Tagged: South America Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 12:56 am on September 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , antibiotic resistance, bio diversity, , , , , , , , , , South America   

    Endangered animals in Panama 

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

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

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    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 3:55 pm on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , consumer awarness, , , , , , , environmental awareness, , , , , , , , , South America, , southwest laws, , , , , , worldwide pollution   

    High Rates of Lead Poisoning / Asthma can be Life-Threatening in many Communities Worldwide 

    High Rates of Lead Poisoning / Asthma a deadly consequence of residing near industrialized neighborhoods.  Pollution resulting from our Built Environment have resulted in  extensive health disparities worldwide:
    About 25% of the USA’a housing —some 24 million homes— contains significant lead-based paint hazards, i.e. deteriorating lead paint or lead contaminated dust. (HUD, 2009).

    Benxi steel mills blowing smoke over residential buildings. Benxi was for long considered one of the most polluted city in China. Over the past decade thousands of workers have been made redundant as the city steel mills and power plants were closing down or reducing their output.

    Benxi steel mills blowing smoke over residential buildings. Benxi was for long considered one of the most polluted city in China. Over the past decade thousands of workers have been made redundant as the city steel mills and power plants were closing down or reducing their output. Via Bing

    The majority of resources and statistics concerning community correlations with respect to health disparities in the U.S. point to a direct correlation between industrialized, lower income communities and rates of Lead Poisoning / Asthma associated with living in a those particular communities. Over 4 million children in the U.S. had an asthma attack last year. (National Safety Council, 2015).
    Better neighborhoods, generally associated with a higher income, had newer and higher housing standards, and were more financially able to comply with government regulations of lead content and smoke inhalation guidelines. Residents of privileged neighborhoods felt safer than families living in lower income neighborhoods. Poorer, disadvantaged neighborhoods where tenants are dependent on a landlord’s approval to address safety issues, may face a lengthy process if they wish to upgrade and make their living situation safer, or may not be able to afford a particular safety upgrade. This adds to feelings of perceived loss of personal control over ones own living situation resulting in an increased fear factor as well as elevated stress levels, which can have detrimental health effects.
    When you’re a little more worried every day, you’re always a little more vigilant, looking around at things, checking people, places and things out a little more carefully. If you think about doing that day after day, year after year, it can be exhausting after a while. Constant worrying about stress and about how and when one is going to pay all the bills that are piling up adds an incredible amount of stress to life. Chronic stress wears on the body system resulting in lowered immunity and increased risk of disease and illness. (Lee, 2015).

    Practitioner reports of disabled and impaired motor skills in children are more prevalent in older neighborhoods where lower income, minorities reside. Children in disadvantaged neighborhoods to be less likely to venture outside to exercise and inhale fresh breath fearing the consequences of doing so in a high crime neighborhood.

    mex3

    Mexico Beach House via JZ Photography

    Other physical features that can have a negative effect on health outcomes:
    1. Ground Soil Pollution: Lead manufacturing that has resulted in damages to the ground and environment having had profound affects on safe housing for families worldwide. Children from poorer families are the hardest hit by this type of pollution because parents don’t always have the additional resources to relocate their families to safer communities. Children have growing organs that are easily affected by toxic chemicals, and most kids participate in playtime that may include touching the ground on a regular basis exposing them to dangerous toxins.

    2. Air Pollution: Asthma and other bronchial related problems resulting from Lead Poisons being emitted into the air as industrial factories release their by products in the form of poisonous gasses as a part of their manufacturing process. Children can be affected for decades after a plants closure. Lead findings as high as 70 times the USDA recommended Lead levels have had devastating effects on public health reports and statistics in towns where communities have been built close to lead and mercury producing facilities. (National Safety Council, 2009). Another similar source of pollution that would have residual effects for years to come was Regular gasoline that included a lead additive which was not known to be harmful till it was finally discontinued in the early 1980’s due to a government regulated Lead ban.

