Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

William and Kate’s Visit to North America

July 13, 2011

Over a span of twelve days, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went on a trip through Canada and California.  The couple began their trip in Canada on July 1, just in time for Canada Day.  They traveled through most of the country, visiting pastry kitchens, rode in canoes, played hockey, and even planted trees.  A week later, on July 8, the couple arrived in Los Angeles.  They had a meeting with Hollywood studio executives as well as with some of Hollywood’s celebrities, went up the coast of California, and made sculptures with schoolchildren in Downtown Los Angeles.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge toured North America, beginning with Canada during the country's national holiday, Canada Day, and ending in Southern California.The famous royal couple showed that they were up to do anything over the weekend.  They were even patient when greeting fans.  The trip highlighted a number of philanthropic works, such as an event to support Tusk USA, an organization that raises funds for African wildlife, Inner-City Arts, a program that helps disadvantaged and homeless children through art, and an event for military veterans where they put together care packages.  The trip was a good time for the international icons.  At the end of the busy weekend, William and Kate opted not to fly home on a private jet.  Instead, they flew home from Los Angeles to London on a commercial flight with British Airways.  However, they did fly first class, but they were amongst civilian travelers.

William and Kate on the first day of their visit to Canada:

William and Kate on their visit to California:

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Taylor P.

The Palace Theatre Turns 100

June 29, 2011

On June 26, 2011, the Palace Theatre turned 100 years old.  To commemorate the centennial anniversary, three sold-out screenings were held.  The theater, located on 630 S. Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles and originally named Orpheum, opened on June 26, 1911, as a vaudeville house.  In 1926, the theater was renamed the Palace when a much larger Orpheum Theatre was built down the street. The Palace has hosted shows with entertainers like actor Fred Astaire, magician Harry Houdini, and French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt.

The Palace Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a $1 million restoration aimed at bringing back the French and Renaissance style and charm that defined the theater.A million dollar restoration project, with a few changes, has begun.  The craftsmen in charge of the renovation stripped away seven layers of paint from the walls, revealing the hall’s original wallpaper.  Shahram Delijani, whose family owns the Palace and three other historic downtown theaters, was able to replicate the original wallpaper, allowing him to bring the Palace back to its very original decorations.  The Palace Theatre will look beautiful with its original design, bringing it back to a French and Renaissance look.

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Taylor P.

Top 10 Best Sunscreens and Sunglasses with UV Protection

June 28, 2011

Now that the summer of 2011 has finally arrived, it’s time to start taking certain precautions.  With the heat expected to be much more intense here in California, it is important to protect your skin to avoid putting yourself at risk for melanoma (skin cancer).  It’s also important to protect your eyes from being damaged by the sun’s strong rays.  Here is a list of the top ten best sunscreens.

Best Sunscreens

  1. Alba Botanica
    Sun: Mineral Sunscreen Fragrance Free, SPF 30
    Sun: Mineral Sunscreen Kids, SPF 30
  2. All Terrain
    AquaSport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30
    TerraSport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30
    KidSport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30
  3. Aubrey Organics
    Natural Sun Sport Stick Unscented Sunscreen, SPF 30
    Natural Sun Unscented Sensitive Skin/Children’s Sunscreen, SPF 30+
    Natural Sun Saving Face Sunscreen, SPF 15
  4. Aveeno
    Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick, SPF 50
  5. BabyGanics
    Cover Up Baby Sunscreen for Face & Body, Fragrance Free, SPF 50+
    Cover Up Baby Sunscreen Stick, Fragrance Free, SPF 50
  6. babyUV/kidsUV inc.
    kidsUV Natural Sunscreen Blue/Pink, SPF 30
  7. Badger
    Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30+
    Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30+
    Sunscreen, Lightly Scented Lavender, SPF 30+
    Sunscreen Face Stick, Unscented, SPF 30+
    Sunscreen, Lightly Scented Lavender, SPF 15
  8. Beyond Coastal
    Natural Clear, SPF 30
    Kids Natural, SPF 30
    Lip and Face Screen, SPF 30
    Natural, SPF 30
  9. Blue Lizard
    Australian Suncream, Sensitive, SPF 30+
    Baby Australian Suncream, SPF 30+
  10. California Baby
    No Fragrance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
    No Fragrance Sunblock Stick, SPF 30+
    Everyday/Year-Round Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
    Summer Blend Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
    Everyday/Year-Round Sunblock Stick, SPF 30+
    No Fragrance Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 18
    Everyday/Year-Round Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 18

Here is a list of the top ten sunglasses with the best UV Protection.

