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Mini Dragon Group (ages 6-7)

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Myron Markov
Myron Markov

Utopia Colony



The Utopia colony was a human settlement located on the planet Mars and established some time prior to the mid-2150s. The colony was threatened in 2155 when a group of xenophobic humans known as Terra Prime took control of the nearby Verteron Array. To prevent the array from being misused as a weapon, Starfleet determined to destroy it; destruction of the array threatened to destroy part of the colony. (ENT episodes: "Demons", "Terra Prime")




Utopia Colony



In 1835 the colonists moved north to Claiborne Parish and bought a tract of hilly land much like their home territory in Germany. This final home of the colony lies a few miles north of present-day Minden, which was founded later, in 1836 or 1837, by Charles Veeder of New York, whose family background was German. Some historical evidence indicates Veeder met the Germantown settlers in Kentucky as they headed down the Ohio River. Such contact might have influenced his choice of a site for a town, since he arrived with a steamboat load of goods for sale, suggesting that he might have known settlers were already in the area.


Ultimately New Llano developed about sixty different industries which both supplied the community and brought in income, through cash or trade, and all profits went to the colony, which members had shares in. They produced everything from peanut butter to paint and fertilizer; they operated bakeries and print shops, a hotel, and a general store.


New Llano is not a household name, even in Louisiana, but during its twenty-plus years in Vernon Parish, the colony enacted progressive policies that were decades ahead of the country at large. Women especially had benefited from the ability to learn trades and develop greater financial independence. They also could take up to six months off work following the birth of a child, and child care was provided for all families during the workday. Seniors who were no longer able to work were cared for by the community.


In 1778, based on plans drawn up by architect Francesco Collecini, the Royal Colony of San Leucio came into being. Later statutes from 1789 legislated the progressive policies of the town and its citizens: each family received a house in the colony; mandatory schooling for both boys and girls was instituted; silk workers put in 11-hour days (less than the 14-hour day common across Europe at the time); the houses within the colony had running water, and health services were provided for the workers. Men and women worked together and were treated equally. Private property was abolished and workers put a portion of their pay into a common fund to provide for the needs of all, including the elderly and the sick. The colony had an elected assembly. In short, it was an attempt to put the philosophy of the Age of Enlightenment into practice.


The ruins on Pearblossom Highway are monuments to a different tradition. They are what is left of the Llano del Rio cooperative colony founded in May, 1914, by Job Harriman, a socialist lawyer who ran for vice president of the United States, governor of California and mayor of Los Angeles, winning about 35% of the 137,000 votes cast in the 1911 mayoral election.


In 1897, the colony moved to a site about five miles away. It ran along Yellow Creek and included a cave with an enormous entrance that the colonists used as a meeting place and cannery. A few hundred feet from there, the colony built a three-story building which they used as a printer, dining room, nursery and library.


All this sounded great in theory, but the Ruskin Cooperative Association was destined to become a footnote in Tennessee history. The first sign that something was wrong occurred in 1895, when Wayland left the colony because of conflicts about ownership in the newspaper. There were also bones of contention about religion and equal rights for women, among other things.


Disputes led to a lawsuit in the summer of 1897 and, from that point on, legal problems tore the colony apart. As some members decided to leave, there were disputes about money people had originally invested in the place.


Justin Wadland, a librarian, historian, and storyteller, paints a haunting portrait of an anarchist utopian community on the Key Peninsula of western Pierce County, which despite its founders' hopes failed to last more than 25 years.


In the late nineteenth century, utopian communities sprouted up around the Puget Sound region: Burley on Kitsap Peninsula, Equality on Skagit Bay, Freeland on Whidbey Island, and the Puget Sound Cooperative on the Olympic Peninsula at Port Angeles. Then in 1896, three men from Glennis, a failed utopian colony near Tacoma, made their way to the Key Peninsula and established the anarchist utopian colony of Home. Oliver Verity, George H. Allen, and Frank Odell hoped that this would be a place for individual freedom from laws and a place with as little organization as possible.


Newspaper ads brought people from radical circles to the colony and by 1898 the community had grown to 23 people; a decade there would be 200 people and 50 houses. The colonists felled the trees, planted gardens, and built houses on the two acres each family was allowed. Soon Liberty Hall was built, a venue where many dances were held, talks were given, and bands and singing groups performed. A library was established with books of literary and political interest. Depending on the viewpoint of the visitor, the colony was variously described as "apostles of the gospel of nonresistance," "an abode of free spirits," "a motley assembly," "a reeking hell hole," and a "colony of cranks."


