Archive | October, 2012

Photo of the Day: New Orleans Cemetery

New Orleans Cemetery Mausoleums Black and White

Meet Meat

Cute Calves Cows Livestock Animal

One thing I never noticed about cows is how absolutely adorable they are. And thinking that, I couldn’t help thinking about something else. About how arbitrarily we categorize things. And also about the consequences of those categorizations. Dogs are pets, for example, while cows are food.

Those differences are cultural, of course, which is just another way of saying that they’re what our parents and neighbors believed. And they believed what they did for no other reason than their parents and neighbors before them believed those same things. If we had been born in India, where cows are often revered, we’d see things entirely differently.

If that is true then it is also true that our strongly held feelings regarding meat (among other things) are really based on nothing more than random chance. There is no law of nature dictating that we react with horror at the thought of eating Fido but be completely indifferent to the sight of Bessie on our plate. It’s simply what we’re used to. A more rational approach to our foods would have us either recoiling at eating all dead animals or at none of them.

Read More…

Another Great State Capitol

Montana State Capitol Staircase, Stained Glass

This time in Helena, Montana.

Built in the traditional neoclassical style, this building’s elaborate use of stained glass gives the interior a very different feel than other state capitols we’ve visited.

Read More…

The Ordinary Beauty of Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park Horseback Ride Landscape

Yellowstone is anything but ordinary. Diverse may be a better one-word description of this iconic park. Huge is another good contender.

At 3,472 square miles, Yellowstone is more than two times larger than the entire state of Rhode Island. Even the massive volcanic caldera that gives rise to its signature hot springs and geysers still only represents about 40% of the park. The rest is covered by seemingly endless miles of natural beauty that is more typical of what we’ve come to expect from our national parks.

Read More…

Fall Foliage Challenge Finale

Fall colors in Great Basin National Park, Nevada

On Friday we asked our readers to identify which U.S. State sports these awesome fall colors. Had we not taken the photograph ourselves we’d have had a hard time choosing among Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho. All three are solid candidates with rugged mountain vistas like the one hinted at in the photo. Perhaps more telling is the dominance of brilliantly golden Aspen leaves that distinguish fall in the Rocky Mountain region from the more varied colors of New England. It’s no wonder our readers overwhelming selected Colorado (44%) as our Fall Foliage spot.

Read More…

%d bloggers like this: