Last weekend I visited the Colonel Allensworth State Historical Park in California’s Central Valley. The park is on the site of Allensworth, a town founded 100 years ago by Colonel Allen Allensworth and four other African American pioneers. Their mission was to create a self-sustaining community where African Americans could build better lives for themselves. A dwindling water supply, diversion of railroad activity to a neighboring town, and the defeat in the State Legislature of a Tuskegee-inspired vocational school envisioned for Allensworth led to the town’s decline, but fortunately its legacy lives on. Here are photos I took during my visit.
From Gnarls Barkley:
Stephen Hawking is among a high-profile group of scientists and engineers supporting the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Cape Town. The goal of the institute, founded by Cambridge Professor Neil Turok, is to encourage and train the next generation of African scientists and mathematicians. Hawking is among a group of distinguished researchers who assembled yesterday to launch a new AIMS initiative to create 15 new research centers for advanced math and science. If you’re a researcher or postdoc looking for a work opportunity, they’re hiring.
I finally finished reading Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams (author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, my favorite series of books when I was a kid) and zoologist Mark Carwardine. I first heard about the book from a hilarious and poignant lecture Adams gave years ago at a German university. It’s about their travels around the world in search of endangered species. I’m not really a big animal person, but the way they bring the desperate situations of these animals to light (particularly with Adams’ trademark curiosity, humor, and general sense of wonder about the world) makes it impossible not to feel for their collective plight — which for the most part has been created by man.