      "To me, this was all about the new Boston."
      A 'free' piece of land Ideas were easy to come by on Fan Pier, a 21-acre swath between Anthony's Pier 4 and the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse. For years, development proposals rolled into City Hall like trawlers on the harbor.
      The question became who could actually pull off a project on this desolate section of the waterfront. For city planners, this was one of Boston's last, great, developable spaces. The idea needed to be bold.
      Chicago's Pritzker family, which owned Fan Pier, had a plan. In 1999, they proposed creating the largest waterfront development in Boston's history. Hotels, condos, office towers. City leaders liked the idea -- with one caveat. As part of their approval, the Pritzkers had to give up a 3/4-acre sliver right on the water to a cultural site.
      This was Parcel J.
      Parcel J sat in the midst of a wasteland of parking lots, and a mile away from the South Station MBTA stop. Not exactly a prime spot for a new museum, particularly one without a built-in visitor base.
      But for the ICA, the city's offer -- a free site! -- was hard to resist. Once the Pritzkers did their building, the ICA would be part of a thriving, new Boston neighborhood. The museum applied and, in November 1999, was selected.
      The doubters did more than whisper.
      The South Boston Design Advisory Committee, which included future US Representative Stephen F. Lynch, wrote to the Boston Redevelopment Authority, expressing "serious concerns over the viability of ICA's ability to be able to develop this site."
      That didn't surprise Medvedow. A year earlier, at one of her own board meetings, she had heard similar doubts. Kenneth L. Freed, a local collector and ICA trustee, noted that the museum had already been advised that any new facility should be built near other attractions.
      "I raised my hand and said, 'Isn't this a stand-alone site where there's nothing going on? Freed remembered telling Medvedow.
      "She said, 'It's free.' I said, 'You get what you pay for.' "
      Asking big Barbara Lee knew she was on the hook. The ICA trustee, whose 1996 divorce from buyout king Thomas Lee left her with millions, had always been a museum booster, even before Medvedow's arrival.
      As a trustee at the Gardner, Lee had worked with Medevow in the '90s, helping develop that museum's small contemporary art program. They were close enough that Lee had recused herself from the ICA director search in 1997. She didn't want others to think the fix was in.
      As a philanthropist, Lee doesn't just hand over money. She has a philosophy. Get involved, see what's needed, and then step up. That's how it worked with the Gardner and the other institutions she had given to in the 1990s.
      "I had gotten comfortable with giving a gift of a million dollars," Lee said.
      Medvedow, though, made it clear that wouldn't be enough. She needed to change perceptions, to recast the ICA as a player. Early in 2000, the director cut to the point. She needed $5 million. "I said, 'Wow,' " remembered Lee. "I knew I wanted to make a leadership gift. I didn't expect it to be that number."
      A few weeks later at a March ICA board meeting , Lee announced that she would give the money, no strings attached. The rest of the board, most of whom knew nothing about the request, began to applaud. Then they got out their checkbooks.
      With the fund-raising rolling, Medvedow, eager to make a splash, turned the selection of an architect into a public drama. One Saturday in March 2001, the ICA held a design derby, a public presentation by four finalists in a packed Boston theater.
      Two presentations stood out.
      The surprise candidates, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio , were New Yorkers known as much as artists as architects. They had never built a museum.
      Using a laptop, Diller talked of their approach to light, drawing laughs from the audience with a slide showing the translucent walls separating the men's and women's bathrooms in one project, a feature she described as a "privacy leak." Diller showed photographs of the duo's remarkable Blur pavilion -- a fogged-over platform built over a lake for the Swiss National Expo in 2002. She wondered, out loud, whether the new ICA could feature a floating art barge.
      Then Peter Zumthor took the stage.
      He was the favorite, the Zen master from Switzerland whose resume offered a series of minimalist masterpieces, many of which the ICA's leaders had visited.
      He wore a red scarf. He spoke of his love of cigars and red wine. He brought only a few slides, and scoffed at the idea his work could be understood from afar. Then Zumthor launched into a short anecdote that may have cost him the ICA job.
      He talked about a commission awarded in Berlin. Unlike the projects the ICA leaders had seen, it was never built. The budget had delayed construction.
      "This was eight . . . damned years ago and for eight years these people wanted me to make compromises and compromises," Zumthor said angrily, his face growing red.
      In the audience, several ICA trustees were rattled.
      "He was brilliant but iconoclastic," remembered Vin Cipolla, president of the ICA's board . "When he said that about the budget of the Berlin project, that made us gasp."
      Reveal and conceal Diller, Scofidio , and Charles Renfro, the firm's third partner, were thrilled to get the commission in April 2001. But along with its outlying location, Parcel J posed another problem.
      "The water," said Diller. "It's almost too tempting to make that the focus of the building."
      The answer, the architects decided, would be to control the view. Reveal and conceal: That became their concept. Light would be let through ceiling panels that were incandescent, but not clear. Inside , a viewer could still tell if it was a sunny day. From the outside, especially at night, the building would glow.
      Its most distinctive feature would be an 80-foot cantilever, an overhang housing the ICA's new galleries. Though the architects had played with suspended spaces -- the Blur pavilion being the most stunning example -- the cantilever would be the most dramatic embodiment of the concept to date.
