Reference Blog Entries

It's a mermaid! It's a sea monster! No, wait - it's a manatee!!

Katie's picture

ManateeTales of mermaid sightings and sea monster-infested waters have been part of folklore for centuries, but could these sea creatures all be traced back to something as docile as a manatee? Men sailing with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493 witnessed what they thought were three mermaids floating in the water. They referred to their discovery as “sirena,” which is Spanish for mermaid, and they described them as “not as beautiful as they are painted.”  Later, sailors saw the beasts swimming with their rounded backs out of the water in a row and thought they were the humps of a giant serpent. This led to tales of sea monsters. In reality, what they were most likely seeing were manatees, sea mammals that are cousins to elephants, who live in somewhat-shallow, warm water and are known as “gentle giants.”

Fortunately we live in an age where we have access to more information than Christopher Columbus did. With the help of our Reference department, you can dig a little deeper into these topics.

If you want to get any additional information on these topics or any others, feel free to visit with one of our librarians downstairs in the Reference Department. Perhaps you'll find us to be “not as beautiful as we are painted,” but I'm sure you'll agree we are some of the gentle giants of the UA library.  :)

Drones for Recreation

Laura's picture

Drone (Toy) aloft with bright blue sky and faint image of the moon in background

Drones for recreational use are becoming very popular

If you own a small drone you could, until recently, fly it with very few restrictions.  But as drone use has increased and the ability to fly higher has improved, so have reports of problems.  The government has found it necessary to impose restrictions for safety’s sake.

In mid-October the FAA announced that all drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds (8.8 ounces / 249 grams) in a flight-ready state (with batteries, cameras, and everything else attached) will have to be registered with the FAA.

Registration began December 21.  To register you must be a US citizen over age 13.  If you register during the first month (until January 20, 2016) the $5.00 registration fee will be either waived or refunded.  You will be assigned a registration number that you must mark on the drone in a legible way.  If you do not register you will be subject to a monetary penalty.

To complete your online registration click here.

After you register you may want to learn more by viewing the following websites:

You may also want to learn more from these articles in our online library resources:

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