An Epic and Historic Show and Event Happens Tonight Across the Galaxy and Most of the Planet – The Longest Total Lunar Eclipse of the Century, the “Blood Moon,” and Mars Easily Observed

“Blood Red Moon” During Lunar Eclipse (Image credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

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

Willwork is in the shows and events business.

Today’s post is tied to the shows and events theme.

It is also a follow-up to the most recent post in this space – the post published on July 19 that features Willwork’s highly valued client, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence (HMI), and the role HMI technology is playing in a major industrial astronomy project: the installation of radio telescopes in northern Norway, inside the Arctic Circle.

Yes, today’s post stays with shows and events, and astronomy.

And we are talking about the most awe-inspiring of events, of shows – those that occur and play out and take place in the skies and heavens above.

Like the longest total lunar eclipse of this century, which will be seen by most of the world on the evening of July 27-28.  The downer is that an area of the world from which the eclipse is not viewable includes almost all of North America.

Before going on, here is the short-and-sweet definition of a lunar eclipse provided courtesy of Wikipedia: “A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind Earth and into its shadow.”

Following is an excerpt from an EarthSky story, “Century’s longest lunar eclipse July 27,” written by Bruce McClure:

“The full moon on the night of July 27-28, 2018, presents the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century (2001 to 2100). The total phase of the eclipse – called the totality – spans 1 hour 42 minutes and 57 seconds. That’s in contrast to the shortest total lunar eclipse of this century, which occurred on April 4, 2015 and lasted 4 minutes and 48 seconds. And it’s in contrast to 2018’s other total lunar eclipse – on January 31, 2018 – whose totality lasted 1 hour and 16 minutes.

“A partial eclipse precedes and follows the total phase of the eclipse, each time lasting 1 hour and 6 minutes. So, from start to finish – on July 27-28, 2018 – the moon spends nearly 4 hours (3 hours and 55 minutes) crossing the Earth’s dark umbral shadow. Wow! That’s a long eclipse.

“Adding to the excitement on eclipse night … this eclipse will happen on the same night that Earth is passing between the sun and Mars, placing Mars at opposition in our sky. In one of the sky’s wonderful coincidences, the Mars opposition happens on July 27, too. It’s not just any Mars opposition, but the best Mars opposition since 2003 …. ”

Mr. McClure also writes that, at points during the eclipse, due to the alignment and movement of Earth and sun and Mars, “the moon will turn red from sunlight filtering through Earth’s atmosphere onto the moon’s surface.”

As well, he explains that the actions and placement of the planets and the sun will make Mars particularly easy to see, even with the naked eye.

Again, though, the way the universe works does not have North America in the physical viewing zone of the eclipse, and “blood moon,” and Mars being all lit up and easy to find.

The best places on the planet to watch the eclipse are Africa, South America, the Middle East, and Central Asia. And is across this stretch of the planet that the blood moon will be cloaked partly, or fully, in the shadow of Earth from 1:14 p.m. to 7:28 p.m. (EDT).  A complete eclipse, “totality,” happens from 3:30 to 5 p.m. (EDT).

Good news is that even if you are home in the U.S. or other places in North America, today and tonight, technology and online communications avails an opportunity to watch the eclipse as it happens.

Willwork recommends two real-time viewing options:

  • The Weather Channel hosts a livestream on its app beginning at 4 p.m. (EDT) today. (Willwork wants to note that the digital properties of the Weather Channel are owned by longtime Willwork client IBM.)
  • Starting at 4 p.m. (EDT) today, NBC News hosts a livestream.

This big-time celestial event occurs a little less than a year after another rare and extraordinary show played out in the sky – that time, though, the show took place in the sky over America.

The solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 was the first solar eclipse, since the solar eclipse of June 8, 1918, in which the eclipse was visible across the entire mainland of the U.S., and the first, since the solar eclipse of February 26, 1979, in which a total solar eclipse was visible across all the contiguous U.S. states.

A solar eclipse, and here we refer again to Wikipedia, “is a type of eclipse that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and when the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun.”

Lunar and solar eclipses foment deep curiosity and intrigue and engagement among we Earthlings.

Soul-enriching, happy, inspiring, heartening, smile-inducing … unifying … all this is what eclipses and other events and performances played out in the cosmic and celestial space above can make happen.

The Wall Street Journal’s Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Peggy Noonan saw all of this play out on the streets of New York City on August 21, 2017.

Watching the Solar Eclipse Over the Empire State Building; August 21, 2017 (Image credit: Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal)

Ms. Noonan shared and reflected on her solar-eclipse experience in her August 24, 2017 column, “For a Day, Our Political Troubles Were Eclipsed”.  The subtitle of the column is “It was beautiful: Up and down Madison Avenue, people looked upward.”

Here are the first three paragraphs of Ms. Noonan’s column:

“In Manhattan on eclipse day I had planned to go by Central Park to witness how people would react to the big celestial event. But I didn’t get there because of what I saw on Madison Avenue.

“It was so beautiful.

