We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, September 1. 2013
As a small side note, some of the bloggers here don't know that blog protocol dictates that the word 'repost' be included somewhere (title or text) in reposts, so check the dates before responding to a comment. There are two like that below.
(an email to friends, September '00)
Howdy, all —
There are few places on the globe where you can actually see the curve of the planet. You can't see it from sea level. You and I would see it, out on the ocean, because we know the Earth is round, but it would just be an illusion. Hold a straightedge up and it's flat as flat can be. You need two somewhat unique things lined up next to each other, a fairly rare occurrence.
You (1) need an extremely wide, vast plain, flat as a pancake, and (2) a fairly high (10,000 feet-plus) mountain perched right on the edge of aforementioned pancake.
I give you Kansas and Pike's Peak.
Most high mountains are in the middle of mountain ranges. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. As such, the horizon is very irregular. But Pike's Peak is right on the edge of the Colorado Plateau, looking out across flat, flat, flat, Kansas.
You see The Curve.
Your first thought is,
They were right! It is round.
Maybe you already knew it, but it's always nice to have it confirmed.
My next stop was a natural history museum. You know those big dinosaur birds, the pterodactyls, the ones with the big nasty talons on the front edges of their leathery wings? Now take a vicious, snarling, full-sized red fox and put the leathery pterodactyl wings on it, talons and all.
I give you the South American Fox Bat.
My first thought was, I wish I'd brought my camera.
This thing must have been three feet across. Throw in the snarling, fox-like sharp teeth and wing talons and you've got one serious piece of work. It would take about six of them to carry away a cow. If they ever get their act together, South American farmers are in a heap of trouble.
Picture a half a mile. It's probably much further than you're picturing. It's a pretty fair distance, way beyond hearing and focused eyesight.
There's a South American butterfly the size of your hand that is so iridescent it can be seen from over half a mile. There's a South American cicada that's so loud it can be heard from over half a mile. Blinded by day, can't sleep at night for all the racket — no wonder those South Americans are always so grumpy and have all those revolutions!
I don't think I'll describe the world's largest beetle. Just picture your worst bug nightmare multiplied by infinity.
We were with a family from Texas and the kids took delight in pointing out some of the nasty bugs on display that roam the Texan wilds. My Kansas cousins did likewise. In abject embarrassment, I, the Californian, had nothing to add. The one Black Widow spider on display was so small it was humiliating. I think it was in the "Least Poisonous of All Poisonous Insects (aka 'Real Bug Wimps')" section.
Feeling an urge to regain my pride, I plan to start importing South American Fox Bats to California just as soon as I can get up the capital. We don't grow many cows here, so I don't foresee any problems.
Picture the side of a steep forested mountain. Take chain link fence, wall off sections, cut down a few trees, fill in sections with wild animals.
Now take a day and hike the mountain.
You don't see the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, you do the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The waitress at the hotel warned me beforehand. "Eat your Wheaties", quoth she. I'm happy to report that I ate said Wheaties (in the form of a delicious hamburger) and covered every square inch.
Quick: Name an animal whose tail is twice as long as its body.
I saw a striped lemur that I actually had to do a double-take on, it looked so unreal. The body size was about that of a large cat; the tail looked like it was almost two yards long.
Like a lot of people, I'm torn about zoos. While I feel for the animals and wish they could be free, it's wonderful to look at them right before your eyes. An intangible beauty is lost when translated to the screen, big or little.
I'd also like to report that if you ever see a cute little iridescent blue frog hopping about, don't pick it up or you'll be dead before you can remember that you were once warned not to pick it up.
Try from five feet away.
It was one of those moments when you fall back in love with America. The spot where Katharine Lee Bates wrote "America The Beautiful" is close nearby. The red mountains burn to a deep purple majesty in the sunset. You look down from six thousand feet upon the heart of the continent, the great food belt from Kansas to the Mississippi; the fruited plain. The Bald Eagle, king of birds, soars above it all. He lands, and with a great rustling of feathers from his huge wingspan, settles down in front of you. All the power and wisdom and strength of America is right there before you.
You blink your eyes a few times, and move on.
The spots on the giraffes (they're really more like triangles) are so finely articulated that I glanced at the other giraffes, just to see if they had the exact same stencil pattern. You never can be too sure with Hollywood around.
