Daily Archives: January 10, 2001

January 10 2001


New York Times: Found: 2 Planetary Systems. Result: Astronomers Stunned., by John Noble Wilford.

Link via Garret.

Today’s trip to the USA

I’ve been traveling today – I went to see Glen Canyon, Grand Canyon and New Mexico.

Glen Canyon

I read Glen Canyon: Images of a lost world by Tad Nichols. André gave it to me for Christmas.

It is a wonderful, beautiful book. Nichols used to visit Glen Canyon with two friends for several years, right before the dam was built and Glen Canyon was lost. The book contains many black-and-white photos from Glen Canyon and its side Canyons, many of which Nichols and his friends named.

From looking at the pictures and reading the book, I got the impression that Glen Canyon was one of the most beautiful places on earth, and it’s incredibly sad it has been destroyed by the dam.

Gary Ladd writes in the afterword:

“I think it is nearly impossible for those of us who arrived after 1963 to comprehend how much Tad, Frank and Katie’s canyon meant to them. However, I am beginning to understand because today a second wave of loss sweeps Glen Canyon and slickrock country everywhere as a flood of visitors and deluge of regulations inundate the sweeping stone landscapes. It’s no longer possible to enjoy the freedoms of Glen Canyon or any formerly obscure and winsome canyon. It is history. […]

There is, though, one deeply consoling fact: Glen Canyon will return. We know it will because we know that dams far more massive and far greater than Glen Canyon Dam have swamped Glen Canyon before. It has happened at least twice in the last million years when volcanoes erupted in western Grand Canyon, backing water up as far as Moab, Utah. Lake Powell, like all lakes, natural or man-made, is ephemeral. In due course, Glen Canyon will breathe again. It cannot be otherwise.”

Grand Canyon

I visited Grand Canyon and New Mexico on the internet, at photo.net.

Phil Greenspun, creator of the photos, went rafting through the Grand Canyon in 1999 and took a bunch of photos, some of which reminded me of the photos of Glen Canyon. Scroll down the page to Out of the Canyon and into a Slot Canyon.

New Mexico

Greenspun toured the land of enchantment in 1994, and some of the photos are quite spectacular, e.g. those of Chaco Culture National Historic Park or the Great Sand Dunes National Monument (yes, that’s in Colorado, but it’s on the New Mexico page anyway.), or Santa Fe. (Did you know that by law, structures in the center of Santa Fe must be built from adobe?)

Wow, Garret, you really live in a beautiful place!

Update: Garret informs us that “there are actually two or three building ‘styles’ allowed in santa fe city. pueblo, territorial, and (i believe) northern new mexico. each has a distinct look, yet all must be made to look like the historical adobe forebears of the style. and, as i’ve said before, everyone must adapt. mcdonald’s, burger king, walmart … they’re all adobe. […] municipalities don’t have to accept neon nightmares.”

Souds a bit like Celle, AndrĂ©’s home town. It’s famous for its Fachwerk buildings (‘half-timbered houses’, says the dictionary), and even McDonald’s has one with a brass plate instead of their usual neon sign (here’s a photo of McDonald’s in Celle).


Lunar eclipse

Yes, Sheila, yesterday’s photos are of the lunar eclipse. I meant to write a short note in English, but forgot. Sorry!

The first, top left photo was taken just as the moon started to enter the earth’s shadow. The bottom right photo shows the last bit of the moon before it was completely covered, and from the poor quality you can see that the sky was almost completely overcast by then. We couldn’t see the eclipse itself at all.

Sheila links to Lunar eclipse offers spectacular show. Well, maybe it did, but certainly not here in Bonn, because it got cloudy before the moon was completely covered by the earth’s shadow.

By the way, the clouds went away after midnight – two or three hours too late!

Okay, off to work now…