“Up and down the street, all through the eclipse, people spontaneously came together—shop workers and neighborhood mothers, kids and bank employees, shoppers and tourists. They’d gather in groups and look up together. Usually one or two people would have the special glasses, and they’d be passed around. Everyone would put them on and look up and say ‘Wow!’ or ‘Incredible!’ and then laugh and hand the glasses on.”

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“Wow!”

“Incredible!”

Leave it to nature and the unfathomable and infinite energy of the universe to create and conduct shows and events that elicit … that demand … from humans these emotions and these responses.

 

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence (HMI) – a Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services Client – is Playing an Important Role in a Project That Will Help Humanity Acquire a Better Understanding of the Universe

Installation of Asturfeito Radio Telescope in Northern Norway (Image credit: Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence)

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

Our client list includes winning and successful companies across almost all industries. On the list are some of the largest and best-known multinationals … and also small, recently started companies that you may not have heard of … yet …. but you will.

Among our clients are organizations that create and invent, and bring to market, the technology that makes commerce more efficient, more cost-effective, and which improves quality of products and services.

One of those organizations is Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence (HMI) .

It our privilege to service, and to work with, HMI.

Based in North Kingstown, RI, HMI designs and produces solutions that optimize the use of measurement data “to increase production speed and accelerate productivity while enhancing quality” in industrial manufacturing projects around the world.

As explained at the HMI website, “Through a network of local service centers, production facilities and commercial operations across five continents,” HMI is “shaping smart change in manufacturing to build a world where quality drives productivity.”

HMI is a division of the Swedish company Hexagon AB, a “leading global provider of information technology solutions that drive productivity and quality across geospatial and industrial landscapes.”

A major project – a project that benefits all humanity – in which HMI solutions are now being used, is the installation in northern Norway, inside the Arctic Circle, of two large radio telescopes, each 13.5 meters (44.3 feet) in diameter.  On this project, HMI technology is employed to assure that the telescopes are assembled with the highest accuracy and precision.

Overseeing the engineering and assembly of the telescopes is Asturfeito, a company headquartered in Spain.  Asturfeito has been an HMI customer for five years.  Asturfeito provides, organizes, and coordinates services for engineering, manufacturing, and commissioning of capital goods for large industrial projects.

In 2013, Asturfeito and HMI teamed as part of the effort to bring into full operation the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), an astronomical interferometer (an array of radio telescopes that operate and record data in unison) located in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile at an elevation of 5,000 meters (16,000 feet).  The ALMA interferometer, developed and constructed by an international coalition of scientific organizations and private companies, contains 66 radio telescopes. Planned and built at a cost of $1.4 billion, ALMA is the most expensive ground-based telescope in the world.

In the installation of the radio telescopes, Asturfeito is using HMI laser tracker systems.

Radio Telescopes

Radio telescopes.  What are they?  What do they do?

Answers to these questions are found in the article, “What Are Radio Telescopes?”, published on the website of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO).  Here are the first two paragraphs of the story:

“Just as optical telescopes collect visible light, bring it to a focus, amplify it and make it available for analysis by various instruments, so do radio telescopes collect weak radio light waves, bring it to a focus, amplify it and make it available for analysis. We use radio telescopes to study naturally occurring radio light from stars, galaxies, black holes, and other astronomical objects. We can also use them to transmit and reflect radio light off of planetary bodies in our solar system. These specially-designed telescopes observe the longest wavelengths of light, ranging from 1 millimeter to over 10 meters long. For comparison, visible light waves are only a few hundred nanometers long, and a nanometer is only 1/10,000th the thickness of a piece of paper! In fact, we don’t usually refer to radio light by its wavelength, but by its frequency.

“Naturally occurring radio waves are extremely weak by the time they reach us from space. A cell phone signal is a billion billion times more powerful than the cosmic waves our telescopes detect.”

Radio telescopes are essential and fundamental instruments and devices to the practice of radio astronomy, which is, and here we refer again to language from the NRAO website:

“Radio astronomy is the study of celestial objects that give off radio waves. With radio astronomy, we study astronomical phenomena that are often invisible or hidden in other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

“With giant, sophisticated radio telescopes, we watch stars turn on, shine, and expend themselves, and then we spy on their fascinating corpses. We watch planets form from dust and ice. We clock the spin of our Galaxy and thousands of others. We see the echo of the clumpy Big Bang and the Universe’s very first stars and galaxies. And we spot the chemical precursors of DNA, floating in space.”

Radio telescopes collect and track data emitted from machines, space probes and satellites, that people send into the cosmos.

If you click here you will be taken to the area of the NRAO website where is found interesting history and explanation about radio astronomy.

