Up And Coming International Vacation Spots

By Laurie Jo Miller Farr

We consulted with a travel expert regarding up-and-coming worldwide destinations. As founder of We Blog the World, an online luxury lifestyle website dedicated to transformative travel with more than one million followers, Renee Blodgett offered insights into a handful of top picks that touch on adventure, urban art and culture, oceans and islands.germany1 Up And Coming International Vacation Spots

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Germany: A Tale Of Two Cities

In 2017, Germany ushers in the next 500 years as it marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luthers Protestant Reformation. Music is key as the nation at the heart of Europe looks to tomorrow. If you havent been to Berlin since the 1989 fall of the wall, the transformation is nothing less than startling to the senses. Mighty cranes dot the Berlin skyline as the city re-builds and re-invents itself as a major cultural center. Eyes and ears are tuned in to Museum Island in the capital citys lively Mitte district where the beloved Berlin State Opera, an 18th century landmark, reopens after a seven-year restoration. Hop on a train for the 90-minute journey to handsome Hamburg, Germanys second-largest city. Wander across bridges over canals, along rows of restored red brick warehouses to reach Elbphilharmonie, the citys striking new concert hall and symbol of the city. Built atop a historic warehouse, it balances elements of design and purpose, with views and programming that have already outpaced visits to the legendary Neuschwanstein Castle. Ease of travel is boosted by Air Berlins launch of new nonstop routes from San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as increased service from New York and Miami.

Related: 5 Must-Visit U.S. Destinations For History BuffsArgentina: Beyond Buenos Aires

Surprisingly, Latin America is often overlooked, considering the advantages of the southern hemispheres reverse seasonality and nearly zero jet lag for travelers from the USA. Outside of Buenos Aires, less is known about Argentinas diversity, natural beauty and ecotourism. Outdoor enthusiasts will be blown away by majestic Andes skiing in June through October, plus mountain climbing, trekking, kayaking, 44 safari and hydro-speed adventure options. Journey to protected areas where you can see wildlife and birdlife in their natural environments. Immerse yourself by learning how to herd cattle and ride across the Argentinian plains, combine BBQ or empanadas cooking classes with Spanish lessons, attend a tango dance class, or go sports fishing in freshwater streams and rivers. Experience a national park, greatly varied in terrain from the north to the south, with jungles, deserts, lakes, and forests. For a detour worth the effort, dont miss Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian border, the worlds largest waterfalls system. Argentina offers so many diverse choices, you could take several trips and still be aching for more.

phillipines1 Up And Coming International Vacation Spots

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Philippines: Tropical Paradise

Cebu Province is a tropical paradise that combines pristine beaches, cultural attractions, plus the best mangoes in the world. Unlike so many other islands that have become more built up and overcrowded, Cebu Island and its 150-plus surrounding islands havent lost their magic at all. Pack hiking boots and bathing suits to explore Olango Island’s Wildlife Sanctuary and on to the untouched volcanic Camotes with their abundant palm-lined beaches. See the crystal clear turquoise waters of Bantayan and the secluded bays of Malapascua and Mactan, where exquisite diving earns it the nickname “Diving Mecca of the South.” There’s also a sunken island off the west coast of Cebu, which makes a great bucket list item for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Not a water baby? Cebu has lively markets, bars, and eateries as well as many cultural sites, monuments, basilicas, temples, and museums.

Madagascar: Everything Unexpected

Looking for something more remote? Madagascar is on the tip of everyones tongue at blogger conventions and travel trade showcases. Its one of those untouched gems, like Mozambique was 15 years ago and Cuba was less than 10 years ago. For travelers who want to experience adventure, take a break from more traditional destinations. And if you feel comfortable with exploring the unknown, Madagascar is a viable off-the-beaten path choice brimming with natural beauty. Situated off the eastern coast of Africa, the island nation is comparable to the size of France but with 3,000 miles of coastline. Imagine: Five percent of all known animal and plant species on earth can only be found on Madagascar. If you’re into hiking through astonishing natural environment, you’ll find plenty of diverse terrain, taking you from rainforest to desert within 200 miles. See sandstone formations in Isalo National Park, the geysers of Analavory, and rare, ancient trees lining a dirt road known as Avenue of the Baobabs in the Menabe region.

