Tag Archives: California

How California Turned Into a ‘State of Resistance’

27 Apr

Northwest Iowa Center for Regional Studies

STATE OF RESISTANCE 
What California’s Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Mean for America’s Future
By Manuel Pastor
277 pp. The New Press. $26.99.

For a few decades after World War II, California seemed a showcase of what America could and would become. From Hollywood, Disneyland and the Beach Boys’ surf cities, its pop culture radiated eastward across the continent, and beyond. Its freeways and sprawling suburbs seemed to represent the new American residential model. Its ambitions for public parks and education were stupendous. Within a five-year early-1960s span during the sun-king administration of Gov. Pat Brown, father of the current Gov. Jerry Brown, the University of California system opened three new campuses: at San Diego, Irvine and Santa Cruz, all now major research centers.

So begins James Fallows’ review of a new book on California. You may read the rest of his review at the New York Times here

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Meet Buster, the rooster who can skate

20 Oct

A rooster named Buster roller skates and ice skates. See the 1952 photos and hear the story by the then-photographer of the LA Times: From the Archives: Meet Buster, the rooster who can skate – LA Times

How Old West Theme Parks Misrepresent Our Collective Cultural History

13 Sep

At the Pacific Standard, Amanda Tewes astutely examines the Ghost Town, California version of the “Old West.” As the nation debates monuments and public memory, it’s important to understand how other cultural sites help people learn (false) history. Read her piece here: How Old West Theme Parks Misrepresent Our Collective Cultural History – Pacific Standard

The Illustrious History of the Avocado

24 May

Avocados had an important place in Mesoamerican peoples’ diet, mythology, and culture. It’s possible that they were eaten in Mexico 10,000 years ago. Digest this concise history of the avocado by Erin Blakemore at JSTOR Daily: The Illustrious History of the Avocado | JSTOR Daily

130,000-year-old mastodon bones could rewrite story of how humans first appeared in the Americas 

27 Apr

Shattered mastodon bones from a Southern California site bear the scars of human activity from 130,700 years ago, a team of scientists says — pushing back the generally accepted date that humans are thought to have settled North America by a whopping 115,000 or so years.

If verified and corroborated by other scientists, the discovery described in the journal Nature could radically rewrite the timeline of when humans first arrived in the Americas.

Read the rest of the story by Amina Khan of the Los Angeles Times here: 130,000-year-old mastodon bones could rewrite story of how humans first appeared in the Americas – LA Times

The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island

24 Apr

Northwest Iowa Center for Regional Studies

A stranded American Indian woman lived alone on this remote California island for 18 years, inspiring the great children’s novel Island of the Blue Dolphins. Her story, briefly told at Atlas Obscura, reminds us of the lamentable experience of Natives struggling to survive in a market-driven world of European-Americans: San Nicolas Island – Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California – Atlas Obscura

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Universities redesign libraries for the 21st century: fewer books, more space

19 Apr

My old alma mater’s library–and the rethinking of libraries in the 21st century: Universities redesign libraries for the 21st century: fewer books, more space – LA Times

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