Jansky’s “merry-go-round” radio telescope (Image credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF)

As for those radio waves, which are sort of the precursor to radio astronomy, they were first identified almost 80 years ago by Karl Guthe Jansky (1905-1950), an engineer at Bell Telephone Laboratories, the organizational genesis of what today is NOKIA Bell Labs.  Mr. Jansky had been hired by Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1928, and tasked with locating and identifying static and turbulence that interfered with telephone communications.  To accomplish the mission, Mr. Jansky mounted an antenna on a turntable so that the antenna could be rotated to pick up radio waves coming from all directions.  “Jansky’s merry-go-round”, built on Bell Telephone Laboratories property in Holmdel, NJ, was the first radio telescope.

Using the radio telescope, Mr. Janksy identified all the sources of the radio disruption except for one.  Yet he would discover that source as well.  In 1931, he found that stars were what had been that mystery emitter of radio interference.

Today the name for a unit of radio-wave emission strength is a jansky.

It would be late in 1932, when Karl Guthe Jansky first published his findings on stars and radio waves.  Mr. Jansky launched a discipline and a science that an astronomer and engineer named Grote Reber (1911-2002) would usher along and on which he would build.  Before 1932 was out, Mr. Reber attempted to devise and adapt a shortwave radio to detect radio waves transmitted by the stars. The shortwave radio experiment didn’t work.  What did work though was an antenna he built in his backyard in Wheaton, IL in 1937: bowl-shaped and 9.4 meters (31 feet) in diameter.  This device – bearing a resemblance to the radio telescopes of today – enabled Grote Reber to improve detection of, and learn more about, radio waves, and to develop the first mapping of radiation across the Milky Way, the galaxy we Earthlings call home.

Messrs. Jansky and Reber pioneered a science, what started humanity on the path that led to us the radio astronomy technology of today, what the NRAO calls the “giant, sophisticated radio telescopes” – those like the two being installed in Northern Norway, inside the Arctic Circle.

And why inside the Arctic Circle? There are surely far more accessible and environmentally hospitable places.

Radio telescopes are installed in locations far removed from concentrations of human habitat – such as the Arctic – to avoid electromagnetic interference (EMI)  from manmade electronic devices, such as radio, television, radar, and motor vehicles.

And HMI technology is relied on to keep the radio telescope installation perfectly aligned, precise, and balanced … even when the work being done is in some of the coldest and windiest and miserable conditions on the planet.

Yeah, it can get like that in the Arctic.

Benefits of Astronomy – Whether Radio or Optical

Whether – and this is greatly simplifying the concept – it is visible light data and information that an optical telescope collects, or the radio frequency data and information a radio telescope gathers, both are a trove that astronomers and other scientists analyze and study to help humanity know more about the universe.

A primary, an overarching … and we dare say … cosmic benefit … of astronomy is that it helps humanity consider, even if we cannot ever begin to fully understand, how impossibly minute and tiny is the place, the planet, we call home, as a component of the galaxies and the never-ending outer space.

And, in this way … as well … it instructs us just how special is Earth, and how important it is that we take care of  our home.

How small and how remarkable is Earth, and how small and how remarkable are its residents, is beautifully conveyed in a short film called “The Blue Dot” that the legendary and great scientist Carl Sagan – whose scientific creds include that of all-star astronomer – created.  The Blue Dot refers to a photo of Earth that the NASA Voyager 1 spacecraft shot on its 1989 mission. It was Mr. Sagan, a member of the NASA Voyager 1 imaging team, who, as the spacecraft was about to leave our solar system, successfully urged NASA officials to turn and train the camera on our home and take the image.

Carl Sagan used the photo, in which Earth looks like a blue dot, as a visual set against a speech he wrote and delivered. Please click here to be taken to the film.

Astronomy provides us answers to questions we did not know to ask.

Astronomy abets humility even as it exalts our station amid the unfathomable vastness.

Oh, yes, of course, astronomy supports the explicitly tangible and innovation and development that makes living, and making a living, easier, safer, happier, and more productive.

In the following excerpt from an article, “Astronomy in Everyday Life,” published on the website of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) –and authored by Marissa Rosenberg and Pedro Russo (EU-UNAWE), Leiden Observatory/Leiden University, The Netherlands), and Georgia Bladon and Lars Lindberg Christensen (ESO, Germany) – describes specific areas that benefit from astronomy, while also giving a nod to those cosmic contributions and benefits of the science:

“The fruits of scientific and technological development in astronomy, especially in areas such as optics and electronics, have become essential to our day-to-day life, with applications such as personal computers, communication satellites, mobile phones, Global Positioning Systems, solar panels and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners.

“Although the study of astronomy has provided a wealth of tangible, monetary and technological gains, perhaps the most important aspect of astronomy is not one of economical measure. Astronomy has and continues to revolutionize our thinking on a worldwide scale. In the past, astronomy has been used to measure time, mark the seasons, and navigate the vast oceans. As one of the oldest sciences astronomy is part of every culture’s history and roots. It inspires us with beautiful images and promises answers to the big questions. It acts as a window into the immense size and complexity of space, putting Earth into perspective and promoting global citizenship and pride in our home planet.”

If you click here you will be taken to the full article in which you can read more about how astronomy makes life better.

