Friday, May 30, 2014

Watering at the Nile

Today's picture shows a group of locals watering donkeys at the Nile River. The picture was taken near Thebes in Egypt around 1920.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Boating the Nile

Today's picture shows a group of men on a small boat on the Nile. I love this picture because the boat reminds me of the one in the movie the "African Queen". This picture was taken in 1936, near lake Victoria.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Gathering Water

Today's picture shows men gathering water from the Nile River. The picture was taken in the Sudan in 1936. The water is going into water bags on the back of a donkey.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Loading Boat on the Nile

Today's picture shows men working on a boat on the shore of the Nile. The picture was taken on the White Nile in the Sudan. The picture was taken in 1936, but it looks like it could have been a thousand years ago.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sailing the Nile

OK, sorry that I did not get a picture posted yesterday. We had thunderstorms, a flash flood, and the electricity was out for most of the day. The internet has been out since Saturday night. Hopefully they will get things all back up and running today. We really can't complain as we have been in the midst of a really severe drought, so the rain is welcome.

Today's picture shows a boat sailing on the Nile. The picture was taken in 1900, but it looks like it could have been a thousand years age.

Friday, May 23, 2014

White Pass Stage

Today's picture is from the early 1900's and it shows the Alaskan version of the stage coach. The picture shows a large sleigh carrying about a dozen people. What an adventuresome ride that must have been.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Pig Skin Pontoon

Today's picture shows a unique Pontoon Boot. The pontoons are made from pig skins. I had not seen something like this before, but it does look very buoyant.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Today we have an example of transportation by cart. The cart is not that unusual, but I am not sure exactly what the animals are pulling it. They look like some sort of oxen.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Today's picture is from India in the early 1900's. It shows a nice carriage pulled by a team of camels. Each camel has its own rider. I have really never seen anything like this before. Must have been a special person who got to ride in the carriage.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Welcome to Transportation Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at the various ways people have moved themselves and their things over time. We start with this picture of a Travois, used by Native Americans to move their things. A Travois has long poles, and the burden is put on the poles, which lessens the load for the animal. The neat thing is that the long poles had to be moved anyway, as they were part of the Tipis. This picture shows Blackfoot Indians.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sewing Circles

In looking into quilting this week, I have learned that there often is large social component to quilting and sewing, with women getting together at quilting b's and sewing circles to work together on group projects or individual projects. I have never been to one, but would expect some amount of gossip to be shared at such events.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pieced Quilt

Today's picture shows a grandmother displaying a pieced quilt she made. The picture was taken in 1936, and the woman was from Oklahoma. This is really some nice work in this piece.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I am pleased to hear that we have lots of interest in quilting and sewing out there. I have never sewed, but I respect all activities where people make things, build things, grow things or fix things. I think quilting is a wonderful thing to do. The picture above shows a woman from Pie Town, New Mexico. She works in the fields helping her husband, but over the lunch break, she quilts. What a beautiful quilt she made! The picture was taken in 1940.

Monday, May 12, 2014


In reading the comments, it sounds like there are still some sewers out there. It also sounds like quilting is one of the more popular forms of sewing. So, for all you quilters out there, we have this picture. The picture shows a woman in Gees Bend, Alabama working on a quilt. The picture was taken in 1937.

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Welcome to Sewing Week here at OPOD. We are going to be looking at what is becoming a Lost Art . . . the art of sewing. Back in the day, women took pride in their sewing skills, but now almost no one sews. The lovely Mrs. PJM was quiet the seamstress back in the day, but even she does not sew any more. I think that there are two reasons. One is that we are all pressed for time more than ever before, and the second reason is that it is cheaper now to buy clothes than to make them. By the time you add up the material, buttons, zippers, thread and all that, you can just about buy the clothes already made cheaper.

OK, I am sorry I did not post yesterday but was completely exhausted after the successful space probe mission on Friday. The probe made it to 119,000 feet, returned to earth, and was successfully retrieved. This is a short video clip of the probe reaching its peak altitude and then beginning its descent back to earth. Pretty good work, I think, for a handful of country boys.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ashland Montana Rodeo

We wrap up Rodeo Week with this picture from Ashland, Montana. These boys are from nearby ranches and have come to watch the rodeo. I love how they can sit on the rustic gate, instead of manufactured bleachers.


