Monday, October 20, 2014

Thomas Hunt Morgan a 'key figure in modern science'

The Thomas Hunt Morgan Biological Sciences Building at the University of Kentucky.
Author's collection.
Lexington's Nobel laureate has been in the news lately. Quite remarkable for a guy who received that award some 81-years ago.

But Thomas Hunt Morgan's great contributions to science, and his hometown's affinity for history, have kept his story alive. And an effort is underway to make sure that the story thrives.

A few weeks ago, the Women's Club of Central Kentucky donated its home to the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation. That home was the childhood home of Dr. Morgan.

An online post by Dr. Tom Kimmerer in September profiled the Lexington buildings connected to Dr. Morgan and set forth an explanation of the import of Dr. Morgan's research: "Morgan is a key figure in modern science not just because of his accomplishments, but because of his underlying skepticism. He did not believe any biological theory unless he could test it. But once he had thoroughly tested it over and over to his own satisfaction, he yielded his skepticism."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Politics (and its yard signs) is the damnedest

Political signage from 2010. Author's collection.
A couple weeks ago, I drove through a few different central Kentucky counties. As is the case throughout the Commonwealth, each is in the midst of election season. Political signage dotted the rolling hillsides.

But the hillsides and intersections weren’t overrun like they are here in fair Jessamine County.

Without a doubt, political signs could be found in the counties I visited. I saw numerous signs for both local offices and state representative.

Yet, I wasn’t inundated. I could drive more than thirty second without encountering a political sign of any sort.

It seems as if I cannot travel thirty feet in Jessamine County without spotting a yard sign for some candidate or another.

So why are yard signs such a part of Jessamine County’s political culture?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

10 Links To Help Get Through #HumpDay

A camel at the Louisville Zoo. He knows what today is. 
You know what today is, right?

It's Hump Day!

To get through the mid-week blues, read on for the week's top 10 posts on Kaintuckeean!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Lost Fall Tradition: Haggins' Huge Party at Elmendorf

Green Hills Mansion - Lexington, Ky. UK Libraries.
Fall traditions in Kentucky abound. Each community seems to have a fall festival. Grand plans are made to enjoy the rites of Keeneland and Commonwealth Stadium. Each glorious event occurring with anticipation of the next. All the while, the weather turns brisk just as leaves turn their color.

James Ben Ali Haggin
But one tradition faded into the recesses of our past. But a scion of central Kentucky would make his annual pilgrimage to his Kentucky mansion for a few months before returning north again.

James Ben Ali Haggin, the Mercer County native who made his millions on California gold, consolidated his equine holdings to Fayette County in 1905. It was here, on his Elmendorf Farm, that he built Green Hills Mansion.

Green Hills was 40-rooms strong and its construction costs are estimated in today's dollars at over $200 million. Opulence was everywhere.

And the opulence continued at the gala hosted by Haggin and his wife upon their arrival at Green Hills each autumn.


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