Friday, May 27, Memorial Day.
The history of Memorial Day is as complicated, surprising, and paradoxical as the story of any public holiday on the American calendar. Memorial Day, focused largely on the mortal, patriotic service of men, has been a holiday in which women played a central role, and yet it was hardly feminist and remained profoundly conservative. Although a day originally designed to heighten memory, it has become for most Americans an occasion of blissful, escapist amusement or material consumption. Few Americans today know the origins or original purpose of Memorial Day.
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Tucker, Editor. America's Heroes. By James H. Willbanks, Editor. The United States Marine Corps.
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A Chronology, to the Present. By John C. Infra-red satellites have spotted 17 lost Egyptian pyramids and more than 1, tombs and 3, ancient settlements. To read the full BBC article, click here. The find is credited to US Egyptologist Dr. Sarah Parcak from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Read below for an excerpt from Dr. Satellite archaeology is an exciting new field in which archaeologists are using cutting edge spatial technologies to detect many new archaeological features across the globe. Although the term "remote sensing" can mean anything that allows one to see things remotely such as a camera , in archaeology, it refers to how archaeologists use satellites and aerial photographs to view ancient features otherwise invisible to the naked eye.
The same science can be applied to not only detect archaeological features of interest, but can examine modern issues such as population expansion and urbanization, both of which affect archaeological site preservation.
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Archaeologists have utilized remote sensing since the early s, when they viewed ancient features such as Stonehenge from balloons. The s saw the first uses of satellite remote sensing for archaeology with the launch of the Landsat satellite by NASA. Archaeologists quickly grasped the potential of this technology for detecting long-lost sites in the Americas, and use of satellites only increased in the s and s on every continent with known archaeological material.
With the launch of Google Earth, nearly every archaeological project in the world now utilizes some form of remote sensing for project planning, mapping, and survey. Many archaeological projects have made use of remote sensing technology to not only detect sites, but to reconstruct past landscapes, and to answer questions about past social, political, economic, and environmental changes. One archaeological project by the author has detected hundreds of previously unknown ancient sites across Egypt.
This project used a combination of high resolution and NASA satellite imagery in places that archaeologists had not surveyed in nearly years. On ground survey allowed the detection of "new" ancient sites, including a major complex dating to the time of the pyramids and a large desert trading post. Based on this research, there are likely thousands of ancient sites left to find in Egypt.
The satellite data allowed the scientists to see color changes in rainforest trees too subtle to be seen by the human eye alone, which indicated long-covered over limestone monuments. On Easter Island, very high-resolution satellite data has allowed archaeologists to detect the roads used to transport the ancient Moai, the traditional name for the large ceremonial stone heads.
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Google Earth allows anyone to use remote sensing for archaeological site detection. For the first time, archaeologists are working together with the general public to investigate features found using satellite data. For example, archaeological features found in fields in France by members of the public turned out to be Roman-period villas. Unlike most satellite imagery, Google Earth is free, although it does not permit advanced remote sensing analysis.
Satellite remote sensing analysis can take years of training to become proficient, and requires access to memory-intensive computers. It is a combination of both approaches that can be most useful in the detection of archaeological sites. One of the key issues archaeologists face in the 21st century is how to use advanced technology to protect and preserve the past for future generations, especially in the face of archaeological site looting. With ongoing conflicts in some of the richest archaeological landscapes in the world, it may be many years before excavations can resume in places like Iraq or Afghanistan.
Archaeologists can use high-resolution imagery to detect previously unknown ancient sites, as well as protect known sites by monitoring them regularly for site looting. As a whole, satellite remote sensing has much to contribute to the field of archaeology.
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It is not a tool to be used on its own, but combined with ground survey and excavation, will significantly advance the field of archaeology over the next 25 years. World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras.
Labels: Egypt , World History. And the Oscar goes to. The Academy Awards, which is universally nicknamed the Oscars, began its tradition of showcasing the best of the best in the film industry in On the night of May 16, , hosted by Douglas Fairbanks president of the Academy in the Blossom Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, roughly guests sat down to dine at a lush banquet with fellow film industry moguls. Mayer decided it was time to get down to business. The Academy Awards did not start out with the glitz and glamour to which we have grown accustomed.
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The brainchild of Mayer, the banquet, the awards ceremony, and the Academy were meant to be more bottom line than a glamorous event. Mayer had hoped to unite the power players of the film industry by pushing out the labor unions. When that idea failed, it was decided that the Academy would serve as its own censor, as it was the fourth-largest industry in America. A night of glamour with a golden statue given to the best was just what the industry needed. The awards were first printed on a paper scroll and then cast in gold.
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At first the award was sketched as a knight holding a double-edged sword standing on a reel of film with five holes in the base. The statuette and the base have since been streamlined, but as cast the statue remains The Oscar statuette is thirteen-and-a-half inches tall and weighs about eight-and-a-half pounds. Although it is unclear how Oscar got his name, the award has come to be called the Nobel Prize of motion pictures.
The awards themselves were originally presented in 12 categories, but have continually grown to encompass the new and innovative ideas and inventions of the film industry. At the first ceremony there was little suspense because the award winners knew they had won three months before the banquet convened. During the second year, however, all of that changed when the results were kept a secret, adding to the allure and mystery surrounding the ceremony. This led the Academy to adopt the sealed-envelope system in ; the system is still used today. By the time the second awards dinner was held in , enthusiasm for the star-studded event was so great that a Los Angeles radio station produced an hourlong live broadcast of the evening.
The ceremony has been broadcast ever since, via radio between and , and then via television from forward. Broadcast in color since and internationally since , the Academy Awards ceremony is now beamed to over countries, dazzling hundreds of millions of movie fan across the globe. For many film enthusiasts, the Academy Awards ceremony is the highlight of their cinematic year.
Philip C. DiMare, Editor. Available June This provocative three-volume encyclopedia is a valuable resource for readers seeking an understanding of how movies have both reflected and helped engender America's political, economic, and social history. Pop Culture Universe: Icons Idols Ideas PCU is an irresistible and authoritative digital database on popular culture in America and the world, both past and present—in a package as dynamic as the topic it covers.
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