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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Printing Press Then and Now

As part of our series for the Folger Shakespeare Library celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the King James Bible, we did a short video on the printing process. This illustration gives you a good idea of what was involved in a typical print shop back in the day. There's one person inking the plate, another operating the press, still others setting type, one person checking what's been printed, a young boy apprentice in the foreground helping out. Way in the background you can see a woman bringing in a load of paper. And above on drying racks is the results of the days efforts.

It would take weeks to print a book, thanks to the labor of all those people.

The printing process has certainly changed. A typical printing press for a modern newspaper is a pretty self-contained unit, It can run up to 3000 feet per minute (that's a lot of newspapers) and it also cuts and shapes the paper to size. Obviously requiring a lot less people per page. But I'm wondering if this behemoth isn't also rapidly becoming as outmoded as the first print shop pictured above.

Perhaps a better example of the printing press of the future is the little item pictured below.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Face of Modern Psychiatry

Working on a short documentary for the American Psychiatric Association. The APA wants to put a face on modern Psychiatry and the video will profile four Psychiatrists. What stands out is that these days Psychiatry bares little resemblance to the early days of Freud, Jung and the rest of the gang. In fact, modern Psychiatry has transformed itself from an argument over competing theories of personality to a modern medical practice based on research and science. And yes, psychiatrists still do therapy and they can use brain imaging to shows its effectiveness. I guess you could say they've moved from an emphasis on the "mind" to a focus on the brain.

And the video? One psychiatrist we're profiling is a government research scientist trying to combat addiction. His agency is partnering with local communies to put in place early intervention and prevention strategies. The second works with brain trauma and helped create a strong public outreach and education program. The third works with children and adolescents in private practice and the ER, working one-on-one with patients in both an office and hospital setting. And the fourth manages an out-patient clinic for a University Hospital. She's concerned with caring for patients and mentoring young psychiatrists-in-training.

And while it is not the focus of the video, many people still give mental health a low priority compared to physical health. There is still a stigma attached to it and we seem to have difficulty understanding that mental illness is a disease and not simply a lack of will power.

Hopefully, the video will help us gain a little insight and a new perspective on these issues.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Art for Art's Sake

Google is changing how we experience museum masterpieces. The Google Art Project is a partnership between Google and 17 of the world's leading arts organizations. A short video explains what they are doing.
And for some of the museums, there's a virtual tour of the galleries as well. Easy access for anyone with a computer and curiosity. If this keeps up, we'll never have to leave the comfort of the old rockin' chair...