The Chicago Art Institute has released a video showing how conservator Faye Wrubel restored Caillebotte's masterpiece:
The striking results of the restoration reveals greater saturation of color, sharper edges, and more contrast with an overall effect of more visual depth. Overpainting was removed from the once yellow sky, exposing a bluer surface with gradation indicating light and movement.
“What we have been seeing all these years may have been beautiful, we may have all loved it, but it wasn’t right,” Wrubel said of the findings’ impact.
In addition to visible details that were brought to light, conservators uncovered new information about the masterpiece by comparing the ultraviolet and x-ray images to a preparatory sketch for the painting as well as study residing at Paris’ Musée Marmottan.
Here's the video:
Not quite, but in today's New York Times he tries to get Republican acceptance that climate change is real:
We’re making the same mistake today with climate change. We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked.
This is a crisis we can’t afford to ignore. I feel as if I’m watching as we fly in slow motion on a collision course toward a giant mountain. We can see the crash coming, and yet we’re sitting on our hands rather than altering course.
We need to act now, even though there is much disagreement, including from members of my own Republican Party, on how to address this issue while remaining economically competitive. They’re right to consider the economic implications. But we must not lose sight of the profound economic risks of doing nothing.
Krugman thinks Paulson is shouting at the wind:
[W]hat’s sad is that he imagines that anyone in the party he still claims as his own is listening. Earth to Paulson: the GOP you imagine, which respects science and is willing to consider even market-friendly government interventions like carbon taxes, no longer exists. The reins of power now rest firmly, irreversibly, in the hands of men who believe that climate change is a hoax concocted by liberal scientists to justify Big Government, who refuse to acknowledge that government intervention to correct market failures can ever be justified.
Given the state of U.S. politics today, climate action is entirely dependent on Democrats, With a Democrat in the White House, we got some movement through executive action; if Democrats eventually regain the House, there could be more. If Paulson believes that he can support Republicans while still pushing for climate action, he’s just delusional.
It's really depressing that the main opposition party in the most powerful country the earth has ever seen has an institutional rejection of evidence and data. It's part of the right-wing mindset: they're right-wing because they can't accept being wrong.
The flight from New York to Chicago takes two hours in the air, and is on-time if it takes three hours from gate to gate. Yesterday my flight was not on time:
- Late crew arrival: boarding starts at the scheduled departure time.
- APU inoperative: mechanic inspection and sign off takes 40 minutes.
- JFK on a Friday evening: 55 minutes from push-back to take-off.
- ILS inoperative on one of O'Hare's runways: take a 10-minute holding loop over Michigan.
- Landing runway 9L: spend 17 minutes taxiing to the gate.
- Friday night at O'Hare: 35 minutes from gate arrival to bag delivery.
- Friday night at O'Hare: taxi line takes 20 minutes.
- Cabbie forgets the biggest traffic news in Chicago: miss two available exits because the Ohio ramp is closed.
Total time from leaving my hotel in New York to arriving at dinner an hour late: 8 hours, 28 minutes. (On average, my door-to-door time from New York is just over 5 hours.)
And none of it was American's fault, except for the bit about being one of 40 airlines to schedule a 5pm departure from Kennedy.
I chose the departure from JFK because, using miles, my options were limited, and spending 20 hours in my third-favorite city in the world seemed like a good end to the week. It wasn't until I tried to leave that random events started conspiring against me.
Still, it was a fun trip. I read four books entirely, got most of the way through one and started a sixth. And I had two new beers at Southampton Arms: Jones the Brewer's Abigail's Party Ale and a special pale whose name I forgot to write down, apparently.
It certainly felt like I was playing hooky this morning when I spent an hour here:
...looking at this:
New York weather today will be clear and 27°C. I'm about to check out of my hotel, take a subway downtown, and do some intense nothing at a cafe.
When I get home I'll post a screen-shot from my phone showing how, at exactly the time I arrived in Manhattan tonight, the only rain cloud within the tri-state area was dumping its contents on Midtown. It felt like being at a Cubs game.
However, the little cloud either dissipated or moved out over the Atlantic in short order, so I discovered that Hotwire had put me in a hotel only two blocks from the airport express bus stop, and within one block of hot, greasy, New York pizza. If I only have one night in New York, that's dinner. Always.
And now, getting up at 3:30 New York time this morning is backing up on me a bit, and the hotel apparently has a 300-baud modem handling its internet, so I think I'll crash now.
 Seriously, it took several attempts and 25 minutes to post this entry. Google is slow, too, so it's not the Daily Parker—though I am checking the VM right now.
No, not aviation routing; IP routing.
