WILLWORK, INC. EXHIBIT & EVENT SERVICES CELEBRATES THE ARCH, ONE OF HISTORY’S EPIC ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENTS

(This post was updated on February 8, 2018)

The Gateway Arch at Night (image credit: The Gateway Arch and National Park Service)

 

“You say to a brick, ‘What do you want, brick?’ And brick says to you, ‘I like an arch.’ And you say to brick, ‘Look, I want one, too, but arches are expensive and I can use a concrete lintel.’ And then you say: ‘What do you think of that, brick?’ Brick says: ‘I like an arch.’”

LOUIS KAHN, Architect

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a leading national exhibition services and event project management company.  We are based in the Boston area and have offices in major urban areas across the U.S.

Willwork works from coast to coast. Our client roster includes among the world’s largest and most successful multinationals as well as smaller companies, only recently founded, and which you may not have heard of, but we are confident that you will.

We provide every client the same uncompromising value and quality service.

A major aspect of our business is building and installing and dismantling exhibits and displays – and in that the world’s top exhibit and display houses and studios entrust Willwork with handling what they have designed and planned and created, we hold a deep admiration and respect for excellence in design and architecture and engineering.

With this post, Willwork begins a series that will from time to time feature historic development and invention in design, in architecture, and in engineering.

This series will spotlight how beauty in form and function and utility meet, with each element complementing and strengthening the other.

Throughout most of recorded history, there has been no better and purer example of beauty and form and function and utility reconciling, and with one strengthening and abetting the other, than the arch.

Wikipedia provides a simple, accurate, and helpful description of the arch: “An arch is a curved structure that spans an elevated space and may or may not support the weight above it.”

Please click here to be taken to the full Wikipedia article on the arch.

With the development and improvement of the arch, available was a device, one in which tension and compression were used to construct structures that were taller and heavier and longer than was possible with use of the lintel, which already existed and was the other primary technique used to span and connect columns and pillars and sections of buildings.  

In employing the lintel, which is a straight horizontal piece of building material, weight in not nearly as well distributed as with an arch, and therefore much shorter intervals of length between sections of the structure are required than with the arch.

If you click here you will be taken to brief and interesting video, at the ScienceOnline YouTube channel, about the science and physics of the arch.

Taking the Arch to the Next Level: The Roman Architectural Revolution and Roman Concrete

When the arch first appeared is a topic of considerable and ongoing debate, but verifiable and supportable scholarship tells us that it was the Mesopotamians who first used the arch about 4,100 years ago.

There is little debate though that it the Ancient Romans greatly expanded and improved the use of the arch, and created arches that were far grander and more magnificent that arches of the past.

These advances occurred during the Roman Architectural Revolution, an era which ran approximately from 500 B.C. to the 4th Century AD – roughly coincident with the period of the Roman Empire.

The Romans used the arch as a lynchpin of some of the most iconic buildings yet made, with many of the buildings still largely intact some 2,000 years after they were erected.

A technological and engineering development of the Romans that enabled them to erect bigger arches and bigger buildings was concrete.  Roman concrete is a different substance than the concrete of today; it is a mixture of volcanic ash, stones and rubble, lime, sand, and even bits of tile.  It works well.

When the Roman Empire covered its broadest geographic reach, a few years after 100 AD, it held lands that stretched across almost all of what is present-day continental Europe and Great Britain, and almost all of the region known today as the Middle East, and also a slice of present-day North Africa.  Almost two millennium later, the buildings – and the arches – that the Roman Empire constructed are found not only in Rome and the areas around the city, and in Italy, but also in places nearby and far beyond.

The Coliseum, Rome (image credit: Jerzy Strzeleck/Amandajm)

Following is a sampling of among the extraordinary structures (with location and date of construction), that include arches, of the Roman Empire:

To take an excellent and educational online tour of buildings of the Roman Architectural Revolution and Roman Empire, please click here to access a photo essay, “52 Ancient Roman Monuments”, at the website Touropia. You will see a lot of arches – a lot of big arches – if you check out the essay.

Arches of a More Modern Vintage

Just maybe the best known arch on the planet is the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.  At 630 feet in height, the Gateway Arch is the world’s tallest arch, and the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere.  At the peak of the arch is an observation deck, to which visitors are transported by an interior tram, and from which views are afforded that take in 30 miles out in all directions.

The Gateway Arch resulted from a national competition held in 1947 and into 1948 to select a design for a monument that would serve as the centerpiece for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, established in 1935. Celebrating America’s settling of the west, with particular homage paid to President Thomas Jefferson, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial was founded, and is still operated, as a National Park Service property.

Winning the national design competition was the steel arch submitted by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and his team at Saarinen and Associates.  Construction began on the Gateway Arch in 1959 and was finished in 1965; the Gateway Arch opened in 1967.

Rivaling the Gateway Arch for fame is the Arc de Triomphe, located in Paris, and the world’s largest triumphal arch, at 164 feet tall, 148 feet wide, and with a depth of 72 feet.   Triumphal arches are monuments, frequently to military campaigns and to honor those who served and died in the conflicts.

Arc de Triomphe (Arc de Triomphe Paris)

Commissioned by Napoleon I in 1806, the Arc de Triomphe was designed by architect Jean Chalgrin. Chalgrin died in 1811, and in 1814 construction on the monument stopped, and would not be taken up again until 1833.  When building recommenced, it was architect Guillaume-Abel Blouet, working off of Jean Chalgrin’s plans, who stewarded the monument to its completion in 1836.

As explained in the Wikipedia article on the Arc de Triomphe

“The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.”

Keeping with the topic of arches that are – like the Gateway Arch and the Arc de Triomphe – monuments, clicking here takes you to a Wonderslist photo essay, “10 Stunning Arch Monuments in the World”.

Sydney Opera House (image credit: John Hill)

Ranking with the most remarkable of buildings is the Sydney Opera House, a multi-venue performing arts center in Sydney, Australia. Its wholly revolutionary and innovative design, an integration of curves and sail-shaped shell structures and vaulted arches, was announced in 1957 as the winning submission, of Danish architect Jørn Utzon, in an international competition to design a “national opera house” on Sydney’s ocean waterfront at Bennelong Point.

Ground was broken on the Sydney Opera House in 1959, and construction was completed in 1973.

Davies Alpine House, at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London (image credit: WilkinsonEyre)

 

 

An amazing structure, which opened in 2006, and of which the arch is the design fulcrum, is the Davies Alpine House, a greenhouse for alpine plants at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London.

Designer of Davies Alpine House is the London-based international architecture firm WilkinsonEyre.

Arches of North Easton Village

Willwork has a historic and cosmic connection to famous building arches.

Back on June 12, 2014, published in this space was a post, “What an ‘Assembly of Talent’ – In Easton, Massachusetts, Where the Corporate Headquarters of Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is Located”.

Described in the post is the extraordinary trove of Gilded Age architecture and design found in the North Easton Village section of Easton, MA, the Boston area suburb which is the home of Willwork.  As explained in the post, the trove is owed to the beneficence of the Ames family, an American industrial, political, and philanthropic dynasty.

Creators of the treasure in North Easton Village occupy a roster of the greatest and most accomplished artistic luminaries in American history: Henry Hobson Richardson(aka H.H. Richardson), who along with Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright form the Trinity of American Architecture; Frederick Law Olmsted (aka F.L. Olmsted and F.L.O.), the Father of American Landscape Architecture; architect Stanford White; sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens; and painters and stained glass decorators, and competitors, John LaFarge and Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Arches are central to much of what H.H. Richardson and Frederick Law Olmsted designed for North Easton Village.

Indeed, arches, many of them ornate, are a staple design element of H.H. Richardson buildings, with this element exemplifying the school and architecture of “Richardsonian Romanesque” that Richardson developed. Clicking here transports you to a page at the website of the design and remodeling firm Wentworth where is found an excellent descriptor and explanation of Richardsonian Romanesque.

The Ames Gates Lodge, designed by H.H. Richardson, in North Easton, MA (image credit: Daderot)

In North Easton Village there are five Richardson buildings, four of which feature arches; they are Oakes Ames Memorial Hall, Ames Free Library, Ames Gate Lodge, and Old Colony Railroad Station.  The Richardson building that does not feature an arch is the Frederick Lothrop Ames Gardener’s Cottage.

With five H.H. Richardson buildings, North Easton Village holds almost 10 percent of the total (55) number of buildings in the world that the famed architect designed.

Arguably it is the arch of the Ames Gate Lodge, which joins separate areas of the residence, that is the most distinctive of the Richardson arches in North Easton Village.

F.L. Olmsted designed several landscapes in Easton, including the grounds and terraced staircase of Oakes Ames Memorial Hall, and two bridges, one of which contains an arch.

Perhaps, though the signature F.L.O. design in North Easton Village – and one that features an arch – is the Memorial Cairn, more commonly referred to by locals as “The Rockery”.  The Rockery is a tribute to the men from Easton who died in service to the Union during the Civil War.

The Memorial Cairn (aka The Rockery), designed Frederick Law Olmsted. in North Easton, MA (image credit: Daderot)

On Arches, the Renaissance Polymath Speaks

Arches.  Leave it to Leonardo da Vinci, just maybe possessor of as gifted and creative and ingenious a mind as has yet graced Earth, to offer this succinct and elegant appraisal and descriptor of the arch:  “An arch consists of two weaknesses which, leaning one against the other, make a strength.”

