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Can you name the number one spectator sport in North America? Its not baseball, figure skating or racing. Its

5 Tips for Successful Bird Watching

5 Tips for Successful Bird WatchingCan you name the number one spectator sport in North America? Its not baseball, figure skating or racing. Its bird watching. Thats right, more people are watching birds than football and hockey combined. With so many people hoping to see a bird theyve never seen before, its not surprising to see a clamoring for the latest tips and tools to get the job done. Here are my top five tips for getting the most out of your birding experience.#1. Get to Where the Birds Are! This sounds obvious, but many birders spend the majority of their bird watching time and energy on poor locations. Some folk have the advantage of looking out of their windows into the back yard to observe natures best. The rest of us need to get moving. I would highly recommend visiting a National Wildlife Refuge. There are over 500 of them across the United States. To find one near you, visit http://refuges.fws.gov/#2. Know What Species to Expect. There are approximately 900 species of birds in the United States and recognizing each of them is nearly impossible. So when you visit an area, do a little research first. You may find that perhaps only a few species actually inhabit that particular area. With a little preparation, you will be able to more readily identify bird species from each other. Keep a list of successfully viewed species well call this tip number two and a half.#3. Get a Great Pair of Binoculars. Spending time and money to get to the right place can be totally wasted when your binoculars are inadequate. If you have an inexpensive pair of binoculars you are not getting the most out of your viewing. Todays technologies come at a price and they provide crucial benefits in wildlife viewing. For instance, image stabilization will keep your view from shaking-very important when watching from a long distance. Other cool features include anti-fogging, low-light viewing and wide-view characteristics. Additionally, binoculars with built-in digital cameras enable you to identify birds once you get home. These benefits will definitely enhance your bird watching. A great pair of binoculars will turn a mediocre experience into a great one. You can count on it!#4. Practice Before You Go. A key to viewing wildlife, and especially birds, is to have the ability to very quickly put your binoculars on target. Many people have difficulty finding a full moon in a pair of binoculars-but alas-learning to focus on a bird in a bush or track a bird in flight is easy for someone who has practiced prior to their outing. Try this before you go; lower your binoculars to your side and very quickly raise them to find and follow a jet airliner across the sky. After only a few attempts, youll get good at quickly acquiring your target. Quite often, birds are visible for only a few seconds, practice to become proficient.#5. Take Someone with You. Life is always better when shared. Not only do you get to spend time out of doors with someone you like, but they might alert you to the Number One Sight of the Day. Share your birding experiences with your friends and family. Pass the birding excitement to a child.The best part about wildlife viewing is that you the viewer, control almost every aspect of the experience. The more you are prepared, the more rewarding your time in our backcountry will be. Use this information and youll Get It Right The First Time. Get Outdoors!

Going On A Camping Trip?

Going On A Camping Trip?

Camping outdoors can be an exciting adventure. Camping is a great way for family, friends, and loved ones to have a wonderful outdoor experience. Camping can create unforgettable memories: from exploring the woods to telling ghost stories around the campfire. Now before you go camping, you should be well equipped. Bringing along the right materials is a necessary when camping. Here is some advice about what you should bring along a camp trip:EquipmentTent One of the first things you should bring is a tent. A good idea would be to bring an extra tent as well, in case one of the tents becomes damage on the trip.Sleeping Bags You will need something to keep yourself warm, and to use as a blanket. The woods, forests, and mountain areas are often cool during the night.Cell phone to call for help if neededBackpack Bring a backpack to carry the items you will bring with you- Other items:Towels, toilet paper, flashlight, rain gear, bug repellant, and matches (You will need matches for the campfire.)ClothesYou should only pack clothes that will be necessary for you to wear when camping. You dont want to over-pack, because over-packing will only become a burden to you. You will not exactly have a lot of places to store your clothes. Here is a basic list of clothes to bring:Jacket For when it is cool outdoorsShirtsLong pants It is good to wear long sweat pants when jogging to avoid ticksBandana These help absorb sweatExtra Socks ShortsHat Food UtensilsCooler You can store your food inside a coolerUtensil you use to eat with (e.g. forks, spoons, cups, etc.)Utensil you use to cook with (e.g. pans, pots, knives, can-opener etc.)The advice in this article will be helpful for anyone planning to go on a camping trip.

