Vote for Rachel Carson Sense of Water Contest winning photographs

July 18, 2012

It’s the annual competition EPA sponsors for younger people and older people, the Rachel Carson Sense of Water Contest.   Contest officials want you to participate and vote on the photos, to help select the winners:

Wade In And Cast Your Vote For The 2012 Winners Of The Rachel Carson Sense Of Water Contest

2012 July 18
By Kathy Sykes

“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of year, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.” Rachel Carson from “The Sea Around Us

For the past six years, I have had the privilege of overseeing the Rachel Carson Sense of  Wonder contest. The purpose is to create artistic expressions through photography, poetry, essays and dance that capture the sense and appreciation of the environment. This year’s contest focused on water in recognition of the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act. Teams of young persons and older have expressed appreciation for water through extraordinary and precious expressions of art. From raindrops on a blade of grass, to a gentle rain in a forest, to waves in the ocean as far as the eye can see, we see, taste and feel water.

I have been heartened to receive messages from grandparents and grandchildren, parents and children, teachers and students, and nature lovers of all ages, who appreciate the teaching of Rachel Carson.

Andre Gide, a French Nobel laureate for literature wrote, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Many of our teams did just that, discovering and exploring water and nature with a new sense of wonder. And just as the pleasing as Handel’s water music was for King George, I too have been thrilled by the notes from participants:

  • “thanks for giving this opportunity to kids to rethink about environment and nature”
  • “we had a great time completing this contest.”
  • “such a wonderful project!!!”
  • “when will EPA announce the 2013 contest and what will the theme be?”

Our judges were also impressed by the imaginative entries from teams that worked across generations to discover and enjoy the beauty of water. It was a quite a challenge for them to select finalists from so many lovely works. Now it is your chance to help us select the 2012 winners of the Rachel Carson Sense of Water Contest here.

About the Author: Kathy Sykes is a Senior Advisor for Aging and Sustainability in the Office or Research and Development at the U.S. EPA.  She grew up in Madison, WI and has been working at the U.S. EPA since 1998. She believes the arts can serve as an environmental educational tool and foster appreciation and protection for the natural world.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

It’s  worthy and fun enterprise — and some of the photographs will make you gasp, and some may bring tears to your eyes.  Go see, and vote for the winners.

English: Rachel Carson Conducts Marine Biology...

Rachel Carson conducts marine biology research with USFWS colleague Bob Hines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ty Cobb’s 4,000th hit, July 18, 1927

July 18, 2012

Once again, this comes directly from the Library of  Congress’s great “Today in History” site.

You’ve seen the news, about the discovery of a complete set of baseball cards in an attic in Defiance, Ohio.  The collection should make its owners very, very rich.  It includes rare cards of Honus Wagner, and Ty Cobb, The Georgia Peach.

Ty Cobb, the Georgia Peach

Cobb Triptych
Hugh Jennings/Ty Cobb
Left: Hugh Jennings
Center: Ty Cobb Steals Third
Right: Ty Cobb, 1912.
Baseball Cards, 1887-1914

On July 18, 1927, Ty Cobb recorded his 4,000th career hit. Cobb finished out his Major League Baseball career in 1928 with a grand total of 4,191 hits. Cobb stood as the all-time hit leader until his total was surpassed by Pete Rose in 1985.

Cobb and Jackson
Ty Cobb, Detroit, and Joe Jackson, Cleveland,
circa 1913.
Jackie Robinson and Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s

Cobb began his professional career at the age of eighteen with the Detroit Tigers with which he played twenty-two of his twenty-four seasons. Like the careers of baseball greats Pete Rose and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Cobb’s was marred by scandal. He was allowed to resign in 1926 in lieu of being banned for alleged gambling violations. However, Cobb was subsequently exonerated and reinstated by baseball’s first commissioner, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

Cobb, born on December 18, 1886, in Narrows, Georgia, and nicknamed “The Georgia Peach,” was known for his temper as well as for his outstanding athletic ability. He stole home fifty-four times—fifty times with the Detroit Tigers and four times with the Philadelphia Athletics, won twelve batting average titles, and managed the Detroit Tigers for six seasons while also playing center field. His lifetime batting average was .367. Cobb made use of his reputation as an aggressive (often dirty) base runner to intimidate infielders, stealing 892 bases during his professional career. Ty Cobb was one of the first five players elected to the in Cooperstown, New York, in 1936, along with Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner.

