Relics of the past

On Monday, we visited Biosphere 2 and the Titan Missile Museum. Both were impressive in their own ways.

Biosphere 2 seemed (from the tour, at least) to be the idea of one man, Edward Bass, who poured an enormous amount of money into the project. There were obviously some political undercurrents (our guide told us about disputes with Columbia University, but the story was clearly only told from one side), and the future of the project is very much in doubt. At one point, it was to be sold, razed, and the land was to be used for a high-end housing development, but that seems to have fallen through. And so the complex is in maintenance mode for the forseeable future.

The Titan Missile Museum, on the other hand, expressed a national policy (Mutually Assured Destruction) whose time seems to have passed — at any rate, we no longer have an obvious opponent at which to point missiles. Every tour features a simulated missile launch — Jeff got to turn the key on our tour — and it was unsettling to see how short a time it took to launch the missile. It was also disturbing when our guide told us that the crew’s orders ended after launching the missile — after that, they would have been on their own.

In between our sightseeing, we hit some familiar Tucson restaurants — Magpie’s Pizza and El Charro Cafe. I didn’t think Magpie’s was as good as usual; El Charro, however, was in fine form. Breakfast, unsurprisingly, was at The Good Egg, which was as always.

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