Yes, Mr. da Vinci summed up the arch nicely.

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For more reading and viewing, please click here to be taken to a photo essay, “The Top 10 Most Popular Man Made Arches in the World”, at the Themysteriousworld website.

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The next post in this series will feature and focus on the invention and engineering and architecture of the skyscraper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services Remembers A Solemn Event And Celebrates A Holiday Tradition

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit and Event Services is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.

In 2017, we have been celebrating our 30th year in business.  Yes, we started out in 1987 – and when we did so, we were a company that focused exclusively on providing exhibit installation & dismantle labor for shows and events in the Greater Boston area.

Today, Willwork has offices in major urban areas across the U.S., and from coast to coast we work in cities, towns, villages, and hamlets.

Our client list includes some of the largest and most established multinationals, and smaller and newer companies of which you may not have heard, yet … but you will.

Our valued clients and our valued business partners, and our exceptional and hard-working employees, enable and make possible success – and are the foundation of the Willwork legacy of excellence.

Here, deep into the holiday season, Willwork cites and points to and heralds an epic and historic example of noble and human endeavor, of compassion, and of the most heartfelt and enduring gratitude – all generated from a terrible tragedy and immense loss of life.

Looking across Halifax Harbor two days after the explosion (image credit: Nova Scotia Archives and Record Management)

It is an episode, still playing out, that joins two cities on the Atlantic Ocean: Boston, our hometown, and Halifax, the provincial capital of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

It is a story of extraordinary organization and logistics and labor and the most estimable human achievement and virtue.

This year is the centennial chapter and installment of the story – for it was 100 years ago that destruction and fire emanated from the waters just off of Halifax, and the people and resources of Boston quickly were marshaled and dispatched to come to the aid of the city.

The “Halifax Explosion” took place on the morning of December 6, 1917.  In the following excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on the disaster, the magnitude and devastation of the maritime explosion is explained:

“The Norwegian vessel SS Imo collided with SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship laden with high explosives, in the Narrows, a strait connecting the upper Halifax Harbour to Bedford Basin. A fire onboard the French ship ignited her cargo, causing a large explosion that devastated the Richmond district of Halifax. Approximately 2,000 people were killed by the blast, debris, fires or collapsed buildings, and an estimated 9,000 others were injured.  The blast was the largest man-made explosion before the development of nuclear weapons, releasing the equivalent energy of roughly 2.9 kilotons of TNT 2.9 (12,000 GJ).”

For more information on the Halifax Explosion, including its background and aftermath and legacy, please click here to be taken to the full Wikipedia entry, and here to be taken to a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interactive about the event.

As Halifax smoldered, and was engulfed in suffering, the city and Nova Scotia and all of Canada mobilized to treat the wounded, bury the dead, and provide housing, and embark on a broader rebuild.

Also mobilizing, in a big way, were Boston, and the Massachusetts government; they quickly teamed to send a train to Halifax which carried nurses, doctors, surgeons, and medical supplies.  When the relief team arrived, it went right to work, coming to the aid of the exhausted Canadian physicians and medical staff.

Boston Mayor James Michael Curley and Massachusetts Gov. Samuel McCall took the lead in establishing the Halifax Relief Committee.

Massachusetts donated $750,000 to the Halifax relief effort.  For perspective, adjusting for inflation, that $750,000 in 1917 represents about a little more than $13 million in 2017.

Nova Scotia, the year after the disaster, expressed its gratitude to Boston and Massachusetts by sending to the Hub a large white spruce Christmas tree.

The Christmas tree was originally a one-time gift, but it would become an annual tradition, starting in 1971 when the citizens of Nova Scotia again sent a giant white spruce tree to Boston.

As for what constitutes “large” or “giant”, the white spruce tree that Nova Scotia every year gives Boston is in the 45 to 50-foot high range, with the 2017 edition (donated by the the married couple, Bob and Marion Campbell, of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia) actually a bit taller – 53 feet.  Yes, a large tree … a giant tree.

By the way, the journey from Nova Scotia to Boston on and along which the tree is transported is one of about 700 miles and takes two days.

And every holiday season, since 1971, the tree given by the people of Nova Scotia is the Christmas tree that takes center stage, complete with tree lighting celebration, on Boston Common.

On Thursday, December 12, 2013, Boston magazine published on its website an interesting and informative story by Madeline Bilis, titled, “Throwback Thursday: Boston’s Helping Hand After a Disaster in Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia sends a tree for the Common each year to say thanks.”

If you click here you will be taken to the article.

Also interesting and informative is a Q&A that Madeline Bilis conducted – published on November 15, 2017 in Boston magazine – with Dave MacFarlane, 41, who for the past 20-plus years was the truck driver who drove the white spruce from Nova Scotia to Boston.  (And who drove the tree to Boston in 2017?  That would be Dave MacFarlane.)

The following comment is among those Dave MacFarlane provided in the interview:

“ …. You know the tree is always a big deal in Nova Scotia. A lot of people compete over it. Every year they have several trees that people want to go to Boston, and they pick the best tree.

“But I just really like it. It’s just fun to see all the people, all the warm wishes, and everybody’s excited to see the tree. It means a lot to all the Nova Scotia people what Boston did for us in our time of need when the explosion happened. I’m proud to be a part of the position … ”

By clicking here you will be taken to the full interview with Dave MacFarlane.

A truly wonderful story and history, one which further testifies to how when fate and circumstances confer the worst, the most good and caring and decent of humanity arises and responds to meet the challenge, and to alleviate and heal anguish and hardship.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Servics Wishes All the Happiest of Holidays!!

A Story of Labor, Industry, Exhibition, Logistics – and Beauty and Excellence and Efficiency in Design – all Told in the Face of a Sunflower

(This post was updated on February 21, 2018)

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.

We work from coast to coast, and operate offices in major cities across the U.S.

Fundamental to our culture and the way we do is business is to strive to– and here we enlist the words of            Vince Lombardi – “do things right … all the time.”   We always try to do our best for our clients and customers – and we seek to be cooperative and valuable teammates with our business partners and suppliers.

We care about and are dedicated to developing our employees, our most valuable resource, and providing them with the support and training necessary to achieve optimally.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services believes that throughout an organization, a passion for one’s work, and commitment to doing that work supremely well, is fundamental to the success of the organization.

We believe that a company can do well by doing good – that a company should give to the community, and that it should consider itself and act as a custodian of the natural environment.

In that Willwork is in the exhibition and events and show business, we believe that we should be about promoting beauty and excellence and efficiency in design and production.

We are about admiring and exalting top performance and meeting exacting standards.

To that end, we commend here the header photo of this blog post.   Denise Franzen, Administrative Director for Willwork, used her mobile phone to take the photo on a warm afternoon in early October.  The photo is of the face of one sunflower among a long row of sunflowers that were in bloom in front of the Willwork headquarters.

Every year, from late spring through early fall, there is that row of blooming sunflowers at Willwork.

Helianthus is the scientific name for the sunflower, derived from the Greek helios, for sun, and anthos, for flower.

Busy is the face of this sunflower pictured here.

Three different insects – bumblebee (bombus), ladybug (coccinellid), and painted lady (Vanessa cardui) – are dining at and on the flower; they are consuming its nectar and pollen.

Planted as seeds in early April, the sunflowers grow fully by mid summer, and range in height from around five feet to a little more than nine feet.

The sunflowers are part of an extensive and vast selection of flowers, shrubs, trees, ornamental grasses, and vegetable plants that wring and ornament the grounds of the Willwork corporate offices. Our property is a gardening showcase – carefully and creatively planned, designed, and constructed.

“We choose plants and arrange them in a way that the landscape is attractive and draws positive attention throughout the four seasons,” said Laurie Johnson, Director of Grounds and Maintenance for Willwork. “Willwork puts a lot into the gardening and landscaping, and we are gratified to receive many compliments.”

Laurie handles and plans the arrangement, planting, cultivation, and caretaking of plants outside and inside Willwork.  Laurie also picks the ripe produce which is given to Willwork employees and those who visit the company.

Gardening and growing and harvesting are all part of a Willwork commitment to sustainability.

“Willwork management believes in sustainability – and in taking care of and managing the land we own,” said David King, General Manager for Willwork.  “This belief, and this mindset, is behind the gardening and landscaping here – and also other initiatives, like the solar panel field on the top of our headquarters, which provides a considerable amount of the energy that the building uses.

“Conserving energy, and using energy more efficiently, and practicing sustainability, is in keeping with what we strive to do for our clients: deliver increased value and cost savings.”

Sustainability and Efficiency in Design and Function

Remarkable – the sunflower … the face of that sunflower.

Talk about industry and natural synergy, and brilliant design and structure. It is all here.

Actually the inner disc of the face of the sunflower is a composition of many flowers, or florets, each with its own source of nectar and pollen. Beneath the florets is the seed head, formed from spirals of seeds, which are also the fruit of the plant.   For the bumblebee, painted lady, ladybug, and other insects, sunflowers offer a motherlode of nourishment – plenty of nectar, plenty of pollen.

In New England, there are also bats and birds who eat pollen; as well, there are a few birds in this region who consume plant nectar.

