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Willwork Global Event Services Clients Are Out Front in Developing and Applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Improve and Make Better the World in Which We Live

Willwork Global Event Services is an international leader in exhibition services and event project management. 

Our client roster includes the world’s largest and best known and successful companies, midsize businesses with winning reputations, and small, recently started enterprises that you may not have heard about … yet … but you will. 

And all our clients, regardless of the amount of their revenue, geographic reach of their operations, or height of their renown and profile receive the same uncompromising and personalized excellence in service and attention to detail.

On this blog, and through our other communications channels, Willwork Global Event Services, from time to time, heralds and calls attention to innovation, technology advances, new products, and new services that our clients develop and bring forth.

To that end, and in keeping with this practice, today we are talking about Willwork Global Event Services clients doing some of the most advanced and useful work in what is, arguably, the most exciting area of technology and human invention: artificial intelligence, or AI.

Now, it seems that there is wide variety of interpretation and definition as to what exactly, what specifically, is AI.  The way that Willwork looks at and perceives AI, and this is a broad description, it is technology that can, in a manner similar to human intelligence, compute and operate, think up better practices, and solve problems.

As for other interpretation and definition, we recommend a story, “The Key Definitions Of Artificial Intelligence (AI) That Explain Its Importance,” written by futurist and bestselling author Bernard Marr, that was published at Forbes on February 14, 2018.

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Two of Willwork’s clients are IBM and Kronos, both leading multinational technology corporations. 

IBM, founded in 1911, is of course one of the best-known and most successful companies in history.  The computing and information technology giant employs 380,000 and has a presence in more than 170 countries.  IBM is an AI pioneer.  Indeed, its Watson computing system is the smartest and most famous AI technology platform on the planet.

Kronos is the world’s premier developer of workforce and human capital management software and services.  Established in 1977, Kronos software and services are used in more than 100 countries.  Kronos has created its own AI platform.

IBM and Kronos recently joined their AI platforms to create a powerful AI talent management system.

On January 15, in this space, we reported on and talked about the collaboration in a post, “Two Willwork Clients – IBM and Kronos – Join Their Artificial Intelligence (AI) Platforms to Create One of the Most Empowering Talent Management Systems for 2019 … and Beyond          .” 

A primary and specific benefit of this AI system is explained in the following excerpt from the post:

“As stated in a Kronos media announcement, the IBM-Kronos ‘collaboration will help improve the engagement, performance, career development, and retention of hourly workers and simplify the complex task of managing this important segment of the global workforce.’”

Willwork fully understands the importance of managing and supporting hourly workers, for hourly workers are a major portion of our labor staffing. 

Consider that last month, Willwork Global Event Services provided the general contracting for the 2019 edition of IBM Think, the company’s biggest annual technology and business conference.  

Held February 12-15 in San Francisco, this year’s IBM Think brought in 26,000 attendees and hosted 2,000 business sessions.

The event took place across multiple venues, and required Willwork to hire 910 laborers who worked for us on an hourly basis.  This worker call, by the way, involved the most laborers ever in the history of the San Francisco shows and events industry. 

Most appropriately, 2019 IBM Think featured and focused on AI, which in the halls and operating culture of IBM is referred to as cognitive computing, or cognitive technology.

Willwork Global Event Services has other clients improving the world through use and application of AI.

One of those other clients is Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon that sells use of its powerful cluster of cloud computing applications and services on a pay-as-you-go basis.  AWS is big business. This past October, Forbes reported an estimate that AWS revenue constitutes more than 40 percent of all Amazon revenue.

On March 4, AWS announced, with this announcement promptly and prominently reported through many news outlets, that AWS is providing its AI technology and a $2 million research grant to a globally-renowned and top-ranked hospital to help the hospital employ AI to better administer and deliver day-to-day patient care. 

The hospital is Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), a Boston-based Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital.  

Actually, BIDMC and AWS had a working relationship prior to the AWS AI agreement taking effect. Since 2016, BIDMC has used AWS services to run a large portion of its data center.

This AWS partnership and venture represents the continued and strong movement of tech companies and AI platforms into the $3.5 trillion healthcare market.  AWS is a leader in this expansion. 

Please click here to be taken to an article brief, “Amazon Web Services working with Beth Israel Deaconess on AI push,” published on March 5 at Healthcare Dive, a publication that covers the healthcare industry.  Author of the brief is Meg Bryant

Google, also a Willwork Global Event Services client, is another tech titan that is out front in delivering AI to the health-care market.