When you really stand back from a giraffe and look at it objectively, with that horse's body and horse's head, and that unbelievably long neck, three words spring to mind:
Nature run amok.
Zebras are also like that. Just some specialized gene that went too far. A few stripes slashed across the body are 100% effective camouflage in the bush. The sharp definition of a zebra's stripes almost make it stand out like a beacon. It just seems odd, since animals that turn into breakfast for other animals usually don't like standing out like beacons.
Maybe nature wanted to make it tough on the lions, but not too tough. I cannot say.
On a personal note, I helped fix a car again. You all think I'm just a computer nerd. Hah! I actually know what a pliers looks like! At the previous family reunion, one of the cousins locked his keys in the car. I heard about it, promptly walked from store to store until I found a pliers, grabbed a coat hanger, bent it 'just so', and snagged the lock button on the first try, much to the amazement of the gawking crowd.
My father later said he was of mixed emotions. On one hand, he was certainly proud that his son had saved the day. On the other hand, he was a little embarrassed that his son possessed such exceptional burglary skills.
This time, the same cousin's SUV was running rough, something that occurred as they were coming down some bumpy road. In truth, it wasn't as exciting as the locked door, it was just a loose distributor wire. But the fact that I even knew what a distributor wire looked like raised my esteem in the family immensely.
Take a big empty building. Mark off decades along the walls. 1910. 1920. 1930, up to the present. Each has its own floor section. Now take a tall mountain like Pike's Peak and run a winding, harrowing road up to the top. Have a race there every year since 1911. Now place one or two winning cars from each decade alongside each other. These are official 'race cars', and race cars always have the latest and greatest automotive technology on display.
Start with that square, un-aerodynamic thing from 1911 that's so boxy and clunky it looks like a miniature train engine. Examine it closely, look at the tiny motor. Walk through the years, looking at each car as improvements are made. Note how certain key elements are added along the way. A battery. Electric starter. Windshield. Suspension. Wheels instead of spokes. All wonderfully fascinating from a mecho-evolutionary point of view.
Suddenly, aerodynamics. A pointed nose cone is added. Bodies become contoured. Everything becomes faster, sleeker, longer, sharper.
And, at the very end, an official NASCAR race car, fresh off the track. I reached out and touched it, then swore I'd never wash that hand again. Compared to the 'hot cars' you see on the street, this thing looked like a space ship.
They don't do diddly in the actual races, though, they just look good sitting there. These days, the races are won by some imp-mobile with a big wind-up key sticking out the back. One of those huge spoilers on top that's bigger than the actual car. Tires the size of Denmark. Engine by NASA. Aerodynamics are out. Power and downdraft are everything.
Kinda looks like a miniature train engine, oddly enough.
Picture a road going up a real steep mountain. The road goes back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, winding its long way up.
Pretty boring, eh? It certainly seems much easier to simply go straight up the mountain.
So, build some train tracks straight up the mountain. This works fine until, uh-oh, some mischievous kids put some oil on the tracks and the train slides a-l-l-l-l-l the way back down to the bottom!
No, no, just kidding. If the Pike's Peak train ever lost its grip, it would be approaching the speed of light by the time it hit the bottom. This is the steepest train track in the world.
So, put a big toothed gear in between the tracks and a corresponding cog wheel under the steam engine. The gears mesh and up you go! Whoo-oo whoooo!
The year is 1901.
The original steam engines and passenger cars were pitched way forward, so that they'd actually be level while traipsing up the steep climb. We took this great big modern, flashy red thing with tilted seats. The guide had a wonderful spiel going and I sensed a certain timelessness in the quips. One of them mentioned "toupees", rather than the more-modern "hairpiece". I asked her about it later and she readily confessed that 99% of her spiel was scripted, and that some of the comments about the local flora, fauna and geology dated as far back as anyone in the business could remember.
In a way, Colorado is a picture of living history.
On a sad note, I only got to hear one sentence in computerspeak during the whole week I was there. I'm comforted, though, in that the one sentence I heard was one of the most beautiful sentences of all.
One of my niece-in-laws (or is that second cousin?) got married a while back to a computer sharpie who brought his laptop, and when I asked him if he wanted to go tour something, he replied,
"Nah. I think I'll just log on and hang out."
