Stories tagged On this day

Tell us about something that happened today in history, and make it relate to current science.

Draw A Dinosaur Day approaches
Draw A Dinosaur Day approachesCourtesy Mark Ryan
Hey kids! This coming Wednesday - January 30th - is my birthday. And even more exciting, it’s once again Draw A Dinosaur Day! I used to love drawing dinosaurs as a kid so I think it really cool that the two events fall on the same date each year. What’s so special about Draw A Dinosaur Day? It’s not really complicated – it’s just a day to draw your favorite dinosaur and submit it to the official DADD website. Simple, huh?

Several years ago, Mr. Todd H. Page, the brains behind DADD, thought it would be “a fun way to get everyone to do something creative and silly.” He got that right. Just look at some previous submissions.

This year will be the 7th annual Draw A Dinosaur Day. So, in the next few days start to figure out which dinosaur you want to draw and then, on January 30th get out your pens, pencils, crayons or whatever and draw a dinosaur. When you’re finished just upload your masterpiece to the DADD page!

That’s all I want for my birthday.

DADD website

Jupiter and Luna
Jupiter and LunaCourtesy Mark Ryan
Our Moon and the planet Jupiter appear to be in a close dance together in the sky tonight. The two celestial bodies are just a couple Moon-widths from each other. Some viewers in South America could see an occultation with Jupiter disappearing behind the Moon. I ventured out to photograph the waltz despite major sub-zero temperatures here in Minnesota.

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Yahoo story

Nikola Tesla c. 1893: The inventor and electrical engineer was born July 10, 1856 and died on January 7, 1943.
Nikola Tesla c. 1893: The inventor and electrical engineer was born July 10, 1856 and died on January 7, 1943.Courtesy Public domain photo by Napoleon Sarony via Wikipedia
Seventy years ago on January 7, 1943, inventor, physicist, and electricity wonder-kind Nikola Tesla died alone in a New York City hotel room. The Serbian-American scientist held more than 700 patents including several that made radio possible, yet he died penniless and deep in debt.

In his prime, Tesla (with investor George Westinghouse) had battled with Tesla's former employer Thomas Edison over the best method of transmitting electrical current. Edison favored direct current and won the battle, but later he admitted Tesla's alternating current was superior. It's been the standard means of transmitting electricity for more than a century (although, this could be changing).

Below are some links to more information about the remarkable Tesla.

Monument to Tesla sought
PBS show on Tesla
1899 interview with Tesla in Pearson's magazine
Belgrade's Nikola Tesla Museum

Charles R. Knight greeting card
Charles R. Knight greeting cardCourtesy Public domain via Wikipedia
This clever greeting card was created over 90 years ago by paleo-artist, Charles R. Knight. I thought it'd be a great way to wish all readers of Science Buzz a very Happy New Year!

I'm a big fan of Knight's work. Many of his best prehistoric-themed murals can be seen at the Field Museum in Chicago. Additional paintings can be found at colleges, libraries and other museums in the US, including the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. Painting by Charles R. Knight: Dinosaurs and Fossils gallery at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Lucy Knight Steel gave her father's 1930 painting to Einar G. C. Lofgren, who donated it to the museum.
Painting by Charles R. Knight: Dinosaurs and Fossils gallery at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Lucy Knight Steel gave her father's 1930 painting to Einar G. C. Lofgren, who donated it to the museum.Courtesy Mark Ryan
We're lucky to have one here at the Science Museum of Minnesota. It's a large original painting of a Stegosaurus done by Knight in 1930 (see photo). It hangs in the Dinosaurs and Fossil gallery next to the Camptosaurus exhibit. The painting was the template for the mosaic that graces the entrance to the Reptile House at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

The World of Charles R. Knight
More about Charles R. Knight
Book review of "Charles R. Knight: the Artist Who Saw Through Time".

Bad call: Looks like the NFL's substitute referees weren't the only ones to make bad calls this year.
Bad call: Looks like the NFL's substitute referees weren't the only ones to make bad calls this year.Courtesy Frederick Catherwood via Mark Ryan
This is good news. The only downside is now I have to go Christmas shopping.

A total solar eclipse was visible across the extreme north of Australia yesterday giving residents, tourists, and eclipse-chasing scientists the thrill of a lifetime. Here’s a timelapse and informational video of the event. Total solar eclipses occur about twice each year but since the Earth is 70 percent water, they often happen in remote, unpopulated locations. But remember folks, in less than five years, the Moon’s shadow will sweep across the mid-section of the United States when a total solar eclipse takes place on August 21, 2017. Whatever you do, do not miss it. It is truly something amazing to witness live.

National Fossil Day artwork: My winning entry in this year's National Fossil Day Art & Photography Contest.
National Fossil Day artwork: My winning entry in this year's National Fossil Day Art & Photography Contest.Courtesy Mark Ryan
National Fossil Day is finally here. The official website calls it "a celebration organized to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational value."

I'm a big fossil fan year round but I'm particularly happy today because I won first place in the NFD's Art & Photo Contest! The theme this year was "Careers in Paleontology". My entry, pictured at right, is a nod to paleoart and features a new "dinosaur" species (Bryocrinoidosaurus decorahi) created using invertebrate fossils found in Minnesota. You can view all the winning entries here.

National Fossil Day is planned and promoted by the National Park Service through partnerships with professional organizations, government agencies, and other science-related groups such as the American Geosciences Institute, the National Earth Science Teachers Association and the Paleontological Research Institution.

The Science Museum of Minnesota celebrates National Fossil Day this coming Saturday, October 20, from 1pm to 4pm. Everyone is invited to join in on the celebration of fossils!

Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian skydiver attempting to break several frreefall records, has lifted off from Roswell, New Mexico and is ascending into the stratosphere and beyond as I write. The helium balloon that's lifting him upward is, right now, nearing 100,000 feet at a rate of about 15 feet/second. He hopes to reach 120,000 and then leave the capsule for about a 10 minute jump back to Earth. Half of that time will be spent in freefall. That's all I know. You can watch a delayed webcast of it at the BBC website.

The SpaceX rocket lifted off today from a launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, becoming the first commercial flight to the International Space Station and marking the beginning of a new era of space exploration. Read about it here.