April 15, 2014

Blood moon: Lunar eclipse gazers mesmerized as red hue lights up sky

Sky gazers caught a glimpse of the "blood moon" crossing the Earth's shadow Tuesday in all its splendor.

The moon took on a reddish hue as it appeared in different phases between 2 and 4:30 a.m. ET.

In North and South America, where the blood moon was most prominent, observers pointed at the spectacle with binoculars, telescopes and cellphones.

Depending on time zones, it started late Monday night or in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Showers and clouds rendered it a bust in some cities, including Atlanta.

In Los Angeles, the chance to view the total lunar eclipse lured thousands to the Griffith Observatory. Families spread out blankets on the grass to take in views from dozens of telescopes set up like a stand of small trees. (Source)


'Blood moon' video: Rare total lunar eclipse caught on tape

Everyone rises as the first note of a Seminole hymn fills the chapel. Soon after, an American flag is gently rolled back to the middle of the casket, so the top can be opened and a hero revealed.

Friends and family have gathered to pay respect and say their final goodbye to Edmond Andrew Harjo, 96, who died on March 31, at Mercy Hospital of Ada. Harjo was the last surviving Code Talker for the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. His funeral was held on April 4, at Swearingen Funeral Home Chapel in Seminole, and he was laid to rest at the Seminole Nation Veterans Memorial Cemetery, in Seminole.

Yellow, red, pink and purple sprays of flowers flanked each side of Harjo, and a video screen in the middle of the chapel allowed everyone in the filled pews to watch a portion of the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony that took place on Nov. 20, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The ceremony honored Code Talkers from 33 tribes. Harjo attended the ceremony and was recognized for his dedication and valor as a World War II Code Talker. He was the only living Code Talker to attend.

During the video, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Harjo and his brothers were at Normandy and Iwo Jima, and they mobilized the simplest weapon, which was language.

The video shown during his funeral also showcased Harjo sitting in front of a memorial water fountain in his wheelchair and telling of the time he served in the Army as a private first class. He recalled some of his time in Germany and described what he saw and the villages he traveled through. The unit he served with was Battery “A” 195th Field Artillery Battalion. He received a Good Conduct Medal, and a European-African-Middle Eastern (EAME) Campaign service Ribbon with one Silver Service Star for his service as a Code Talker. The Seminole Nation is the recipient of the gold medal for his service.

“Edmond Andrew and his brother were conversing in their first language with each other and they were overheard by their commander,” the Rev. Dr. Eugene Wilson, said during Harjo’s service. “The language was used as military code, not just to enable war but … sustain peace.”

Rick Harjo said another solider caught Harjo’s attention when he overheard the soldier singing in their Native language. That encounter eventually led to their service as Code Talkers.

A picture of Harjo in front of the U.S. Capitol remained on the video screen throughout the service, while shared memories of him ignited smiles, shared laughter eased the heartache, and shared song provided comfort.

“He’d sit there and tickle that ivory ... It was beautiful, very beautiful,” Rick Harjo recalled. “I enjoyed listening to him play the piano and how he played Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.”

Harjo also played the piano in some gospel quartets and at the nutrition center in Maud. He studied composers Johann Sebastian Bach and Pyotr Iiyich Tchaikovsky.

“Andrew said often that his first love was music and the piano,” Rick Harjo said.

Harjo was born on Nov. 24, 1917, on the original allotted land in Maud that belonged to his mother, the late Yanna (Grant) Harjo. His father is the late Tony Harjo.

Harjo graduated from Seminole High School and earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Oklahoma City University. He became a school teacher and taught at Maud Schools, at Justice Schools and at Pickett Center. He was also well versed on the Seminole Trail of Tears, and has been heard saying, “Speak your language, you may lose it.”

Not long before his uncle died, Rick Harjo said a language lesson was shared between them. They were exchanging what came to be some of their last words together when Harjo hushed his nephew from speaking by saying “Shhh.” Harjo and his nephew were speaking in their Native tongue when Rick began to translate their conversation to his family. Harjo said he didn’t want to hear the translation and reminded his nephew that when they speak their Native language to each other, its true intent is delivered. But, once words are translated the truth isn’t told; it’s contaminated and the strength in the words is lost.

