O’Bryan walked me slowly down the steep side of the mesa, to the desert floor, so I could see Star Axis in its entirety. The work’s centrepiece is a 10-storey staircase that lets you walk up through the rock of the mesa, your eyes fixed on a small circular opening that cuts through the top of the pyramid. The first section of the staircase is roofless and open to the sky, but the end of it has a stone overhang that makes it look and feel like a tunnel. This ‘star tunnel’, as Ross calls it, is precisely aligned with Earth’s axis. If you bored a tunnel straight through the Earth’s core, from the South Pole to North Pole, and climbed up it, you’d see the same circle of sky that you do when you walk through Ross’ tunnel. Gazing up through it in the afternoon glare, I saw a patch of blue, the size and shape of a dime held at arm’s length. But if the sun had blinked for a moment, fading the heavens to black, I’d have seen Polaris, glittering at the end of the tunnel, like a solitary diamond in the void.
"Embracing the Void
," Ross Andersen, Aeon
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Oct 17, 2013 -
With the momentous series finale of Breaking Bad just hours away, fans of the show are hungry for something, anything to wile away the time before the epic conclusion tonight. So why not kick back and chew the fat with your fellow MeFites with the help of a little tool I like to call "The Periodic Table of Breaking Bad." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Sep 29, 2013 -
It may take months for this odyssey of a place to completely sink in: quirky and utterly fascinating, Tinkertown Museum contains a world of miniature carved-wood characters. The museum's late founder, Ross Ward, spent more than 40 years carving and collecting the hundreds of figures that populate this cheerfully bizarre museum, including an animated miniature Western village, a Boot Hill cemetery, and a 1940s circus exhibit. Ragtime piano music, a 40-foot sailboat (that traveled around the world for a decade), and a life-size general store are other highlights. The walls surrounding this 22-room museum have been fashioned out of more than 50,000 glass bottles pressed into cement. This homage to folk art, found art, and eccentric kitsch tends to strike a chord with people of all ages. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jul 5, 2013 -
For the past eighteen years, Gil Garduño has been chronicling his adventures in New Mexican cuisine on his NM Gastronome blog
. With over seven hundred reviews of restaurants around New Mexico, Gil's got you covered, whether you like classic New Mexican food
, green chile cheeseburgers
, or even other types
of food that happen to be well-represented in the state. Gil is fierce in his defense of homegrown eateries over chains, saying that "word of mouth is crucial to survival and through this bully pulpit, I’ll do my best to extol the great value and virtue of supporting local restaurants.
" A warning, however: if you like food, and particularly New Mexican food, Gil's excellent and evocative writing about (and photography of) great dishes is likely
than a little bit hungry
posted by koeselitz
on May 13, 2013 -
In 1960 or so, Professor Perry C. Van Arsdale was helping his 7-year-old granddaughter researching the Santa Fe trail. He found his granddaughter's textbook to have some number of errors. He set off to create a map of pioneer history (prior to the 1900's), using his own knowledge and information from judges, sheriffs, and descendants of historical figures
. This was his start in creating the Pioneer New Mexico map
, which would contain 300 towns that no longer exist
, old trails of all sorts
(including the three historic Santa Fe trails and various camel
routes), locations of minor squabbles and major battles, and because he couldn't fit everything on the maps, he also included extensive notes in the corner of the map
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Apr 27, 2013 -
In the telling it has the contours of a creation myth: At a time of great evil and great terror, a small group of scientists, among the world’s greatest minds, secluded themselves in the desert. In secrecy and silence they toiled at their Promethean task. They sought the ultimate weapon, one of such great power as to end not just their war, but all war. They hoped their work would salvage the future. They feared it could end everything.
- Prometheus in the desert: from atom bombs to radio astronomy, New Mexico's scientific legacy
posted by Artw
on Nov 24, 2012 -
"Then the powers that had built the site abandoned it. But the glass endured — a splotchy green circle 200 feet in diameter, dull by night, bright by day, a monument to man's inhumanity to man. This monument was surrounded by a high fence, tight strands of barbed wire, and multilingual warning signs. The gate in the fence was chained with three padlocks — two put there by government agencies — serving as links in the chain. If you got through any of the three, you could gain admission to Trinity Site. And that's what I did. In July, 1951, I entered the site, and I took the glass. Let me explain.
posted by anastasiav
on Oct 20, 2010 -
The American Image: The Photographs of John Collier Jr.
at the University of New Mexico. "In 1941 to 1943, Collier worked as a photographer with the Farm Securities Administration and the Office of War Information under Roy Stryker and documented many areas around the eastern U.S and northern New Mexico.
" The full photoset is at flickr here
posted by dersins
on Nov 11, 2009 -
With a background of turning around distressed hotels, Larry Whitten
this past July bought the 'Paragon Hotel,' a "run-down, Southwestern adobe-style hotel" in Taos, NM with the intent of ressurecting it [now called the 'Whitten Inn']. "The tough-talking former Marine immediately laid down some new rules
for the staff. Among them, he forbade the Hispanic workers...from speaking Spanish in his presence (he thought they'd be talking about him), and ordered some to Anglicize their names. No more Martin (Mahr-TEEN). It was plain-old Martin. No more Marcos. Now it would be Mark." This "liberal enclave of 5,000 residents...where Spanish language, culture and traditions have a long and revered history" didn't take well
to his management approach. Local protests ensued
[video | 09:35]. [more inside]
posted by ericb
on Oct 26, 2009 -
Poppin' Fresh from the newly launched QueerMeta
community weblog: We'Wha: The Zuni Man-Woman
. How could a six-foot tall Indian man be mistaken for a "maiden" and a "princess"?
