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Requiescat in pace et in amore

My mother, Edith Joy Baumann, passed away peacefully from natural causes today, May 25, 2020 (US Memorial Day.) A memorial service is planned in Spring 2021 for family and friends in Zurich, Switzerland.

Edith was born in Erlenbach, near Zurich, Switzerland on March 27, 1931. The youngest of three children, she always had “Wanderlust” and as a result, moved as a young married woman to the United States in 1957, first to Norfolk, Virginia. She and her husband soon moved on to Pearl River, New York, where she lived for many years before moving to Cliffside Park, New Jersey in 1976. In 2016, the final move occurred when she relocated to San Diego to be closer to her children. She is the mother of four and grandmother to six.

Atop Säntis in Appenzell, Switzerland

An avid reader and a life-long student and scholar, Edith earned a degree in English Literature with honors from Columbia University while raising her children, and went on to earn a Masters and Doctorate degrees in German Literature from Rutgers University. Her love of travel took her around the world. Amongst many adventures she climbed the steep stone stairways of Machu Picchu in Peru, walked alongside the Terracotta Army in China, hiked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, cruised through the Panama Canal and the Fjord’s of Norway, and admired Christ the Redeemer overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

Edith was always on the go and loved to walk, taking daily three-mile jaunts well into her 80s. She had a sharp sense of humor and loved to laugh. She also loved the great Italian meals she could find in Italy as well as New Jersey, and a plate of chilled, fresh oysters brought her joy. She passed onto her children a love of literature and the arts, encouraging all of them to learn an instrument and introducing them to the operas, musicals, and plays New York City had to offer. She loved to dance and passed this on to her children as well. A liberal, progressive thinker, she cared deeply for the underprivileged and neglected in the world and sought to help them as best she could.

Edith is survived and will be greatly missed by her four children, Maya Ziegler of Irvine, CA and her children Alexandra and Jackson Paul, Karin Spruill of Cypress, CA and her children Sabrina and Brandon, Thomas Laemmel and his wife Stacey of San Diego, CA, and his daughter Rebecca, and Christina Laemmel and her daughter Carina of Zurich, Switzerland, as well as many nieces and nephews. Edith also has many friends from her childhood in Switzerland, her adoptive hometowns in the United States, and her many travels, all of whom will miss her greatly.

In accordance with her wishes, Edith was cremated, and her ashes will return to Zurich, Switzerland, where she grew up and her heart has always been. A memorial service is planned for Spring of 2021 for family and friends in Zurich, Switzerland. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to any of the charitable organizations that she believed in and supported, such as Amnesty International, CARE, WWF, and Médecins Sans Frontières. Tributes and remembrances can be posted to Edith’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/edith.j.baumann which is being maintained as a memorial.

A Swiss Lullaby

I ghöre äs Glöggli
das lütet so nätt.
Dr Tag isch vergange
itz gang i is Bett.
Im Bett tuen i bäte
und schlafe de i.
Dr lieb Gott im Himmel
wird ou bi mir si!

English Translation

I ghöre äs Glöggli
das lütet so nätt.
Dr Tag isch vergange
itz gang i is Bett.
Im Bett tuen i bäte
und schlafe de i.
Dr lieb Gott im Himmel
wird ou bi mir si!

The title of this post, “Requiescat in pace et in amore” is Latin for “May she rest in peace and love.”

Press Release: Sony Gives Parties a Boost, Indoors or Out

Sony’s SRS-XB32 Portable Speakers

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — (CES, Booth #17300) — Sony Electronics Inc. today announced a refreshed EXTRA BASS™ wireless speaker line up with the new SRS-XB12, SRS-XB22 and SRS-XB32 portable speakers, along with the bold new GTK-XB72 high-power speaker and an exciting new outdoor party speaker, the GTK-PG10.

GTK-PG10 Outdoor Party Speaker

Press Release: Sony Adds Super-large 8K TVs to the MASTER Series Lineup

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — (CES, Booth #17300) — Sony Electronics Inc. today announced the new MASTER Series Z9G 8K LCD and A9G 4K OLED televisions. Sony’s MASTER Series TVs represent the pinnacle of picture quality available to home viewers, capable of displaying images that faithfully convey the creators’ intent. The MASTER Series is the name given to only the very best Sony TVs and provides premium picture quality, color, contrast and clarity approaching that of a professional-grade monitor. The MASTER Series TVs also feature Netflix Calibrated Mode and IMAX Enhanced to further ensure that content is delivered as intended.