We also wanted to point out … and we just had to, because it is all so immensely intriguing and engrossing … an example of how astronomy is enlisted in the quest to find out if we Earthlings share the universe with other intelligent beings.

Consider the ongoing radio astronomy commotion, and vibrant conversation, and deep analysis, and far-reaching conjecture, which rises from the phenomenon of fast radio bursts, or FRB, first identified in 2007 within data that radio a radio telescope had collected.

Now it seems that established and respected scientists believe that it is possible that these FRBs are power sources for alien spacecraft traveling through the galaxies.  Really.  To learn more about the scientists positing this theory, and the science behind the theory, please click here to be taken to a Popular Mechanics story, “Harvard Scientists Theorize That Fast Radio Bursts Come From Alien Space Travel: Could these mysterious flashes of radio waves come from a planet-sized device to power alien spacecraft?”, written by Jay Bennett, and published on March 9, 2017.

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Whether in the field of electronics or navigation or MRIs or searching for beings from other galaxies … or the many, many other sectors of life … astronomy plays an integral and important role.

And Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence (HMI) plays an integral and important role in enabling astronomy technology and devices and instruments to operate with optimum accuracy.

 

The Declaration of Independence, July 4th, and Events and Pageantry and Celebrations and “Illuminations”

 

Visitor to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., views the Declaration of Independence (image credit: National Archives and Records Administration)

(Note: This post, originally published on July 2, 2018, was updated on July 6, 2018)

“We find it hard to believe that liberty could ever be lost in this country. But it can be lost, and it will be, if the time ever comes when these documents are regarded not as the supreme expression of our profound belief, but merely as curiosities in glass cases.”

PRESIDENT HARRY TRUMAN, speaking on December 15, 1952, at the National Archives, where is housed the original copy of the Declaration of Independence

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

Established in 1987, we are now in our fourth decade in business.

And for more than 30 years, it has been our good fortune to operate in a free society, one in which capitalism is vibrant, and which is hospitable to and supports and rewards hard work, daring, personal initiative, and creative thinking that builds and produces more effectively and more efficiently, and in higher quality and higher quantity, than any other nation on the planet.

Of course, freedom and liberty – the natural state of humanity – has enemies, and is often attacked, infringed on, subjugated, and destroyed.

2012 Macy’s July 4th Fireworks over Manhattan, New York City (Image credit: New York Daily News)

Preserving and protecting, and winning back, freedom and liberty, has often required great sacrifice, mountainous loss of life and suffering, bold and epic leadership, and indomitable will and perseverance.

Such qualities, such character, were firmly resident in the 56 men, delegates from the 13 American colonies and members of the Second Continental Congress, who signed “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America” – the title of which has been transmitted to posterity as the “Declaration of Independence” – a sacred text approved on and dated July 4, 1776.

On this blog, Willwork, from time to time, likes to tie the business in which we work – shows, events, celebrations, and conventions – to holidays and current events, great episodes in history, and admirable and virtuous people and their accomplishments and contributions to society.

Now, for sure, what took place in Philadelphia in the early summer of 1776 is the among the most momentous of events in history – and one that has, from its inception … as it always will … inspired and launched and fueled the grandest and most colorful celebrations of light and sound.

Countdown to July 4th, Independence Day

While the American Revolution was already underway, and with its armed conflict between the American colonies and England launched on the morning of April 19, 1775 in the Massachusetts towns of Lexington and Concord, the Declaration of Independence took things to a new level.

No longer did the rebellion of English citizens in America include the possibility that the colonies would remain part of the British Empire if King George III and Parliament assented to cease imposing unjust laws and regulations, including onerous taxation, on Americans.

No, that ship had sailed.  Now the fight was about establishing a new nation.

Declaring independence meant there could be turning back, and not acceptable to Congress would be any solution to the crisis that included the colonies still under English rule.

On June 11, 1776, the Second Continental Congress, anticipating that soon it would be ready and have the consensus of support to win a vote to declare separation from England, named a Committee of Five to draft a document would be sent to King George and Parliament, and which would be made universally available, that declared independence and described and explained the reasons for the declaration.

Members of the Committee were Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts,Benjamin Franklin (Pennsylvania), Robert R. Livingston (New York), and Roger Sherman of Connecticut.  Thomas Jefferson, 33 years old, was appointed the lead in writing the document.

The Committee of Five, on June 28, presented a draft of the declaration to Congress.

On July 2, 1776, delegates from 12 of 13 colonies – New York abstained – voted to approve a resolution put forth by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia to declare the colonies independent from Great Britain.  (New York voted, on July 19, to join in supporting the Declaration of Independence, and therefore, also, the resolution of July 2).

It is understood how John Adams believed, as he exulted in a letter to his wife, dated July 2, 1776, that the day of year would be commemorated in perpetuity in the following manner:

“… it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty; it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

After the passage of the Lee Resolution, Congress devoted two days of debate and discussion about, and proposing and making changes to, the treatise. Yet, for sure, the final text largely remains the result of what was transmitted by the extraordinary mind and pen of Thomas Jefferson.

