I’m in New York and yesterday afternoon I accidentally got caught in the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Unlike the infamous Seinfeld episode the mayhem we saw was pretty minimal, really just high spirits. I did learn a new word, boricua, which from context I take to mean a person born in Puerto Rico. It was pretty nuts out there:
Amidst the pandemonium I unexpectedly saw one thing that reminded me of Rice and of Bill Gordon, who served variously as dean of science and engineering, dean of natural science, and provost. If you zoom on this can see “Arecibo” on the float behind the pickup truck:
Here’s Dr. Gordon, the father of what is now known as “The William E. Gordon Telescope” at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, with a student on campus, I’d guess sometime in the ’70s:
And here’s a link to his American Institute of Physics oral history interview about the observatory. If you like this sort of thing, you’ll really enjoy this.
Your deduction on “Boricua” seems to be correct. Googling around, I see that it’s a Taino word, meaning “valiant people” that’s used as the name for to native Puerto Ricans (http://www.elboricua.com/vocabulary.html and other websites).
Also, that Arecibo sign is from the organization planning the March 13, 2015, celebration of the city’s 500th anniversary of it’s founding. Here’s a link to its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FQCAinc .
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