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Photos: staggering contrast. Untouched Nature's beauty vs human footprints: waste produced & garbage trashed
Photo: Kalalau Beach. The natural beauty and isolation of Na Pali were populated by Native Hawaiians continuously for six centuries through the early 1900s. In recent decades, however, it has lured half-million visitors annually who hike its trails, camp overnight in its valleys, buzz over its 3,000 foot cliffs in helicopters and, sadly, at times prove poor stewards of Na Pali. Inset: How much Beer will the average person consume in a lifetime? National Geographic Human Footprint looks at how beer is consumed by the average American over a lifetime.
Photo: Na Pali Coastline of Kauai. Inset: Have you considered the impact of the cars that you will own over your entire lifetime? National Geographic Human Footprint took at look and the numbers are staggering.
Photos courtesy of ecopreservationsociety.wordpress.com, secretofthecrystalskullsmovie.com / Diane Cook & Len Jenshel, Wings Over Kauai, and National Geographic
280 California parks bring annual $4.3 bil to state, mils locally. 200-park closure to shoot deficit? or economy?
The State Parks use less than 1/10th of 1% of the budget, yet return $2.35 for every dollar spent in revenues from surrounding communities whose economies are boosted by (or based on) proximity to the parks.
"This morning, I glimpsed the list of California state parks earmarked for closure if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger successfully cuts funding, and I became sickened and angry. There are 220 parks, reserves and beaches on the list. That would leave a mere 59 parks for our continued enjoyment." (Comment posted by Maggie Wolfe Riley: "The State Parks use less than 1/10th of 1% of the budget, yet return $2.35 for every dollar spent in revenues from surrounding communities whose economies are boosted by (or based on) proximity to the parks.")
"Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul." - Oscar Wilde
Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.
Bill Turner treats Zebedee with total kindness, winning over a friend from Nature, going together to the pub for a pint
A horse racing trainer loves to trot to the pub for a glass of Red Stripe lager - on his zebra. Dad-of-two Bill Turner bought 14-month-old Zebedee for £4,500 from a Dutch game reserve. Bill, 61, said: "He loves being ridden and it means I don't have to worry about being breathalysed."
Zebras are notoriously difficult to break in but the former jump jockey soon coaxed Zebedee to accept a bridle and saddle. In less than three weeks Bill was riding his new mount round his farm. Now Mr Turner rides Zebedee to his local, the King's Arms, for a pint after work.
Bill, who saddled 600 winners in 30 years as a trainer, said: "It's a mile and a half to the pub and Zebedee pricks up his ears every time we go. "The RSPCA says its OK to ride him." Bill's wife Tracy, 61, followed in a lorry on the first pub outing in case Zebedee tired and had to be driven back. But ten-stone Bill said: "He had no trouble and even cantered for a bit. The regulars got an incredible shock when I rode up."
It was the trainer's lifelong ambition to break and ride a zebra. Bill said: "I've broken hundreds of horses and wanted to try my luck with a zebra. "Very few are ridden in Africa - usually the only way to mount one is to put it in a river." Finally a livestock agent who Bill deals with in Belgium found the zebra for him. Bill said: "They say zebras are so hard to train because they don't have any brains and panic easily. Zebedee gave me a hard time at first, coming at me with his front feet and also biting. read more »
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. - Author Unknown
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
Brief History of Hubble Space Telescope - undergoing final maintenance-and-repair mission before retiring in 2014
The $1.5 billion Hubble rocketed to space aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990. It's named after Edwin Hubble, a pioneering American astronomer who furthered our understanding of other galaxies and demonstrated that the universe is continually expanding.
The Hubble's primary mirror, nearly eight feet across. A flaw in the mirror was discovered after the Hubble was in space; thanks to miscalibrated equipment, its glass had been ground slightly too finely at the edges. Though the imperfection measured just one-fiftieth of the thickness of a piece of paper, it distorted the Hubble's images. Astronauts fixed the problem in 1993.
About the size of a large school bus, the Hubble orbits at a speed of five miles per second, 353 miles above Earth. At that velocity it can cross the United States in about 10 minutes and circle the globe in an hour and a half.