Tagged: antarctica

MikeAndClare: Onto the great white continent…

Our first zodiac experience on this expedition was to a gravelly beach in Neko Harbour on the actual Antarctic Peninsula. For many of us, this was our official arrival on the 7th continent. The name “Neko” is from a factory whaling ship operating here in the 1910’s & 20’s.

The weather for our visit was mixed. We had some rain (so much worse than snow!) and a strong wind cropped up to blow ice floes in on the beach and make our zodiac departures “quite interesting”. Neko’s claim to fame is smelly and noisy gentoo penguin rookeries which host thousands of the cute little fellows and their new chicks.

Beforehand, we are given strict instructions on how to treat the penguins, which are basically, stay a good distance unless the come to you (which they do, often), give them right of way, and don’t walk on the penguin highways which are the obvious beaten tracks that the gentoos like to use. Gentoos are the third biggest penguin after the emperor and king varieties. A number of skuas circle the rookeries and land frequently, looking for unprotected chicks.

The adult penguins despatch them easily, but an isolated chick would be easy game. From the beach, it’s possible to walk up a steep hill to a rocky point which overlooks a glacier. The Lindblad staff mark the safe track for us with red and yellow flags, small equivalents of lifesaving flags on Australian beaches.

It’s a pleasant enough walk, and helps wear off breakfast, but a lot of older (and some younger) passengers make heavy work of it. Lindblad staff and Orion crew are fantastic in the amount of care and personal assistance they offer frail expeditioners. These conditions are hard on cameras and batteries.

Everyone has their own favourite way of keeping equipment dry and lenses clean. They are variously successful. Plastic bags are popular but problematic.

It’s raining and spraying but not heavily, so using a hand towel seems to be workable. Lens cleaners get soaking wet quickly, and we don’t have a great solution here. Batteries are best if kept warm.

Professionals have a separate battery back they carry inside their coat. Mere mortals like us keep spare batteries in coat pockets. Biosecurity concerns are paramount for ventures to the shore.

Everyone’s boots and outer clothing were inspected and if necessary cleaned the day before, and we signed off on protocol. Before getting into the zodiac, we dip our boots into some “pink solution” (we think it is the duPont virucidal disinfectant Virkon S), and when we get back, we brush the boots before using the pink brew again. Tripod feet get the same treatment.

And for our security, to make sure no-one gets left behind, there’s a tag board when you mark yourself off and back on the Orion.

We take off our life-jackets and leave them near the shore in barrels, so making sure all life jackets have been removed is an extra layer of security.

Getting on and off the zodiacs is a ritual of great care.

Off-duty cop suspects teen of having pot, fires seven rounds and kills …

Does the man on the right look like a cop to you? A grieving family is fighting to bring justice to the man who ruthlessly gunned down their son. Jonathen Santellana was 17 years old when he lost his life to Navasota police officer Rey Garza.

On November 13, 2013, Santellana was sitting in his car in a parking space at an apartment complex in Houston, Texas with his friend, Kalee Marsteller, also 17. Garza was off-duty, wearing basketball shorts and a sweatshirt when he decided to rush up to Santellana’s driver’s side window, brandishing a gun. Naturally, Santellana and Marsteller thought this deranged man was trying to rob them, so Santellana put the car in reverse to escape.

Garza tried to open the door as Santellana began driving away. Garza, claiming that he feared for his life, then shot Santellana in the back of the head and back, killing him. Why did Garza commit this unprovoked attack on an innocent kid sitting in his vehicle?

Santellana’s parents, Joey Santellana and Roxana Harrison, commissioned an expert in crime scene reconstruction to produce a new analysis, since the investigation undertaken by law enforcement was grossly insufficient. The report from Cam Cope, president of Auto Fire & Safety Consultants of Conroe, shows that Garza’s version of events “is not consistent with any of the factual evidence.” It is being submitted by Santellana’s family directly to a grand jury for the case to be reconsidered. A grand jury decided not to indict Garza in 2014, believing that he shot Santellana out of fear for his own life . ” Garza’s statements greatly conflict with eyewitnesses and the forensic evidence which shows that Garza committed murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, aggravated assault and/or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. ” Garza was acting as a “courtesy officer” for the apartment complex when he spotted Santellana holding something in his hands and grew suspicious.