On July 4,1776, the Continental Congress approved the declaration, even if it would be not until early August that most of the delegates signed the document.  (Jefferson actually made some minor changes to the declaration on   July 5.)

And what a declaration … and what a document.

With the rarest of literary precision, and with timeless beauty, poetry, and eloquence, the Declaration of Independence made the case for, and advanced the argument that, England had deprived the residents of its American colonies of the natural rights to which all people are heir at the moment of their birth (even as it would be a long while in the nation before non-whites and women were permitted to fully enjoy and experience those rights).

The entire Declaration of Independence is a gorgeous piece of writing and argumentation – and unto itself, the preamble, which we share here, is enshrined in our national consciousness and an inspiration for freedom-loving and freedom-yearning people the world over:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Celebrating and Announcing Independence; The Fireworks and Parades Commence

A nation had been born.  And either England would consent to the American independence, and not oppose it – or England would continue to contest, by arms, the colonies breaking away from the Crown, and crush the insurgency.  Or the colonies would win what the Declaration of Independence proclaimed.

And the news spread of what happened in Philadelphia – and launched were the first July 4th celebrations.  Below is an excerpt from a study, The Declaration of Independence: First Public Readings, researched by James R. Heintze, a professor at American University:

“The Declaration of Independence was printed during the late afternoon on Thursday, July 4, by John Dunlap, a local Philadelphia printer.  Congress ordered that copies be sent to ‘the several Assemblies, Conventions, and Committees or Councils of Safety, and to the several Commanding officers of the Continental Troops, that it be proclaimed in each of the United States, and at the head of the Army.’  By the next morning copies were on their way to all thirteen states by horseback and on July 5 the German Pennsylvanischer Staatsbote, published by Heinrich Miller, became the new nation’s first newspaper to announce that the Declaration had been adopted.  On Saturday, July 6, the first newspaper print edition of the full text of the Declaration appeared in the Philadelphia Evening Post.  On Monday, July 8, the Declaration of Independence was ‘proclaimed’ (read aloud) by Col. John Nixon of the Philadelphia Committee of Safety at the State House in Philadelphia.  It was also read again that evening before the militia on the Commons.  Throughout the city, bells were rung all day.  On that as well the Declaration was publicly read in Easton, Pennsylvania, and Trenton, New Jersey.  It was these first public readings which constituted America’s first celebrations of the Fourth of July.  Typically in towns and cities across the nation accompanying the oral declarations were loud shouts, huzzas, firings of muskets, and the tearing down of the British emblems.  In Baltimore, for example, on July 29, the town was illuminated and ‘the Effigy of our late King was carted through the town and committed to the flames amidst the acclamations of many hundreds.  The just reward of a Tyrant.’”

Still, while the creation and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence were necessary to founding the United States of America, independence would not be won without continued and immense sacrifice of blood and treasure.

It was not until October 19, 1781 – more than five years after Philadelphia and July 4, 1776 – thatBritish General Charles Cornwallis surrendered his troops to an American and French force at Yorktown, Virginia, which resulted in the cessation of almost all fighting … and America gaining its independence … even if small clashes continued for two more years.

The American Revolution formally ended in Paris on September 3, 1783, with American and British representatives approving the Treaty of Paris.

But there could be no doubt that what happened on July 4, 1776 announced to Britain … and to the world … that this upstart assembly of colonies were prepared to give all to be free.  Indeed, all those men who signed the Declaration of Independence, in that they were considered by England to be subjects of the Crown, were deemed by the Mother Country to be committing treason, a crime punishable by death.

Benjamin Franklin understood the risk and peril. A letter he wrote which he sent to his colleagues in the Second Continental Congress just prior to the vote on the declaration, included these words: “We must, indeed, all hang together – or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

A big deal.  A very big deal.

And John Adams was right.  America declaring its independence will be “solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

As for those fireworks, if you click here you will be taken to a Travel + Leisure story, “The Best Fourth of July Fireworks in Every U.S. State,” written by Emily Cappiello, and published on June 30, 2017.

There can be no July 4th without fireworks – without “illuminations.”

May there always be July 4th and the fireworks – from sea to sea.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services shouts out a “Happy Birthday America!!”

 

On the Subject of Prodigies, and Being Gifted and Wise Far Beyond One’s Years – and of Stefan Vilsmeier and Brainlab

Brainlab AG founder and CEO Stefan Vilsmeier (Image credit: Brainlab AG)

Let’s talk prodigies.  Encyclopaedia Brittanica defines a prodigy as “a child who, by about age 10, performs at the level of a highly trained adult in a particular sphere of activity or knowledge.”

Merriam-Webster defines a prodigy as “a highly talented child or youth” – a definition which, it would seem, allows for prodigies who are older than 10. Perhaps 16? How about 17?  Maybe 18?

Now, for sure, broadly and generally, in society, the term prodigy is applied to children, or teens, or those in early adulthood (let’s call 21 the cutoff age), who are exceptionally … and we mean exceptionally … gifted, skilled, and talented beyond their years.

