Starting the notebooks...

I would like for us to use the notebooks (PersonalNotebookPagesME122F) regularly for posting and sharing bits of information (text, pictures, links) that we find interesting. My hope is that each day we'll take a few minutes to share what we've found... To kick this process off, please prepare a snippet for next week (April 12,14).

You can also do your posting as text, html or Word or PDF whatever and Attach them to a page if that turns out to be more convenient. It's a tad less convenient for reading, but better than not posting stuff!

Here are a few suggestions for topics. You can do any of them. Feel encouraged to suggest your own as well.

1. If you have a digital camera, take photos of some interesting Renaissance architecture. The photos can be attached using the "Attach" button at bottom of your notebook page. Who is the building by? (Bonus points if it's by Brunelleschi, Alberti or one of the other famous architects of the 1400s smile You can find many such examples within 20 minutes walk of the Stanford Florence campus. Add a few notes about what is interesting about it and why. Your Florence guidebook can be a good starting point. Cite links and sources.

Best to size pictures to the final display size (maybe 480x640?) that they should appear before uploading.
If you want to get a wee bit clever about formatting, a simple solution is to create a table with the pictures in one column and accompanying text in the other. See AnExampleTablePage for an example that you can cut and paste.

2. Regarding La Torre Pendente and the Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa -- what struck you? What is particularly interesting about it, the way it started to sink, the way it was almost ruined several times or the way it was finally stabilized? Explain what & why. Cite links & sources. For a look at what some of the students in my freshman seminar did, see LeaningTowerAssignmentME21N (scroll to bottom) from ME21N? .

3. Regarding Pisa versus Firenze -- So, the Florentines don't have a great opinion of Pisa and its "miracles." And Pisans tend to feel that Pisa is the true birthplace of a new way of thinking at the end of the middle ages (sort of like ancient Greece was to Rome). What do you think and why? A great, quick and enjoyable, read along these lines is (Shrady 2005), which I will leave on the Reserves bookshelf if anybody wants to borrow it. In any case, cite links & sources.

4. Some random extra questions that we should collectively try to answer over the next couple of weeks (you could expound a bit on any of these):

  • What did Giorgio Vasari (see April 6th topic of Prof. Verdun's course) design in Pisa?
  • Who were the famous Pisano sculptors, what did they do, why was it important and how are they related to each other?
  • What are "hinge points" of an arch? (Gordon reading)
  • Are pinnacles functional or decorative?
  • Who was Fibonacci, where did he live and why was he important?
  • Ross King (Cha 3, just before Fig. 5) uses a balloon analogy for a dome. Is this a good analogy? Why or why not?
  • Is the Ponte Vecchio pre-Renaissance? Renaissance? both?

5. Altre cose?

-- MarkCutkosky - 05 Apr 2005

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