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Culture

Europeana Digital Library Overwhelmed on First Day

by on Nov.22, 2008, under Culture

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa

The ambitious Europeana digital library opened on Thursday Nov. 20, only to be overwhelmed and crash. Its objective is to bring Europe’s cultural heritage out of its museums and libraries and onto the internet.

The site was designed to handle up to five-million users per hour. But it was receiving 10-million hits an hour when it crashed at 11:30 am. Despite increasing the number of servers from three to six, the site crashed again early evening. It is now offline and displays the message, “We are doing our utmost to reopen Europeana in a more robust version as soon as possible.”

Europeana currently holds some two-million paintings, photographs, sound recordings, maps, manuscripts, newspapers and documents. According EU commissioner Viviane Reding Europeana will, “enable a Czech student to browse the British library without going to London, or an Irish art lover to get close to the Mona Lisa without queuing at the Louvre.”

Europeana has 14 staff and an annual budget of 2.5 million euros (US$3.15 million). The aim is to have 10 million works available by 2010. It will be back online by mid-December 2008.

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Send Your Name to the Moon

by on May.12, 2008, under Around the Solar System, Culture

The Moon

The Moon

So you want to travel into space but cannot spare the US$30 million for a stay on the International Space Station? Well NASA is offering a bargain basement alternative. You can send your name to the Moon for nothing.

All you need to do is add your details at the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) web site and print out a certificate. Your details we be added to a database which will be loaded into a chip that will be integrated onto the LRO.

The LRO will create a comprehensive map of the lunar surface and resources, allowing NASA to plan for future permanent settlements on the Moon. It is scheduled for launch late 2008.

“Everyone who sends their name to the moon, like I’m doing, becomes part of the next wave of lunar explorers,” said Cathy Peddie, deputy project manager for LRO at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Send Your Name to the Moon is a collaboration between NASA, the Planetary Society in Pasadena, Calif., and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

Don’t miss out, the deadline for submitting names is Jun. 27, 2008.

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