Here’s a photograph of one of the greatest, and longest-running tragedies of our time.
No, that’s not a stretch of water in the red circle. That’s North Korea, at night, blacked out by a lack of electrical lights.
It’s a photo from the International Space Station taken in January.
The KnowMore blog from the Post describes the tragedy, and points to even more disturbing stories:
North Korea appears as nothing more than a shadow in the above photograph, taken at night aboard the International Space Station last month. South Korea’s eastern coastline is indistinguishable from the demilitarized zone along the border with the North, as though the Sea of Japan flowed into the Yellow Sea and Pyongyang were an island in a strait separating South Korea from China.
North Korea’s interior is nearly invisible from orbit at night, just as what happens inside the country on a day-to-day basis is largely invisible to the outside world. U.N. investigators managed to shine a little light into North Korea’s darkest corners last month. [Click here to get to the U.N. report]
I’ve used similar photos in class. It’s a powerful exercise. North Korea is as dark as undeveloped and largely unpopulated areas of the Congo River Basin, the Australian Outback, the Arabian Peninsula’s “Empty Quarter,” and almost as dark as Antarctica.
No doubt stargazing is good in some of those dark spots in North Korea. This is one case where the absence of light pollution does NOT indicate good planning, but instead an amazing paucity of rational development.
Lightning strike in Monument Valley, photo by Carolyn Slay of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Smithsonian Magazine Tumblr Photo of the Day, February 20, 2014.
Rocks on the right can also be seen in this photo; can you help pinpoint the location of the photographer, and names of any of the other formations?
Reader and veteran librarian Judy Crook sent a Tweet alerting us to a recent release from the U.S. National Archives, “A Welcome to Britain, 1943.”
It’s a fascinating little film, if 38 minutes is still “little.”
Yes, that’s Burgess Meredith playing the soldier. I haven’t confirmed whether he was actually enlisted, but he often played soldiers or people at war — in 1945, playing war reporter Ernie Pyle, for example. In the 1950s, the House Committee on Unamerican Activities (HUAC) claimed Meredith had consorted too closely with communists, and he was blacklisted for years including a seven-year drought of work.
When this film was made, the Soviet Union was an ally of Britain and the United States. How times change.
This is a training film made by the War Department (later renamed “Defense Department”), to acquaint U.S. soldiers with what they would confront in Britain. Why did soldiers need such training? You can guess, perhaps. 258
Teachers, can you use this film in history class? Is the discussion on civil rights,
about 20 minutes at 25:30 in, instructive in the history of the time?
From the National Archives’s description on YouTube:
Published on Feb 5, 2014
Creator(s): Department of Defense.~. Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. (1954 – ) (Most Recent)
Series : Information and Education Films, compiled 1943 – 1969
Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, 1921 – 2008
Access Restriction(s): Unrestricted
Use Restriction(s): Restricted – Possibly
Note: Some or all of this material may be restricted by copyright or other intellectual property restrictions.
Scope & Content: This film introduced soldiers to Britain and told them what to expect, how to behave and how not to behave in Britain during World War II. It includes footage of military cameramen and black soldiers.
Contact(s): National Archives at College Park – Motion Pictures (RD-DC-M), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001
Phone: [omitted here]
National Archives Identifier: 7460305
Local Identifier: 330-IEF-7
What else hides in the vaults of the Archives?
But just try to get a commitment as to its origins. Photographic, or artist’s image?
I wagered the latter. Note general lack of thick clouds, angle of sunlight, etc.
Then, at Twisted Sifter (shout out to Annette Breedlove; and everyone outside my family will be mystified by that reference) I found this, the full image from NASA. Notice how some selective editing, changing the perspective, makes the image above more fascinating — while stripping out the identifying credits:
Well, that’s a different thing, then.
Twisted Sifter’s explanation of details, excerpt:
Seen above is a view of the Earth on September 21, 2005 with the full Antarctic region visible. The composite image shows the sea ice on September 21, 2005, the date at which the sea ice was at its minimum extent in the northern hemisphere. The colour of the sea ice is derived from the AMSR-E 89 GHz brightness temperature while the extent of the sea ice was determined by the AMSR-E sea ice concentration. Over the continents, the terrain shows the average land cover for September, 2004. The global cloud cover shown was obtained from the original Blue Marble cloud data distributed in 2002. [Source]
Due to the position of Antarctica in relation to our Sun it would not look like this to the naked eye. This is a composite that shows what Antarctica looks like if the entire continent were illuminated.
