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Pancho Villa Raids Columbus, New Mexico

Columbus, pictured after the raid.

March 9 1916, Columbus, New Mexico–Mexico had been in turmoil since the ouster of Porfirio Díaz in 1911.  The United States’ relationship had been fraught during this period, including an occupation of Veracruz for six months in 1914.  This had contributed to the downfall of reactionary President Huerta in July 1914.  Huerta had fled to the United States, where German agents had plotted to restore him to power in Mexico; this attempt was foiled with his arrest in New Mexico in late June 1915 thanks to the actions of Czech agents working against the Germans.

After Huerta’s withdrawal, the forces that had opposed him now struggled for power themselves.  By the end of 1915, Carranza had consolidated power in most of Mexico, with his former allies, Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, reduced to conducting guerilla warfare in the north and south of the country, respectively.  By March of 1916, Villa was growing desperate, running low on supplies and ammunition.  He decided to launch a raid into the United States to seize these needed supplies, picking the town of Columbus, New Mexico, which he believed to be well-stocked but lightly defended.

At 4:15 AM on March 9, around 500 mounted Villistas charged into the town, looting what supplies they could and burning the rest.  Civilians with arms attempted to resist as best they could, while others took refuge in the brick storehouse.  The town was not as lightly defended as Villa had hoped; there were in fact 270 men from the 13th Cavalry Regiment stationed in the town.  Although initially caught off guard, they quickly got out of their bunks and to their weapons (in some cases barefoot) and began to fire on Villa’s forces.  The Americans were armed with four machine guns, which were able to fire off more than 5,000 rounds each over the next hour and a half.

Taking heavy casualties, the Villistas retreated back into Mexico.  Two detachments of Americans pursued them back into Mexico (despite standing instructions telling them not to cross the American border), following them for fifteen miles until they ran short of ammunition.  Eight American soldiers and ten civilians were killed in the raid, to around 90 Villistas; several Villistas were captured and most of them were executed later in the year.

Today in 1915: British Officers Forbidden From Attending Nightclubs in Uniform

Sources include: Randal Gray, Chronicle of the First World War

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En Lima, el cementerio de Nueva Esperanza o “Virgen de Lourdes”, en el distrito de Villa María del Triunfo, es considerado el más grande del Perú y segundo del mundo (el primero esta en Irak). Será, sin duda, el más visitado este 1ero de Noviembre, Día de Todos los Muertos.


( La actriz Muki Sabogal sale en la primera foto )

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SOLAR PUNK: It’s not just fiction


I often think about what the future will be like. In the midst of the advancements of our current Digital Revolution lies regression. People are becoming more detached and everything is so condensed. Communication (SMS, social media etc) and architecture (skyscrapers, housing complexes, centralised cities etc) are good examples. The degradation of Earth seems to spell a dystopian future. However I have seen the light (prepare for corny pun) - solar punk. I know for the most part, solar punk is sci-fi. But I believe that, to an extent, it can be a reality. Here are some EXISTING elements that I think fit into the solar punk future

1. Finolhu Villas, a 5 star resort on Kaafu Atoll in The Maldives. Its completely solar powered. The over water location and curved roofs make the design less rigid & linear…more fluid.

2. A “Secret Garden” in Uijeongbu, South Korea. This 20 000 square-ft park is on the 9th floor of a 12 story building. Its a marriage of nature and technology; one I imagine to belong in a solar punk future. Maze gardens, playgrounds, a pool and a cultural centre for the community are in keeping with natural and social intergration.

3. Eco-friendly bamboo houses and solar trees that the public can use for Wi-Fi and charging phones among other things.

4. Art!!! After all, we’re humans. How true are the words of Victor Hugo? “The beautiful is as useful as the useful. Perhaps more so” There’s no point in improving our surroundings if we cant admire them. These beautiful blown-glass trumpets are part of a collection by Etai Rahmil and Phil Siegel. They’re environmentally friendly, functional and stunning. Inspired by the seasons, these trumpets show how utility, nature and art can co-exist in the future.

“Old plane possibly near the border” – Unidentified airplane, possibly an experimental twin engine Curtiss Jenny tested or used in the southwest during the Border War

Date: circa 1916-1917
From the T. Asplund collection, Negative Number 055165