Thursday, June 23, 2011

LSU Coaches Star on YouTube!!!

If you were wondering how LSU’s “busy” coaches spend their summer down time, a pair of YouTube videos supply the answer.

In the first, football coach Les Miles is locked in a losing battle with his kids in a backyard basketball showdown when he pulls out a pair of secret weapons: shoes given to him by ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt. The result is a shocking reversal of fortune.

In the second half of the double feature, the normally reserved Trent Johnson challenges LSU men’s basketball publicist and renowned Advocate bowling columnist Kent Lowe to an in-office bowling showdown involving a basketball and what appear to be 10 bottles of sports drink subbing for a ball and pins.

Both are highly tongue in cheek. Funny? It helps to know the people involved (that is a logo of Lowe at the end of the Johnson video and Macy Grace Miles sang the national anthem at an LSU baseball game this season), but you’d have to be pretty stiff not to at least have a chuckle. If nothing else, it’s fun to see millionaire coaches not take themselves so seriously.

Check out the article at LSU TigerTracks.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

Solstice/Equinox Diagram

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice Sunrise at Stonehenge

Stonehenge Summer Solstice Diagram

The summer solstice shouldn't come as a surprise. It arrives at pretty much the same time every year. But some of the little-known facts behind and surrounding the solstice are fascinating. First, the basics:

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere will officially arrive on Tuesday (June 21) at 1:16 p.m. EDT (17:16 Universal Time): the June solstice. At the same time, winter officially begins for the Southern Hemisphere.

At that moment, the sun will reach the point where it is farthest north of the celestial equator. To be more precise, when the summer solstice occurs, the sun will appear to be shining directly overhead at a point on the Tropic of Cancer (latitude 23.5 degrees north) in the Great Bahama Bank, roughly halfway between Andros Island and central Cuba.

Extreme daylightFrom no point in the contiguous 48 United States can the sun appear directly overhead. From New York, for instance, at 12:57 p.m. Eastern Time, the sun will attain its highest point in the sky for this entire year, standing 73 degrees above the southern horizon or about four-fifths of the way up from the horizon to the point directly overhead.

And since the sun will appear to describe such a high arc across the sky, the duration of daylight is now at its most extreme. In fact, north of the Arctic Circle, which encompasses northern Alaska, far-northern Canada, much of Greenland as well as the northernmost parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland , the sun now remains above the horizon for an entire 24-hour day, leading to the effect known as the "midnight sun."

However, contrary to popular belief, the earliest sunrise and latest sunset do not coincide with the summer solstice. For mid-northern latitudes, the earliest sunrise actually occurred on June 14, while the latest sunset is not due until June 27.

Hotter weather

If the insolation — the total energy received from the sun — alone governed the temperature, we should be experiencing the year’s hottest weather right now.

But the atmosphere in temperate regions continues to receive more heat than it gives up to space, a situation that lasts a month or more, depending on the latitude. Though it depends on the local climate, most locations see the hottest part of the year occurring in late July. A reverse process occurs after the winter solstice in December; most places see their coldest weather in late January.

The solar heating depends directly on the sun's altitude in the sky, which also controls its daily path and the number of hours the sun is above the horizon. As an example, although on April 12 the insolation is the same as on Aug. 31, thanks to the seasonal temperature lag, the northern and central United States can still experience a freeze at the former date, or endure a 90 degree heat wave at the latter.


Just as the word "armistice" is defined as a staying of the action of arms, "solstice" is a staying of the sun's apparent motion over the latitudes of the Earth .

At the summer solstice, the sun stops its northward motion and begins heading south. At the winter solstice, it turns north.

So technically on Tuesday, even at 17:17 UT, the sun will have turned around and started on its six-month journey south. It will cross the equator at the autumnal equinox, passing into the Southern Hemisphere on Sept. 23, at 9:05 UT.

Check out the article at Fox News.

Summertime is finally here... time for a trip to the beach!

Monday, June 06, 2011

D-Day: June 6, 1944

LST on D-Day in Normandy, France - June 6, 1944

Landing Supplies at Normandy, France - June, 1944

General Eisenhower speaks to paratroopers of the 101st Airborne - June 5, 1944

D-Day assault routes into Normandy, France

View of the American Cemetery from the Memorial - Normandy, France

Omaha Beach from Normandy Cemetery - present day

National World War II Museum - New Orleans, Louisiana

D-Day - June 6, 1944

The Battle of Normandy was fought in 1944 between Nazi Germany in Western Europe and the invading Allied forces as part of the larger conflict of World War II. Operation Overlord was the codename for the Allied invasion of northwest Europe, which began on June 6, 1944, and ended on August 19, 1944, when the Allies crossed the River Seine. Over sixty years later, the Normandy Invasion still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history, involving almost three million troops crossing the English Channel from England to Normandy. Operation Neptune was the codename given to the initial assault phase of Operation Overlord; its mission, to gain a foothold on the continent, started on June 6, 1944 (most commonly known by the name D-Day) and ended on June 30, 1944.

The primary Allied formations that saw combat in Normandy came from the United States of America, United Kingdom and Canada. Substantial Free French and Polish forces also participated in the battle after the assault phase, and there were also contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, the Netherlands, and Norway.

The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks, naval bombardments, and an early morning amphibious phase began on June 6, 1944. The “D-Day” forces deployed from bases along the south coast of England, the most important of these being Portsmouth. The battle for Normandy continued for more than two months, with campaigns to establish, expand, and eventually break out of the Allied beachheads, and concluded with the liberation of Paris and the fall of the Falaise pocket in late August 1944.

The Battle of Normandy was described thus by Adolf Hitler: “In the East, the vastness of space will... permit a loss of territory... without suffering a mortal blow to Germany’s chance for survival. Not so in the West! If the enemy here succeeds… consequences of staggering proportions will follow within a short time.”

Check out the article at Wikipedia.

Be sure to visit the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana for some exciting events going on today!

If you are interested in accurate D-Day and WWII history, I highly recommend the following books by Stephen Ambrose. He has written other WWII books, but those four are by far the most notable and my favorites:

The HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, inspired by Stephen Ambrose's book by the same title, is a must-see for any WWII history buff. I have found the series to be one of the most historically accurate movies made on the topic... I highly recommend checking it out!

There are MANY movies made in the WWII setting, check out World War II on Film at and the Wikipedia List of WWII Films.