Global View of the Arctic and Antarctic on September 21, 2005
Collection: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio Collection
Title: Global View of the Arctic and Antarctic on September 21, 2005
Description: This image shows a view of the Earth on September 21, 2005 with the full Antarctic region visible.
Abstract: In support of International Polar Year, this matching pair of images showing a global view of the Arctic and Antarctic were generated in poster-size resolution. Both images show the sea ice on September 21, 2005, the date at which the sea ice was at its minimum extent in the northern hemisphere. The color of the sea ice is derived from the AMSR-E 89 GHz brightness temperature while the extent of the sea ice was determined by the AMSR-E sea ice concentration. Over the continents, the terrain shows the average landcover for September, 2004. (See Blue Marble Next Generation) The global cloud cover shown was obtained from the original Blue Marble cloud data distributed in 2002. (See Blue Marble:Clouds) A matching star background is provided for each view. All images include transparency, allowing them to be composited on a background.
Credit: *Please give credit for this visualization to* NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).
Animator: Cindy Starr (Lead)
Scientist: Ronald Weaver (University of Colorado)
Data Collected: AMSR-E Sea Ice: 2005-09-21; Blue Marble cloud layer 2002; Blue Marble Next Generation Seasonal Landcover 2004-09
UID: SPD-SCIVS-http://svs .gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a 000000/a003400/a0034 02/NSIDCimages__SPcl ouds.2158-IMAGE
Original url: svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003400/a003402/index.html
Visit www.nasaimages.org for the most comprehensive compilation of NASA stills, film and video, created in partnership with Internet Archive.
The image, and it’s odyssey and story, are reminders that reality is often better than the made up stuff; and it’s wise to properly attribute stuff you borrow. Is this just a cool image, or an opportunity for teachers to enrich the classroom and an argument for boosting NASA’s budget?
- NASA’s Landsat Images Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) (good teacher resources) (note this image not at that site)
This one NOT taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, though I suspect a telephoto lens was involved.
It’s a rising Moon, with the photo taken from the west side of the Lincoln Memorial, perhaps from the Virginia side of the Potomac River. The Lincoln Memorial is now part of the National Park Service’s portfolio of properties around our national capital.
Update: Jude Crook points out in comments (below) that this was a NASA Photo of the Day, originally; two federal agencies cooperating in the interest of photographic excellence . . .
The full moon is seen as it rises near the Lincoln Memorial, Saturday, March 19, 2011, in Washington. The full moon tonight is called a super perigee moon since it is at its closest to Earth in 2011. The last full moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March 1993.
Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
A long exposure, you can tell by the airplane streaks near the horizon. Walking that fine photography edge of long enough to get the exposure, but short enough not to distort the stars too much.
Viewed from the road, this desert park only hints at its vitality. Closer examination reveals a fascinating variety of plants and animals that make their home in this land shaped by strong winds, unpredictable torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the attraction of this place. Come see Joshua Tree National Park for yourself!
Photo: Sarah Chah (www.sharetheexperience.org)
And from what was this shot, if it’s a photo?
With everyone else,
But I wonder what brain bending goes on in this image. From Fascinating Pics:
What do you think? Painting? Photo? Manipulated photo?
Update: J.A. Higginbotham tracked down the original Flickr photo, by a Coolbiere. Nikon D-800, 70-200 zoom telephoto, at 122mm; claims to have taken it from Mount Parnasse. Luck and preparedness. Wow.
I was born on the Snake River, farther south and west, in Burley, Idaho. It’s a grand river, not so much in the water it moves as the way it moves through the landscape and becomes a part of grander parts of the American west. Kathryn and I honeymooned in Yellowstone, and stayed in Grand Teton on the way out.
There is nothing grander on Earth than a sunrise in the Tetons. Do you think a grizzly appreciates that?
Yeah, gotta get back there.
Here’s why, another video from the good people at Yosemite National Park:
Any of the National Parks is special, in winter. What is your snow and cold experience in them?
Who can you trust, if not the king and queen?
Columbus feared that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella would not honor pledges they had made to him as recompense and honor for his great work of discovery on their behalf. Before his final voyage, he assembled a legal document showing those promises made to him, and his work for Spain.