R2-D2, Lightsaber: Force Is Strong In This Star Wars Auction

VIDEO: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Trailer

BOSTON (AP) — Die-hard Star Wars fans will need to rely on more than the force if they want to bid on an R2-D2 droid that appeared in several of the franchises movies.A couple million dollars might also help.

Luke Skywalkers lightsaber, Darth Vaders helmet and shoulder armor, as well as imperial and rebel weapons are on the block, but the centerpiece is no doubt the squat blue, white and silver droid famous for communicating in a series of electronic beeps and squeaks.

Representing the pinnacle of the Star Wars collecting universe, it could fetch up to $2 million in the June 26-28 auction, according to Calabasas, California-based auction house Profiles in History. The bidding is being handled by Boston-based online auction marketplace Invaluable.

Nothing like a complete R2 unit has ever been sold at auction before, said Stephanie Connell, a London-based movie memorabilia consultant not involved in the sale.

This is not just a normal movie prop, she said. This is instantly recognizable, the creme de la creme of movie props.

Connell wracked her mind, but said she could not recall any single piece of Star Wars memorabilia ever selling for anywhere close to $2 million.

The 43-inch tall R2 unit for sale is sort of a Frankensteins monster of droids, pieced together over several years from different original components used in the first five Star Wars movies. There is no other known complete original R2 unit in the public domain, according to the auction house.

For the sequels after the original Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977, production designers took the aluminum, steel and fiberglass R2 units, retired old and worn out parts and added new features to save time and meet production deadlines.

Fans outbid for the droid may want to take a shot at landing the lightsaber. Carried by actor Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in the first two Star Wars movies, it is expected to sell for anywhere from $150,000 to $250,000.

Unfortunately, the prop does not emit a blade of blue light.

The 10.5 -inch lightsaber comes directly from the archive of Gary Kurtz, producer of Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and is accompanied with a letter of authenticity signed by Kurtz.

Not a Star Wars fan? Props from some of Hollywoods most famous movies are also for sale, including the illuminated disco dancing floor from Saturday Night Fever, which is expected to get as much as $1.5 million; and the clothes worn by Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson in Titanic.

In terms of movie memorabilia, Star Wars rates as one of the most popular with collectors, right up there with The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca and the Harry Potter films, Connell said.

For that reason, a collector of fine artwork or classic cars could end up buying the R2-D2.

This is something you could put right next to a Picasso. She said.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

CNN named most popular news source for business and leisure travellers

No other international news media comes close to CNN in engaging with global business and leisure travel audiences, according to the inaugural Media GPS survey, conducted by international research consultancy BDRC Group, which has studied the trends of 9.9 million weekly international travellers.

By surveying international travellers as they book through online travel agencies (OTAs), traditional travel agents and corporate travel management companies (TMCs), the Media GPS study found that over 50% of all international travellers turn to CNN via TV and digital for news and information during their trips.

This is ahead of the BBC (43% reach), CNBC (27%) and all other international news brands. The study shows CNN audiences to be affluent, frequent travellers for both business and leisure, accounting for nearly 42 million international air trips in total and 63 million nights in hotels for business annually, and liquid assets totalling $1.7 billion dollars.

The Media GPS survey also shows CNN extending its #1 position amongst key traveller audiences for international advertisers such as Business Influencers (CNN: 58%; BBC: 49%; CNBC: 32%), C-suites (CNN: 59%; BBC: 49%; CNBC: 32%) High Income Earners (CNN: 60%; BBC: 50%; CNBC: 32%) and International Travellers (CNN: 58%; BBC: 52%; CNBC: 29%).

“This study is an interesting departure from traditional recall surveys as it uses the moment of booking a flight to understand the profile and habits of international travellers and combine that insight with data about their travel plans,” said Mark Sear, Vice President, Audiences and Data, CNN International Commercial. “It gives a robust picture and rich data points that we can use to further understand trends amongst influential and affluent audiences. However, you don’t need to be a data scientist to understand the two main findings that CNN is by far the news source of choice amongst international travellers, and that our audience is upscale with spending power in both their professional and private lives.”