      Most of the cantilever would be filled with the major gallery spaces. But right at the front, running the full width of the building, would be a long, shallow gallery that revealed the most unfettered view of the harbor. To add a concealing element, the architects wanted to use lenticular film. That blurred the view to either side of a visitor, offering a clear shot only when one stared straight ahead. The view in this Founders' Gallery would follow the visitors like a moving frame.
      Medvedow embraced the design. So did board members and architecture critics studying the blueprints. City officials, though, had concerns about a building without a red brick to its name.
      "They would tell me it was ugly," Kairos Shen, director of planning at the Boston Redevelopment Authority, remembers hearing from city leaders and local developers. "I told them, 'Don't judge this right now. Let it grow on you.' "
      Compromises, compromises So much had changed since 1999, when the ICA scored the Fan Pier plot. The city was now swirling with projects, not just the Big Dig but a lengthy list of museum expansions, from the MFA and Gardner to the Children's and Science museums.
      On Fan Pier, the news was not so good. The Pritzkers delayed groundbreaking on their planned new neighborhood. Then they bowed out completely and put the land up for sale. All the condos and shops and restaurants slated to flank the ICA were suddenly on permanent hold.
      The ICA still had to move forward. Now the new museum would be an island on the waterfront.
      The groundbreaking, on a clear-blue fall day in 2004, raised the spirits of the trustees. It also locked them into a timetable. From here on out, every road bump -- arguments with the New England Development Corporation, the waterfront neighbor that owned the land holding Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant; the near-collapse of the project's construction company, Macomber Builders -- threatened to derail the museum's momentum.
      The architects had their own battle. As the gleaming building began to rise on Fan Pier, Mayor Thomas M. Menino took a walk through. He stood in the Founders' Gallery. Then he was told about the lenticular film.
      "Why are you going to blur the view?" Menino said. "When people come here, it's going to blow their minds."
      The ICA's building committee began to waver, despite protests from the architects.
      "We were very disappointed," said Diller. "If we had one conflict with Jill it was about that. She was totally supportive while we were planning it, but what happened with the mayor happened with a lot of people given a tour. You see that vast view, floor to ceiling, wall to wall, it's pretty breathtaking. To me, it's just too much of a good thing."
      A 'hiccup,' or worse? Invitations to the opening-week parties were at the printers.
      Yes, there were delays in construction. By the time the ICA closed its Boylston Street building this summer, the new building project had fallen behind schedule. Macomber couldn't get enough workers to the site; quietly, the ICA had hired Skanska USA Building Inc. to take over.
      But the plan was firm: to open in September, with music and dance performances, and a week of parties.
      The invitations never went out. At the very last minute, the ICA had to cancel its long-awaited opening. The building wouldn't be done in time.
      Medvedow tried to downplay the delay. She described it as "an insignificant and brief hiccup." In reality, the postponement created a mess. Performers booked into the ICA's new theater for the fall had to scramble for alternative space, or shift to next year.
      One night in late September, ICA project manager Mike Waters came to City Hall to ask the Boston Conservation Commission for more time to comply with certain regulations.
      Vivien Li, a commission member and executive director of the Boston Harbor Association, began hammering away at Waters. Why couldn't people get to the Harborwalk, the public path on the edge of the ICA's site? It's a construction zone, he said.
      Where was the ICA's snow removal plan? Don't have it yet, Waters admitted.
      Li raised her voice. "There's a reason we need these things," she said. "It frankly is insulting."
      Waters got the extension, but Li's inquisition left him frazzled.
      "When will the ICA open?" she asked him at one point.
      "I can't give you a date," he told her.
      It was another month before Waters finally knew. With the window of possibility narrowing between the holidays, the ICA announced in October that it would open to the public on Dec. 10, with several days of parties and members' events preceding the launch.
      The timing was awkward, considering the likely chill on the waterfront and with Art Basel Miami Beach, the country's more important contemporary art fair, in full swing that week. What mattered most, though, the ICA's leaders agreed, is that the museum would, in fact, open in 2006.
      On a recent afternoon, Medvedow sat in her sun-splashed corner office with Susan Courte manche, a former Gardner museum colleague who in 2000 did a study on whether the ICA could raise the money to build a new home.
      They talked about plans for after the building opened, including programs and a new endowment campaign.
      There was a knock on the door. Chief curator Nicholas Baume peeked in and asked if Medvedow had a moment.
      The trio headed upstairs to one of the galleries, which by now were filling up with the paintings, sculptures, and photographs that would make up the inaugural show , "Super Vision." Baume led Medvedow over to Josiah McElheny's piece, a series of glass jars in a case that, through the use of mirrors, seemed to replicate itself infinitely.
      Four trustees had purchased the McElheny in Medvedow's honor. Nancy Tieken, had been on the search committee that selected her. The other donors -- Bridgitt Evans , Anthony Terrana, and James Pallotta, and their respective spouses -- were brought into the ICA over the last four years, as the institution refashioned itself to play in the city's cultural big leagues.
      "Oh my God," Medvedow said, putting her hands on her cheeks. "This is so amazing."
      Behind her, Courtemanche and Baume chatted about the piece. Medvedow wasn't listening. Finally, Courtemanche noticed her staring.
      "Are you crying?" she asked.
      Geoff Edgers can be reached at
      gedgers@... more on arts, visit boston.com/ae/theater_arts/exhibitionist.
       
