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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

An Educational Solar Eclipse Road Trip

On August 21, 2017, people across the United States witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event. Juliana Rorbeck, one of our ProQuest editors, traveled to Nashville, TN–the largest city along the path of totality–to observe the spectacular Great American Solar Eclipse firsthand.

Eclipse or Bust

When I first heard about a solar eclipse that would be visible from Oregon to South Carolina, I knew it would absolutely be worth seeing in person. After researching various cities along the path of totality–wherever the moon completely blocks out the sun–I chose Nashville. My fiancé and I decided to make a road trip of it.

A Shortage of Glasses

Seven days before the eclipse, most stores were already sold out of solar eclipse glasses. Certain online retailers were even caught selling fake pairs of glasses. With all of the information swirling around about how staring at the sun, even briefly, can cause permanent eye damage, this caused a bit of panic, especially in South Florida. After calling up four stores and going to five locations, we ended up finding our solar eclipse glasses at a 7-Eleven. Talk about a close call. Even though glasses are not necessary to view totality, the before-and-after views are equally spectacular and incredible. We were ready.

Hitting the Road

On Friday, Aug. 18th we rented a car and drove from Boca Raton, FL, to St. Augustine. Over the course of the weekend, we explored Savannah, walked through small towns in Georgia such as Waynesboro, spent the night in Athens, and drove around the Blue Ridge Mountains. In Blairsville, GA, I found a painted rock commemorating the eclipse.

Painted rock found in Blairsville, GA. (Credit: Juliana Rorbeck)

Eclipse rock. (Credit: Juliana Rorbeck)

For entertainment, I brought along some eclipse reading material and we prepared ourselves to look for certain phenomena such as the Baily’s beads effect. This happens when sunlight streams through the valleys and craters of the moon and the last brilliant blast of light creates the illusion of a massive diamond ring hovering in the sky.

The night before the eclipse we took in the sights around downtown Nashville. People had poured in from all over the country to celebrate. Since we had booked a flight home that departed soon after the eclipse ended, we realized that the Nashville International Airport would make for a fine eclipse viewing location.

The Eclipse

ProQuest editor Juliana Rorbeck awaits the eclipse with family in Nashville on Aug. 21, 2017. (Credit: Juliana Rorbeck)

On Monday afternoon we congregated outside one of the terminals with dozens of fellow travelers. I spoke with people who had traveled from as far as Maine and Puerto Rico to watch the event.

Then the sunlight grew dim. A minute before totality, just before 1:27 in the afternoon, there was an amazing shimmering effect that could be seen all over the ground. Suddenly everything looked as though we were underwater. People gasped and pointed. The air grew less hot, even cool, the midday summer heat gone within seconds. We saw a great diamond–Baily’s beads–and then the thinnest silver ring. The sun had vanished behind the moon. Completely.

People gather in front of the Nashville International Airport to record the Great American Eclipse during totality on August 21, 2017. (Credit: Juliana Rorbeck)

People took out their phones to try to record the moment. A few folks captured it on their cameras, but most people simply looked around in amazement. Some even cried. The best way I can describe it is by saying it was a 360-degree sunset. Dusk everywhere you looked. It was strange enough to spend so much time intently focusing on the brightest point in the sky, only for it to be plunged into darkness.

The edge of the sun peeked out from behind the moon. Before I could wrap my mind around what I’d seen, it was over.

From the Boca Raton Office

While Boca Raton did not fall under the path of totality for this eclipse, ProQuest editors got to see a partial eclipse at 2:57 pm.

This is an unfiltered photo taken by a cell phone camera of the partial eclipse. Notice the lens reflection on the bottom right.

(Credit: Jennifer Oms)

Shadows from leaves created hundreds of crescent shapes along the ground.

(Credit: Kimberly Carpenter)

Editor Jennifer Oms used a paper plate with a pinhole in the middle and a piece of paper on the ground to see the partial eclipse.

ProQuest Editor Jennifer Oms created a pinhole viewer to observe the partial eclipse. (Credit: Jennifer Oms)

Still Curious about the 2024 Eclipse or Other Space Sciences?

