Weekly Warm-Up: 4 Springtime Holidays Around the World

As the spring equinox approaches, several cultures and religious groups will be celebrating holidays. For students, holidays are an exciting break from the norm. Why not take advantage of this week of overlapping celebrations to teach students about world cultures and religions? Check out this map of major world religions to get started. Magha Puja Day: February 11, 2017 More than 2,500 years ago, Buddhists believe … Continue reading Weekly Warm-Up: 4 Springtime Holidays Around the World

India’s Festival of Colors

WORLD India’s Festival of Colors Each spring, millions of Indians and other Hindus celebrate the festival of Holi. The annual Holi celebrations usually include full-body splashes of colored powders (called gulal) and water. This dazzling National Geographic photo gallery showcases participants in this year’s Holi festival. Discussion Ideas: Read our “media spotlight” about Holi. It gives a brief description of the mythic origins of the … Continue reading India’s Festival of Colors

Five for Friday: Five signs that spring has sprung

1. It’s getting warmer outside

One of the biggest ‘bummers’ for me is dealing with long winters- – and I feel like this last one was one of the longest. The cold winds, wet drizzle and grey skies just don’t appeal to me. Luckily, it seems to have come to an end at last. For the past two to three weeks, I’ve been sleeping with my windows open, and it feels great. In fact, today, I wore shorts and sunglasses to work. Hooray for ‘casual Fridays.’

But why is it getting warmer? A common misconception is that the earth is actually closer to the Sun during the spring and summer, causing the weather to warm up… but, that is a misconception.

From Wikipedia: “In spring, the axis of the Earth is increasing its tilt toward the Sun and the length of daylight rapidly increases for the relevant hemisphere. The hemisphere begins to warm significantly causing new plant growth to “spring forth,” giving the season its name.”

2. I can’t breathe

With the nice weather comes higher pollen counts, and for me that means that my sinuses go haywire. Fortunately, I can track the pollen forecast on this website, which will tell me how I won’t be able to breathe that day. Of course, pollen counts really depend on the weather (temperature, precipitation, and regular seasonal trends), and the weather depends on where you are geographically located. My buddies in Texas have been “sportin’ shorts” for about a month now.

Continue reading “Five for Friday: Five signs that spring has sprung”

A Late Winter Storm Slams the East Coast

This weekend, the East Coast was pummeled by a vicious winter storm. The disturbance began in the Southeastern U.S. yesterday, dropping as much as 8 inches of snow in states that traditionally do not see much if any at all. On Sunday, Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina and Richmond International Airport in Virginia were closed for snow removal from runways. Atlanta also received roughly six inches of snow.

A time lapse video of a New Jersey backyard

Continue reading “A Late Winter Storm Slams the East Coast”