World Elephant Day Returns @ The Los Angeles Zoo August 11-12!

Photo Credit: Jamie Pham.

The L.A. Zoo is commemorating World Elephant Day (August 12) – an international spotlight on Asian and African elephants that spreads awareness of the urgent threat of their extinction – with a full weekend of opportunities for exploration, discovery, and fun on Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Zoo’s World Elephant Day Celebration highlights the state-of-the-art Elephants of Asia habitat, with chances to learn about its four elephant residents and how they are cared for, through educational activities and exclusive behind-the-scenes barn tours, which are available to the public just once per year.

Activities Include:

Barn tours led by elephant care staff and volunteers from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Education stations illustrating how elephants use their dexterous trunks; the differences between Asian and African elephants; and the art and science of elephant enrichment.
A “conservation craft” station, where youngsters can make a pocket-sized elephant of their own using recycled materials
The chance to meet young author and conservation advocate Erin Chang, author of children’s book Seven Toes
All activities are free with paid Zoo admission or membership.

Program subject to change without notice.

WHEN
Saturday and Sunday, August 11 – 12, 2018, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Barn tours conclude at 3 p.m.

WHERE
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027

The L.A. Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways.

COST
All activities are free with paid Zoo admission, which is $21 for general admission (ages 13 to 61); $18 for seniors (ages 62+), and $16 for children (ages 2 to 12). No ticket is required for children under age two. Admission for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association members is free. Free parking is available.

INFO
https://www.lazoo.org/worldelephantday/

Credit:

L.A. ZOO
The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing 1.8 million visitors each year, is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare and has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife.

Planning a Family Skiing Trip

Southern California has its very own world-class ski resorts including Bear Mountain, Snow Summit, and Mountain High, all based in the San Bernadino Mountains. Further north the Sierra Nevada Mountains are home to the most popular resorts in the state, including Lake Tahoe’s Sugar Bowl, Heavenly, and Kirkwood slopes. That’s a fair old selection of snowy destinations all within state lines, but North America as a whole has another eight hundred resorts to choose from! If you’re thinking about going on a skiing trip, trying the sport out near where you live is a sensible plan, but don’t forget there is a whole continent full of opportunities out there for you to explore.

Family-friendly resorts

If you’re going on vacation with the kids, you want to make sure that your chosen location is suitable for children and has the facilities and experienced tuition they will need. Being stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do as a storm batters your ski lodge is no fun for kids, so you want to be close to local amenities and have alternative forms of entertainment available in case the weather prevents you getting out on the slopes. Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Deer Valley in Utah and Jackson’s Hole in Wyoming are all highly rated as being ideal for families and beginner skiers. For example, if you book a stay in one of the Whistler Village rentals, you’ll have a widescreen TV and Internet access, as well as being close to a range of stores, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Getting started on the slopes

Even if you are an experienced skier or snowboarder yourself, it’s best to book some lessons for your kids to get them started. Trying to teach them yourself is like trying to teach your own kids to drive – you’re both likely to find the experience frustrating and unrewarding. If you book the kids in for some professional lessons, they will learn more quickly, and you can enjoy a few hours each day exploring the slopes for yourself while they’re being taught. Until you know how enthusiastic your kids are going to be about becoming regular skiers or snowboarders, it’s not worth investing in specialist equipment for them like skis, boards, and boots. You can hire all the items you need very easily at your resort, and as long as you get them expertly fitted, they should be comfortable enough to get going with. What you do need to get before you go is some good warm, waterproof clothes for the kids, as it’s no fun being cold and wet when you’re out in freezing temperatures.

Skiing and snowboarding are ideal pastimes for families, as you can all enjoy being together doing something you love and sharing an exhilarating experience. It’s also a lot of fun snuggling up in your lodge in the evenings, having hot cocoa and marshmallows in front of a roaring fire. With the number of resorts available across the country, a family skiing trip should be at the top of your vacation list.