Rick Harjo then shared the last moments he had with his uncle, and choked up when he recalled one of his uncle’s favorite songs, “The Little Church in the Wildwood.” That song was sung to Harjo for the last time during his service.

Lauri da Costa, a homeless man from the city of Passo Fundo, Brazil may not have much in the way of material possessions, but he is rich in other ways -- especially when it comes to the loyal companionship of his best friend, his dog.

On March 31, Lauri fell victim to a random assault during which a rock was thrown that struck him in the face. Injured, he then made his way to the local hospital to get treated, while his pet, a 4-year-old mutt named Seco, sat patiently out front.

But what was suppose to be a brief visit to the emergency room became an extended stay. Once there, physicians discovered that Lauri had melanoma on his face, and would need to be hospitalized as he awaited surgery to have it removed. Meanwhile, Seco kept vigil outside the hospital doors for his master to return.

As the days dragged on, staff took notice of the dog and made sure he had plenty of water and food as he waited. After the eighth day, even though Lauri was still recovering, doctors made an exception allowing the man and his loyal dog to be reunited early -- a touching scene captured on video.

Lauri still has some time left to recover before he's healthy enough to be discharged, but according to a local news station, Seco has returned to his post out front to greet him when he finally is.


April 14, 2014

There are many special days of the year devoted to animals of all shapes and sizes. Some celebrate specific breeds or species and others help raise awareness about an important cause or issue.

April 14 is National Dolphin Day, an annual event that not only celebrates these amazing creatures, but also shines the spotlight on the plight of the dolphin.

Dolphins Facts

Part of the toothed whale family, dolphins are highly intelligent marine mammals known for their playful behavior.

There are 36 species of dolphins - most live in salt water but a few live in freshwater locations.

Dolphins are social creatures and live, travel and hunt for fish and other prey together as a group.

Did you know dolphins can't breathe underwater? While they eat with their mouths, they breathe through their blowholes.

Dolphins have excellent eyesight but have no sense of smell.

Dolphins can recognize themselves and have and know their names.

Watch This Video of A Girl and a Dolphin Playing Together

Don’t Miss the Lunar Eclipse on April 14–15!

What exactly is a "blood moon," and what's its connection to a lunar eclipse?

Skywatchers will find out on April 15, as the first total lunar eclipse of 2014 kicks off a series of four blood moons expected to grace the night sky over the next year and a half. Just check out the new NASA video to learn more.

Total lunar eclipses are sometimes called "blood moons" as they can present "a dramatically colorful appearance, ranging from bright orange to blood red,” Fred Espenak, an astronomer with expertise in eclipses, told The Washington Post.

The dramatic colors are the result of dispersed light from the Earth's sunrises and sunsets falling on the face of the moon.

The upcoming eclipse will be the first in a lunar eclipse tetrad, the term for four consecutive lunar eclipses. It will begin at 2 a.m. EDT on April 15 and will be visible for most skywatchers in North America.(Source)

April Full Moon names from different cultures

April Moon Names
Leaf Moon (Kiowa).
Yellow Moon (Pima).
Flowers Moon (Pomo).
Growing Moon (Celtic).
Flower, Egg (Cherokee).
Frog Moon (Assiniboine).
(Full Janic), (Dark Janic).
Big Spring Moon (Creek).
Wildcat Moon (Choctaw).
Budding Moon (Mohawk).
Wind Breaks Moon (Hopi).
Leaf Split Moon (San Juan).
Big Leaves Moon (Apache).
Strawberry Moon (Natchez).
Ice Breaking Moon (Arapaho).
Geese Return Moon (Dakota).
Indian Corn Moon (Algonquin).
Green Grass moon (Sioux).

Geese Egg Moon (Cheyenne).
Sugar Maker Moon (Abernaki).
Awakening Moon (Neo Pagan).
Seed Moon (Medieval English).
Spring Moon (Passamaquoddy).
Corn Planting Moon (Winnebago).
Planter√Ęs Moon (Colonial American).
Ashes Moon (Taos Native American).
Broken Snow Shoe Moon (Anishnaabe).
Big Spring Moon, Gray Goose Moon (Cree).
Other Names : Egg Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Planter√Ęs Moon, Pink Moon, Fish Moon.

For those who can't go out to watch the rare lunar eclipse, NASA will be live streaming the total lunar eclipse here. The eclipse can also be seen via the Slooh Camera.

Video streaming by Ustream