November 26, 2013
Yes, but it’s upside down, right?
Turns out this was the Astronomy Picture of the Day back in September 2012. NASA said:
Milky Way Over the Bungle Bungles
Image Credit & Copyright: Mike Salway Explanation: Which part of this picture do you find more interesting — the land or the sky? Advocates for the land might cite the beauty of the ancient domes of the Bungle Bungle Range in Western Australia. These picturesque domes appear as huge layered beehives and are made of sandstones and conglomerates deposited over 350 million years ago. Advocates for the sky might laud the beauty of the Milky Way’s central band shown arching from horizon to horizon. The photogenic Milky Way band formed over 10 billion years ago and now includes many well-known nebulae and bright stars. Fortunately, you don’t have to decide and can enjoy both together in this beautiful 8-frame panorama taken from the dark skies of Purnululu National Park about two months ago.
Decide Anyway: Land or Sky
I’d make some remarks about silly names for land formations in Australia — but here we sit with The Grand Tetons, The Gros Ventre, and several dozen “Molly’s Nipples” in our nation.
But really: Bungle-Bungles?
Ain’t geography grand? Ain’t nature grand? Ain’t NASA doing something right?
November 13, 2013
Photo and caption from Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Does Lake Michigan’s record low mark beginning of new era for Great Lakes? At least 150 years of rhythmic pulses in Lake Michigan’s water levels appear to have shifted abruptly with loss of winter ice. Photo by Mark Hoffman, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Don’t get complacent, yet. Has enough water fallen in the Great Lakes drainage area in the past six months to change this situation at all? From the New York Times last June:
Drought and other factors have created historically low water marks for the Great Lakes, putting the $34 billion Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway shipping industry in peril, a situation that could send ominous ripples throughout the economy.
Water levels in the Great Lakes have been below their long-term averages during the past 14 years, and this winter the water in Lakes Michigan and Huron, the hardest-hit lakes, dropped to record lows, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Keith Kompoltowicz, the chief of watershed hydrology with the corps’s Detroit district, said that in January “the monthly mean was the lowest ever recorded, going back to 1918.”
While spring rains have helped so far this year, levels in all five Great Lakes are still low by historical standards, so getting through the shallow points in harbors and channels is a tense affair.
It’s not just storms, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers, you know.
The Great Lakes from space. The Great Lakes are the largest glacial lakes in the world. NASA photo via Wikipedia
Great Lakes in Sunglint (NASA, International Space Station, 06/14/12) (Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center)
November 2, 2013
An Aussie’s attempt to label the state of the U.S. Don’t laugh — how well can you do labeling a map of Australia? From Texas Hill Country’s Facebook feed, and unknown origin past that.
Found this at the Facebook site of Texas Hill Country. A little rough for high school geography, especially if it’s ninth grade geography (surely you can moderate this a bit, teachers), but a good idea for a quiz?
How well can your students do labeling the U.S.? Will they find this person’s obvious anguish and creative non-answers amusing? Can they do better?
Now turn the tables: How well can your students in the U.S. do labeling a map of Australia? Canada? Mexico?
Ask your students: Is it important to know such stuff? Why?
And you, Dear Reader: What do you think?
Here you go, a map of Australia to practice with:
Unlabeled map of Australia to label! Royalty free produce of Bruce Jones Design, Inc., copyright 2010
October 25, 2013
Or any other time of year.
From the Department of Interior Twitter feeds:
US Dept of Interior @Interior 16h Is there any doubt fall is best enjoyed in America’s great outdoors? Here’s great example from Devils Tower NM. pic.twitter.com/YRo1U8DSMQ
What do you think Richard Dreyfus thinks when he sees that? Stephen Spielberg?
“Devils Tower NM” means “National Monument,” not New Mexico. This volcano remnant stands in Wyoming.
Old friend, painter and photographer Nancy Christensen Littlefield offers a more close-up view.
Devil’s Tower on a July morning. Photo by Nancy Christensen LIttlefield.
And looking even closer, you spy Richard Dreyfus never-wanna-bes:
Climbers on Devils Tower. Photographer Nancy Littlefield said: “There were Native American prayer bundles along the trail around the base. It really is awe inspiring. Early morning gives you the best light to photograph it by.”