5 Health dilemmas that are becoming prevalent in 2018

Research shows that the number of health challenges has been increasing in the last few years. There are many of these health problems that are becoming prevalent in 2018. As such, one needs to be aware of the various health challenges and do all that is necessary to ensure that they live a healthier life. Problems such as drug abuse have been around for such a long time. However, this is a challenge that has become even worse in the recent times.

Here are 5 health dilemmas that are becoming prevalent in 2018:

  1. Drug abuse

Drug and substance abuse is a very big challenge to the modern world. The number of drugs and substances that are being abused has also been on the rise for the last ten or so years. Substance abuse refers to the use of drugs and consumption of alcohol in excess. When you self-medicate, it is likely that you could overdose or underdose yourself. This could lead to serious health problems. It is also possible for both seniors and the young people to mix drugs and still use alcohol at the same time. All these are things that should be avoided for a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Obesity and Overweight

The type of foods that the majority of the world population is consuming nowadays makes it difficult to prevent obesity and overweight prevalence.  When you become obese or overweight, you increase the chances of developing problems such as hypertension and diabetes. You could also suffer diseases such as stroke, gallbladder disease, breast cancer and even colon cancer. Generally speaking, when one does not exercise and eat healthy, they will most likely die from these types of diseases.

  1. HIV and AIDS

HIV and AIDS has been a common problem for the last 4 decades. Even though the disease is easy to manage nowadays, it is not always the case in all parts of the world. The issue of drug and substance abuse has been one of the aggravators of this problem. People who are careless in their lives are more likely to get infected with the HIV virus. The use of antiretroviral drugs in the third world countries has been a problem. Not many people who are infected have access to these treatments; hence the prevalence of the disease has been on the rise.

  1. Mental health and general wellbeing

There are many problems that are facing the majority of the people in the world. As such, the high-stress levels have been causing some mental health problems in the majority of the populations. Issues that bring about stress and depression are poor economy, relationships, families and other kinds of hardships that make people feel unhappy and sad. The trauma caused by political unrests in most parts of the world make people stressed and generally mentally sick. As such, more has to be done to bring down the stress levels in the world.

  1. General  violence on people and healthcare facilities

There are many parts of the world where violence is the order of the day.  For instance, in a country like Syria, there are many attacks on the general population and the healthcare facilities. This causes a lot of health problems to the injured population. The fact that the healthcare facilities face violence means that the victims of the attacks face a bleak future. Many will die or live with lifelong injuries that affect their general ability to live quality lives.

The Best Family Vacation Tips

Family bonding time is something precious to all of us. Whether that family is our blood relatives or our friends doesn’t matter. What matters is the quality time we spend together. One of the best ways to spend time together and bond is to travel. Traveling with adults, however, is very different than traveling with your own children. Done right, your trip can be fun, a great way to bond and make memories, and an excellent learning tool for your kids. To get the most out of your family’s next vacation, follow these top tips:

 

Skip the Hotel Rooms

When it comes to traveling with kids, hotels are not your friend. You either need to bunk up uncomfortably with each other, or you need to splurge on a separate hotel room. Then there’s the question of whether or not the hotel will even have adjoining rooms for you and your family. Instead of dealing with this expensive headache, opt for a vacation home instead. As these properties have kitchens, you can address your child’s picky eating habits and any special dietary needs first hand, all while being in a more comfortable and often more stylish abode. To choose the best accommodation based on your needs and price, check in advance on VacationRenter.com so that you can be sure to get the best vacation home listed online for you and your family.

 

Don’t Make It Entirely “Kid-Friendly”

Another mistake is to cater the trip entirely for your children. While they will certainly have fun, you won’t. Instead, choose activities that are great for the whole family. If you are vacationing on a beach, go snorkeling with your kids or go out on a boat ride to a nearby island. Seeing new sights, meeting people different than them, and being introduced to unfamiliar cultures is very important to help your child grow into a curious, understanding and adventurous person. They’ll enjoy it, you’ll enjoy it, and you will all learn and grow together.

 

Choose Activities that Will Help You Bond

Activities that you do together that are new are so important for their education and for your bonding. By trying out new things together you can show your kids that you are never too old to try new things, and that being brave and open to new experiences pays off. As you are doing this together, you can share in the experience first hand as equals, which will help grow your relationship into what it can be when your kids finally grow into adults.

 

Have a Go-To Day Pack for Everyone

Everyone has needs that need to be addressed, but when children are dehydrated or tired, they let you know more vocally than adults would. Avoid this entirely and don’t put your child’s health at risk and have a day pack ready to go. Ensure you have enough water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, and any other important item for your trip with you. This way you can ensure everyone is ready to go and as comfortable as possible when you are out and about.

 

Traveling with your kids is a great way to grow together and to teach them about the world and what they are capable of. Follow these tips, however, and you can save yourself a lot of headaches and make your next trip the best one yet.

 

Schools Out, Youth Summer Camps Combine Golf and Tennis with STEAM Academics

 

TGA Premier Sports is the leading after-school youth sports enrichment program specializing in the life-long sports of golf and tennis, as well as a variety of team sports. Now that school is out, TGA is preparing for over 2,500 summer golf and tennis camps nationwide, including in your community.

What makes TGA such a special program and why parents and schools love it is because of how it has incorporated academics and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) into its programs and camps using golf and tennis as the conduit.

You might ask, how does it work?

TGA has created a curriculum that includes not only learning how to play the sports, but how the physics of these sports work with the balls and equipment through STEAM. Each student receives a student handbook that includes a variety of problems and worksheets that students will perform or answer at one of the curriculum stations. Next, in depth labs tackle multiple concepts and rest on the “scientific method” to form an inquiry and conclusion using interactive activities to help express a concept.

For more information about TGA, visit www.playtga.com.

Credit: TGA Premier Sports.

Spotting Giants Web project created by UCSB researchers in collaboration with the Aquarium of the Pacific relies on citizen scientists and NASA algorithms to track endangered giant sea bass

Photo Credit: Robin Riggs.

 Capable of growing bigger than an average-sized grizzly bear, and as imperiled as the black rhino, giant sea bass are the largest bony coastal fish in California. They can live to be 75 years old and can exceed 7 feet and 500 pounds. Most importantly, their ecological contributions as an apex predator in kelp forest ecosystems likely help to shape how these underwater forests work. UC Santa Barbara and the Aquarium of the Pacific today launched a citizen science program to help these endangered behemoths.

Harmless despite their size, these curious and gentle giants can be the highlight of a SCUBA dive. A previous UCSB study found that giant sea bass are worth more alive than dead: Their value as an ecotourism attraction outweighs their value when caught and sold by gillnet fishermen. Encounters with giant sea bass, however, are rare. In fact, a recent genetic study suggests that fewer than 500 breeding individuals may exist in California.

            To effectively recover this species, which is categorized as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, marine biologists need more and better data. Enter Spotting Giant Sea Bass, a kind of Facebook for fishes, where citizen scientists upload photographs of fish and share information about where and when each individual was sighted.

“Spotting Giant Sea Bass is an example of how we can leverage the power of technology to help solve problems in the oceans,” said Douglas McCauley, an associate professor in UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology and director of the Benioff Ocean Initiative, which funded and designed the Spotting Giant Sea Bass website.

During the launch event, attendees were able to see giant sea bass that have lived at the Aquarium of the Pacific since it opened over 20 years ago and observe a demonstration scan of those fish into the database. As part of its conservation initiatives, the Aquarium of the Pacific was the first aquarium to be able to successfully breed giant sea bass in 2016. “We are pleased to partner with UCSB on this program to help this important and iconic local species,” said Dr. Sandy Trautwein, Aquarium of the Pacific vice president of animal husbandry. “The photos citizen scientists collect and share with UCSB will help us to better understand giant sea bass and to aid in conservation research.”

Photo: Courtesy of The Aquarium of the Pacific.