In making available a landing place and food feast for insects, the sunflower supports pollination, and repels deer and other herbivores that eat flowers and leaves, both processes that are necessary for seed plants to reproduce and continue their species.

Of course, the sunflower is an effective marketer and advertiser of its fare, with its showy and large and bright external ray petals inviting and beckoning dining patrons.

Bumblebees, painted ladies, and ladybugs are all pollinators; they do the work of pollination – transferring pollen, produced in the anther, the male part of the plant, to the stigma, the female part of the plant.

This transfer occurs as a bumblebee, or painted lady, or a ladybug moves from flower to flower, with pollen becoming attached to the bodies of the insects and spread along the journey.

Not just insects, but any animal that eats pollen – for example those bats and birds – are pollinators.

Of the three types of insects on the face of this sunflower, the bumblebee is the king pollinator, but ladybugs and painted lady butterflies do good pollination work as well.

The Remarkable and Versatile and Useful Sunflower

 “Sunflowers are like people to me.”

JOAN MITCHELL

Helianthus has a trove of uses – beyond as a source of pollen and nectar. 

Sunflower seeds– raw, roasted, plain, and salted are a popular food for humans. Sunflower seeds are also a favorite food of birds.

Sunflower seeds can also be ground into a butter, or used to make bread. Oil extracted from seeds is used as a cooking oil and refined into biodiesel fuel.

Sunflower leaves are used in cattle feed, as is the “cake” that remains when oil is removed from the seeds.

Fiber from the stem of the sunflower is used to manufacture a high-quality paper.

Seed Patterns in the Sun Flower – the Perfect Math of the Fibonacci Numbers Sequence; the Golden Angle

“The Fibonacci Sequence turns out to be the key to understanding how nature designs… and is… a part of the same ubiquitous music of the spheres that builds harmony into atoms, molecules, crystals, shells, suns and galaxies and makes the Universe sing.” 

GUY MURCHIE

A considerable aspect of Willwork’s success and the value and advantages we provide our clients relies on a variety of precise arithmetic. Precise measurement, precise estimates, precise timing, and precise angles.

A fraction-of-an-inch less than precise can result in a failed job.

Sunflowers represent precise and beautiful and consistent arithmetic that is hardwired and programmed into their system. Like many other organisms, sunflowers enlist what is called the Fibonacci numbers sequence to optimize growing and reproduction.

Fibonacci numbers were identified and introduced by the Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci who lived approximately from 1175 to 1250.

In the Fibonacci numbers sequence, every number after the first two is the sum of the preceding two numbers; hence – 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89 ….

Again, beneath the florets on the face of the sunflower is the seed head, with the seeds arranged in a series of spirals that originate at the center of the sunflower face.  Each successive spiral curves in the opposite direction of the spiral that precedes it – alternating between clockwise and counterclockwise.

In most sunflower heads, there are a total of 34 spirals that curve in one direction, and 55 spirals in the other, with 34 and 55 being adjacent in the Fibonacci sequence.

Other sunflowers have higher, respective, Fibonacci spiral counts, such as 89 and 144, numbers also adjacent in the Fibonacci sequence.

Yet no matter the total alternating spiral counts, starting with the third spiral, the seed count in the spiral is equivalent to the total number of seeds in the preceding two spirals: a Fibonacci sequence.

Now, for sure, and since nature isn’t perfect, the Fibonacci sequence is not always present and exactly realized in the sunflower seed arrangement, but it is fairly routine; it is the modus operandi of the sunflower.

And across the natural world, the Fibonacci sequence is evident – as described in the following excerpt from an article on the Fibonacci sequence in nature, written by Robert Lamb, and published at the HowStuffWorks website:

” …  Some plants express the Fibonacci sequence in their growth points, the places where tree branches form or split. One trunk grows until it produces a branch, resulting in two growth points. The main trunk then produces another branch, resulting in three growth points. Then the trunk and the first branch produce two more growth points, bringing the total to five. This pattern continues, following the Fibonacci numbers. Additionally, if you count the number of petals on a flower, you’ll often find the total to be one of the numbers in the Fibonacci sequence. For example, lilies and have three petals, buttercups and wild roses have five, delphiniums have eight petals and so on.”

And more math – and more precision.

As more seeds are produced and the spirals arch further away from the center of the face of the sunflower, each seed migrates away, and stays fixed at an angle of 137.5 degrees from the seed that had preceded it in the flower’s seed production.  Mathematicians and scientists refer to this angle as the “golden angle”.

The golden angle, as does the Fibonacci sequence, affords and supports the best opportunity for the sunflower to successfully grow and reproduce.

Where there is a Fibonacci sequence there is a golden angle.

 

Bumblebees are All-Star Pollinators – But So-So Honey Makers  

“I felt the richer for this experience. It taught me that even the insects in my path are not loafers, but have their special errands. Not merely and vaguely in this world, but in this hour, each is about its business.”

HENRY DAVID THOREAU, on observing the conduct of bees

About those bumblebees.

Bumblebees don’t produce honey … well, not real honey.  The reason for this is that, unlike honey-making honeybees, entire hives of bumblebees do not survive cold winters in temperate climates, and therefore don’t need to make use of that nutrient-dense food.

Actually, to be precise, it is the male bumblebees who do not survive the winter. Females, aka queen bees, mate in the fall, and as it begins to get cold, enter diapause – a resting phase, usually spent underground, for the entire winter.

Queen bumblebees prepare for diapause by eating ravenously to build fat stores, with pollen and nectar the primary food.  Nectar that queen bumblebees consume, they process into a honey-like substance – think honey light – which it saves in honey pots made of wax that they secrete from their abdomens.  Queen bees will feed on this processed nectar, and it will also feed the nectar, along with pollen, to the queen’s offspring.

Male bumblebees only consume nectar, and only to feed themselves.

When spring arrives, queen bees lay eggs that had been fertilized prior to winter – and the nest and colony begins anew. Queen bees will continue to lay eggs throughout the spring and into the summer.

In service of collecting pollen, a fascinating characteristic and trait of the bumblebee is that they have the ability to detect and analyze electric fields on a flower, which tells them whether that flower has been visited recently.  Understanding whether a plant has already been tapped of its pollen, allows bumblebees to conserve energy by passing on a pollen-depleted plant and moving to a more bountiful pollen reserve.

Bumblebees are nature’s all-stars in pollen transfer. A bumblebee’s hairy body alone works wonderfully in collecting a dusting of pollen which is then transferred to other flowers as the bee makes its rounds.  As well, and here electricity plays another role, when bumblebees approach a flower, they rapidly flap their wings, with this activity building up an electrical charge that helps anchor pollen to the hairs on its body.

Female bumblebees also groom pollen into pollen baskets that are attached to their hind legs, with these baskets containing as many as a million grains of pollen.

Yes, as Henry David Thoreau observed, bees have “special errands” and “each is about its business.”

The Painted Lady, a Pollinator, and a Sometime Migrator

“We are all butterflies.  Earth is our chrysalis.”   

LEANN TAYLOR

The painted lady is one of the most common varieties of butterfly and is found on every continent except for Antarctica and Australia.

This butterfly, which flies in a peculiar screw-shape pattern, is sometimes called the cosmopolitan because, within a region, it shows up just about everywhere: woods, fields, sandy areas, swamps, and vacant lots … you name it.

It is valuable pollinator in that the species will feed on up to 100 different types of plants.

Their appearance in northern areas of the Western Hemisphere, including outside the Willwork corporate headquarters, is irregular. They may show up these parts some years, and not in others.

The total lifespan and growth phase of the painted lady runs from 45 to 60 days, and is comprised of four main stages:

  1. The egg is laid, and within three to five days it hatches.
  2. Once hatched, the larvae or caterpillar stage begins which is completed in five to 10 days.
  3. Next up is the chrysalis or metamorphosis phase, of seven to 10 days, in which the caterpillar spins a silk pad from which it hangs, and while suspended its skin splits from head to toe, revealing a hard case called the chrysalis or pupa. Within the chrysalis, the organism becomes totally liquid and forms into a butterfly, with the butterfly emerging from the pupa.
  4. The Painted ladies live for about two to four weeks.  During their short life, they focus on mating and reproducing.

A lineage of painted ladies may include eight generations in a year.

These generations are not only produced across time – but oftentimes vast space.

You see, a curious characteristic of the painted lady is that it is a migratory creature, yet unlike some other types of butterflies … most famously the monarch butterfly … its migration practice is not consistent from generation to generation.

That’s right, depending on a variety of elements not totally understood, a family line of painted ladies living, for example, in the Western Hemisphere may make a complete round-trip migration between the ancestral winter habitat of the species – which is northern Mexico – and the northern reaches of the United States and parts of Canada, toward which painted ladies travel in the spring.

Or painted ladies may may complete a large segment, but not the entire migratory path – or maybe a small segment; or maybe next to no migratory journey.

And there are episodes of mass migrations of the painted ladies – with clusters of millions of butterflies leaving northern Mexico, with this multi-generational migration continuing northward, and continuing with clusters comprised of millions of butterflies, until reaching their historic northernmost destination, in late spring or early summer.

Along the way, new generations come and go, and the migration continues … with one butterfly, over one short life, able to cover 1000 miles or more. Painted ladies fly at an elevation of only six to 12 feet off the ground, and at speeds of up to 30 miles an hour.  A painted lady butterfly can travel 100 miles in a day.

