Posts Tagged ‘california’

10 Reasons to Travel Solo (via Fabulous at Fifty)

July 21, 2011

Unless you were traveling on a family-oriented cruise ship, you can travel much of the world solo.

10 Reasons to Travel Solo   Many people don’t feel comfortable traveling solo.   Usually the fears of being lonely, unsafe, and vulnerable are factors.   Some of the reasons to embark upon a solo trip are: You can go where you want.  Sometimes it’s difficult to agree upon a destination.  If your companion prefers all-inclusive beach resorts, and you yearn for an … Read More

via Fabulous at Fifty

Lava Tubes: What flowing lava leaves behind over time

June 22, 2011

Lava tubes are a type of lava cave formed when an active low-viscosity lava flow develops a continuous and hard crust, which thickens and forms a roof above the still-flowing lava stream.  Tubes form in one of two ways: by the crusting over of lava channels, and from pahoehoe flows where the lava is moving under the surface.  Lava usually leaves at the point of eruption through channels.  The channels stay very hot although their surroundings are cool.  When lava begins to flow away from its eruption point the surrounding lava of the pahoehoe flow cools down, resulting in the underground channel known as the lava tube.

Lava tubes can form into different structures, such as caves, pillars, or lavacicles.  Here are some of the tubes that can be found all over the world that contain any or all of these structures.

Lava tubes, found where lava once flowed, allows you to peer into a unique side of Earth's geology.

Ape Cave, Mount St. Helens, Washington State

Iceland

  • Surtshellir – For a long time, this was the longest known lava tube in the world.
  • Víðgelmir – Another long lava tube of Iceland.

Portugal

Spain

United States

The video, below, shows a number of kids and teenagers who participated in the Hawaii Sea Camp program.

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Joie Montoya

The 405 Freeway Closure: Alternate Routes You Can Take

June 8, 2011

Interstate 405, or I-405, will be closed July 16-17, 2011 for 53 hours, affecting ten miles of the 405 Freeway in the Westside of Los Angeles.  This freeway is heavily traveled and is bound to disrupt people’s travels, especially mid-summer.  The Metro is offering free subway rides during the 405 closure to help people get around the anticipated traffic build-up.

On July 16-17, 2011, a 10-mile section of the 405 freeway, which is one of the most congested highways in the U.S., will be closed for 53 hours. Here are some alternate routes you can take.The construction for the freeway widening and the partial demolition of the Mulholland Bridge (map | street view) over the freeway will cost $1.3 billion.  A northbound carpool lane will be added to the 405 Freeway between the 10 and 101 freeways, while the bridge will be widened and more resistant to seismic activity.  The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority says 500,000 vehicles travel the 405 on a typical mid-July weekend.  Officials are advising people to use the Metro Rail service to bypass the massive traffic pile up that is expected during the construction.  There will be alternate route solutions posted on the project’s website as well as a few suggestions below.

Google Maps: Section of 405 Freeway closure

Maps of alternate routes from San Fernando to the South Bay

Map of routes to the Westside

If you are flying into LAX on July 16 or 17 and headed to all points north or west, take the following route through Downtown Los Angeles.

  • Route (From the airport): South Sepulveda Blvd., I-105 E, I-110 N, I-5 N

From I-5 N:

If you are from Ventura, Santa Barbara, or San Luis Obispo and you are headed to LAX, take Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) from Oxnard and head east.

Before you head out in or around the Los Angeles area, go to the following website and watch traffic maps of the LA area in real time:

Sigalert.com

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Taylor P.

Memorial Day Celebrations; Canoga Park’s Memorial Day Parade Returns

June 2, 2011

Memorial Day always takes place on the last Monday of May, which was May 30 of this year.  The holiday honors American men and women who died while serving in the military.  On Memorial Day Weekend, millions of people visited cemeteries and memorials honoring their war dead.  At national cemeteries, American flags were placed on each grave site.  At 3:00 p.m. local time, a national moment of remembrance took place while a bugler from the United States Army Band played a haunting rendition of “Taps“.

Americans celebrated Memorial Day, a national holiday honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military, with parades, festivals, and live entertainment. Most people see Memorial Day Weekend as the official start of summer, so there were plenty of things for you and your family to do in your local area, especially here in California.  Canoga Park’s Memorial Day Parade made a triumphant return this year after being cancelled last year due to the down economy.  The parade included military marching units, bands, floats, dignitaries, antique cars, classic cars, youth groups, flyovers by military aircraft, and equestrian units.  After the parade, there is a festival at Quimby Park with music, food and vendors.  In Garden Grove, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival took place during the holiday weekend, where people were treated to carnival rides, pageants, a Strawberry Idol Karaoke Contest, a Red-Head Roundup Contest, a Berry Beautiful Baby Pageant, and a strawberry-themed parade on Saturday.  There are so many things you can do to celebrate Memorial Day.  If you did not want to go to a big public event, a nice BBQ would have kicked off the summer for you and your family or neighbors nicely!

