Words on a School Seal Foreshadow Student’s Life Choices

 

 

Blake Huggins

Blake Huggins

 

By Guest Contributor: Carolyn Drinkard,Freelance Writer

July 29, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

It was the school year 2000, and like so many high school seniors, Blake Huggins could not decide what he wanted to do with his life. A gifted musician and artist, he thought that maybe his future might be in the arts, but fate had other plans for Huggins.

 

During Huggins’s senior year, he joined with other members of the Thomisana Staff to create a school seal for their yearbook. The students wanted something that would be permanent and used to represent the schools in other publications. They planned the seal around four areas of school life: academics, arts, sciences, and athletics, using Greek symbols to represent each area. The staff decided to use the motto that the District had previously been using, so “Enter to learn. Leave to serve” was added. These students also wanted a phrase that represented the spirit of their thirteen years of preparation for life, so they chose the Latin phrase, belle est posse, which translates “To be willing is to be able” or literally “where there is a will, there is a way.” Huggins did the original sketches that went before the School Board for adoption. Ironically, the words on the seal would become a mantra for Huggins’s quest to find himself.

 

After graduation, Huggins went to the University of Mobile to major in music and graphic arts. But after two years, he felt a desire to do something else with his life. “I realized that my music and my art were hobbies that I enjoyed,” he explained. “They were not my passions.”

 

Returning home to attend Alabama Southern Community College, Huggins took a friend’s advice and completed a basic EMT course. He then moved to Gulf Shores, working with an ambulance company, serving as a lifeguard, and taking courses from South Alabama for advanced paramedic certification.

 

After receiving a job offer in Colorado, Huggins packed up and went west. Before beginning the job, however, he and a friend spent a month backpacking through Europe. “This began my obsession with and desire for adventure, traveling, and seeing the world,” he explained.

 

In 2011, he accepted a job offer to go to Kuwait to serve as an ambulance paramedic on U.S. military bases.  He spent a year in Kuwait working and traveling the world as often as his vacation time would allow.  “I really enjoyed studying and learning about the Arabic/Middle Eastern culture, and I traveled extensively throughout the region,” he added.

 

Returning to Colorado, he began studying to obtain the necessary advanced certifications that he would need in order to achieve his goal of becoming a Flight Paramedic.  In 2013, he received his Critical Care Paramedic and Flight Paramedic certifications and started working for Angel MedFlight  as a Critical Care Flight Paramedic. Angel MedFlight is a fixed-wing, air-ambulance company, transporting patients all over the world on a private jet that is the equivalent of a hospital ICU in the air.

 

“It is the ideal job for me because it allows me to combine my passion for traveling and adventure with my career in the medical field,” Huggins explained. “Many of our patients become sick or injured while on vacation here in the U.S. or abroad, and they are too sick to travel by commercial airline back home.  Our patients are often stuck in third-world countries with a severe injury or illness in a hospital or clinic that has neither the capabilities nor the training to appropriately manage their conditions.  These patients are trying desperately to return to the U.S. where they can receive the appropriate, often life-saving, care that they need.  That’s where our company comes in.  We fly there, pick them up, and bring them back to the states where they can receive the care that they need. It is very rewarding being a part of the process that gets these people back home and back with their families,” added Huggins..

 

Huggins is quick to express his appreciation for the education he received from Thomasville City Schools. “I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent at TCS. I learned many valuable life lessons, thanks to the great teachers who taught me,” he added. “I was prepared for higher education, and TCS gave me the foundation for reaching my goals in life.”

 

In 2000, a young artist, etching prophetic words on his school’s seal, could never have imagined the paths he would travel or the heights he would soar to find his life’s mission: to serve others.

 

Published in: on July 29, 2014 at 3:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Can Being Near Water Make You Happier?

Dr. Wallace J. Nichols PhD, discussing sea turtle conservation. Photo courtesy of TEDx Monterey

Dr. Wallace J. Nichols PhD, discussing sea turtle conservation.
Photo courtesy of TEDx Monterey

 

July 25, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

Wallace J. Nichols is a PhD, marine biologist, conservationist and author of the new book Blue Mind. In his book he discusses his research on why it seems we are happier when we are near, in or under the water and the positive effects that water seems to give us. Nichols is a biologist, a water conservationist and a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences.  Dr. Nichols’ book is based on years of research, which includes his studies of the behaviors of the visitors that come to the Academy’s 212,000 gallon aquarium, as he discussed in a recent Outside Magazine article. He’s observed that once visitors enter the room where the aquarium is, they seem to relax, to become quiet, to transform into a more peaceful state of mind. He says in the article that couples even start holding hands, staring into the giant blue aquarium. Dr. Nichols believes this is because when we “come into that blue space,” we naturally become relaxed, and our stress decreases.