As autumn arrives, painted ladies living in the northern climes will begin the migration south.

As for the painted lady in this photograph, for all we know it has just about run its course on earth, or it is a newly minted butterfly who is about to up and leave and will be in Connecticut in 24 hours.

Pitching in and Helping Out – the Ladybug  

“A small speckled visitor
“Wearing a crimson cape
“Brighter than a cherry
“Smaller than a grape
“A polka-dotted someone
“Walking on my wall
“A black-hooded lady
“In a scarlet shawl.”

JOAN WALSH ANGLUND

And there is the ladybug, which is actually a beetle. A little background on the name ladybug. It has a religious origin – from Europe and the Middle Ages when the continent was beset with insect crop pests.

As legend has it, Christians offered prayers to Mary, Our Lady, and soon came the arrival of a cloud of these tiny bugs colored red and each with seven black spots (coccinellids in other parts of the world have different numbers of spots).

What was interpreted is that the bugs, as they commenced to devouring the pests, which were probably aphids, had descended from Heaven.

Then there are the coloring and markings of the bug; they were interpreted as a sign, as during this period artists often depicted Mary wearing a red robe, and the seven black spots were thought to represent the Seven Joys and Seven Sorrows of Mary.

People variously called the beetle “Our Lady’s Bug” or “lady beetle” or “lady bird” … or ladybug.

Through the centuries, ladybugs have been admired for their beauty and form, and have been painted, drawn, sketched, photographed … and represented through many other art forms.

Ladybugs are certainly a gardener’s friend.  They voraciously feed on aphids, mites, mealy bugs, scale insects, and other destructive nuisances.  A ladybug can consume 50 aphids in a day.

The livelihood of the ladybug pays off and is a plus in the form of a pollinator, an exterminator, and as a source of beauty and artistic inspiration.

As the Short and Cold Days are Upon Us

During winter, the gardens and grounds at Willwork are not as colorful as during spring and summer, and early fall; but even in the coldest stretch of the year, our property has plenty of beautiful evergreen trees and ornamental grasses for decoration (with these grasses also producing seeds on which birds feed).

Plants are in a dormancy period now. Female bumblebees, and ladybugs of both sexes, are finding covered and secluded places to winter, with ladybugs favoring the indoors of houses if they can gain entry.

Painted lady butterflies have flown away.

And the cycle continues – and again in the summer the sunflowers will grow and establish seed spirals with Fibonacci counts and with seeds spaced at golden angles, and the bumblebee, the painted lady, and the ladybug will return to their eating and their industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More expositions and events with Halloween and scary themes

Character in Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride experience, one of the attractions of the Transworld Tradeshows LLC Legendary Haunt Tour ( image credit: C. Brielmaier and Rogues Hollow Productions)

Here is the second of two posts on this blog – the first was published on October 20 – which feature exhibitions and experiences with Halloween and scary themes — with an add-in for this post of thoughts on “scaring ourselves for fun.”

On Halloween eve, we just had to share in this space, a link to the ultimate Halloween site; here it is, I Love Halloween.  This site is all about Halloween, not just today, but every day — yep, 365 days a year.  

When you scroll through and spend some time at I Love Halloween, enforced will be just how big are the Halloween and horror and frightening culture, and associated industry, in America.    

Here is something to think about — but, then again, you have probably already thought about it: people like to be scared; yes we do.  

For a Halloween story for the The Atlantic (the story was published on Halloween Day 2013), Allegra Ringo interviewed Dr. Marge Kerr, a college professor, and sociologist who “studies fear.”  Dr. Kerr is the author of Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear (2015, Public Affairs).

Consider this excerpt from the interview, which is published under the title, “Why Do Some Brains Enjoy Fear: The science behind the appeal of haunted houses, freak shows, and physical thrills”:

“Ringo:  ‘What are some early examples of people scaring themselves on purpose?’

“Dr. Kerr:  ‘Humans have been scaring themselves and each other since the birth of the species, through all kinds of methods like storytelling, jumping off cliffs, and popping out to startle each other from the recesses of some dark cave. And we’ve done this for lots of different reasons—to build group unity, to prepare kids for life in the scary world, and, of course, to control behavior. But it’s only really in the last few centuries that scaring ourselves for fun (and profit) has become a highly sought-after experience.'”

No doubt, the business of “scaring ourselves for fun” has become big business.

Think just of horror films.  Then there are haunted houses, haunted farms, haunted corn mazes, haunted pumpkin patches; there are scary video games and scary virtual reality experiences.

Halloween is most celebrated in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.  But far and away it is the U.S. that makes the biggest deal out of Halloween.  That is not to say that we like to be scared more than other countries, because, for sure, much of the Halloween celebrating here is tied more to fun and revelry than anything else.

And, of course, there is money to be made in the “scaring ourselves for fun” business no matter the day of the year, no matter the season, but of course, for the haunted attraction industry Halloween-time is when the money is made.

There are several tradeshows dedicated to frightening and spine-chilling.  Yes, there are a lot companies that make and sell products and services that are needed for haunted and scary enterprises.  Looking to start your own haunted attraction?  There are shows you can attend that where you will find everything you need to operate a great and absolutely terrifying haunted place and experience.  

Indeed, there are companies that specialize and hold a big franchise in shows and events that cater to Halloween and the macabre and spooky and scary.  One of those companies is TransWorld Tradeshows LLC.

TransWorld LLC runs shows for buyers and sellers in the haunted business.  It also operates its own haunted tours.  

Here is the roster of TransWorld Tradeshows properties:  Transworld’s Halloween & Attractions Show, Escape Room City, the Premier Haunted Attractions Tour & Education Series, Room Escape Conference & Tour, the Midwest Haunters Convention, and the Legendary Haunt Tour.

The next TransWorld event scheduled is the Legendary Haunt Tour (LHT).  It will be held from November 9-11 at the Crown Plaza Philadelphia – King of Prussia Hotel, and nearby areas.  Among the attractions of the LHT are Reapers Revenge, Field of ScreamsBates Motel & Haunted Hayride, and the Eastern State Penitentiary Daytime Tour.

Following we take a look at some Halloween season experiences in the U.S. in which the core of those experiences is about scaring and sending a bolt of fear through people.

Orlando is one of the busiest tradeshow cities in the U.S., and the Orlando office of Willwork is one of our busiest.

University Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights is a destination experience for people the world over.   This year is the 27th edition of the scarefest; it opened for the season on September 15 and runs on select nights through November 4.    

Attraction at Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights (image credit: Universal Orlando)

For some helpful insight on what Horror Nights is about, here we share an excerpt from a story,  “Run for your lives… Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights is back, and scarier than ever,” written by British journalist, Pamela Owen, and published October 6 at Metro.co.uk:

“It’s hard to explain the concept of the event if you’ve never been, but Universal’s hugely talented design team create a series of horror houses, or mazes, in the Orlando theme park. You then line up for hours to spend a few minutes walking through the houses and getting scared out of your wits. It might not sound appealing but it really is.

“The rush of adrenalin and buzz you get will leave you thinking about it for hours, if not days, afterwards. Also you’re perfectly safe, because the ‘scareactors’ are under strict instruction not to touch you, and that comes as a huge relief when you’re in the dark, surrounded by flashing lights and confronted with a scene from The Shining.”

Please click here to be taken to the full story.

Let’s travel out to the West Coast, to San Francisco, another big destination city for tradeshows and events, and busy place for Willwork.  We have long operated an office in San Francisco.

Out in the cold waters of San Francisco Bay sits Alcatraz Island, on which is the facility that once housed Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, a prison that resides in American lore as a dark and scary and forbidden place.  Today the penitentiary is a popular tourist attraction.

The San Francisco Dungeon, a company that offers theatrical tours of the city’s “dark and sinful past,” has developed an Alcatraz experience for Halloween.  For $666 (yes, we know, not good, that number) it is offering a Halloween Eve stay is a specially outfitted recreation of an Alcatraz jail cell.    

San Francisco Dungeon’s recreated Alcatraz jail cell (image credit: Booking.com)

“The cell includes four twin beds, pajamas, midnight snacks, and a spooky bedtime story from a ‘dungeon resident,’” writes Kirsten Fawcett, in her story for Mental Floss about this prison-themed experience.  “Breakfast is also provided the next morning, along with a goody bag”  

If you click here you will be taken to the full story, titled, “For $666, You Can Spend Halloween Eve in a Recreated Jail Cell.”

Now we travel back east, stopping in the Midwest,  in Chicago, to the largest haunted house in the city, and one of the scariest in the U.S.

The 13th Floor Haunted House, in the Melrose Park section of the city, was named, for 2017, the third best Haunted Attraction in the U.S. by America Haunts.  

Scary clown at 13th Floor Haunted House (image credit: 13th Floor Haunted House)

Following is a Thrillist Chicago descriptor of the 13th Floor Haunted House:

“With beautifully detailed sets across two separate haunted houses, ‘Cursed: Purgatory’ will have you meandering amongst witches chanting demonic spells while ‘Dead End District: Freakshow’ features shadows of inhuman beasts soundtracked by screams. For an extra scare, stop by November 3 and 4 for “Blackout,” in which your group will try to make your way out of the house in total darkness with nothing but a single glow stick to light the way.”

