Ft. Worth light bulb’s 100th anniversary!

July 20, 2008

So, the second-oldest light bulb, the famous Ft. Worth, Texas, Palace Theater light bulb, first lighted up in 1908. For some odd reason the last post that mentioned the bulb keeps having difficulties. It took me four or five times before I realized that this year is the 100th anniversary year. As Robert Frost wondered more poetically, how many times did the apple have to hit Newton before he took the hint?

100 years old in September, 2008 -- the Palace Theatre Lightbulb, Stokyards Museum, Fort Worth, Texas

100 years old in September, 2008 -- the Palace Theater Light Bulb, Stokyards Museum, Fort Worth, Texas

The Stockyards Museum is on the ball, however.

Our famous old light bulb began burning in 1908 as a backstage light at the old Byers/Greenwald Opera House south of the Tarrant County Courthouse. It was never turned off. As the city grew and changed the old Opera House was rebuilt in 1919 into the more modern Palace Theater. All the work was done with the bulb illuminated. In 1977 the Palace Theater was replaced as Fort Worth continued to grow and eventually the Stockyards Museum was selected as its permanent home in retirement.

With any luck, we will be able to hold a super birthday celebration on September 21, 2008.

Mark your calendars:  September 21, 2008. How many other lightbulbs do you know that have been burning for a century?

Photo from the Stockyards Museum.


Golden Primate award

July 20, 2008

Kate at the Radula gifted Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub with a Golden Primate Award. It’s a blog award for blogs that “appeal to the rationalists among us, and those of us who aren’t ashamed to be related to monkeys.”

Who was it said “the more I know of men, the more I love my dog?” (Some sources say Pascal; I doubt that attribution.)

Substitute “monkey” for dog — who wouldn’t be proud to be related to such noble creatures?

The symbol for the award will be displayed on the blog’s front page.


Power of education

July 20, 2008

Thought provoking post at beauty and depravity, taking note of education achievements in South Korea in the past 50 years or so, and then looking at education world wide:

The education system is what made United States the most influential nation and may be the very thing that will lead to its demise. Unequal access to education – even at the most elementary levels – and the rising costs of college education is a debilitating concern.

If you have the time and the energy, UNESCO’s Global Education Digest [190+ pages] is a great read about the trends and voids in education throughout the world. The UIS Global Education Digest monitors the flows of students moving from the primary to secondary level of education across the world. In Africa, only 62% of pupils complete primary education and are therefore ready to pursue their studies, compared to an average completion rate of 94% in North America and 88% in Asia. According to the latest figures in the Digest:

  • Africa has the lowest primary completion ratios in the world (see Figure 1). In Europe, almost all countries have ratios exceeding 90%. Out of 45 African countries, only eight reach this level: Algeria, Botswana, Cape Verde, Egypt, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa and Tunisia.
  • In 19 African countries, the ratios are 50% or lower, meaning that at least every second child does not complete primary school.
  • Only about one in three children will complete primary education in six countries: Niger (21%), Guinea-Bissau (27%), Burkina Faso (27%), Chad (32%), Burundi (32%) and Mali (33%).
  • 69% adults of tertiary age are enrolled in tertiary education programmes in North America and Europe, but only 5% in sub-Saharan Africa and 10% in South and West Asia. [Tertiary age = post secondary].

This is why EDUCATION is so important in the battle against global poverty. Another reason is I can’t think of anything more sustainable that empowering, equipping, and enabling children through education.

I’m inclined to agree with much of what this fellow, Eugene Cho says about education (he’s a preacher; his politics, especially what appears to be his association with Republicanism, is troubling, but adds piquance to his education views).

How about you? Go read what he says; comment there, come back here and comment here, too.  Is he on the right track?


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