Check out SIRS Issues Researcher to learn more about space exploration.

Space Exploration & Travel Leading Issue in SIRS Issues Researcher

National Music Week: 15 Museums for Music Lovers and Educators

May 7-14 2017 is National Music Week. Educators, if you’re already thinking about summer vacation, you may want to make time to visit one of these music-themed museums with loved ones soon. From country to blues to everything in between, there’s a museum for all types of music fans to enjoy. So, put down the textbooks and start planning your summer vacation with a music adventure!

  1. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

    Situated in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is filled with a rich history of the best artists in country music.

    Screenshot of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum website

    Screenshot of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum website

  2. Musical Instrument Museum

    Located in Phoenix, Arizona, this museum is home to 6,500 displayed instruments from 200 various countries and territories around the world. In the Experience Gallery, you are encouraged to play instruments and even though 6,500 instruments are on display at a time, the collection includes a total of 16,000 musical instruments and objects.

    Screenshot of the Musical Instrument Museum website

    Screenshot of the Musical Instrument Museum website

  3. Delta Blues Museum

    Founded in 1979, this museum has its home in Clarksdale, Mississippi, near the Delta region where “the blues began.” It is the state’s oldest music museum. This is a place where you can explore exhibits on musicians like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker while also enjoying one of the many events or festivals hosted by the museum.

    Screenshot of the Delta Blues Museum website

    Screenshot of the Delta Blues Museum website

  4. Grammy Museum Mississippi

    Located in Cleveland, Mississippi, this museum offers interactive exhibits and experiences that bring the music achievements of Mississippians into the spotlight.

    Screenshot of Grammy Museum Mississippi website

    Screenshot of Grammy Museum Mississippi website

  5. National Music Museum

    You will find the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota, on the University of South Dakota campus. The music collection here is the most inclusive anywhere and boasts more than 15,000 instruments from all cultures and historical periods. With so much to see, a trip here can easily take an entire weekend.

    Screenshot of National Music Museum website

    Screenshot of National Music Museum website

  6. National Blues Museum

    Centered in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri, this museum celebrates the Blues and its role in shaping American history and culture. Understanding and appreciating the foundation Blues music has given so many other genres of music, this museum will engage and encourage visitors.

    Screenshot of the National Blues Museum website

    Screenshot of the National Blues Museum website

  7. Museum of Making Music

    Located in Carlsbad, California, the Museum of Making Music is dedicated to sharing the accomplishments of those who make, sell and use musical instruments and products. Unique exhibits, vibrant performances, and inspiring educational programs bring the history of this museum alive.

    Screenshot of Museum of Making Music website

    Screenshot of Museum of Making Music website

  8. Memphis Rock n Soul Museum

    Memphis, Tennessee, is where you will find this museum. Learn about the birth of rock and soul music as exhibits share how musical pioneers overcame socioeconomic and racial barriers to create music that has transcended generations.

    Screenshot of Memphis Rock n Soul Museum website

    Screenshot of Memphis Rock n Soul Museum website

  9. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

    This iconic attraction and museum is located in Cleveland, Ohio. It brings the origin and story of rock and roll to life with hands-on activities, installations, and special exhibits.

    Screenshot of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website

    Screenshot of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website

  10. Motown Museum

    The flat where Berry Gordy and his family lived is now the Motown Museum. Located in Southeast Michigan, it has made its mission to “preserve, protect and present the Motown Story through authentic, inspirational and educational experiences” as stated on the Motown Museum website.

    Screenshot of the Motown Museum website

    Screenshot of the Motown Museum website

  11. International Bluegrass Music Museum

    Moving to Owensboro, Kentucky, three blocks west of its current location in Spring 2018, this museum exhibits decades of bluegrass music and the musicians who made it. The museum holds concert series to continue the legacy of bluegrass music and the Hall of Fame highlights pioneers of bluegrass.

    Screenshot of the International Bluegrass Music Museum website

    Screenshot of the International Bluegrass Music Museum website

  12. American Jazz Museum

    Planted in the jazz district of Kansas City, Missouri, this museum is a haven for those who love modern jazz. It’s an adventure for the senses as you explore exhibits, films, and events. May 26-28, 2017 is the KC Jazz & Heritage Festival.