After crossing paths with Santellana, Garza went to his apartment and grabbed his gun. Garza then located Santellana in his car, and claims that he saw Santellana putting a green leafy substance into a prescription bottle. Garza felt that this behavior was cause for him to accost Santallana.

Here is where the factual evidence contradicts Garza’s sworn testimony. Garza claims that he “asked Jonathen to get out of the Chevrolet Malibu, then opened the driver’s door and reached in with his right hand to remove the keys from the ignition, as he alleges Jonathen was attempting to start the car.” However, the car was already running, and Garza was banging on the window with his gun and demanding that Santellana roll down the window, according to Marsteller. An eyewitness, Sheila Moreno, states that Garza did not identify himself as a police officer, nor did she say anything about Garza holding a badge.

Garza claims that “he showed his badge and police identification as he opened the door” and “he had the gun and holster in his pocket as he attempted to remove the ignition keys with his right hand, then pulled the gun from the holster, showed the badge, fired 4-5 rounds, without aiming, as the driver’s door moved rearward 10-12 feet, peeling out (Rey Garza’s deposition).” However, Moreno states that Garza was holding the gun with both hands. Garza’s holster was actually located on the front driver’s side windshield of Jonathen’s car. Marsteller states that Garza said he was a police officer only after Santellana had backed out of the space and began driving away.

She also states that Garza did not begin shooting until after the car was moving forward. Moreno states that she saw the car driving forward when she heard gunshots. She saw Garza walk toward the car and fire an additional 3 to 5 shots.

Seven empty bullet casings were found in the middle of the parking lot. Garza testified that Santellana never threatened him nor did he feel that Santellana was a dangerous person . Yet that did not stop him from recklessly approaching the vehicle with a loaded weapon and firing when Santellana did not obey orders from this large man in gym shorts, who did not initially identify himself as an officer or show a badge.

He also put the residents of the apartment complex in danger by shooting at the moving vehicle. Garza claims that he became pinned between Santellana’s door and the car parked next to him. However, Marsteller states that Garza was never in danger from the door and it did not hit anything.

Santellana pushed Marsteller’s head down to protect her from flying bullets, and that is how he got shot in the back of the head. Cope’s report goes on to describe several false statements made by Garza, as well as a critical piece of bullet evidence that was not noted or documented by police. The report also describes the ill treatment of the passenger, Kalee Marsteller, who had just witnessed her friend be murdered by the brutish Garza, and that the officer wrote her statement in his own words.

The Grand Jury Package, submitted to the Free Thought Project by Roxanna Harrison, Santellana’s mother, reads as follows: ” Rey Garza should be indicted for murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and/or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as probable cause exists. Garza was not in danger when he shot Jonathen Santellana in the back and back of the head killing him. Like most criminal homicide suspects Rey Garza has come up with an excuse.

However, the forensic and credible eyewitness evidence refutes his version on the events. Furthermore, shooting a person for trying to escape a non-violent minor crime is not a defense to homicide or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon . The public and parents of Jonathen Santellana want justice to be done. ” Two years later and this killer cop is still out on the streets because a grand jury, as is the case in most instances, failed to indict Garza in spite of the overwhelming evidence against him.

Blue privilege is nothing short of a license to kill .

B.o.B Says the Earth Is Flat, Drops Neil DeGrasse Tyson Diss Track …

Here is the story of the most gloriously stupid Internet beef of 2016. On Sunday, Grammy-nominated rapper B.o.B announced on Twitter that he does not believe the world is round, then picked a fight with celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson that culminated in his releasing a catchy ditty that sampled and insulted Tyson plus the Jews. Update: Tyson has replied with a diss track of his own 1 , called Flat to Fact.

It s performed by Steve Tyson (Neil s nephew), and it s honestly nowhere near as good as Flatline. It sounds like rap-ified Schoolhouse Rock, and ends with Neil deGrasse Tyson reading one of his tweets to B.o.B The whole song is kind of unbearable corny. Nobody really won here.