Notes to Editors

Reach figures are based on monthly cross-platform users. BBC figures refer to “any BBC News Commercial – Monthly”. High Income Earners: HHI US$100,000+. Frequent International Travellers: 6+ Trips (Any Purpose)

About BDRC Groups Media GPS study

Every week almost 10 million international flights are booked through a travel agent (either bricks and mortar or online). Media GPS is an innovative new global research study developed by BDRC Group that measures the media consumption of the 9.9 million adults who are booked on an international flight each week. By only including verified international travellers who book through a travel agent our survey has a very upmarket bias and business trips account for almost half of the flights booked. Crucially the survey connects respondents’ media consumption with the details of the flight booking allowing a unique depth of analysis by route, airline and class of travel.

About CNN International Commercial

CNNI Commercial (CNNIC) is responsible for CNNs intercontinental commercial operations, spanning a diverse multiplatform portfolio across five continents. Its strategy is to grow CNN’s dominance in the pan-regional TV market while accelerating growth through digital and data capabilities. This includes monetising and growing linear and digital news brands such as CNN International, CNN en Español, CNN Arabic, Great Big Story, CNN Style and CNN Money, and a number of other verticals and local properties. CNNI Commercial delivers best-in-class, award-winning cross-platform ad sales, brand and marketing solutions underpinned by advanced digital expertise and data insight. It operates a Content Sales and Licensing business called CNN Access, which offers a suite of consultancy, content and CNN-branded initiatives around the globe as well as establishing strategic partnerships to serve new audiences. The organisation’s branded content studio, Create, has been producing award-winning multiplatform content for clients for over ten years. CNNI Commercial is part of Turner, a Time Warner company. For more information, visit http://commercial.cnn.com

Keeping Youths Optimistic During Sports-Injury Recovery

By Shawn S. Lealos

In the U.S., nearly 30 million children and young adults participate in some form of organized sport, and while it’s encouraging to see our youth get involved in physical activity, this increase in active play is also leading to a rise in sports-related injuries. Most of these injuries, thankfully, are minor cuts, scrapes and bruises. However, when it comes to recovering from a more serious injury like a broken arm or ACL tear, some children may have to undergo a lengthy recovery process to work their way back to good health.

When walking around on crutches or with an arm in a brace and sling, it can be easy for a child to think the worst and start to lose confidence that he or she will never be the same again. As a parent of a child recovering from a sports-related injury, it’s important to monitor both their physical recovery and their emotional state to ensure the child remains optimistic and doesn’t become too discouraged.

Set Goals, But Keep Them Realistic

Setting goals with your child and his physician can be very beneficial during the recovery process. Knowing what milestones to look forward to and working on reaching them empowers your child to take an active part in their own recovery. Just be sure that these objectives are realistic and set to an achievable timeline; setting goals that are too high or expecting a child to reach them too quickly can have a stifling effect on your child’s self-confidence.

So, how do you set realistic expectations with your child regarding recovery? It’s important to discuss the recovery process with your child’s doctor and to remain closely involved throughout the process. Learn about the rate of recovery for your child’s age and injury, and talk to a physical therapist about exercises that you and your child can work on together at home. Adjust expectations and goals if recovery is coming more slowly than expected, and ensure your child knows that everyone heals differently they should think of these milestones not as hard deadlines, but as benchmarks on the road to recovery.

Ensure They’re Actively Participating In Their Own Recovery

It’s important for you to be there during this recovery process, but it’s equally important that your child take the onus upon him or herself to work towards getting better. Once your child’s recovery goals are mapped out, ensure they are working on meeting them. It can be easy for a once active child to feel defeated after suffering an injury that prevents him or her from participating in many of the activities once enjoyed. Ensure your child doesn’t become lazy or unmotivated by offering to do exercises with them, checking in often on progress, and lending an empathetic ear and words of support when your child is feeling apathetic. Those recovery benchmarks will come more quickly and be much more rewarding for your child if he or she puts in the time and effort to reach them.

