"YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS ARE AS DAZZLING AS YOUR SUBJECTS"

Saturday, June 30, 2012

HARD TO GET THROUGH THESE DOORS: THE COLLEGE EXAM SYSTEM IN CHINA

GAOKAO

高考

THE EXAM SYSTEM
IN CHINA TODAY
PEKING UNIVERSITY (BEIDA)
BEIJING, CHINA

The results of the Chinese college entrance examinations (the gaokao) are in; now the match-up of test-takers and universities is being sorted out. The gaokao is supposed to be meritocratic, "allowing students from poorer backgrounds or rural areas to compete for spots in top universities," such as Peking University (Beida; above). But, says the New York Times, "the odds are heavily against those students, since a quota system based on residency means it is much easier for applicants in cities like Beijing and Shanghai to get into universities there, which are generally considered the best in China." And there are not enough slots for everyone who wants to go to college and takes the exam, anyway (more than two million high school leavers will be disappointed).

Meanwhile, reports the Wall Street Journal, there are "Second Thoughts on College in China": "increasing numbers of high school graduates are choosing to go abroad to study."

Apparently, it can be easier to get into Harvard University than into Peking University.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

LONG-TIMERS ON THE LINE, June 26, 2012, II: CHARLES RANGEL

WATCH THIS RACE
II
REPRESENTATIVE CHARLES B. RANGEL (D-NY)
Published in the February 14, 1983
Issue of BUSINESS WEEK (p. 36)
Rep. Rangel is the first on the left in the photograph

The primary is today; some of the history and some of the context are here; stay tuned.

Monday, June 25, 2012

LONG-TIMERS ON THE LINE, June 26, 2012, I: ORRIN HATCH

WATCH THIS RACE
I
SENATOR ORRIN G. HATCH (R-UTAH)
Published in the December 1, 1980
Issue of BUSINESS WEEK (p. 47)

Caption for the photograph: "Senate Labor [Committee]'s Hatch will move quickly for a two-tier minimum wage, opposed by unions." From the article: "He [Orrin Hatch] calls himself a conservative but also an 'eclectic who is willing to do things right no matter what it costs him.'" Orrin Hatch was then in his first term as Senator.

Now, more than three decades later, Senator Hatch is asking for just one more term (six more years). He is being tea-partied in the Utah Republican primary (see here), but the primary-election-eve betting seems to be that he, unlike his Indiana Republican Senate colleague, Richard Lugar, will survive. Tune in tomorrow.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

AT THE WEDDING FEAST

WEDDING COUPLE
POLAND 1981


INSTANT POLISH COUSINS
IN THE TIME OF SOLIDARITY


More Couples

More Poland


Saturday, June 23, 2012

SARAH BORGES TO SING ON THE PROVINCETOWN II, June 23, 2012


ON STAGE

SARAH BORGES
Singer-Songwriter

The website for the Rock and Blues Concert Cruises Aboard the Provincetown II is here; the cruises leave from Boston, and are scheduled to last about three hours. Sarah Borges's biography and more is here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

ELLIS PAUL TO SING AT PASSIM, JUNE 22-23, 2012

ON STAGE


ELLIS PAUL
Singer-Songwriter

The Passim website is here. Ellis Paul's own website is here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

WILLIAM BRADFORD REYNOLDS IS SEVENTY

WILLIAM BRADFORD REYNOLDS
b. June 21, 1942

WILLIAM BRADFORD REYNOLDS
IN THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION
IN FRONT OF THE SUPREME COURT
IN WHICH HE HAD HOPED TO SERVE

Reynolds was Assistant Attorney General, heading the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, from 1981-88; failing to be confirmed as Associate Attorney General, he was appointed Counselor to the U.S. Attorney General, from 1987-1988.

