A Grand Idea

This is a photograph of the Grand Canyon that was taken on May 7, 2014 by Flickr user Airwolfhound.

On January 11, 1908, our 26th U.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt declared the Grand Canyon a national monument. President Roosevelt was remarkable in his foresight. He knew the historical, ecological, and recreational value of the site. Find out for yourself. Take the U.S. National Park Service’s Virtual Tour of the Grand Canyon and discover the wonders that archeologists, naturalists, and hikers experience when they move through the park.

Remembering the Future: Metropolis

Still from Fritz Lang's 1927 science fiction film about a dystopian future.

On January 10th, 1927 the world gazed upon a startling dystopian version of the future. Fritz Lang‘s landmark sci-fi film Metropolis was released in Germany. Fans of retro-futurism can celebrate the event and watch Lang’s cinematic masterpiece via the Internet Archive. Cost of admission: FREE!

Good Day Sunshine

Sunshine is a welcome sight on wintery days. Even when it’s chilly outside, the cheery presence of our solar system‘s very own resident star makes a blustery breeze and low temperatures bearable. Want to accurately calculate sunrise and sunset? Want to keep up with the sun’s movement? Take a look at SunCalc.

This is a screenshot of SunCalc.

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Any Way the Wind Blows

Arctic blasts, chilling drops in temperature, freezing gusts everywhere–BRRRRR! Welcome to winter. Take a look at Windyty, an interactive wind map and see where earth’s atmosphere is casting about all of that cold air.

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Wait a Second…

This is an image of a broken clock, its parts scattered about.A second doesn’t seem like such a big deal, right? It’s just a wee sliver of time. What’s the harm in dropping an extra second into the vast ocean of a year? With well over 31 million seconds in a year (31,540,000 to be exact) who would even care or notice if we added one more?

As it turns out, the entire internet seems to be having second thoughts about the idea. Bob Yirka‘s concise Phys.org article,  Adding leap second this year expected to cause Internet problems explains how a mere chronological crumb may be enough to generate communicational and computational chaos.

Well, the Weather Outside is Frightful…

The temperature’s dropping. It’s cold out there and it’s only going to get colder. Thank goodness we can all pull up a chair and gather around the Internet Fireplace. While we bask in the glow of the faux flames, we can review what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service have to say about the importance of winter preparedness. Working together, we can be a Weather-Ready Nation.

A Blast From the Past: The Rocket Book

Drop by the Library of Congress and explore its Center for the Book site. Why? The site hosts quite a bit of exciting and free books that are sure to please readers of all ages. Need proof? If so, flip through The Rocket Book (1912) by Peter Sheaf Hersey Newell. Delightful verse and humorous images propel eager readers through a madcap story that as fresh now as it was when it first appeared 102 years ago.

Image from The Rocket Book by American artist and author, Peter Newell (1862-1924). A naughty boy playing in a basement finds and ignites a rocket that blasts upward in an apartment building. In this image, a family meal is explosively upset as the rocket races ever upward.

The Steiners on the floor above
Of breakfast were partaking;
Crash! came the rocket, unannounced,
And set them all a-quaking!
It smote a catsup bottle, fair,
And bang! the thing exploded!
And now these people all declare
That catsup flask was loaded.

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