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  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 3:15 pm on November 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: a portrait of the plains, , , , , , north america, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    A Portrait of the Plains: Documenting A Changing Landscape 

    Beautiful: Absolutely Fabulous: 2015-09-10-1441917814-3519004-dsc_8907.jpg

    Fourchette Creek
    by Robin Walter

    Morning light spills
    through grass thick
    with dew,
    small whorls of dust
    rise
    from hooves
    stamping their lives
    into this ground.
    Listen,

    I rise
    to the clatter
    of birds:
    small,
    fierce,
    and brown.

    2015-09-10-1441917952-4493945-DSC_2318.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441918074-4607900-DSC_2953.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441918194-3820192-DSC_4306.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441919184-3628301-dsc_9614.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441919399-5494386-img_9201.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441921638-6126796-dsc_0124.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441921035-6407617-img_9469.jpg

    Emilio Cogliani

    Fourchette Creek
    by Robin Walter

    Morning light spills
    through grass thick
    with dew,
    small whorls of dust
    rise
    from hooves
    stamping their lives
    into this ground.
    Listen,

    I rise
    to the clatter
    of birds:
    small,
    fierce,
    and brown.

    2015-09-10-1441917814-3519004-dsc_8907.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441917893-7041547-dsc_0652.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441917952-4493945-DSC_2318.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441918074-4607900-DSC_2953.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441918194-3820192-DSC_4306.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441919184-3628301-dsc_9614.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441919399-5494386-img_9201.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441921638-6126796-dsc_0124.jpg

    2015-09-10-1441921035-6407617-img_9469.jpg

    This blog is part of an ongoing series following the Rediscover the Prairie expedition, a horseback journey across the Great Plains. To learn more please visit http://ift.tt/1B02Abg
    All photos © Robin Walter or Sebastian Tsocanos. All rights reserved.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.


    from Green – The Huffington Post http://ift.tt/1QDVvXP

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  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 3:20 pm on November 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 13 snow facts, , , , , , , , north america, , , , , , , , , ,   

    Snow Facts 

    It’s not really the most wonderful time of the year unless there is snow involved. Fact. 

    DORKING, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 19: A family of snowmen sit on Box Hill on January 19, 2013 in Dorking, United Kingdom. Heavy snow around the UK caused hundreds of flight cancelations at Heathrow, with more travel disruptions expected during a snowy weekend. Approximately 3,000 schools were closed in England, Wales and Scotland. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    This is your reaction when it snows (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    Not only can snow be the greatest part of the British weather experience, but it also guarantees more happiness than a decent summer season.

    Ah snow. Word on the street (the street being the Met Office) is that we are due a sprinkling of snow, with many places across the UK being treated to a flurry last night.

    And snow lovers couldn’t be happier about this.

    1. So PRETTY

    Of course autumn is really beautiful, what with the leaves all turning to a cosy shade of orange. However, not even the prettiest autumn scene, trees lining a path through an empty park, could ever trump a field full of freshly fallen, untouched snow.

    2. Makes Christmas better

    There are only two things that could make Christmas Day even better; meeting Santa Clause, or a white Christmas.

    Nothing could match the warm fuzzy feeling of waking up early in the morning on Christmas Day and seeing your street transformed as if it’s been draped in a layer of clean cotton wool.

    Bing Crosby felt exactly the same way.

    3. Snowmen 

    You love nothing more than grabbing a few sticks, buttons, pebbles and the obligatory carrot stick and assembling a small team to make an epic snowman.

    Of course you take this very seriously, and every time you pride yourself on having the best snowman on the street.

    In fact you have a strict method involving rolling a huge ball of snow down a slope in order to get your snowman as big as possible. You have also been known to shed a tear once he melts away. *Sob*

    This is your reaction when it snows (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    4. Snow days = best days

    There are waves of excitement that still feel the exact same way when you’re an adult as they did when you were a child.

    Stuff like watching Home Alone, birthday cake… and snow days.

    A snow day feels just as amazing now, when you can’t get into the office, as it did when school was closed.

    Especially when you get to the station only to be greeted with signs telling you that all trains are cancelled.

    You take this opportunity to power walk home as quickly as possible, alerting everyone you meet on your way that it’s now an official snow day, whilst being busy with thoughts of how to make the most of it.

    Of course throwing a few snowballs around is mandatory.

    5.  The memories

    It doesn’t matter if your school days weren’t your best days, because the memories of snowy times during school definitely makes up for this.

    The only thing to trump the mayhem of times when a dog managed to get into the playground was sitting in Maths and seeing thick heavy flakes falling and engulfing everything.

    Most of the time your teachers would give up trying to capture your attention and let you out early which was always welcomed.

    6. Perfect for long walks

    There is something special about being able to stomp over fresh untouched snow whilst wrapped up head to toe in at least six layers of clothing.

    Is there anything better than popping on some wellies and going for a long walk in the crisp cold air whilst feeling the soft snow underneath your feet?

    Probably not.

