Beacon: Wikis

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Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This page discusses beacons in general, which are often created by fires, lights or other means designed to attract attention. See also: Radio beacon, which are non-visual radio signals for navigational and other purposes. For other uses of the word, see Beacon (disambiguation).
A Scandinavian beacon being lit.

A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location.

Beacons can also be combined with semaphoric or other indicators to provide important information, such as the status of an airport, by the colour and rotational pattern of its airport beacon, or of pending weather as indicated on a weather beacon mounted at the top of a tall building or similar site. When used in such fashion, beacons can be considered a form of optical telegraphy.

Contents

For navigation

A navigational beacon denoting the presence of Orontes Bank off Port Vincent, South Australia.

Beacons help guide navigators to their destinations. Types of navigational beacons include radar reflectors, radio beacons, sonic and visual signals. Visual beacons range from small, single-pile structures to large lighthouses or light stations and can be located on land or on water. Lighted beacons are called lights; unlighted beacons are called daybeacons.

For defensive communications

Classically, beacons were fires lit at well-known locations on hills or high places, used either as lighthouses for navigation at sea, or for signalling over land that enemy troops were approaching, in order to alert defenses. As signals, beacons are an ancient form of optical telegraphy, and were part of a relay league.

Systems of this kind have existed for centuries over much of the world. In Scandinavia many hill forts were part of beacon networks to warn against invading pillagers. In Wales, the Brecon Beacons were named for beacons used to warn of approaching English raiders. In England, the most famous examples are the beacons used in Elizabethan England to warn of the approaching Spanish Armada. Many hills in England were named Beacon Hill after such beacons. In the Scottish borders country a system of beacon fires were at one time established to warn of incursions by the English. Hume, Eggerstone castle and Soltra Edge were part of this network.[1]

Other uses

Beacons and bonfires are also used to mark occasions and celebrate events. In Israel beacons identify the beginning of the month.

Beacons have also been abused by pirates. An illicit fire at a wrong position could be used to direct a ship against shoals or beaches, so that its cargo could be looted after the ship sank or ran aground.

In fiction

In The Lord of the Rings, a series of seven beacons is used as a signaling device between Gondor and Rohan. [1] In the film adaptation of The Return of the King, Gandalf has Pippin light the beacon closest to Minas Tirith. The series is then lit, thereby notifying Rohan's King Théoden that Gondor calls for help in the battle against Sauron.

See also

References

  1. ^ Ritchie, Leitch (1835). Scott and Scotland. London : Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longman. p. 53
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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

Beacon [1] is a city in Dutchess County, New York.

  • Stewart International Airport, 1180 First St, New Windsor, +1 845 564-2100, [2]. The closest major airport is directly across the river from Beacon, but at present offers few direct flights to major destinations. Interstate 84 crosses the Hudson at Beacon, providing easy access.
  • Westchester County Airport, 240 Airport Road, White Plains, +1 914 995-4860 (airlines), [3]. Two counties away, but an alternative to the congestion of the 3 major international airports around New York City. Rental cars available.
  • Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, New Jersey, [4], John F. Kennedy International Airport [5], and LaGuardia Airport [6]: Livery cars offer service to and from 3 major international airports. It is possible in a convoluted sort of way to get to and from JFK via Metro-North Railroad and New York City Transit.

By car

Interstate 84 runs through Beacon providing east-west connections to Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Route 9D is the main north to south road through the city.

  • Metro-North Railroad - Hudson line, [7]. Express service between Beacon and New York City's Grand Central Terminal is about 75 minutes, local service considerably longer. Local service is also available to other Metro-North commuter stations. On-board train fares are subject to a stiff surcharge, so buy your tickets at the vending machines located on the platform. On trains departing from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, get a seat on the left side of the train. Opposite Yonkers and Hastings-on-Hudson you will be treated to great views of the sheer cliffs of the Palisades and between Cold Spring and Beacon you will get a glimpse of Bannerman Castle on an island offshore.
  • Amtrak, [8]. Connection to Amtrak's long-distance service is available at New York City's Penn Station and Metro-North's Poughkeepsie station.

See

Dia:Beacon, 3 Beekman St, +1 845 440-0100, [9]. Museum for the Dia Art Foundation's collection of modern art, including works by Andy Warhol. Located in a 300,000 square foot historic factory on 31 acres of riverfront. Summer hours Th-M 11AM-6PM (closed Tu-W). Winter hours (mid-October to mid-April) 11AM-4PM F-M (closed Tu,W,Th). Adults $10, students and seniors $7, children under 12 free. Free admission for Dia members.

  • Mount Gulian Historical Site, 145 Sterling Street, +1 845 831-8172, [10]. Hours: April-October 31, W-F,Su 1PM-5PM. last tour given at 4pm. Mount Gulian Historic Site, open for the purposes of a guided tour, special event, school or group program,weddings, or simply something to do on a lovely afternoon. The site is about the Verplanck family which contains an assortment of stories about husbands and wives, army generals, and an escaped slave. $5 for adults, $3 for children and free for members.

Do

Rent a kayak or canoe or take a guided kayak trip on the Hudson River. Hudson Valley Pack & Paddle, 45 Beekman St, +1 845 831-1300, [11]. From New York City to Albany the Hudson is a tidal estuary, so be aware of tides and currents as well as ships and barges. There is a public launch to the west of the Beacon railroad station.

  • Max's on Main, 246 Main St, +1 845 838-6297, [12]. Newcomer in downtown is open 7 days. Lunch and dinner from 11:30am. Su-Th to 10PM and F-Sa to 11PM. Karaoke on Th, Live Music Friday and Saturday nights.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BEACON (from the O. Eng. beacn, a sign, cf. "beckon," another form of the same word), a signal, especially a fire lit on a high hill, structure or building for the purpose of sending a message of alarm or of important news over long distances. Such was the courier-fire (i yyapos 74) that brought the news of the fall of Troy to Argos (Aeschylus, Agamemnon), or the chain of signals that told of the approach of the Spanish Armada, or which circled the British Isles in the jubilee years of 1887 and 1897. The word occurs in many names for lofty and conspicuous hills, such as Dunkery Beacon in Somerset, the highest point on Exmoor. On many such hills the remains of old beacon towers and cressets are still found. The word is used generally of a lighthouse, but technically it means either a small unattended light, a superstructure on a floating buoy, such as a staff and cage, or staff and globe, or an unlighted structure, forming a conspicuous object at sea, used in each case to guide or warn sailors. (See LIGHTHOUSE and Buoy.)


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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki


a pole (Heb. to'ren) used as a standard or ensign set on the tops of mountains as a call to the people to assemble themselves for some great national purpose (Isa. 30:17). In Isa. 33:23 and Ezek. 27:5, the same word is rendered "mast." (See Banner.)

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

Beacon is a light used to mark a geographical location.


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