A poster child for prodigies is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Born in Austria in 1756, Mozart played the piano skillfully at 3; he taught himself the violin at 4. At 6, his piano playing wowed and enamored audiences across Europe.

Pablo Picasso was a prodigy.  Born in Spain, in 1881, it is said he could draw before he could talk.  And when he started to talk, he did so by saying, “piz,” which is short for lápiz, the Spanish word for pencil.

Picasso applied to the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona when he was 13.  The application process usually took a month. Picasso finished the application in a week, and so impressed the admissions jury that it enthusiastically chose to accept him.

Of course, for both Mozart and Picasso, their childhoods and adolescences were foundations and jumping off points to lives of extraordinary artistic prolificacy, and delivering work that is brilliantly transformative in beauty, power, and revelation.

Mabou Loiseau is a prodigy.  When she was 8, Ms. Loiseau, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, spoke English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, Creole, Japanese, and knew and was able to communicate in American Sign Language (ASL); yes, that’s nine languages.  Ms. Loiseau skillfully played the piano, violin, drums, guitar, harp, clarinet, flute, and conga.   Ms. Loiseau, a New York City resident, also was involved in dance and sports.  Mabou Loiseau is now 13, and continues to learn and be amazing.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services has ties to … we are only a degree or two separated … from a man who holds true and solid prodigy credentials.

Stefan Vilsmeier is his name.  Mr. Vilsmeir is a medical technology titan.  Before Mr. Vilsmeir was a medical tech titan, he was a prodigy.

Stefan Vilsmeier is the founder and CEO of Brainlab AG, a global leader in developing, manufacturing, and marketing “software-driven medical technology, enabling access to advanced, less invasive patient treatments.”

It is and has been the privilege of Willwork to provide services to, and to work closely with, and for, Brainlab AG.

Stefan Vilsmeier and Early Brilliance, Early Achievement

Born in 1967, Stefan Vilsmeier grew up in a suburb of Munich. As a teenager, he taught himself computer programming.  An enthusiastic gamer, he used his technology talents and imagination to create video games.  At the age of 17, Mr. Vilsmeier wrote a book on 3D graphics that became a bestseller, with more than 50,000 books sold.

With a bestselling book behind him, Mr. Vilsmeier then coupled his creative and programming gifts, with high energy, a driving work ethic, entrepreneurial zeal, and excellent entrepreneurial insight to build the groundwork and foundation for Brainlab.

Following is an excerpt from Mr. Vilsmeier’s bio at the Brainlab website:

“In 1989, Vilsmeier enrolled at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, to study Computer Programming and The Theory of Medical Technology. However, his enterprising nature and burgeoning business in computer-assisted medical technology left little time for theory. While still in the first semester, Vilsmeier founded Brainlab GmbH from the proceeds of his book. During the following years, Stefan Vilsmeier spearheaded new developments in the area of neuro-navigation and radiotherapy.”

Please click here to be taken to the full Stefan Vilsmeier bio.

Stefan Vilsmeier and Brainlab Capitalized on the Value of Tradeshows

Early in his stewarding and directing Brainlab – and Willwork just has to point this out – Stefan Vilsmeier capitalized on and accessed the opportunity of tradeshows to market and sell his company and its technology.

In 1992, Mr. Vilsmeier and Brainlab made a strong and strategic foray into the U.S. market, exhibiting at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, D.C.  The Brainlab exhibit at the show, and this should not be surprising, was one that Mr. Vilsmeier designed and built himself.

Last year, close to half of Brainlab’s $311.1 million (€ 260 million) in revenue was generated in the United States.

Stefan Vilsmeier and Brainlab Continue to Believe in Tradeshows

Today, Brainlab, still based in Munich, employs 1,300 across 19 locations internationally.  There are almost 12,000 Brainlab technology systems operating in more than 100 countries.

And, today, Stefan Vilsmeier and Brainlab remain deeply and strongly committed to tradeshows as an integral component of marketing Brainlab technology, telling the Brainlab story, and strengthening and solidifying the Brainlab brand.

As explained at the Brainlab website –

“Every year Brainlab participates in dozens of large and hundreds of regional tradeshows all around the globe. Events are a great way for us to not only get to know our current and future customers, but also present new products and gain valuable feedback for products that are still in development. We look forward to welcoming you at the next Brainlab event!”

This all sounds good to Willwork.  Then, again, we sure don’t have to be sold on the value of tradeshows.

Willwork looks forward to continuing to provide optimum tradeshow and exhibit services and value to Brainlab, the company founded by a prodigy, and which produces the “software-driven medical technology” that heals and delivers hope and improves lives the world over.

 

 

 

 

HONORING AND THANKING THOSE WHO GAVE ALL TO PRESERVE “THE LAST BEST HOPE OF EARTH”

Changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery, 2005. U.S. Army soldiers, from left to right, Sgt. Benton Thames, Sgt. Jeff Binek, and                Spc. William Johnson. (Image credit: Sgt. Erica Vinyard, U.S. Army)

 

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it.  And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.”

