RECENT EVENTS

Pompeii Discovery Literally Rewrites History
October 17, 2018 Pompeii inscription
The ruins of Pompeii continue to surprise. Archaeologists have discovered evidence that the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that rained down ash on Pompeii and Herculaneum happened a full two months later than thought. The traditional dating of the infamous eruption has long been August 24, A.D. 79. That date was assigned in large part to the writings of Pliny the Younger, who witnessed the events from not far away. Now, however, work during a new phase of excavations has uncovered a charcoal writing that clearly reads, in Latin, XVI K NOV; that translates to the 16th day before the first day of November, or October 17.

Reagan Rides Again, This Time in 3D
October 14, 2018 Reagan and dog hologram
Visitors to the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum can soon see the Gipper in person–sort of. The museum, in Simi Valley, Calif., has taken the wraps off a set of three-dimensional holographic images of America's 40th President. Viewers don't need special glasses to view the images. The museum picked three scenes to illustrate Reagan's life:

  • He's speaking from the back of a train in 1984, campaigning for re-election
  • He's at his California ranch, attired appropriately
  • He's in the Oval Office, wearing a suit and tie.

Georadar Finds Viking Ship Buried in Norway
October 15, 2018 Buried Viking ship
A team of archaeologists in Norway have found a Viking ship buried not far underground. The team, from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research, found a 65-foot-long Viking ship near Viksletta, Østfold County, in the southeastern part of the country. Scans by ground-penetrating radar, or georadar, revealed the presence of the ship, the keel and floor timbers of which are intact. The ship is less than two feet below the surface. The scans also found the remains of five longhouses and several burial mounds nearby.

It's a Wonder: Norway to Open Seafloor Restaurant
October 14, 2018 Underwater restaurant
A handful of people are hard at work creating the world's largest underwater restaurant. It's off the coast of Båly, a small town in Norway. The builders have named it Under, and it's set to open in April 2019. (Some reservations have already been made.) Construction on the concrete building began in early 2018 and took six months to complete. That was the outside. The builders then moved the building down through the water in order to anchor it on the ocean floor, 16 feet below the surface. Now, work on the inside has commenced.

IN DAYS GONE BY

Erie Canal Opens for Business
How the Erie Canal was created and financed is the story of one man's desire and many people's skepticism. That one man was New York Gov. DeWitt Clinton, who had the foresight to envision a waterway that would link his state's main port, New York City, with the fertile plains of the Midwest, enabling trade between the nation's hinterlands and the other countries of the world. His opponents called the Erie Canal "Clinton's Folly," but Clinton had the last laugh, as the Canal became one of the nation's busiest waterways and most enduring symbols of rising industrial might.

The Mason-Dixon Line
The Mason-Dixon Line started as an argument and ended up settling many other arguments. To head off big trouble, a pair of Englishmen named Charles Mason, an astronomer and mathematician, and Jeremiah Dixon, a mathematician and surveyor, set out to have the last word on the subject.

 

Why Is It?

Why Is It Called Leap Year?

February 29

The terms "leap year" and "leap day" have their origin in the calendar–or, rather, two versions of it. The Gregorian Calendar, implemented by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, is not the exact same length as a solar year, one Earth orbit around the Sun. That exact figure is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds. What this means is that a calendar year should be 365.25 days, or thereabouts. But how do you show a quarter of a day on a calendar? It is far easier to wait until four quarter-days have accumulated, making one full day, and then show that, which is what we now do and why every four years is a "leap year," which has one full extra day in it, February 29.

Have a suggestion for this feature? Email Dave.



Significant Sevens are the highest, the lowest, the deepest, the farthest, the oldest, the youngest, and a host of other lists in economics, geography, history, and much more.


Cultural Icons are the instantly recognizable monuments, landforms, buildings, and many other kinds of landmarks that define a people, place, or culture.

 

 

Search This Site

Custom Search

Get weekly newsletter


 

 

Head over to MyKidNeedsThat.com for the Best Toys, Gift Ideas and Products For Children