Connect With Other Youth Athletes

One of the best ways to help a child remain optimistic is to keep him or her in contact with other children who have suffered through injuries while playing sports. A physical therapist might know of a support group you and your child can join, or a coach may know other kids who suffered similar injuries.

For example, if a child tears their ACL, it could really help to meet another kid who also suffered this injury, but who is further along in rehabilitation—or has already returned to the field. Actively seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for another child who was recently going through the same thing can be much more effective than reassurances from parents and doctors. The important thing here is for your child to understand that he or she is not alone, and that others have dealt with the same physical and emotional pain that they are going through.

Remain Involved With The Team

It’s also a good idea to keep your child involved with teammates. While it may hurt at first for your child to see friends take the field while sitting on the sidelines, it will be good for he or she to cheer on teammates, celebrate victories and commiserate over hard-fought losses. Staying involved in off-field team activities will help your child remain connected to their identity as an athlete while preventing the feeling of isolation from teammates.

Man dies in apparent homicide in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) A man died in an apparent homicide in San Franciscos Mission Terrace neighborhood Monday morning, a police spokesman said.

Officers responded at 5:43 a.m. to the area of Alemany Boulevard and Santa Rosa Avenue about someone outside near the street possibly needing help, San Francisco police spokesman Officer Robert Rueca said.

Officers found the victim unresponsive. Medics also responded and pronounced him dead at the scene, Rueca said.

Investigators are considering the death a homicide but have not yet determined the cause of death, according to Rueca.

He said no arrests have been made in the case and no suspect information was immediately available.

Anyone with information about the homicide is encouraged to call the Police Departments anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip by text message at TIP411 with SFPD in the message.

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MORE TOP STORIES

144 Shape Matrix- Even-Petaled Flowers (Rework)

8.5x 11 135 Shape Matrix-01

This is a rework of a shape matrix of even-petaled flowers that shows the driving style of the left hand (columns) paired with a driving style of the right hand (rows).

We get Basic Shapes- Both hands performing the same driving style with the prop.

Hybrid Shapes- Each hand is performing a different driving style.

Monorythmic- Props are doing the same number of rotations (moving at the same speed).

Polyrhythmic props- Props are doing a different number of rotations (moving at a different speed).

Link to most of these driving styles shown piece-by-piece:

12 Even-Petaled Driving Styles (in wall plane):

1:1 Driving Styles:

Zero-petal Prospin: Extension and Isolation

2-petal Antispin: 2-petal Vertical Antispin and 2-petal Horizontal Antispin (also makes a cateye with a smaller hand path).

1:3 Driving Styles:

2-petal Prospin: 2-petal Horizontal Prospin and 2-petal Vertical Prospin

4-petal Antispin: 4-petal Diamond Antispin and 4-petal Box Antispin

1:5 Driving Styles:

4-petal Prospin: 4-petal Box Prospin and 4-petal Diamond Prospin

6-petal Antispin: 6-petal Vertical Antispin and 6-petal Horizontal Antispin

Effective Methods Of Leading Kids To A Path Of Sporting Success

By Kena Sosa

Turning a group of little individuals into a bonded and collaborative team can be quite the daunting task. But with proper planning, plenty of organization and a little luck, anyone can make a solid team out of a bunch of kids. These tips will help you create a team that will not only work well together, but also have a lot of fun.

Be Prepared

Whether you are a seasoned professional or have never coached before, its vital to be prepared before the start of the season, practices and games. Refresh yourself on the rules, strategies and nuances of your sport. Try to remember the names of kids on your team so that they feel more comfortable from day one. Setup an email and phone number group to send clear communication to parents ahead of time to introduce yourself and start discussing uniforms, schedules and snacks.