I sighed. One of our own.
You pull out of the hotel's driveway, which is right near the highway, and you start looking for the "South" entrance ramp sign. You don't see it, so you keep driving and end up going over the highway. Damn! You try to turn around, but the road suddenly veers off to the right. Trying to fight your way back, you wheel off down a side street.
"NO OUTLET" reads the sign, and just as you're starting to wonder if they mean an electrical outlet or a water outlet, you realize they mean pavement. "ONE WAY" (the wrong way, of course) reads the next sign, speaking the universal language. You finally get headed in the right direction.
You pull up to a stoplight. You're the first one in your lane.
You cannot see the stoplight.
You scrunch way down. The light poles are in the middle of the intersection, not at the far end, so they're above the windshield line.
Your neck begins to ache as you wait and wait. You finally hobble back to the highway, get on, breathe a sigh of relief, and start looking for your exit.
Little do you know that your adventure has just begun.
You looked at the brochure beforehand and noted the name of the street exiting off the highway, "Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road". That sounds easy enough.
"EXIT 128", reads the sign.
Unable to just blithely turn off, knowing that you must have misread the map, you continue on.
"EXIT 129", reads the next sign.
Finally, you see a familiar exit name, which you remember as way below your destination when you looked at the map. But, in relief at seeing something — anything! — recognizable, you turn off and stop. You haul out the official street map, grab your 3000X electron microscope and see this infinitesimal little "128" by the exit you wanted. You jump back on the highway. This time you find your exit.
You're going to the zoo. It's a pretty simple task, really, according to the little map on the back of the brochure. You're going to the largest zoo within 200 miles, after all. All you have to do is stay on winding little Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road and you can't miss it.
There are about ten "Y's" in the road along the way.
I only made two wrong turns and felt lucky, at that. And I only had to stop once to reconnoiter. A compass would have helped, but I had my Boy Scout training and the sun's position to work with.
Thankfully, after my visit to the zoo, I only made one tiny wrong turn on the way back and only had to spend a mere fifteen minutes looking for the highway.
Welcome To Colorado, says the sign.
If you can find it.
"Look! It's a cute gift shop! And look, next door, a store full of beautiful hats and hand-made purses! And look! Next door is a bead shop, full of lots of beautiful beads! And look, look! A jewelry store full of exotic Indian crafts! And look, another cute gift shop, must be just full of cute things! And look, a purse and belt store! And another bead store! Hey, some more beautiful, exotic Indian crafts! And look! It's a cute gift shop with a Dutch theme! And look, some real cute hats and sandals! And look! It's-"
And welcome to Manitou Springs.
It was actually a gorgeous little nook in the mountains; it was just amusing the way the cutsie stores repeated themselves over and over again. On the other hand, you don't often see a lot of dulcimer shops around.
The bead stores were a little disappointing, though, at least compared to the ones we have out here in California. Ours not only have a nice selection of beads, but also rare, expensive crystals to cure our physical ills, and copper amulets to help us think better. Nor did I see any Tarot cards or I-Ching sticks while I was there, essential tools in any smart business decision.
It's obvious that California is still way ahead of Colorado in many important ways.
Look at that big rock up there.
Look at the big crack in the rock, over to the right.
Pretend it's an Indian's head, facing left.
Now see that big broken rock to the left? Pretend that's his nose.
Now see that small bush in the middle? Pretend that's his eye.
In the winter, water collects in a bowl below the eye, and later runs down his cheek and makes the Indian look like he's crying.
You're looking at famous Weeping Indian Rock!
And welcome to the Garden of the Gods National Monument.
I suggested that, while guided tour buses are usually kind of corny, perhaps this one time, because of the — shall we say — somewhat esoteric nature of the named rock formations, a tour bus might be useful in helping us to identify them.
Was I ever right about that.
Sorry, don't mean to sound cynical. It was amusing, in a way, looking at some of the named formations. At the time, I said, "Oh, I get it! It's an imagination test!" I'm happy to report that I scored rather high.
On the other hand, "Slab Rock" was pretty clear, as was "Triangle Rock". At least, if you're viewing them from that exact particular compass point on the globe. From a different angle, they might look like your grandfather's corn still.