From the Terminal 2 American Airlines club, I am unable to hit most *.cloudapp.net IP addresses. This is significant because it's basically all of Microsoft Azure, including logon.microsoft.net, Weather Now, and a bunch of other sites I use or have some responsibility for.
I've just spent a few minutes testing DNS (everything is fine there) and then using tracert and pathping, and it looks like the entire 188.8.131.52/16 and 184.108.40.206/16 ranges are just not visible from here. (The Daily Parker is also in Azure, but its IP is in the 220.127.116.11/16 subnet, which seems to be visible just fine.)
I wonder if Microsoft knows that its U.S. East data center is being blocked by some French ISP? Or why?
(I never get that last word, nor do I suspect Billy himself knows what it is.)
It's a beautiful day in northern France, just 20°C and partly cloudy, with 19 or so hours of sunlight. And yet I'm in the airport club at Charles de Gaulle staring at my plane just below. I didn't have as much opportunity to explore Lille as I'd hoped, either. Why? This:
A week into a nationwide train strike that has tangled traffic and stranded tourists, police fired tear gas Tuesday at protesting rail workers. Two polls suggest passengers have little sympathy for the train workers' lament. Even the labor-friendly Socialist government is breaking a long-held French taboo and is openly criticizing the striking unions.
The strike has caused some of the worst disruption to the country's rail network in years — and heated up as the reform bill went to the lower house of Parliament for debate Tuesday. The bill would unite the SNCF train operator with the RFF railway network, which would pave the way to opening up railways to competition.
You have to love the Daily Mail, talking about "paving the way" to competition with rail, without mentioning that trucking and aviation—both of which have more to do with paving—already compete heavily against it. Still, I worry that France is slipping into the privatization illness that the U.S. and U.K. have suffered since Reagan and Thatcher took power. Passenger railroads provide public benefits out of proportion to their direct economic costs; that's why governments need to prop them up.
For example, several hundred people got on the TGV with me at Lille and arrived at De Gaulle just 50 minutes later. This took hundreds of private cars off the highways, or dozens of buses, or even planeloads of people if you like.
Moving back down the ladder of abstraction, however, those hundreds of people had been scheduled to take any of the 10 trains cancelled this afternoon because of the strike (mine included). So, yes, I was on a train that crossed the French countryside faster than the Cessna 172s I usually fly could have done. But I was standing mid-carriage leaning on someone else's luggage while fatigued students sat in the aisle.
That is why I'm staring out the window watching planes land and writing in my blog instead of just getting off the TGV about now. But in a few hours, I'll be in my third-favorite city in the world, hunting down a greasy slice of pizza from a random deli in the east 30s.
Gare Flanders, Lille, France
...but it's really tasty. I ate tonight at Estaminet Chez la Vielle, in Lille, France. The name translates literally to "Little Flemish restaurant at the old woman's house." (An estaminet is like a restaurant, but Flemish. Lille borders Belgium and was, at one point, the biggest city in Flanders. QED.)
And the vol a vent with chicken and mushrooms in a béchamel sauce made my arteries freeze on sight:
Tomorrow I'll have one or two more photos of Lille, as well as an explanation why I get to spend three hours at De Gaulle tomorrow. (Hint: it has nothing to do with aviation.)
My bag has arrived at Gatwick. This means, instead of sleeping in, getting a leisurely brunch, and hopping on the Eurostar at St. Pancras (just a few blocks away), instead I have to get up now, hop the Victoria line from St. Pancras to Victoria, spend £40 on a needless trip to Gatwick, then reverse the process back to St. Pancras. And brunch will be some kind of pastry and some tea on the run.
My friends assure me this is why they hate traveling. I don't think this has anything to do with traveling per se, simply because it hasn't happened to me in 30 years. I do think this has something to do with MCO.
This time it's personal.
I am in London. My bag is still in Orlando. Why? Apparently, even with more than an hour to do so, the Orlando baggage handlers were unable to get my bag from an American Airlines airplane to a British Airways airplane.
Part of that could be related to the unbelievable sprawl of Orlando International Airport. It epitomizes everything I dislike about the state: it takes up a lot of room but has surprisingly poor usability. It's mostly mall, you see, with very small areas to wait for your flight.
I will never voluntarily go to Florida again. And they'd better put my bag on the next flight to London or I'll be really cross.
By the way, this is the first time a bag of mine has gone astray since the mid-1980s. Very few bags actually get lost or mishandled anymore. But the baggage desk at Gatwick admitted that Orlando is a particular problem for them, which reinforces my main point.
Now I get to spend part of my afternoon clothes-shopping instead of going to the Tate.