Tag Archives: Blog

Frank Drake and the Drake equation – Explaining Science | Blog

By Steve Hurley, Posted on

I was saddened to find out about the recent death, at the age of 92, of Frank Drake, one of the pioneers of SETI. One of the things he is most famous for is the equation bearing his name which estimates the number of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, the Drake equation.

As a tribute to him I have reposted the blog post on this topic I wrote, back in 2014.

Revised Original post

The Earth is one of eight planets which orbit the Sun. The Sun is an ordinary star among the 100 billion or so stars in our Milky Way galaxy.  The Milky Way itself is an average-size galaxy. To me one of the most fascinating questions is :

How likely is it that there are other intelligent civilizations within our galaxy ?

The Milky Way- Image credit ESO

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: https://explainingscience.org/2022/09/05/frank-drake-and-the-drake-equation/#like-5475

Bill Russell: In His Own Words | Library of Congress Blog

from blog…

Published August 1, 2022 by Neely Tucker

Bill Russell, who died Sunday at the age of 88, was a towering figure in American life. Standing, he went 6 feet, 10 inches. In history, he seemed to stride the continent like Paul Bunyan, like John Henry: mythical, impossible, huge.

He won basketball titles everywhere he went — high school, college, the pros, the Olympics — and won them over and over again. His coach, Red Auerbach, summed up his career of 11 NBA titles by describing him as “the single most devastating force in the history of the game.” He was among the first Black superstars in professional sports, encountered racism at a brutish level and, strikingly for the mid-century era, made no attempt to be liked by problematic fans. Woe betide anyone who might have thought of telling William Felton Russell to “shut up and dribble.”

His high-profile civil rights work included, but by no means was limited to, going to Mississippi to work for integration in the wake of the assassination of Medgar Evers and participating in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama, who noted that he “stood up for the rights and dignity” of all people.

READING THE STARS: The Whitman Authorized Editions of the 1940s | Now See Hear! | Library of Congress

By Cary O’Dell, July 20, 2022

–from article

Today, movie stars are easily accessible to us: on TV, by way of streaming services and, of course, via the internet, usually even via that star’s very own Twitter and Instagram.

In fact, celebrities—of every conceivable stripe–are so omnipresent that it seems hard to imagine, or remember, a time when even our most famous film stars were as unattainable to us as the stars in the night sky.

But think of it: if not at the actual movie theater or, occasionally, appearing as themselves on radio broadcasts, how did fans learn about or “interact” with their favorite cinema personality?

This remoteness—and the hunger it generated—helped create the fan-magazine phenomenon that, for decades, put on the neighborhood newsstands an endless array of publications like “Photoplay” and “Modern Screen.”

And though these ‘zines were an important part of the film industry and fan experience, sometimes, to some true devotees, even they were not enough. Hence, in the early 1940s, Whitman Publishing Company of Racine, Wisconsin, struck upon a new and innovative way of satisfying the desires of film fans—or at least the young and female ones—to know and even spend more time with their favorite film star.

Source: READING THE STARS: The Whitman Authorized Editions of the 1940s | Now See Hear!

War as They Saw It | Library of Congress Blog | Library of Congress

By Neely Tucker, May 22, 2022

— This is a guest post by Nathan Cross, an archivist in the American Folklife Center. It first appeared in the Library of Congress Magazine.

A Soviet tank rusts in the Afghan countryside. Photo: Dean Baratta. Veterans History Project.

Service members long have used photography as a means of capturing the essence of their experiences.

As technology improved, cameras became more available, and pocket-sized digital cameras gave service members in Iraq and Afghanistan the freedom to take hundreds of photographs without having to worry about running out of film.

Today, hundreds of those images are housed in the collections of the Library’s Veterans History Project. The project recently released a research guide focused on photo collections contributed by veterans of the global war on terror that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Joseph Beimfohr’s photos let viewers peek into his war.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: War as They Saw It | Library of Congress Blog

Frederick Law Olmsted: A Well Designed Bicentennial | Library of Congress Blog

April 28, 2022, by Neely Tucker

Frederick Law Olmsted. Engraved by T. Johnson; from a photo by James Notman. 1983. Prints and Photographs Division.

This is a guest post by Barbara Bair, a historian in the Manuscript Division.

This month, the Library is recognizing this week’s bicentennial of the birth of writer, administrator and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of the U.S. Capitol grounds and public parks and spaces around the country.

Activities include an Olmsted Bicentennial exhibit in the Jefferson Building and a series of By the People crowdsourcing transcription challenges for online volunteers.

The Library holds the largest collection of manuscript materials in the nation related to Olmsted’s long career, as well as the records of the 20th-century successor firm operated by his sons. The Manuscript Division holds both Olmsted’s personal papers and the records of Olmsted Associates. The landscape architecture firm based in Brookline, Massachusetts, was operated by Olmsted sons Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and John Charles Olmsted, and featured many talented associates.

These collections are digitized and available online. The bicentennial exhibit charts Olmsted’s life from his youth through modern reinterpretations of the public parks he designed. The five-case display is on view on both sides of the Great Hall through June 4. It features items from the Manuscript Division, the Prints and Photographs Division and the general collections in combination with reproductions of drawings and photographs from the National Park Service’s Olmsted Archives at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline.

Source: Frederick Law Olmsted: A Well Designed Bicentennial | Library of Congress Blog