    How affordable quality, and safe housing conditions promote health:

    By educating practitioners, schools and parents, regarding the government resources available for improving all buildings and homes in an effort to get them up to code with acceptable levels of toxic lead and fume inhalation guidelines. All communities should be declared safe according to government standards, regardless of wealth or relative neighborhood status. We can minimize current health care problems and prevent future health issues by educating all individuals of their rights to safe housing, thus allowing all children to reach their full potential. Equal rights translate to equality of life expectancies throughout the U.S. for all residents. Our founding fathers created the U.S. Constitutional principles upon this premise. (Lee, 2012). Written by: JZ
    References:

    National Safety Council. (2009) Lead Poisoning. Retrieved from
    http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Advocacy/Fact%20Sheets/Lead-Poisoning- Fact- Sheet.pdf.

    City of Roseburg. (2015). Public works projects. Retrieved from
    http://www.cityofroseburg.org/departments/public-works/projects/.

    Lee, E. (Producer & Director). (2008). Living in disadvantaged neighborhoods is bad for
    your health [Video excerpt]. In L. Adelman (Executive producer), Unnatural causes:
    Episode 5—Place matters. Arlington, VA: Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved from
    http://www.unnaturalcauses.org/video_clips_detail.php?res_id=217.

     

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 4:22 pm on November 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: coral reef, , , , gulf of mexico, , , , , , South America, , southwest legal network, , , , toxic clean up, , , , ,   

    Coral damage from BP’s Gulf of Mexico spill ‘extensive’ 

    A plane drops chemicals to help disperse oil from a leaking pipeline that resulted from last week's explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Tuesday, April 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    Courtesy of: chibuisiikwuagwu.com

    A New study reveals that damage to coral resulting from the massive 2010 BP oil spill in the US Gulf of Mexico is worse than previously thought, according to reports.
    The study, which will be published in the oceanography journal Deep-Sea Research, found sick and dying corals in the Pinnacles, an outcropping on the Continental Shelf that is home to a rich, deep-water environment about 70 miles (113 kilometres) off the coasts of Alabama and Mississippi.

    Researchers from Florida State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explored the Pinnacles using remotely operated submarines to locate more than 400 colonies of injured coral in 2011,according to wire service Associated Press

    The coral was covered in a “scum” of dead tissue and oily residue, while some showed signs of more severe damage, such as bare skeletons and missing branches.

    The damage from the spill could be even greater, AP reported.

    “The area we have looked at so far is only the tip of the iceberg,” the wire service quoted one of the researchers as saying.

    The colonies in the study are about 35 miles to 68 miles (56 kilometres to 109 kilometres) north of BP’s blown-out Macondo well, which spewed more than 3 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

    Previous discoveries of coral damage were found south of the well and in much deeper water. The coral in the Pinnacles live about 200 feet under the water surface, AP reported.

    The researchers believe the damage began when oil floating over the Pinnacles was sprayed with chemical dispersants, causing the oil to sink and contaminate the reef. The study also hypothesises that a tropical storm that passed over the Pinnacles in the summer of 2010 could have caused the oil to contaminate the coral.

    Source: Upstream  Related: Clean up Products could cause greater damage

    A plane drops chemicals to help disperse oil from a leaking pipeline that resulted from last week’s explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Tuesday, April 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    In the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill, cleanup crews dumped some 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersants into the Gulf of Mexico.

    The substances were supposed to assist natural oil-eating bacteria in cleaning up the largest marine oil spill in history by breaking the oil into droplets the microbes could more easily consume.

    But the approach backfired, suggests a study published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    “The dispersants did a great job in that they got the oil off the surface,” University of Georgia marine scientist Samantha Joye, a co-author of the study, told the Associated Press. “What you see is the dispersants didn’t ramp up biodegradation.”

    What’s bothersome, Joye told The Atlantic, is that 24 to 55 percent of the oil spilled from the Deepwater Horizon rig off the Louisiana coast is unaccounted for. She suspects much of it is on the seafloor.
    For the study, Joye and her team simulated the Gulf’s conditions in a laboratory. They found that “dispersants can exert a negative effect on microbial hydrocarbon degradation rates.”

    Oil with no dispersant actually “degraded a heckuva lot faster than the oil with dispersants,” she told the AP.