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Every day brings something new and something remarkable in the field of artificial intelligence. 

AI will give us important and accurate answers even to questions we had not thought to ask.

Willwork Global Event Services will continue to report on and share here the winning and extraordinary contribution of our clients in the arena of artificial intelligence.

About The Blockchain – and How This is One More Area and One More Technology in Which IBM … a Longtime Willwork Client … Is A Global Leader in Providing Winning Solutions to Companies and Other Organizations

(image credit: SD Times)

Just about everyone has heard about blockchain (formerly block chain) – a method of digital ledger keeping that is the foundation of something that almost everyone has also heard about – cryptocurrencies – with the most famous of those cryptocurrencies being bitcoin, which … yes … just about everyone has heard.

Now, having said that we are all aware of blockchain and cryptocurrencies and bitcoin, it must be also noted that not many people know that much about any of it.

For a helpful and very … very … simplified and cosmic overview and description of blockchain, we share here an excerpt from a Fortune story, “Wait, What Is Blockchain?” published May 23, 2016, and written by Robert Hackett:

“ …. This coding breakthrough—which consists of concatenated blocks of transactions—allows competitors to share a digital ledger across a network of computers without need for a central authority. No single party has the power to tamper with the records: the math keeps everyone honest …. ”

Blockchain was born in 1991, co-created by cryptographers Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta.

Yet it would not be until October 2008, when a whitepaper, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” was published, that commenced a rapidly unfolding, if you will, chain of events, that brought the term “blockchain” popular public attention, and introduced “bitcoin” to the public dialogue.  The author, or authors, of the whitepaper – commonly called the “bitcoin whitepaper” – was, and still remains, only identified by the pseudonym            Satoshi Nakamoto.

Cryptocurrency quickly skyrocketed as a phenomenon, attracting masses of investors, those looking to make money trading cryptocurrency, and people and businesses figuring on how to use cryptocurrency to buy and sell (to pay and be paid).

Please click here to be taken to the Crypto Timeline, which lists … and provides links to more information about … important events in the history of cryptocurrency, starting with the publishing of the bitcoin whitepaper and on up until August 2017.

Today there are close to 1,000 cryptocurrencies.  A cryptocurrency fever remains – yet one of a lower grade than the fever of years past.  Skepticism and serious doubts of the viability and durability of the cryptocurrency continue to grow.

Indeed, smart and insightful technology and business minds are presenting and discussing a cryptocurrency bubble.

Still, it is important to note that many brilliant and insightful financial minds are powerfully bullish on the future of cryptocurrency.

Consider that, earlier this week, Fidelity Investments – the company which, with $7.2 trillion in assets under administration, is the world’s fourth largest asset manager – announced the launch of a company to support institutional investors trade two cryptocurrencies.

Please click here to be taken to a Fortune story, “Fidelity Launches Company to Help Hedge Funds and Other Big Investors Trade Crypto,” written by Kevin Kelleher, and published on October 16.

Whether or not Fidelity has bet correctly, what does continue to be hot and increasingly used, and increasingly explored for utility, is the blockchain.  And, for sure, the blockchain digital ledger is a powerful and accurate form of record keeping, inventorying, and tracking that can be enlisted across the vastness of industry and human endeavor.

IBM IS A LEADER IN BLOCKCHAIN SOLUTIONS

IBM – a company that it has long been the privilege of Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services to call a client – is out front in developing blockchain solutions for organizations.   Big Blue has developed a business segment dedicated to helping private enterprises and other groups use the blockchain to improve operations and delivery of products and services.

Clicking here takes you to the homepage of IBM Blockchain, an area of the IBM online presence where the company markets its blockchain services – and where is found a trove of information about blockchain, including a “Blockchain 101” tutorial on the technology (offered is a free download of the IBM eBook Blockchain for Dummies), a description of IBM blockchain solutions, and examples of how companies and other groups are winning through the adoption and use of IBM Blockchain.

“Each day, forward-thinking companies are transforming blockchain’s promise into bottom-line business results,” it is explained on the IBM Blockchain homepage. “And they’re doing it with IBM Blockchain.”

(image credit: IBM)

Today, Willwork is highlighting and featuring an IBM Blockchain solution which is creating a global food supply that is safer, works more efficiently, has improved sustainability, and which three days ago the company announced it is making commercially available.

IBM Food Trust is the solution; it has been in development for 18 months.

