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Archive for the ‘UT Austin’ Category

A Thousand Lifetimes

My part of the country has been suffering under a ‘heat dome’, with over 60 days at plus 100 degrees and zero rain. Driving in to the city this morning, there was a tease of weather that delivered 18 raindrops on my windshield. Not that driving into town at 5:30 AM, dodging the usual morons isn’t philosophical enough, but today I was listening to a freshly downloaded bonus track mp3 release of Glen Campbell’s “Ghost on the Canvas”. An incredible journey…

“A Lineman for the County” was an amazing introduction for me to Campbell’s voice and music, in a time of my life when AM radio and driving cars gave me a voice that sounded good, as long as I sang along with the blaring single speaker in the ’63 Chevy I drove around Austin in 1968. A freshman at UT Austin, I had no TV but went to the Student Union Building to watch the Smothers Brothers, and saw the too clean cut GC singing.

Glen Campbell on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Now Glen is 75 with Altheimer’s, and I’m older, too, thinking about my ‘never-ending farewell tour’, and how tenuous our mental awareness is. It scares us, as it should. Those of us in our 60’s are ‘holding on to hope,’ and rooting for another victory by the medical community, over another demon of aging.

But back to the music, and how an icon of my life is making a journeyman effort to leave us with a legacy of words and music that will hopefully carry us to our end, as well. All of the 18 selections in “Ghost” are marvelous, and “In My Arms” really celebrates the music. But my favorite, “A Thousand Lifetimes”, has the line that speaks to me and mine, so well.

“Every breath I take, is a gift that I will never take, for granted.”

Warren Zevon left us with “Enjoy Every Sandwich”, as an epilogue and reminder to ‘live today’. And now Glen Campbell gives us more songs to sing along with as we spread our lunch, on the next thousand picnics.

Ghost on the Canvas - Glen Campbell

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As I have gone about my journey of exploration into Social Networking during the past year or so, the tools associated with this new community of new and old friends have provided some quite astounding revelations. About a year ago, I made contact with a college mate of mine from the 70’s. We were in a group that I have blogged about here and in other venues. We constructed slide/music/film presentations at UT Austin from 1968-1971.

In some of our email swapping sessions, another friend of ours from that era mentioned that she wishes we had ‘marvaloned’ rocker Patty Smith for our slide/music shows. ‘Maravlon?’ What is that? We went on to discuss in various stages of memory, how the verb got penned or voiced, in that frenzy of activity that led up to the debut of our Media 70 shows.

To that end, I offer a Webster 2.0 (sic) version of the Media 70 Dictionary.

marvalon – verb, origin unknown, perhaps from the Tralfamadorian, or Venusian. Probably not Latin, from marvalonus.

  1. To capture, by image on vinyl, mylar, or other transparent material, either photographically or other method of transfer, with mounting in card board holders, which are heat sealed with a heated iron appliance. These 2 x 2 slides are suitable for projecting using slide projectors, as with regular 35mm transparencies.
  2. The method of capturing, encapsulating, or incorporating the music, philosophy, political thought or psychological construct of an individual, a group or a cultural movement, for use in the presentation or display of complex theatrical expositions intended to stimulate intense discussion, emotion, or individual thoughts within a group of students, researchers or amateur explorers.
  3. To simulate the physical, emotional and mental effects of experimental herbal ingestion, using sounds and images juxtaposed in a pleasing or disturbing manner.
  4. To provoke thought or incite epiphany. Slang, to grok.

Also. Marvaloning: noun. the act of gazing with wonder. Often associated with an inspired or mind altered state.

Tools and Appliances.

Marvalon Coated Heat Sealing IronClick here for a larger image of this iron!

This is a perfect hand iron for sealing your heat seal stereo mounts. It has an adjustable temperature control and a non-stick Marvalon coating. It also will handle many other dry-mounting chores. It’s temperature range goes from 150oF (65oC) up to 410oF (210oC). It comes with a stand. Don’t forget to turn it off when you go to the Toddle House!