    Children play as snow covers part of Central Park following a snow storm in New York, February 4, 2014. Up to nine (23 centimeters) more inches of snow was expected to fall in the New York area beginning late in the evening, with a third snowstorm in a week predicted to hit the city over the weekend. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel Dunand (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

    Better than sweating in the park during a muggy July (Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

    This is way better than sweating in the park during a muggy July (Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

    7. Everything stops

    Of course some people don’t like the snow because it causes disruption, but this can actually be a good thing.

    It’s nice to have a bit of disruption which causes things to come to a bit of a stop, proving that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t manage to answer all your emails before 6pm.

    8. Snow watching is intense 

    The only thing that could ever trump a snow filled walk, is sitting inside near the radiator with a hot drink and watching the snow fall and seeing the world turn into a winter wonderland.

    Preferably whilst wearing thick woolly socks.

    During this ritual you embark upon an emotional roller-coaster as you are glued to the window desperately wishing for the snow to become thicker, and heavier. Any sign of easing off leads to severe disappointment, which can only be ended by another flurry.

    9. It’s very exciting 

    Waiting for the snow to arrive is a bit like waiting for a baby.

    You know that it will come at some point, and despite having a rough time frame you still exhaust yourself with excitement waiting for it to arrive.

    Once it finally arrives there is something magical about waking up and being able to tell from the silence outside, and the light reflecting off the snow into your bedroom that your wait is now over.

    10. How to deal with haters

    Being a lover of snow means you’ve developed a very thick skin to not only deal with the temperature drop, but also all of the people who don’t like the snow.

    You’ve figured that if you can convert one snow hater to a snow fan then you’ve pretty much served your purpose on Earth.

    11. SLEDGE TIME

    You’ve probably got a customised beauty hidden in your garage, or garden shed that you always bring out as soon as the snow lands.

    You also know the best parks within a 10 mile radius to go get revel in all the fun that sledging offers. And you head out with a sense of urgency, in order  to get the best of the snow before pesky teenagers ruin it all.

    12. It’s never enough

    Chances are that most years you will end up slightly disappointed, as the UK tends to only get a small sprinkling.

    But this just means that when we receive a heavy snow storm, you take full advantage of this rare event by spending as much time as possible outside.

    You will even risk mild frostbite and soggy gloves in order to squeeze in as much time as possible in the snow. And it’s well worth it.

    13 things all snow lovers know to be true

    13. And it always goes too soon

    The fact that snow melts away is one of the biggest tragedies in your life, and each time the sun comes out you are filled with dread.

    Especially when it goes from being fresh white pure snow and disintegrates into a brown muddy slushy mess.

    The only way to get through this is by remembering all of the good times you’ve had with it, and pinning your hopes on it returning next year. Courtesy of: The Metro UK.

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 1:08 pm on October 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , guinness world records, , hoverboard, http://huvrtech.com/, huvrtech, lake sports, , north america, , , , quebec lake, , ,   

    Canadian inventor tests new prototype of Hoverboard 


    Duru flew up to 5 metres above a lake for a total distance of 275.9 metres while aboard his homemade, propeller-powered hoverboard in a trip that lasted more than 1½ minutes.

    Now, Duru is working on a secret, next-generation version of the device. Watch as he takes CBC’s Reg Sherren into his workshop, where he is building it, and then to a Quebec lake where he puts the new prototype to the test for the first time. Canadian inventor tests new prototype of record-setting hoverboard.

    See more: Hoverboard

    Other Related Gadgets: http://www.huvrtech.com 

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 9:48 pm on October 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , north america, , sloth day, , , , tico times, venezuela, , , ,   

    Happy Sloth Day via Tico Times 

    Buttercup @ Sloth Sanctuary, Costa Rica

    Jo Jo @ Sloth Sanctuary, Costa Rica

    Becky Cliffe @ Sloth Sanctuary, Costa Rica

    Featured image

    Happy International Sloth Day!!!! A wonderful day to celebrate my favorite animal!!!! So proud of all the hard work Becky Naomi Cliffe @ Sloth Sanctuary, Costa Rica has done to research how to reintroduce orphaned, hand raised sloths.

    See More: http://beckycliffe.com/sloth-science-2015/

    Related: My battle with Leishmaniasis: a flesh-eating parasite By: Becky Radcliffe

    In my second year at the University of Manchester I studied parasitology, and the terrifying images of dramatic lesions and extreme elephantiasis are burnt vividly into my memory. Of course, I never considered that one day I would become one of those horror stories. In July I was diagnosed with a tropical flesh-eating parasite called Leishmaniasis, and for the past 10 weeks I have been battling to regain my health. We never fully appreciate how lucky we are to be healthy, and unfortunately I learnt this lesson the hard way.

    What is Leishmaniasis?

    Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by the protozoan parasite Leishmania. There are actually 21 different species of leishmania, and they are found throughout Asia, Africa, South/Central America and Southern Europe. The parasite can be found in many different mammals, but the only way for it to be transmitted to a human is through the bite of an infected sandfly. When an infected sandfly bites a human, the parasite is transmitted into the body and replicates within the human macrophage cells. I was diagnosed with a type of infection called cutaneous leishmaniasis, which basically means that the disease appears as a lesion on the skin at the site of the original sandfly bite. This wound then continues to grow, and can spread to other areas of the body. Often, it will infect the mucosal lining of the mouth, nose and ears causing serious disfigurement. In minor cases, the infection heals itself within a year, however in most cases (including mine) treatment is needed.