When you spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun, especially during the summer, you need to protect your skin and eyes. Here is a list of sunscreens and sunglasses with UV protection.Best Sunglasses with UV Protection

  1. Ray-Ban
  2. Oakley
  3. Prada
  4. Polaroid
  5. Gucci
  6. Fendi
  7. Guess
  8. Vogue Eyewear
  9. DKNY
  10. Emporio Armani Eyewear

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Joie Montoya

How to Deal With Food Allergies

June 27, 2011

Food allergies can be difficult to deal with, especially if it is a common ingredient in foods you eat.  You could go to an allergist to evaluate the severity of your allergies and get prescription medication to help relieve your symptoms if you accidentally eat something you are allergic to.  Non-prescription antihistamines, like Chlor-Trimeton or Benadryl, can also be taken to relieve symptoms.

Food allergies can be rough, especially if you find out what you're allergic to for the first time when eating something for the first (and possibly last) time. Here are some ways to deal with food allergy symptoms.However, it is best to consult your doctor before buying any kind of over-the-counter medication to relieve allergy symptoms and ensure they are right for you.  The best way to deal with allergies is to avoid what you are allergic to altogether.  You should check labels on foods you buy to make sure they don’t use any suspect ingredients.  Also, if you go out to eat somewhere you can ask the server if they cook with that certain food item or ingredient and request a substitute if necessary.  Being allergic to food can be difficult, but reactions can be easily avoided.

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Taylor P.

IPv4 vs. IPv6: The Differences That Matter

June 27, 2011

Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is the fourth revision in the development of the Internet Protocol (IP) and the first version of the protocol to be widely deployed.  Together with IPv6, it is at the core of standards-based internetworking methods of the Internet.  IPv4 is still, by far, the most widely deployed Internet Layer protocol.  Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is a version of the Internet Protocol (IP) that is designed to succeed Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4).  The Internet operates by transferring data in small packets that are independently routed across networks as specified by an international communications protocol known as the Internet Protocol.  Although IPv4 is still the most commonly used protocol, I want to list the differences between both so you can better understand why your company and ISP must begin making plans to migrate to IPv6.

With Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) out of IP addresses, the computer networking industry is strongly encouraging companies to migrate to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), which has better bandwidth efficiency, scalability, and exponentially more IP addresses at its disposal.

IPv4 has run out of IP addresses.

IPv4

  • Addresses are 32 bits (4 bytes) in length.
  • Address (A) resource records in DNS to map host names to IPv4 addresses.
  • Pointer (PTR) resource records in the IN-ADDR.ARPA DNS domain to map IPv4 addresses to host names.
  • IPSec is optional and should be supported externally
  • Header does not identify packet flow for QoS handling by routers
  • Both routers and the sending host fragment packets.
  • Header includes a checksum.
  • Header includes options.
  • ARP uses broadcast ARP request to resolve IP to MAC/Hardware address.
  • Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) manages membership in local subnet groups.
  • Broadcast addresses are used to send traffic to all nodes on a subnet.
  • Configured either manually or through DHCP.
  • Must support a 576-byte packet size (possibly fragmented).
With Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) out of IP addresses, the computer networking industry is strongly encouraging companies to migrate to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), which has better bandwidth efficiency, scalability, and exponentially more IP addresses at its disposal.

IPv6 is the successor to IPv4, but deployment has been slow.

IPv6

  • Addresses are 128 bits (16 bytes) in length
  • Address (AAAA) resource records in DNS to map host names to IPv6 addresses.
  • Pointer (PTR) resource records in the IP6.ARPA DNS domain to map IPv6 addresses to host names.
  • IPSec support is not optional
  • Header contains Flow Label field, which Identifies packet flow for QoS handling by router.
  • Routers do not support packet fragmentation. Sending host fragments packets
  • Header does not include a checksum.
  • Optional data is supported as extension headers.
  • Multicast Neighbor Solicitation messages resolve IP addresses to MAC addresses.
  • Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD) messages manage membership in local subnet groups.
  • IPv6 uses a link-local scope all-nodes multicast address.
  • Does not require manual configuration or DHCP.
  • Must support a 1280-byte packet size (without fragmentation).

