1) Pictures from a Guardian slide show of the 32nd Dakar Rally, a 5,976-mile off-road marathon stretching across Argentina and Chile,

Fans sit on a dune to watch the ninth stage in Copiapo, Chile.
Wonder how much these guys paid for their seats?

The BMW driver Guerlain Chicherit and his co-driver Michel Perin, from France, race their car in the sixth stage between Iquique and Arica in Chile.

Mitsubishi’s driver Guilherme Spinelli and his co-driver Youssef Haddad, both from Brazil, compete during the fourth stage between Jujuy, Argentina, and Calama, Chile.

KTM MRW Rally Factory’s Juan Pedrero Garcia rides through barren terrain between Iquique and Arica in Chile.

2) In 1944 Dr. Martin Luther King traveled to my home state to work at a tobacco field in Simsbury, Connecticut. The experience influence his decision to become a minister and heighten his resentment of segregation. The news story about that trip, linked to below, also gives us a window into the America I was born into, where in most places skin color dictated your place in society.

Can you remember any experiences from your youth that shaped your life?

From a Comcast news story – http://tinyurl.com/6kpwahz

“On our way here we saw some things I had never anticipated to see,” he wrote his father in June 1944. “After we passed Washington there was no discrimination at all. The white people here are very nice. We go to any place we want to and sit any where we want to.”

Until then, King was thinking of other professions such as becoming a lawyer, Conard-Malley said. But after his fellow Morehouse College students at the tobacco farm elected him their religious leader, he decided to become a minister.

In his later application to Crozer Theological Seminary King wrote that he made the decision that summer “when I felt an inescapable urge to serve society. In short, I felt a sense of responsibility which I could not escape.”

In a letter to his mother three days after he wrote his father, King marveled over a trip he took to Hartford.

“I never thought that a person of my race could eat anywhere but we ate in one of the finest restaurants in Hartford,” King wrote. “And we went to the largest shows there.”

He wrote a week earlier of going to the same church in Simsbury as white people. His new calling as a religious leader was emerging, too.

“I have to speak on some text every Sunday to 107 boys. We really have good meetings,” he wrote.

King was nicknamed “Tweed” by his friends because he often wore a tweed suit to church, said Alexis Kellam, whose late father, Ennis Proctor, worked with King that summer in Connecticut.

In her book “Through It All: Reflections on My Life, My Family, and My Faith,” Farris wrote that her brother underwent a “metamorphosis” as a result of his time in Connecticut.