    The Leishmania parasite life cycle

    Leishmaniasis and sloths 

    Unfortunately, sloths are often thought of as being dirty, lazy animals that transmit diseases and parasites. One of the many diseases that people blame sloths for is leishmaniasis. Many local people are terrified of sloths for this reason, and sadly they pass this fear down through generations. I have lost count of the number of people that have asked me if a sloth can give them leishmaniasis. The simple answer is no. This misconception stems from a few scientific studies that have found sloths to test positive for the leishmania parasite. They are, in scientific terms, a ‘reservoir’ for leishmania, but so are many mammals – including dogs! There is no way a sloth can transmit leishmaniasis to a human – this only happens through the bite of an infected sandfly. It is just one of the many negative myths that the sloths are burdened with!

    My journey

    I remember the sandfly that bit me. I was walking my new puppy on the beach at dusk and was annoyed by the itchy bump that later appeared on my arm. I forgot about it and only really noticed something unusual when the bite was still there two weeks later. Nobody seemed particularly concerned by the little scab on my arm, and I probably left it far longer than I should before seeking a diagnosis. We watched the little hole in my arm slowly grow for 4 weeks before deciding to have it tested. Within 24 hours, the doctor had called and told me that I had tested positive for leishmaniasis and should begin treatment immediately. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was just the tip of the iceberg.

    As it turned out, there are no nice treatment options. The Costa Rican method involves up to 60 injections of glucantime – a toxic chemical that kills the parasite but also comes with a high risk of liver and heart damage. That didn’t sound like much fun, so I decided to seek treatment in the UK since I had been due to return during August anyway. When I finally arrived at my doctors office and presented him with a flesh-eating parasite, he looked at me like I had two heads. I was advised to go to the emergency room at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to find more specialised help. I don’t think that many people turn up at the hospital claiming to have leishmaniasis, since doctors of all shapes and sizes turned up to see the girl with the flesh-eating parasite. It’s safe to say that many people looked at me like I had two heads that day.

    I was finally introduced to the wonderful Dr Tim O’Dempsey. He took a biopsy of my arm (much to my horror) and told me the bad news: the UK treatment options aren’t much better than the toxic Costa Rican injections. Furthermore, I had to wait 5 days for the biopsy results before I could do anything at all – we had to just sit and watch the hole continue to grow in my arm. It was an overwhelmingly creepy feeling knowing that something was munching through the flesh on my arm and I couldn’t do anything to stop it! Depending on the species of leishmania I was infected with, I now had two treatment choices:

    1) I could be admitted to hospital for three weeks of intravenous medication (chemotherapy), which basically involves the same toxic chemicals as the Costa Rican injections (think heart problems and liver failure). Famously, TV presenter Ben Fogle endured this treatment after contracting leishmaniasis in Peru, and he ended up bed-bound with pneumonia – no thank you!

    2) OR I could trial a new oral medication from Germany called Miltefosine. This horrifically expensive drug comes with a bunch of awful side effects, including sickness so severe that many people simply can not finish the treatment. This option wasn’t guaranteed to work either, and had never before been used to treat leishmaniasis from Costa Rica. Furthermore, this medication is only effective against one subspecies of the parasite – the most dangerous subspecies.

    As it turned out, fate made the decision for me. I was diagnosed as having the dangerous subspecies (one that is prone to infecting the mouth and nose causing disfigurement) and so I was prescribed 4 weeks worth of Miltefosine pills. I began treatment immediately and initially, things looked promising. The hole in my arm stopped growing, and the pills weren’t making me too nauseous. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise it at the time but this medication takes a huge toll on the immune system. My arm was healing but I was becoming weaker every day. Within three weeks, strange painless lumps had started to appear all over my arm and my lymph nodes were inflamed. By this point I had returned to Costa Rica and was looking forward to getting back to normal – but normal was a long way off.

    The lumps grew, and one in particular became very sore. It turns out that these were abscesses growing under my skin as a result of a staphylococcus infection. Within a few days I was feverish, my heart rate was up and my blood pressure dropped – all very bad signs of a systemic infection. I was rushed to a local doctor who prescribed antibiotic injections and bed rest. The rest was a roller-coaster. The injections (that were unfortunately in my bum cheek) left me with a second infection, which quickly developed into a large abscess leaving me unable to walk or sit down. I was forced to waddle everywhere. After one of the most uncomfortable weeks of my life, the doctor surgically drained 10 ml of pus from the abscess, and prescribed stronger antibiotics. I then developed further infections in my eye and mouth, all requiring treatment. And then to top everything off, a final infection in my left arm that also had to be surgically drained and my arm stitched up.