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Taylor P.

Santa Clarita Paseos

April 26, 2011

Santa Clarita isn’t usually the first city that pops into people’s minds when they think of a vacation destination, unless they are planning a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain.  The truth is, many people are not aware of things they could do here in the Santa Clarita Valley, a beautiful master-planned bedroom community north of Los Angeles that is kept very clean.  One of the things the city is known for is the Paseos, which are hidden trails all throughout the community where bicycle riders and joggers can go about their daily exercise.  These connecting trails give residents an easier time getting to parks, entertainment, shopping, and employment centers while enjoying the scenic path as well as being friendly to the environment.

Santa Clarita, CA, may be known as the city where Six Flags Magic Mountain is located, but the city has also created a network of bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly paths and hidden trails, or paseos for local residents and visitors to enjoy.There are five different trailheads in Santa Clarita so far, which include:

Promenade Trailhead (map | street view)

You can enter the trailhead off the east side of McBean and park your car at the shopping centers nearby.

Auto Center Trailhead (map | street view)

You can enter it off the north side of Valencia Bl., at Auto Center Ct.  There is off-street parking for vehicles and horse trailers.  Benches, drinking fountain, and information kiosk can be found on site.

South Fork Trailhead (map | street view)

You can enter it off the south side of Magic Mountain Pkwy., between Valencia Bl. and San Fernando Rd., on the west bank of South Fork River.  There is off- street parking for vehicles and horse trailers.  Picnic tables and drinking fountain can be found on site.

Camp Plenty Road Trailhead (map | street view)

You can enter it off the south side of Soledad Canyon Rd., at the Camp Plenty Rd.  Off-street parking available.  Drinking fountain can be found on site.

Lost Canyon Road Trailhead (map | street view)

You can enter it off the south side of Soledad Canyon Rd., at Lost Canyon Rd., just south of the intersection beneath the freeway underpass.  There is some street parking available.  Benches, drinking fountains, water spigots, and hitching posts can be found on site.

If you’d like to explore the city’s paseos, download and print Santa Clarita’s “Trails and Parks Map” or Newhall Land’s map, “Valencia’s Paseos“.

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Joie Montoya

Spring Break 2011: Family Plans vs. College Plans

February 18, 2011

Spring break is a time that everyone can enjoy with friends and family, especially after going to work or school for 2-3 months straight after the New Year.  Throughout the years, I have had lots of fun with my family during break.  We’ve been to many places throughout California for spring break, such as Sea World, Santa Barbara, Hearst Castle, Solvang, the state’s beaches, and the neighboring state of Arizona.  My mom, sisters, and I all love to take trips together.  A majority of my fondest childhood memories are created from these trips.  Taking road trips with your family to fun places is a great way to spend spring break and welcome the summer.  Keep in mind a few things when planning a spring break getaway for you and your family: plan ahead and search months in advance for cheaper deals on plane tickets and hotel rooms when they are easiest to come by; find packaged deals that include hotels, rental cars, and theme parks; and map out where you will be going if you have multiple destinations, since you may very well find extra roadside attractions along the way.  Saving money while having fun is always great in any economy!

Spring break is a time that everyone can enjoy with friends and family, especially after going to work or school for 2-3 months after the New Year.  How do Spring Break plans differ for families and college students?  Taylor Pancake investigates.Once you are older and in college, your spring break plans become a time to blow off steam before big tests as well as a way to celebrate making it through the semester.  Most college students head to the beach for spring break with their friends and other college students.  Panama City Beach in Florida has a huge event for college students hosted by MTV.  Over half a million students attend this event.  Students can rent out condos or hotel rooms for the duration of their stay.  There are many activities you can enjoy while you are there, such as the never-ending beach parties, volleyball tournaments, scuba diving, outrageous contests, performances by music artists, and night clubs.  Panama City Beach is home to Club La Vela and Spinnaker, two of the biggest clubs in the country.  Of course, legal age limits are enforced when it comes to drinking alcohol.  Flocking to the beach communities of Florida has become a college tradition of sorts in recent years.  It is something students can look forward to during the second semester of the school year.  Other spring break-related events like this one take place all over the country, not all of which are hosted by MTV.  If you attend, make sure to be safe!

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Taylor P.

