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February 2012

Flips parking authority the bird for boot

Trying to get his car unbooted Flips the bird to show his love for parking authority

A carpenter from Media doing work in Philadelphia fumes when he encounters the parking authority immobilizing his parked car with a big yellow “boot” for unpaid parking tickets.

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[I’m] coming out from lunch and I see them right here putting it on and I run over as they’re putting it on and they’re, “Oh, we can’t do anything,” and I say “Are you serious?” They tell me they don’t have a key for it but there’s another guy with a van that has a key for it. I mean it’s just a moneymaking scheme. The PPA isn’t even owned- is not even a part of the police department. It’s its own entity. It just makes me so mad And then I had to be on the phone like forty minutes to get this thing taken care of and I still have to go to work.  I have six million things to do that don’t involve me waiting for someone to take a boot off. And then they say three hours. Then the other guy says they could be here within in an hour and a half to unboot it so it’s just ridiculous.  And now I have to call and see if someone will come and unboot my car. WHAT ABOUT THE TICKETS? My outstanding tickets. I didn’t even know. I knew I had two but I had more than $500 of outstanding tickets. And I can pay that because I work and I am able to pay that. But if you didn’t have a job or your unemployed or in between anything, you just can’t pay that. And then I have to call the homeowner that I’m working at and make sure that I can still come finish the job because she’s on a time schedule. I’m on a schedule.  Like Jesus Christ, it’s upsetting… A little known fact about the PPA is that it’s not even a part of Philadelphia. The money doesn’t go to Philadelphia at all, no aspect of it. It’s a company based out of Maryland-

I THINK IT MUST. SOMETHING MUST COME TO THE CITY. Well, they promised a percentage of it to go to the education system but instead of doing that they took that money and put it into research development, basically creating kiosks, all the stands where we put money in to get a little ticket for it to expire and press pay more tickets.  They developed those kiosks so they couldn’t employ somebody to do it, to go around and check. They could have less meter maids and have less jobs in the city of Philadelphia so that they can make more money. I mean it’s ridiculous. Carpenter James Jenkins of Media, PA by his booted car on Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.


Blind, they sculpt

photo Michael Gieschen, who lost his vision due to retinitis pigmentosa, sports a tee-shirt emblazoned with a group of walkers under the words “Blinds to Go” the name of his team (blind art students from Allens Lane Art Center and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The team walked in the Foundation Fighting Blindness Vision Walk to raise funds to research and combat retinal diseases. Shown here in the Allens Lane Vision through Art class, is Gischen with the parrot fish he sculpted, poised above coral. The family has become enamored of the parrot through vacations in the Caribbean. Shown with him is daughter Kara who is helping out with the final stage of his work, applying brilliant colors, which Gischen is very particular about, naturally, as he worked as a graphic designer before losing his sight. Watch video here.

Sculpture class for Blind

Carol Konopinski teaches the Vision Through Art class at the Allens Lane Art Center in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia. The class which is open only to those who are legally blind has been going on for 25 years and the artists work mainly in clay but are branching out into mixed media. ---------------

This is the best day of the whole week. I live for Wednesday mornings … Hi, welcome to Vision Through Art. We’re a sculpture class for the blind and visually impaired. We have artists here who have a range of vision to no vision. And You have to be legally blind to be in here. Even though the teacher and the assistants are not, that’s OK. Someone’s got to have vision- stupid sighted people! We have a great time. It’s a super family. We’ve been going for almost twenty-five years now. We have a great group of artists and they do anything from small to large pieces. We work mainly in clay but we’re moving out into mixed-media pieces. So we’re doing a lot of really fantastic work here- working on the wheel, sculpture , papier-mâché, you name it we do it they’re game for anything…It looks like we’re going to have another day of mass chaos as usual but hey, you go with the flow and enjoy it. Chaos is good! It’s all about the creativity and the chaos… Frank’s going to be working on wedging and getting back on the wheel… Betsy’s got a piece to finish up, a little girl and a dog and then Plato is working on a piece that he’s going to make a mold of but he’s still finessing and getting the shape right so he’s being the master sculptor right now. Carol Kopinski, Teacher, Allens Lane Art Center Vision Through Art class. Watch video interview here.

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Betsy Clayton sculpts very realistic human and also imaginary creatures despite being legally blind for many years at the Vision Through Art program at the Allens Lane Art Center in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia.

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Wait a minute, maybe I can turn the table over and maybe it’s white on the other side. YES, IT HAS YOUR NAME ON IT. This is my piece that I think of as an undersea creature. I don’t know what I’m going to call it. I was thinking “Riders Under the Sea” or “Undersea Riders”… I used gold, red and green. At first I painted it all green and then I dabbed on colors to make it look fantastical. WHAT CAN YOU SEE OF IT? It’s a blur to me. I mean I can see that there’s color on here but I don’t know what the colors actually are or where they are. When I painted them I knew where I wanted certain colors. THEY’RE PRETTY BRILLIANT DO YOU SEE ANY OF THE COLORS? Are they brilliant? Not to me, they’re just dull. DO THEY HAVE A SHADE, THE COLORS? Green I can see. But everything looks green to me. . . The back of him is supposed to be like an octopus thing, tentacles. WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE? They have no arms you see. Because they’re really not people. They’re things that live under the sea. Creatures. I don’t know what they do under the sea. But, they like to ride the monster or whoever he is… I see leaves on the trees all winter. I do. If I look at a tree, it has leaves. HOW IS THAT, WHY? I don’t know. EVEN IF THEY’RE NOT THERE? It’s not in full leaf like it would be in summer but I see green all around the trees because I see green. That’s probably why. Betsy Clayton, Vision through Art, Allens Lane Art Center, Philadelphia.

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November 28, 2012

In this video, Cara Gieschen demonstrates to a class of blind sculpture students applications on the iPad that may be useful to the vision impaired. One app speaks aloud the color the iPad's camera is focused upon. The app identifies solid colors well but hilariously identified the hair color of  some grayheads in the class as greenish and purplish. Gieschen demonstrated another app, VisionSim which, upon clicking on one of several eye disease in  a list,  simulates what a person with that disease actually sees.


How would pro-life student regulate abortion?

Right to abortion?

A student who attends a Christian high school describes himself as "pro-life" and ponders how he would regulate abortion.

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I had off because I didn’t have a midterm test at school. I came in to work, 10:30 and after I’ll go sit down somewhere and study for the exam. WHAT’S THE EXAM ON? History, U. S. History. AND THIS IS AT..? Philmont Christian. AND WHAT ERA OF U.S. HISTORY DO YOU HAVE TO KNOW TODAY? It actually goes from the creation of the Constitution to modern day so we learn about cases and amendments, that stuff. DO YOU TALK ABOUT ROE V. WADE IN AMERICAN HISTORY CLASS? Yeah that’s one of the cases. WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT THAT DECISION? Which one is that, again? THE ROE V WADE RIGHT TO ABORTION DECISION? I’m definitely pro-life. I’m against abortion. A small percent of circumstances like rape and stuff like that obviously is really tough, a tough call but I think that even if someone isn’t born, the life is still important. HOW DO YOU BELIEVE THAT SHOULD BE REGULATED? It’s tough to say. I’m not sure, yeah, I’m not sure. Brett Steiger of Abington, Cedars Café, Forbidden Drive and Northwestern Avenue. Watch video here.