    My arm after surgery

    So today I am writing this, finally feeling like my roller-coaster ride is coming to an end. The leishmaniasis on my arm is healing, and the infections are finally going away. I still have stitches in my left arm and I have a few days of antibiotics left – but I have gone almost a week now without any new symptoms developing, and I am finally beginning to regain my energy (and most importantly, I don’t need to waddle anymore)! It has been a horrific journey, but I will never again be taking my good health for granted.

    Now, I am finally ready to put my snake boots on and get back out in the jungle! It’s been a while since I have been able to follow up on the  Sloth Backpack Project, so it’s time for me to get productive. http://www.slothsanctuary.com/blog/

    More Information: World Health Organization Disease Management info: Lleishmaniasis

     POST-KALA-AZAR DERMAL LEISHMANIASIS: A MANUAL FOR CASE MANAGEME

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 12:56 am on June 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: animal sancturay, , , , , , , , , north america, , , , , , ,   

    Animal Sanctuary: Real or Fake? 

    How Can I Tell If An Animal Sanctuary Is Genuine, Or If They Are Taking Advantage Of Animals?!

    There a many people across the world that put the safety and care of endangered animals above themselves. A great animal sanctuary’s first concern is always to the animal, making sure they are happy, healthy, and that they feel safe. The animals there are abused, abandoned, or simply displaced by circumstance. These animals are released into the wild when possible, but a great many don’t have that option. A good sanctuary will bring you to the brink of tears with their dedication and success. However, not every “sanctuary” is what it advertises. Some are glorified breeding houses that exploit the animals and don’t take their health into consideration. It’s tough to tell them apart, but it’s important that you go through a rigorous vetting before contributing or taking part in any sanctuary.

    shutterstock_198426704

    Image courtesy of: shutterstock

    When I was 16 I found out about an exotic sanctuary near me in Wisconsin. It took in abused and abandoned big cats, as well as a few bears, horses, foxes, and various farm animals. Each animal came from a horrific environment. One Sumatran tiger, a breed quickly becoming extinct, had been defanged and declawed by the circus he lived in. Tiger teeth are actually part of the jawbone, meaning his jaw couldn’t close correctly, and he couldn’t eat anything but boneless meat. One of the Jaguars (who lived below the room I stayed in) had been beaten numerous times with a metal pipe by her drug dealer owner, causing brain lesions, and a massive mistrust for males. Far too many of the animals came from other “sanctuaries” that were shut down for animal abuse, as well as some that escaped euthanasia at zoos for being “too old.” Every animal had a similar story, but almost every one turned into a happy, friendly, and affectionate animal. They had large indoor and outdoor enclosures, fresh meat every day, and at no point where they exploited or used as an attraction. A great sanctuary will have happy, playful animals because they provide a safe environment for the animals.

    There are a number of red flags to look for that can easily identify those animal farms that you should stay far away from. Of course, these are not the only signs to look for. If you feel uncomfortable with the sanctuary, walk the other way.


    where did all these animals come from?

    Sanctuary animals can be broken into two categories, rescue animals and commercial animals. Seems obvious right? It’s sadly more complex than that.

    Rescue animals are going to come from circuses, zoos, those saved from hunters or disease, or private homes. None of them are capable of surviving in the wild, so they need a home to live out the rest of their days. Each animal will have a story, most likely not a good one. Pay attention to why the animal is there, and you’ll get a quick understanding of what the sanctuary is trying to accomplish.

    “Commercial” is a broad term, but in essence it’s the best one. These animals are captured specifically for housing in the facility, or they are bred in captivity for the purpose of selling or displaying. Some hide behind the veil of “protecting the species,” but animals born in captivity can’t be released into the wild, so they are simply an attraction, which is exactly what real sanctuaries are trying to protect their wards from.

    image: http://d1vmcse0jge0ha.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/shutterstock_46407289-941×627.jpg

    shutterstock_46407289

    “come on in and play!”

    Are the animals available for photo ops with you? Can you ride around on them? This is a huge distinction, and an immediate way to know if you should run the other way. Being able to SEE the animals is great. Most sanctuaries give tours (the one I worked with limited tours to 5 people maximum), but they are small, and keep the psychological needs of the animals in mind. No animals wants to be smothered by people. Most come from backgrounds that bred mistrust of people, and even a “gentle” animal can turn deadly when scared. There should always be a significant barrier between the animals and the guests, and the animals should always have somewhere they can go to be alone if they become stressed. If you can pay for a photo with them, or you can interact directly with the animal right away, then the facility is certainly not a sanctuary.

    Training should never be tolerated.

    Rescue animals often come from abusive situations. Circuses and private owners often use cruel and violent training methods, leading to long-term physical and psychological harm, often times to the point the animal can never recover. When an animal is rescued, it should have a safe home. It isn’t there to do tricks or to be a showpiece. There is no need to train them! Yet, many commercial facilities have trainers on staff in order to keep their photo op animals in line. Things like bull hooks, electric fences or prods, and chains are all signs of an abusive facility. At no point should the animal be chained or tied up. All of these actions lead to abuse, and are the antithesis of what a sanctuary is trying to accomplish.

    shutterstock_207186985

    Everyone needs to play

    Pay attention to how the animals are housed. No sanctuary will have the endless space that the animals would have in the wild, they should have ample space to run and play. They should have toys, enclosures to sleep and hide, and a way to separate them from the enclosure when it’s time to clean. At no time should an animal be tied up, and their enclosure should be on grass or natural ground, not cement! If the animal can only pace and turn around, then their welfare is being ignored, brazenly so. Imagine what you would need to be happy in that situation, and if you don’t see it, then you know the “sanctuary” is a sham.

