Spring season is a great time for a sightseeing trip through the nearby mountains. U.S. 129 goes north from Gainesville toward Blairsville. After steep climbs and curves, you arrive at Neels Gap and the Waleisi-Yi Center, a popular stopping point for many hikers.
The global coordinates you can get with a GPS or smartphone can be confusing. Their units are degrees, minutes and seconds of angle. With exact coordinates, you can pinpoint any place in the world. For example, 34 degrees 18 minutes 14.29 seconds north by 83 degrees 49 minutes 35.44 seconds west gets you to the home of The Times.
There are a lot of differences between Georgia's colleges and universities. Some are privately funded, some with tax dollars. Some have historic campuses, like the University of Georgia, which incorporated in 1785. Others were founded in the 20th century, like Georgia State.
The "futurology" movement of the 1960s, which promised progress and prosperity, based almost entirely on technology, has long ebbed away. Science fiction literature and movies range from the realistic to the ridiculous.
While much of the northern and eastern U.S. shivered in frigid weather, parts of England experienced severe storms. Recent research suggests that these record-setting events were due to warming of the Arctic.
An earthquake in South Dakota two weeks ago. Another in South Carolina last week. It would be tempting to come up with scary headlines now.
The earthquake occurring 17 miles outside of Chamberlain, S.D.. on Feb. 7 didn't receive major news coverage. At 2.9 on the magnitude scale, it wasn't anywhere near the level of quakes that have destroyed entire cities in the past.
The winter storm that dropped 2.6 inches on the Atlanta area Jan. 28 will remain in many commuters' memories for years. Stories of children stranded in school buses and people taking up to 25 hours to get home made the national news, among the gridlock that paralyzed the roadways.
During these cold weeks, a hot fire is nice. But it needs to be in a fireplace. Destructive house fires are common right now, and the reason often reported is "faulty wiring."
If you had a festive Christmas dinner a few weeks ago, you probably didn't toss the leftovers. They made for another nice meal later. It doesn't make sense to spend money when lots of resources are already on hand. Recycling serves the same purpose.
During the frigid spell of early January, news media were filled with articles about the "polar vortex." Some sounded like this is some new, dangerous phenomenon, apparently just discovered, and it's coming to get all of us.
Soon it will seem like a bad dream that cars used to contaminate the air with harmful emissions, making people sick and causing developmental problems in children.
Energy is expensive, and yet it gets wasted all the time. For example, observe drivers on our mountainous roads. Many use their brakes going uphill, when it would have been sufficient to just step off the gas pedal and let gravity slow the car to the desired speed.
For most of us in North Georgia, the holiday season is a time of abundance. Rich meals, cookies, candy and chocolate fill the tables.
Pretty Christmas cards with snow-laden New England landscapes are arriving. The desert town of Bethlehem, birthplace of Christ 2,000 years ago, is located 6 miles south of Jerusalem in today's West Bank in the Palestinian Territory. It probably didn't look like Bangor, Maine, back then, and it doesn't now.
You're doing your Christmas shopping. Traffic is heavy. On the main streets, two or more lanes are completely filled with cars. Slow forward movement in your lane ensures a stop at every traffic light.
Most North Georgia homeowners have had this unpleasant experience. You step into the garage or some other room with outside walls after a cold night, and are greeted by a waterfall coming out of the drywall. After turning off the water supply at the meter and using every available towel to mop up the lake that has formed, there are two immediate goals: Fix the damage, and do something that will prevent this from happening again.
"This place is awfully cold. I hope it's not like this all the time."
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