Everyone loses. Those basic facts of this saga are pretty nuts. Here s everything that happened up till then.

Throughout Sunday and Monday, the hybrid rock-rap artist tweeted about conspiracy theories. He suggested that the Apollo moon landing was faked, and he tweeted out cocktail-napkin math equations captioning what look like photos edited in Microsoft Paint. He urged people to investigate cloning centers, and for world governments to allow travel through Antarctica to see the edge of the Earth.

Here is a selection, in chronological order, of what he sent out over the past couple days: Eventually, pop scientist and professional cold-water-thrower Neil deGrasse Tyson stepped into the ring, hoping to persuade an indefatigable B.o.B (real name: Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr.). Here was his argument: And on Monday night, B.o.B delivered a devastating, fact-free rebuttal in the form of a diss track on Soundcloud 2 . It is called Flatline Feat.

Neil Tyson. Its lyrics suggest 3 that Jews control President Obama and reference the prominent Holocaust denier David Irving. B.o.B asks why NASA is part of the Department of Defense, and tells listeners to research Dr.

Richard Sauder, the author of a book called 4 Underwater & Underground Bases: Surprising Facts the Government Does Not Want You to Know.

Of course, B.o.B is hardly the only the celebrity 5 to believe weird stuff. 6 Moral of the story: Don t get your science from B.o.B.

Contact Noah Kulwin: | EMAIL 7 References ^ with a diss track of his own (soundcloud.com) ^ a diss track on Soundcloud (soundcloud.com) ^ Its lyrics suggest (genius.com) ^ author of a book called (www.amazon.com) ^ hardly the only the celebrity (twitter.com) ^ believe weird stuff. (recode.net) ^ EMAIL (recode.net)

How the British Royal Family Became a Global Brand – The Atlantic …

October 26, 2015 | Filed under: Great Britain 1 , Monarchy 2 and tagged with: British Maonarch 3 , British royal family 4 , Great Britain 5 , How the British Royal Family Became a Global Brand 6 , Monarchy 7 It s hard to imagine the monarchs of Saudi Arabia and Thailand selling souvenir tchotchkes in quite the same way. Regardless of how people felt about the British royal family, they would have been hard-pressed to avoid the image of Queen Elizabeth II in London and in much of the world during the late spring of 2012. The year marked the queen s diamond jubilee, celebrating 60 years with Elizabeth II on the throne.

From an optician s window on Kensington High Street, the monarch appeared encased in an ornate gold frame and surrounded by signs proclaiming a 50 discount. Nearby, on Piccadilly Circus, photos taken at different stages of her life beamed from souvenir shortbread tins, coffee mugs, tea towels, and miscellaneous tchotchkes. But the brand of the British royal family doesn t belong to Britain alone.

Even as the world has seen a marked decline in the number of crowned heads, especially in Europe, since the beginning of the 20th century, Queen Elizabeth II and her family continue to attract worldwide fascination. In 2011, millions of people in 180 countries 8 watched the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. During the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics the following year, 900 million viewers worldwide watched Elizabeth II play herself in a skit 9 delivering secret orders to the British spy James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) before parachuting with him, via stunt double, into Olympic Stadium.

Meanwhile, British tabloids and online media beam royal missteps and debacles around the world. It is hard to imagine, say, the monarchs of Saudi Arabia, Thailand, or Norway as global brands in quite the same way. And while the successful branding of the British royal family is partially a product of Britain s historic role in the world, it also has causes closer to home in the evolving relationship between British royals and their subjects. * * * Royal-watching has historically attracted much of the citizenry in what is now known as Great Britain.

Until the broad-scale development of mass media in the late 19th century, people typically learned about royal activities through proclamations nailed on the market cross, read aloud by a sheriff or other local official, or circulated and reported in a village or alehouse, according to the historian Kevin Sharpe in Selling the Tudor Monarchy . Until recently, many royal rituals were regarded as private, and sometimes secretive, affairs of state rather than occasions for public cultural celebration. But as more citizens migrated to London and its environs, their presence increased at the processionals that preceded coronations, funerals, and triumphal civic pageants celebrating victories over enemies on the battlefield, according to historical records.

