Shows & Panels
Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- American Readiness: Renewable Power and Efficiency Technologies
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Delivering the Digital Government Mission
- Federal Executive Forum
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- Federal Tech Talk
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- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- Government Perspectives on Mobility and the Cloud
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Mitigating Insider Threats in Virtual & Cloud Environments
- Modern Mission Critical Series
- The New Generation of Database
- Reimagining the Next Generation of Government
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
Monday - Friday, 6-9 a.m.
Host Tom Temin brings you the latest news affecting the federal community each weekday morning, featuring interviews with top government executives and contractors. Listen live from 6 to 9 a.m. or download archived interviews below.
What the Constitution and beef jerky have in common
Friday - 9/17/2010, 10:13am EDT
By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
It's Constitution Day. Time to learn something new about what is arguably the nation's most important document.
For example, it's possible the 223 year old, 4-page long handwritten parchment might smell like beef jerky.
"Every once in a while people are confused: they think these documents are written on paper," Kitty Nicholson, supervisory conservator with the National Archives explained to Federal News Radio.
"They're written on a specially prepared animal skin that's much more durable than paper," said Nicholson. "Thicker and stronger. And it was reserved for the most important documents that we have. And in the same way that when you graduate from college, they give you a sheepskin, that's a piece of parchment, these were written on animal skin too. So they will last, we hope, for many many more centuries."
While the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) isn't sure what kind of animal skin it is, Nicholson told Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Amy Morris "we intend to do DNA analysis, but by sheer size of the parchment, it must have been cattle." Sheepskin, said Nicholson, would be smaller "and it's not the same quality actually."
"The Constitution was written on a cow," said Morris, a bit awed. "Several cows," corrected Nicholson and laughed.
All four pages are kept hermetically sealed in an inert gas, said Nicholson, and not often exposed to oxygen, so it's doubtful there's really any smell.
To learn more about the Constitution, NARA invites one and all to stop by today, chat with "Dolly Madison" and enjoy some cake. For details about today's event, click here, and to hear the entire interview with Kitty Nicholson, click on the audio player at the top of the page.
Conservator Kitty Nicholson consolidates lifting flakes of ink on the Transmittal Page of the Constitution.