       
      Dive in. The water's fine.

      The museum's debut exhibits showcase art's engaging new wave
      By Cate McQuaid , Globe Correspondent | December 6, 2006
      Boston has famously conservative tastes. When it comes to art, most of us prefer the sunny comforts of a Monet haystack to the complexities of contemporary art. But the new Institute of Contemporary Art is growing up into a museum that has the potential to be a player on the world stage. Boston's aesthetic can grow up with it.
      Contemporary art is a mirror: It reflects who we are as a society, what we value, and how we position ourselves. If you want to consider where the world is going and what it means to be an individual in society -- ideas that are in constant flux, what with war and climate change and technological advances, what with communities, real and virtual, transforming every day -- then go to the ICA and look at the art.
      If contemporary art isn't exploring the world at large, it's exploring . . . art itself. Artists specialize in shattering art history's icons, then incorporating them into new ones. Contemporary artists push envelopes; they use new forms, materials, and methods to challenge our senses, our imagination, and the very idea of what makes art. This needn't be forbidding to the uninitiated. Art is not hermetically sealed in a bubble filled with impenetrable theory and jargon. It reaches out to everyone.
      All these aspects of contemporary art come together in the ICA's opening shows. And if they enthrall you, you may find yourself making trips to the ICA on a regular basis.
      Just one tip: Don't try to figure anything out. Explore it. Let it wash over you. Looking at art is a visceral experience first, one you process with your eyes, your bones, and your gut. Your head will play catch-up in its own time.
      'Pause' to consider "Super Vision," the ICA's inaugural showcase, is an exhibition that looks at how we see and how technology changes perception. It's the perfect intersection of cultural commentary and visual exploration, and a canny way to kick off the museum's programming. It serves up a lot of art that's just plain fun to look at -- works by Jeff Koons, Bridget Riley, and many others. Call it the "Wow!" factor -- pieces that affect the eye the way fine chocolate kisses excite the taste buds.
      In the show, chief curator Nicholas Baume looks back to Op Art with Riley's 1964 painting "Pause," a panel of undulating black polka dots that will make your head spin. "Pause" reflected its time -- late Modernism's dissections of space, psychedelic designs -- but it also anticipated today's digital graphics and the virtual space of the computer monitor.
      Installation art -- an environment that envelops the viewer -- is the most experiential art form. It can be giddily disorienting. In "New Light," James Turrell plays with shadow and colored light to throw your perceptions off. What you initially see is not what's really going on.
      Mona Hatoum's installation "Corps étranger (Foreign Body)," takes viewers spelunking through the artist's body via endoscopic camera. What are the implications of being able to see yourself, as Hatoum does, on the inside? Contemporary art like hers can push us out of our comfort zones. The intention isn't to needle so much as it is to wake us up.
      From 9/11 to global warming When it comes to social commentary, contemporary art has an edge over the talking heads on the 24-hour news channels. It makes connections and raises questions, but doesn't rush to answers. Art leaves that to us. Head into the ICA's exhibit of its new permanent collection, and you'll find Paul Chan's video installation "1st Light," which links 9/11 anxieties and fundamentalist Christian convictions about the Rapture.
      Contemporary art also uses new imaging technologies to change the way we understand our place in the universe, just as the first photos of our little blue planet did. Look at the growing presence of surveillance in our lives. In the "Super Vision" show, Chantal Akerman blends surveillance footage with video she shot in an installation about a hot-button issue, tensions along the US-Mexican border: "From the Other Side."
      Art, once something just to look at, now often invites viewer participation. Jane D. Marsching , one of the exhibitors in the James and Audrey Foster Prize exhibit of four Boston-area artists, contemplates global warming; she also reaches out to the viewer virtually, via blog. Her "Arctic Listening Postland" features comic digital images of the mythic Arctic and a Web-based conversation about the environment.
      Another exhibit, "Momentum 6: Sergio V ega," presents the Argentine-born artist's installation "Tropicalounge." Vega explores the 17th-century myth of South America as the new Eden. Here's another classic theme in art of the last century: the chasm between self and other. In this case, the "other" is the imagined paradise and its inhabitants.
      Drawn in by loveliness How about pure, old-fashioned beauty? Have no fear. In the ICA's lobby, Chiho Aoshima's colorful mural "The Divine Gas" depicts a giant girl in a gorgeous, fantastical landscape.
      In the permanent collection, you'll find the Rubenesque nudes of Marlene Dumas. Her watercolors are voluptuously handmade, her tones ruddy and welcoming. The content, which examines feminine sexuality, can be unnerving; all the more reason to draw us in with loveliness.
      Then there's Sheila Gallagher , another finalist exhibiting in the Foster Prize show, who has made an installation entirely out of living flowers, "painting" the image of a cloud with blossoms. The piece definitely has the "Wow!" factor, as in: "Holy cow, how'd she do that?"
      Contemporary art can be fun and amazing, and it can be provocative and chilling. The best of it helps us come to grips with ourselves, and that's reason enough to celebrate the new ICA.
       
