In central Australia, there’s a huge sandstone formation called Uluru. It rises 1,142 feet above the surrounding flatlands of the outback. Discovered in 1873 by surveyor William Gosse, it was given the English name Ayer’s Rock; in honor of Sir Henry Ayers, the Chief Secretary of Australia at the time. At almost six miles in … Continue reading A Matter of Respect
The Three-Legged Leader
Some of my favorite memories from childhood revolve around Field Day. Each spring, as the weather began to warm up, officials at my elementary school would announce a date for the event and the entire student body would erupt in cheers. Field Day meant class was cancelled so that everyone could spend the day outside … Continue reading The Three-Legged Leader
I’m currently binge-watching season five of Alone. This History Channel program follows 10 survival experts as they each survive alone (that’s where the name comes from) in the wilderness. Separated from each other by several miles and with no contact with the outside world, they are left to carve out an existence using limited resources, … Continue reading Alone
A Slap in the Face
With March Madness in full swing, much of the country has basketball fever. Television schedules have been adjusted to account for viewership pulled to the college games, and other sports take a back seat this time every year. For those who aren’t fans of basketball, it can be hard to find something other than reruns … Continue reading A Slap in the Face
Turning a Blind Eye
During the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, part of the French Revolutionary War, British Naval forces descended on Denmark. The intent was to prevent the Danish fleet from joining with ships from Russia, Sweden, and Denmark. Britain maintained a superior navy, but a newly formed alliance of these four countries, called the League of Armed … Continue reading Turning a Blind Eye
In 2008, the city of Perth in Western Australia adopted a program called “Forgotten Spaces.” Focused on the city’s central business district, the plan focused on revitalizing the downtown area by updating its laneways and arcades; the narrow streets and alleys located between the towering office buildings. These spaces offered intimate potential settings for small … Continue reading The Conversation
If you drive down a particular stretch of Interstate 80 outside Iowa City, you may be surprised to find a trio of giant faces staring at you from a cornfield. Angry Guy, Befuddled Guy, and Disappointed Gal are 12-foot tall cutouts created by artist John Cerney about eight years ago – an installation he calls … Continue reading About Face
Choosing the Right [K]not
As a Boy Scout, you learn many useful things. From day one, you are taught a variety of skills from first aid, to cooking, to outdoor survival. With over 100 merit badges available, the amount of knowledge you can acquire is overwhelming. And a common thread through many of these pursuits is the use of … Continue reading Choosing the Right [K]not
Sticks and Stones
In the mid 1700’s, English physician Alexander Sutherland encountered a number of patients dissatisfied by what they perceived as his inability to treat their illnesses. In some cases, patients repeatedly insisted that Sutherland provide them a potion or salve to ease their suffering, despite his assurances that there was nothing more to be done. In … Continue reading Sticks and Stones
Where’s the White-Out?
As an executive secretary for Texas Bank and Trust in the 1950’s, Bette Nesmith Graham did a lot of typing. This being before the modern age of computers, any mistakes she made using her typewriter meant starting over. There was no backspace button, and even simple errors in her work could result in thousands of … Continue reading Where’s the White-Out?