Native American Legends – Nootka

Native American Legends – Nootka

Captain John Meares states that the Nootka people had a great affinity for Copper. This was because many generations before meeting Meares, an old man came to visit them. He arrived in a copper canoe with copper paddles and told them that he came from the sky.

The Nootka then killed the old man, and took his copper.

pg 123 – “First Approaches to the Northwest Coast

Also interesting to note is that the Nootka were cannibals. They lived on the west side of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

The Great Motorhome Story, Part 3

Back to part 2

So, I head out of town, back the way I came. I noticed on the map as I was looking over it, a tantalizing location labeled “Golden Spike National Historic Site.” I have no clue when I’m going to be in Utah again, and I have no clue if I’ll be near here. I can’t be within 100 miles of the place where the railroads met to create the first American Transcontinental Railroad. It’s only about fifty miles out the way so I head for it.

Come to find out that it was only about ten miles away from where I broke down originally. I could have walked there if I really wanted too. I drive back up through Ogden. Take the “quicker” way to the park. Pass a Rocket Test Center of some sort.

And into the park. And it’s very small building.

Yes, it looks just like the pictures, minus the “crowd” and the Locomotives.

So, heading out of the Park, the GPS keeps trying to get me to turn on to this dirt road towards Elko, Nevada. At best guess it’s at least 30 miles long. It’s on the map even. I’m in a 4×4 that doesn’t belong to me. I resist temptation and take the slightly longer and smoother route. I get caught up in the middle of a cattle drive, which hasn’t happened to me for many years.

I traveled through scenic mountains,

A Ghost Town,

And finally, that night, somewhere in Idaho a scenic sunset.

I finally arrived home the next day. Put about 1000 miles on the rental.

But the story is not over, on to part 4

Iranian Oil Industry Nationalized

Iranian Oil Industry Nationalized

Copied from: Matt’s Today in History Podcast. This is here only for my own edification to look more into this event and it’s consequences.

“Tonight’s transcript was written by Amir Mans of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Thanks, Amir, for your hard work in putting this show together.

On this day in 1951, nationalist members of the Iranian parliament led by Dr. Mohammed Mosaddeq nationalized Iran’s petroleum industry. This historic event inspired a lot of other movements in the Middle East region and has had consequences which have continued up to the present day.

The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) had been founded in 1908 following the discovery of a large oil field in south west of Iran and on May 26th of that same year, the first oil well in the region was drilled. It was the first company to use the oil reserves of the Middle East and eventually became the British Petroleum Company (BP) in 1954. High volume production of Iranian oil products eventually started in 1913 from a refinery built at Abadan, for its first 50 years the largest oil refinery in the world. Also in 1913, shortly before World War I, AIOC managers negotiated with a new customer, Winston Churchill, who was then First Lord of the Admiralty. At Churchill’s suggestion, and in exchange for secure oil supplies for its ships, the British government injected new capital into the company and, in doing so, acquired a controlling interest in the oil company and as a result, the British government became the de facto hidden power behind the AIOC.

From 1949 on, sentiment for nationalization of Iran’s oil industry grew. Grievances included the small fraction of revenues Iran received. In 1947, for example, AIOC reported after-tax profits of $112 million and gave Iran just $19.6 million. In late December 1950 word reached Tehran that the American-owned Arabian American Oil Company had agreed to share profits with Saudis on a 50-50 basis. The British Foreign Office rejected the idea of any similar agreement with AIOC.

On 20th March 1951, the Iranian parliament voted to nationalize the AIOC and its holdings, and shortly thereafter elected a widely respected statesman and champion of nationalization, Mohammed Mosaddeq, as Prime Minister. Iran had gained its democratic parliamentary system after its 1906 constitution revolution which was the first event of its kind in Southwest Asia.

