The 2018 World Series. Two Classic and Storied Teams. Two Classic and Storied Ballparks

Fenway Park, Opening of 2013 World Series (image credit: United States Air Force)

A fundamental component of the business of Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is structures and design and architecture. A big part of what we do involves installing and dismantling exhibits and displays – some that are temporary, some that are permanent.

Willwork appreciates beauty and functionality in design.  We have a soft spot for both the new and different and even odd in form and arrangement – and for the antique and vintage and classic.

And this brings us to the 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series pitting the American League champion Boston Red Sox against the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Both franchises are among the most iconic and storied in sports.

Dodger Stadium in 2006 (image credit: Junkyardsparkle)

Both franchises call home a facility that also holds high rank for iconic and storied.

A lot of history in this World Series.

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In 1901, the American League (AL) was created.  One of the charter teams was the Boston Americans, which would become the Boston Red Sox in 1908.

The LA Dodgers have even a longer history, going back to 1884 and the city of Brooklyn (which would not become part of New York City until 1898), and the launch of a baseball club called the Brooklyn Atlantics. The Atlantics were one of the founding teams of the National League (NL).

Fenway Park opened in Boston in 1912 – and since 1912, Fenway Park has been the home of the Boston Red Sox.

The Brooklyn Dodgers began play in 1932.  From their first game until the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles at the end of the 1956 season, the team’s home park was Ebbets Field, which had been completed in 1913.

When the Brooklyn Dodgers left New York City and Ebbets Field, and arrived in Hollywood, their home field for a year was Roosevelt Park; the team then played for two seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

For the start of the 1962 season, the Dodgers took residence in the newly-built Dodger Stadium.   And there the Dodgers remain.

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Fenway Park is the oldest Major League Baseball field.  It is peculiar and special.

“Fenway Park, in Boston, is a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark,” wrote the novelist and essayist John Updike.  “Everything is painted green and seems in curiously sharp focus, like the inside of an old-fashioned peeping-type Easter Egg.”

Dodger Stadium is the third oldest Major League Park (the second oldest is Chicago’s Wrigley Field, opened in 1914), and the oldest west of the Mississippi.

As explained in the Wikipedia entry on Dodger Stadium, the park “was one of the last baseball-only facilities built before the dawn of the multi-purpose stadium.”

While Dodger Stadium has undergone considerable renovation through the years, it is still very much a classic American baseball stadium.

Home-improvement brand powerhouse and guru Bob Vila published on his site an article,   “10 Iconic Baseball Stadiums Its Worth a Roadtrip to See.”   Mr. Villa has included Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium in the piece.

Mr. Vila notes that Fenway Park’s “quirks’ include “’The Triangle’ and the Green Monster, sections of the outfield walls so unusual they sport their own nicknames.”

“Dodger Stadium’s architecture is modern in its simplicity,” writes Mr. Vila. “The style helps keep all eyes on the game.”

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For sure, this is a World Series played by classic and vintage franchises, and played in classic and vintage spaces.

It is all good for baseball – and for all of us who are enthralled and caught up in the majesty and drama of the World Series, no matter for which team we are rooting.

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.

 

 

 

 

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

(This post was updated on February 8, 2018)

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

 

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

LOUIS KAHN, Architect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arches of a More Modern Vintage

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

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

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

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

Arc de Triomphe (Arc de Triomphe Paris)

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

As explained in the Wikipedia article on the Arc de Triomphe

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

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

Sydney Opera House (image credit: John Hill)

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Arches of North Easton Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Arches, the Renaissance Polymath Speaks

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A 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!!

 

 

 

 

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.

 

In praise of persistence

(image credit: Truly Happy Life)

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

CALVIN COOLIDGE

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HARRIET TUBMAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THOMAS ALVA EDISON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

J.K. ROWLING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KURT WARNER

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

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

He didn’t give up on his dream.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Willwork will always be a company that faithfully practices this virtue

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

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

 

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

Malcolm Gladwell (image credit: Little Brown & Company)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(image credit: Little, Btown & Company)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider this excerpt from the introduction section of Blink:

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

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

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

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

(image credit: Study.com)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Thinking About Emotion — and the Adaptive Unconscious

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Travis discusses the brain and images and emotion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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