Monday, June 18, 2012

JOSEPH STIGLITZ & "THE PRICE OF INEQUALITY"

JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ

JOSEPH STIGLITZ
WINNER OF THE
2001 NOBEL PRIZE
FOR ECONOMICS
AUTHOR OF
"THE PRICE OF INEQUALITY"

Stiglitz's very informative Nobel autobiography is here. An interesting review of his just published book, "THE PRICE OF INEQUALITY: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future," is here.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

WILLIAM R. CHAPIN WHEN YOUNG

WILLIAM R. CHAPIN
BACK IN THE DAY

THE YOUNG BILL CHAPIN
AT HOME
Posing for a Photography Session
Cleaning His Gun

William R. Chapin has been president of the Automotive Hall of Fame, in Dearborn, Michigan, since July 2010. His grandfather, Roy Dikeman Chapin, and his father, Roy Dikeman Chapin, Jr., are both Automotive Hall of Fame inductees. Roy D. Chapin was a founder of the Hudson Motor Car Co. (and a Secretary of Commerce); Roy D. Chapin, Jr., was the Chairman and C.E.O. of AMC (American Motors Corporation). After graduating from Babson College in 1972, Bill Chapin joined the family business, spending fourteen years with AMC. After AMC, he founded Chapin & Co and the MotorCities National Heritage Area. For more details of his biography, see here; for a contemporary photograph, here.

Friday, June 15, 2012

ONCE UPON A TIME, MAGNA CARTA, 797 YEARS OLD TODAY, PAID A VISIT TO THE AMERICAN BICENTENNIAL

THE U.K. SENDS ITS
BEST COPY OF
THE MAGNA CARTA
TO THE GREAT ROTUNDA
OF THE U.S. CAPITOL
June 3, 1976

U.S. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE CARL ALBERT
ACCEPTS THE LOAN OF ONE OF THE ORIGINALS
AND THE GIFT OF THE GOLD REPLICA

Speaker Albert is at the microphones;
House Majority Leader Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill is behind him to his left;
the Magna Carta is on the right

"No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land."

King John, presumably represented by the figure in the top center, June 15, 1215:

Given by our hand in the meadow that is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June in the seventeenth year of our reign

From the Speech by The Lord Chancellor, Lord Elwyn-Jones:

"Now we rejoice that we can share your Bicentennial celebrations. Peoples not familiar with our ways have thought it paradoxical for the British to be joining in the celebration of the Bicentenary of what was, after all, the loss of the American colonies. They overlook our traditions of compromise. We now regard the events of two centuries ago as a victory for the English-speaking world. ...

"As streams join and make a mighty river, so have our Magna Carta and Bill of Rights and your Declaration of Independence and Constitution mingled to form a common heritage and tradition which has served as an inspiration to both our countries. ...

"The copy of Magna Carta which we hand over today to your care is the best of the four surviving originals of the 1215 version. At the wish of Her Majesty The Queen and on behalf of the Members of both Houses of Parliament, it is my honour to present to you this show case and to ask you to accept into the safe keeping of Congress, for the Bicentennial Year, the Magna Carta. May we continue to respect and defend the principles which it symbolises and may the friendship between our countries and our peoples long endure."

From the answering remarks by U.S. Speaker of the House Carl Albert:

"We commemorate this year the sundering of constitutional bonds between our two Nations. ...

"It was Edmund Burke who observed that, 'people will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.'

"It is in this spirit that we pay tribute today, not only to Washington and Jefferson, but also to the Barons of Runnymede. That which our ancestors have bequeathed, we must earn and earn again."

The original "Wyems" copy of Magna Carta remained displayed in the case "atop the gold replica," returning to the U.K. on June 13, 1977. The elaborate replica remained in the Rotunda until August 2010, when it was moved to the Crypt of the Capitol. The Architect of the Capitol has a lengthy description of the display, made by Louis Osman, here; an excerpt:

"The gold panel inside the lower section of the case holds raised gold text duplicating that of Magna Carta; gold replicas of King John’s seal are at the left of the document. On the glass center divider are gold incised letters forming the English translation of Magna Carta."

A photograph can be found here.

Ronald A. Sarasin, President of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, on April 3, 2003, told something of the history of the Bicentennial presentation, here, giving John Warner much of the credit for the original impetus for the visit of the Magna Carta.

The United States now has on permanent display, in the National Archives, one of the later "original" issues of Magna Carta, this one dating from 1297, presented by David M. Rubenstein. A photograph of this version (there are only seventeen surviving altogether) is to be found here. The English translation is here.