This illustrates, once again, the human dimension of the great drama of the age of exploration, of Columbus’s stumbling on to the America’s in his efforts to get to China.
On January 5, 1502, prior to his fourth and final voyage to America, Columbus gathered several judges and notaries in his home in Seville. The purpose? To have them authorize copies of his archival collection of original documents through which Isabel and Fernando had granted titles, revenues, powers and privileges to Columbus and his descendants. These 36 documents are popularly called “Columbus’ Book of Privileges.” Four copies of his “Book” existed in 1502, three written on vellum and one on paper. The Library’s copy, one of the three on vellum, has a unique paper copy of the Papal Bull Dudum siquidem of September 26, 1493, which extended the Spanish claim for future explorations.
512 years ago today.
Borrowed with permission from Mr. Darrell’s Wayback Machine. This has also appeared at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub before.
Earth on January 1, 2014. Looks pretty good from this angle.
Can we make it look this good down here on the ground?
More, perhaps related:
- Two supermoons in one month: January 1 and 30, 2014 (earthsky.org)
- Can you explain why Earth has four seasons? (earthsky.org)
- NASA releases this year’s best photos of Earth taken from space (rare.us)
- Some thoughts on Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth Catalog, from which and whom the headline is borrowed.
I love the poetic descriptions, from geologists!
Uploaded on Dec 7, 2009
Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America, and is a powerful presence in Yosemite Valley. From winter ice to spring flood to autumn dryness, this magnificent waterfall is a dynamic force of nature.
There’s even a resurrection story for the falls. Maybe Emily Dickinson was on to something about finding religion in nature.
- Yosemite National Park sponsors film contest for youths (fresnobee.com)
- The Mist Trail : Yosemite National Park (nobodygoingnowhere.wordpress.com)
- San Jose: High school student wins national honor for brave save at Yosemite (mercurynews.com)
It’s an interesting town, Dinosaur, Colorado 81610. It’s on the south side of US Highway 40, a very short distance east of the Utah border.
The town of Dinosaur was originally named Artesia; the current name was adopted in 1966, to capitalize on the town’s proximity to Dinosaur National Monument. The monument headquarters is located just east of the town on U.S. Highway 40.
It’s a setup, a straight line waiting for a good comedian.
Brian Switek, the science writer now based in Salt Lake City, suggests one area ripe for comedy:
Wait. What? Dinosaur Baptist Church?
Brian Tweeted that he wasn’t looking to ridicule, but: “I just imagined thyreophorans, maniraptorans, sauropodomorphs, and their ilk in the congregation.”
That might produce even more comedic situations.
It’s a Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated congregation. Aren’t you curious how Sunday school goes for dinosaur-crazy kids in such a church, in such a town?
Signs of life, signs of the times, signs of something!
From a different angle, one can see that the church is just a couple of blocks off of Stegosaurus Freeway. Wow.
Still, it’s fun to imagine a nice, small town church, with dinosaurs in the back pews singing along. (Instead, Chris Clarke suggested, they are hiding in the Rocks of Ages . . .)
- Groups Push to Find Industry-Outdoors Balance in Dinosaur, CO (publicnewsservice.org)
- Dinosaur National Monument (mysoul dothdelight.wordpress.com)
- Signs: “Church” Warning signs? (timpanogos.wordpress.com)
- More good stuff from Chris Clarke, here at Coyote Crossing
How much image manipulation, if any, was necessary to capture this enormous-looking Moon rising over a South Dakota “road to nowhere,” close to the 2013 Winter Solstice?
Who should get credit for the photo? (I can’t quite read the name in the lower left corner.)
Buy a print here, from the photographer, Aaron J. Groen.
- Here a Henge, There a Henge: Astronomy Fun on a Street Near You (blogs.scientificamerican.com)
- Solstice at The Henge: warm blankets, mulled wine and marshmallows (heritageaction.wordpress.com)
- Visualize Manhattanhenge … despite cloudy skies for a New York sunset (feeds.nbcnews.com)
- A Map That Shows When Any Street Aligns With the Sunset (atlanticcities.feedsportal.com)
- Fascinating “Facts”: Holding StoneHenge up to a Mirror (heritageaction.wordpress.com)
- At Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub