I write today with great sadness after learning about the passing of Nelson Mandela
this week. You see, I have a long history with South Africa and every time she graced me with another memory, I was forever changed. Her imprint wasn’t the kind of imprint other country destinations leave; it was if South Africa’s spirit spoke to me each and every time, as if she had to teach me something larger than myself…a bit like Mandela did over the course of his lifetime…
As I reflect on Mandela’s impact and his important life work, I began thinking of all the talks I have heard him give including a dramatic one in person in the 1990s, and zeroed in my own South African story, one which he influenced by his actions, his courage, his resilience and his solitude. He changed how I absorbed not just culture, politics and history, but how I viewed humanity and the world.
My story goes deep. Endure me on an important life journey for a moment, starting in a pre-Mandela world.
Apartheid was still very much in place when I lived in South Africa as a foreign exchange student in 1984,…
Despite all the great reviews Macintosh computers have garnered over the years, we rarely see it stated that Apple’s groundbreaking platform has attracted some of the best designed software on the market today. In fact, we would venture to say that with few exceptions the Mac offers the best possible software for the task at hand.
And that’s from a former Windows user. That’s partly due to the fact that Apple was first on the market with an integrated smartphone design, pointing the way for Mac developers to create seamless synchronization solutions. But the real story is that the innovation the Macintosh GUI ushered in will celebrate is 30th anniversary next year.
Here are our picks for the coolest Macintosh software:
1Password can create strong passwords, organize them, and insert them in web pages with a handy browser button. Mavericks made me switch to 4.0, which is still in beta. Usability has been improved and the interface is slicker. But the iPhone version also needs to be upgraded for $18.
Publisher: Agile Bits
Adobe Creative Studio 6
Adobe’s Creative Suite includes four useful applications:…
If you love dance and nature, you must try to make it to see one of San Francisco’s most interesting and creative shows during the month of December. The show is called Okeanos
and was developed by Capacitor,
a group which uses a laboratory-style creative process, called Capacitor Lab. For each new work, they assemble a cross-disciplinary team of the world’s leading artists and scientists to explore a specific concept, find common threads, and create a shared vocabulary. From this collaboration, a performance is born.
Their dance performances often have a theme around nature, sustainability and the ocean. Often what we fail to remember is that the ocean covers 99% of Earth’s living space, and while it equally terrifies and excites us, it’s an integral part of our lives even if we don’t know that much about it. The ocean as we know it is being destroyed by growing human demands. Coral extinction, plastic trash contamination, over-fishing, oil spills, climate change – our immense impact on the ocean is undeniable. What once felt vast, endless, and overwhelmingly deep is now vulnerable to our increasingly destructive ways of living.
Okeanos explores the ocean artistically and beautifully; their awe-inspiring…
I’ve been to America’s infamous Yosemite National Park
a couple times before, but never with my trusty Canon 7D in tow, ready to shoot at any time of day or night. I recently headed to the park on Veteran’s Day weekend with a group of 18 or so photographers, mostly amateurs although we had a few pros on the trip as well. With us was renowned landscape photographer Seraphina Landgrebe,
who studied with Ansel Adams. Below is one of my favorite shots I took from the three days although there were so many…..
Yosemite Valley is world famous for its impressive waterfalls, cliffs and unusual rock formations. It is open year round and may be reached via Highway 41 from Fresno California, Highway 140 from Merced, Highway 120 west from Manteca and via the Tioga Road (Highway 120 East) from Lee Vining.
The Valley is known for massive cliff faces like El Capitan
and Half Dome
, its plunging waterfalls, including the tallest in North America, and its stunning meadows. El Capitan is a massive granite monolith that stands 3,593 feet from base to summit. Scroll down for a series of shots, where you’ll see one stunning…
For mobile warriors on the road who need to be connected but are tired of their batteries dying, the Vorson Arc 4k II Battery
back up is a godsend. Vorson New Arc 4K is a super-thin battery backup for Android and iOS devices.
They use CNC unibody fabrication techniques, which is the same thing used in aerospace and for Apple Macbooks. Additionally, they use Lithium-Ion Polymer batteries, which can be poured and molded into any shape or size allowing them to create extremely thin and compact designs so you’re not stuck with something bulky and frankly, ugly, not to mention too heavy to carry around.
With a 4000 mAh capacity and dressed in shockproof 8mm thick aluminum alloy chassis, the New Arc 4K can give your device up to 20 hours of additional video playback and travel conveniently wherever you need it. There’s also a color coded LED charge indicator to help keep track of remaining charge, preventing you from being stuck without power ever again.
Using a high-grade Lithium-Ion polymer battery, it comes in four colors: black, white, silver and red. It is compatible with iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad mini* and iPod touch…
Tennessee based The Bigfoot Lodge and Bigfoot Crossing are owned and operated by Steve and Jody Belkowski. The couple fell in love with the Smoky Mountain area when they first brought our four children for a family vacation in 2010 which transformed into the lodge that stands there today.
The Bigfoot Cabins at Bigfoot Lodge are based in Pigeon Forge Tennessee and an additional cabin was created afterwards called Bigfoot Crossing, which was originally a 6 bedroom / 5 bathroom cabin. There’s a theater room, entertainment in the game room, which includes a pool table, air hockey and an arcade system.
Located just a couple miles from the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, The Bigfoot Lodge is conveniently located and just a short drive to all the major attractions in the Smoky Mountains area, including Dollywood, Gatlinburg and The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You’ll find activities along Parkway: shopping outlet centers, museums, dinner shows, mini golf, helicopter rides, zip-line tours, go-carts and so much more! You’ll also find the short drive to the grocery store and many restaurants to be a major convenience during your stay.
Mountain Valley Wedding…
In 2002, Kaikoura, New Zealand, became the world’s first Green Globe certified community. Previously known for the pods of dusky dolphins that cruise the nearby coastline, visitors now flock to this South Island town for the beautiful, environmentally proactive experience at Hapuku Lodge.
Sustainability and conservation are two concepts dear to Kiwi hearts, and guests will discover from the moment of their arrival that Hapuku is less about high prices and more about comfortable, native hospitality – with a green twist.
The Lodge itself, from the youthful tree house rooms to the furniture within them, was predominately hand-made and locally-sourced. Ingredients in the kitchen are regionally-produced, or grown in the chef’s own, organic, garden. All waste is composted.
Hapuku encourages guests to explore and appreciate the area’s unique, indigenous flora, and is responsible for replanting over 11,500 native plants and trees – one for every guest night at the lodge.
Perhaps the best immersion opportunity is a night in Hapuku’s tree house rooms, towering 30 feet from the ground in…
I had been wanting to go to Chile
for many years now – why it took so long to get to South America
is one of those random things as I wrote about here.
This past fall, I not only landed in Santiago but then proceeded to take a few more flights to about as far south as one could possibly get in the country without taking on Antarctica.
Chile’s Patagonia is wondrous this time of year as are other pockets in the country where you can take on adventurous activities such as Centros Nvernales. High season starts in September and extends through March. During winter months, there are ski resorts, and you can participate in dog sledding, snowshoeing, ice skating, snow polo, snowmobiling and cross country skiing.
During peak season in the region, wildlife, cruises, hiking, glaciers, fly fishing and exploring the infamous Torres del Paine National Park
are the order of the day. Torres del Paine is mostly known for trekking through the mountains, its breathtaking views and its raw nature.
For glaciers, you can take them in via one of the many cruises on offer, with ships…
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