Friday, April 8, 2011

Freebie Friday 4.8.11

Worthy Things to Do, Listen To, or View that Won’t Cost You a Dime 

Welcome to the April 8 edition of Freebie Friday. With the potential for a government shutdown staring us in the face, the theme today has political overtones.

First off: Do you think you know the Constitution? The Constitution is being invoked right and left these days. Now might be a good time to test your knowledge, relearn what you may have forgotten over the years, or learn what you never did in the first place. You can determine your Constitution IQ with quizzes ranging from easy to expert at this site. You will be able to see your results and how they stack up against the rest of the country. [I did well on concepts but fell short on the details.] The site has a wealth of resources for teachers. If you find after taking all the quizzes that you could use a handy pocket version/guide to keep at the ready, you can order one here for free.

The Concise Visitor's Guide to YosemiteSchool vacations, spring road trips, and National Park Week are just around the corner. Although your first thoughts regarding a government shutdown may have turned to such themes as: When will my tax refund arrive? or Will there still be air traffic controllers? Have you considered what a shutdown means to the National Park system or the Smithsonian? These “non-essential” entities will be closing at midnight unless a solution is found in the next few hours. Perhaps it’s a good thing that my dream trip to Yosemite didn’t fall into place for this weekend.

If you are locked out, you will have to content yourself with the next best thing — a virtual experience. To find a particular park in the National Park system, visit this site. There will be a number of links for any park you choose.The Yosemite video tour is here

There are virtual tours for many of the current Smithsonian exhibits as well. The list of current exhibitions is here. This is the link to Set in Style: the Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels, now on view at the Cooper Hewitt in New York City.

It’s certainly not the same as being there, but I have a motive for sending you to these sites. Our country is rich with treasures. Someone has to preserve and protect them. I know it’s not spelled out in the Constitution, but if not the government, then who will do it? There is no question in my mind that this is tax money well spent.

Have a great weekend! I can smell Spring today and I think the forsythia is going to pop!

FYI Why a piñata? Just like a blog link, until you open it, you won’t know what’s inside.

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