Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Born too soon? Very interesting radio show about UW professor Lionel Pries

February 7th 2008 Sound Focus show on KUOW is worth hearing. The archives are permanent.

Architecture professor Lionel Pries was highly regarded at University of Washington. Many of his students went on to design things like the Space Needle. He received a standing ovation at some national convention in 1958, but 6 months later he was out of a job. It was found out that he was gay. In many ways, the social climate was really harsh back then.

The last 10 years of his life were lived in obscurity till his death in 1968; one year before Stonewall.

Now it's 40 years later and the story is finally coming out. Professor Jeffrey Ochsner spent the last 15, or so years piecing together the story that's been hidden all those years. Radio Interview tells it better than me, but I was practically glued to my radio.

It makes me think about how society has improved in many ways since the 1950s.

Imagine what life could be like for future generations.

February 22-23 2008 will be an Over the Rainbow Festival at Mount Vernon High School.

Mount Vernon, WA. is about 23 miles south of here.

The high school has a Gay / Straight Alliance which is sponsoring this festival along with Skagit Valley Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. It will be a ground breaking weekend.

I often wonder what things would be like to be in high school these days.

When I was in school, back in the 1970s, the word gay was hardly mentioned.

Still, I went to a real progressive school and they actually did have a speaker who talked about gay rights. That speaker was invited to a civil rights and civil liberties class. For the 1970s, it was really progressive.

Yes, in some ways, society gets better, but one holdover from past thinking is sure affecting us. The adage about being fruitful and multiplying and subduing the Earth.

Today I pull up Yahoo News and see a story that Lake Meade may go dry in coming years. That's the big lake behind Hoover Dam on the Colorado River.

All those growing cities such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego that tap water from the Colorado River. Their populations keep growing. Also global warming is predicted to mean dryer years in the American South West; at least according to a lot of scientists. That means there could be years when the lake pretty much goes totally dry by the end of the water season.

Combination of droughts and more demands for the water means trouble.

I keep saying we need more gay people, or at least less procreation to enter the future. Also, of course, we need innovation.

Where's Southern California going to get it's water from, in the future with the Colorado River about as tapped as it can be?

Nuclear power running desalinization from the Pacific Ocean?

Solar desalinization?

We will need a lot of creativity, flexibility and the ability to accept change in the future. Some of the old adages will need adjusting.

In many ways, it does seem like attitudes are getting better. We will need progressive thinking to survive in the future.

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