            The idea for the project was born when two UCSB undergraduates, Conner Jainese and Katelin Seeto, discovered that each giant sea bass carries its own unique spot pattern that can be read like a barcode to identify individuals. The Spotting Giant Sea Bass website makes matches by using pattern recognition algorithms first developed by astrophysicists to spot patterns in star constellations and later used by NASA on the Hubble Space Telescope.

            Giant sea bass spots form a miniature “constellation” on their flanks. The program leverages the unique spot pattern of each giant sea bass recorded to match up fish sighted on different days and in different places. For example, a giant sea bass named Nimrod was first photographed at a popular dive site off Catalina and then a year later was recorded at the exact same location.

In website testing prior to launch, more than 100 individuals ranging from the Northern Channel Islands to San Diego have been recorded on the website. Some observations have occurred within four different marine protected areas.

“By matching the unique spot patterns of individual giant sea bass in images submitted to the website we can begin to answer critically important research questions,” said ichthyologist Milton Love, a research biologist with UCSB’s Marine Science Institute. Data collected from the project help marine biologists better track the ups and downs of the giant sea bass population, determine whether they are using marine protected areas, identify their spawning grounds, calculate how far these fish move, and identify the threats they encounter on their travels.

            With California divers logging more than 1 million dives annually, Spotting Giant Sea Bass serves as a portal for citizen scientists to get involved in marine research and create data that could help with the recovery of an endangered species. Reporting data also gives citizen scientists a vested interest in giant sea bass conservation. Divers who upload a photo of a giant sea bass can receive notifications when “their” fish is spotted by another diver. As these fish can live to at least 75 years old, the architects of the Spotting Giant Sea Bass project hope many interesting stories will unfold.

“Staring eye to eye with a fish that is twice as old as you are and is big enough to swallow small sharks is a powerful experience,” McCauley says. “We are really excited about how Spotting Giant Sea Bass can help connect people around that experience and democratize the process of doing research that can help protect the future of this amazing species.”

            Additional support for the Spotting Giant Sea Bass project was provided by the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Santa Barbara Channel Marine Biodiversity Observation Network. The Aquarium of the Pacific’s dive team also participates in the program.

Credit: University of California, Santa Barbara. 

5 Spots You’re Probably Forgetting to Clean

Cleaning your home may appear a fairly self- explanatory procedure. However, it is a process that will require you to first make a plan if you want to ensure all the places are attended. If you think you cannot tackle the entire home cleaning process by yourself, it is ideal you consider hiring any reliable cleaner in your area.

When cleaning your house, if you are in a rush or cleaning for last- minute guests, you can easily forget to attend to some places. Whether you hire cleaning services, or do it yourself, this write- up will discuss about some common spots people normally forget to attend when cleaning their homes.

Cleaning the Ceiling Fans

Unless you are living in a place that frequently experience warm climate or you are making use of your ceiling fan daily, you can easily overlook such place when cleaning your home. The blades of the ceiling can collect dirt and dust, most especially when they are not being used for long time periods.

When cleaning your home, getting rid of dust present in your ceiling fan blades is an ideal way of reducing the possibility of contracting dust- related allergies.

Cleaning experts from simplymaids Sydney says that one of the appropriate ways of cleaning a ceiling fan is sliding an old pillow case over every blade and then carefully removing it in order to avoid spilling dust.

Electronics

Small, hand- held electronic items or electronic devices in general, which you touch daily are often hotspots for germs. It is easy to forget wiping down your television remote, computer keyboard or cell phone.

Be informed that keeping these items clean can assist you prevent germs from spreading, most especially during flu and cold season.

 

Door Knobs, Light Switches or Small Appliances in General

Items you normally touch on a daily basis should be treated like the other highly- trafficked areas of your house. Ensure you keep germs away by properly cleaning door knobs and light switches.

When you are doing a clean sweep, do not forget to also carefully clean small appliances such as the microwave, coffee maker as well as garbage disposal.

 

Cleaning Supplies

You probably use cleaning supplies when scrubbing different spots of your house. Some cleaning supplies that we normally forget to clean include cleaning cloths, sponges, toilet brush, feather duster, vacuum cleaner among other things.

