Stories tagged On this day

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

On this 204th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, U.S. Rep Rush Holt of New Jersey introduced House Resolution 41 to express support for recognition of February 12th as Darwin Day and for scientific thinking. Watch this rare and rational moment from Washington take place.

Darwin Day: Come celebrate the naturalist's legacy tomorrow, February 9, 2013, from 1pm-4pm at the Science Museum of Minnesota.
Darwin Day: Come celebrate the naturalist's legacy tomorrow, February 9, 2013, from 1pm-4pm at the Science Museum of Minnesota.Courtesy Mark Ryan
The Science Museum of Minnesota will offer plenty of activities throughout the museum this Saturday (February 9, 2013) in honor of Darwin Day, an international celebration of naturalist Charles Darwin's birthday held each year in February.

From 1pm-4pm, museum visitors will be able to learn about such things as mussel diversity in the Mississippi River, scientific illustration, dating fossils, and comparing differences between human and chimpanzee skulls. They'll also be able to take a virtual trip to the Galapagos Islands, and see the types of tools used on the HMS Beagle to navigate the globe back in the 19th century.

Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, and published his great work On the Origin of Species fifty years later.

It's Groundhog Day!

by mdr on Feb. 02nd, 2013

Groundhog (Marmota monax): aka woodchuck, land-beaver, and whistle-pig. Weather records show he probably couldn't predict his way out of a paper bag.
Groundhog (Marmota monax): aka woodchuck, land-beaver, and whistle-pig. Weather records show he probably couldn't predict his way out of a paper bag.Courtesy ShutterSparks via Flickr
Today is Groundhog Day, that special day when world-renown weather prognosticator, Punxsutawney Phil, (a groundhog, mind you) makes an appearance in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in order to let us all know just how much more winter we'll have to suffer through. Well, this morning, Phil came out of his rodent hole at 7:25am EST, and - for whatever reason - wasn't able to see his shadow. That's good news. It means we're going to have an early spring, and I'm okay with that - I've had it with winter. But, you might wonder, just how accurate have Phil's forecasts been in the past? According to the records, Phil's been right only about 39% of the time, which probably makes him no worse than most of his colleagues in the weather forecasting game. Anyway, if you want to, you learn all about Phil and Groundhog Day at Earthsky.org. And, happy Groundhog Day!

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.

MORE INFO
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.