This led to a virtual standstill of oil production as British technicians left the country and Britain imposed a worldwide embargo on the purchase of Iranian oil and increased output from its other reserves in the Persian Gulf. In September 1951, Britain froze Iran’s sterling assets and banned export of goods to Iran. The British ratcheted up the pressure on the Iranian government and explored the possibility of an invasion to occupy the oil area. It challenged the legality of the oil nationalization and took its case against Iran to the International Court of Justice at The Hague. The court found in Iran’s favor, but the dispute between Iran and the AIOC remained unsettled.

In the following months, the crisis became acute. By mid-1952, an attempt by the Shah to replace Mosaddeq backfired and led to riots nationwide; Mosaddeq returned with even greater power. At the same time however, his coalition was fraying, as Britain’s boycott of Iranian oil eliminated a major source of government revenue, and made Iranians poorer and unhappier by the day.

The administration of President Truman initially had been sympathetic to Iran’s nationalist aspirations. By 1953 both the US and the UK had new, more anti-communist and more interventionist administrations. Britain was unable to subvert Mosaddeq as its embassy and officials had been evicted from Iran in October 1952, but successfully appealed in the U.S. to anti-communist sentiments, depicting both Mosaddeq and Iran as unstable and likely to fall to communism in their weakened state. If Iran fell, it was theorized that the enormous assets of Iranian oil production and reserves would fall into communist control, as would other areas of the Middle East.

In June 1953, President Eisenhower’s administration approved a British proposal for a joint Anglo-American operation, code-named Operation Ajax, to overthrow Prime Minister Mosaddeq and committed the CIA to execute this assignment. This plan became reality in August 1953 when the democratically elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mosaddeq was overthrown by the CIA with support from the British government and the Shah was reinstated on the throne. He remained an authoritarian monarch for more than 25 years. Mosaddeq, whose efforts to nationalize the oil industry and democratize Iran had already earned him Time Magazine’s Man of the Year award for 1951 was sentenced to three years imprisonment for trying to overthrow the monarchy, but he was subsequently allowed to remain under house arrest in his village outside Tehran until his death in 1967.

This event inspired a lot of other movements in the Middle East region. Many believe that the fall of the two British allied kingdoms of Egypt and Iraq in the 1950s and the nationalization of Suez Canal in 1958 all were inspired by the movement of Iranian nationalists.

The 1953 coup was the first time the US had openly overthrown an elected, civil government. In the US, Operation Ajax was considered a success, with immediate and far-reaching effect. Overnight, the CIA became a central part of the American foreign policy apparatus, and covert action came to be regarded as a cheap and effective way to shape the course of world events, but the coup caused long-lasting damage to the United States’ reputation.

The joint US-British operation ended Iran’s drive to assert sovereign control over its own resources and helped put an end to a vibrant chapter in the history of the country’s nationalist and democratic movements. The coup was a critical event that destroyed Iran’s secular parliamentary democracy, by re-installing the monarchy of the Shah. These consequences resonated with dramatic effect in later years as it has been widely believed to have significantly contributed to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which deposed the pro-Western Shah and replaced the monarchy with an anti-Western Islamic Republic that brought to power a group of fanatically anti-Western clerics who turned Iran into a center for anti-Americanism. The Islamic regime in Iran also inspired religious fanatics in many other countries including those who give refuge to terrorists who eventually have gone on to attack the US.

Some Middle East observers have claimed that the anger against the US that flooded out of Iran following the 1979 revolution has its roots in the American role in crushing Iranian democracy in 1953. While this remains just a theory, the reality is that this coup left the most open-minded and civilized people of the Middle East under 25 years of dictatorship and 30+ years of tyranny and brutality at the hands of the Islamic Republic.”

Wooly Mammoth went extinct about 1700 BC

Wooly Mammoth went extinct about 1700 BC

Using Radio Carbon Dating (which is interesting in itself) scientists have determined that the last Wooly Mammoths died about 1700 B.C.