Following is an excerpt from the Forbes story,  “Ready To Rumble: IBM Launches Food Trust Blockchain For Commercial Use,” by Aaron Stanley, published on October 8:

“The launch marks one of the first times that an enterprise blockchain network has been fully deployed at this degree of scale.

“The IBM Food Trust platform, as it is known, has heretofore been demoed exclusively in pilots and proofs of concept – to trace mangoes throughout a supply chain, for example. In September, retail giant Walmart announced that it would begin requiring its suppliers to implement the system to track bags of spinach and heads of lettuce [please see nearby graphic].

(image credit: IBM)

“But on Monday, IBM announced that its solution-as-a-service cloud platform is now available to all players in the food supply chain, a move that will likely drive unprecedented visibility and veracity into the sourcing and certification of fresh produce and proteins.”

One more example of IBM being a world leader in pioneering and innovating technology to serve humanity and commerce.

Here on the Insights blog we will continue to feature current and recent news about IBM.

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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 Heralds the Ennobling Power of the Love of Mothers, and their Role as Foundation and Nurturer of the Best of this World and Humanity

Mommy cheetah and her cub (image credit: Desktop Nexus)

 

“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.”

STEVIE WONDER

“Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease.”

LISA ALTHER

Almost every great achievement and endeavor, every extraordinary accomplishment, is owed in some way – and in most cases in a major way – to the influence and love and guiding hand of a mother.

For sure, owed considerably to the success of Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is the work and giving and guidance of so many mothers whose influence was integral in bringing up exceptional people with strong virtues who now do exceptional work for our company.

It needs to be noted here that Willwork president William F. Nixon and his wife, Helen, married for 52 years until Helen’s passing in 2007, had eight children.  And, indeed, Helen Nixon was known for her strength, devotion to family, and amazing ability to budget the salary of her husband – who, during the formative years of the children, worked as a public high school teacher and coach – so that all the kids (six girls and two boys) wanted for nothing.

Every day should be Mother’s Day, of course, but it is wholly proper and good and appropriate that yearly a day is dedicated to honoring and thanking and doing something especially nice for mom.

Mother’s Day in the U.S. has been with us for a little more than a century now.

In the entry on Mother’s Day at the HISTORY website, we learn that “the American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914.”

And we are also informed in the entry that “Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar.”

Now, we hear and can empathize with the lament of Anna Jarvis – and we know that commercialization of Mother’s Day, and other holidays, is overdone.  But in that Willwork does a considerable amount of work with and for the hospitality industry, we suggest and we submit that taking mom out for dinner, and perhaps to a show or concert, or on a local tour, or maybe even on a trip to a place far away … and also purchasing for mom flowers and other gifts … can be done in a manner that is measured and balanced and wholesome, and which is a healthy extension of true love and devotion.

Then, again, a bit of lavish spending on mom can be totally in order.  Provided, of course, that the purchase of “things” radiates from that true love and devotion, and that it doesn’t put the buyer in financial straits.

Still, and this will always be the case, the most valuable gifts are not bought in stores, as moms around the world explain every day with their actions

All too often, though, sons and daughters don’t appreciate and recognize just how much mothers give to, and do for, them.  Sometimes, Mom’s children don’t appreciate and understand all that Mom has done for them until she is gone.  Sadly, there are those children who never comprehend what Mom gave and the effort she expended to make their lives better.

All-star motivational speaker Mark Mero is a former professional wrestler and amateur boxer who, in earlier days, lived an unhealthy life, associating with the wrong people and boozing and drugging.  A primary reason that the bad influences did not destroy him is because he had a mother who always looked out for him, and who never gave up on him.

Please click here to be taken to a video of Mark Mero delivering a powerful and moving talk to young people in which he honors his mother, and in which he discusses that it was not until the immediate aftermath of her sudden death that he gained a much fuller and insightful recognition of the positive and enduring influence she served in his life.

The mothering and maternal instinct compels exceptional women to not only take care of their biological children, but the biological and noble impulse compels them to take care and watch over all children, and to work to make better the lives of all young people.

Irene Sendler, mother of two, savior of 2500 children (image credit: People’s Republic of Poland)

Irene Sendler, a Polish Catholic woman, and mother of two, during World War II served in the Polish Underground, and risked her life over and over in leading an effort that smuggled 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto, saving the children from transport to the Nazi concentration and extermination camps.  Sendler was arrested by the Nazis, who tortured her to extract the identities and hiding places of children she had saved.  Sendler refused to divulge the information.  She was sentenced to death, but was saved on the day the sentence was to be carried out when, a German officer, bribed by a Polish citizens group, allowed her to escape.  After the escape, Sendler continued her rescue efforts.  Irene Sendler died in 2008 at the age of 98.

