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Posts Tagged ‘Peru

Pictures at an Exhibition…


From fine arts…

… through antiquities…

… to natural history…

…”grannybeelee” has collected a mesmerizing set of museum (and, as at the top of this post, analogically-related) photos at Hours of Idleness.


As we gallery-hop with glee, we might recall that it was on this date in 1911 that Hiram Bingham discovered the Lost City of the Incas, Vilcapampa (now called Machu Picchu), where the last Incan Emperors found refuge from the conquistadors.

Machu Picchu had been forgotten by all but a few Peruvians living in close proximity.  An academic, explorer, treasure hunter, politician and acknowledged inspiration for the Indiana Jones character, Bingham, leading a Yale expedition, followed one of those locals, Melchor Arteaga, to the site, then published his findings. Machu Picchu has become one of the major tourist attractions in South America– and the switchback-filled road that carries tourist buses to the site from the Urubamba River is called the Hiram Bingham Highway.

(While Bingham is widely-acknowledged as the man who brought Machu Picchu to the modern world’s attention, there are credible claims to its re-discovery that predate his:  the Cusco explorers Enrique Palma, Gabino Sanchez and Agustín Lizarraga are said to have arrived at the site in 1901; and descendants of two local missionaries, Thomas Payne and Stuart McNairn, claimed to have climbed the ruins in 1906.)

Bingham (above) and Arteaga, at Machu Picchu




Written by LW

July 24, 2013 at 1:01 am


If yesterday’s missive was about headlines that amuse, today’s is corrective:  From the BBC (Friday the 13th, natch)…

Peru battles rabid vampire bats…

(TotH to The Rumpus)

As we adjust our necklaces of garlic, we might spare a memorial thought for Hugo Gernsback, a Luxemborgian-American inventor, broadcast pioneer, writer, and publisher; he died on this date in 1967 at the age of 83.

Gernsback held 80 patents at the time of his death; he founded radio station WRNY, was involved in the first television broadcasts and is considered a pioneer in amateur radio.  But it was a writer and publisher that he probably left his most lasting mark:  In 1926, as owner/publisher of the magazine Modern Electrics, he filled a blank spot in his publication by dashing off the first chapter of a series called “Ralph 124C 41+.” The twelve installments of “Ralph” were filled with inventions unknown in 1926, including “television” (Gernsback is credited with introducing the word), fluorescent lighting, juke boxes, solar energy, television, microfilm, vending machines, and the device we now call radar.

The “Ralph” series was an astounding success with readers; and later that year Gernsback founded the first magazine devoted to science fiction, Amazing Stories.  Believing that the perfect sci-fi story is “75 percent literature interwoven with 25 percent science,” he coined the term “science fiction.”

Gernsback was a “careful” businessman, who was tight with the fees that he paid his writers– so tight that H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith referred to him as “Hugo the Rat.”

Still, his contributions to the genre as publisher were so significant that, along with H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, he is sometimes called “The Father of Science Fiction”; in his honor, the annual Science Fiction Achievement awards are called the “Hugos.”

(Coincidentally, today is also the birthday– in 1906– of Philo T. Farnsworth, the man who actually did invent television… and was thus the inspiration for the name “Philco.”)

Gernsback, wearing his invention, TV Glasses (source: Life)

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