Studio News: Water Main Break

Water Main Break: 6th & Bainbridge Streets. Philadelphia


Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2021

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Water Main Break

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In the early hours of Sunday, July 25th a 100+ year old cast iron thirty inch water main broke at the intersection of 6th & Bainbridge Streets in Philadelphia, causing a massive flood of epic proportions. Water department  officials on the ground at the epicenter claimed that it was the largest main break they had ever seen.

At approximately 2:00AM a resident of The Ward Studio was awakened by a large crash of water breaking glass on a floor below her bedroom prompted her to get up to see what was going on.  The resident, a close friend of the Ward family, had the presence of mind to immediately begin videotaping the wall of water descending onto the property. 

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LIWEI VIDEO

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Within minutes all of the below grade rooms including; lounge area, kitchen, dressing room, darkroom suite, editing room, workshop and bathroom were all under approximately 24 inches of water.

There was extensive damage done to the property, including  thousands of vintage black and white and color negatives that I was preparing to review in anticipation of an upcoming exhibition in the fall.  

The city of Philadelphia has stepped in to mitigate the damage while my family sorts out the damage and loss.  Mitigation efforts are currently underway to save as many negatives as possible. All activities including studio and darkroom rentals have been suspended until further notice.

Bob Shell: Hidden Truth About the Pentagon’s UFO Report

UFO citing by Military Aircraft

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2021

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Hidden Truth About the Pentagon’s UFO Report

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Like most UFO investigators, my first reaction to the Pentagon’s UFO report released in late June, was disappointment. I suspect the report was carefully crafted to produce that response in people knowledgeable about the UFO phenomenon at first reading. The Pentagon would like for us to just go away. 

But deeper digging shows the report actually is a very important contribution to our knowledge of what the Pentagon calls UAPs, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. Importantly, it could be summed up as ‘Yes, they’re real, but we don’t know what the hell they are.’ 

The study was restricted to 144 credible reports by military personnel. In those 144 encounters the report rules out four categories; one, a secret technology from one of our adversaries, two, our own classified technology, three, airborne clutter such as balloons, and natural atmospheric phenomena. This leaves a fourth category they call ‘Other.’ That’s where the meat of the report lies. 

Very importantly, 80 of the encounters classified as ‘Other’ ‘involved observation with multiple sensors,’ in other words, they could not be observer error by human observers. The report concludes those 80 encounters were with actual physical objects. That’s the grains of wheat among all the chaff in the report. More than half of the encounters were with real physical objects. Unknown real physical objects. 

Of those 80 encounters with actual physical objects, 18 manifested seriously anomalous behavior. This includes instant changes in direction, moving at speeds impossible for aircraft of any sort, and no observable means of propulsion. So these are actual physical objects using technology we don’t have, and we’re sure no other country on Earth has.

As usual the ‘scientific’ brigade came out to debunk. Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb said the encounters probably have ‘mundane explanations.’ ‘Mundane explanations?’ What ‘mundane explanations?’ Are we back to swamp gas, swarms of fireflies, and other imbecilic explanations thrown at us in the past? I hope not. 

Someone named David Axe wrote in TheDailyBeast.com that we may not know what these objects are, but ‘we can say with reasonable certainty what they’re not.’ That’s space aliens, he says, and asks why extraterrestrials would travel ‘galactic distances’ just to fool around with military pilots and make no effort to communicate. 

Remember in Star Trek they had a ‘Prime Directive’ not to interfere in developing civilizations? Maybe the beings visiting us have such a rule. It’s quite logical to let civilizations develop on their own, each going in a different direction. Our own cultural anthropologists try to interfere as little as possible with the primitive cultures they study. 

Maybe, from their perspective, communicating with would have as much use as us communicating with beavers! 

Besides that, Mr. Axe’s argument has a fatal flaw. He assumes aliens would have to travel ‘galactic distances’ to get here. That’s an obviously false assumption. They’re already here and have been here a long time. 

Anyone who has studied the subject deeply, as I have, knows that whatever UFOs are, they’ve been here a very long time. There are reports from ancient Rome, medieval reports, reports from every period in written history. The Biblical report of Ezekiel’s encounter, if converted to modern language, is a classic ‘Close Encounter of the Third Kind.’ 

When I interviewed an elderly member of an isolated indigenous tribe in New Mexico in 1996, I learned from her that her people had a very old oral tradition of encounters, and considered seeing a UFO to be a very bad omen. This was not something they normally talked to white men about, but a relative who’d left the reservation to work construction in big cities heard me interviewed on Art Bell’s radio program, contacted me, and convinced her to talk to me by telling her that my great grandmother was Cherokee (true). 

Human encounters with this ‘Other’ is not a recent phenomenon! 

