NOVEMBER 2015 • BACKROADS standing and to support the Monitor’s motto “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind.” The Mapparium was three years in the making (1932-1935). It opened to the public May 31, 1935, and cost $35,000 (at a time when a Hershey bar cost about five cents), including all labor and materials. Originally, Churchill designed the glass panels to be replaceable as the political boundaries of the world changed. There have been several points in the Mapparium’s history where the discussion of updating the map did arise. The final time was in the 1960s, when it was finally decided that the Mapparium was a priceless work of art and history, and so should never be updated. Through the center of the globe is a walkway bridge, offering visitors a great view of the Earth from within. The acoustics are also a treat and this is because the curved glass walls do not absorb the sound waves but reflect them back to the individual. Spherical rooms like the Mapparium are known as “whispering galleries. Here a whisper on one side can be heard on the other, and my first thought was how I wished I had my Ovation guitar with me. I wonder if they would allow that? In 1998 a four-year refurbishing took place at the Mapparium. When first built in 1935 the Mapparium was illuminated by about 300 40-watt and 60watt electric light bulbs placed outside the sphere. These days there are 206 LED light fixtures that can be programmed to produce up to sixteen million colors. The results are nothing less than awesome, spectacular and amazing. As you can tell I am a bit excited about these two monumental global achievements that are in our own backyard. You will be too. Look around your home. Do you have a globe? You do? Excellent. Would you like to see a couple of really large ones? I am sure you do. Free wheelin’
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“My name is Dawn. It’s not a female name. I am Sunset’s brother.” ~ Jarod Kintz With the Versys in position and the early morning mists mixing it up nicely with the early morning light I began to capture those images that can only be found early in the day and late in the evening. These two magical moments that begin and finish each day, although forever a half rotation of the planet apart, as Kintz says, are surely brothers. When the dawn patrol got to tell you twice They’re gonna do it with a shotgun ~ Steely Dan Never one to pass up an opportunity to quote Fagen & Becker, I have added that little citation, but there was nothing armed and dangerous here this morning, in fact it was about as perfect and peaceful as it comes. I stayed by the roadside for the time it took the morning to go from breeching to being born and other than the occasional driver who passed by, always with a nod and quick salute, I had just the land, lake and creatures as my companions. Getting back on the bike, before I put the helmet back on, I just sat and listened as it seemed what was once silence to me was now a cacophony of sounds, cries and echoes of “good morning” as the creatures of the day awoke to begin anew. I’m glad to be alive in a world where his gently awakening eye nourish the morning sun.” ~ Sanober Khan PoStCarDS FroM the heDge
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this response be related to the fact that I have often been seen in the company of cats? Anything is possible. But I resolve to do a better job of not putting myself in these situations where Luck/Providence/Magic Beans/Etc. has to take over if I am to make it to the gas station intact. Not that I am a control freak, and actually believe you can oversee all the elements conspiring against you when you mount up and head down roads we have to share with lowered Honda Civic enthusiasts. But luck should be a rare resource that gets called upon to aid you in your times of bad judgment; only when more understandable and mundane safety measures (like always planning for the unexpected and riding accordingly) have been exhausted. Hey, these days I could use all the luck I can get, and then some. But I’m seriously going to work on keeping that reserve tank as full as possible.