Build a Strategy

Youth sports shouldnt always be about winning. This is an opportunity for kids to develop skills individually, and to help them successfully work as a team. Each game, win or lose, will give them something they can grow from, and that should be the central message for leadership. Encouraging good sportsmanship is key to having a positive team life, win or lose. That being said, do not send the kids out to figure it out on their own. Study up on plays, strategies and skills kids of the age group you coach should know. If possible, watch a few games and other coaches to see how they do it. Take this knowledge, add your style, and coach your team your way.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Be consistent with practices. Make sure to leave little idle time for kids to get off task. Remember that many of them come to practice straight from school and they might be tired or hungry. The best way to get into practice is with a friendly warm-up relevant to your sport. Next, practice isolated skills, giving all players the chance to work. Dont forget to practice skills necessary for teamwork like passing and multiplayer strategies. At the end, do a cool down activity and thank the kids for giving it their best. When theres little down time, theres less opportunity for behavioral issues and you can concentrate on the sport. Consistency will also build independence so that parents know what to expect too. If you happen to be out for an emergency, your team parents can come in and save the day!

Parents Are Key

The parents may not be on the field, but it seems like it sometimes. Parents can be your biggest asset toward team success. If they are informed ahead of time, they will be on time at every game, practice and even be motivated to help their child build their playing prowess at home. Learn the parents names, and communicate often with them so that they can help.

Fair Game

Of course, everyone who plays sports dreams of victory. However, is it really victory if it is at the expense of others on the team? Every child, even if you know this sport is not a good fit, should get time to play. If they are on the sideline the entire game, this will take an emotional toll on the child, their parents and other members of the team. Find that childs strengths. Give them a chance to shine at something. If not for anything else, keep in mind that your more advanced players will need a break from time to time in order to keep going. A few excellent kids cant hold up the weight of an entire time and it wouldnt be fair to expect them to do so. Even if its not for long, make sure everyone gets some time to play. You never know, with a boost of confidence the next season that kid could shine. If the team loses, it is not because the newest kid had a chance to play, it is a group effort. Celebrate winning respectfully to the other team, and hope that your victories are often. In losses, remind kids that they play to have fun, so as long as they enjoyed themselves, that it isnt really a loss. It is a chance to see what can be learned and done better for the next time. Lets play!

Cruel Summer

Here’s a thing that libraries do very well and that many schools do… not so well: summer reading. Summer reading is super important.  ICfL created a great handout that you can find here, but some highlights include:

Kids who don’t read over the summer regress in academic skills by 3 months or moreBy the end of sixth grade the gap between the academic skills of summer readers and non-readers is as much as three yearsOnly a third of Idaho fourth graders are reading at or above grade levelThese effects are exacerbated in low income households21% of Idaho children are living below the poverty line, and half of all children in Idaho qualify for reduced price school lunch programs

Summer Reading Programs vs Summer Reading Lists

Schools often try to combat this summer reading gap with Summer Reading Lists. That is, lists of recommended, and sometimes mandatory, books for students to read.  There are any number of objections to school literary canons; they are stuffy, staid, chock full of dead white males, irrelevant on a practical level.  I still remember the classic that broke me: Beloved.  Sorry, Toni Morrison, you ruined one of the precious summers of my childhood and we are not friends anymore.  One thing is consistent across Summer Reading Lists – they are the worst.  They turn the joy of learning and imagining into a grueling, thankless chore.  In the name of what?  Common culture?  You know who I can discuss Beloved with?  No one.  Least of all myself.  Other than the fact some character was named Postage Stamp I have purged every awful page from my mind.  Reading practice?  I had been chewing through a science fiction novel every couple of days until I decided to get my Summer Reading List out of the way.  I clawed through Beloved at maybe three pages a day. Beloved probably reduced the amount of reading I did over the summer by a factor of 10.  And I was a reader.  How far do you think reluctant and non-readers make it through postmodern reflective contemplations of mother-daughter relationships and the psychological impact of the 19th century slave trade?

Summer reading lists are so busy finger wagging and being prescriptive that they utterly fail at their espoused purpose, engaging students with reading and learning. Lest you just think I really, really hate Beloved (and I do) here’s some others that agree with me about the futility or prescribed summer reading lists: Keene and Duke, Okyle, Ross, Friendly, etc. etc.  A variation is to require books that address themes, but having to read a book that addresses, say, environmentalism, and then write some sort of response about how the book addresses environmentalism is a pretty good way to ruin reading and environmentalism.  At least when there is a list of required books you can learn to hate books required by reading lists, instead of having to justify, dissect, and belabor books freely chosen.

