Eero Saarinen: More than a Crossword Name

 DATELINE:  Gateway to Modern Architecture

   Eero-port Terminal.

 American Masters did a one-hour biography of the notable architect whose name dominates New York Timescrossword puzzles. Of course, he is one of the most modern of all kinds of American architects (by way of Finland as a boy).

Saarinen is best known as the man who designed the St. Louis Gateway Arch, iconic like the Pyramid of Giza. He wanted something to last 1000 years—and his arch may well reach that grandeur.

This documentary is mostly narrated by his son Eric who is a noted film cinematographer—not following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps. He was alienated from his pater, but this film (he confesses) has changed him by seeing what marvels his father created: from a John Deere office building to Kresge Auditorium at MIT, or even a hockey rink at Yale.

His aides told him all hockey rinks were barns, so he designed one at Yale that is staggering in its Norse winter sports notions.

His father was hard to eclipse. Eero grew up with his father’s friends Gustav Mahler and Sibelius hanging around the house. He was bounced on Frank Lloyd Wright’s knee. Heavens, he was destined to create great buildings.

He made only one house—a glass marvel with stunning modern light. He is airier and brighter than Wright.

Yet, we must admit that these creative geniuses are not particularly good at being a family man. Eero was not an exception, but his second wife got him on the cover of Time—and the rest is history.

Shatner’s UnXplained recently claimed his great Arch is meant as a weather control system to deflect thunder and lightning. No such grandiose claims are made here—only breathtaking buildings and grounds, not to mention furniture.

He worked 60 years ago, but looks more modern than anything done today. This film also collects the withering criticism he took over his designs—by those who felt he pandered to 1950s American commerce. How wrong can they be?

We once heard an architectural critique as “nobody wants to live in someone else’s head.” Alas, most heads are devoid of creativity, individuality, or good taste. Thank heavens for Saarinen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

UnXplained Takes on Weather

 DATELINE: Weather or Not?

 St.Louis Dowsing Rod

Everyone talks about the weather, but only William Shatner is doing something about it.

William Shatner is one of those who talks about the weather on this week’s episode—and he does so as host of UnXplained. He is joined in this fascinating episode with a dozen of the usual suspects you cite as experts on Ancient Aliens. They apparently are on the payroll or on call.

So we take on a few divine interventions: as science is lost to explain what’s happening. Most of our scientists, Drs. Kaku, Taylor, Dennis, Bara, et al, know that they are at a loss.

We first look at the Oz feature of the twister. These monsters are growing annually, bigger and stronger, apocalyptic and weird. One example in Louisiana shows how one house is completely spared—and everything else is flattened. Miracle?

There is also a grand discussion of mysterious ball lighting, including some rare videos captured on smartphones in recent years. This stuff even enters you house. We learn that glass windows are actually conductors of electricity, and that’s why grandma said to stay away from the windows during a thunderstorm.

Another oddity is the “blood rain” of India, a red monsoon that falls for months and is as crimson of as your Type O hemoglobin. It could be spores from meteors—life from another planet coming to Earth!

Perhaps the most amusing segment in this show is on frogs and fish raining down, with most scientists dismissing the waterspout theory. It may be a vortex yanking them up from the ocean.

Of course, the piece de resistancein the show is finding out that the St. Louis Arch Gateway was designed by a man who worked for the CIA and may have used the Arch as an under-your-nose weather control experiment. It seems electro-magnetic powers may have an effect on lighting and thunderstorms.

By the way, the show didn’t mention Trump’s hare-brained plan to drop atomic bombs into hurricanes to break them up.

Control the weather? It’s a weaponized idea whose time is almost here.