    Dispersants work a lot like dish detergent, breaking up oil slicks into lots of small droplets. Gulf responders turned to these chemicals, namely Corexit — which studies have since shown can be harmful to various types of marine life — to address the roughly 200 million gallons of oil that spilled from the Deepwater Horizon rig.

    The microbes the dispersants were meant to help were the “last (and only) defense” against the ongoing spill, Scientific American noted about a month after the spill.
    The major question moving forward: Should dispersants be used to fight future spills?

    Doug Helton, coordinator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Response and Restoration Incident Operations, addressed the BP cleanup process on the agency’s website this year.

    “Once oil is spilled there are no good outcomes and every response technology involves trade-offs,” he wrote. For example, he noted, using dispersants to decrease the amount of floating oil puts some organisms and environments at risk, but reduces risk potential for others.

    “Until we stop using, storing and transporting oil, we have the risk of spills,” he wrote. “The decision to use dispersants or not use dispersants will never be clear cut. Nor will it be done without a lot of discussion of the trade-offs. The many real and heart-felt concerns about potential consequences aren’t dismissed lightly by the responders who have to make tough choices during a spill.”

    In 2013, despite scientists’ claims that dispersants are toxic to marine life, BP CEO Bob Dudley defended their use in the cleanup efforts the company funded.

    “In hindsight no one believes that that was the wrong thing and it would have been much worse without the use of it,” he said. “I do not believe anybody — anybody with almost common sense — would say waves of black oil washing into the marshes and beaches would have been a better thing, under any circumstances.”

    Joye, however, said a person could argue that in the case of Deepwater Horizon, it would have been better to have left the organisms alone.

    “Nobody wants to see oiled birds, turtles and dolphins, but the bottom line is that if you disperse that oil, it’s still in the water,” she told The Atlantic. “You feel better, but is it improving the situation? My gut instinct is that I would put my faith in the microbial communities to do their job.”

    Last week, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative announced that it will award nearly $38 million to individuals and teams studying the effects of oil, as well as dispursants, on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and public health.
    Source: The Huffington Post

    Chibuisi Ikwuagwu's Blog

    A new study reveals that damage to coral resulting from the massive 2010 BP oil spill in the US Gulf of Mexico is worse than previously thought, according to reports.
    The study, which will be published in the oceanography journal Deep-Sea Research, found sick and dying corals in the Pinnacles, an outcropping on the Continental Shelf that is home to a rich, deep-water environment about 70 miles (113 kilometres) off the coasts of Alabama and Mississippi.

    Researchers from Florida State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explored the Pinnacles using remotely operated submarines to locate more than 400 colonies of injured coral in 2011,according to wire service Associated Press

    The coral was covered in a “scum” of dead tissue and oily residue, while some showed signs of more severe damage, such as bare skeletons and missing branches.

    The damage from the spill could be even greater, AP reported.

    View original post 150 more words

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 2:22 pm on November 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: arica chile, , , driest place on earth, , , , , malva flowers, , , , South America, , , washington post, , ,   

    The “Driest place on Earth” is covered in pink flowers after rain 

    The Atacama Desert in Chile, known as the driest place on Earth, is awash with color after a year’s worth of extreme rainfall.

    In an average year, this desert is a very dry place. Arica, Chile, in the northern Atacama holds the world record for the longest dry streak, having gone 173 months without a drop of rain in the early 20th century. In another Atacama neighbor to the south of Arica, the average annual rainfall in the city of Antofagasta is just 0.07 inches.

    But strong El Niño years can be a rainy boom for the region, located just to the east of the warmest ocean water on the globe. In March, heavy thunderstorms brought 0.96 inches of rain in one day to parts of the Atacama Desert. This doesn’t seem like that much, but it was a huge rainfall event for the desert — over 14 years of rain in one day. The torrent caused the typically dry Copiapo River to swell far beyond its banks. Flooding killed at least nine people that day.

    As El Niño strengthens, so does the rainfall increases across South America. As areas of low pressure swing east into the Andes Mountains, the usually warm waters off the coast provide more than enough water vapor to fuel extreme rainfall events.

    The malva (or mallow) flowers on the floor of the Atacama desert bloom every five to seven years, usually coinciding with El Nino. But they have been taking advantage of this year’s particularly rainy conditions, leading to the “most spectacular blossoming of the past 18 years.”