Chas O'Leary and Tyrus Cobb    Chas O'Leary and Tyrus Cobb

Chas. O’Leary and Tyrus Cobb,
Baseball Cards, 1887-1914
This baseball card featuring Chas O’Leary and Tyrus Cobb, produced by the American Tobacco Company in 1912, shows Cobb sliding into third base. Click on the back of the card to read a description of Cobb’s base running statistics.

For more about baseball and its legendary players, search the following American Memory collections:

American naval hero John Paul Jones died in Paris, July 18, 1792, lost in obscurity

July 18, 2012

This comes directly from the Library of Congress’s “Today in History” site — you should subscribe if you don’t already:

John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones,
photograph of an engraving,
between 1895 and 1915.
Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920

John Paul Jones, naval hero of the American Revolution, died in Paris on July 18, 1792. Born John Paul in Scotland on July 6, 1747, he apprenticed at age thirteen to a shipowner and sailed to Barbados. Owing to problems on another voyage to the West Indies (in 1773 he killed a sailor during a mutiny in Tobago, claiming self-defense), he fled to Virginia and changed his name—first to John Jones, and later to John Paul Jones.

Jones was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Continental Navy in December 1775 and the following year was commissioned a captain. His achievements at sea during the war were spectacular. Jones distinguished himself in action in the Atlantic Ocean during 1776 and 1777 in command of the naval ships the Alfred, the Providence, and the Ranger, taking many British ships as prizes.

John Paul Jones's home
John Paul Jones’ home in Fredericksburg, Virginia,
Theodor Horydczak, photographer, circa 1920-1950.
Washington as It Was: Photographs by Theodor Horydczak, 1923-1959

On September 23, 1779, Jones achieved his most famous victory off the coast of England. With his flagship the Bonhomme Richard, which he had renamed in honor of his patron Benjamin Franklin, and accompanied by four other vessels, Jones engaged the British merchant fleet led by the Serapis in heavy combat for over three-and-one-half hours. During the battle, Jones answered the enemy’s demand that he surrender with the immortal words, “I have not yet begun to fight!”

After heavy losses of life on both sides, the British surrendered. Jones and his crew left their sinking ship and transferred to the captured Serapis. Congress passed a resolution thanking Jones and he received a sword and the Order of the Military Merit from King Louis XVI of France.

John Paul Jones held no further appointments in the United States Navy, but he served as rear admiral in the Russian Navy under Empress Catherine II of Russia from 1788-90. After his discharge, he resided in Paris in obscurity until his death and was buried in an unmarked grave. More than a hundred years later, the remains of the Navy’s first hero—lionized for his brilliant naval career, were identified and brought back to the United States with a full naval escort. His body is interred in a marble crypt, modeled on Napoleon’s tomb, in the chapel of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Statue of John Paul Jones
Statue of John Paul Jones,
Washington, D.C.,
Theodor Horydczak, photographer, circa 1920-1950.
Washington as It Was: Photographs by Theodor Horydczak, 1923-1959

We don’t spend enough on foreign aid; U.S. should spend more

July 18, 2012

All that bellyaching about Obama’s out of control spending?  Bunk.

All that ballyhoo about how the U.S. spends way too much on foreign aid?  Dangerous anti-American propaganda; we don’t spend enough.

For evidence, look at the Congressional Budget Office‘s non-partisan analysis of the State Department reauthorization act for the coming year, Fiscal 2013.  And please, get the facts before you start to complain.

H.R. 6018, Foreign Relations Reauthorization Act, Fiscal Year 2013

Page 1 of CBO’s analysis:

H.R. 6018 would authorize appropriations for the Department of State and related agencies, the Peace Corps, and international broadcasting activities. CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $15.8 billion over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the specified and estimated amounts.

We’re talking actual outlays for the State Department, for all of our diplomatic efforts to prevent war, secure and strengthen peace, represent U.S. interests in trade and defense and culture, and manage the provision of about $37 billion in aid to other nations, of a total around $9.3 billion for FY 2013.  (See page 2)

That’s a pittance.

Even if we include the $37 billion in foreign aid payouts, that’s less than $50 billion a year to manage and maintain our vital relationships in the world.

You can get the country-by-country breakdown of foreign aid, from the horse’s mouth, at this site.

Less than 1% of our national budget goes to foreign aid.

Less than 1 penny of every dollar you pay in taxes, goes to foreign aid.

How much would be enough?  We could double foreign aid without any significant effect to the deficits, but with huge effects in good will and actual production of peace overseas.

Most people think a “fair” percentage of the budget to dedicate to foreign aid would be about 10%.

This is no time for austerity in federal spending.

What’s changed in this chart from 2010?  Not much:

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