For 2017, the 13th Floor Haunted House opened on September 22 and is open weekend nights, and select weekday nights, through November 4.

On to the East Coast, to New York City, the center of it all.  

The Merchant’s House Museum in Manhattan is a landmark historic property in Manhattan and is also considered among the most haunted places in all of NYC. 

On the third Friday of each month, January through July, ghost tours are conducted at the Merchant’s House Museum.  During Halloween season, Candlelight Ghost Tours are held at the museum. This year the Candlelight Ghost Tour schedule is 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., with 50-minute tours beginning every half hour, on October 20 and 21, and October 26-30.  All tours sold out. 

Halloween is a major event and a culture and industry booms and revolves around it.    

Merchant’s House Museum (image credit: Merchant’s House Museum)

Then, again, there are businesses that focus on the scary and ghostly and horror all throughout the year.  There is a huge population of people who are into Halloween, and also spooky and frightening, throughout the year as well.   

And it need not be said again, but we will — we like to be scared.

 

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services talks about expositions and events with Halloween and scary themes

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Events Service is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.

In 2017, we are celebrating 30 years in business.

Willwork provides the labor, planning, and logistics for projects that range in size and scope from setting up and taking down one small exhibit to providing the general contracting for tradeshows and exhibitions that take in and cover multiple large facilities.

Every project and assignment receives the same uncompromising and high quality service and attention to detail.

Willwork thought it appropriate for this time of year to cite and point to, in this space, a selection of special events and exhibitions that have a Halloween theme, or a tied to the holiday – a couple of which the focus is on fun and festivity, and a couple which are also about fun and festivity but also include a huge measure of spookiness and fright.

Actually we will do two posts on this subject, with this being the first.

Allentown Halloween Parade (image credit: Chris Knight, special to The Morning Call)

Whether a parade or haunted house, block party haunted theme park, excellent and thorough planning, combined with a large amount of smart and hard work, make it happen.

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We just have to include the oldest Halloween parade in the United States.

The community that hosts the parade is the city of Allentown, PA.  It was in 1905 when Allentown first held the event.

Planned and run under the auspices of the Allentown Department of Parks & Recreation, the parade, which follows a 1.5 mile route, is a big draw for the area.  Last year, 8,000 people attended, and 50 organizations participated.

This year’s Allentown Halloween Parade takes place on Sunday, October 15.  Allentown Halloween Parades have themes, with “Outer Space Invasion” the theme for this year.

Please click here to be taken to a news story about the 2016 edition of the Allentown Halloween Parade.

Now, we go from the oldest Halloween parade in the U.S. to the world’s largest haunted house.  Actually, more specifically, the “world’s largest walk through haunted house,” a title that Guinness World Records conferred, in 2015, on Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas.

Also in 2015, Guinness World Records recognized Cutting Edge Haunted House as the “world’s largest haunted attraction.”

Clown at Cutting Edge Haunted House (image credit: Cutting Edge Haunted House)

Visitors to Cutting Edge Haunted House travel almost a half-mile (2,261 feet), from start to finish, with the passage time taking, on average, 45 to 55 minutes.

Beyond its Guinness Book of World Records notoriety, Cutting Edge Haunted House, which opened in 1991, has also received many other accolades, including making the HauntedHouses.com 2015 list of “Top 13 Haunted Houses” in America.  Cutting Edge came in at #5.

As reviews attest, Cutting Edge Haunted House is not only very large, but also very scary.

There is no shortage of reasons to visit Park City, Utah.  Home of the Sundance Film Festival, the mountain resort town is in beautiful country and contains the best of hospitality, entertainment, and recreation.

And, since 2001, every Halloween, Park City has hosted the Bark City Howl-O-Ween dog parade.  Held on Main Street in the community, the event inspired Travel + Leisure to name Park City one of “America’s Best Towns for Halloween.”

Bark City Howl-O-Ween dog parade in Park City, Utah (image credit: Park City Chamber of Commerce | Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Following is an excerpt from an article on the Bark City Howl-O-Ween dog parade at the tourist and travel website Stay Park City:

“Each All Hallows’ Eve, owners and their pets sport costumes of all kinds for public amusement. Now, 15 years in, this annual canine spectacle has become a centerpiece celebration for our town, drawing attendees from nearby communities, including Salt Lake City, who want to get in on the furry fun.”

If you click here you will be taken to the full Stay Park City story.

Willwork is compelled to include in this post one of the nation’s most frightening and elaborate Halloween attractions, an exposition and exhibition, a theme park, a destination, that is about a 90-minute drive from our corporate headquarters in the Boston suburb of South Easton, MA.

Spooky World Presents Nightmare New England, located in Litchfield, NH, is a “horror scream park” – that takes in more than 80 acres, across which there is a mix of creepy and spine-chilling attractions, and other activities and places, like go-karts, mini-golf, a batting cage, concessions, and a beer garden.

As for the creepy and spine-chilling attractions, here we share an excerpt from a Boston.com entry on Spooky World Presents Nightmare New England:

“Whether it be on the Haunted Hayride, where you come face to face with the horrors of the dark woods, walking through the deserted halls of darkness at Brigham Manor or stumbling into a place where rot, decay, and the filth from the earth are a haven for evil, there will be little time to catch your breath before experiencing yet another haunting. The unnatural beings at The Colony are looking for bodies to torture and souls to destroy, and of course, one has to explore the tortured world of rejected carnival misfits in the 3D Festival of Fear.”

Entrance to the 3D Festival of Fear at Spooky World Presents Nightmare New England (image credit: Spooky World Presents Nightmare New England)

Spooky World Presents Nightmare New England’s 2017 run started on Friday night, September 22nd, and from then on in it is open weekend nights, and select weeknights, until its close on Saturday night, November 4th.

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Prior to Halloween we will have one more post in this space about Halloween themed special events and exhibitions, and even a tradeshow.

We will track and hunt down something good.

In praise of persistence

(image credit: Truly Happy Life)

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.   The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

CALVIN COOLIDGE

 

Willwork is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.  In 2017, we are celebrating 30 years in business.

Harriet Tubman. persistent, courageous (image credit: artist Horatio Seymour Squyer

A quality that we, as a company, esteem and admire highly in people, and in organizations, is that of persistence.    Of staying after something, of facing and surmounting obstacles, of falling down and getting up — of not quitting.

Fundamental to the success of Willwork is that we have been, and are, persistent.

Especially in the early days of Willwork, as we sought to establish ourselves, to sell ourselves — to grow and move beyond being solely a company that provided exhibit installation & dismantle services in the Boston area — we heard a lot of “nos” and knew a lot of rejection and being put off.

And this was all understandable.  Sure, we were doing a great job in Boston.  We were building our reservoir of positive testimonials and good will.  But there were many companies out there against which we competed which had been around for a lot longer than we had, which were far more established, and which did very good work.

If we weren’t persistent, if we did not pursue a game plan of smart and strategic growth, we wouldn’t have nearly approached the success and achievement we have known.

It is worthwhile, it is valuable … and inspiring … to take a look at examples of extraordinary and exceptional persistence.   To that end, today, in this space, we are doing just that.

HARRIET TUBMAN

We need to start out with a hall of famer in persistence – and also in courage and dignity.

The hall of famer?  That would be Harriet Tubman — the “Moses of Her People.”

Born into slavery in Maryland, probably in the year 1822, Harriet Tubman became one of the most successful “conductors” on the Underground Railroad, the secret route of roads and paths and safe houses that slaves, sometimes with the help of abolitionists, used to escape from slave states and make their way to freedom in states in the North, and Canada.

While an enslaved field hand, Tubman endured horrific abuse, including repeated beatings.  In 1849, she escaped to Philadelphia, and to freedom, leaving behind her husband and family.  But Harriet Tubman was not content to secure freedom for herself – no, no, no – for she felt and observed a calling, one to which she responded … time after time … and one that would … time after time … place her life at risk.

As explained at History.com, “Despite a bounty on her head, she returned to the South at least 19 times to lead her family and hundreds of other slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Tubman also served as a scout, spy and nurse during the Civil War.”

It seems that Harriet Tubman is now the frontrunner emerging in discussions in Washington, D.C., as to who will be selected as the first woman to become the “face” on a paper bill of American currency.  Proposed, with strong backing, is that Tubman replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill, with Jackson represented on the back of the bill.

Please click here to be taken to the full biography of Harriet Tubman at History.com.

THOMAS ALVA EDISON

Thomas Alva Edison ranks at the top of the list of the most successful and brilliant inventors, and successful industrialists, in history.  He is also the poster child for persistence.

Thomas Alva Edison (image credit: Louis Bachrach, Bachrach Studios; restored by Michel Vuijlsteke)

Nicknamed the “Wizard of Menlo Park” – with Menlo Park, NJ the site of Edison’s home and research lab – Edison’s toil and intelligence, and way of looking at the world, resulted in 1,093 U.S. patents alone, not including those he held other countries.

Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on Edison in which is described his enduring influence:

“More significant than the number of Edison’s patents was the widespread impact of his inventions: electric light, power utilities, sound recording, and motion pictures all established major new industries worldwide. Edison’s inventions contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures.   His advanced work in these fields was an outgrowth of his early career as a telegraph operator.   Edison developed a system of electric-power generation and distribution to homes, businesses, and factories – a crucial development in the modern industrialized world.”