Library Summer Reading Programs, on the other hand, exemplify glorious, glorious freedom. SRPs convey the message Always Be Reading without being didactic.  Did you read all 50 volumes of your favorite manga?  Great!  Have you considered making your own @yourlibrary?  Or dramatizing your favorite scenes @yourlibrary?  Or did you simply find a quiet spot to engage with words and ideas without accountability?  Great!  Did you read the novelization of Recent Blockbuster X?  Great!  Did you read The Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English?  Great!  Do you want to make a Canterbury Tales manga or video @yourlibrary?  No?  That’s cool.  It’s all cool @yourlibrary.

Much Ado About Fiction

Much of the handwringing about voluntary reading is that kids will only voluntarily read junk. So what?  Studies have shown that pedagogically speaking there is no such thing as junk reading.  (McCabe, Cordova and Lepper, Worthy and McKool, etc.)  Also, here’s an open secret, many kids actually prefer nonfiction! (Barnes et al, Young et al, Gallo and Ness, etc.) That’s right, if adults just get out of the way kids actually like to learn on their own.  Looking at both YALSA award winners and Popular Books we can see teens are interested in history, graphic design, entrepreneurship, science, biographies and basically everything that summer reading lists try to foist upon them.

Independent Reading versus voluntary reading

Independent Reading is a term of art that mostly described reading time being provided in the classroom, although usually with assigned books. My experience of this involved Of Mice and Men in middle school.  Some people finished the book during the first week and then twiddled their thumbs for three weeks.  Some just went straight to twiddling their thumbs for four weeks.  A valiant few ground through the process for a month.  Non-readers didn’t read, avid readers under-read, and those in the middle endured.  Which end of the spectrum did this push anybody towards?  The reason this is important is that the literature likes to conflate Independent reading and Voluntary Reading.  (Discussion in Cahill et al)  Voluntary reading is where all the real gains happen, and it is the free-wheeling domain of libraries.

As we gear up for Summer Reading, remember that this counts. This is where we make a real difference for kids.  Free access to books and lots of ‘em, any genre, any subject, libraries are the Miracle Gro that keeps young brains blooming through the cruel summer.

Robert Perret is Editor of The Idaho Librarian and a Reference Librarian at the University of Idaho

Filed under: Letter from the Editor

“The Earth After Us” – Humanity in Deep Time

So I was sitting in an introductory geology class, and the instructor was talking about limestone.  Its sometimes formed by calcium carbonate precipitating directly out of seawater, he said, Until life evolved 600 million years ago, and it then became largely made of skeletons.  Six hundred million years yesterday, really, to a geologist.  You look at this layer and there was no life, and in this layer there is.   You can see the difference in the rocks fine structure.  The field has an effortless sense of the vast scale of time.

2008, Click for publisher link

So when the geologist Jan Zalasiewicz started thinking about what humanity would leave behind after its inevitable disappearance, he wasnt thinking about the next century or next millennium.   That got covered nicely in The World Without Us by Alan Weisman (2007), who found that Nature comes back fast and hard in places where people cant go, like the Korean DMZ and Chernobyl.    Zalasiewicz  wondered about a bigger picture.  Suppose that aliens landed in a hundred million years.   What could they learn about us?

Its a good excuse to talk about geological processes in general, particularly his own specialty, stratigraphy.  He noted that most of the crust of the earth is made of rotted rocks, ones that have been broken to bits, laid down in sediments, and then cycled up and down by tectonics, sometimes multiple times.  This means that nothing of ours thats inland will survive.   All inland cities will be eroded down to nothing by wind and water.   Higher latitude ones will be ground into sand by glaciers.   Boston and New York certainly wont make it, since their locations have already been planed down by several rounds of Ice Ages.

The only remnants likely to survive will be ones that are built on river deltas, since theyll get buried in sediment as the sea rises.  These are cities like New Orleans, Shanghai, and Venice.    New Orleans is below sea level already, and is likely to be all that ever remains of America.  Its important that things get buried quickly before wave action turns them into beach sand and spreads them over the sea floor. Its these former swamps where paleontologists find skeletons today, not the uplands where the dinosaur herds used to graze.

