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Watercolors from USDA

A fascinating niche site: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pomological Watercolor Collection!

It “documents fruit and nut varieties developed by growers or introduced by USDA plant explorers around the turn of the 20th century. Technically accurate paintings were used to create lithographs illustrating USDA bulletins, yearbooks, and other series distributed to growers and gardeners across America.” It has 7,584 watercolor paintings, and 3,807 images just of of apples!

Hat tip to The Scout Report (August 12, 2016 Volume 22, Number 31) — which is always excellent!

Artists and the recession

A recent National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Research Note says that “Artists are facing sharp increases in unemployment. In the fourth quarter of 2008, the artist unemployment rate reached 6.0 percent for a total of 129,000 unemployed artists.”

This is part of the interesting series of NEA Research Notes. NEA also has a series of Research Reports. The Research Reports series includes the November 2007 newsworthy item: To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence and the 2004 report Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America.

Gov Doc Art

Check out my cousin Gabriel Troy’s artwork using government documents.

He says about this sculpture, “Federal Paperwork Burden”: “I wanted to make these Government documents accessible and inaccessible at the same time. The books are fixed by tension without a back or shelf.”

He also took pages from government documents and painted over them: “These pages were cut from documents pertaining to business, agriculture, industry, and domestic issues. I have added structures to house the information.”

New Podcast Directory Entry: Smithsonian Institution

A reader recently left a comment on our Government Podcasts Directory informing us about the Spotlight on Science podcast from the Smithsonian Institution. This led us to the Smithsonian Institute podcast portal at http://www.si.edu/podcasts/. According to the 2007-2008 US Government Manual, the Smithsonian Institution is a quasi-official agency of the US Government and so fits our critera of a federal agency.

The podcast portal page has a wide variety of podcasted programs, including:

Interestingly, the Spotlight on Science that we were originally pointed to isn’t listed on the portal page. That may be because its last podcast appears to have been from April 2007.

If you know of a federal, state or local government podcast that isn’t listed in our directory at http://freegovinfo.info/node/174, please leave a comment on the directory page, or here, or send an e-mail to admin AT freegovinfo.info.