Depending on what you are using, the IP address for either version is still valid.  There are some advantages to upgrading from IPv4 to IPv6 such as 79 octillion (that’s 27 zeros) times the IPv4 address space, better bandwidth efficiency, better efficiency and scalability, and works with the latest 3G mobile technologies and beyond.  With so many devices requiring IP addresses for Internet access, the development of a more versatile Internet Protocol was inevitable.  I hope this article helps you better understand the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 so that you can make your decision accordingly.

Juniper Networks describes in layman’s terms on a video in their YouTube channel the need for creating an IPv6 migration strategy.

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Joie Montoya

IBM Turns 100: the 5 Most Important Inventions You Use Today

June 23, 2011

On June 16, 2011, the International Business Machines, better known as IBM, turned 100 years old.  IBM is the best-known American computer manufacturer, founded by Thomas J. Watson, and has stayed vital and important for most of its history.  This company has created and designed many prominent inventions that are widely used today.  Here is a list of five of their most important inventions, so far:

International Business Machines, better known as IBM, turned 100 years old on June 16, 2011. Here are five of IBM's most important inventions that we still use today.The Magnetic Stripe Technology: This is the thin, black stripe you can see on the back of credit cards, drivers’ licenses and many other cards.  With this invention, buying things became much simpler and faster.  What they don’t realize is what a major shift this seemingly simple technology represented for retail, transportation and daily life.

How Magnetic Stripe Technology works on YouTube:

Computing Scale: Used to weigh and price things that any vendor can use.  This invention saved retailers a lot of money.

In 1885 Julius Pitrap of Gallipolis, Ohio, patented the first computing scale. Six years later, Edward Canby and Orange Ozias of Dayton, Ohio, purchased Pitrap's patents and incorporated The Computing Scale Company as the world's first computing scale vendor. And four years after that, The Computing Scale Company introduced the first automatic computing scale, shown here. In 1911, the Computing Scale Company merged with the International Time Recording Company and Tabulating Machine Company to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, a business that was renamed IBM in 1924.

International Business Machines, better known as IBM, turned 100 years old on June 16, 2011. Here are five of IBM's most important inventions that we still use today.The Universal Product Code: Even though barcodes were dreamed up and patented in the late 1940s and early 1950s, it wasn’t in use until lasers emerged years later that they could be digitally read.  This technology sped up checkouts and improved inventory-keeping.

The Time Clock: The invention had an “IN” and an “OUT” slot, used to keep track of each employee’s attendance.

International Business Machines, better known as IBM, turned 100 years old on June 16, 2011. Here are five of IBM's most important inventions that we still use today.

International Business Machines, better known as IBM, turned 100 years old on June 16, 2011. Here are five of IBM's most important inventions that we still use today.The Automated Test Scoring: In 1937, IBM introduced the 805 Test Scoring Machine.  This machine graded test answers that have been marked on a certain paper with a No. 2 pencil, making grading much easier for teachers.

When most people think of IBM, they think of computers.  Well, they did invent the PC in the 1980s, but they have many more inventions that are still in use today.  Their inventions have helped ease the daily life of many people, such as managers, teachers, students, store owners, and many employees.  IBM has many other inventions that have made our lives easier and should be greatly appreciated.  Congratulations to this successful company.

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Taylor P.

Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame inducts Gloria Estefan and Harry Connick Jr.

June 23, 2011

On Friday, June 17, 2011, the Hollywood Bowl celebrated its 90th season with fireworks, music performances, and a preview of the new Cirque de Soleil show, Iris.  This year, the Hollywood Bowl honored two new inductees to the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame: singers Gloria Estefan and Harry Connick Jr..  Actress Hilary Swank introduced honoree and New Orleans native Connick Jr., a friend since their on-screen performance of, “P.S. I Love You” together.  The pianist and jazz singer start off somewhat stiffly with “The Way You Look Tonight”, pausing afterwards to acknowledge the award.  “I’ve never been in a hall of fame for anything so it’s a big deal.  I’m just honored,” said Connick Jr., who noted that his voice had cracked a couple of times.  “I’m sure you heard it.  I don’t care, I mean, it’s not like I’m performing brain surgery on someone.  If you make a mistake, it’s OK.  But I was thinking like the Cirque de Soleil people, like what’s the equivalent of cracking a note for them?  You die… So I’m very happy to be a singer.  I might crack some more notes because it’s very comfortable to know that I can do that and live.”