    Home sweet home?

    We can’t read an animals mind, but there are a number of behaviors that are obvious signs of distress in the animals. Zoochosis is the unnatural behavior animals exhibit in captivity, and a common occurrence in the commercial shelter community. Acts like pacing constantly back and forth is the most noticeable sign. Their posture tends to be hunched and more predatory when pacing, showing how anxious and bored they really are. Other signs are sitting and rocking, self-mutilation, and chewing or licking the bars of their cage constantly. Each of these is a sure sign the animals is in a terrible situation.


    Read more at http://blog.theanimalrescuesite.com/know-animal-sanctuaries/#yI9biHf1A6PTrMeo.99

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 2:37 pm on December 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: burn hazard, coffee, , hazard, hazardous, , keurig k-cup, , legal support, Millions of coffee makers recalled due to burn hazard, north america, , , , , ,   

    Millions of coffee makers recalled due to burn hazard 

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Keurig is recalling some 7 million of single-serve coffee brewing machines because of reported burns.

    Keurig says its Mini Plus Brewing Systems, with model number K10, can overheat and spray water during brewing. Keurig says it had received about 200 reports of hot liquid escaping from the brewer, including 90 reports of burn-related injuries.

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released details on the recall Tuesday. The recalled brewers have an identification number starting with “31” printed on the bottom. They were sold online and in stores in the U.S. and Canada between 2009 and 2014. Featured image

    Consumers are being urged to call Keurig Green Mountain Inc. of Waterbury, Vermont, at 1-844-255-7886 to arrange for free repair.

    ___

    On the Web:

    http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2015/Keurig-Recalls-MINI-Plus-Brewing-Systems/

    Keurig Recalls Mini Coffee Makers due to burn hazzard

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 10:07 pm on December 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2014 airport travel, airport security, , border security, , , , , , flight travel, intrenational travel, , , , north america, , , , , , , ,   

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year 

      We may shake our heads at the TSA’s antics from time to time, but the men and women holding you up at airport security are actually dealing with some pretty scary prospects. Like loaded firearms. And grenades. And daggers. And for whatever reason, a hell of a lot of sword canes. Here are some of the craziest things people have tried to sneak past airport security in 2014.

    Because the TSA details some of the more absurd confiscated contraband on its blog on a weekly basis, we get a first hand look into the boldest (and often dumbest) attempts at sneaking strictly forbidden items into airports. And after a whole year of swiping banned goods, it was quite a haul.


    The Weird

    WWII Blasting Machine, Atlanta, GA:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year

    Spear gun, Las Vegas, NV:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year

    Inert warhead, Tucson, AZ:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year

    Cannon barrel, Kahului, HI:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year7

    Hairbrush dagger, Fairbanks, AK:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year89

    F bomb, Milwaukee, WI:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year1011121314

    Bear attack deterrent, Anchorage, AK:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year151617181920

    Stun cane, Tampa, FL:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year

    A mallet, Burlington, VT:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year21222324


    The Concealed Knives

    Knife in a hard drive caddy, Dayton, OH:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year25

    Scooby Doo razor blades, Newport News, VA:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year262728

    Knife taped to carry-on bag, Phoenix, AZ:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year

    From top: Belt buckle knife, Rapid City, SD; Bladed survival tool in shoe, Philadelphia, PA:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year29

    Lipstick knife, Detroit, MI:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year

    Knife in phone case, Tampa, FL:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year30

    Saw in bible, Orlando, FL:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year313233

    Knife in enchilada, Santa Rosa, CA:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year34353637


    The Drugs

    3 pounds of cocaine inside meat, San Jose, CA:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year3839

    Marijuana and marijuana paraphernelia in various types of peanut butter jars, Denver, CO (left) and Sacramento, CA (right):

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year404142

    A plastic bag containing 67 pills hidden inside of a hollowed out textbook:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year43444546

    81 pounds of marijuana, Oakland, CA:

           The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year47484950

    92 pounds of marijuana, Phoenix, AZ:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year51


    The Sword Canes

    Douglas County, NE:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year

    Dayton, OH:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year5253

    Charlotte, NC:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year

    Memphis TN:

    The Craziest Stuff People Tried to Sneak Onto Airplanes This Year54

    Deepak verma

    We may shake our heads at the TSA’s antics from time to time , but the men and women holding you up at airport security are actually dealing with some pretty scary prospects. Like loaded firearms. And grenades. And daggers. And for whatever reason, a hell of a lot of sword canes. Here are some of
    December 23, 2014 at 11:05PM
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    By Deepak verma

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  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 9:33 pm on October 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , leanne cole, mastercraft.com, , north america, , photographer, , pipeline pro, , reviews, , sea-doo, , , , , , , www.yamaha.com, yamaha   

    Up for Discussion – Backing Up 

    Up for Discussion – Pictures by Leanne ColeSee through

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    Various Photographer & Product Reviews:

    This post today is written by me (Leanne Cole) and has come out of something that recently happened to me.  It was something that was scary and has reminded me of how important it is not to keep all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.  Today’s Up for Discussion is going to address how important backing up can be.

