If the sun appears to set a little earlier (or later) this Sunday, it is not your imagination. That's because depending on where you live, December 21st will be the shortest or longest day of 2014. Also known as the winter (or summer) solstice, it marks the official start of winter for the residents of the Northern Hemisphere and summer for those that live in the Southern Hemisphere.
Kids News - Current Events
The "Field with irises near Arles" is one of Dutch artist Van Gogh's most famous paintings. Believed to have been the first of the 130 paintings the artist created while at the Saint Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Remy, France, it is amongst his most recognized and coveted masterpieces. Not surprisingly, the painting has been extremely well-preserved and looks as good as when the artist first painted it, except for one thing - the once purple irises have started to turn blue.
Most adults are too consumed with their responsibilities at work and home to even think about taking a few minutes to relive simple childhood pleasures like jumping on beds. But place one in front of them and voila, they will instantly be able to recall their inner child.
With their large flattened heads, small beady eyes and slimy skins, Japanese giant salamanders are not destined to take home the prize for "best-looking". However, according to a team of scientists they may just be eligible for the most "awesome dad" award, at least amongst amphibian males who are not known for their nurturing personalities.
The Golden Gate, a three-mile long by one-mile wide strait that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean, is known for many things - its namesake bridge, beautiful views and the most importantly (at least for seamen), a notoriously heavy fog layer that often encompasses the area. Though foghorns have now been installed to guide ships to the ports of San Francisco, Oakland and Richmond, such was not the case a century ago. It is therefore not surprising to hear that hundreds of ships have veered off course and sunk, whilst trying to cross the area. Amongst the most poignant loss was that of the SS City of Rio de Janeiro, a tragedy that is often referred to as "The Golden Gate Titanic".
With Christmas less than two weeks away, your neighborhood is probably aglow with beautiful lights. However they will pale in comparison to nature's own light show, the Geminids. Though this annual celestial display that has been nicknamed the 900-pound gorilla of meteor showers has been visible since December 4th, their best showing will be on the night of December 13th and the early morning of the 14th, until about 2.00 am local time.
The next time you eat a piece of chocolate, be sure to savor it, because according to two of the world's largest chocolate makers - Mars, Inc. and Barry Callebaut, the decadent treat may soon be in short supply. The problem? We are consuming the candy at a faster pace than farmers can grow cocoa.
After a day's delay caused by a wayward boat, bad weather, and some technical problems, NASA's next generation spacecraft Orion, blasted off to space from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 7.05 EST on Friday, December 5th. Perched atop a Delta 4 heavy rocket, it soared through the Earth's atmosphere and disappeared into space.