1906 Earthquake Photos

Recently, BYU made public an incredible photo collection from Edith Irvine. She was a early 1900’s photographer with an incredible collection.

The photos that touched me the most were the photos of the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. With many of the destroyed areas blocked off from photography, somehow Edith was able to get in and get these incredible shots. Images this real are rare. “When the earth shook in San Francisco at 5:15 a.m. on Wednesday, 18 April 1906, followed by devastating fires, Edith Irvine was there. Her photographic distinction undoubtedly rests on her startling ability to capture the moods of this time and place as the family story indicated she “commandeered an abandoned baby buggy” for her photographic equipment and took photographs all day and for as many as three days after. Apparently twenty-two year old Irvine was either staying in San Francisco with a relative or was planning to leave by boat for an around the world voyage at the time of the earthquake and consequently had her photographic equipment with her.”

As I look at the photos, I feel a pain for those sitting on the sidewalks and roads of this beautiful city. The buildings are both grand and rubble at the same time. It’s hard to think of all the beautiful culture and architecture that was lost. With this month being the 100 year anniversary of the tragedy, the photos are especially moving.

I had a bit of trouble seeing all the images in the slow and confusing interface of the original site so, with the help of a friend, I grabbed high resolution copies and made a photoset on Flickr. All credit for this project should certainly go to BYU and the others involved.

Below are a couple of my favorite images. You can see the full collection here. The images are all high resolution, so be sure to look at the larger sizes. The detail is amazing.

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The Challenge Of Not Stopping When You Are Done

This morning on Seth Godin’s Blog (which I love), he wrote about accepted tradition of just finishing the tasks and assignments given to us and then being done. That is a respectable thing because at least you completed your tasks, but “it is at this point that we draw the line between workers and entrepreneurs, between people who work in marketing and marketers.”

He goes on to say that the challenge is then to ask yourself what is next and what to do now.

I like this concept. This is what I try to do. I’d like to be better at it, but I hope I don’t get burned out and stop trying.

This reminds me of a story I heard about President Abraham Lincoln. I’ll have to paraphrase the story and quote as I don’t have it verbatim.

As President Lincoln was nearing the end of his term as Illinois Governer, he was having a hard time of depression. His best friend had just moved far away and he wasn’t sure where to go with his life next. Family and friends worried so much about his depression that they removed all razors and knifes from around him in fear that he would commit suicide. In a letter, he responded to these fears from his family regarding suicide.

He countered, “I would just assume die, but I have done nothing yet to be remembered by.”

I’d say he did pretty good in his life after that point. As you know, he became President of THe United States and led us thru a Civil War. And now, there are more books written about Abraham Lincoln than there are about any other President. (Including George Washington.)

I’m glad Abraham Lincoln asked, “What’s next? What now?”

Insanity Ride Not So Insane

Last week, my family and I took the long elevator ride up to the top of the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas, NV. Since we were showing my future brother-in-law Vegas for the first time, it seemed a natural place to go. The view up there is amazing and I really enjoy it.

While we were up there, we went on a couple of the rides. The Big Shot is still my favorite ride in Las Vegas. You are strapped in at the top of the 11,000 ft high tower and they shoot you up at tremendous speed. It is great.

While we were there, we also decided to go on the ride called “Insanity.” The idea seems scary enough. You get strapped into a chair that is hanging from a giant arm. The arm then swivels out so that you are hanging over the side of the tower and then you are spinned around until the spinning force brings you out and you are looking down at the ground.

The problem with the ride is that you get spinning so much that the fear of being high is lost. You may as well be on a merry-go-round. I’m not much for spinning as it is, but we all agreed that it was neither fun nor scary. (Although, when you first swing out, it does give a bit of a thrill.)

One more thing, my step-dad was on the tower taking photos with my camera. You can see the photos in my “Insanity Flickr Group“, but there is one in particular that I wanted to point out.

As the ride was spinning, Stan was just snapping photos hoping to get some of us as we went around. When I got the images on the computer, there was one photo that made me laugh. You see, there were two tough talking macho guys in the line behind us. They were nice, but still tough guys. Is it just me, or are they holding hands in this photo? (link to large photo)
Stratosphere Insanity

An Example Of Advertising Done Well

I’m not sure why, but recently I have been noticing when advertising is done well and when it is done poorly. I think that my mind is moving more towards marketing and presentation. Following is an example of very original advertising. And it is done with a product that would be hard to market. I watched it three times and laughed each time.