Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Movie Review ****The Ghost of Machu Pichu: Nova National Geographic

This is a 2010 movie talking about the recent research and theory with regards to Machu Pichu.  I visited Machu Pichu 1978.  We climbed the smaller peak Huayna Picchu, and looked down at the river. They did not know as much of what they now know.  The movie concludes that Machu Pichu was built as a resort for the first ruler of the Inca, Sapa Inca Pachacuti.  There were some amazing discoveries at the site.  I found the laying of the foundation the most interesting.  Fully 60 percent of the construction is under ground.  Building on the ridge of a high mountain, in a place with tropical rainstorms, there must have been concern anything they built would wash away.  Consequently they started at the base building terraces.  These terraces had topsoil on top, then sand and finally granite boulders.  This allowed the rain to slowly sink into the ground rather than running off.  Similarly the green at the top had the same features, and served as a natural underground run off for the rain.  There were also drains placed in the construction of the terraces. 
Just as remarkable is the system of fountains that is at the site.  There is a nearby stream, and water from this was diverted through a ditch and fountains to allow for a steady flow that would support up to 1000 people.  The fist fountain was by the residence of the emperor, giving him the freshest water.
There are things of religious note about the site.  There are many temples honoring the sun, moon etc.  There are large stones, shaped like surrounding peaks.  There are four peak gods of the Inca, and the highest point of the site has a point which is at the center point of these four mountains.
The anthopologist who examined the skeletons concluded they were of a middle class.  As lack of arthritic indicators points to their not being laborers, but their diet points to there being middle class.  The conclusion is they were support staff for the emperor and his entourage.  However the Incan kingdom was devestated by small pox and internal schism before the Spanish actually conquered them.  Because of this it is likely the empire could no longer support the resort.  For this reason it was forgotten by the Spanish, and not destroyed as most others cities were.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Movie Review: ***^Pistol Pete Maravich The LSU Years - Documentary

After watching "The Pistol" I decided to explore Pete Maravich on You Tube, to see some of his incredible plays.  I was especially interested in seeing some incredible moves.  This movie covers his college playing days.  Maravich was the greatest college player ever.  He still has record for the most points scored 3667, as well as the best scoring averge ever 44.2.  But what is incredible are his passes.  He made some tremendous passes.  I like this movie, because is mostly just shows high lights.  There is some commentary.  Eight hour days with a basketball from the time he was twelve, and even earlier.  There is a reason a scrawny kid became successful.  It also talks of his father, Press, who was his son's coach at LSU.
25 years ago this past January Pistol Pete died from a congenital heart problem.  It is likely he had a heart issue through his playing days.  What is true, he had a love and heart for the game he embraced.

Wayne Estes: Greatest Aggie Basketballer

Wayne Estes is the best basketball player in USU history.  In 1965 he was second in the nation in scoring behind Rick Berry.  He averaged 33.7 points per game that year, and 26.7 for his career.  He also was a prolific rebounder at 6'6".  He averaged 13.7 his senior year and 11.9 for his career.  He is still second all time in points, and third in rebounds for Utah State.  This was in less than three years.  (At the time freshmen did not play varsity ball.)  He was destined for greatness in the NBA.

I remember hearing stories of how he practiced and practiced.  A  best friend would throw him the ball over and over as he practiced his shot.
However an accident and a downed power line cut his life short. He scored 48 points, but complained of numb fingers on February 8, 1965.  There was an accident and he and friends went to see if they could help.  A live wire which was dangling as a result of the accident, struck him in the forehead and killed him instantly.
So his memory includes a lot of what ifs.  Reportedly the Lakers wanted to draft him in the first round.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Train Bus Crash: South Jordan, 1938

December 1, 1938 was a snowy morning in South Jordan.  As a result both the bus and the train were late.  The school bus had picked up children from Riverton and South Jordan, and had one more train crossing before reaching Jordan High School.  The train, "The Flying Ute," was at least an hour late traveling from Denver to Salt Lake City.  It was traveling between 50 and 60 mph.  Although the bus stopped before crossing, the driver did not perceive that the train was coming and continued across the tracks.  The train plowed through bus, splitting it in two.  The front part of the train was carried for a half mile down the track.  In the bus, the driver and and 25 school children perished.  Fourteen students were spared, mostly those in the back of the bus.  The train hit with such force, many of the clothes and shoes were ripped off of the victims in the bus.
A transient on the train provided this account:
The impact threw me across the car on my side.  I scrambled to my feet and ran to the side door and looked out to see what had happened.  I saw a sheel flying through the air from the front of the train.  My first impression was that the engine had struck a cattle truck as I imagined I detected bits of animals flying past me.  The train had been going awfully fast, but as it slowed down, I jumped to the ground.  I saw then that it qas children, heaps of them lying in the ditch, scattered along the track, like bees.  They all looked so bewildered, just like they were coming out of a bad dream.  Then they began to realize they were alive and began to scream...There wasn't much anybody could do other than comfort the dying.  The impact had torn the clothes off most of their little bodies, so I went around covering them up as best I could. 

A poem written by young woman who died that day.

Sources: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705338209/Bus-crash-in-1938-led-to-train-laws.html?pg=all

Bateman, Ronald R., Of Dugouts and Spires: The History of South Jordan.