Josephine Baker is best known as a pioneer for black entertainers and an icon of the Jazz Age.  Born in St. Louis in 1906, she achieved stardom as dancer in Paris during the 1920s.  In 1934, Baker became the first person of color to star in a major motion picture (Zouzou), which cemented her status as the first person of color to achieve international renown as an entertainer.  Soon after Baker married French industrialist Jean Lyon in 1937, she became a citizen of France.  Baker assisted the French Resistance during World War II.  After the war, and into the 1960s, Baker traveled to the U.S. where she refused to perform for segregated audiences, and contributed to and took a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement. Baker adopted 12 children whom represented a diversity of ethnicities and religions, and collectively which she called “The Rainbow Tribe.”

Josephine Baker, in 1959, with members of the Rainbow Tribe. At right is Baker’s husband Joe Bouillon (image credit: St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter fantasy novel series, the best-selling book series in history, wrote the first Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, while a single mother of a young daughter, and suffering from depression and receiving public assistance. Rowling, now mother of three, has said, “I am prouder of my years as a single mother than any other part of my life.”  Her days as a single mother motivate her.  Among Rowling’s philanthropic causes is serving as president of Gingerbread, an organization that provides support, education, and is an advocate for single-parent families.

Motherhood is not an obligation and a duty that only we humans respect and observe.  Across the animal kingdom, mothers will do all for their children.

Please click here to be taken to a video which is a compilation of remarkable and sometimes courageous conduct of mommy animals in the protection and care of their young   The video was created, for Mother’s Day 2017, by The Dodo, a company that develops and produces a treasure of excellent and fun media for animal lovers, and also advocates for animal welfare.  Clicking here will take you to The Dodo YouTube channel.

Willwork hopes you have enjoyed and found interesting this honoring of, and tribute to, mothers and their vital role and work in improving and keeping healthy society and civilization.

To All Mothers out there – whether human or of another life form – Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services wishes you the Happiest of Mother’s Days!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Spring Continues to Bloom, as Warmer and Longer Days Approach, Willwork Exhibit & Event Services Takes a Look at a Selection of the World’s Best Flower Shows

Flower Carpet of Brussels, in 2016, at the La Grand Place in Brussels (image credit: Jami 430)

“Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil.”

REGINALD HEBER

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

Founded in 1987, Willwork is in its fourth decade in business.

Willwork likes to use this space to discuss all types, all aspects, of events and shows and exhibitions and meetings.  We like to be timely and current in our commentaries and reflections.

Now that we are in April, and 17 days beyond the calendar launch of spring (March 20 this year) – and with the woods and waterways around the Willwork corporate office having, within the past few days, come alive with the sound which for many truly marks the advent of spring: that of spring peeper frogs sounding their sleigh-bell-ringing chorus – we thought it appropriate to do a call out and feature here today a selection from the world’s more renowned and established flower shows.

Many of the international all-star flower shows are held in March (and some in February), and are out ahead of the day on the calendar that spring begins – with this scheduling one of anticipation and hope and the foretelling of increasing warmth and longer days.

Among those shows, here listed with their 2018 dates, are the Philadelphia Flower Show (March 3-11), the largest indoor flower show in the world; the Hong Kong Flower Show (March 16-25); Canada Blooms (March 9-18) in Toronto; and the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show (March 9-11).

Then there is the Melbourne International Garden & Flower Show in Melbourne, Australia, held for five days starting, depending on the year, in either late March or early April, which in the Southern Hemisphere marks the advent of fall.  This year, the Melbourne International Garden & Flower Show ran from March 21 through March 25.

But many flower shows are ongoing, or have not yet opened their 2018 edition.

Artist rendering of the David Harber and Savills Garden, one of the Show Gardens in the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

One of those shows is the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which promotes itself – and it just might be speaking the truth – as the “world’s most prestigious flower show.”  It certainly is the most prestigious flower show in the United Kingdom, one attended by horticultural and landscape enthusiasts and students from around the globe.

Beginning in 1862, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) held annually, for 26 years, in the Kensington section of London, what was then called the Royal Horticultural Society Great Spring Show.  In 1888, the show was moved to the Temple area in central London where it stayed until 1912 when the show was relocated to the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in the Chelsea neighborhood of London.  This site has been the home of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which has been held annually in May, with the exception of two years (1917-1918) during World War I, and the years of World War II.  Over that period the show ran for four days, until 2005, when another day was added.