30 years in Themed Entertainment : Blooloop talks to Nick Farmer

30 years in Themed Entertainment : Blooloop talks to Nick Farmer

In November 2007, Nick Farmer will become the first European President of the TEA (formerly the Themed Entertainment Association), a post to which he was unanimously elected. Farmer has 30 years experience of working for theme parks, amusement parks, aquariums, zoos, science centres and other leisure destinations. He advises clients on park, story and brand development and new attraction planning in Europe and Scandinavia. Blooloop talked to him about his 30 year career in the themed entertainment industry and ambitions for his presidency.Early CareerFarmer started his career in marketing with Palitoy, makers of Action Man, Tiny Tears dolls and Star Wars toys. He then formed his own production display company, Farmer Studios, in 1976 which rapidly expanded to offer full design, production and installation services. 4 years ago, having become increasingly frustrated that the growth of the company meant that his time was spent on management, administration and cash flow rather than design and creativity, Farmer disbanded the production company and established Farmer Attraction Development. By reorganising and developing a team of freelancers which can be gathered together as needed for projects, Farmer has created a more efficient business model with a lower fixed cost base. This flexibility allows the company to weather the seasonality of the industry, as well as reducing project costs. He is now free to concentrate on attraction concept development, production and consultancy.Farmers core business involves drawing on his experience in the industry to create and develop attractions. Most of his business is in Europe and Scandinavia and reflects the current state of the European market, with few new parks opening and most work revolving around existing parks by either reworking existing rides or enhancing new standard rides. He particularly enjoys the challenge of working with established venues to develop attractions which will change the direction and the publics perception of the park. Recent ProjectsFarmer worked on seven new rides and several other attractions for the 2007 season.Recent projects include: Grona Lund in Stockholm. Farmer developed the name, graphic identity and station design for Kvasten, their new suspended coaster. Kvasten is playing a major park in repositioning Grona Lund within the Swedish leisure market. Bewilderwood in Norfolk. Farmer provided consultancy to the 50 acre family curious treehouse adventure which opened to such acclaim in May 2007. His contribution was to enhance the original concept and to provide a layer of storytelling engagement on top of the basic attraction to deliver a much richer experience and a highly marketable attraction Earth Explorer in Ostend. Farmer developed a concept using a standard drop ride to create an educational experience which takes children on a flight around the solar system. In this case Farmer produced a custom video show to integrate with the basic ride, so children have fun at the same time as leaning about space.In addition to his consultancy business, Farmer is a non-executive director of Wicksteed Park Ltd, Kettering, one of the UKs oldest leisure parks. This gives him the additional benefit of an operators perspective. He finds this useful for an appreciation that operators battle with budgets just as much as suppliers. Industry TrendsIn terms of demographics, the market has now finally realised the long heralded aging population is finally here and Farmer is working with parks to help ensure new attractions are designed to cater for grand parents and grand children. In his own business for attractions aimed primarily at small children he will usually try to add a layer of entertainment, often humour, that will appeal to adults too.Geographically, he believes that there is still growth available in Europe, although this is largely through updating of existing parks and attractions rather than new projects. In his own business, of the fourteen projects he has worked on this year only one has been a completely new enterprise. As far as industry expansion into India and China is concerned, while these markets are growing at an incredible pace, those entering will need nerves of steel. Farmer recommends the fellowship to be gained by membership of the TEA, as many members are already operating in these regions. Discussion amongst fellow members can often be very helpful when dealing with such critical issues as contracts, terms of payment and business ethics in these regions. The TEAFarmer was effusive about his experience of TEA membership saying that it had been an incredible thing and had expanded his network within the industry enormously. The TEA (formerly the Themed Entertainment Association) is an international non-profit organization, founded in 1991, dedicated to connecting around 6,500 creative specialists in nearly 500 firms in 39 different countries. Farmer has been a TEA member in Europe since the association established its European Division in 1998, and has served three years as European President. He is currently in his second term on the International Board and has been a Vice-President for the past five years.Around 80% of TEA members are based in the US. However Farmer, despite not working in the States, feels that he has learned a great deal from US operators and creative suppliers. Our members in the US have been the driving force behind so many key developments in our industry, he says. Our own European industry has benefited enormously from the work of these pioneers The TEA exposes you to the worlds brightest people and most exciting ideas, helping to develop your own creative thinking and good business practice.Farmer hopes to develop two key aspects of TEA membership. The first is to expand membership within architectural and digital production disciplines to better reflect the wide range of skills and creativity now found in project teams. The second is to expand the TEAs horizons by bringing in members from around the world; there are positive benefits of membership where-ever creatives are based. He sees his tenure as the TEAs first European president as a great opportunity to confirm to the world that the TEA is a truly international association.