This influence did not come easy – not at all.  Edison failed over and over.  Then, again, maybe not.

Edison famously reflected:  “I have not failed.  I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Thomas Alva Edison, also noted, just as famously:  “Genius is one percent inspiration, and 99 percent perspiration.”

J.K. ROWLING

J.K. Rowling (image credit: Scholastic, Barnes & Noble)

J.K. Rowling is an all-star in persistence.  Consider the following entry on Rowling which is found at the website Being Encouraged.

“J.K. Rowling- The famous Harry Potter author became a single-mother after enduring a failed marriage and also losing her mother. She was diagnosed with clinical depression and reportedly contemplated suicide. Before finishing the first book of the Harry Potter series, she was barely surviving on welfare. After she finished the book, she submitted to twelve different publishing houses but was rejected by all of them. It wasn’t until a year later when a small London-based publishing company gave her a chance that she became the author we’ve come to revere.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in 1997.  It would be the first in a series of six Harry Potter books that would all become mega worldwide bestsellers.”

The Wikipedia entry on the series provides the following data on the success of the Hatter Potter series:

“As of May 2013, the books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, making them the best-selling book series in history, and have been translated into seventy-three languages.   The last four books consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, with the final installment selling roughly eleven million copies in the United States within twenty-four hours of its release. “

Of course, beyond the books, Harry Potter has become a powerhouse entertainment franchise, encompassing films, games, theme parks, and the stage.

J.K. Rowling continues to write, and continues to create brilliant and bestselling art.

KURT WARNER

Following redshirting the 1993 season, Kurt Warner was a backup quarterback for the next three seasons at the University of Northern Iowa, an NCAA 1-AA school located in Cedar Falls.   He got his chance to start as a senior, and he made good – leading the Panthers to an 8-3 record and a playoff berth.  He was named the Gateway Offensive Conference Player of the Year.

Undrafted, he had a tryout with the Green Bay Packers, and was cut.   Warner returned to Cedar Falls where he stocked shelves in a grocery store for $5.50 an hour, and was an assistant coach with the Northern Iowa football team.

He didn’t give up on his dream.

Sports Illustrated cover featuring Kurt Warner in 2000 Super Bowl (image credit: Sports Illustrated)

Warner received an opportunity to play in the Arena Football League, and he lit it up, putting up huge numbers, and becoming one of the league’s premier players.   His play caught the attention of the St. Louis Rams, which signed him to a contract for the 1997 season.  St. Louis held his rights when he spent the 1998 season in NFL Europe where he led the league in passing.

Warner was the third-string quarterback for the Rams for the 1998 season.  During the 1999 preseason, Warner was second on the depth chart to starter Trent Green.  When Green tore his ACL in preseason, Warner became the Rams starter.

The 1999-2000 campaign saw Kurt Warner and the Rams conduct a clinic, setting a slew of offensive records, and finishing the season with Super Bowl victory, beating the Tennessee Titans, 23-16, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.  Warner was named MVP of the game.

Over the next nine season, Warner continued as one of the NFL’s premier quarterbacks.  He started in two more Super Bowls, with both those starts for teams that lost the game narrowly.

Warner’s holds many NFL passing records.  During his NFL career, he was named All Pro four times.

Kurt Warner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 5, 2017.

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Wiillwork hopes you have enjoyed this treatise on, and ode to, persistence.

Willwork will always be a company that faithfully practices this virtue

And we recognize, beyond the importance of persistence in being successful in the exhibitions services and event project management industry, its importance in achieving and accomplishing in all areas of life.

For we believe, as President Coolidge so accurately and correctly reflected, that, “The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

 

IN SELLING AND MARKETING, THE IMPORTANCE OF FIRST IMPRESSIONS — AND THE POWER OF THE “ADAPTIVE UNCONSCIOUS”

Malcolm Gladwell (image credit: Little Brown & Company)

(This post follows up on, and expands the discussion of, the June 26th post in this space — “How Cool is This?  Employing Neuroscience to Make Exhibits More Engaging, More Eye-Catching” — of how neuroscience is increasingly studied and applied to strengthen brands, pitch ideas, and create exhibits.)

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.   

Our client list includes winning and successful companies that range in size from the world’s largest multinationals with tens of thousands of employees, to small enterprises of only a few employees.  Every client receives the same uncompromising Willwork commitment to excellence.

Willwork dares say that we help companies make good impressions and broadcast and strengthen their brand.  We help companies tell their stories.  We help companies engage with consumers … and the public at large.

Willwork understands that human nature and the brutally competitive character of business makes urgent the need for companies to always show a good face, always demonstrate efficiently, and always be on message.  

There is that famous (and so true) axiom: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Indeed, scientific and expert-reviewed studies tell us that within the time elapse of a few tenths of a second, a person being pitched and marketed and sold to has made consequential judgements about the person doing the marketing and pitching.

Decisions made this fast are fueled and are the stuff, mostly, of emotion and instinct, not logical and drawn-out contemplation and review.  

And then consider — and this statistic further emphasizes the urgency of initial impression — that daily the average consumer faces, confronts, and is exposed to, 5,000 advertisements.  

Yes, breaking through … right away … to the interests and likes and emotions of the consumer is the holy grail of advertising and marketing-communications.  

(image credit: Little, Btown & Company)

Malcolm Gladwell, the top-selling author, big-idea guy, and high-in-demand corporate speaker, wrote a book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005, Little, Brown and Company).

Blink is about quick judgements and quick determinations, fast decisions … and the psychology and neuroscience behind them.    

Blink is about the element of decision-making called adaptive unconscious, a term created in 2002 by the social psychologist Daniel Wegner.

Wegner, who passed away from ALS in 2013 at the age of 65, taught at Trinity University, the University of Virginia, and Harvard University.  A considerable area of his work and scholarship dealt with and proposed that it is often an “illusion” that our decisions and actions are the result of conscious thinking — and that they are actually directed by the unconscious.

Adaptive unconscious and conscious are two strategies people use to make decisions and, as Gladwell terms it, “make sense of the situation.”   

Conscious-strategy decision making is we ‘think what we’ve learned, and eventually we come up with an answer.” Conscious decision making takes time.  Conscious decision making is logical.  

Adaptive-unconscious decision making is completed as fast as … well … a blink.  

Blink is a treatise on how the adaptive unconscious often better serves us than does the conscious.

“ …  the study of [adaptive unconscious] decision making is one of the most important new fields in psychology,” writes Gladwell.  

Consider this excerpt from the introduction section of Blink:

This new notion of the adaptive unconscious is thought of … as a kind of giant computer that quickly and quietly processes a lot of the data we need in order to keep functioning as human beings …. As the psychologist Timothy D. Wilson writes in his book Strangers to Ourselves: “The mind  operates more efficiently by relegating a good-deal of high-level, sophisticated  thinking to the unconscious, just as a modern jetliner is able to fly on automatic pilot with little or no input from the human ‘conscious’ pilot. The adaptive unconscious does an excellent job of sizing up the world, warning people of danger, setting goals, and initiating action in a sophisticated and efficient manner.”

…. The psychologist Nalini Ambady once gave students three ten-second videotapes of a teacher — with the sound turned off — and found they had no difficulty at all coming up with a rating of the teacher’s effectiveness.  Then  Ambady cut the clips back to five seconds, and the ratings were the same.  They were remarkably consistent even when she showed the students just two seconds of the videotape.  Then Ambady compared those snap judgments of teacher effectiveness with evaluations of those same professors made by their students after a full semester of classes, and she found that they were essentially the same.  A person watching a silent two-second video clip of a teacher he or she has never met will reach conclusions about how good that teacher is that are very similar to those  of a student who has sat in the teacher’s class for an entire semester.  That’s the  power of our adaptive unconscious.  

Blink focuses on adaptive unconscious thinking, yet it also pays heed and analyzes conscious thought — the more deliberative and time-consuming process — and how conscious thought helps us make the right choices … and how it sometimes fails us.

Now, having presented and said all this about Blink, it must also be noted that while Malcolm Gladwell is brilliant and among the best critical thinkers and storytellers of our time but he does have a penchant to simplify and, based on his thinking and writing, declare broad-sweeping laws that do not hold up under scrutiny and analysis.   

(image credit: Study.com)

To put things another way, and here is the advice for advertisers and marketers, don’t assume that what Gladwell – provided certain conditions are present – foretells will happen, will happen.

Willwork does submit, though – and we do this without reservation – that it is a winning strategy for companies to tie into the unconscious and seek to appeal to deep-held emotion and impulse and instinct.  

It is all good and a smart investment of time to study and learn about the adaptive unconscious.  

On February 21, 2016, published in the New York Times, was a story by Benedict Carey, the newspaper’s science and medical writer.  The focus of the article was the pioneering research report on the unconscious mind and reasoning which had been recently written and released by researchers at the University of Amsterdam.

In the story, “The Unconscious Mind:  A Great Decision Maker”, Carey shared that, “The unconscious brain has a far greater capacity for information than conscious working memory, the authors write, and it may be less susceptible to certain biases.”

It would seem a given that there is a vast and deep reservoir and nexus of research and material on the adaptive unconscious that advises marketers and advertisers on how to make the right impression right away.  

