Topic Page – Amelia Earhart

AP Photo of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, Lo...

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For Amelia Earhart, aviation and flying started out as hobbies, something she enjoyed doing as she pursued a career in social work after working as a nurse. Her enthusiasm grew and after becoming the first woman passenger to complete a transatlantic flight, Earhart began flying by herself. Throughout her career, she became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a solo pilot. Additionally, she was the first ever pilot to fly by themselves from Hawaii to California. Unfortunately, during an attempt to fly around the world, Earhart’s plane vanished before reaching its next destination. Her sudden disappearance is a mystery which has still not been resolved. To learn the details behind how she started flying and her various exploits, visit the Amelia Earhart Topic Page in Credo Reference.

Quest for the Dark Heart of the Universe

Projected density plot of a redshift z=2.5 dar...

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Located in a clean room at the Kennedy Space Center in preparation for a February launching, is an eight-ton assemblage of magnets, wires, and other electronic components; one of the most ambitious and complicated experiments ever to set out for space.

Scientists hope that the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer will lend important insights into what makes up the universe. In late February or early March, the space shuttle Endeavour will ferry the spectrometer to a permanent berth on the International Space Station (ISS).

But the real destination is the shadow universe. The device is designed to sift the high-energy particles flying through space known as cosmic rays. The experiment, if it succeeds, could help NASA take a giant step toward answering the question of what the universe is made of.

It could also confer scientific glory on both the International Space Station and a celebrated physicist reaching one last time, literally, for the stars. If it fails, it will validate critics who think it a scandal the experiment was ever approved.

You might think you learned in high school that the universe is made of atoms and molecules, protons and electrons, stars and galaxies, but over the last few decades astronomers have concluded (not happily) that all this is just a scrim overlying a much vaster shadowy realm of invisible “dark matter” whose gravity determines the architecture of the cosmos.

If they are lucky, scientists say, the Alpha spectrometer could confirm that mysterious signals recorded by other satellites and balloons in recent years are emanations from that dark matter, revealing evidence of particles and forces that have only been theoretical dreams until now. Knowing what nature is made of could be useful someday in ways nobody can dream. Einstein’s curved space-time, equally elusive to the senses, proved crucial to the function of GPS devices that were invented decades after Einstein’s death.

Learning Activity Continue reading

Top Websites

Benjamin Franklin

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  • Ben Franklin: In His Own Words
    Source: Library of Congress (LOC) 

    “Benjamin Franklin: In His Own Words, indicates the depth and breadth of Benjamin Franklin’s public, professional, and scientific accomplishments through important documents, letters, books, broadsides, and cartoons. Marking the tercentenary of Franklin’s birth, this exhibition, concentrates on his achievements as a printer and writer, an inventor and scientist, and, particularly, as a politician and statesman.” (LOC)

  • Congressional Timeline
    Organization: Dirksen Congressional Center 

    “For each Congress beginning with the 73rd (1933-35), this timeline features session dates, partisan composition, the presidential administration, a list of congressional leaders, and notable legislation passed.” (CONGRESSIONAL TIMELINE) Browse through this in-depth timeline which features videos, photos, audio and documents of U.S. Congress past and present.

  • Google Sky
    Organization: Google 

    “Traveling to the stars has never been easier. To help you explore the far reaches of our universe, we have teamed up with astronomers at some of the largest observatories in the world to bring you a new view of the sky. Using Google Maps this tool provides an exciting way to browse and explore the universe. You can find the positions of the planets and constellations on the sky and even watching the birth of distant galaxies as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.” (GOOGLE) Explore the known universe with Google Sky, which provides interactive use of the footage collected by NASA and their telescopes. iPhone and Android owners, be sure to download the Google Sky Map app from the App Store and Android Marketplace to take this amazing data with you into the field.

Brain Teaser – Jean and Joan

Try to identify these people who all have the first name Jean or Joan. And remember that these names can belong to men as well as women. Need help? Try Credo Reference.

1. American movie star who won an Academy Award for her appearance in “Mildred Pierce”. She was also memorably teamed with Bette Davis in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”

2. French intellectual and a leader of the French Revolution, who was assassinated by Charlotte Corday in 1793.

3. French film director whose films included “La Grande Illusion”, “The Diary of a Chambermaid” and “The River”. He was the son of a famous painter.

4. American folksinger and political activist whose recordings include “Gracias a la Vida” and “Diamonds and Rust”.

5. French poet (1621-95) best known for his “Fables”.

6. British-born actress who played the young Estella in the 1946 film of “Great Expectations” and Ophelia in Laurence Olivier’s film of “Hamlet”.

7. French dramatist and poet (1639-99) whose works included “Andromaque”, “Bajazet” and “Mithridate”.

8. British novelist (1894-1979) whose novels included “After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie” and “Wide Sargasso Sea”.

9. US comedian who was born Joan Molinsky in 1933.

10. Spanish painter, ceramicist and sculptor who was a leading member of the Surrealist movement.

Questions set by Tony Augarde (

Book Bliz – What’s Your favorite Book?

What is your favorite book? Is it an adventure story, an animal tale, a fairy tale, a funny book, or maybe a spooky story? Book Blitz Month is a great time to read your favorite book again and to discover new books to love!

January’s Spotlight of the Month features lots of wonderful books and their authors. Read about award-winning picture books, including David Wiesner’s “Art & Max.” Learn more about young-adult fiction, such as Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight.” Discover literary classics, notably Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”


Lemony Snicket