Cycad trunk and me in 1998 when I was thinner and had worse taste in hats

I visited one of these sites myself at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs in Nova Scotia.   This was a swamp that got buried in a sudden mud flow 310 million years ago, in the early Carboniferous.  It happened so suddenly that a complete skeleton of an early reptile, Hylonomus Lyelli, was found in a hollowed out trunk.  Oxygen levels were much higher then, and arthropods grew to enormous size; theres a millipede track there thats a foot wide.   Those trees made the area a coal mining center until the 1950s when a decline in demand and several disasters closed the mines.

Cities that do get buried in this way will form what he calls an Urban Stratum, a smashed mix of concrete and rusted-away rebar.   For each person in the developed world, about 500 tons of  sand, gravel, limestone, brick clay, and asphalt is used in the course of that persons lifetime.   We each leave a lot more behind than a ten-ton dinosaur!  Any plastics or other organics in this stratum will get cooked into oil.   Pure aluminum is never found in nature, but will occur here.

There will be other, larger traces of our presence.   There is an ongoing die-off of coral reefs, which themselves can form undersea mountains called carbonate platforms.  There has been a sudden disappearance of large mammals over most of the earth.  More distinctively, species that used to be found on only one continent, like rats, are now everywhere, causing a large loss in species diversity.   Theres a nice phrase for this, Planet of Weeds, where the species that are the most adaptable and fastest-growing are taking over.

Our own bones wont leave as much of a record.   The dinosaur age lasted a hundred million years and we still dont find that many.  He does estimate that the total living mass of humanity is now similar to that of the dinosaurs in the Jurassic.  Bodies in wooden coffins wont last, but stone ones buried without oxygen might.   He notes that gangsters in concrete overcoats dropped into the Hudson have a good chance of survival, complete with impressions of spats and fedoras.

Nothing of human culture would remain all art and books and electronic media will be lost.  About the most that the alien paleontologists could infer is that humans took care of their own, since there would be elderly skeletons with healed fractures.  On the other hand, many of the bodies we do find are victims of violence, like the 5300-year old Otzi, who had an arrow in his shoulder and a skull fracture, or the 9000-year old La Brea Woman, who had part of her skull missing.  Bodies found in obscure places generally did not die peacefully.

Spiral view of earth history before the Anthropocene, (c) Astrobio Magazine, click for larger view

Zalasiewicz is actually the chair of the Working Group of the Anthropocene, part of the International Commission on Stratigraphy.   In August 2016 they voted to officially recommend it as the name of a new geological age.  They think that its most distinctive marker are the radioactive elements dispersed by atmospheric nuclear testing.   This only lasted from 1945 to 1980, but spread carbon-14 and plutonium over the whole world, a phenomenon now known as the Bomb Pulse.   Its actually a useful marker for determining the age of trees and bones.   The half-life of these elements is short in geological terms, but the decay products are distinctive.

One thing that Zalasiewicz does not talk about is ruins left in space, since thats outside the purview of geology.   Satellites below about 2000 km will eventually decay into the atmosphere, but ones at geosynchronous orbits will be there forever, although theyll drift into stable longitudinal locations above 75E and 105W.   There is also a fair amount of debris on the Moon 46 missions have impacted there.   The rate has been low in recent decades because The Moon is Dull.   There actually is erosion on the Moon due to a steady rain of micro-meteroites, but I dont think anyone knows if that will wear away the large Apollo artifacts over geological spans of time.

The other thing he doesnt talk about is what actually happens to humanity.  Its clear that we cant go on living as we have been the earth wont support it.  Yet theres no telling what a stable, sustainable human culture would look like, since theres never been one.   Even the nature-loving Indians changed the whole Midwest from forest to prairie by means of fire.  We could go extinct, of course, but that would be a boring outcome, and pretty unlikely given how tough we now are.  We could now survive even the dinosaur-killer asteroid by stockpiling canned food in caverns.   One stable outcome would be to split into multiple species that become a predator-prey ecosystem like that of the Morlocks and Eloi in Wells The Time Machine.   Another would be to cycle endlessly between pastoral and industrial modes like Pournelle and Nivens aliens in The Mote in Gods Eye.  Theyve been technological for so long that theyve evolved an instinctual understanding of machinery, and go from hunter-gathering to nuclear war every five hundred years.