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      An OLDer Article but still relevant;
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13325827/site/newsweek/
      http://news.com.com/German+high-tech+sky+sail+may+cut+costs,+emissions/2100-11398_3-6140571.html
      Newsweek

      June 26, 2006 issue - File this under "what's old is new again." A German company is introducing sails it says may help propel ships across the sea cheaper and faster than modern engines.
      SkySails' system consists of an enormous towing kite and navigation software that can map the best route between two points for maximum wind efficiency. In development for more than four years, the system costs from roughly $380,000 to $3.2 million, depending on the size of the ship it's pulling. SkySails claims it will save one third of fuel costs. It recently signed its first contract with Beluga Shipping of Bremen, Germany, for one kite, but says it expects to sell 300 more within five years. Beluga says that the giant kite will help the company meet environmental regulations as well as cut fuel costs.
      The sail systems are meant as a retrofit technology that can work with any cargo ship as well as yachts of more than 79 feet. Ships can use their engines to begin and end voyages and use sail power in lieu of engines for the middle portion. Use both, and you go even faster.
      -Linda Stern
       
       


      Bill Scanlon
      USCG Master 50 GT Inland Waters
      Towing & Sailing Endorsements
      Lic. # 1092926
      1984 Catalina 30
      "Ruby"
      Std. Rig  Hull#  3688
      Winthrop (Mass.) Yacht Club
       
      Navigare necesse est, vivere non est necesse


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