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Artists Chosen to Paint Obamas’ Portraits

In Current Events, Maps101 by mapsbecky

The Smithsonian Institution National Portrait Gallery has announced that it has commissioned official portraits of former U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. At the end of a presidency, the museum and the White House commission official portraits of both the president and his spouse. Two sets of portraits are commissioned. One is in the White House; the other remains in the National Portrait Gallery. . . .

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A Viking Warrior Revealed

In Global Perspectives, Maps101 by mapsbecky

In September, a team of scientists announced an unexpected discovery. The team had been examining the skeleton of a Viking warrior that was first discovered in 1880 in the Swedish town of Birka. Birka was an important Viking trading center. . . .

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Saving Books

In Global Perspectives, Maps101 by mapsbecky

Each year, many students are assigned the book Fahrenheit 451. The book describes an imaginary United States in the future where books are illegal. People called Firemen are directed to burn any book they find. The title of Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel refers to the temperature at which a book’s paper catches fire and burns: 451 degrees Fahrenheit (233 degrees Celsius). . . .

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People of the Standing Stone

In Global Perspectives, Maps101 by mapsbecky

On October 9, 2017, Columbus Day, the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will premiere the film “People of the Standing Stone.” The film, narrated by actor Kevin Costner, tells the story of the Oneida, a Native American nation that played an important role in American history. . . .

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Lichens Everywhere!

In Global Perspectives, Maps101 by mapsbecky

Although we don’t often stop to notice them, lichens are nearly everywhere on Earth. Lichens are very hardy. They can survive extreme environments that are too harsh for other organisms. As a result, lichens live on every continent, even frosty Antarctica. In addition, they are the dominant organism on about eight percent of Earth’s surface. Worldwide, there are about 15,000 species of lichens. Lichens grow on …

Thank You, Cassini!

In Maps101 by mapsbecky

Cassini, the NASA spacecraft which has been orbiting the planet Saturn since 2004, is about to end its mission. Launched in 1997, Cassini has greatly increased scientists’ knowledge of the giant ringed planet, sending both information and breathtaking photographs which have won the robotic space traveler many fans. On September 15, 2017, Cassini will end its mission. The 5,000 pound …

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Georgia Peaches

In Maps101 by mapsbecky

Like people, states can have nicknames. These names can tell us something about that state. Arizona is nicknamed the Grand Canyon State after the famous geological wonder located in the northern part of the state. Louisiana is nicknamed the Pelican State because of the large number of brown pelicans who call it home. New Hampshire is nicknamed the Granite State for …

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People Helping Bats and Bats Helping People

In Global Perspectives, Maps101 by mapsbecky

People find bats to be strange. Like other mammals, bats nurse their young, yet they don’t walk on four legs. Bats fly like birds, yet they don’t have feathers. The fact that bats are seen only at night and roost in dark places, like caves, tunnels, and old buildings, adds to their mystery. Bat Legends People around the world tell stories and legends …

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Musicians Speaking Up

In Global Perspectives, Maps101 by mapsbecky

Musicians in the Ogoniland region of the African country of Nigeria are speaking up. Years of oil drilling in the delta of the Niger River have taken a toll on both the land and the people. “The environmental restoration of Ogoniland could prove to be the world’s most wide-ranging and long term oil clean-up exercise ever undertaken,” concluded a 2011 study …