Rockwell Kent’s Moby Dick Illustrations

From Plattsburgh State Art Museum:

Rockwell Kent was originally approached in 1926 by R. R. Donnelley and Sons, Lakeside Press to do illustrations for Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast. Kent rejected, but suggested Moby Dick instead. Kent was given complete freedom to design and illustrate the three-volume set. Extensive archival material exists at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, The Rockwell Kent Papers, that document the project.

Completed in 1930, the Deluxe Edition of 1,000 copies, in three volumes and encased in a metal slipcase, sold out immediately.

Soon the Random House edition, circulated through the Book of the Month Club, was published. Selling for $3.50 each. This version was also an immediate success, with its infamous cover and dust jacket that failed to recognize the author.

For the last 75 years, Moby Dick, with illustrations by Rockwell Kent has been in publication in the US, even with R. R. Donnelley, Inc. reluctant to support a mass produced edition in 1930 for fear it would have an adverse effect on their edition.

(via The Beat)

The Baikonur Cosmodrome

From The Big Picture:

When NASA’s last scheduled Space Shuttle mission lands in June of 2010, the United States will not have the capability to get astronauts into space again until the scheduled launch of the new Orion spacecraft in 2015. Over those five years, the U.S. manned space program will be relying heavily on Russia and its Baikonur Cosmodrome facility in Kazakhstan. Baikonur is an entire Kazakh city, rented and administered by Russia. The Cosmodrome was founded in 1955, making it one of the oldest space launch facilites still in operation. Here are collected some photographs of manned and unmanned launches from Baikonur over the past several years.

Obama’s Response

From Politico.com:

Barack Obama indicated this afternoon he intended to go forward with Friday’s debate as planned, saying “it’s more important than ever” that the presidential candidates lay out their principles to voters.

“This is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who in approximately 40 days will be responsible for dealing with this mess,” Obama told reporters at a news conference in Florida.

“In my mind, actually, it’s more important than ever that we present ourselves to the American people and try to describe where we want to take the country and where we wnt to take the economy as well as dealing with some of the issues of foreign policy that were initially the subject of the debate,” he said.