Iowa: Then and Now

In 1853 Grenville Dodge surveyed Iowa from Iowa City to the Missouri:

He wrote his father, “oh, that you could come out and overtake me on the prairies of Iowa, look at the country and see how we live.”
Dodge loved the flaming sumac, the gold tinge of the willows, the turning leaves on the cottonwooe beside the rivers, and on the elms, black oak, and hard maple,, the silvered wild grass, the variety and number of animals.
Stephen Ambrose, Nothing Like It In The World, 33.

This conjures up a much different picture for me than today’s Iowa:
(Click image for larger view)

This is a pretty good representation of the Iowa I saw last summer when we drove across the state from Council Bluff to Iowa City to Davenport and back with some side trips around Iowa City.

Home Learning ’60s-80s

Many of you probably learned a bit from the How and Why Wonder Book series:

These were produced in the US during the 1960’s and covered many subjects in science, technology, nature and history. They were large format books of 270x205mm, mostly softcover, but hardcover was also available. They are always 48 pages long, and mostly illustrated with simple painted artwork, though some photographs are used. The books are structured into chapters based on sub-topics of the title subject, and within these are questions that a child might ask, followed by a half page answer to the question.
Rob Storey has collected most of the covers.
Via Reflections in d minor.

You Have Kept Those Papers, Haven’t You?

Huh, what papers? Your archives, of course.
For some of you these may now be all electronic but for those just a bit older most will still be paper based: copies of letters written and received, journals, photos, school papers, etc.
This geologist who recently Looked back at buried treasure reminded of this and the fact that I am tempted daily by the boxes of papers and other archival materials scattered about the house:

The hidden gems of my portfolio were definitely the reflections. Reading these gave me a chuckle. It was nice to see that as I progressed through high school, the writing quality (and the handwriting) improved dramatically.
Everyone remembers disecting in high school, whether you enjoyed it or not. I definitely enjoyed it. The lab was fairly standard. It had diagrams with organs that the student had to identify, along with basic questions that involved looking inside the rat. In fact, when I sniffed the paper, I can still smell traces of the formaldehyde where the rats were stored at. Ah, the memories!
Yes, the memories and the history. Save your archives. If not for you then for that child, grandchild, nephew, or ?, who will be absolutely fascinated by the treasure.
Via Tangled Bank #8 and Pharyngula.