Don't forget today is launch day, and you can watch our student's space launch live at the link below beginning at 7:30 AM.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

New Mexico Rodeo

Today's picture shows some spectators at a rodeo in Quemado, New Mexico. The picture was taken in 1940. Seems like Rodeo Week has been more about the spectators than the performers, but I just really enjoy the relaxed demeanor of the people. Takes us back to a time when live was lived at a slower pace.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rodeo Stands

Today's picture shows a little buckaroo at the San Angelo Fat Stock Show and Rodeo. He is in the stands watching the rodeo. The picture was taken in 1940. I am pleased to say that the San Angelo Fat Stock Show and Rodeo is still going strong, and is one of the best in West Texas.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Rodeo Riders

Today's picture shows some girl rodeo riders. The picture was taken around 1910 at a rodeo near Los Angeles. I don't have any information on what type of event the ladies were in, but I might guess that it was some sort of trick riding or roping type show.


For those of you following our space launch, the launch has been delayed one day to Friday, May 9. The preflight operations will commence at 7:30 and launch itself at 8:15. You can watch live streaming coverage at this link the morning of launch:

Monday, May 5, 2014

Calf Roping

Today's picture shows a scene from a rodeo in Pie Town, New Mexico in 1940. The objective of this event was to rope a calf and then tie a ribbon to his tail. I love the very early examples of color photography.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


The thing about Stock Shows and Rodeos is that they are not really just about the events, they are excuses for people to get together, and there is lots of time for visiting and social interaction. You can see these guys are spectators at a rodeo, but are finding time to catch up on things. These events have a great element of social interaction, which is something we often sorely miss in modern culture.


OK, it has been some time since I have had a domestic update, so thought I would catch you up on a few things. I have had a very busy year this year teaching school. We have started an engineering curriculum at my school that I teach. We start with the freshmen, teaching them circuits and microprocessor programming and design. It is a four year program that culminates with Juniors and Seniors doing very advanced engineering projects. This year's group decided to start their own space program, and design and build a space probe that they would put at the edge of space (>90,000 feet altitude), and have the probe stream back data, pictures, and video from space. They have been very successful, and had their first launch on February 18. Their probe achieved the mission objectives, and sent back come stunning photographs. The photograph below is one of the thousands of photographs from this first mission. In the photograph you can see the blackness of space and the curvature of the earth below. You can also see the thin blue line around the earth, which is our blue sky and atmosphere.

The students are now preparing for their second launch. They are attempting even more aggressive things this time, and will be attempting to stream live video from space back to earth, with the live feed viewable from any computer in the world that is connected to the internet. This requires establishing and maintaining a high bandwidth data link from a ground station to the fast moving probe, and then piping that data in real time to the internet. It is really quiet a challenging project. If you are interested, we will provide live coverage of the launch, and then the videos and pictures streaming to space. Coverage of the launch will commence at 7:30 AM central time Thursday, May 8. The coverage will show prelaunch preparations, then the launch, and then finally the data and video coming back from the probe. If you are interested, you can watch the coverage on Thursday at the following link:

Hope you all will tune in and encourage these students that have worked so hard this year.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Rodeo Week

Welcome to Fat Stock Show and Rodeo Week here at OPOD. Fat Stock Shows and Rodeos are still big events across the West and South of the United States. It is usually a week long event, with rodeos every evening, and the stock shows during the day. Young people spend the year raising an animal . . . like a sheep, goat, steer or even a chicken or rabbit, and then "show" the animals at the event. Winning animals are then sold for big prize money. There usually are also show/contests for art, canned goods, garden produce, baked goods and even pickles. So, we will spend the week celebrating this great American tradition by looking at pictures from the last 100 years. Also, I hope you will share your memories of Stock Shows and Rodeos with us.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Woman Cyclist

We wrap up Bicycle Week here at OPOD with this picture of a woman cyclist from 1921. Wow, everything just seems so elegant back then. Yes, I think society has lost a certain element of gentleness that existed back in those days. Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed the week as much as I have, and hope you come back and tune in next week.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


I love this picture from 1937, as it shows several aspects of cycling that we have discussed this week. First, we can sort of see why girl's bikes do not have the bar . . . it is so a girl can ride the bike wearing a skirt. Second, it shows one of the more ingenious ways to ride double on a bike. The passenger sits on the seat, and the driver rides standing, supported by the pedals. I love how the boy scouts are giving the girls a ride. Note that the bikes likely belonged to the girls as they are girl bicycles.