Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

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


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



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

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

The Olympic Process: How to Become a Host City

April 4, 2011

Cities around the globe that apply to host the Summer or Winter Olympic Games have to go through a ten-month process of inspection.  The International Olympic Committee, or IOC, is responsible for the applicants and inspections.  First, the city must prove that it is large enough to handle the Olympics.  The Games bring in a large international crowd, which means the city needs to be able to accommodate them with nice hotel rooms, provide them with transportation such as shuttles that go to and from the Games, and provide ample security to ensure their safety.  Second, the city has to convince its residents that hosting the Olympic Games are worth it in city improvements and new jobs.  Hosting the Olympics can be costly, so this may result in the city raising taxes to offset expenses.  Finally, the city needs to have positive media exposure.

The Olympic Games brings together the world's best athletes on a global stage for two weeks during the summer or winter months every four years. Cities around the world must apply years in advance if they wish to host the Games.If a city passes the inspection by the IOC, it is considered a “Candidate City” and the second phase of the process begins.  Once the “Candidate Cities” submit their applications and application fee, the IOC begins making a final decision on which city they see best fit to host the upcoming Summer or Winter Olympic Games.  The fees for hosting the Olympics can be in upwards of $150,000 or more.  These high fees are meant to discourage cities that are not committed to hosting the Olympics.  Some people might think there are no benefits to hosting the Olympic Games, but it shows pride in your city and country.  Plus, it can bring jobs to the community and boost tourism.  It may be a long process, but it is a great event to host!

Relive the moment in 2005 in which the IOC made the announcement  that London was selected to host the 2012 Olympic games.

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Taylor P.

Why Were the Super Bowl Ratings so High This Year?

February 10, 2011

This year’s Super Bowl set the record for having the most viewers in television history.  Super Bowl XLV had 111 million viewers, topping last year’s Super Bowl and the series finale of “M-A-S-H”, which held the title for Most Watched TV show for 27 years and is now number three.  Overall, television ratings for the NFL have gone up 13% since last year.  What, then, made this Super Bowl so special?  It turns out that the Green Bay Packers played in the very first Super Bowl on January 15, 1967, winning against the Kansas City Chiefs.  Hence, Super Bowl XVL pitted the Green Bay Packers, the first Super Bowl winners, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team with the most Super Bowl wins.

The very first Super Bowl winners, the Green Bay Packers, faced the winningest Super Bowl team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, which generated record-breaking television ratings.Even if you are not a sports fan, it has become a tradition for Super Bowl Sunday to be an exciting and action-packed event.  Friends and family come together during this virtual holiday with food and drinks and hang out to watch the game.  There are a number of things that attract people to watch the Super Bowl, such as their favorite team, the bets, halftime shows, the commercials, the food and the camaraderie with friends and family.  People could look forward to unexpected moments as well, such as comical mistakes, technical difficulties and wardrobe malfunctions.  For me, I enjoy the food and the commercials.  Watching the Super Bowl has become an American tradition over the years, which explains why the ratings were so high.  With that in mind, we can expect continued success and high ratings for future Super Bowls.

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Taylor P.

Super Bowl commercials of 2011: Did they hit their target audience?

February 9, 2011

What were your favorite 2011 Super Bowl commercials?  Here are blogger Joie Montoya's top five favorite commercials.  What are your top five favorite Super Bowl ads this year?I’m sure most of you are aware that on Sunday, February 6, 2011, Super Bowl XLV took place.  This was probably the most highly anticipated Super Bowl matchup in years, in which the Green Bay Packers faced off against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Most Americans enjoyed eating burgers and hot dogs with their friends while watching the Big Game and rooting for their favorite teams.  For non-sports fans, however, the excitement came from watching the commercials during the game.  It’s funny to consider commercials as “exciting” given the fact that, on any other day of the year, people would rather fast-forward through them or simply change the channel.  At this time of the year, though, you don’t want to miss out on the marketing creativity that only the Super Bowl can offer.

There were a lot of very creative commercials this year.  It was tough picking out only five to make my list of favorites but here they are:

I thought the commercial was very clever and funny.  In the ad, the cars are discussing their ratings on the website.  While the ad was directed mainly towards teens and adults, the use of talking animatronic cars would have caught the attention of children, as well.  Overall, I would say that the company hit its target audience very well.

Doritos had a couple of funny commercials, too, including a pug that breaks down a glass door to get to a bag of Doritos Chips.  My family and I loved this commercial, which was directed to audiences of all ages.  The cute dog wins again.

I was looking forward to watching a lot of good movie trailers and I wasn’t disappointed by this year’s selection.  The trailer that caught my eye the most, though, was the one for “Limitless”, a movie about a man who is offered a pill that will allow him to access 100% of his brain.  The trailer left me wondering and wanting more.  I would say that the trailer successfully targets an older audience.

Pepsi Max produced a variety of commercials, but I enjoyed the one featuring a guy who exacts revenge against a group of guys who taunt him by firing cans of Pepsi Max at them while indulging in a can himself.  The direct use of comedy targeted audiences of all ages.

The commercial, while very funny, inspires people not to settle for less, especially when it comes to finding their dream job.  As the car of the guy in the commercial gets destroyed by one monkey-driving car after another, you can’t help but feel sorry for him while simultaneously laughing at the situation.  The ad targets adults wishing to start a new career path and accomplishes that goal very effectively.

Many of you might not agree with my opinions.  I encourage you to make a list of your top favorites and share them in the comment section below.  You can visit AdBlitz’s YouTube channel to replay all of your favorite 2011 Super Bowl commercials.

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Joie Montoya