Science fiction is full of other ideas, but the bottom line is that we arent going to be here over the spans of time that geologists work on.  Well be just another unusual episode in the long and bizarre history of the earth.   Here the limestone came from seawater, here it came from diatom skeletons, and in this narrow layer it came from concrete.    Itll be just one more oddity that the geologists deal with, like so many others.

Palladino: Jets, Giants Have Different Goals Heading Into Minicamp

By Ernie Palladino» More Ernie Palladino Columns

Offseason training programs usually don’t generate a lot of heat, and the predictions that come out of them generally bear the accuracy of a presidential tweet.

But as the Giants and Jets head into Tuesday‘s first day of their mandatory three-day minicamps, the last bit of the pajama game before the pads go on in training camp, it at least looks like one team will pursue the art of winning, while the other will chase its quarterback of the future.

That means it’s kind of nice to be a Giants fan right now. But to be a Jets fan? Not so much.

Whether by design or dubious management, the Jets spent the offseason reducing an already suspect roster, most recently by jettisoning reliable receiver Eric Decker. They had already let Brandon Marshall go to the Giants, allowing Big Blue to create an Odell Beckham-Sterling Shepard-Marshall triumvirate that could turn into the NFL’s most elite receiving corps.

MORE: Keidel: Perhaps Best Attribute Marshall Brings To Giants Is His Hunger

Getting rid of a great red zone/third-down receiver like Decker, even despite his 2016 season-ending shoulder injury, should just about seal the Jets doom in a passing game that offered no evidence of life, anyway, during the Offseason Team Activities portion of the offseason.

Jets QBs

From left, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown and Bryce Petty (credit: Getty Images)

With the starting quarterback competition slogging on among Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg, and a defense that just handed team leader and top tackler David Harris his walking papers, the term “Suck for Sam” has moved more to concrete than conceptual meaning.

MORE: Lichtenstein: Jets Are Setting Themselves Up For Historically Awful Season

The problem with the Jets is that, knowing them, they’ll win five games again and wind up just far enough down the draft track to miss out on USC’s Sam Darnold, the darling of the talent-packed quarterback class of 2018.

Their problems are serious and many going into minicamp, a period where little outside of a team-wide introduction to the playbook gets accomplished.

The Giants, meanwhile, don’t appear too concerned with the “S” word. Their biggest problem Beckham has said he’ll attend the mandatory camp after blowing off the voluntary OTAs to party hearty with his celebrity BFFs. As optically challenged as Beckham appears, he’s not going to lose $90,000 in fine money.

MORE: LISTEN: Mike Francesa, Caller Debate About Odell Beckham Jr. Wanting New Contract

It’s obvious Beckham’s me-first attitude will never make him a real leader. But if missing the most dynamic receiver in the league for a handful of voluntary practices is the biggest problem the Giants face, they’re in pretty good shape.

There are issues, of course. They will continue to work hard with Ereck Flowers, the No. 1 pick of 2015 who slid backwards at left tackle last year. Since they did not draft one of the top tackles this year, it is obvious they’re committed to keeping Flowers where he is. The minicamp will simply continue a maturation process that teammates and coaches have praised.

Defensively, one of the bigger question marks involves finding a free safety to play next to All-World strong safety Landon Collins. Last year’s third-rounder Darian Thompson was thought to be that man before a foot injury curtailed his season. He still could be the guy if he beats out replacement Andrew Adams and veteran Leon Hall.

The Giants will also continue to figure out how to work in first-round tight end Evan Engram into the offense. At 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds, Engram looks like another big wide receiver. But the Giants need him to block, too, and have been working with him as an in-line tight end.

Going into minicamp, the Giants have added while the Jets have subtracted.

During minicamp, the Giants will deal with the usual positional issues that face any team as it prepares for training camp.

The Jets will try to straighten out the philosophical and tactical mess they have created for themselves.

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