In the 70s Jefferson Starship, that great old band, asked, “What I would really like to know … what are they watching us for?’ We don’t have an answer to Paul Kantner’s question — yet. The truth is still out there somewhere.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author, former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine and veteran contributor to this blog. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 13th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read additional articles by Bob Shell, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/nudes-in-state-parks/

Editor’s Note: If you like Bob Shell’s blog posts, you’re sure to like his new book, COSMIC DANCE by Bob Shell (ISBN: 9781799224747, $ 12.95 book, $ 5.99 eBook) available now on Amazon.com . The book, his 26th, is a collection of essays written over the last twelve years in prison, none published anywhere before. It is subtitled, “A biologist’s reflections on space, time, reality, evolution, and the nature of consciousness,” which describes it pretty well. You can read a sample section and reviews on Amazon.com.

 

Aliana Ho: We Thrive

Photo: Aliana Ho, Copyright 2021
 

Photography and Text by Aliana Ho, Copyright 2021

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We Thrive

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In all honesty, I had a hard time deciding what to do for this shoot. Choosing a good friend of mine to be my model and subject took little thought, but the matters of where, how, and when proved to be much more challenging than I anticipated.

We first met up on Saturday evening, but just as he had meticulously completed his look, one foot out the door, a small family emergency arose. We rescheduled for Wednesday night, and during this second attempt, we had spent about an hour and half working on our set and shooting when my camera battery died. Knowing I was running out of time, my panic began to rise.

Luckily, the next day, we were able to pick up a battery, get lunch together, and decide on a location. As we arrived at the Ardmore Ave Septa Station, our chosen set, we were met by an elderly gentleman who asked us to call an ambulance for him, as he needed a ride to the hospital. We then waited for said ambulance, said goodbye, and only then were we able to complete our shoot. And of course, this all occurred within two and a half hours.

We decided upon the Ardmore Ave Septa Station predominantly for the lighting, as it was the afternoon and the sun had already begun to drop in the sky. I hadn’t yet been to the station since they had completed construction, so I was curious to see what it looked like as well. Looking back, the fluid relationship of a train station was a fitting set for the chaos of this shoot.

When I recount these experiences, I can’t help but chuckle at the ridiculousness of it all. How could it be that every time we tried to complete this project, something would disrupt our plans?

But of course, that’s what we’ve come to practice. Our safety plan: adapt and survive.

During the past year, everyone has had to learn how to adapt. Adapt our health practices, adapt our social lives, adapt our emotions and feelings, adapt to survive. This piece came together under suboptimal conditions and in such a short time, but it felt easy after all the bumps we hit. Like this shoot, this year has forced us to face obstacle after obstacle, and still maintain a forward motion. So we adapt, we survive, and we thrive.

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About The Author: Aliana Ho is a student enrolled at Haverford College, Haverford, Pa. Class of 2022.

The Future Of Education: How New Technologies Will Affect The Way We Learn

Professor Tony Ward Lecturing at Haverford College
 

Text by Artur Meyster, Copyright 2021

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The Future Of Education: How New Technologies Will Affect The Way We Learn

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During the coronavirus lockdown, organizations face a challenging situation. Since they needed to close their offices, most couldn’t operate. However, several leaned on tech professionals and new technologies to survive. Because remote work became the new normal, the way we live, work, and learn has changed. Tech tools like smartphones and laptops are now a must-have, and the need for technical skills has increased.

Day after day, more companies are investing in emerging tech inventions not only to improve their processes but to offer better products and services. In the education sector, e-learning is leaving traditional education behind. However, many other new technologies are reinventing teaching and learning. If you want to know how the future of education will look like, you should read this article. It will provide you with a better idea of how new technologies will affect the education sector. 

Video-based Learning

In the digital era, video-assisted teaching is playing an essential role in making students feel engaged. Several companies have implemented it to enhance their courses and provide even better services. Video-based learning enables companies to analyze offered curricula and set new strategies to improve their teaching methods. 

Video-based learning makes the learning process much more enjoyable. Everyone can have fun while playing and learning. For example, Youtube Kids is a top-rated app that almost every kid loves. Since young children can watch visually appealing videos, learn new songs, and play, learning while playing will no longer be challenging.

Other companies like Udacity offer excellent video-assisted coding courses for those who seek to break into the tech world. Its courses are very engaging and enable students to repeat every lesson as many times as they want. If a particular lesson becomes a challenge, you can watch it several times until you feel you’re able to move on. 

Video-based learning will shape the future of education because it helps companies provide more personalized services. Students can learn faster and provide even better results. Video-assisted programs also give individuals schedule flexibility. For that reason, no matter how busy your schedule is, you’ll always have time to learn. After all, who hasn’t learned how to repair something by watching a five-minute Youtube video? 

Online Classrooms

Cloud computing is taking online education to a whole new level. Years ago, if you weren’t able to attend a class, you probably needed to ask your classmates what the teacher said and taught. However, with online classrooms, education is becoming more accessible. Online classrooms enhance the interaction between students and teachers. By simplifying teaching and learning, you can set up classes in only minutes. Furthermore, communication isn’t a barrier, and you can send updates to parents or any individual in real-time.