The 90th season of the Hollywood Bowl included the induction of Gloria Estefan and Harry Connick Jr. into their hall of fame as well as performances by the new inductees.After intermission, actor Andy Garcia introduced Gloria Estefan.  Garcia explained, “We have a common bond.  Our families, both fled to this country when we were young children to escape the repression of Castro’s Cuba.  Our parents had to start all over again, struggling to give a better life in Miami.”  Estefan also happens to be the first Latina to be honored in the Hall of Fame.  Congratulations to both of these singers for their many contributions to the music world.

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Joie Montoya

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

Five Best Ways to Save Your Money While on Vacation

June 21, 2011

Saving your hard-earned cash can be tough on vacation because of expenses such as buying fast food on the road, going to nice restaurants, doing fun activities, and paying for gas and souvenirs.  You don’t have to skip having fun on vacation since, after working or going to school for half the year, you deserve to have a good summer vacation!  Here are a few tips on stretching your money while on vacation:

  1. Overspending while you are on vacation can create worry that your trip away from home was supposed to get rid of. Here are some tips on how to spend less while on vacation.Watch what you spend your money on; don’t just throw cash away.
  2. The best souvenir is a picture, so bring a camera (they’re built into most mobile phones nowadays) and take lots of them instead of buying silly knick-knacks you can pick up in the hotel lobby.  You can also collect “free souvenirs” like match boxes from hotels and restaurants, room key cards, or ticket stubs.
  3. Instead of paying loads of money at an amusement park, go sit pool side at the hotel or go to the beach.  Quality time there is not just free, it is fun!
  4. Have budgets for hotel rooms, activities, and food.  Don’t overspend!
  5. Make sure your trip is planned out well in advance to ensure that you know what you and your wallet are getting into.

Vacations are a great way to recharge your batteries, but spending money can be difficult to do this summer.  Plan out your vacation right and budget your trip so that you can avoid spending traps.  Remember to have a fun, stress-free time!  You do not have to spend as much money to have fun as you think.

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Taylor P.

Solid Rocket Boosters and the External Tank: the Heavy Lifters for NASA’s Space Shuttles

June 20, 2011

The Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) are a very crucial component of Space Shuttle flight.  They are a pair of large solid rockets used by the United States’ NASA Space Shuttle during the first two minutes of powered flight.  They can be found on either side of the orange colored external propellant tank.  Each one produces 80% more liftoff thrust than the engine on Rocketdyne’s F-1 rocket engine.  SRBs are the largest solid fueled rockets ever flown.  Once the Space Shuttle releases them and they fall in the ocean by parachute, they are recovered refurbished, reloaded with propellant, and reused for several missions.

Without the Space Shuttle Rocket Boosters or External Tank, NASA's Space Shuttle fleet would have been grounded, to say the least.

The Space Shuttle affixed to the External Tank and Solid Rocket Boosters, atop a crawler-transporter.

A Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) is the component of the Space Shuttle launch vehicle that contains the liquid hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer.  The external tank can be found between the pair of rocket boosters.  The ET is the largest element of the Space Shuttle.  It consists of three major components: the forward liquid oxygen (LOX) tank; an unpressurized intertank that contains most of the electrical components; and the aft liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank.  Over the years, NASA has tried to reduce the weight of the tank in order to be allowed more cargo-carrying capability, and they have been successful in doing so.

To all those who have worked on manufacturing the SRBs and ET: congratulations!  Your achievements in rocket technology have helped the United States reach new heights in space exploration and gain new knowledge and insights from data collected during each Space Shuttle mission that you made possible.  May you carry on our tradition of space exploration with your latest rocket designs that will bring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and researchers to outer space.

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Joie Montoya