    Screenshot of the American Jazz Museum website

    Screenshot of the American Jazz Museum website

  13. American Banjo Museum

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is home to this museum. Dedicated to appreciation for the banjo, you can learn about the instrument’s impact on bluegrass, folk and world music while also viewing decorated banjos of the 1920s and 1930s. This museum contains the largest collection of banjos on public display in the world.

    Screenshot of the American Banjo Museum website

    Screenshot of the American Banjo Museum website

  14. Grammy Museum at L.A. Live

    Located in Los Angeles, California, The Grammy Museum celebrates the creative process behind making music and the history of the Grammy Awards. Includes more than two dozen exhibits spanning a diverse selection of music.

    Screenshot of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live website

    Screenshot of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live website

  15.  Stax Museum of American Soul Music

    In Memphis, Tennessee, at the original site of the Stax Records studio you will find the Stax Museum. This museum proudly states it’s the “world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of American soul music.”

Screenshot of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music website

Screenshot of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music website

 

What does National Music Week mean to you? Share your thoughts on Twitter with #ProQuest or leave us a comment below.

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National Aviation Day Activities

"Airplane." Photo credit: muffinman71xx / Foter / CC BY-SA

“Airplane.” Photo credit: muffinman71xx / Foter / CC BY-SA

Today is National Aviation Day, established in 1939 on Orville Wright’s birthday. Orville Wright was an American inventor credited with creating the first successful airplane with his brother Wilbur. The advances made in aviation since then have led to widespread international travel and exploration in outer space. NASA has also been able to benefit the U.S. through continued research in aeronautics. Flight has proven to be one of the most amazing discoveries of the modern world and will continue to expand into the future. Aviation advances are limitless in the eyes of tomorrow’s pilots. To celebrate National Aviation Day, we’ve compiled some activity suggestions that are intended to get you flying in the right direction!

Soak Up Some Aviation History

Aviation Search Box Screencap via ProQuest SIRS WebSelect

Aviation Search Box Screencap via ProQuest SIRS WebSelect

A great starting point for aviation history is ProQuest SIRS WebSelect. Here you will find editorially-selected websites that can be used in research, to complement lessons and as a basis for learning more about the history of flight. This resource is perfect for back-to-school planning. Some key selections include:

Head to an Aviation Museum

Aviation museums are a nice way to explore aviation history. Each museum is designed differently and allows visitors a unique experience every time. These museums can be found in the U.S. and abroad. The National Museum of the United States Air Force in Ohio is considered to be the world’s largest and oldest military aviation museum. A list of the world’s best aviation museums can be found through the CNN article “World’s 14 Best Aviation Museums.”

Build an Airplane

A fun way to engage with flight and invention is by making your own paper airplane. Trying different types of designs and folding techniques can get you excited about this pastime and remind you that it’s still ok to channel your inner child. This could even be an activity you share with your own children or students. Once everyone is up to speed, you could hold a paper airplane contest to see whose creation flies the farthest. Check out this Smithsonian.com article “How to Fold a World Record-Setting Paper Airplane” to help guide your design and execution.

Watch Airplanes at the Airport

A special but rare find at airports these days are observation decks. If you’re lucky enough to live in a city whose airport has one, you may want to make a visit this summer. Since airport security is quite tight now, having the opportunity to watch the airplanes go by can really feel like a treat. The next time you plan a trip by plane, consider including time to sit at an observation deck and really take in all it has to offer. They may not be around forever.

Thank a Pilot After Your Next Trip

Summer is a popular time of year to plan our vacations and travels. Each time we make the decision to board a plane, we hope for safe travels and arrivals. If you’re going to be traveling by plane soon, consider thanking your pilot. You could write a personalized thank you note while on board and hand deliver it to your pilot, contact your airline and provide positive feedback about your experience or recognize your favorite pilot on social media. Sometimes it’s nice to show them your appreciation and it probably makes their job that much more rewarding too.