Online classrooms also make providing feedback much more comfortable. Teachers can store frequently used comments, and, as a result, providing fast and personalized responses isn’t a struggle. Online classrooms provide organizations with data security. Hence, no matter what they need to keep protected, they can stay calm and focus on the important thing—reinventing the market. 

The increasing demand for online platforms like Google Classrooms has encouraged organizations to hunt for tech professionals with software engineering and cloud computing skills. Therefore, if you’re looking to attract employers’ attention, you should consider becoming a software engineer. According to Bootcamp Rankings, there are over 19,200 open job listings and 1,000 hiring companies.

Artificial Intelligence: the Key to Personalized Education

These days, artificial intelligence is transforming everything, from mobile applications to manufacturing procedures and learning. Personalized education is key to increase students’ engagement. Hence, many companies have invested vast amounts of money in AI and machine learning to offer more customized services. 

Personalized education wouldn’t be possible without the help of data scientists. Consequently, companies are offering exceptional salaries and perks to skilled candidates. After all, they can analyze and interpret gathered information to meet students’ needs.

AI chatbots are also playing an important role in education. By automating administrative tasks like grading, the job of teachers is now more comfortable. AI chatbots can also track student performance. Consequently, teachers and companies can adjust the curriculum provided to meet the requirements of any student.

Conclusion

Generally speaking, the need for digital tools will grow in the next decade. In that case, if you seek to stay relevant, you should get familiar with new tech inventions. Also, more companies will invest in tech to improve in-class and out-of-class experiences. As a result, education will become much more engaging and comfortable. Traditional education will probably become obsolete in the following years. Nevertheless, there’s still a long way to go before that happens.

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About The Author: Artur Meyster is the founder of Career Karma.  To access additional articles by this author, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/career-karma/

 

Bob Shell: Cosmic Dance

Bob Shell: Cosmic Dance

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2021

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Cosmic Dance

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The great writer John Steinbeck wrote, “To my certain knowledge, many people conceal experiences for fear of ridicule. How many people have heard or felt something that so outraged their sense of what should be that the whole thing was brushed quickly away, like dirt under a rug?” Steinbeck intuitively knew that the universe is far stranger than the average person realizes, as did Charles Fort before him, and that many strange events happen in this world of ours. They shouldn’t frighten informed people the way they would have in the past. 

That fine Welsh writer Arthur Machen had an otherworldly experience that profoundly changed him, and incorporated that magic in his works, particularly in his last novel ‘The Green Round.’ 

But still, the average person today lives mentally in a Newtonian universe, while the reality is that the universe is strongly non-Newtonian. Our whole society is structured on an antiquated, Newtonian notion of how things work. Our sciences, aside from physics, operate on strongly Newtonian ideas, particularly medicine and biology. This is not just wrong, it is profoundly dangerous. 

A person today may realize that solid matter is an illusion, hiding the quantum dance of uncertainty, at an intellectual level, but in day to day life treats ‘solid’ matter as something to knock up against. The eastern mystics long ago realized the truth, that what we perceive with our multiple senses is an illusion – Maya – not reality, and worked on ways to pierce the veil and perceive the cosmic dance as it really is. 

Western science denied this truth until Einstein, Bohr, Schrodinger, Planck and others saw glimpses of the other, hidden reality, and laid the foundations of quantum mechanics, how the Universe really works. It is no accident that many of them looked to eastern mysticism for answers. 

The door into this strange, wonderful, and sometimes frightening, reality was first opened for me by my old friend Robert Anton Wilson, in my opinion one of the most profound thinkers of the 20th Century. RAW, as I call him in shorthand, understood quantum reality in an intuitive, magical way, and incorporated that understanding in his writings. In a virtual way, he took my hand and led me through that door, approaching and reaching that brave new world through humor. As he said, “The music of the spheres contains a loony laugh.” 

My little book COSMIC DANCE is, in many ways, a tribute to RAW, and my attempt to carry forward his work that was cut short by his untimely death. 

I’ve done my best to live in the real world, the magical world of quantum physics, which seems so counterintuitive and illogical to our normal ways of thinking. But this is how things really work. Much of our advanced technology only works because quantum physics is the way the Universe works behind the veil. The quantum computers now being developed will change science in radical ways. 

I firmly believe that human progress will depend on each of us coming to grips with quantum reality and changing our thought processes to admit the Magic of quantum reality. It’s fast approaching, whether we’re ready or not. Elon Musk and other advanced thinkers are warning us of the dire consequences of not being on board the quantum train.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 13th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read Bob Shell’s, first essay on civil war, click here: https://tonyward.com/bob-shell-in-praise-of-reality/

Editor’s Note: If you like Bob Shell’s blog posts, you’re sure to like his new book, COSMIC DANCE by Bob Shell (ISBN: 9781799224747, $ 12.95 book, $ 5.99 eBook) available now on Amazon.com . The book, his 26th, is a collection of essays written over the last twelve years in prison, none published anywhere before. It is subtitled, “A biologist’s reflections on space, time, reality, evolution, and the nature of consciousness,” which describes it pretty well. You can read a sample section and reviews on Amazon.com.