In 1901 President William McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist, Leon Czolgosz. The Home colony responded with much apprehension and some predicted that the assassination would lead to persecution. They were right. A group of citizens from Tacoma boarded a ship to go to Home and attack the colony. The ship's captain forestalled the attack when he pretended, in the middle of the bay, that the ship was malfunctioning.


Newspapers played an important part in the history of the colony. Discontent: The Mother of Progress was published at Home and lasted until 1907. It was distributed nationwide and anarchist writers as well as residents of Home were encouraged to submit articles. In 1910 Jay Fox, a prominent anarchist from Chicago, began publishing The Agitator. Around this time individual liberty became an issue in the colony when some residents chose to swim in the nude and other residents disapproved of the practice. Fox's article "The Nudes and the Prudes" and his defense of individual liberty prompted his arrest on charges of publishing matter to encourage disrespect for the law. Many pages of Trying Home are devoted to Fox and his problems as well as to Donald Vose, a young man who grew up in Home and became a spy for the Burns Detective Agency, whose testimony helped convict anarchists who dynamited the Los Angeles Times building.


A bold and idealistic experiment unfolded on the shores of Burley Lagoon at the turn of the 20th Century. The Burley Colony, founded in 1898, was a utopian community of 150 men, women and children whose dream of perfect equality flourished, floundered and fizzled over a 14-year span.


Burley, one of five utopian colonies in Western Washington, was conceived by a Chicago-based group of forward thinkers as a showcase for the benefits of a communal economy. Real estate and equipment were held in common. The bounty of the land and products manufactured by the colony were equally shared.


By documenting details of colony life, LaCombe hopes to show the historical significance of Burley, protect its relative isolation and cement in collective memory how seeds of the community were sown.


Besides Laxson's home, a handful of colony-era structures remain. Most have been heavily remodeled. One of the buildings was a store owned by colonist Otto Herbert. Otto's son Frank Herbert wrote the "Dune" trilogy. The late Frank Herbert was born in 1920 in Tacoma, after the colony disbanded.


One group, the Social Democracy of America, thought the way to spread its collective ideal was by concrete example. Washington State was seen as fertile ground to establish utopian colonies. Several SDA leaders from Chicago identified the valley at the head of Burley Lagoon as a promising location.


In 1898, the colony's 16 original residents found virgin forest, formerly home to members of the Squaxin, Duwamish and Sammamish tribes. By 1900, the colony's population ranged between 150 and 200. About half the colony's 300 acres were cleared, and several cottage industries were well established. The colony had a lumber mill, an orchard, a fruit cannery, printing press and cigar factory.


Nonresident members of the brotherhood hailed from far and wide, their dues providing seed money for the project and a foot in the door for future residency, should they desire. Residents paid no dues, but provided the sweat and muscle on which the colony survived.


John Calhoun grew up in Tennessee, the son of a high school principal and an artist, and was an avid birder when young. After earning his PhD in zoology, he joined the Rodent Ecology Project in Baltimore in 1946, whose purpose was to eliminate rodent pests in cities. The project had limited success, partly because no one could figure out what aspects of rodent behavior, lifestyle, or biology to target. Calhoun set up his first utopia, involving Norway rats, in the woods behind his house to monitor rodents over time and figure out what factors drove their population growth.


That robust growth masked some serious problems, however. In the wild, infant mortality among mice is high, as most juveniles get eaten by predators or perish of disease or cold. In mouse utopia, juveniles rarely died. As a result, there were far more youngsters than normal, which introduced several difficulties.


In his first book, the 1999 Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate, Johnson presented a McLuhanesque argument about the way media shape human perception of the world. He illustrated this by discussing the art and literature of past ages as shapers of the pre-digital worldview, and by claiming that the digital interface was reshaping human perception in our own world. Emergence is about the way higher-level systems emerge from the behavior of individuals at a lower level, without direct leadership by "pacemakers" from above. Individual ants, for instance, react to a very limited range of stimuli, but their collective behavior creates and sustains a self-regulating social entity, the ant colony. 041b061a72


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