Well, not exactly.  But the reservoir is filling fast, for sure.   Again, as Malcolm Gladwell declared, the study of the adaptive unconscious is “one of the most important new fields in psychology.”

Some Thinking About Emotion — and the Adaptive Unconscious

There is that sales maxim which has been around for years; it tells us that emotion drives buying decisions while logic justifies buying decisions.  

Adaptive-conscious strategy is far more of an emotional animal than is conscious strategy.   Adaptive-conscious and emotion are kin.

Brilliant and reflective minds, since ancient times, have postulated and figured what constitutes emotion — and yet it will be in the future, maybe, when we definitively define and get our arms around the concept and nature of emotion.   

We dare say that emotion is a synthesis of chemical and memory and electrical impulse and neurological hardwiring that does its work in the time it takes to … to … blink.  Emotion is a marrying of the ancestral and instinctual shared by all humanity, and the highly personal and individual continuously updated.

That being said, that much like the sphere of adaptive unconscious, there is a whole lot of space and ocean of what we don’t know about emotion.

Daryl Travis, CEO of Brandtrust, a branding research and strategy firm based in Chicago, wrote a smart and thought-generating commentary on the power and advantages available to companies to strengthen their brands through tapping into … appealing to …. adaptive-conscious strategy and emotion.

The commentary, “Brand Blink: Understanding the Mind to get to the Heart of Buying Decisions”, was published in Marketing Today, an online magazine that provides “articles on strategies and tactics, and results of studies relevant to marketers.”

Travis discusses the brain and images and emotion:

…. The brain is elegantly designed to store whole concepts within an image.  We store memories as images because they are more meaningful and easier to quickly and automatically. Emotions are largely responsible for creating these memories and are the key to unlocking the meaning within.

It is critical for marketers to understand the role of emotions in human decision making and behavior. Raised in Western culture, we are well indoctrinated in the forces of logic and reason, but we’ve lost sight of the essential role emotions play in determining human behavior. In fact, all human behavior is driven by emotional input derived from these stored visualizations …

Indeed, from a seller and marketer standpoint, it is often desirable … in a manner of speaking … to let emotions get the better of us.  

It is desirable to study the role and influence of visualization and images in forming and establishing emotions.   The visual, an image, can almost instantaneously make a powerful impact on a consumer — a powerful impact that is enduring.

Cercone Brown Company is a distinguished and award-winning public relations and creative services agency with offices in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles.  Cercone Brown understands the power of the unconscious.   It understands that in striving  to appeal to and reach the unconscious, deep consideration must be given to precise and singular elements (e,g, color, sound, images, one word) that can immediately influence consumer behavior.

Consider the opening paragraph of a post, titled, “The Psychology of Marketing,” published at the Cerone Brown blog:

For some people, certain words, colors, or pictures can evoke very unique responses, while others produce no reaction at all. With the fields of psychology and neuroscience continuing to expand and explore the brain, we as marketing professionals can benefit from even a simple glimpse at how these processes can be advantageous in our branding.  An expert in the world of marketing or advertising knows that the smallest detail can make or break a company’s success, from the hue of color in the logo to the word choice in a slogan.

Further along in the post, declared is that, “When in the role of a consumer, the person is not a rational being. Instead, they are overcome with both conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions.”

Yes, “overcome with conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions.”

Please click here to be taken to the complete Cercone Brown Company post.

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Fascinating is the realm of the adaptive unconscious.  Intriguing are the extraordinary opportunities that are available to those groups, and those individuals, who are able to fashion and transmit the right messages, stories, and appeals that connect to and engage the adaptive unconscious.  

Coming soon in this space will be a post in which we will share and discuss how some organizations, and some people, are selling and brand-building not only through knowing and communicating with the adaptive unconscious — but also in moderating and countering negatives that may have resulted from that “blink” of a first impression.

 

How Cool Is This? Employing Neuroscience to Make Exhibits More Engaging, More Eye-catching

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.

In 2017, we are celebrating our 30th year in business.

A primary reason for our success is our commitment to innovating and inventing, which includes placing a strong emphasis on smarter and more effective ways to use technology to provide our clients with value and competitive advantage.

Willwork and its team even considers itself a bit techie/nerdy/wonkish.

Nick Cave Soundsuits

Nick Cave Soundsuits in the Seamans Gallery at Peabody Essex Museum (photograph by Kathy Tarantola, courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum)

Indeed, here on this blog we are inclined to discuss technology as it relates to exhibits and events and tradeshows.

You know, then, it would have had to capture our attention when we saw making news that the world famous Peabody Essex Museum (P.E.M.) in Salem, MA has, as described in a May 7 Boston Globe story, taken “what is being hailed as an unprecedented step in the museum world: hiring a neuroscientist to help apply the tenets of modern brain science to enhance the museum-going experience.”

Indeed, Willwork – beyond the exhibit halls and convention centers – works in some of the nation’s most respected and renowned museums and cultural institutions.

Our skilled trades personnel are entrusted with the care and handling of  precious artifacts and priceless historical items.

So, yeah, what is going on at P.E.M. has Willwork interested.

The neuroscientist whom the Peabody Essex Museum hired is Dr. Vidette “Tedi” AsherDr. Asher earned a B.A. in biology from Swarthmore College and a PhD in neurobiology/Biology and Medical Sciences from Harvard Medical School.

Here is another excerpt from the Boston Globe article:

Asher’s initial one-year appointment is part of a broader strategy at the Peabody Essex, which over the next five years will completely redesign its galleries, incorporating neuroscience to devise multisensory exhibitions, unexpected gallery spaces, stories, and interactive features to heighten audience engagement.

As part of the neuroscience initiative, which is funded by a $130,000 grant from the Barr Foundation, Asher will meet periodically with an advisory group of brain scientists and work closely with museum staff as they plan exhibitions. She will also write a publication that summarizes the museum’s findings and serves as a guide for future programming.

Please click here to be taken to the full story, “Peabody Essex Museum hires neuroscientist to enhance visitor experience,” by Malcolm Gay.

Newsweek reported on the pioneering hire in a May 17 story, “Art and the Brain: Museum Near Boston Hires Neuroscientist to Transform Visitors’ Experience,” by Stav Ziv.

Actually, even prior to the P.E.M. hire of Tedi Asher, making big news was that the museum had won the $130,000 Boston-based Barr Foundation grant.

P.E.M. winning of the grant was featured in a March 17 New York Times story, “How to Get the Brain to Like Art,” by Jess Bidgood.

Of course, in that an event or development gets hyped in the press and receives popular attention does not necessarily mean that that event, that development, is a positive for society or education or culture, or that it is important to business and commerce.

But, most certainly, the neuroscience and neuroscientist at the Peabody Essex Museum is important, revolutionary, truly next generation – and will improve how exhibits and exhibitions educate and enrich and entertain the mind and senses.

Willwork will surely stay tuned.

Expect more on this blog about the Peabody Essex Museum neuroscience project – and on how science is integrated into and enlisted in the way that images and art are shown, products are displayed, stories are told, and brands are established and strengthened.

Heading Into Memorial Day Weekend, Willwork, Inc. Exhibit& Event Services Reflects on Epic and Miracle Logistics … and on Sacrifice … That Launched a Nation

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.

A major component of our business is logistics.  Logistics is thought of, commonly, and broadly, as the shipping of materials.  But the exercise and process of logistics is far more entailed.

Helpful background on – and a definition of – logistics is found in the following excerpt, which is also the first two paragraphs, of an Encyclopaedia Britannica  entry on logistics:

“Logistics, in business, is the organized movement of materials and, sometimes, people. The term was first associated with the military but gradually spread to cover business activities.”

Logistics implies that a number of separate activities are coordinated. In 1991 the Council of Logistics Management, a trade organization based in the United States, defined logistics as: ‘the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services, and related information from point of origin to point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements.’ The last few words limit the definition to business enterprises. Logistics also can be thought of as transportation after taking into account all the related activities that are considered in making decisions about moving materials.”

Please click here to be taken to the full Encyclopaedia Britannica entry, written by Donald F. Wood, Professor of Transportation, San Francisco State University.

Willwork has achieved renown for its success and efficiency in handling major and complex logistics challenges.

We are able to get the job done and pull off logistics feats because of our skilled, caring, and well trained employees; having a strong and dependable and extensive network of service partners; our large and modern facilities and best-in-class and well maintained equipment; and carefully and strategically planned systems and processes that are flexible and adjustable.

For Memorial Day, Willwork felt it fitting and proper to discuss here in this space an extraordinary and epic logistics mission.   It was a mission that supported a heroic military operation – an operation that was instrumental in the birth of our republic.

It was a mission that involved and was carried out over land that included what is now the neighborhood in which the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center sits.

We have to go back a ways for this story – back to maybe the most consequential year in our nation’s history:  1776.

It was the year following – on the morning of April 18, 1775 – when British soldiers and local militia skirmished at Lexington (five miles to the west of Boston) and then at North Bridge in Concord (11 miles to the west of Boston) where the militia routed the British.

It was the year following the day after the Lexington and Concord battles when colonial militiamen cut off all access to British-held Boston.

It was the year following the British winning back from the militia – in the Battle of Bunker Hill, on June 17, 1775 – a strategic area in Charlestown, a town separated from Boston by a channel of Boston Harbor.  The British lost so many lives and shed so much blood in the battle that its leadership understood that they could not endure more such victories.