Beautiful land, though. Huge mountainous spikes of rock thrust skyward out of smooth, rolling earth. All due to tectonic plate action, for those of you scoring at home.
When Mother Earth says "Buckle up", she means it.
You're in a castle made of hand-hewn granite. On the wall are a bunch of old black & white photographs depicting life in the early 1900's. Miners, businessmen, immigrants, laborers, kids, the whole bunch. There are probably 300 males in view, from ages 3 to 90.
Every single one of them is wearing a hat. Every single one.
It looked like it was on the same level as, "What, go outside without my pants on??" And yet, nowadays, it's virtually nonexistent. Sports people wear hats to keep the sun off their faces. Kids wear baseball caps, but as part of a fad. But, culturally, it's as if it never existed. The hat rack at Nordstrom's, where I was the other day, only had about eight hats on it, most of them baseball and golf hats.
Next to the hat rack were about three thousand neckties.
On a small health note, they say that 70% of the caloric heat that escapes the human body goes out through the head, and all good health books recommend wearing a hat to retain this valuable caloric energy.
On the other hand, being choked at the neck doesn't sound like it would be good for any living creature.
I didn't see it, but according to my cousins there's an Olympic Training Center that's totally computerized, right down to the kitchen. Punch in the exact number of calories, proteins, carbohydrates, etc, you want and the computer spits it right out. Well, since we're talking about your breakfast, perhaps "spits" isn't the right word. One of the wrestlers there was trying to go up to a higher weight class and was eating eight huge meals a day.
Me, I can't shed an ounce. It certainly is an odd world.
NORAD, which is inside Cheyenne Mountain, was closed to the public, just in case you were wondering about its omission from this report. I'm guessing they finally got tired of all the people who had seen the movie "WarGames" asking, "Yeah, but where's all the good stuff?"
Colorado Springs is in a beautiful, natural basin surrounded by true purple mountain majesty. As in the song.
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Okay, for a minute there I thought Bird Dog has us all fooled and was actually in Colorado Springs instead of holed up in his barn with no electricity.
Please tell me you were on a Mountain Bike while out there...
You bet. And I think my leg muscles still feel it. We rented bikes for the day and went to some park on Cheyenne Mtn... and damn! That's one steep sumbitch mountain! And here I thought I was a tough guy just for hiking the zoo. :)
Live in Kansas and hiked Pikes Peak last summer- the trailhead's 6,500 ft- the summit is 14,115. The hike is 13 miles; my kid and I made it in 7.5 hrs (nothing compared to the PP marathoners!) Gorgeous view of the Plains. Love it.
jeez, Merc, that's some beeyooteeful writing --i specially liked the America the Beautiful passage --
Thanks much, old friend. Means a lot, coming from you. I admit, it really is kind of a different piece. Normally, you'd never expect so many different styles (first person, second person, quotes, etc) to maintain any kind of cohesiveness, but for some reason it seems to work in a travelogue. As to that one section, yes, you can tell I tried to give the moment its proper due. Thanks for noticing.
the thanks are all yorn --imho them style jumps reflect the shape of the mountains --open, airy, angular --and humble, as befit a human skittering around on the timeless moon-mass-sized Range of the Rocky Mountains --
Ivor - I'm glad somebody from there read the piece. I just talked about some of the attractions, not the city, itself, but the people were great, the hotel was terrific, the city was spanking clean, the air was clear, and, after innumerable summer family reunions over the years, I'm sure it remains the favorite with many of us. While it catered to tourists, it didn't seem tourist-y. For that, please see accompanying notes on Manitou Springs. :)
Saw the curve of the earth at 10,000 on the south slope of Mt. Baker in 1987. I've had several people tell me it was impossible.
Hello from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo! Thank you for mentioning us. You can stay connected, from near or far, to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo from our LIVE Giraffe cam or Meerkat cam online. Check out what the animals are doing every day! http://www.cmzoo.org/animalsPlants/animalCams/giraffeCam.asp
You can also follow us on facebook, twitter, or our blog! Links are all located on our homepage too. www.cmzoo.org
We hope to see you at the Zoo again someday soon!
CMZ - Glad you enjoyed the article. We note how I didn't blame you guys for the crazy road leading up to the place. I mean, directly. That lawsuit I'm still thinking of filing for "lost vacation time", however, is another matter.
