This Week's Facts:
Ten More Ways We Rely
on the U.S. Census (11-20)
Please see Indiana’s Census 2010 website for the complete list of 50 ways we rely on the U.S. Census.
Friday Facts Editorial Team:
They’re baaaack! What better way to enjoy the beautiful, vibrant colors of fall than your own computer? This is the time of year when the trees seem to come alive with brilliant shades of orange, red, and yellow; and maybe you don’t have time to get away to enjoy them in person. The Indiana Office of Tourism Development has a solution for you with Leaf Cams around the State. You can catch a different colorful explosion every fifteen minutes by selecting your leaf cam. Leaf Cams are available for Brown County; French Lick, Fort Benjamin Harrison, Corydon, and Spring Mill State Park. If you are lucky enough to view this colorful masterpiece in person, you are encouraged to take photos and share them on the Visit Indiana Flickr group. Finally, you also have a chance to win a $200.00 Indiana State Park Inn Certificate at one of seven beautiful, historic locations to capture those memories and come back refreshed!
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has published a glossary of acronyms used in the Information Technology field. While many of us know that GPS stands for Global Positioning System, what about a GUI (pronounced “gooey”) which most of us use every day? Though this is not a glossary of meanings, you can use the System and Network Security Acronyms and Abbreviations as a good starting place to make sense of IT acronyms. Supplement your knowledge of technology by looking up the full spelling of an acronym you’ve heard of, but never quite knew what it stood for.
Monday, October 12 is Columbus Day. It is designed to commemorate the first viewing of land by Christopher Columbus’s crew early on October 12, 1492. Celebrated by Italian-Americans since the nineteenth century, it was first declared a national holiday by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937.
While there were already indigenous people in the Western hemisphere, and Vikings and possibly other explorers had been here before, Columbus’s “discovery” was important because it established the lasting relationship that existed between Europe and the Americas. It is well-known that Columbus’s crew set sale for India with three ships – the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. This whole voyage rested on the idea that the world was round, not flat. Columbus was not the first or only person to believe in a round Earth. However, he was the first to persuade a monarch to finance such an unusual journey.
The United States is not the only country to commemorate this day. Spain celebrates it as Dia de la Hispanidad (Hispanic Day) and much of the Bahamas acknowledges Discovery Day. Even within the United States, there is some discrepancy. For example, in Berkeley, California, the day is known as “Indigenous Peoples Day.” South Dakota celebrates “Native American Day.” Many places around the country still hold parades on Columbus Day, including New York City and Denver, Colorado.
For more information on Columbus Day, be sure to check out the America.gov profile on the holiday. The Library of Congress has a variety of sources on Columbus himself, including two displays: 1942: an ongoing voyage and their Today in History. They also have an interesting timeline in America’s Library. Finally, don’t forget to look at this exhibit from NASA for more information on the rationale behind Columbus’s journey.
Indiana is on track to becoming a healthier State thanks to a five-year grant awarded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to improve healthy eating and physical activity to prevent and control obesity and other chronic diseases. The Indiana Healthy Weight Initiative was developed to get Indiana citizens healthy and active and to improve our quality of life regardless of weight status (overweight, underweight, normal weight, and obese). The Initiative’s activities include, but are not limited to: plan, implement, and evaluate a state plan for encouraging healthy weight; organize and maintain a task force of statewide partners; and build and sustain statewide capacity for addressing overweight and obesity. Using the tools and resources from the Initiative, we can become a healthier State and reduce many illnesses and diseases.