Press Release: Sony Introduces NextGen 1000XM3 Headphones

Sony Introduces Next-level Noise Cancellation with the WH-1000XM3 Headphones -- Sony Electronics - 08/30/2018
Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones (PRNewsfoto/Sony Electronics)

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ –Sony Electronics Inc. today announced the WH-1000XM3 noise cancelling headphones, the newest addition to the highly acclaimed Sony 1000X family. This headband-style around ear model offers all of the much loved features from the previous WH-1000XM2 model while adding multiple key improvements, including upgraded noise cancelling performance to enhance the listening and user experi

Launch Event: Sony MASTER Series TVs with Exclusive Netflix Calibrated Mode

Netflix Calibrated Mode on the new Sony MASTER Series TV

NEW YORK, July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Today Sony Electronics, Inc. announced Netflix Calibrated Mode — available exclusively on the new Sony MASTER Series A9F OLED and Z9F LCD TVs — to ensure cinematic fidelity for the viewing experience on Netflix. Developed by Sony picture quality engineers, in collaboration with Netflix color scientists, Netflix Calibrated Mode delivers picture quality approaching that of a master monitor used for standard reference in motion picture production studios. With one simple menu setting, Netflix members can enjoy precise colors and accurate dynamic contrast, as seen through the eyes of the creator. This is especially evident when watching visually spectacular shows such as the Netflix original series “Lost in Space,” with otherworldly landscapes and creatures draped in atmospheric lighting.

Press Release: Ground Breaking Sound Bars Support Dolby Atmos® and DTS:X™

The HT-X9000F sound bar matches the distinctive design of Sony’s X900F 4K HDR TV series. (PRNewsfoto/Sony Electronics)

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — 5pm PT (CES, Booth #17300) – Sony Electronics today announced the HT‑Z9F, the world’s first1 3.1ch Dolby Atmos Sound Bar and the HT-X9000F Dolby Atmos sound bar, both designed to further an enhanced, connected, and compelling listening experience for consumers. The premium HT-Z9F Dolby Atmos sound bar, paired with Sony’s unique virtual technology, brings a new level of impressive cinematic-audio to your home. When Dolby Atmos is paired with Sony’s new Vertical Surround Engine, consumers can experience breathtaking virtual three-dimensional sound via an alternative approach to ceiling reflection or up-firing speakers.

Press Release: Sony Introduces Anytime, Anywhere Wireless NC Headphones

Sony’s WF-SP700N truly wireless in-ear headphones for sports

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — (CES, Booth #17300) — Sony Electronics announced today three new sports wireless headphones for the active, stylish music lover. With wireless-in-ear and truly wireless styles these high quality, great sounding sports headphones come in fashionable colors and offer great options for any active lifestyle. The WF-SP700N truly wireless and WI-SP600N in-ear headphones provide wireless noise cancelling where noise cancelling has seldom gone before, such as in a high intensity cardio class or while walking or jogging. The WI-SP500 in-ear headphones let you train for longer with up to eight hours of battery life on a full charge. 

Twisted Metal

1-Rebel-Without-A-Cause-Poster
James Dean in the movie poster for Rebel Without a Cause. Photo credit: Warner Bros.

I have to admit, until recently I didn’t know much about James Dean beyond what has entered into our collective cultural consciousness: a charismatic method actor who only had a few feature films to his credit before dying at the age of 24 in a car crash. The three movies he made are all classics, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as the eponymous troubled rebel; East of Eden (1955), an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel, and his last movie, Giant (1956), a sweeping epic tracing the rise and fall of a Texas cattle rancher. If you know more about him than these three films it might be because you’ve seen James Dean: Forever Young, or one of the many other biopics that have been produced over the years.

I was compelled to look into James Dean’s life, or more specifically, the circumstances surrounding his death, when I found myself driving through the exact location of his tragic accident. I had always assumed that Dean wrapped his car around a tree in a drunken stupor. And when I saw that the memorial to his death is a concrete and stainless-steel sculpture wrapped around a tree in desolate Cholame, CA, that might have confirmed my assumption. But that’s not what happened, nor is that tree where the accident took place.