The placement of the zoo was simply brilliant. I didn't understate it when I said you do the Cheyenne Mtn Zoo. It would have been so easy for them to just raze the mountainside and start afresh, but instead it has that 'carved-out' look, like they only cut down the trees they absolutely needed to. I'm sure the designer considers it 'crafted' as much as 'built'.
And thanks again for the great time. That eagle was really cool. :)
Born & raised in Colorado Springs.
Even though I now live in Grand Junction, CO I still think The Springs is on of the prettiest cites I have ever been in. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Your description of going through Broadmoor and up to the zoo was great. My wife would understand. We were at the Broadmoor for a conference a couple of years ago and I drove around to show her some of the sites. She was surprised just how many different ways there are to get to the same place, none of which she dared to try herself.
Now I get a chance to correct you, in the same spirit you have enlightened us on our computers.
The Physiographic Province you were/are in is the Southern Rocky Mountains.
The Colorado Plateau is the extreme west, southwest Colorado, northwest New Mexico, northern Arizona and south, southeast Utah. A lot of desert but many wonderful places to see.
The connect with the Great Plains Province is locally referred to as The Front Range or The East Slope. I am across the Continental Divide referred to as The West Slope. The Front Range extends from Northern New Mexico, up into Wyoming (with a similar situation from Montana into Canada, think Calgary)
As you have described, It is very impressive to approach the Front Range from the East, having this mass of mountains rising up from the plains 2500' to 8000'.
boy, i'll say --driving west at night on the flatlands and having the sun come up behind you and lighting up the front range --from the snowtops down --is an unforgettable awe-inspiring glad-to-be-alive sight.
I have a number of similar memories at or near sunrise. West of Pueblo, in the Wet Mountain Valley & Sunrise on the snow covered Sangre de Christo Mtns. Pikes Peak from Woodland Park. Mt. Sopris on road between Catherine's Store and Missouri Heights. The Angel on Mt. Shavano. Everyone needs events like these to realize how awesome this world is.
Even though we are talking about Colorado, the usual pictures on this site of New England tell me each one of us have those memories.
Even when I had a camera, film does not do justice to the event.
Also don't overlook the Great Sand Dunes national park, somewhat south of Colorado Springs. It freakin' insane to see endless giant sand dunes rising up from the base of the mountains. And the PICTURES you can take, with the featureless dunes completely surrounding you, with nothing but the snow capped mountains in the distance!!!!
You can see the curvature of the earth when looking at the 3.7 mile-long sugar-loading jetty at Lucinda, Queensland, Australia. It's amazing, the jetty curves with the earth.
I've been enjoying the CO scenery between Denver and Beaver Creek since Sunday.
I finished my time in the US Army our in Colorado Springs way back in '80. Proposed to My Better Two Thirds at Garden Of The Gods. Crossed Wolf Creek Pass on our honeymoon on a motorcycle.
We're out here now for our 2nd annual ski trip. Little warm but great. Expecting snow tonight. If it doesn't snow a ton we may go to Vail but if it does, Breckenridge is 5 minutes up the street so we'll just go there.
Ambience a little different than Berlin Checkpoint Charlie, is it, Knuck?
A good sign of inflation:
1980 - "My better half"
2010 - "My better two-thirds"
Damn inflation gets ya comin' and goin'!
You can really notice the curvature from 75K ft. When you are upside down it is rather duskish in the cockpit too.
BL - Say, I've been meaning to ask --
What is that special relationship you have with e.e. cummings?
i think e.e. was making a statement about ego --i'm making a statement, rawther, about large clumsy fingers + disreputable sloth.
anyhoo it snot the style, its the content --plus, after you small-case your name awhile, then when you capitalize it you shrink back in horror, "How DARE i? What have i done lately to deserve such glyphic acclaim?"
I'm busy right now working on the big links post (did you know opera has a sordid underbelly?), so we'll have to get back to this and deeper issues (if there are any) later. For now, though, I have an additional question.
"and i thot it amusing that therefore the zoo is named "Human Being Mountain Zoo" --and further, that that being teh case..."
While we'll prepresume that 'thot' was purposefully misspelled, can we also assume the same is true for "teh"?
Thanks in advance for being honest about it.
