In the know #1

5 01 2008

“In the Know” is a new addition to the blog. Here’s your brain food for the day.

January 5, 2008

Word of the Day from Dictionary.com:

lacuna \luh-KYOO-nuh\, noun;
plural lacunae \luh-KYOO-nee\ or lacunas::
1. A blank space; a missing part; a gap.
2. (Biology) A small opening, depression, or cavity in an anatomical structure.

Today in history, according to Wikipedia:

1781 – Richmond, Virginia, is burned (pictured) by British naval forces led by Benedict Arnold.
1914 – Ford Motor Co. announces an eight-hour workday and a minimum wage of $5 for a day’s labor.
1933 – Construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
1940 – FM radio demonstrated to the FCC for the first time.
2005 – Eris, the largest known dwarf planet in the solar system, is discovered.

Today’s Famous Births:

1779 – Zebulon Pike (pictured), American explorer (ever heard of Pikes Peak?)
1931 – Robert Duvall, American actor – The Godfather, To Kill a Mockingbird, Secondhand Lions
1942 – Charlie Rose, American talk show host, The Charlie Rose Show
1946 – Diane Keaton, American actress – The Godfather, Annie Hall, Father of the Bride

Trivia:
Today’s category – Literature


~ Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was published March 20, 1852. It was the first American novel to sell one million copies.
~ All the proceeds earned from James M. Barrie’s book “Peter Pan” were bequeathed to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for the Sick Children in London.
~ Dr. Seuss wrote “Green Eggs and Ham” (cover pictured) after his editor dared him to write a book using fewer than 50 different words.

I always wondered…
…how far a light-year is…
A light-year is a unit of measurement of length equal to the distance that light travels over the span of one year (Julian Year) in a vacuum. Light travels at 299,792,458 m/s in a vacuum. There are 31,557,600 seconds in a Julian Year (365.25 days).
Therefore: 299,792,458 m/s * 31,557,600 s = 9,460,730,472,580,800 m
So, a light year is equal to 9,460,730,472,580,800 meters (that’s almost 9 and a half quadrillion) or about 5.878 quadrillion miles.

It takes about 1.3 seconds for light to travel from the moon to the earth.
It takes about 8.3 minutes for light to travel from the sun to the earth.

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