Camping 101: Tips For Outsmarting One Of Mother Nature's Nastiest Aggravators

Camping 101: Tips For Outsmarting One Of Mother Nature

Whether it's summer camp or camping out-or both-that's on your agenda, here are some basic tips you can follow to outsmart poison ivy and oak to more fully enjoy your summertime adventures. Preparation and protection are key. Poison ivy, oak and sumac produce the leading cause of allergic skin reactions in the United States every year. The good news is there are ways you can help protect yourself and your family from these noxious plants. • Learn to recognize the plants and avoid them. There are several online resources that offer detailed descriptions of the plants. • Whenever possible, wear long clothing-long pants and long sleeves-when you suspect you may come in contact with poison ivy plants. Poison ivy, oak and sumac are potent year-round and can remain toxic on clothes and other surfaces for up to five years. • Use a pre-contact protective lotion, such as bji Block™, to help protect against allergic reactions. The lotion forms an invisible layer on the skin that helps inhibit absorption of the plant oils that cause allergic reactions. bji Block also features an SPF 20 UVA/UVB sunscreen. For added assurance, there is also bji™ Wash, a gentle, exfoliating cleanser that removes the plant oils from the skin anytime after contact or symptoms begin to offer relief from itching and irritation.

Hiking Trails Preserve Your Experiences

Hiking is a great way to escape the rat race, get out in nature and leave the stress of the world behind. Alas, your hiking experiences can fade with time. The best way to prevent this is to keep a hiking journal.Hiking JournalsTake a minute to give some consideration to your most recent hiking experience. What sticks out in your mind? Who did you go with and were there any incredible views? Now think about the first time you ever went hiking. Undoubtedly, you remember few things about the geography, people you went with and the particular hiking routes. The experiences youve forgotten are lost to time. If you keep a "hiking journal" , this wont be the case.There are famous instances of people keeping journals throughout time. Of course, Anne Franks Diary is the best example. In her diary, Anne kept a running commentary of the two years her family spent hiding from the Nazis. While your hiking experiences better be more lighthearted, keeping a journal will let you remember them as the years pass. A good hiking journal combines a number of characteristics. First, it should be compact so you dont have to lug extra weight around. Second, it should have a case to protect it from the elements. Third, the journal should contain blank areas to write your notes. Fourth, the journal should contain cue spaces to remind you to keep notes on specific things. Cues should include:1. Who you went hiking with,2. The length and difficulty of the hike,3. Who you met and contact information for them,4. The weather conditions, 5. Any unique things that occurred while hiking,6. The routes you took on the hikes and alternatives you might want to try later.7. Unique information about the particular hiking trail, and8. Any inside information provided by locals or other climbers you met. At the end of the hike, you should be able to get the following from your journal:1. Contact information for other hikers you met,2. Enough detail to provide you or a friend with a guide if you or they hike the location a second time.3. Memories to reflect upon years later, and4. Something to pass on to your friends, children and grandchildren.To get the most out of your hiking journal, you should write in it just before you start, during breaks such as lunch and when you return. It is always interesting to see the different impressions you have before and after a hike as well as your mood changes as the hike progresses. On a miserably rainy day in winter, the journal will make for good readingHiking is a great way to commune with nature and spend a weekend. Make sure to preserve the experience with your hiking journal.

Party tents

Tents can play a big part in any event. Whether it is to keep the participants dry in the rain or provide cool shade in the sun.Party tents are extremely versatile shelters for outdoors and backyard events. Weather there is wedding, birthday party, celebration, block party, an outdoors wedding/reception or simply get-together picnic for that party tents are best.Tents shelter can enhance special events all over the world everything from backyard weddings to elaborate parties and corporate events. Party tents can be a great addition to your home and garden party for many reasons. Not only can they greatly enhance the appearance of your home or garden, they can also greatly increase the comfort of the party by sheltering you and your guests from the elements. Tents can be used as instant shops, craft tents, parties, and any festivities. These tents bring a festive look to your birthday or any other party. You can see tents in a variety of styles and colors with a full line of accessories.Aluminum and steel frame "party tents" are an ideal solution for covering your outdoor events or work area. These tents are totally portable but are easily set up to provide protection and security. Unlike comparable products, aluminum and steel frame party tents are truly affordable making them ideal for both home and commercial use.So, it's essential to have party tents set up for party, though for your guests comfort and to shield against the elements in case of inclement weather.

Summary

Can you name the number one spectator sport in North America? Its not baseball, figure skating or racing. Its