Yours in wordsmanpersonship,
yessir & nosir, 'thot' spelling is convenience/rebelliousness, 'teh' signals a light delivery, equivalent to a sardonic smile as one helplessly rolls out one's implacably banal remark.
Work this spelling reform link
backwards to see more of Teddy Roosevelt's spelling reform rationale.
Tho 'thought' is not on TR's list, 'though' (as 'tho') is, and inasmuch as 'though' is probably root to 'thought', the thinking of thoughts is (or ought to be) a matter of sorting thru the various 'thoughs' and 'althoughs' of the given topic.
...and yup, i'd heard that Opera started sordid, and that sordid vaudeville.
Sorry, i got prolixed and turgidized inside Tho 'thought' is not on TR's list, 'though' (as 'tho') is, and inasmuch as 'though' is probably root to 'thought', the thinking of thoughts is (or ought to be) a matter of sorting thru the various 'thoughs' and 'althoughs' of the given topic --and forgot it was supposed to make sense.
Allow me a reefraze:
Tho 'thought' is not on TR's list, 'though' (as 'tho') is, and inasmuch as 'though' is probably root to 'thought' (the thinking of thoughts seen as a sorting of various 'thoughs'), the 'tho' reform suggested by TR would no doubt also apply to 'thot'.
Interesting list, actually. Most of the British-to-American stuff looked normal from this end of the periscope -- the question is, did TR have much to do with that change over time, to where it is today, or was it something else that acted as a catylist?
On the other hand, replacing "addressed" with "addrest" bordered on the moronic, in the sense that you can't single out one or two words to be changed with an "-ed" and not all words.
And, Mr. Sharpie, here's a toughie for you. We note that TR also wanted to whittle down all the stupid "-gue" endings, like "catalogue". Which, thankfully, has been done over the years.
Your toughie of the day is, what British word did I use in a post yesterday precisely because it hasn't evolved over the years -- and I note it's not on TR's list?
I just gonna play the odds here, after parsing the question: "the" ?
"Travelogue". I've changed that to "travelog" about ten times over the years -- and always change it back because it looks funny. For some reason, maybe because the word "travel" denotes "foreign" -- and thus foreign spellings -- that one word seems to have escaped the clutches of Americanization.
Well, except for "vogue". :)
what bugs me about Eglish is the the read, read, lead, lead, types of combo words. Prime candidates for speling reform.
Another thing --the states --why with so many great names available do we have to ponder context or other clue to determine which 'Washington' is meant, or add directional cues such as 'north', 'South' and 'west' to Dakotas and Virginias? The Dakotas especially --if one of 'em has to be 'North' or 'South', couldn't the other just be 'Dakota'? Clearly, the one left over after the other is eliminated needs no extry explanation. hell, why not include the longitude and latitude too?
My state, too. Born and raised. Loved the commentary, descriptions and it certainly is beautiful town.
Yes, yes, yes, South American fox bat, bright butterflies, evil highway planners, invisible Olympians - all very interesting. But what about the donuts? The Pikes Peak donuts served on top of the mountain? Did you partake?
I yearn for those donuts.
I am loathe to report that I did not partake of said donuts. I was simply too entranced by the sight to be hungry. Finding out those "earth is round" stories were true was really quite a shock.
Great travelogue! You certainly captured the flavor of the place as well as the futility of road travel in the area and identifying the rock formations at the Garden of the Gods.
All in all, however, Colorado Springs is a lovely city. Just wish it would stop growing so damn rapidly!
When I travel I carry three cameras. I always have a quality digital in a pouch on my belt. I travel with my digital SLR over my shoulder and carry it everywhere. And I have my small video camera in my backpack. I often carry two cameras when I just go out for a walk around home. How can you not carry a camera???
GWTW - Do you remember how much digital cameras were going for in 2000? I bought a 'decent' one for (cough!) $800 and wasn't about to haul it all over hell and gone. And I'd already canned my old analog camera when I bought the new one. But you're right -- going to Colorado Springs without a camera is pretty lame, and, as I noted in the text, the very first exhibit I attended just begged for a snapshot.
Spent many years in that country and never saw Kansas nor the Mississippi from it, Doc.
Meself considered anything twenty miles east of Colorado Springs kansas, though.
