Browsing Tag »US history«

Facing up to White Nose: Exploring a Cave in Stanton, MO

June 29, 2012

Caves are cool.  Slipping out of a hot, muggy day into the cool environs of a cave is the pre-modern equivalent of air conditioning.  What’s more, caves are a world unto themselves, unique ecosystems akin to tropical reefs or desert floors.  So it’s no wonder human beings have always been fascinated by caves.  But cave […]

Two Presidents, One Day, Sixteen Years: Kansas & Missouri

June 15, 2012

The years 1944-1960 saw the greatest expansion of the American economy we may ever know.  They saw the end of Second World War, the dawn of the nuclear age, and the beginning of the Cold War.  They were among the most challenging and rewarding years in US history, and they were navigated adroitly by two […]

Single Gun Theory: Visiting the Kennedy Assassination Site

June 1, 2012

In the parking lot of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, freelance tour guides wrangle tourists onto the grassy knoll and make wild claims about the Kennedy assassination.  “51 people saw two gunmen shoot the president from this spot!” The obvious question.  “And none of them went to the police?” “Some […]

Farm to Table with Flare: Suds and Grub in Seattle, WA

April 20, 2012

Let’s be honest.  I like to eat and drink.  And as I travel around the country looking for interesting places to dine and imbibe, I’m often shocked at how deficient some cities are. Take Little Rock, for example, a pub and grub desert. Or Indianapolis where they just discovered tapas last week. Some cities tout […]

Vital Circuit: A Tour of Silicon Valley Historic Sites

March 9, 2012

Steve Jobs was a jerk. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a visionary. In fact, Jobs was almost singlehandedly responsible for making computers well designed and user friendly. If it wasn’t for Jobs, the prickly and aggressive founder of Apple, you would still be looking at a command prompt when you boot up and struggling […]

American Oasis: A Perfect Winter’s Day in Palm Springs, CA

February 24, 2012

At Windy Point the wind is said to blow so hard that you are advised to wear goggles and a bandana to keep the grit out of your eyes. I was prepared with these accessories but hardly needed them. The day was sunny and still. The dunes piled up against the base of the mountains […]

America’s First War on Terror: Sundown at Ft. Bowie, AZ

February 10, 2012

When he found the bodies, George Bascom was furious. Didn’t this prove what he had been saying all along, that the Indian chief and his followers were ruthless killers? They had undoubtedly slain the little boy too, which was why they had been refusing to return him. The four bodies were riddled with lance holes. […]

Deep Reservations: Visiting a Haunted Indian School in Concho, OK

January 13, 2012

The ghosts of children are said to haunt the abandoned hallways of the Concho Indian Boarding School in Concho, Oklahoma.  Paranormalists take their EVP recording devices to the school and pick up the sounds of disembodied voices.  The air grows chilly.  Doors slam.  Objects come flying out of nowhere. The school is actually a complex […]

Astronomical: Evaluating the Cost of the Space Program in Huntsville, AL

December 30, 2011

In all of human history there may be nothing as anti-climactic as a moon rock.  After spending 10 years and $150 billion, the US space program reached its summit by landing a man on the moon and bringing back 50 pounds of rocks. Today, NASA values those rocks at $100,000 per ounce, which makes the […]

End Around: A Wild Football Weekend in Canton and Columbus

November 11, 2011

In a peculiar reflection of our nation’s current economic woes, the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League gave their star quarterback, Peyton Manning, a five-year, $90 million contract extension.  The move clearly hampered the Colts’ ability to sign other players, weakening their roster. Then disaster struck.  Manning was forced to undergo neck surgery and […]