The Spectacular Stained Glass Dome of the Old Louisiana State Capitol
It's said that the Antebellum South better resembled feudal Europe than northern Yankeedom. Perhaps that's why the architect who designed the Old Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge decided it should look like this:
Now that's what I call Southern Gothic.
Here are some quick facts about the building and the city it calls home:
-It was constructed in 1847 when Baton Rouge had a population of 2,269. Over 230,000 now call the city home.
-Why is it the Old Louisiana State Capitol? That's because it only used to be the Capitol. In fact, it's been 84 years since Louisianans tossed out their Gothic digs to go full Art-Deco.
-The name "Baton Rouge" stems from a legend telling how the first French explorers to survey the area came across a bloody red pole (le bâton rouge) that marked the territories of two rival Native American tribes.
-The Old Capitol Building has served many purposes in the years since its construction. It was captured by Union troops during the Civil War and used as both a garrison and prison. It's also served as a center for multiple veterans' associations and the WPA. Now a nationally recognized Historical Landmark, the Old Capitol currently houses the Museum of Political History.
-Many southerners admired (and still admire) the building. A young Mark Twain was not among them:
"It is pathetic ... that a whitewashed castle, with turrets and things ... should ever have been built in this otherwise honorable place."
Who knows if ol' Sam Clemens would have thought differently if he had seen the inside of the place after 1882, when a local engineer installed the beautiful stained-glass dome you see above.
Castle exterior photo credit: CC Proctor / WikiCommons
The Russian-built FEDOR was launched on a mission to help ISS astronauts.
Atheism doesn't offer much beyond non-belief, can Secular Humanism fill the gaps?
- Atheism is increasingly popular, but the lack of an organized community around it can be problematic.
- The decline in social capital once offered by religion can cause severe problems.
- Secular Humanism can offer both community and meaning, but it has also attracted controversy.
Picking up where we left off a year ago, a conversation about the homeostatic imperative as it plays out in everything from bacteria to pharmaceutical companies—and how the marvelous apparatus of the human mind also gets us into all kinds of trouble.
- "Prior to nervous systems: no mind, no consciousness, no intention in the full sense of the term. After nervous systems, gradually we ascend to this possibility of having to this possibility of having minds, having consciousness, and having reasoning that allows us to arrive at some of these very interesting decisions."
- "We are fragile culturally and socially…but life is fragile to begin with. All that it takes is a little bit of bad luck in the management of those supports, and you're cooked…you can actually be cooked—with global warming!"