Every year, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show hosts about 157,000 visitors.  The dates for this year’s show are May 22-25.  Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Selection of rose varieties on display at the 2015 Portland Rose Festival’s Spring Rose Show (image credit: Mike Darcy)

The largest and longest-running rose show in the United States is the Spring Rose Show, one of the events of the Portland Rose Festival conducted every year, with the opening date usually a day in late May or early June, and with a run of two to three weeks.  Started in 1907, the Portland Rose Festival promotes Portland, OR and the surrounding region.  This year the festival will be held over a longer stretch, with the first event, the Rose City Sing-Off, to be held tomorrow, and the concluding event, the Cambia-Portland Classic, an LPGA golf tournament, which will be held from August 30 through September 2.

Actually, the Spring Rose Show is older than the Portland Rose Festival, and celebrates its 130th annual installment in 2018.  Following is some information on the Spring Rose Show, which this year runs for two days, Thursday, June 7, and Friday, June 8:

“Each year, the Lloyd Center hosts the Annual Spring Rose Show, the largest and longest-running rose show in the nation. The exquisite beauty and fragrances of this yearly show emanate from more than 4,000 blooms. Entry is open to anyone, and all entrants are encouraged. Rose growers from across the Pacific Northwest participate, and some 6,000 spectators from across the country are expected to visit this year’s Spring Rose Show. Sparkling trophies go to those entrants who grow the most beautiful roses.”

Flower Parade at Festa Da Flor Da Madeira (image credit: Festa Da Flor Da Madeira)

Festa Da Flor – Madeira (The Madeira Flower Festival), with its origins going back to the mid 1950s, is held annually in spring in Funchal, the largest city in the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira, located in the north Atlantic Ocean.  April 19 through May 6 are the 2018 dates for the festival.

The Madeiran islands were long known, collectively, as the “Island of Flowers,” a title inspired by the experience of tourists visiting the islands and seeing the busy trade of vendors selling flowers, and how it was a custom of the residents of Madeira to fill their homes with fresh flowers.  Contributing to the flower culture of Madeira is that its climate is hospitable to healthy growth of both tropical and cold weather plants.

It only makes sense, and it is only right, that Madeira would have a great flower festival.

And Festa Da Flor Da Madeira is not just about flowers, for it is a celebration of spring, and of Madeira, with many activities, including parades and music and acrobats, and in which is highlighted the history and food and culture of the islands.

The Singapore Garden Festival, a yearly event, is not a spring production, but one of summer – so close enough.  It is also young in that the inaugural year of the Singapore Garden Festival was 2010.

But, for sure, the Singapore Garden Festival is already a premier international happening, and the organizers of the festival – Gardens by the Bay and the National Parks Board of the Government of Singapore – have full intentions of building on its prestige and renown.

A Landscape Garden at the 2016 Singapore Garden Festival (image credit: LONELY TRAVELOG)

“Festival Highlights”– with July 21 through August 3 this year’s dates – are the Landscape & Fantasy Gardens, Floral Windows to the World, Balcony Gardens, Orchid Extravaganza, and Vibrant MarketPlace.

A post dedicated to the world’s best flower shows has to include the Flower Carpet of Brussels, a flower exhibit and extravaganza – yes, an actual carpet … a magnificent carpet … of flowers – which, since 1971, has been created every two years in August in the La Grand Place, the historic and classical square in the Belgian capital of Brussels.

Among so much that is remarkable about the Flower Carpet of Brussels is that it is installed in four hours by an all-volunteer crew.  Indeed, unto itself, the construction and planting of the carpet is a fascinating draw for spectators.

In 2018, the installation of the carpet will take place from 8 am to 12 noon on August 16.  After completion of the Flower Carpet, the exhibition will be open to the public later that day from 1 to 6 pm, followed at 10 pm with an opening sound-and-light show.  The Flower Carpet will also be open for viewing On August 17 and 18, with sound and light shows on both days at 9:30, 10:00, and 10:30 pm.

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Flowers transmit feel-good and inspiration.

They do so when we encounter and mingle with them in the untamed or lightly-tamed outdoors … or in our home garden … or in public parks.

They do so when they are exalted and featured in the designs and presentations of grand and famous flower shows.

Days are getting longer, and nights shorter, and temps are rising.

And nature, as it always does, fulfills its promise – and continues its awakening and efflorescence of color … and its blooming and renewal.

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!!