New Books: Frank Lloyd Wright Bio “Plagued By Fire” By Paul Hendrickson

From a Wall Street Journal online review:

Plagued by Fire Paul HendrickonWhereas most Wright biographies build from one structure to the next, this one caroms from one digression to the next. Mr. Hendrickson spins miniature biographies of the people who commissioned Wright to build their homes and office buildings. An array of midcentury figures appears: e.g., Glenway Wescott, the novelist and poet who rubbed shoulders with Gertrude Stein in Paris and whose sister commissioned one of Wright’s homes; and Clarence Darrow, the renowned lawyer, who waded into the murk of Wright’s personal life when a disgruntled housekeeper attempted to use the Mann Act to have Wright arrested. We also meet the little-known residents of various structures. Seth Peterson, for instance, dreamed of living in a Wright home so powerfully that he camped out in the one he commissioned as it was being built. 

Even when you grant how exposed to the elements an architect’s work may be, Frank Lloyd Wright appears to have been an insurer’s nightmare. If a building could shake, burn or flood, time and again Wright’s structures did. Like the exquisite Rose Pauson House in Phoenix, which lasted a mere year before succumbing to fire. Or the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, with its gorgeous H-shaped guest wing, rocked by an earthquake on the day it opened. The Johnson Wax building in Racine, Wis., was so porous that office staff were known to keep buckets by their desk on rainy days.

To read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/plagued-by-fire-review-the-spirit-in-the-form-11570806240?mod=ig_booksoctober12

Studies: Antibiotics Impair Microbiome Composition, Reducing Flu Immunity

From a Science Magazine online article:

Antibiotic use diminished the gut microbiome composition and impaired the ability of the immune system to generate antibodies. Treatment with antibiotics also disturbed bile acid metabolism and caused inflammatory responses.

From the original findings the Journal “Cell.com”:

Emerging evidence indicates a central role for the microbiome in immunity. However, causal evidence in humans is sparse. Here, we administered broad-spectrum antibiotics to healthy adults prior and subsequent to seasonal influenza vaccination. Despite a 10,000-fold reduction in gut bacterial load and long-lasting diminution in bacterial diversity, antibody responses were not significantly affected. However, in a second trial of subjects with low pre-existing antibody titers, there was significant impairment in H1N1-specific neutralization and binding IgG1 and IgA responses.

Web

In addition, in both studies antibiotics treatment resulted in (1) enhanced inflammatory signatures (including AP-1/NR4A expression), observed previously in the elderly, and increased dendritic cell activation; (2) divergent metabolic trajectories, with a 1,000-fold reduction in serum secondary bile acids, which was highly correlated with AP-1/NR4A signaling and inflammasome activation. Multi-omics integration revealed significant associations between bacterial species and metabolic phenotypes, highlighting a key role for the microbiome in modulating human immunity.

Top Political Podcasts: Shields And Brooks On October 11, 2019 (PBS)

Shields and Brooks Oct 11 2019Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s political news, including President Trump’s attitude toward Kurds in Syria and stance toward Turkey’s Syria offensive, testimony from the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and how the prospect of impeachment affects the race among 2020 Democrats.