    Interestingly, Death Valley has also been overflowing this month. The official weather station at Death Valley National Park recorded 0.55 inches of rain on Oct. 5. That might not seem like a lot, but it’s a bucket-load for the world’s hottest location — enough to tie the wettest 24-hour period on record in the month of October.

    “A series of unusual storms in October caused large amounts of damage throughout Death Valley National Park,” park officials wrote on Facebook. “Flash floods destroyed significant portions of multiple roads and heavily damaged several historic structures at Scotty’s Castle and deposited debris in Devils Hole.”

    The Death Valley National Historic Association has set up a fund to help restore some of these damaged historic locations.
    via: The Washington Post.

    Source: The ‘driest place on Earth’ is covered in pink flowers after rain

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 9:48 pm on October 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , sloth day, , South America, , 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 12:38 pm on September 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , South America, , volcano eruption, ,   

    Chile’s Thunderstorm 

    CHILE’S THUNDERSTORM IS THE MESMERIZING RESULT OF VOLCANIC CHAOS

    The video below, filmed by Chilean cinematographer Christian Muñoz-Donoso reveals the super-charged volcanic ash cloud appeared during an eruption at Volcán Calbuco, one of Chile’s most dangerous volcanos, earlier this year.

    According to BBC Earth, dirty thunderstorms, also known as volcanic lightning, are rare phenomena that occur during large eruptions when lightning is sparked within clouds of volcanic ash.

    Although very little is known about volcanic lightning, scientists believe the electric charges are generated when ash, rock fragments and ice particles collide within the volcanic plume, according to National Geographic.

    “In a normal thunderstorm, ice crystals collide and generate electric charges,” volcano filmmaker Marc Szeglat,  who was not involved in filming the below clip, told BBC Earth earlier this year. “In an eruption cloud, ash particles collide instead of ice crystals.”

    When Muñoz-Donoso filmed Calbuco’s volcanic lightning in April, it was the first time the volcano had erupted in 42 years, forcing thousands to evacuate and leaving the surrounding areas covered in thick ash. Fortunately, no deaths or injuries were reported.

    Watch Chile’s hypnotizing and powerful “dirty thunderstorm” in full video below.

    Super-charged volcanic ash cloud sparked with lightning in Pat…Be amazed by a super-charged volcanic ash cloud sparked by lightning.#PATAGONIA  Courtesy of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed courtesy of: emiliocogliani.wordpress.com

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 12:05 pm on June 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , becoming whole, Bradypus variegatus, buttercup, celebrating earth day, Choloepus, , , , , , , jeff corwin, judy arroyo, , preserve, protecting the vunerable, rainforrest, , sloth news, , , South America, ,   

    Our rainforests are home to millions of species. We must preserve them for future generations. 

    Dear Friends,
    Since our last newsletter, we celebrated Earth Day with Almond Trees donated by generous sloth fans from around the globe, updated our Buttercup Inn guest rooms and welcomed popular animal and nature conservationist Jeff Corwin, who was enchanted by our rescued baby sloths!Speaking of which, we’ve rescued a record number of orphaned infants needing incubators and round-the-clock care. We’re trying to understand the biological/environmental reasons why mothers are abandoning their tiny babies, as well as the seemingly ever-increasing incidence of twin births when a mother can only successfully raise one baby (requiring abandonment of the other.) With all the new arrivals, we need to purchase an ultrasound machine and expand our NICU–stat!
    The Number One question we get: “May I hold a sloth?” In the recent past we allowed volunteers to handle sloths, so there are tons of photos online of people holding sloths. But last year we were alarmed to discover how stressful it was for sloths to be held by strangers. They appear outwardly calm, but experience acute tachycardia. Unlike a human baby, they don’t cry or fuss, but their hearts race in fear. Sloths–as huggable as they look–are wild animals with unpredictable self-defense behaviors, such as biting or scratching. Also, travelers bring foreign microbes and allergens that can affect the sloths’ immune systems. For their well-being and yours, we do not allow guests to touch, hold or hug sloths.
    And please keep away from roadside scammers who let you hold a sloth for a photo. They simply knock an innocent animal out of its tree, exploit it for quick money, then allow the animal to die from lack of nutrition. When the next tourist comes along who wants to hold a sloth for a photo, they repeat this inhumane practice. It’s literally the opposite of the work we do. Thank you for understanding.
    All the best,
    Judy Avey-Arroyo
    Judy Avey-Arroyo


