October 19, 2009

Imperialism and the Museums It Created

I'll never forget my first summer of travel, back-packing through Europe and the middle East. Everywhere I went and visited museums and ancient sites, many times over I stared at a plaque on a wall or a gap in an edifice in Egypt and Greece especially and thought to myself, "Hey, I saw this thing back in June at the British museum." What is the current status of right of return?

All Things Considered has a great story today on a new museum that has opened in Athens. One primary argument from the British Museum defending the failure to return the Parthenon friezes is that they haven't the fitting place to house them. Well, check out the images of this new museum.

"'Everyone Understands What Is Missing'

The display space is the same dimension and orientation as the Parthenon looming on the Acropolis hill, just 900 feet away. Thanks to wraparound glass windows, the exhibits bask in the same natural light surrounding the original temple, which was built for the goddess Athena, the protector of the city of Athens below.

Britain's Lord Elgin chiseled off roughly half the sculptures that adorned the Parthenon in the early 1800s, when Greece was an unwilling member of the Ottoman Empire. Later, he sold them to the British Museum."
It reminds me of the first thing you see when you walk into the Antiquities Museum in Cairo... a replica of the Rosetta Stone.

I understand that it is not a clear-cut issue. But isn't the main issue that an older colonial empire stole these items from their homeland, and in 2009, it's time to return them? Western imperialism and continued profit-making at the expense of middle-eastern nations won't subside without acting on that reality.

If the news of this new museum in Athens is not met with enthusiasm in England, then shame on you.

October 08, 2009

Back to Quicksilver on Snow Leopard

Quicksilver, the amazing tool that it is, continues to live on life support. A small open source community seem to be giving it attention. I spent an intentional month with LaunchBar and then with Google Quick Search Box each to try and migrate to either of those. It just didn't work out. LB was certainly stable, but still underpowered. Some things in QS that I just depend on can't be done in LB (global triggers one of them). So, then on to Google's attempt, which is developed by QS' creator. It is definitely the underdog in this category... searches didn't even find the files I wanted. You have to use xcode to write plugins for now. I really look forward to trying out gQSB2.0 when it arrives. I expect huge improvements.

So, for now, I'm back with Quicksilver, though I've begun to play with creating Services for some of my own plugins that can now receive global key combinations in Snow Leopard. I have all my Accordance actions running native on Snow Leopard now as Services that don't require Quicksilver, Launchbar or anything. I hope to find the time to make them available soon.

And speaking of Snow Leopard...

On The Apple Blog a month ago, there was a helpful article pointing out that some QS plugins are causing crashes in Snow Leopard.

From what I’ve been reading on support forums, some users of Quicksilver saw no affect from upgrading their machines to Snow Leopard. I however, was not one of those people. And although I am warming more and more to Google Quick Search Box, I still supplement my usage of QSB with Quicksilver where the former is lacking in features. So I tinkered around until I was able to resuscitate and use Quicksilver again under Snow Leopard.
Really, the thing to do is install the latest Open Source build

and then navigate to:
~/Library/Application Support/Quicksilver/PlugIns
and remove all teh plugins and restart QS. If things run well, then you can selectively try plugins to add back in. Definitely stay away from UI plugins and AirPort Module.qsplugin and Services Menu Module.qsplugin.