Devils Tower is the plug of an old volcano. What’s left is the magma that hardened, and what we see is left after the softer cone eroded away.
October 23, 2013
We had to fight to keep this stuff in Texas science books.
Then, out on the street, I see a U-Haul truck.
U-Haul truck features geographic information, and geology information, about Arkansas and its Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Detail: U-Haul truck features a graphic description of the geology and information about Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Well played, U-Haul. Can Texas catch up?
Update, October 24, 2013: Turns out U-Haul has a website that features all of the graphics they use on their trucks. I sense a geography or state history assignment in here, somewhere, social studies teachers. Reminds me of the animals that used to (still do?) grace the tails of Frontier Airlines airplanes, the Native American on the tails of Alaska Airlines, and other specific destination promoting tricks businesses have used over the years. Wish more businesses would do that.
October 18, 2013
Looks like snow to me. From the Department of Interior:
Fall colors have arrived at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. #nature #autumn #colorado pic.twitter.com/34RXSkuBLe
October 4, 2013
Photograph posted on Facebook by the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association:
Planning a trip to Hawk Mountain this weekend? Arrive early to enjoy great views of low-hanging fog and to see the sun peek out over the valley. It’s a great way to start any day. — with Quelia Paulino at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association.
September 30, 2013
You can only get this shot on two days each year.
From Astronomy Picture of the Day: Earth at Equinox. From the Russian meteorological satellite Elektro-L
Explanation from NASA:
Image Credit: Roscosmos / NTSOMZ / zelenyikot.livejournal.com
Courtesy: Igor Tirsky, Vitaliy Egorov Explanation: From a geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometers above the equator, Russian meteorological satellite Elektro-L takes high-resolution images our fair planet every 30 minutes. But only twice a year, during an Equinox, can it capture an image like this one, showing an entire hemisphere bathed in sunlight. At an Equinox, the Earth’s axis of rotation is not tilted toward or away from the Sun, so the solar illumination can extend to both the planet’s poles. Of course, this Elektro-L picture was recorded on September 22nd, at the northern hemisphere’s autumnal equinox. For a moment on that date, the Sun was behind the geostationary satellite and a telltale glint of reflected sunlight is seen crossing the equator, at the location on the planet with satellite and sun directly overhead (5MB animated gif).
Wait. Animated .gif? Cool!
The Earth at equinox, 2013; from Russan space program, via NASA.
September 26, 2013
What’s the southernmost unit of the U.S. National Park System? That’s where this photo was taken.
Stunning southern night sky in Ofu Island in the National Park of American Samoa! They get a brighter, richer view of the Milky Way in the Southern Hemisphere due to the location on the globe. This is the only national park found in the Southern Hemisphere. Photo: National Park Service
Many Americans seem unaware of worldwide holdings of the U.S. in territories, thinking the last territory was closed when Oklahoma or Arizona entered the union, or maybe Alaska or Hawaii. U.S. territories today include the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam (from the Spanish American War), Puerto Rico (from the same war), and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as organized territories. American Samoa is an “unorganized territory,” along with series of other islands in the Pacific: Baker Island, Howland Island, Palmyra Atoll, Johnson Atoll, Jarvis Island, Kingman Reef, the Midway Islands, and Wake Island; and in the Caribbean, Bajo Nuevo Bank, Navassa Island (also claimed by Haiti), and Serranilla Bank, also claimed by Colombia.
Most of these islands offer much better star-gazing than is ever possible in Dallas.
September 26, 2013
Caption from Interior’s Tweet: Sometimes there are no words to describe America’s public lands. This photo @EvergladesNPS proves it. #Florida pic.twitter.com/3l7fnrcfsG
Everglades National Park, in Florida, is a great example of wild lands that belong to all Americans, that we almost let slip away.
I’m not sure a painter could do a more stunning version of this view.
