(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Iowa

As high as an elephant’s eye…

Down in the southeastern corner of The Hawkeye State, near Fairfield, lies the lively town of Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa.  Incorporated in 2001, it is home to 1,290 folks, who occupy buildings all designed according to Maharishi Vastu architecture (which promotes peace and harmony).  The city, home to the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention and The Raj—an Ayurvedic health spa and vegetarian restaurant– is situated amidst 2,200 acres of USDA-certified organic farm land (and is the only city in America that has banned the sale of all non-organic food within the city limits).  And it is the site of the Vedic Observatory, the only such astronomical facility in the Western Hemisphere.

Maharishi Vedic City is administered by a five-person city council, which is committed to balance, natural law and the principals of the Veda; while Sanskrit has been named the city’s “ideal language,” English and other common languages are also used.

Maharishi Vedic City has yet to be an official stop of any presidential hopeful on the Iowa Caucus trail.


As we we just say om, we might send steamy birthday greetings to a man with a powerful hand in Iowa’s economic growth, Robert Fulton; he was born on this date in 1765.  The mechanical genius who was the father of the steamboat, Fulton turned early, unreliable steam engine technology into a practical, dependable option for river transport– famously along the Mississippi, which defines Iowa’s eastern border, and which provided the territory’s (later, state’s) corn and other crops a path to market.  Fulton later designed the Nautilus, the first practical submarine in history, for Napoleon; created the first naval torpedoes for the British Navy, and the first steam-powered warship for the U.S. Navy.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 14, 2013 at 1:01 am

Round and round they go…


As readers ready themselves for the Indy 500, a stroll down memory lane…

Auto racing was born in France in 1887; it came to the U.S. 1895.  These earliest contests were road races, from one town to another on public streets and highways.  Soon enough, safety concerns drove more and more racers onto enclosed tracks– often repurposed horse-racing tracks.

For reasons not altogether understood, Iowa was a leader in dirt-track auto racing.  The Hawkeye State boasts the oldest auto track in America, Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa (a repurposed horse track where the first cars raced in 1901), and became sufficiently famous for its State Fair races, at the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, to attract the National Geographic photographer who shot the photo above.


As we rev our engines, we might recall that it was on this date in 1911, in New York City, that Caesar Cella (a burglary suspect) became the first person to be convicted of a crime in U.S. courts on the basis of fingerprint evidence. (The first known case solved by fingerprint matching was in Tokyo in 1880, though the uniqueness of an individual’s fingerprints has been acknowledged since ancient Roman times.)



Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 19, 2013 at 1:01 am

Shooting oneself in the foot with an air-to-air missile…

Foreign Policy suggests that China is using Top Gun footage as Chinese air force drill reportage…  (particularly amusing to your correspondent, as his alma mater [USFX, part of Colossal Pictures] created the shots in question :-)


As part of its ongoing expansion, has the People’s Liberation Army signed up Goose and Maverick? Chinese bloggers are accusing state broadcaster CCTV of using repurposed footage from the 1986 film Top Gun for a story on a recent air force drill. “Ministry of Tofu” explains:

In the newscast, the way a target was hit by the air-to-air missile fired by a J-10 fighter aircraft and exploded looks almost identical to a cinema scene from the Hollywood film Top Gun.

A net user who went by the name “??” (Liu Yi) pointed out that the jet that the J-10 “hit” is an F-5, a US fighter jet. In Top Gun, what the leading actor Tom Cruise pilots an F-14 to bring down is exactly an F-5. Looking at the screenshots juxtaposition, one cannot fail to find that even flame, smoke and the way the splinters fly look the same.

Assuming the above screen shots [more at the links in the first paragraph, above] are genuine, the rip-off seems pretty clear. In related news, CCTV recently aired footage of the Chinese Olympic volleyball team at their secret training facility.


As we remind ourselves never to trust our eyes, we might recall that this date in 1959 was “the day the music died”: the day that a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. Richardson (aka, The Big Bopper), and pilot Roger Peterson.



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