Hope this helps…

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History of Media 70 and Timeline

(Note: This is a work in progress. There may be memory lapses. After all, we are becoming part of the new ’60s Generation’. Additions and corrections welcome.) Media 70 was organized in the Summer of 1968 to produce a multi-media show for the Freshman Summer Orientation Program at University of Texas in Austin. The show was designed to stimulate evening ‘rap’ sessions among incoming freshman–discussions were a key part of the orientation experience. The initial production, called Values was highly successful. Media 70 lasted until the Summer of 1971, and would produce 4 major productions and several message themed shows. At it’s peak, Media 70 included as many as dozen talented contributors. (more…)

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Letters from the seafloor

Originally uploaded by Tom Clifton

I was a ‘shrinklet’ (behavior observer) on Project Tektite 2, and was assigned there when the 2nd letter was postmarked (May 8, 1970). One of my secondary duties involved shuttling items to and from the habitat, command van, and base camp. There’s a possibility that I (or one of my fellow UT Austin peons) delivered the letter to base camp, to speed it on its way. Far Out!

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2010 Updates: See the Tektite Exhibit in Second Life at The Abyss Observatory; the Tektite Underwater Habitat Museum; Project Tektite 40th Anniversary Reunion in Lameshur Bay, St. John, Virgin Islands, November 6, 2010. (end date)

2009 Updates: Wikipedia Articles about Tektite I and II and Tektite Gallery Page

Project Tektite 40th Anniversary Reunion at the Virgin Islands Environmental Research Station (VIERS) on February 15, 2009 (begin date)

Project Tektite was an oceanographic research project conducted in 1969-1970 in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The fall and winter of 2007 seem to be dedicated to searching for information about my life and activities 40 years ago. One of the events in my life as a young man that has influenced my professional and personal life, was my participation in 1970 in the Tektite II project.  I have reconnected with one of my colleagues in Tektite, Kenny Meyer, and in my cerfing the web for more information, I found this excellent photo on Flickr.com, taken by aquanaut Ed Clifton, whom I have never met. Further research actually found a description of the beginnings of the project in 1969, from a personal view, by the photographer of this photo and aquanaut who was involved in Tektite from the beginning. Tektite Habitat Uploaded by Tom Clifton

An Evening on a Tropical Beach by Ed Clifton (Tektite I & II) (more…)

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OK, here’s some ancient history, to mix in with the future history. In the late 60’s a group of UT Student Orientation Advisers put together a ‘multi-media’ show for new students arriving in the summer before their entry into life on the Austin campus. The show was designed to be entertainment after dinner in the dormitory, at the new Academic Center Auditorium (AC 21). AC 21 was a wonderful gallery type lecture hall with 4 giant rear projection screens, a center stage level film screen, and clear walls above the stage for more front projection from the booth. People filed into the darkened room tentatively, wondering what was going on, here?

With the room still dark, a rock and roll sound track started off with the raucous voices of the Stones (She’s a Rainbow) and ended with the sweet tones of Judy Collins (Who Knows Where the Time Goes), and for 30-40 minutes the kiddies were pounded with multiple screen images (35mm slides, film, TV) of campus life, anti-war protests, football (Go, ‘Horns), parties, and oh yeah, classrooms. The sons and daughters of Texas and the world got a dazzling taste of life in the new world of 1968-70 in Austin.

The Wozard of Iz… Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto. The times were definitely changing, and for the group calling itself Media 70, it was like a prehistoric version of Second Life, with mind expanding ‘stuff’, music, images, issues, people. The group went on to do other shows for different venues, on and off campus. The most ambitious was a theatrical show that brought live actors on stage (and on film) into the AC 21 for a psychedelic Moog version of the Wizard of Oz, called The Wozard of Iz (written by Jacques Wilson with music composed and performed by Mort Garson). Students being what they are, very little survived of the images, sound track or script for this and other shows, but here is replicated the flier produced to handout all over campus to fill the house for the 8 night, 24 performances of The Wozard. Wow. (more…)

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