Leif Ericson Day
Born in Iceland sometime before 1000 A.D., Leif Ericson was the son of a Norseman, Eric the Red, who discovered and colonized Greenland. Leif left Greenland for Norway, where he was converted to Christianity. King Olaf commissioned him to convert the Vikings to Christianity, but on his way from Norway to Greenland he was blown off course and reached the coast of North America instead. It is believed that Leif Ericson landed in North America in 1004 (488 years before Christopher Columbus). There is some speculation as to who exactly discovered North America. As a mark of respect for Leif Ericson and the Norse explorers, the Congress of the United States authorized the President to proclaim October 9th of each year as Leif Ericson Day
Am I a Polar Bear?
One day, up in the frozen north a polar bear and his son were out for a stroll. Daddy bear sat on a lump of ice to admire the view and sent his son off to play. Two minutes later Junior came back to dad and says, “Can I ask you a question dad?”
“Sure, son what is it?”
“Am I a real polar bear, Dad?” asks Junior.
Dad smiles and says, “Of course you are, son. Now go and play.”
So off Junior goes again throws some snowballs at the seals but soon he’s back.
“Hey Dad, are you sure I am a real polar bear? Is there not a wee bit of brown bear or black bear in me?”
Dad smiles again and says, “Look son you’ve got big hairy black feet, a white coat, and a black shiny nose…of course you’re a polar bear….now go back and play.”
Once again Junior runs off…slides down the ice….chases a couple of seagulls…after ten minutes of fun he returns with a puzzled look on his face…..
“Daaaad….are you absolutely sure I’m a polar bear?”
“Look son…I’m a polar bear, your mums a polar bear, your granny and grandpa were polar bears…why are you asking all these questions?”
Junior looks up and says….”Cause I’m freaking freezing!
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2011 August 23
Aurora Over Greenland
Image Credit: Copyright: Juan Carlos Casado (TWAN)
Explanation: This aurora arched from horizon to horizon. During the current Shelios expedition to observe and learn about the northern lights, the sky last weekend did not disappoint. After sunset and some careful photographic planning, the above image was taken from the expedition’s Qaleraliq campsite in southern Greenland. Visible straight through the center of the aurora, found with a careful eye, is the Big Dipper and the surrounding constellation of the Big Bear (Ursa Major). The brightest orb on the far right is the Moon, while Jupiter can be seen even further to the right. The Shelios expedition is scheduled to last until the end of August and include live broadcasts of ongoing auroras.
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