JOHN F. KENNEDY

“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it.  It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.”

UNKNOWN

 

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national leading exhibit services and exhibition management company.  In 2018, we entered our fourth decade in business.

When Willwork launched, in 1987, our sole service was exhibit installation & dismantle, and for the first few years we were in business, we rarely worked outside of Southern New England, with Boston the location of about 80 percent of all our jobs.

Today, Willwork works in cities, towns, villages, and hamlets across America. We also handle, on occasion, international assignments.  Willwork maintains offices in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States.

Our client list includes among the largest and most successful multinational corporations, and also small, recently started companies, which you may not heard of … but you will.

In this space, we often publish posts that tie our business to historic events, and short-term and long-term historic legacies.  Maybe this has something to do in that Will Nixon, President of Willwork, is a former high school history and social studies teacher.

Memorial Day is an annual national day of observance and for honoring those who died in defense of our republic while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Memorial Day is a day of reflection; it is a day of remembering history.

If you click here you will be taken to a story about Memorial Day and its history at History.com.

Among the information to be learned from the story is that the origins of Memorial Day go back to the Civil War, a conflict so deadly and so costly and so terrible that a consequence of which was the creation and establishment of America’s first national cemeteries.

Willwork notes, here, on the occasion of Memorial Day, a historic and notable connection our company holds to the Civil War and martial sacrifice.

Willwork’s corporate headquarters are in South Easton, MA, which is a section of the incorporated town of Easton (Incorporated 1725), which about 25 miles south of Boston, about halfway between Boston and Providence.

Men from Easton were in the first regiment from the Union that stepped on to Confederate soil in the Civil War.  Responding to the call to save the Union were 277 men from Easton, 47 of whom perished in the conflict.

Of course, it was in Boston, and the nearby communities of Concord and Lexington, where Americans first started to die to establish the United States of America.  Men from Easton – a town, again, incorporated 50 years prior to the start of the Revolutionary War – fought for independence.

Last year, for Memorial Day, on this blog, Willwork honored the sacrifice of American founding patriots, and also described an epic and extraordinary feat of logistics performed by General George Washington’s soldiers – a feat of logistics which forced the British army, in March of 1776, to evacuate Boston.  This evacuation was a tremendous strategic and moral victory for a nation ascendant.

Clicking here will take you to the 2017 Memorial Day post.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services and its employees, and its contract workers, are immensely fortunate to live and work in a land that is imperfect and flawed – and which is far and away, of all nations, the greatest provider of opportunity and protector of freedom.

President Abraham Lincoln was thoroughly correct when he wrote of the United States of America that it was “the last best hope of earth.”

Willwork recognizes that integral and fundamental to “the last best hope of earth” is the framework of the constitutional republic that was founded in 1776.  Freedom and liberty that our constitutional republic – this nation of laws – protects includes the political and economic system of capitalism, the private ownership and means of production, which draws people from all parts of the world to our shores to chase and work for their own American Dream.

And across America, from shore to shore, from sea to sea, across all 50 of these states united … and in places far, far from our home … are found the memorials to and final resting places of those – and here we invoke again words of Abraham Lincoln, words found in the sacred text he delivered at Gettysburg – who “gave the last full measure of devotion” so that America “might live.”

Willwork hopes for all a happy and safe and fun Memorial Day Weekend.

For all those who have served or are serving in our armed forces, Willwork says thank you. We know that for you Memorial Day is necessarily and especially solemn and holds a meaning that the protected cannot know.

But the protected can show respect.  At the very least the protected can show respect.

We can embrace and hold on to and be guided by and act on what General Colin Powell told us and expressed in the following excerpt from his address on stage at the 2013 Memorial Day Concert in Washington D.C.:

“It’s easy to celebrate the brave men and women of our armed forces and appreciate their sacrifice on Memorial Day and then return to our daily lives.  Let us practice the lesson of the Good Samaritan.  To not pass by on the other side of those in need. But to reach out a helping hand, as true neighbors. We can all do something. Volunteer to welcome our vets and their families back into the community.  Encourage employers to hire veterans.  Get involved with your local veterans organizations. Simply listen to their stories.  These men and women are our heroes who stood tall for us in every dangerous part of the world.  They have kept us safe.  So keep them and their families in your hearts and minds – and find tangible ways to help and honor them, always.”

Yes, as General Powell advised, “We can all do something.”

(Willwork is fortunate and benefits from the contributions of employees who served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces. In fact, Will Nixon is World War II-era veteran who served with the U.S. Army.)

Please click here to be taken to the audio-video clip of General Powell’s full speech at the 2013 Memorial Day Concert.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services earnestly and fervently hopes … and earnestly and fervently calls for … that all Americans always remember that the freedoms and liberties we enjoy, and from which we benefit, while they are the birthright of all humanity, they are also protected and secured and safeguarded by the expenditure of the most extraordinary love and giving and sacrifice.