    A lovely family found a baby sloth in Guapiles–a 5-hour drive round trip for us to make this rescue! The sloth was alone in a tree overhanging a river, no mother in sight. The baby fell from the tree, and when the family replaced it, the baby began crying out and acting erratically–probably trying to attract its absent mother’s attention–causing it to fall again. That’s when the family called us for a rescue.We believe the baby is female and about 5 months old–unprepared for independence. She weighs 810 grams and, on her first night here, ate an entire leaf, a promising sign of self preservation.We asked the young granddaughter what to name the baby sloth. She chose Nube (“Cloud” in Spanish), because she felt that her recently late father sent the baby from above … through the clouds.

     
    Fresh insight into Bradypus food intake

    In March I was delighted to publish my latest scientific paper entitled: “Sloths like it hot: ambient temperature modulates food intake in the brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus)” in PeerJ, the award-winning biological and medical sciences journal.During the study we measured exact levels of food intake in three-fingered sloths and investigated how these levels were affected by changes in ambient temperature. We discovered that sloths actually eat surprisingly little on a daily basis (73.5 g dry weight of leaves per day)–three times less than the amoun

    t eaten by the similarly-sized howler monkey. Furthermore, we found that the amount of food consumed is remarkably consistent among individuals. Over the course of five months, my three study sloths–Felice, Jewel and Brenda–consumed a total of 61.3%, 60.0% and 61.3% of food provided respectively­–less than a 1.5% difference!

    The study* suggests that the known fluctuation of sloth core body temperature with ambient temperature affects the rate at which gut fauna process digesta, allowing for increased rates of fermentation at higher temperatures. Since Bradypus sloths maintain a constantly full stomach, faster rates of fermentation should enhance digestive throughput, increasing the capacity for higher levels of food intake, thereby allowing increased energy acquisition at higher ambient temperatures. This contrasts with other mammals, which tend to show increased levels of food intake in colder conditions, and points to the importance of temperature in regulating all aspects of energy use in sloths.

    *Cliffe RN, Haupt RJ, Avey-Arroyo JA, Wilson RP. (2015) Sloths like it hot: ambient temperature modulates food intake in the brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus) PeerJ 3:e875 https://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.875
    Firefighters rescued a male Bradypus and brought him to us. He was in perfect health, but  we noticed something strange: this three-fingered sloth had four perfectly-formed toes on his left foot. While we often see missing digits due to genetic deformities, this was the first time we had ever seen an extra toe!

    We just had to name him Quattro (meaning “four” in Italian). We released him with a tracking backpack within the Sanctuary’s protected reserve. Of all the wild sloths I have worked with, Quattro was the most difficult to find after release. For weeks we searched for him in the jungle, and although his transmitter sent a strong signal, I was unable to locate him, even with his trademark extra toe!
    I’ve been braiding a link of dissolving plastic into my Sloth Backpack harnesses. The plastic weakens in rain and humidity until the backpack eventually drops off and falls to the rainforest floor. Maybe that extra toe gave Quattro a superpower of invisibility, because–despite hours in the jungle every day–I was never able to visually located him again. Maybe we should have named him Houdini! After four weeks of searching, I was relieved to find his discarded backpack on the forest floor, which means he probably established a new territory of his own. ¡Muy buena suerte, Quattro!Becky Cliffe, studying for her PhD from Swansea University (UK), is wrapping up her final year of research at the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. BeckyCliffe.com

     

    Our rainforests are home to millions of species … we must preserve them for future generations.
    When you’re not assisting at the Sanctuary, where do you work?

    In my small animal practice in Puerto Viejo with my veterinary clinic partner, Dr. Estefania Solano, I teach surgery at Universidad Veritas in Coronado, and am involved in spay and neuter programs around the country.