Be assured that once you’ve cleaned all the cleaning supplies and sanitized them, they will definitely get your house much cleaner.

 

Tooth Brush Holder

One of the places that can turn out to be a breeding ground for the germs is the toothbrush holder. When you are cleaning your bathroom, make sure you rinse out properly and wipe down your soap dish and toothbrush holder(s).

 

Bottom Line

Be informed that a thorough cleanup process will make sure that you and your family members do not contract germ related disorders. It is also a process that will make your house not only attractive and appealing to you and your family members but also to the guests who will come visiting you.

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood Now Serves Butterbeer Ice Cream Offering Guests an All-New Way to Enjoy the Signature Treat

Butterbeer ice cream at “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Here’s the scoop, Butterbeer™ ice cream is now being served at “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood, arriving just in time for summer.

The rich palate-pleasing Butterbeer-flavoured hard pack ice cream is a delightful and delicious new addition to the menu of Butterbeer items currently available, including such Butterbeer favorites as traditional, frozen and hot beverages, as well as Butterbeer Potted Cream and Butterbeer Fudge.

Reminiscent of butterscotch and shortbread, Butterbeer ice cream is perfectly fine-tuned as a cool Hogsmeade treat and will be served at various carts located within Hogsmeade and at Three Broomsticks™.

Gathering inspiration from historic British taverns, the adjoining Hog’s Head pub features original draught beers and spirits created exclusively for the land, including Hog’s Head Brew, Dragon’s Scale, Wizard’s Brew and Fire Whisky.  Also available are Pumpkin Fizz and Gilly Water and the three Butterbeer choices: traditional, frozen and hot.

Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters that were brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood is a masterful recreation, faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including as its iconic focal point, Hogwarts castle.

From its snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streets to the historic British sensibilities that characterize the whimsical look and feel of the land, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” transports guests of all ages to the very places they watched on the silver screen.

The architecturally stunning land also includes the captivating and highly acclaimed “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” thrill ride, enhanced with 4K-HD and ride film projecting at an astounding rate of 120 frames-per-second for an even more immersive glimpse into Harry Potter’s world, as well as Flight of the Hippogriff™,” Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor family coaster.

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” resonates with immense detail, inviting guests to enjoy authentic food and beverages at multiple locations, including Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head pub, as well as the Magic Neep and Butterbeer carts.  A foray through the shops adds to the authenticity of the land with such retail venues as Honeydukes™, Ollivanders™, Owl Post™, Zonko’s™ Joke Shop, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges™, Gladrags Wizardwear, Filch’s Emporium™ of Confiscated Goods and the Hogsmeade™ Station.

More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Join the conversation online using #WizardingWorldHollywood. Like Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter.

Credit:

Universal Studios Hollywood is The Entertainment Capital of L.A. and includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour. As a leading global entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood delivers highly themed immersive lands that translate to real-life interpretations of iconic movie and television shows. Recent additions include “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” which features a bustling Hogsmeade village and such critically-acclaimed rides as “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Flight of the Hippogriff™”.  Other immersive lands include “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” as well as “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons Ride™” and the “The Walking Dead” daytime attraction and the all-new DreamWorks Theatre featuring “Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest.”  The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood’s signature attraction, inviting guests behind-the-scenes of the world’s biggest and busiest movie and television production studio where they can also experience such authentic thrill rides as “Fast & Furious—Supercharged.”  The adjacentUniversal CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex also includes the all-new multi-million dollar, redesigned Universal CityWalk Cinema, featuring deluxe recliner seating in screening room quality theatres, and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert stage.

About Warner Bros. Entertainment: Warner Bros. Entertainment is a global leader in all forms of entertainment and their related businesses across all current and emerging media and platforms.  A Time Warner Company, the fully integrated, broad-based studio is home to one of the most successful collections of brands in the world and stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry from feature film, television and home entertainment production and worldwide distribution to DVD, digital distribution, animation, comic books, video games, product, and brand licensing, international cinemas and broadcasting.