This was no Pocahontas! Even more intriguing is the relationship
between Stevenson and We'wha. According to one gossip, "she" regularly
entered the ladies rooms and boudoirs of Washington. How could
Stevenson not know that her intelligent Zuni informant was really, in
the words of one gossip, a "bold, bad man"?
More about the 'berdaches' of the Zuni [ 1
]. Google cache of last (Geocities) link here.
posted by taz
on Mar 10, 2004 -
This is the 58th Anniversary of the Atomic Age.
The successful Trinity nuclear test was made July 16, 1945, in which a six-kilogram sphere of plutonium, compressed to supercriticality by explosive lenses, exploded over the New Mexico desert with a force equal to approximately 20,000 tons of TNT. The Stafford Memo
(original in PDF
), dated 58 years ago today, is the declassified official report. Outside the use of the weapon in warfare, the risks to humans
posted by Mo Nickels
on Jul 21, 2003 -
The Albuquerque Bosque is on fire.
Bosque is spanish for woods that grow along a river bank and these woods are within feet of homes of Albuquerque,
New Mexico residents. The bosque is along the Rio Grande river that runs through
the state's largest city and includes a nature
and towering cottonwood trees that are over 100's of years old. Yesterday
and tonight over 1000 acres are going up like a match. The Rio Grande bosque is
a state treasure (with a national
). We now have seven
in New Mexico. Albuquerque is losing a natural treasure tonight... very sad to hear this may be arson.
posted by jabo
on Jun 25, 2003 -
So, we all know the Patriot Act
allows for the monitoring of library and computer usage. Big deal, right? I mean how many people can they watch and what are the odds?
Maybe not as good (or bad, depending on your view) as you might think
,"A St. John’s College Library visit by a former public defender was abruptly interrupted February 13 when city police officers arrested him about 9 p.m. at the computer terminal he was using, handcuffed him, and brought him to the Santa Fe, New Mexico, police station for questioning by Secret Service agents from Albuquerque."
posted by cedar
on Feb 26, 2003 -
When you take a good storyteller with keys to much of campus, a desire to get into everyplace else, and a need to bring about change through "constructive vandalism" and then wait for the statute of limitations to pass, you wind up with the published stories of Stealth Force Beta
. Those folks who never had fun in college didn't get isolated in the middle of the desert with a bunch of nerds.
posted by ewagoner
on Nov 26, 2002 -
New Mexico's voters
decided against an amendment that would remove language in the state constitution prohibiting Asian immigrants from owning land [scroll down]. Florida is the only other state now with such a clause
. Surprising that they would keep such laws around...
Tangentially, do all Asians really look the same
? And would a high score be a good or bad thing?
posted by casarkos
on Nov 7, 2002 -
A Visual Journey: Photographs by Lisa Law 1965-1971 Lisa Law's photographs provide glimpses into the folk and rock music scenes, California's blossoming counterculture, and the family-centered and spiritual world of commune life in New Mexico. They are moments that she lived, witnessed, and recorded on the frontier of cultural change.
posted by konolia
on Sep 25, 2002 -
During my long and mis-spent youth, I often spent time traveling the long dusty spaces between southern New Mexico and west Texas. There's a wide patch in the road called Orogrande, New Mexico, a virtual ghost town
. I've always wondered why there'd even be a town in the middle of the desert and nowhere. Now I know why
. Forgive the numerous pop-ups (and occassional ad for boobies) won't you? This is a tremendous resource for those interested.
posted by WolfDaddy
on Jul 16, 2002 -
West Wing is Fictional???
Just in case our friends in New Mexico are concerned, what happens on the West Wing this week cannot happen in New Mexico. "New Mexico has no tunnels" a press release, approved by state governor Gary Johnson, states. Whew...a load off my mind. Is this an example of government being very pro-active, or just plain insulting to the people of NM?
posted by JaxJaggywires
on Apr 3, 2002 -
New Mexico has the coolest flag.
The North American Vexillological Association surveyed its members and the public to identify the best and the worst state and provincial flags. The New Mexico state flag came out on top. Georgia's brought up the rear. [Link via Alex Beam's column in the Boston Globe.]
posted by idiolect
on Jun 21, 2001 -
Wherefore art thou, NM?
"Amid the intense legal and public relations battle for Florida and its 25 electoral votes, Al Gore may have lost a state: New Mexico."
posted by bilco
on Nov 10, 2000 -
Oldest liveing organism
found in salt cave in New Mexico. 250 million and counting. What gets me is this quote: ``If something can survive 250 million years, what's the difference .. another 250 or longer,'' wonder if digital data can be stored in bacterium.
posted by stbalbach
on Oct 20, 2000 -
I am not now, nor have I ever been... a resident of Los Alamos, NM. If you know someone who is
, you might want to check out this web site
, where the New Mexico Internet Professionals Association demonstrates that they did *so* learn something by watching the hams all those years...
posted by baylink
on May 13, 2000 -
Array is back
and covering the fires in Los Alamos, NM, with pictures and links to sites where people who want to can help.
posted by davewiner
on May 11, 2000 -