Monday, March 12, 2012

Reading in Cambridge!

Duckie sends you greetings from Cambridge in the UK where he is visiting our friend, world changer and a good egg, the amazing Claire Barnes!

Where he arrived after a trip from London (and a brief scare) with the compliments of Royal Mail!

The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about 50 miles (80 km) north of London. According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, the city's population was 108,863 (including 22,153 students), and was estimated to be 125,717 in mid-2010. There is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area in bronze age and Roman times, and under Viking rule Cambridge became an important trading centre. The first town charters were granted in the 12th century, although city status was not conferred until 1951.

Very interesting view from Claire's!
Cambridge is most widely known as the home of the University of Cambridge founded in 1209, which is consistently ranked one of the top five universities in the world. The university includes the renowned Cavendish Laboratory, King's College Chapel, and the Cambridge University Library. The Cambridge skyline is dominated by the last two buildings, along with the chimney of Addenbrooke's Hospital in the far south of the city and St John's College Chapel tower.

Uhmmm, TAXI!
Making new friends...
Looking forward to many new adventures!!

Thanks to Wikipedia!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Counting The Days in London!

London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union according to some measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who called it Londinium. London's ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its square-mile mediaeval boundaries. Since at least the 19th century, the name London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core.

Trafalgar Square
 Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, England, United Kingdom built around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. It is in the borough of the City of Westminster. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of contemporary art. The square is also used for political demonstrations and community gatherings, such as the celebration of New Year's Eve.

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
 Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, and is generally extended to refer to the clock or the clock tower as well. The clock tower holds the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and is the third-tallest free-standing clock tower. It celebrated its 150th anniversary on 31 May 2009, during which celebratory events took place. The tower was completed on 10 April 1858 and has become one of the most prominent symbols of both London and England, often in the establishing shot of films set in the city.

Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge (built 1886-1894) is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London.

London has hosted the Olympic Games on two past occasions, in 1908 and 1948, with a third scheduled for 2012. The planned 2012 Summer Olympics will make London the first city to have hosted the modern Games of three Olympiads. London is the only city in the United Kingdom to have ever hosted the Olympics; the United States is the only country to have hosted Summer Olympics on more occasions than the UK.

Countdown Clock to the Olympics!

Keeping Time In London, UK!

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich (formerly the Royal Greenwich Observatory or RGO), in London, England played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is best known as the location of the prime meridian. It is situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the River Thames.

The observatory was commissioned in 1675 by King Charles II, with the foundation stone being laid on 10 August. At this time the king also created the position of Astronomer Royal (initially filled by John Flamsteed), to serve as the director of the observatory and to "apply himself with the most exact care and diligence to the rectifying of the tables of the motions of the heavens, and the places of the fixed stars, so as to find out the so much desired longitude of places for the perfecting of the art of navigation." The building was completed in the summer of 1676. The building was often given the title "Flamsteed House".

The scientific work of the observatory was relocated elsewhere in stages in the first half of the 20th century, and the Greenwich site is now maintained as a tourist attraction.

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) was at one time based on the time observations made at Greenwich (until 1954). Thereafter, GMT was calculated from observations made at other observatories which were still active. GMT is now often called Universal Time, which is now calculated from observations of extra-galactic radio sources, and then converted into several forms, including UT0 (UT at the remote observatory), UT1 (UT corrected for polar motion), and UTC (UT in discrete SI seconds within 0.9 s of UT1). To help others synchronise their clocks to GMT, a time ball was installed by Astronomer Royal John Pond in 1833. It still drops daily to mark the exact moment of 1 pm (13:00) year round (GMT during winter and BST during summer).

THANK YOU for taking Duckie to London with you, Vangie Austin!