Close-up of the James Dean Memorial in Cholame, CA, wrapping around a tree about a mile west of where the accident took place. The memorial is made of stainless steel but looks a bit worse for wear from the removal of graffiti over the years. Souvenir hunters regularly steal the letters and numbers off of the memorial as well (ah, people, really?!)
photo credit: Tom Laemmel

I stopped at the James Dean Memorial on my way to a few days of wine tasting in Paso Robles, in the heart of the California Central Coast wine country. When James Dean died — 62 years ago to this very day — he was also on this way to “Paso” (as the locals call it) where he planned to have dinner with some fellow racers before heading on to Salinas for an event. He had been driving most of the day (as had I) and neither of us had been drinking any alcohol (yet).

James Dean’s accident occurred on September 30, 1955. He was driving west towards Paso on Highway 466 (now 46), approaching the intersection of Highway 41. Dean was in his new Porsche 550 Spyder, which he had picked up that morning in Hollywood, a 4+ hour drive to the south. His Porsche factory-trained mechanic, who was his passenger at the time of the accident, had encouraged Dean to drive the car from Los Angeles to Salinas to help break it in. At approximately 5:45pm a Cal Poly State University student, Donald Turnupseed, driving east, made a turn from Highway 46 onto 41 heading north, toward Fresno, apparently not seeing Dean’s silver Spyder heading towards him in the opposite direction. Dean collided with the turning car and was killed, his mechanic and Turnupseed survived the accident.

James Dean getting gas after picking up his Porsche from Competition Motors on 1219 N. Vine Street, in Hollywood, CA. on the day of the accident. Behind him is his Ford Country Squire station wagon and an attached trailer for the Porsche’s return trip. (photo credit: from the book James Dean at Speed, 2005.)

There are conflicting estimates as to Dean’s speed at the time of the crash, anywhere from below the posted 60 mph speed limit to in excess of 85 mph. When I stopped at the scene of the accident, now a median adjacent to the intersection (they realigned Highways 41 and 46 a bit), I was struck with what dumb luck the whole thing must have been. There was nothing out there in 2015, no traffic, no houses, no nothing, just the intersection of two quiet country highways. It must have been even quieter in 1955. So the fact that these two cars met at all was something of a fluke — a horrible coincidence of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If Donald Turnupseed had left home just a minute earlier, or if Dean had lingered just a few moments longer while stopping for sodas at Blackwell’s Corner 20 minutes earlier, the crash may never have occurred at all.

Close to where James Dean crashed at 5:45pm on September 30, 1955, in Cholame, CA. There is nothing to crash into around here, not even a tree. Not the exact location because it’s hard to pinpoint with the road having been realigned, but very close. (Photo credit: Tom Laemmel)
 
The wreckage of James Dean’s Porsche 550 Spyder on the night of the crash.
(photo credit: from the book James Dean at Speed, 2005.)

There have been more movies made about James Dean than the movies he has made. Have you seen any of them?

Press Release: VPL-VW885ES True 4K HDR Laser Projector

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — (CEDIA Booth #4935) Today, Sony Electronics announced pricing and availability details on its newest true 4K HDR laser home theater projector, delivering superior picture quality equipped with the latest innovative technologies. Armed with 2,000 lumens of brightness, Infinite Dynamic Contrast with real-time laser light level control and 20,000 hours of lamp life, the new VPL-VW885ES delivers an immersive yet whisper-quiet environment for an unrivaled home cinema-viewing experience in a compact chassis.

VPL-VW885ES joins the line of Sony’s true HDR projectors with true cinema quality images, creating an unforgettable home entertainment experience. (PRNewsfoto/Sony Electronics)

Press Release: Three New Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — 4:15am (13:15 CET/Berlin) Sony Electronics announced today three wireless headphones with industry leading noise cancellation technology.1 These new additions to the 1000X family enable listeners to escape the noise and focus on the music they want to hear with the headphone style of their choice. The truly wireless style WF-1000X is completely free of wires and fits snugly in-ear while incorporating Sony’s industry leading noise cancelling technology – a first for Sony. The WI-1000X is designed for commuters and others that prefer the behind-the-neck style for listening to music while on the go. And the new WH-1000XM2 is an enhanced version of the popular around-ear style with more options to tailor the sound to your environment.

Go truly wireless with Sony’s new WF-1000X earbuds (PRNewsfoto/Sony Electronics)
Sony’s new behind-the-neck wireless noise cancelling WI-1000X for the sophisticated commuter (PRNewsfoto/Sony Electronics)