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UT Austin Prospie Weekend - Feb. 2005





This was my first trip to Texas (other than switching planes at DFW). So my first big surprise went something like, "Huh. Looks a lot like Indiana. But with more trailers...and...junkyards...."



Campus, as seen from one of the astronomy floors. The astronomy department shares a building with both math and physics. If I remember correctly, astronomy has floors 15 through 17.



Same window but looking to the left this time. Note the bell tower, which we'll visit next. Yep, that's the bell tower where, back in 1966, a sniper took residence and began taking pot-shots at the people below. There are still places (like some lampposts) where one can see filled-in bullet holes.



"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." Definitely one of my favorite lines from the Bible. Wish more universities had quotes like that on their main buildings. But I know the PC Police would rather die first....



I love this shot. The reflecting pool and statue are neat, even if I don't know what they mean. And I think I scared the other people in our group when I realized those were hippocampi and promptly went berzerk. I mean, how often does one see hippocampus sculptures?!



Later, we took a tour of the Capitol building. As I continued to learn throughout my trip, they really do do everything bigger in Texas. The Texas Capitol building is bigger than the U.S. Capitol.



A section of the rotunda, with portraits of every governor of Texas, in order of service.



And way up at the top is a giant star that spells out "TEXAS" at the inside vertices. That star is actually huge, spanning somewhere around five to seven feet.



These were in both the house and senate rooms. It took me a while to realize what these lights actually were: a massive five-pointed star with light bulbs spelling out "TEXAS." Made me chuckle.



The floor of the rotunda. Each seal around the outside shows a different country that once had control over what is now Texas: Spain, France, Mexico, Confederates, and the United State. Texas itself, of course, is at the center of the star. (Seeing a pattern yet?)



On the flight home, I just managed to wake up in time to see that we were flying over Fermilab. So I quickly whipped out my camera and began taking pictures, much to the surprise (and confusion) of the people around me.



I got some nice views of Chicago at night on my way back to Indy. This is darker than it really was, but I couldn't leave the shutter open as long as I wanted due to the shaky plane. I think this is probably part of the south-eastern suburbs.







 



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