After derailing myself on the compass discussion, I thought it might be interesting to discuss some skills we are likely losing. I know I did not learn much basic astronomy in school. I always loved science and graduated with a BS degree in physics. I think I was too much into what made the stars hot, neutron stars, black holes and the like. For starters, how many times does the earth rotate on its axis each year? Hint: it's not approximately 365.25 days. I'm thinking in terms of identifying the planets visible to the naked eye. Watching for an opportunity to catch mercury just after sunset or before sunrise on those odd occasions it is visible. Or learning that venus has phases like the moon, but we never get to see a "full" venus. How about seeing how tiny a crescent moon you can catch just after a new moon. Or learning Orion, the Big Dipper, Polaris and Cassiopeia. Learning when noon is where you live. (Both our adult kids live in Lubbock, TX. There are a few days when their noon occurs after 2:00 pm, thanks to Daylight Saving Time and a location far west in the Central time zone. Another, why does the latest sunrise in the northern hemisphere occur about January 10, almost three weeks after the solstice. Incidentally, the answer to the rotation question is 366. The earth turns on its axis in about 23 hours, 56 minutes. The other four minutes are required to "catch up" to the sun since we are moving about it, just like you have to turn your head to catch up to something you are passing by in your car. Another way to see this is to consider that if the earth did not rotate at all we would still have one night and one day a year. We "lose" that one day every year. I've chosen some of the more puzzling things to consider, but most are simpler. My own grandmother, born in the 1880's and only educated through the 7th grade taught me a few. One I remember is to tell whether it would be wet weather or dry was to look at the phase of the moon. If the "cup" was relatively level, expect rain. The cup could hold water. (This happens in spring and fall, our wettest seasons where we live.) In summer when it is dry the "cup" is tilted over and is thus empty--no rain. What are some observations you think are worth passing along to following generations?