And if we, America, hope to remain free and live in liberty, we need to be a nation of people who live in a way, to build and live lives, that honor and thank those who gave all for the nation.

We need to live this way, and build and live those lives, not just on Memorial Day, but every day.

 

 

Infrastructure Week – Building America and Supporting the Skilled Trades

It is nice, encouraging, and inspiring when there are initiatives that receive broad-ranging support, and which are championed by Democrats, Independents, Republicans, liberals, and conservatives.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services gives a call out to one of those initiatives: Infrastructure Week – actually, more specifically, the 6th Annual Infrastructure Week – which is ongoing and upon us, with this year’s edition running from May 14-21.

Infrastructure Week is the baby and brainchild of the nonprofit organization of the same name.

Here is a descriptor of Infrastructure Week from the organization’s website:

“Infrastructure Week, a non-profit organization, convenes a national week of education and advocacy that brings together American businesses, workers, elected leaders, and everyday citizens around one message in 2018: Americans are waiting. The future won’t. It’s #TimeToBuild.  Each year during IWeek, leaders and citizens around America highlight the state of our nation’s infrastructure – roads, bridges, rail, ports, airports, water and sewer systems, the energy grid, telecoms, and more – and the projects, technologies, and policies necessary to make America competitive, prosperous, and safe.

“Our bipartisan Steering Committee and nearly 400 affiliates host events, drive media attention, and educate stakeholders and policymakers on the critical importance of infrastructure to America’s economic competitiveness, security, job creation, and in the daily lives of every American. As a business, union, non-profit, government, or an individual who depends on infrastructure, you have an important story to tell. Find a way to participate and tell your fellow citizens and policymakers: We’re tired of waiting. It’s Time to Build.”

And here is some language taken from the FAQ section of the Infrastructure Week website: “Infrastructure Week is non-partisan, is not affiliated with any political candidate, and does not take a position on any legislation or elections.”

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.  Fundamental and integral to our success is our deep reserve of highly skilled tradespeople.  And, of course, we find tremendous merit in infrastructure-based development and construction, for it puts skilled tradespeople to work.

It is important to remember that while, in the U.S., the history of infrastructure building and maintenance and renovation is largely and vastly one of publicly financed projects, there have also been many infrastructure projects financed through public-private partnerships, also called P3s or PPPs.

Actually, P3s are more popular as a financing mechanism in other countries than they are in the U.S., with the main reason being that America, as is the case with only a few nations worldwide, exempts the interest earned on local and state bonds from the taxes that Uncle Sam assesses.  The U.S. bond market, as a result, is bigger and more advanced than in other countries, making exclusive public financing of infrastructure attractive.

Yet, states and the federal government are looking for new streams of financing, and there are more and more P3 projects in the U.S.

An example of a successful P3 is Florida’s I-595 Corridor Roadway Improvement Project a partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the private concessionaire I-595 Express, LLC.   The project, approved in 2008, and commenced in 2009, involves design, building, financing, operation, and maintenance over a 35-year term – and to date has been coming in on time and on budget.

Smart, innovative, and strategic infrastructure investment is necessary for the overall strength of America.

Infrastructure Week advances a good and noble cause.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Thanksgiving message from Willwork, Inc. Exhibit and Event Services

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.

Back at the launch of Willwork, in 1987, the company had the sole purpose of providing exhibit installation & dismantle labor for shows and events in the Greater Boston area.

Our corporate office was a room in a house basement. Our office equipment consisted of a steel desk, a wood chair, a telephone, an answering machine, a floor lamp, and notebooks and pens – and that was about it.

And, oh yeah, Willwork had one employee.

Today, Willwork, still based in the Boston area, has offices in major cities across the U.S.  We have 60 full-time employees.  Depending on the show, the event, we have run crews of over 200 skilled laborers.

The Willwork workforce, strong on diversity, is the best and most capable in the industry.

Our client list includes some of the largest and best-known multinational corporations, as well as smaller enterprises that you may not have heard of, yet – but you will.

Willwork operates and functions within a team culture.  Our employees work together, and they hold themselves and their teammates accountable.

Outcomes are achieved together.

We work hard, and understand that it is beyond our good fortune to live and do business in the United States of America, a republic flawed and imperfect, and far and away the greatest nation on earth.

It is a privilege for the employees of Willwork to be a part of and contribute to the commerce that is an important and necessary component of the strength of our nation.

To be a great company, it is incumbent on those within that organization to be thankful for the opportunity and freedom to work and earn a living.

This opportunity, this freedom, can never be taken for granted.

Never forgotten, and always top of mind, should be the brave and noble men and women, the best of our country, who have served and sacrificed, and today stand guard, to preserve and maintain our rights and way of life.

On the occasion of Thanksgiving, Willwork sounds a particularly clear and loud note of thanks for all that we have and for all that we have been able and allowed to accomplish.

And, to All, Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services Extends and Wishes the Happiest of Thanksgivings!!

 

 

 

 

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.