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  • Jim Shaughnessy, “Central Vermont local freight switches cars in wintry scene, Bethel, Vermont” (1955) (source: the artist and Thames & Hudson)

    Allison Meier at Hyperallergic:

    “Always restless, even daring when he had to be, Shaughnessy worked hard to get in and around the railroad, in all conditions, in all settings,” writes Kevin P. Keefe, former editor-in-chief of Trains magazine, in a book essay. “If the life of a crossing watchman was important, then Shaughnessy shuddered through a subzero night until the perfect moment when his subject dashed back into the warmth of a shanty. If the guts of a steam locomotive were interesting, then he’d insert himself into the depths of roundhouses and sidle up next to the hostlers in order to record the oily intricacies of valve gear and side rods.”

    Born in Troy, New York, in 1933, Shaughnessy published his first photograph in Trains in 1952. While the detailed captions in Essential Witness are those of a true rail enthusiast (the “Pennsylvania Railroad 11-class 2-10-0” is identified as chugging over an elevated bridge), his images have a broader appreciation for how people exist with the railroads in North America, and how these systems altered the landscape. The silhouette of a tunnel in Canaan, New York, in 1989 reveals its jagged edges, framing the train with this rock that was blasted through for progress. Sometimes the trains are tiny against the mountains or waterfalls, sometimes the focus is elsewhere, like a 1953 photograph that concentrates on the cows in a Vermont pasture, unperturbed by the freight train zooming behind.

    Jim Shaughnessy, “Pennsylvania Railroad operator hoops up train orders to crew of a northbound coal train, Trout Run, Pennsylvania” (1956) (source: the artist and Thames & Hudson)

    I love this photo. Train orders, are largely obsolete here in North America. But sometimes, it still happens. Traditionally orders get hooped to the conductor at the front, and the operator(s) at the caboose. Nowadays, operations are radioed or even downloaded.

    Locomotive transport is and continues to be one of the most important means of transporting goods across land. It’s fun to look back and understand where we’ve come from, and to see where we’re headed.

  • Near the city-center of Rome, lies the Vatican City (which is technically it’s own country and is one of the few countries who is unable to host foreign embassies on their soil). Much of Rome and Vatican City is so unbelievable beautiful. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the real expert — Anthony Bourdain. It’s one of my personal favorite episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. The food alone, is reason to visit the region.

    Right next to Vatican City is the small, quaint, and just gorgeous little neighborhood of Prati. It looks just as charming at sea-level as it does from above (via Daily Overview):

  • #VisibleWomen

    Update: Turns out that Dorman’s wife wrote the post in question below. A strange admission, but nonetheless the truth.

    Looking at our collective bookshelf at our apartment, Leah (@dumcurator) and I collect a wide array of books, and mediums of the written word. From audiobooks to comic books. We snag em up when we can.

    Between the spines of Stephen King novels and Brian K. Vaughn trades — lie some incredible female writers and illustrators. Hell, our dog is named after Mary Shelley’s legendary cautionary tale, Frankenstein.

    My favorite comic as of writing, is probably Saga, and notably not because of Vaughn’s writing this time (although friends and LOST fans know just how much I love that man). I enjoy Saga for the story, sure — but really, I love the series because of Fiona Staples.

    I bring up Fiona because I love her style and work. I previously quoted a story about Dave Dorman. For brevity’s sake, Dorman had published a controversial critique of Staples cover — but it turns out his wife wrote the post. Despite the criticism (penned by either Dave or his wife), it’s still without merit. The cover in question is from Volume 1, is amazing. Take a look:

    Cool, right?

    So, why am I bringing all this up? Well, this week has been teeming with amazing work on Twitter. Work from hundreds, if not thousands of wonderful female artists that deserve the spotlight. I’m of course talking about #VisibleWomen. Fiona didn’t start this hashtag movement (more on that in a bit), but it serves as a segue into why we need more #VisibleWomen (in all creative industries).

    A sampling of some of my favorite artists so far (in no particular order):

    https://twitter.com/nadiyahrs/status/1031750239026171904

    https://twitter.com/32september/status/1031840415077429249

    https://twitter.com/itsbabypears/status/1031890952195952641

    An amazing collection no doubt. The textures, techniques, and approaches are all so refreshing and lovely. Variety is what makes the creative industry so fantastic. Suppressing that variety (i.e. malicious criticisms and sexism), needs to stop.

    After doing some googling, it turns out that this whole project/event was coordinated by Milkfed, a company founded by the writers of Bitch Planet.

    https://twitter.com/kellysue/status/894577082981679104

    Best part? Milkfed put together a spreadsheet of artists looking for work so anyone in the comic industry looking for fresh talent knows where to look:

    https://twitter.com/kellysue/status/894593536619708416

    Amazing ✌️