    I started taking photos seriously with a DSLR, I don’t know about 5 years ago, when I was taking photos of cycling.  My daughter was cycling, so I started taking photos of her and a few other people, then it progressed to me taking photos nearly every weekend at some cycling event or another.  During the weekends it could be nothing for me to take two or three thousand photos.  I think the most I ever took in one day was three thousand.  I was also selling them, so I had to have a back up of all my photos.  I became very concerned about it.  About 10 years ago I had a hard disk in a computer die.  My husband, Dave, had never felt my stuff was worth backing up, so he never put anything into place.  It isn’t a good feeling, I think it is a bit like being robbed, for months you remember new things you lost. He changed his tune after that.

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    What’s a girl to do? Catholic Church – Getty Images

    So  for the cycling photos, he bought two external drives, one the main one, the other the back up. Then they started filling up, so he did some investigations and decided to get a NAS.  Now don’t ask me to explain what it is, but it sits near the tv, has 4 drives in it, and is connected to the network, so anyone in the house can have access to it.  I can see photos from it from either computer.  When I am done with photos, I back them up onto the NAS, the images go on one disk and then they are automatically backed up onto another one.  It has been a great system, though I have worried about something happening with the NAS, like the house burning down, or it being stolen.  I have been trying to decide what to do.

    We have 4 TBs of storage in the NAS and we filled them up.  Not just with my photos, but other things as well.  That is what caused the problems, we think.  We had purchased some more space in it, but Dave had been waiting for me to get things done first, and I was slow, I admit it.  Then when he finally started looking at the NAS, he made an announcement, “the NAS was dead”.  Who said men aren’t melodramatic?  I told him it better not be because I had 5 years of work on it, and I didn’t want to lose any of it.  He was a bit flippant about it, I have to say, not really sure he takes what I do seriously.

    After putting in the other disk we had purchased, and a bit of mucking around he was able to get all my photos from the back up and it looks like I didn’t lose anything.  I think sometimes being married to a programmer can be more of a burden, they can do things in more complicated ways, and really if something happened to him, well, I would just about lose everything any way, I don’t know how to do things on the NAS.

    Now, sorry, it is a long post today, but the end of it is that I really need to make sure I have better back up systems in place. I had quite a few sleepless nights last week, and I don’t want that to happen again.

    I have been thinking, that while I have the NAS, I need to look at other things as well, so I don’t have all my eggs in one basket.  I have now purchased a 4TB external drive, and my photos are on it as well now.  I am going to leave that with a friend at her house.  Then in about a month I will purchase a second one, and then start swapping them over.  That way if something happens here, then she will always have a fairly up to date drive with my photos on it.  So far I have filled over 2TB.  I think I also need to be pickier about what I save.  I shouldn’t save everything, some of the photos are no good and I know I will never use them.

    The other thing I have been looking at is the possibility of using some form of internet storage.  I haven’t made up my mind, though if I do, I will just start it from now and possibly only put photos that are really important to me.

    I thought I would ask some people here on the internet what they thought.  I asked 4 guys who I think take a lot of photos.  I also thought that sometimes men and women do think differently about this and it might help to get a different view on it.

    Welcome to the Jungle

    I asked Victor Rakmil: My back-up system is relatively straight forward. Here’s the explanation: “I put effort into taking my photographs and processing them. I worry about the possibility of losing them. To solve the back up problem I use external mobile drives, not my computer hard drive. I import my photos into Lightroom in the DNG format, with copies in the original Nikon NEF format, to a second external drive (that way if by chance DNG is no longer a viable format I have my original Raw files). As I work on my files I copy the DNG drive to a third back-up drive and put that drive in a safe place. In the end I have three copies of all of my photos. With one set off-site.  Which reminds me, I have a drive to copy and take to the bank.  :)”

    murraysunset-pinklades-salt-bush-water

    Victor also gave me a link to a page talking about this and it had a survey asking people what they do.  Photo Backup Survey

    I asked Robin Kent: On the subject of back-up, my approach is not particularly exotic, but it is one way to protect one’s image files from various disasters.   The cost of storage is relatively cheap today which helps because the size of my inventory is approaching4 Terabytes. My starting point is the computer platform which has three internal hard drives, and four external drives.  I no longer use a NAS solution, although I do have an Ethernet network with NAS capability.

    laurent-melbourne-littlecollins-building-monochromeOne of the two internal drives is a 512 MB solid state drive (SSD) where Photoshop resides and processing occurs.  All image files, whether processed or not, are stored on the second internal hard drive, a 4 TB hard drive which is the Master Drive.  At this point I have 1 copy of my inventory.  From here the tactic is to create additional copies in case the prime drive fails.