Location map: Everglades National Park in red. Wikipedia photo
September 23, 2013
World and U.S. history classes should be long past this point, but the photo just recently surfaced:
From America’s Outdoors: Bering Land Bridge National Preserve – Gone are the shockingly bright pinks, yellows and purples of summer, replaced by deeper and darker reds, yellows, greens and the beginnings of brown, all of equal vibrancy and beauty. And soon, as the 34 degree weather and diminishing daylight would lead us to believe, a blanket of white will fall upon the landscape. Enjoy the change of seasons wherever you may be!
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve? Did you even know there was such a thing? Part of our public lands, your tax dollars at work.
Not a place for a Sunday drive. There are no roads to get to the place. For students, this site offers a lot of photos and interesting stuff for projects in history (human migrations) and geography (land forms, lava flows, migration routes, wilderness).
Tors of Serpentine, in the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska – NPS photo
September 20, 2013
Were I teaching geography this year, I think I’d work hard to find some way to sneak this time-lapse piece into the curriculum somewhere.
The film maker has advice, and information (some links added):
RIO, from Scientifantastic
BEST VIEWED IN HD, FULLSCREEN, SCALING OFF
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I was lucky enough to be sent to Rio on assignment to shoot some 4K and 10K timelapse footage for a major electronics manufacturer. This video is a compilation of some of the footage I shot there. Most of the locations are within the city of Rio De Janeiro, but I also traveled to the famous Iguazú Falls on the border of the Brazilian state of Paraná and the Argentinian province of Misiones. In 2011 Iguazú Falls was announced as one of the seven winners of the New Seven Wonders of Nature by the New Seven Wonders of the World Foundation.
RIO DE JANEIRO
No wonder the beautiful city of Rio De Janeiro was chosen to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Rio de Janeiro, or simply Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named “Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea”, identified by UNESCO in the category Cultural Landscape.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the southern hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, carnival celebrations, samba, Bossa Nova, balneario beaches such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon. Some of the most famous landmarks in addition to the beaches include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer (“Cristo Redentor”) atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Sugarloaf mountain (Pão de Açúcar) with its cable car; the Sambódromo, a permanent grandstand-lined parade avenue which is used during Carnival; and Maracanã Stadium, one of the world’s largest football stadiums.
I hope you enjoy the video!
Various Canon lenses
Jan Baumann – baumann-musik.de
Special thanks to:
My production assistant José Olímpio ( joseolimpio.com ). Without his help this video would not have been possible. If you are ever in Rio and need a local production person I highly recommend José.
Dynamic Perception – dynamicperception.com
Division Camera – divisioncamera.com
Digital Fusion – digitalfusion.net
Jag35 – jag35.com
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Those of you who have traveled to Rio, tell us: Does this short piece show off Rio as you would want it to be shown?
September 3, 2013
Top of Colorado, anyway.
View from Longs Peak, yesterday:
View from Longs Peak, September 2, 2013; 14,259 ft. Photo by Xiang Li.
Xiang Li and James Darrell summited the mountain yesterday, a bit tougher climb than they had expected. No view like that comes without some great effort somewhere. They topped Grays Peak a couple of weeks ago — a slightly higher mountain (20 feet), but an easier climb.
Long’s Peak is the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Longs Peak is one of the 54 mountains with summits over 14,000 feet in Colorado. It can be prominently seen from Longmont, Colorado, as well as from the rest of the Colorado Front Range. It is named after Major Stephen Long, who explored the area in the 1820s. Longs Peak is one of the most prominent mountains in Colorado, rising nearly 10,000 feet above the western edge of the Great Plains.
September 1, 2013
Spectacular photo of Glen Canyon Dam, in the early morning, with a thunderstorm to the north. This photo was taken close to the spot where Norman Rockwell painted the dam about 40 years ago.
Electricity is in the air at Glen Canyon! Although the Glen Canyon Dam produces hydroelectric power around the clock, an early morning thunderstorm really cranked up the voltage earlier this month. Use caution when planning your upcoming outdoor activities as intense thunderstorms are common this time of year. (Bureau of Reclamation/Interior Facebook entry; photo Credit: David Bailey)
Norman Rockwell’s tribute to the Glen Canyon Dam. Bureau of Reclamation image