April 22, 2012, marks the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day. What started as a national effort in the U.S. to raise awareness about the environment has now spread to include Earth...
Ancient history of HanukkahLast Updated on 2013-12-06 09:44:53The ancient history of Hanukkah is set in the period of Greek domination over the Holy Land. Following severe oppression by the Greek ruler Antiochus, the Jewish people rose up and restored the Temple to its previous glory. Hanukkah, however, is not simply a celebration of this restoration of the self determination of the Jewish people, but really celebrates the accompanying miracle of the ceremonial olive oil flame that outlasted any expectation of extinction. Furthermore, Hanukkah, alternatively Chanukkah, is the Jewish holiday carried forward by oral history, not within the Torah, and thus is the Jewish holiday most uniquely of the Jewish people, as opposed to other Jewish holidays documented in the Torah and nurtured by the rabbinical culture.
Alexander the Great (356 – 323 BCE) conquered extensive lands in the Middle East including the historic homeland of the Jews,... More »
Aquifer depletionLast Updated on 2013-11-21 23:14:56Scores of countries are overpumping aquifers as they struggle to satisfy their growing water needs, including each of the big three grain producers—China, India, and the United States. These three, along with a number of other countries where water tables are falling, are home to more than half the world’s people. (See Table at end of article.)
There are two types of aquifers: replenishable and nonreplenishable (or fossil) aquifers. Most of the aquifers in India and the shallow aquifer under the North China Plain are replenishable. When these are depleted, the maximum rate of pumping is automatically reduced to the rate of recharge.
For fossil aquifers—such as the vast U.S. Ogallala aquifer, the deep aquifer under the North China Plain, or the Saudi aquifer—depletion brings pumping to an end. Farmers who lose their irrigation water have the option of returning... More »
GibraltarLast Updated on 2013-10-13 00:03:00Gibraltar is a small overseas territory of the United Kingdom with slightly under 30,000 people strategically located on Strait of Gibraltar that links the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, adjoining Spain.
Strategically important, Gibraltar was reluctantly ceded to Great Britain by Spain in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. The British garrison was formally declared a colony in 1830.
In a referendum held in 1967, Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly to remain a British dependency.
The subsequent granting of autonomy in 1969 by the UK led to Spain closing the border and severing all communication links.
A series of talks were held by the United Kingdom and Spain between 1997 and 2002 on establishing temporary joint sovereignty over Gibraltar. In response to these talks, the Gibraltar Government called a referendum in late 2002 in which... More »
Aldo Leopold timelineLast Updated on 2013-10-01 23:47:07This article is part of the Aldo Leopold Collection.
1887 Aldo Leopold, born in Burlington, Iowa on January 11, eldest of four children of Carl and Clara Leopold.
1904 Attends Lawrenceville School in New Jersey from January 1904 to May, 1905, to prepare for college.
1905 Attends Sheffield Scientific School at Yale (class of 1908).
1906 Begins coursework at Yale Forest School (Master of Forestry, 1909).
1909 Joins U.S. Forest Service (established 1905). First field assignment as assistant on Apache National Forest in southeastern Arizona.
1911 Transferred to Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico as deputy supervisor, then supervisor. Founds and edits Carson Pine Cone, a U.S. Forest Service newsletter.
1912 Marries Estella Bergere of Santa Fe on October 9. Five children: Starker, 1913; Luna, 1915; Nina, 1917; Carl, 1919; Estella, 1927.
1914 Assigned to... More »
Aerial Exploration of the AntarcticLast Updated on 2013-09-30 23:07:04
Exploration of the Antarctic - Part 10
In the late 1920s, exploration of the Antarctic was revolutionized by the advent of aircraft.
At the turn of the century, the Discovery and Gauss expeditions included balloons. Robert Falcon Scott became the first "aeronaut" when he spent an hour, 800 feet over the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf on February 4, 1902. As soon as he descended Earnest Shackleton went up and took the first aireal photographs. Six weeks later, Eric von Drygalski and Emile Philippi repeated the experience at higher altitude on a different part of the Antarctic coast. This was a year before the Wright Brothers had their first sucessful flight with an aircraft.
Douglas Mawson included an aircraft in the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911-14) but it was damaged during trials in Australia and went to... More »
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