They were a dwarfed species that lived on Wrangel Island which is in the Artic Sea in North Eastern Russia. Dwarfism is fairly typical for animals that get trapped on islands, so their size is nothing unexpected and does not make them a separate species. The island is now home to the largest population of Polar Bears in the world, and Arctic Wolves have started living there.

It’s generally thought that the bulk of the species died off 10,000 years ago during the Pleistocene era. The exact cause is unknown, but ironically over hunting by humans tends to be the number one theory, although warming after the last Ice Age certainly played a huge part.

What is really interesting is the range of these animals. Remains have been found in Siberia (given), Alaska (on St. Paul Island where they lived up until 3,750 BC), Spain and as far south in North America as present day Kentucky, where William Clark, of Lewis and Clark,collected some fossils in 1806.

But despite the known extinction dates, rumors of live Woolly Mammoths have persisted up until fairly recent times. There are several stories of lone hunters in Siberia, or Native American tribes in the far North having seen such animals in recent memory. Based on the number of intact carcasses found over the years, 34 in 1929 and now doubled since then, plus rumors of soft tissue being used as an emergency food source by small villages in the winter time, it’s very possible that the 1700 BC date is still incorrect.

As the DNA sequence for a Mammoth is the most complete of any extinct animal, it’s generally thought that it’ll be a trivial task to use that information to clone one. Due to it’s large size and the (relatively) easier task of getting intact DNA samples from Mammoth corpses, it’s believed that if some intact sperm cells can be recovered, an Indian elephant can be impregnated, bringing the Mammoth back to life.

Taking a Trip to Texas

Taking a Trip to Texas

As of Friday, April 9th, 2010 I shall be on the road to Langtry Texas for a family reunion of sorts. I’m not 100% sure of the family connection of most people attending will be, but I’m very much looking forward to the trip itself.

I’ve been on two long trips like this before, once from Portland through BC to Edmonton Calgary then back down around through Yellowstone and then to Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and home up I-5. The other trip was a straight shot from Fort Wayne Indiana to Portland.

This trip will be from Portland, east along I-84 all the way to Twin Falls, Idaho. I’ll head south towards to Salt Lake City, Utah and then cut south east through the mountains and Colorado. I’ll hit Albuquerque, New Mexico (being 100% sure to take that left turn,) then stop in Roswell New Mexico for a bit of UFO Tourism. Afterwards I’m taking another detour to San Antonio, Texas to visit the Alamo and “world famous” River Walk and most likely some famous Texas Barbecue. And hopefully at the end of a week, end up in Del Rio, Texas which is the nearest city of size near Langtry.

The return trip will head west to Phoenix, Arizona. At that point we’ll see how the weather is. I’ll either head north to Las Vegas from there, or go further west and pick of Los Angeles and travel the I-5 corridor again if there is too much snow around the Lake Tahoe area.

To keep costs down, the vehicle of choice is a 1984 Class A Winnebago. I just took it on a 100 mile short trip to get a feel for driving it, it’s got a new CB radio with access to the NOAA weather channels, and road maps of everywhere I need to be.

I’ll be camping at Truck Stops and Walmarts, or if desperate, actual real campgrounds.

Other points of interest I’m hoping to see are the ghost town of Lime Oregon, historic Union Oregon (I stayed in the restored hotel about ten years ago and enjoyed it a lot,) and if I’m not running too far behind, Arches National Park in Utah. Plus whatever other sites I might happen to see along the way. Hopefully I’ll be able to get lots of pictures and be able to upload them.

I’ll have my computer, and my list of RSS job feeds so I can keep job searching when I stop. In the off chance I do get a job interview and have to be back soon, I’ll be able to park the motor home, fly home to go to the interview then go back and continue my travels. Since I haven’t had an actual face to face interview in over two months, despite sending out at least a dozen resumes a week, I don’t see that being a problem though.

Overall, I’m excited about this adventure. I’ll really looking forward to it and hope to have a great time despite the roughly 4500 miles in two weeks I’ll be driving all together.