    Why don’t veterinarians spay and neuter sloths?

    Because they are wild animals, we want to preserve them–not turn them in to mascots. If there is ever a chance in the future that our infant rescues can be released into the wild, they will be able to reproduce.

    What is the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about sloths?

    They are unlike most mammals and yet have characteristics of many different species: a digestive system similar to that of cows, a reproductive system similar to that of humans–among other similarities–while their musculature is quite different than any mammal. They are a puzzle to science!

    What part of the Sanctuary do you think is most important for Insider’s Tour guests to see?

    Our NICU Nursery–where the tiny babies are cared for–because it demonstrates how human encroachment is causing a major problem for sloth survival. When you see so many rescued babies in one place, it’s blatantly obvious there are problems in their habitat.

    As a native Costa Rican, what does the concept of Pura Vida mean to you?

    In spite of one’s problems and daily challenges, one must have the right attitude to confront these situations with valor and joy of spirit … Pura Vida!

    What is the one message you would like to tell the world about conserving the rainforest?

    Sloths are one of the few indigenous American species still present, and they have had the capacity to adapt genetically in one form or another for millions and millions of years. And our tropical American rainforests are home to millions of species of native flora and fauna. We must preserve them for future generations.

        Rehabilitate

    A juvenile Choloepus crushed her lower jaw when she accidentally fell from a tree. Luckily, she was rescued and rushed to Dr. Francisco Arroyo, who did a superb job of wiring her jaw together. For three weeks following surgery, despite Mandy’s obvious fear and pain, she bravely accepted being hand-fed liquified leaves. By mid-February, her jaw had almost fully healed. The wires were removed for the final stage of her rehabilitation, allowing her to relearn independence and forage for herself.

     
    We received a sadly familiar phone call about a sloth being attacked by a dog. This adult female Choloepus had severe bite wounds but fortunately no broken bones or neurological injuries. We cleaned and dressed her wounds, then carefully monitored her for signs of stress trauma. We were encouraged to see that the very next day, Willa had an appetite and began eating-the first sign of a sloth feeling better on the road to recovery.Within days, the repeat scenario: Another phone call, an adult female Choloepus attacked by dogs. A frequent and tragic consequence of human encroachment into sloths’ habitat, both sloths were rescued from developed areas with too few trees and too many pet dogs. The one thing we can do is to relocate the sloths away from the hazards of urban/suburban areas.Remarkably Willa’s and Walda’s injuries and recovery timelines were similar, so we decided to release them simultaneously.Each was fitted with a Sloth Backpack Daily Diary Data Logger and VHF for tracking. We released them in a forested area adjacent to the Sanctuary, where we can monitor their progress as they establish their new territories and food trees.

    Earth Day 2015
     

    Our Earth Day 2015 Almond Tree planting initiative has been an overwhelming success, thanks to our very generous donors and the result of our collaboration with American Apparel and illustrator Todd Selby. We’re  celebrating Earth Day Every Day, as Almond Tree donations are welcome year-round.

    Leaves of the Terminalia catappa are a favorite sloth nosh and, in this era of deforestation for development, your donations allow us to give back to Mother Earth by stabilizing the soil, providing shade and filtering the air.
    Muchas gracias to those who donated-your name or your honorees’ names are being carved on the commemorative plaque right now! It will be on display soon at the Sanctuary. For new donations, names will be featured on the Earth Day 2016 plaque.
    Consider donating in memory of a loved one, or to honor a wedding, anniversary or new baby. Make your secure donation by PayPal athttp://www.slothsanctuary.com/donate-to-support-the-sloth-sanctuary/
    Funny footnote: Celebrity that she is, Buttercup was featured on the retail hang-tag for American Apparel’s organic cotton, sweatshop-free T-shirt with Todd Selby’s illustration. The first non-human model for American Apparel, she became the subject of several surprising news stories!
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  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 12:56 am on June 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: animal sancturay, , , , , , , , , , , , , , South 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 1:10 am on May 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , South America, , , , ,   

    A few reasons not to hate the tourists in your city, even though you want to 

    Featured Image -- 7746

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    There’s now one more reason to avoid Victoria’s tourist-swarmed downtown core this summer.