In the late fall of 1775, on the cusp of 1776, the future of the rebellion – of a nation – was in flux and in desperation.  Flux and desperation centered on Boston.

The colonial militia – now called the Continental Army – surrounded the British … and yet the hold was precarious.

Ten thousand British troops occupied Royal Navy ships which held Boston Harbor, and whose cannons could send shot into Continental Army garrisons.

The British could land troops from the harbor.

Continental Army General George Washington, on the ground in Boston, recognized the problems … and saw opportunity.

One way to discourage and prevent a British attack from the harbor, as Washington considered, was to occupy Dorchester Heights (in present day South Boston), an area that afforded an overlook of Boston Harbor, and the peninsula of Boston itself, which was populated with British troops and citizens loyal to England.

The English coveted Dorchester Heights as well.

General Washington, whose command base was a house in the city of Cambridge, which bordered Boston, knew that his troops might be able to take Dorchester Heights, but because they lacked sufficient armaments and firepower, they could not hold it.

But the armaments, the firepower, were not available.

Or were they?

Henry Knox, a Boston bookseller turned Continental Army officer, had an idea.  A crazy idea.  An idea that had no chance of being realized.

Of such craziness is the stuff that changes the world.

Knox knew that the previous May, American forces – the Green Mountain Boys led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold – had captured cannons when they overcame the British garrisons of Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown Point nearby in upstate New York, alongside Lake Champlain.

Knox asked General Washington if the general would let him lead an expedition – with winter approaching – that would travel 300 miles to Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown, and … somehow … transport cannons back to Boston and to Dorchester Heights.

General Washington listened.  He commissioned Henry Knox a colonel, appointed him the head of an artillery unit, and said go for it.

Henry Knox and his team arrived at Fort Ticonderoga in mid-December.

Now how to transport 59 cannons (30 from Fort Ticonderoga and 29 from Fort Crown) – 60 tons worth – across mountainous and snow and ice-packed terrain.

Colonel Knox commandeered sleds pulled by oxen.

As the team of oxen made its way along the trail to Boston – today the Henry Knox Trail – Colonel Knox had to work as a hiring agent as he traveled across sparsely populated territory … hiring men for temporary stints to help in the transport.

More than once, while crossing frozen rivers, ice broke and a cannon went into the water.  But every cannon was retrieved.

In early January, the caravan made its way south from Lake Champlain, and across the Adirondacks, down to Albany.  Colonel Knox led and guided the shipment into Massachusetts and across the Berkshires.

In late January, Colonel Knox and the cannon arrived in Cambridge.

General Washington first directed some of the cannons to be placed in Cambridge, and in Roxbury, which bordered Boston.

He then strategized how to get to the cannons up to Dorchester Heights, and to fortify the Heights, without the British detecting the move.

General Washington employed diversion to accomplish the task.

On the evenings March 2 and March 3, he had the cannon batteries in Cambridge and Roxbury open fire.  British troops returned fire. No significant casualties resulted.  The noise and commotion, though, provided cover for American troops to prep for a lightning taking and fortifying Dorchester Heights.

On March 4, evening, the American cannons again fired.  Accompanying the cannon shooting was the movement of 2000 Continental Army soldiers, under the direct command of General John Thomas, moving up to Dorchester Heights with entrenching tools, cannon placements, and cannon.

Troops placed bales of hay between their work and the harbor so to muffle the sound of the activity and prevent those on the British warships from being alerted.

Following is an excerpt from a Wikipedia entry on the fortification of Dorchester Heights:

“General Washington was present to provide moral support and encouragement …. By 4 a.m., they had constructed fortifications that were proof against small arms and grapeshot. Work continued on the positions, with troops cutting down trees and constructing abbatis to impede any British assault on the works.  The outside of the works also included rock-filled barrels that could be rolled down the hill at attacking troops.”

When dawn broke on March 5, Dorchester Heights was armed and fortified.

British General William Howe, marveling, and no doubt distraught, with his opponent’s miracle execution of logistics, commented, “The rebels have done more in one night than my whole army would have done in a month.”

The work of the rebels left the British at a major disadvantage.  American control of Dorchester Heights afforded an excellent position for General Washington’s soldiers to rain hellfire upon the British in Boston, and on the Royal Navy if it sought to land troops close to the Heights — which it would have to do if it sought to bring the troops ashore because the Continental Army occupied most of the surrounding coastline.

General Howe considered an assault on Dorchester Heights, but understood such an operation would be like Bunker Hill, only worse.

General Howe and his command made the decision to evacuate British troops and Loyalists from Boston — which was done on March 17, 1776.

Much hardship, and monstrous suffering and sacrifice lay ahead for the Continental Army, and colonial patriots, before liberty was fully won.

Yet, for sure, the logistics-feats-for-the-ages that the Americans pulled off during the winter of 1776 enabled a nascent and still-fragile revolt to live; it gave great hope to and inspired patriots; and it was the marrow and stuff of the launch of a nation.

Santa Claus Knows Shipping and Logistics

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a Fan

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services, launched in 1987, is national leader in exhibition services and event project management.

In our day-to-day business we are involved with matters of shipping and logistics – with many of these matters highly complex and far-reaching in scope.

Willwork is fortunate to have an in-house team of professionals, and several business partners, who successfully, expeditiously, and effectively handle all the shipping and logistics demands and challenges we face.

We must confess, though, that there is an enterprise which annually pulls off a global shipping and logistics feat that is far more impressive than anything Willwork could ever hope to accomplish. It is simply mind-boggling.

It humbles us – and Willwork holds in awe what this outfit achieves.

We are talking of the Christmas Eve and Christmas morning worldwide transport that Santa Claus and his elves and his reindeer successfully coordinate and carry out and complete.

And we are not even going to touch the awe-inspiring building and production of presents that the elves run and orchestrate. Willwork can talk about, in this space, the manufacturing magic of the elves at a later date.

We thought it would be of interest to visitors to this site to highlight and point to research and thoughts that other companies and organizations and people have published and shared online about the Santa delivery miracle.

Go Supply Chain Consulting Ltd., a logistics and supply chain management and consulting firm based in the UK, published a fascinating infographic (which we have attached here with Go Supply Chain Consulting’s permission) on shipping specs and numbers that its logistics consultants figured and compiled on Santa’s around-the-world expedition.

For example, as the consultants determined, if the average present that Santa delivers is 50 centimeters long and 30 centimeters wide and 20 centimeters deep, laying those presents end to end would create a chain of presents that would stretch around the equator 24 times. Wow.

Back in 2010, on Christmas Day, Ireland’s National Public Service Broadcaster aired a report that provided scientific explanations – including those involving nanotechnology and parallel universes – as to how Santa Claus and Dasher, Dancer, Prancer … and, well, the other reindeer … make happen the seemingly impossible.

If you click here you will be taken to a video clip of the broadcast.

Among the world’s most successful companies, one for which Willwork has provided services, is Oracle Corporation.

Oracle makes a vast variety of software applications, databases, servers, and cloud and storage technologies that help organizations operate more successfully – including in the areas of shipping and logistics.

Oracle has weighed in on Santa Claus and his team and its all-star and hall-of-fame shipping and logistics.

During the holiday season in 2014, on December 16, Oracle published on its website an article by Julie Vagdati, that introduces a video, “Ever Wonder How Santa Claus Runs His Supply Chain?” – with shipping and logistics all an integral component of supply chain.

Together, the article and the video, are a lot of fun and instructive, and serve the purpose of marketing and telling the story of Oracle logistics and supply chain solutions.

Following is an excerpt of narration from the video:

“This is a story of a guy who has mail supply chain in the cloud. He is more than 1000 years old yet he develops products fast, plans effectively, executes rapidly. All in the cloud … One of his secrets is he connects across his supply chain with mobility and social media and empowers his little helpers through visibility and big data analytics.”

Please click here to be taken to the page where you can find the story and the video.

The Supply Chain and Logistics Institute at Georgia Tech thought up and put in play a different take on Santa Claus and shipping and logistics. You see, the institute sent packages to Santa.

Yes, it did. A little background: every year since 2003, the Supply Chain and Logistics Institute at Georgia Tech has conducted the “Great International Package Race,” a competition that pits FedEX, UPS, DHL, and the U.S. Postal Service against each other to see which company delivers packages the fastest to various points around the globe.

In 2013, for the first time, the competition was held during the holiday season, the busiest time of the year for shipping. And it was in 2013 that the institute decided to include on its list of destinations – Santa Claus Village in Lapland, Finland.

It is more than a coincidence that Dr. John Bartholdi, a professor in the in the Master’s in Supply Chain Engineering Program at Georgia Tech, who also thought up the Great International Package Race, looks as if he could be Santa Claus’s brother. There’s a resemblance, for sure.

To pull up a short video in which Dr. Bartholdi explains and provides insight into the Santa Claus Delivery Logistics project, please click here.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services understands the importance of, across many industry and other sectors of society, efficiency and excellence in shipping and logistics.

Those companies and other forms of teams that achieve this efficiency and excellence on a large scale deliver corresponding value – and command particular admiration.

And Willwork submits that no team delivers more value – and more smiles and happiness – through its shipping and logistics operations than does the team of Santa Claus and those elves and those reindeer.

Willwork wishes all Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!