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Excuse Me While I Kiss the Sky

Today, many Americans will focus their gaze upon the sky. THE GREAT AMERICAN SOLAR ECLIPSE IS FINALLY HERE, where the sun will be eclipsed by the moon, with a path of totality that will stretch across the entire country, from the west coast to the east coast. For those lucky enough to live or have traveled to areas within the 12 states that will experience a TOTAL eclipse can expect total darkness for a few minutes today. This will cause a stir in wildlife and even some humans may get a bit restless! So, what is a solar eclipse exactly? t’s when, following a course charted before the dawn of history, the moon will pass between the sun and the Earth and cast a shadow across a wide stretch o

Make Music and Peace.

We are currently wrapping up a 3-day anniversary celebration of the largest peace and love music festival there ever was….Woodstock. From August 15th through the 17th in 1969, a patch of farmland in an upstate town in New York was the place to be. Promoters of the Woodstock concert originally envisioned the festival as a way to raise funds to build a recording studio and rock-and-roll retreat near the town of Woodstock, New York. They were incredibly successful in landing a roster of top acts including the Who, Santana, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Sly and the Family Stone, and Creedence Clearwater Revival just to start the list. But when the event was denied pe

For Whom the Bells Tolled

The streets of London will be a bit quieter beginning next week and for the next four years. At precisely noon next week on August 21st (which coincidentally is also the date when Americans will be experiencing a very rare total solar eclipse), the famous bells of Big Ben will silence as a major renovation and restoration endeavor kicks off. The famous clock tower first rang out on May 31, 1859, just over 158 years ago and has only gone quiet from 1983-85 for a period of refurbishment and briefly in 2007 for maintenance. Decades of weather and water damage are causing the stone tower walls to crumble, the bells themselves are rusting and even the clock faces are eroding. The restoration tea

Creating an Institution

By definition, an institution is an established law, practice, organization, foundation, society or custom. On this day in 1846, President James K. Polk signed the Smithsonian Institution Act into law. But did you know that the Smithsonian Institution was created by a curious British benefactor who had NEVER VISITED THE UNITED STATES? That’s right. James Smithson, an English scientist, (a type of zinc carbonite was named Smithsonite in his honor) left a peculiar footnote in his will that in the event that his only nephew died without any heirs, Smithson decreed that the whole of his estate would go to “the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian

Lift Off!

This past weekend, not only did we celebrate 58 years since the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), it also marked a live celebration on the International Space Station (ISS). NASA, a civilian agency was established in 1959 as a result of US Congress legislation, was created in response to the Soviet Union’s October 4, 1957 launch of its first satellite, Sputnik I. Considered at the time a competition, Sputnik’s launch lifted off the “space race.” Since then, NASA has been responsible for coordinating America’s activities in space. NASA has sponsored space expeditions, both human and mechanical, that have yielded vital information about the solar system and

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