    The Master Copy is backed up using the standard Apple Time Machine back-up software. This is the Back-up drive (3rd internal drive) and would be used if a file restore is needed.  However, some experts feel that the Apple system is not totally reliable, so I don’t consider this drive as one of my copies.  I also have a simple back-up software application with an automatic schedule to make copies each day of my image files on two separate external 4 TB hard drives.  It adds new files since the last copy and records any changes made in existing files.  So at any given point in time, I have three connected copies on-site, two of which are no older than 24 hours.leannecole-klara-7353-4

    The third step is off-site storage.  Mechanical failure is not the only danger, only the most likely one.  It doesn’t matter how many copies you have in your building if something happens to the building.  If I happen to be here when that event occurs, I could quickly detach the two external drives and leave, not something I could have done with my rack-mounted NAS drive.  But chances are I won’t be here.  So I have two additional 4TB drives which are stored in a separate location (my wife’s office) office about 10 miles away.  They are refreshed once a month.

    I don’t use any of the “Cloud” services as a back-up solution because they are not reliable, nor secure despite their claims, and are subject to policy changes at any time.

    I ask Benjamin Rowe as well: Backing up files can become an obsessive compulsive, although there is no perfect solution, anything can go wrong. I happen to work with two computers and part of my back up process lets me share the files across the two.

    On my main computer I import my raw files to my second drive. When I have finished editing those files are archived on to an external hard drive. DNG copies of my raw files are also backed up on my cloud storage where I have access to them on my laptop. Also once I have finished editing I export full size Jpegs to a different cloud storage service and burn them onto DVDs.

    LeanneCole-Alannah_AliceWhen traveling I pack two external drives; one that I can download images to while out shooting and another that I can copy the files to. I will also download them onto laptop for organising and editing. Backing up also takes place on my phone with all my pictures being backed up to the cloud and then once a month backed up to a hard drive. In case drives fail I have a recovery program that I can use to help rescue my files.

    I tend to use different drives as well as different cloud storage services because if one fails there is another. I haven’t started using multiple drives backing each other up automatically, but I can see myself doing that in the future. What I need to work out is how to have access to files when there is no electricity.

    Finally I asked Ray Laskowitz: I was exchanging emails with Leanne when she mentioned that she almost lost five years worth of work when her backup system failed. Luckily, her husband is a computer analyst so he’s been able to help her recover her files.

    That’s scary. Very scary. And, I completely understand. I’m a Hurricane Katrina survivor. No. I didn’t go through all the scenes you may have seen on your news stations. I left a day prior to the storm making landfall. Even back then, I backed up my work on multiple sources. At the time I used external hard drives and CDs. I packed the hard drives into small Anvil cases and packed them securely in the car. I thought that was the right thing to do. It wasn’t.

    Every one of of those external hard drives broke. I didn’t lose the data. But, the software that provides the connection to the computer was damaged. The computer could not find the hard drives when I tried to mount them. I was able to retrieve the data at a rather large cost.

    I vowed that would never happen again.

    Here’s what I learned. External hard drives are great… if they are portable. There’s a big difference between external desktop models and a small portable hard drives. Desktop hard drives are essentially the same hard drives that are used in a desktop computer. They are meant to stay in one place. Portable hard drives are very similar to the ones the are used in laptops. They can to be moved. I learned one more thing. Bigger is not necessarily better. For instance, according to statistics kept by the folks who monitor such things, 4 TB hard drives are almost three times likely to fail than 1 TB hard drives. I’m not sure why, but I suspect it has to do with the heat they generate as well as length of time in hard service — being used every day.

    I also looked into RAID and NAS systems. They actually have pretty high failure rates. That’s fine if a hard drive breaks since they are supposed to be redundant. But, if the main link breaks, you run into the problems that Leanne had.

    Of course there are CDs and DVDs, but they corrupt a lot faster than anybody anticipated unless you use gold media. That’s costly and you still really should back up your files twice. Besides, hard ware changes. You should reborn discs every few years.

    Of course there are clouds, which are really just offsite servers. I use them, but don’t really trust them completely. Electricity can fail. Internet service providers can fail. I use them. But, not exclusively.

    milkyway-sorrento-stars-back-beach So, here’s what I do.

    I mix and match. I use two portable 1 TB hard drives at the same time. Once they are filled — not to their maximum storage capacity because that can cause problems too — one goes offsite to a safe deposit box, the other stays with me. I also use two clouds only for master files, one from Apple. The other from Adobe.

    Here’s why.

    It’s about workflow. There is no one correct workflow. What you organize depends on what photograph and how you work in the field. I download my RAW files to both portables. I put a third set of files on my desktop. Those are the ones I curate and edit. Those files become my masters. They also are uploaded to both portables and the clouds. Once that’s done, they are the files I experiment with… the ones that you might see on my blog, Storyteller. They go onto both hard drives as well.

    When I’ve finished with everything, I have two sets of RAW files. Three sets of masters and two sets of experimental files. The funny thing is that I come from the film era. In those days, we had one set of “files.” Negatives and slides. Collections were big and bulky. They were very hard to move in the event of some disaster. Today, we have multiple back up methods. Use as many as you need.