Yet royal-watching has not always been a tourist activity. From 1066 until 1743, when George II was the last king to fight in battle, the British were involved in over 50 wars. During much of this warrior king era, royal-watching often meant watching out for monarchs or their armies.

Kings and queens were under constant pressure to replenish their royal treasuries and to rouse and replace lost troops, equipment, and transportation. With warrior kings often as likely to plunder their own subjects as protect them, the notion of engaging in any kind of royal-themed tourist experiences, or of collecting souvenirs or traveling to seek royal encounters, would have been unfathomable. The decline of the aristocracy meant that the upper class began to interact with the royal family at events that the lower classes could also attend.

After 1688, the British Parliament began to abate the power of the monarchy through increasing constitutional restrictions. At the same time, two other key factors reshaped the nature of royal-watching. The role of the warrior king waned by the end of the 18th century, replaced by the decidedly more passive role of the monarch as diplomat.

Meanwhile, a structured and stable class system arose. For the lower classes who lived outside London, royal-watching typically involved lining the hedgerows along Britain s village roads, where monarchs and their entourages traveled. Within the aristocracy, however, a more formal and demanding type of interaction emerged.

During the 19th and part of the 20th centuries, the most important families in society were expected to host elaborate weekend parties at their estates and to resign themselves to royals inviting themselves over. Of course, most families regarded hosting members of the ruling class of their country as a great social achievement. Sometimes, however, the situation devolved into a classic example of being careful what one wished for.

In the late 19th century, the lavish tastes of Prince Albert Edward (later King Edward VII) meant that entertaining him cost 5,000 to 10,000 (in 19th-century pounds) per weekend. It was rumored that Lord Suffield, a close friend of Albert s, grew so desperate for relief from this duty that he burned and gutted his own home. Between the two world wars, the British aristocracy was gradually but irrevocably felled by the combination of a global depression, a decline in demand for British goods around the world, the battlefield deaths and horrific injuries incurred during World War I by many sons and heirs of the great houses, and crippling changes in estate-taxation laws.

By World War II, large weekend house parties had died out, shifting the locus of the royal family s entertainment to their own palaces and to events such as the annual presentation of upper-class debutantes at court. The decline of the aristocracy also meant that the British upper class began to interact with the royal family at events that members of lower social classes could also attend. At significant sporting events, such as Wimbledon and Royal Ascot, for example, tickets are available to the general public.

Distinctions in the ways the social classes interact are still maintained even at these more accessible events, but sometimes class boundaries disappear completely around their fringes. In 2005, after the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in Windsor, many guests in their tails, top hats, and fascinators dined at the bistro chain Caf Rouge in Windsor & Eton Central train station at tables alongside more plebeian spectators who had stood behind the barricades, waving as the couple s limousine sped off. Norwegian shops are stuffed with varieties of moose, reindeer, Vikings, and a bevy of trolls.

But royals are a blip on the country s retail radar. Today, processions of monarchs and dignitaries at the coronation of a new British monarch mark the occasion as a truly global recognition of the British crown. It is not just the ceremony that s international.

The British scholar John Balmer, who has done extensive work on monarchic brands, has observed that because the queen is the sovereign of the United Kingdom and 15 other realms (not to mention the head of the Commonwealth of Nations, with 53 member countries), she is, de facto, 16 queens rolled into one.

Even the Kremlin offered an exhibit in 2013 called The Golden Age of the English Court: From Henry VIII to Charles I.

References ^ Great Britain (slinkingtowardretirement.com) ^ Monarchy (slinkingtowardretirement.com) ^ British Maonarch (slinkingtowardretirement.com) ^ British royal family (slinkingtowardretirement.com) ^ Great Britain (slinkingtowardretirement.com) ^ How the British Royal Family Became a Global Brand (slinkingtowardretirement.com) ^ Monarchy (slinkingtowardretirement.com) ^ millions of people in 180 countries (www.bbc.com) ^ skit (www.youtube.com)