How will you celebrate National Aviation Day? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at #ProQuest.

New Leading Issue in SIRS Issues Researcher: Airport Security

Airport

Airport by Skitterphoto [Public Domain] via Pixabay

Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and this year is no exception. According to Airlines for America, an industry trade organization, there is a 1.5% expected increase of passengers over last year to 24.6 million. Along with increased holiday travelers comes travel-induced stress resulting from queuing up in endless lines to undergo security measures that make many people look back in nostalgia at the way things used to be.

Those of you who are teachers or media specialists may have students who will be traveling by air during the holiday. Before school lets out for vacation, why not engage your students in a debate over the intrusiveness of airport security?

Show them our Airport Security Leading Issue, one of eight new Leading Issues introduced this fall, to get them thinking about the nature of privacy versus security.

airport security

Airport Security Leading Issue in SIRS Issues Researcher

The Airport Security issue contains an overview, a Pro/Con and Essential Question with articles, and Critical Thinking and Analysis questions and Perspectives and more. To see a chronology of security measures enacted from the 1960’s to the present day, you can direct them to the Airport Security Timeline, where many of the entries are linked to full-text articles.

How do you feel about airport security measures? Are the tougher measures enacted post-9/11 worth the hassle? Share with us in the comments section below.

SIRS Discoverer Spotlight: American Adventures Month

The sun sets at Mather Point in Grand Canyon National Park. One of Ann Posegate's favorite parts of the job is showing children their first view of the Grand Canyon. <br \> NPS Photo by Michael Quinn, via ProQuest SIRS Discoverer [Public Domain]

The sun sets at Mather Point in Grand Canyon National Park. One of Ann Posegate’s favorite parts of the job is showing children their first view of the Grand Canyon.
NPS Photo by Michael Quinn, via ProQuest SIRS Discoverer [Public Domain]

Have you ever seen the sun rise over the Grand Canyon? Or the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean? Have you marveled at the magnificence of Muir Woods? Or kayaked on Lake Michigan? Have you hiked the Canadian Rockies? Or been sprayed with water from Venezuela’s Angel Falls? Well, pack your bags, grab your tent, find your binoculars, and don’t forget your sunscreen…August is American Adventures Month! Founded by American adventurer Peter Kulkkula, American Adventures Month celebrates the joys of vacationing throughout North, Central, and South America. Explore the immensity of the Grand Canyon, the wonders of Machu Picchu, the beauty of Niagara Falls, and the mysteries of haunted houses. Hike up mountains, kayak on rivers, and bike through forest trails. Can’t take a vacation right now? Well, with this month’s Discoverer Spotlight of the Month, you don’t even need to leave your chair! Explore the beauty and phenomena of the Americas with SIRS Discoverer.

CultureGrams—Memorial Day and Summer Vacations

Today is Memorial Day, a public holiday in the United States that commemorates the men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Many Americans celebrate Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials and decorating graves with flowers and American flags. The three-day weekend holiday also serves as an informal start to the summer vacation season. Many families take advantage of the warm weather and long weekend to travel or go camping.

croatia_stone_07_RS

 

An earlier blog post mentioned that the newly expanded CultureGrams World Edition reports now include subheads within some categories, allowing readers to find information much more quickly. One example is the vacation subhead in the recreation category. Here, readers can learn about how much vacation people in various countries take, as well as how they spend their vacations and where they like to travel.

Did you know that the average Dutch worker receives a month of paid vacation each year and typically spreads the time out by taking one week at Christmas, one week at Easter, and two weeks in the summer? Most French people get five weeks of vacation and take four of those weeks in the summer.

Popular destinations for Japanese  vacationers include the shrines and temples of Kyoto, Japan, and package tours of theme parks, such as Tokyo Disney and Universal Studios Japan. Because traveling outside of the Palestinian  territories can be difficult, many Palestinians stay close to home or visit the beach during their vacations. Few Rwandan  families can afford to take vacations, and travel is limited to visiting relatives on holidays and during school vacations.

Have you learned about any interesting vacation traditions in other countries? How do you spend your vacations? Let us know by leaving a comment!