    Thank you to those guys, they have similar things, and some things are different.

    I know this has been a long post, but it is an important post, and it is something that all of us photographers should be thinking about.  Do you want to risk losing everything? Do you have a backup system in place?  Is it good enough? I will try and answer questions, but I am hoping that Victor, Ben, Robin and Ray might pop in from time to time and answer questions.  I might even be able to get Dave to give some advice, you never know.

    The photos I have put in this post are some of the ones I would have lost if I had not been able to recover my images.  They are some of my favourites, and some you have seen a few times.scsr-h20120512-1401

    Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY

    This post today is written by me and has come out of something that recently happened to me.  It was something that was scary and has reminded me of how important it is not to keep all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.  Today’s Up for Discussion is going to address how important backing up can be.

    I started taking photos seriously with a DSLR, I don’t know about 5 years ago, when I was taking photos of cycling.  My daughter was cycling, so I started taking photos of her and a few other people, then it progressed to me taking photos nearly every weekend at some cycling event or another.  During the weekends it could be nothing for me to take two or three thousand photos.  I think the most I ever toscmu2-4hpm2487-7-3ok in one day was three thousand.  I was also selling them, so I…

    View original post 2,362 more words

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 1:23 am on September 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , north america, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Utah’s top tree climbers come together to compete 

    Utah’s top Tree Climbers come together to Compete:

    SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s best tree climbers put their skills to the test Saturday at the annual tree climbing championship.

    Featured imageThe event is put on by the Utah Community Forest Council and the International Society of Arboriculture.The contestants cut trees for a living, either with a city or a private company. There is a lot of skill required, but the main thing is always safety.

    Jake Bleazard, Utah state tree climbing champion, spoke about the work. “Arborist is one of the most dangerous jobs,” he said. “They say every four days a tree climber dies, so we have to keep safety in mind a hundred percent of the time.”

    The masters challenge is a timed event that tests their ability to quickly, professionally and safely maneuver in a tree while performing work-related tree care tasks.

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    Utah’s champ will represent the state in March in the International Tree Climbing Championship in Tampa, Florida.

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    FROM AROUND THE WEBMORE FROM US

    fox13now.com

    SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s best tree climbers put their skills to the test Saturday at the annual tree climbing championship.

    The event is put on by the Utah Community Forest Council and the International Society of Arboriculture.

    The contestants cut trees for a living, either with a city or a private company. There is a lot of skill required, but the main thing is always safety.

    Jake Bleazard, Utah state tree climbing champion, spoke about the work.

    “Arborist is one of the most dangerous jobs,” he said. “They say every four days a tree climber dies, so we have to keep safety in mind a hundred percent of the time.”

    The masters challenge is a timed event that tests their ability to quickly, professionally and safely maneuver in a tree while performing work-related tree care tasks.

    Utah’s champ will represent the state in March in the International Tree Climbing…

    View original post 4 more words

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 2:26 pm on September 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cabo rojo, , , , lighthouse, north america, , , , , , , , , ,   

    IOTD …. “Image of the Day”, #15!! 

    It Is What It Is

    CB1

    ~~September 16, 2014~~ 

    Los Morrillos Light, also known as Faro Los Morrillos de Cabo Rojo, is a historic lighthouse located in the municipality of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

    ~~History~~

    Located at the southwestern tip of the island of Puerto Rico, this lighthouse was constructed in 1882 in order to guide passing ships through the southeast entrance from the Caribbean Sea through the treacherous Mona Passage into the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse is located over a white lime cliff which is surrounded by salt water lagoons and marshes. The cliffs surrounding the lighthouse drop over 200 feet into the ocean.

    BorderCal

    A dear blogger friend showed me what this means: mchelsmusings.

    You can find her here: http://mchelsmusings.wordpress.com/

    BorderCal

    IOTD is image of the day, a concept I came up with. I teach visual meditative therapy – or in easy terms – a mini mental holiday. For some people it is very difficult for…

    View original post 54 more words

     
    • Dr. Rex 5:04 pm on September 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Awesome photos!! … the ones above! Excellent. Thanks for reblog ….. hugs!!

  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 10:10 pm on August 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , north america, , , see's candies, , , ,   

    Grand Opening in San Francisco! 

    Join us for their latest shop Grand Opening on Market Street in San Francisco! We’ll have free samples, games, prizes and a ribbon cutting ceremony. Come out and join them! Featured image

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 2:44 am on August 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: barcelona, barcelona skatepark, , , marbella, mirabella, mirabella skatepark, north america, , , pedro vivas, skate park, , skateboarding, , , ,   

    Pedro Vivas & Guillem Ramos Gil at Marbella Skatepark! 

    BARCELONA SKATEPARK

    skatepark_barcelona_104skatepark_barcelona_121skatepark_barcelona_100

    It is always fun to spend time taking photos of these two.

    Pedro Vivas and Guillem Ramos Gil doing another skate session at Marbellaskatepark in Barcelona.

    Cheers

    barcelona skatepark_ photos

    View original post

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 1:51 am on July 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Sunset #5 & 6 

    002011

     
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