Bingo Joe!

Filed under: Art,Kudos — Chamberlain @ 11:13 pm
No. 212

The clan will be especially delighted to learn that the combination of exceptional genius, perseverance, and artistry of Joe Pentland is bearing fruit. Here is his extraordinary creation, Horizontal Line 264, permanently installed in the atrium of the Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory, Rock Hill CT.

This is so exciting. A second outdoor installation of another of Joe’s creations is in progress at this site. What talent! Congratulations Joe. I have the feeling that we will be seeing a lot more of your wonderful creativity in the future.


Celebrating St Louis and Other Things Too

Filed under: Art,Family History,Family Places,Kudos — Chamberlain @ 2:41 pm

St Louis this year celebrates the 250th year of it founding. As a part of this celebration, Washington University, The Association of Yale Alumni, and the Les Amis organization together are sponsoring a day-long symposium on Friday, February 14th, at the Missouri Historical Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd, St Louis Mo 63112. Sign up and mark your calendars because this promises to be a fun opportunity for us to get together and learn more about our rich cultural heritage.

The program will feature discussions about our city’s founding by historians from across the US with expertise in our French and Spanish heritage. Included in the list of participants will be Yale’s Jay Gitlin PhD and our own Clay Skinner PhD from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. Attendees will include European and Canadian ambassadors and Chief Red Eagle from the Osage Tribe. Luncheon at Washington University and/or dinner at Windows on Washington will be provided to registrants.

René Auguste Chouteau, Pierre Laclede, and John and Bryan Mullanphy are but a few of the prominent figures in our city’s history with whom family members and friends have a connection. So this should be a fun and informative event and we hope that some of you will take the opportunity to attend. For reservations you may contact Diane Morrissey at, or call her at 302-432-1946. You may also register on line at

Another THANK YOU CYNTHIA is due to Cynthia Cromie whose most recent Walnut Tally has just arrived in the mail. This is a huge undertaking, beautifully done, that is an indispensable desktop tool that the whole family relies upon. What a gift. Included in this year’s mailing is another gem, Camp Runamok Games. As Cynthia notes in the preface,

“In Cromie family folklore, Camp Runamok is convened whenever and wherever there are more people who have an urgent need to run around than people who do not”.

As can be imagined, this condition pertains more often than not in the Chamber. The history of Runamok is detailed in the publication for your edification. A classic, full-fledged Runamok was recently experienced at one of the family haunts, Hessel MI. Link here to witness first hand a Runamok, and you’ll quickly get the (painful) idea. This booklet provides all the rules needed to set up and, more importantly, referee multiple diversions for the youth so as to fully realize a Runamok for yourself. Thanks Cynthia for your Sisyphean efforts on all our behalf.

To cap things off we have another terrific success by Gin Cromie. Her movie, The Square, which we noted in a posting previously here,
is now available on Netflix. As noted in the Netflix write-up:

“Nominated for the 2014 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature, this critically praised documentary chronicles the history-making revolution in Egypt that captivated the world with scenes of courage and freedom in the face of violent opposition.”

This of course is big. We now have an Academy Award nominee in our midst. We’ll claim her, no problem. Congratulations to Gin!

Happy New Year All!

Lawdy, Lawdy Stephanie…

Filed under: Art,Music,Youth Education — Chamberlain @ 12:15 am

This immensely talented young St Louisan, Stephanie Trick, will knock you out. If you don’t know of her, it’s time you did. This is a nice way to edge our way into spring, beginning with “I Ain’t Got Nobody” followed by James P Johnson’s “You’ve Gotta Be Modernistic”. Hope you enjoy it!

Should be outlawed during Lent!


A New Kind of Radio!

Filed under: Art,Music — Chamberlain @ 1:43 pm



This post will not be illuminating to many, especially the android savvy readers – apologies in advance – but some of you may, like me, find the following interesting, and more importantly, delightfully useful.

First, some background. St Louisans recently have experienced a bitter blow, the loss of KFUO, Classic 99, the only classical radio in the St Louis area. Yes, it has been replaced by an NPR station KWMU-3 but this requires an HD radio, or an internet link to In addition, as was the case before, the listener is subjected to the tastes of the sponsors as well as to the fund raising chatter and ads of the host between pieces.

An alternative? Pandora. This to me is an incredible step forward for people who want some control over the music at home or in their workplace. Essentially, Pandora provides listeners with their own radio stations, each an internet stream of music which the listener selects and filters over time, with few (or none, if you purchase Pandora One at $3/mo) ads. Best of all, these stations can be dedicated to jazz, classical, rock, opera, or whatever suits your taste.

The idea for Pandora stems from something called the Music Genome Project, a fascinating and ambitious musicological venture.

The Music Genome Project®

On January 6, 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever.

Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or “genes” into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song – everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It’s not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records – it’s about what each individual song sounds like.

Since we started back in 2000, we’ve carefully listened to the songs of tens of thousands of different artists – ranging from popular to obscure – and analyzed the musical qualities of each song one attribute at a time. This work continues each and every day as we endeavor to include all the great new stuff coming out of studios, clubs and garages around the world.

It has been quite an adventure, you could say a little crazy – but now that we’ve created this extraordinary collection of music analysis, we think we can help be your guide as you explore your favorite parts of the music universe.

Tim Westergren
The Music Genome Project



When Pandora opened her jar, we all know what occurred – all of mankind’s evils escaped to haunt us*. But did you realize that Pandora was able to prevent one thing’s escape? Hope. In the sphere of music, this hope to my mind has been realized in Pandora radio -something you should definitely explore – let us know what you think!

(Disclaimer: no commercial or other link with Pandora by the Management)

*This myth is perhaps an early example of a ‘theodicy’, but you’d better check with Sophie Skinner to verify this…


Filed under: Art,Photography — Chamberlain @ 11:40 am

For the past few weeks I’ve been struggling with a technique that supports the display of very high resolution images on the web. There are so many beautiful photos to view, but till now they have been frustratingly slow to load. Here are some results for you to play with. Click on the images, zoom in, and drag around inside the images to explore them at higher magnification. Give it a try…

Charlie Pentland

Ancient Pear Tree

Peter Smith’s Wonderful Discovery

Bood Root


After the Rain

Very Black Snake

Another Reptile at Thurtene Carnival

Not to worry – I will eventually get to part 2 of the Skinner Reunion – lots of fun stuff to see – so little time!!!

If you have a special photo for the blog which you would like to feature, upload it to Flickr or a Google Web album so I can grab it. Or of course email it. Unfortunately Shutterfly and similar photo print sites don’t facilitate downloads, so we can’t grab your images from them.

Anyhow, hope you enjoy these pictures!


Joan Frances Maria’s Kunstwerke

Filed under: Art — Chamberlain @ 12:35 pm

Jack Cromie was an enthusiastic supporter of and contributor to OurRumpus. His last contribution (Kate Cromie’s Untitled, Finger Paints on Canvas, The Stamford Collection, 2009) he submitted on September 30th, just a few days before his fatal accident. I know he would have loved this newest addition to our Kinder Kunst series, a work by Joan Frances Maria Halliday (age 8yrs). Joanie is a niece who celebrated her First Holy Communion last year with the creation of this lyrical piece:

Crayon alla prima on Canvas, 2008.

There’s a word I’ve always had a problem with because it seems so intrinsically over-the-top – ‘ebullient’. According to the term means ‘joyously unrestrained’. Joanie’s Jesus, however, is truly ebullient. And so, often, was Jack. Absolutely apt…


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