Considered the dump to be half way to Kansas as well Dragon Man's acres. http://dragonmans.com/
Yall missed one special part of Springs if yall didn't make it there.
Not to be pedantic, but you can see the curvature of the Earth from sea level, just not at right angles to the horizon. Say for instance that you were on a beach and looking straight ahead. There appears a top sail of a tall ship. As you keep looking, more and more of the ship's sails appear until the entire ship is visible as it approaches the beach.
That is the curvature of the Earth.
Not to be pedantic, but what if the ships just past the edge are being lifted up to sea level by slow-moving freight elevators, like the kind you see on aircraft carriers?
Well, anything is possible I guess. If there are an infinite number of universes, then at least one will have an aircraft carrier lifting a ship above the horizon to fool the casual observer from a beach.
Or from the sea. You have to admit, if you were getting nearer the edge of the earth, a large freight elevator lifting up a Spanish galleon would look exactly as it would in this "round globe" theory you're preaching.
And there are still a number of other likelihoods. What if the ocean is getting lower and the freight elevator is actually a shelf?
What if it's just the oceans that are rounded?
Personally, I think we've just scratched the surface.
Good grief. I went to sea for 35 years and never saw any ships being lifted over the horizon by the gigantic elevators your discribe. I guess you would say that the gigantic elevators were always just over the horizon and only the lifted ships could be seen, a circumstance which would to me confirm Tom's hypothosis.
Well, ask yourself this:
When you take an elevator in a building, do you actually see the elevator? No, all you see is the box you're in. There's no telling what could be lifting you -- gasoline engine, electric motor, dwarves with come-alongs, Hand of God, falling through a chronosynclastic infundibulum and into another dimension -- who knows?
Pretty much just guesswork on your part at that point, isn't it?
Same thing out on the ocean, only more so.
elevator guesswork....actually no, because I have worked on elevators (on ships) and actually built one. but your previous reply to Tom made me think you might be one of those who hold the belief that one may sail off the edge of the world. But if your edge of the world is like a vast Niagra then your ship with the elevators must sail at right angles to the horizon and consequently the lifted tall ships cannot be seen at all. so maybe you are right...the earth at sea level is flat. Have you ever heard of the great circle? the way navigators determine the shortest route between two ports.
The fun thing about the 'flat earth' routine is, even back in the dark days when people believed the earth was flat, people didn't believe the earth was flat. As far as I can tell, pretty nobody ever did. I have a cool Carl Sagan clip on the subject here.
and Carl Sagan said..."and they sailed off the edge and fell past billions and billions and billons of turtles", all of which were holding up the globe. It's turtles all the way down. Reminds one of that passage from Milton describing Satan's fall from heaven......
It reminds me of people who painted stuff like this.
Speaking of edge of the world and turtles...
Not to be pedantic, but that's a tortoise. (Didn't you see 'Finding Nemo'?)
Either that, or the earth is much smaller than I thought it was.
Not to be pedantic, but Crush was a sea turtle.
Not to be even more pedantic, that picture is of the Great A'Tuin - the Star Turtle.
I linked to you here: http://bobagard.blogspot.com/2012/11/purple-mountain-majesty.html, and expressed one slight disagreement with your description of the high plains. "I live on the high plains northeast of the area he is describing. I do just have one quibble with his description of the area. In contrast to Pikes Peak, it does look like the plains are flat as a pancake. They aren't though. The area where I live is more accurately described as rolling hills; lots of them!"
I love the Maggie's Farm blog, and thank you for writing about your trip!
I have attempted to defend my honor in your blog comments.
Of course, it was a fairly easy task.
There wasn't much to defend. :)
What kind of pore relatives you got, Doc, ain't got a pair a pliers?
Man allus oughtta have a knife and multi-tool handy. Even a lousy cheapo from China. Don't hafta be big&strong, Amurrican-made, though they're much better.
That was the most interesting thing I've read all week. I particularly liked the part about seeing the curve of the earth. I was about 30 when my family went out on a cruise liner and we were all sure we could see the curve, laughing at how the ancients couldn't. In retrospect, though, as you noted, it was just an illusion because we were looking for it.
"When Mother Earth says "Buckle up", she means it."
+2 for double pun. :-)
That was also a great line about NORAD. If I were there, that'd be my question, too!