    Volunteers in 1940s-style British “bobby” uniforms — complete with egg-shaped hats — will be walking the beat “armed only with a smile, interesting historical facts and crime prevention information,” according to police. It’s an effort to make out-of-towners feel even more like they’ve escaped to a west-coast Pleasantville.      And it’s another reason to hate on tourists:

    You know, the camera-toting (don’t you have a smartphone?!), meanderers clad in comfortable shoes, clogging the seawall in Vancouver and the streets of Kensington Market in Toronto. Also known, to one friend, as “THE WORST SIDEWALK WALKERS!”Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 15.21.59

     They don’t know where they’re going, or how to get there. They turn our cities into marketing fluff and our streets into parking lots for tour buses.

    But in our annoyance, we forget: We are tourists, too.

    Canadians are the seventh-largest spenders on travel in the world, to the tune of $37 billion in 2014.

    The golden rule of a good trip is good people. That could be a travel buddy or a hostel crew, but it’s also often the locals. In Lisbon, Portugal, my sister and I made friends out of people who showed us the hidden bars and late-night hangouts, the beaches a short drive out of town, the best places to catch the sunset.Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 15.23.30

    That’s the hipster way to travel these days — getting the “local” experience. But we forget it relies on locals treating us, the tourists, like the potentially interesting humans we are.

    I try to be kind to tourists, sometimes. I’ll offer directions or tips on what to see and eat. But I’ve never looked at a tourist as a potential friend. And I’ve never been the source of someone’s amazing story of travel to Canada.

    There is another reason to stop hating tourists: They brought in $17.3 billion in 2014. You’ve heard this before, but many people’s livelihoods depend on them.

    Yes, it is irritating to see my hometown become even more of a caricature of imagined Englishness. I didn’t think Victoria could grovel any harder at the feet of its British roots. It can.

    But whatever I think of the volunteer bobby idea, it’s time to shed the haughty gaze at the wayward tourist. There’s no point having a superiority complex if you don’t help make your city a nice place to be.

    More from metronews.ca

    Related:  TNT Powertrain travel & tourism info

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 3:01 pm on May 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
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    The Perfect view only gets Better 

     
  • SW Cali Commentary / Net Production 2:16 am on January 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 15 most dangerous countries for your vacation, , , , dangerous, , , South America, ,   

    15 most dangerous countries for your vacation 

    15 Most Dangerous Countries for Your Vacation:

    Guatamala

    Photo credit: Bigstock

    Afghanistan

    1. Afghanistan

    Iraq

    Why It’s Tempting to Tourists:
    Afghanistan is a very beautiful country. It boasts of some of the most amazing sights you can see anywhere in the world. Some of the best places to visit include the Wakhan Corridor, the Bamiyan Valley and Kunduz.

    Why You Shouldn’t Go:For some time now, Afghanistan has been considered one of the most dangerous places in the world. The country is a literal warzone. The Taliban has interfered quite strongly in the Afghan life. Terrorist attacks, landmines and bombings are not uncommon. Neither are other insurgent activities, kidnappings and political unrest. On top of that, the country is the world’s top supplier of opium. Even when the US troops are gradually being removed from the country, the future here is still very uncertain.

    Tourist Testimonial:

    Okay, this isn’t actually from a tourist tourist, but a journalist assigned in the country. As he says, he’s often worried that he will get shot. And any country “where there are minefields is also bad.” More than the usual concerns about getting an upset stomach from eating all the foreign food, Afghanistan makes you fear for your life. “In Afghanistan I never walked anywhere unless I was on concrete or I had received iron clad assurances from a United Nations demining expert that the area was clear.”

    So if you don’t relish the idea of having to look everywhere you step on and constantly worrying you’ll get a bullet lodged in your body, then cross off Afghanistan from your destination list for now.

    Egypt

    Somolia

    Venezuela

    Brazil

    PSA

    See the full article at: http://happylifestylejournal.com/15-most-dangerous-countries-for-your-vacation/3/

     
  • 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, , , , , South 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, , , , , , South 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
    http://nblo.gs/12eoqm
    By Deepak verma

    View original post

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

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