The Public Launch of a “Private” Space Plane

April 23, 2010

Please retweet

The United States Air Force launches a spacecraft, but mission details and even its duration remain a mystery.

The evening of April 22 marked the launch of the United State Air Force’s spacecraft, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, into space to test “a new batch of reusable technologies”, according to Gary Payton, deputy undersecretary of the Air Force space program.  Launched into space using an Atlas V rocket booster from Cape Canaveral in Florida, the test vehicle will undergo a demonstration mission.  Payton, however, would not go into further detail about the length of the mission or what exactly the demonstration will entail.  Following the mission’s end, the craft will land at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.  Following the renewed commitment of the government to the U.S. space program, we can expect more aerospace-related activity in the near future.

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Francis M. Unson

Twitter: The anatomy of a Tweet for SMB promotion

January 25, 2010

Please retweetDisclosure: Valencia Welding, Inc. is a client.

Twitter has much promise in promoting small and medium businesses (SMB), which can use as much promoting and marketing across a widespread social media network as possible. How, then, should SMB’s produce compact, yet effective, messages, or Tweets, to promote themselves?

Example Tweet Unlabeled

Example Tweet Unlabeled

The Tweet, above, is one of a variety of Tweets that I use to promote my client, Valencia Welding, Inc. in Santa Clarita, California. To the untrained eye, the Tweet is intimidating, but if you befriend, or “follow”, other Twitter users that are very well-versed and knowledgeable in the use of Twitter (I recommend @TweetSmarter or @anthonystevens4), you will learn a lot about the medium. Below, I break down each part of the Tweet and why it is important.

Anatomy of a Tweet for SMB promotion

Anatomy of a Tweet for SMB promotion

“Client’s business name as a hashtag.” A hashtag is a word or phrase, preceded by a pound (#) sign, that allows it to be seen in Twitter’s public timeline. Furthermore, hashtags effectively index the word or phrase and allow it to be searched easily. Note that #ValenciaWelding is contained within a single hashtag with no spaces. If I attempted to create a hashtag in the following manner (#Valencia Welding, with a space in between), the hashtag would apply to “Valencia” but not “Welding”.

“City where business is located.” This is self-explanatory. I used up to five hashtags for the location of the client’s business because Valencia Welding is located in the community of Valencia, within the city limits of Santa Clarita Valley, CA. Locally, the city is referred to as “SCV”.

“Promoting the client as a Small and Medium Business.” This is also self-explanatory.

“Link to a blog with more information about the client.” The number of characters allowed for Tweets is limited to 140 characters, making Twitter a great medium for generating buzz. Like reading a newspaper, Tweets serve as attention-grabbing headlines, and a blog is the best place to give more information about the client.

“Twitter username of the social media company promoting the client.” My company’s username, @FlowerBlossoms, serves as a signature at the end of the Tweet.

Lastly, notice that I circled the number “33″ at the upper right corner of the text box. That is the remaining number of characters allowed for the Tweet out of 140 characters. It is important that your Tweets are no more than 120 characters in length so that other people can forward, or “Re-Tweet”, your message to their followers.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please drop me a line.

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Francis M. Unson

“Hope for Haiti” telethon on Friday, January 22, 2010

January 20, 2010

Please retweetThe unions and collaborations that take place in the face of disaster are intriguing.

The Irish rock band, U2, hip hop artist, Jay-Z, and R&B artist, Rihanna, are due to appear together in London on Friday as part of the “Hope for Haiti” telethon.  Although a single has been recorded, it is not clear whether it will be released or premiered during the telethon.  Other acts that will take part in the telethon include Coldplay in London; Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, and Keith Urban in Los Angeles; and Wyclef Jean, Sting, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, and Bruce Springsteen in New York.  Many other acts are also set to perform.  The telethon will air at 8PM, EST, on MTV, VH1, CMT, BET, PBS, CNN, Bravo, and a host of other networks.  In addition, the telethon will be streamed live on websites including YouTube, MySpace and AOL.

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Francis M. Unson

A cheaper solution to ease gridlock: the “dynamic lane”

January 18, 2010

Would a "dynamic lane", fluorescent lights and electronic warning signs, ease traffic congestion where you live?Caltrans has come up with an inexpensive way to reduce congestion and accidents on the interchange between the 5 and 110 freeways near Dodger Stadium: fluorescent bluish-white lights and electronic warning signs.  The use of the lights began last week by providing a second lane to get on the northbound 5 and, without involving any major construction, doubled the connector’s capacity.  A Caltrans official called the system a “dynamic lane”.  If successful, the model could be expanded to other freeway connectors throughout California.  Read more

Please retweetDo you think that the dynamic lane would be successful where you live?

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Francis M. Unson


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