Something happens in the brain when we are near the water, and Dr. Nichols  hopes that his campaign to generate a new type of science he dubbed neuro-conservation will attract neuroscientists to test his theories by studying the brain waves of individuals that are near that blue space. He explains in his book, Blue Mind, that this new science is based on neuroscience, psychology, nature and conservation, and that he hopes the research will influence how we treat our planet and our bodies of water.

In his book, he discusses why we feel calm and less anxious around water, with stories from athletes, scientists, artists and others who describe why they find it easier to be more productive, creative and relaxed when in or by water. Dr. Nichols is passionate about the conservation of our oceans and waterways. He has spent years being a conservationist for sea turtles, co-founding the Billion Baby Turtles Project with the goal of saving one billion baby sea turtles,  which are currently endangered and on the decline. He also founded Blue Mind Collective, which he hopes will bring together his ideas of water conservation and neuroscience.

 

You can read more about Dr. Nichols and his interesting research at: http://www.wallacejnichols.org/index.php

Summertime Travel Destinations – Costa Rica is Pura Vida!

Playa Conchal – Photo By Arturo Sotillo

Playa Conchal – Photo By Arturo Sotillo

July 23, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

For those looking for a one-of-a-kind, unspoiled, natural paradise to visit, Costa Rica is a destination that boasts more than 300 beaches, 29 National parks, kind and generous locals, delicious fresh food and more. The locals call it Pura Vida, or Pure Life. This lush, beautiful country is located just above the equator, and, according to National Geographic, is said to have one of the best climates in the world.

Archeologists say civilization in Costa Rica dates back more than 10,000 years. Christopher Columbus came across Costa Rica in 1502. When he anchored off the coast, friendly tribes paddled canoes out to meet him and his crew. Four tribes inhabited Costa Rica at the time. Later, Spaniards colonized Costa Rica, bringing the smallpox virus with them that wiped out the majority of the tribes. Today, 1 percent of the population is related to the early tribes. These Spanish descendants are known as Ticos.

Arenal Volcano – Photo By Arden

Arenal Volcano – Photo By Arden

Costa Rica is made up of 7 provinces, bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. With the Pacific Ocean on its west coast and the Caribbean Sea on its east coast, Costa Rica is a surfer’s paradise. There are over 700 miles of sandy beaches, and some of the best surf breaks in the world. Costa Rica is dedicated to preserving the country’s natural wonder. The government has made 26 percent of the country a protected conservation. This natural, unspoiled beauty is what brings travelers from all around the world to Costa Rica. There are dense rainforests, rivers, waterfalls, jungles, volcanoes and both black and white sand beaches to explore. Costa Rica’s flora and fauna are diverse with more than 10,000 types of plants, 850 types of birds, 3,000 kinds of butterflies and 209 types of mammals.

Monkey – Photo By Frontier Official

Monkey – Photo By Frontier Official

There is something in Costa Rica for everyone, including such activities as hiking, bird watching, eco-tours, sport-fishing, and scuba diving. The north Pacific region is known for great fishing and its sleepy fishing villages. The Caribbean coast has amazing bright white beaches lined with coconut palms, and rainforests that come right up to the water’s edge. The Central and South Pacific regions boast tiny villages, coffee plantations and towering unspoiled forested mountains. The majority of Costa Rica’s population lives in the Central Valley. It is here that modern city life and culture can be found.

There’s world-class surfing in Costa Rica

There’s world-class surfing in Costa Rica

With this much natural beauty, it is easy to understand why Costa Rica’s major industry is tourism. For a relaxing, adventurous vacation, travel to Costa Rica and explore all the wonder and beauty that Pura Vida has to offer.

 

 

 

http://www.geographia.com/costa-rica/history.htm

http://magazine.nature.org/features/forever-costa-rica-biodiversity.xml

Is a Flying Vehicle in Your Future?

July 21, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

Dutch company PAL-V Europe NV, has successfully completed the test flight phase of its PAL-V ONE (Personal Air and Land Vehicle); a revolutionary vehicle that will allow individuals the versatility to cruise the open road as well as take to the skies. PAL-V began conceptualizing the vehicle back in 2001. Having recently completed successful test flights, the PAL-V ONE is ready for commercial production.

 

Convert to Gyrocopter in 10 minutes

Imaginecruising along a wide open stretch of highway when you see something interesting off in the distance that you would like to explore by air. Experts at PAL-V say that with the Pal-V One you can convert from automobile to gyrocopter mode in about 10 minutes. This type of versatility really opens up the possibilities for the adventurous explorer and travel enthusiast.

 

Innovative Design

The PAL-V One has a unique three-wheel design that incorporates the patented DVC™ (Dynamic Vehicle Control) tilting technology, enabling the vehicle to tilt based on speed and acceleration. The vehicle handles turns smoothly like a motorcycle and has the acceleration of a sports car. The fuselage is slim and aerodynamic. Top speed on the ground and in the air is 112 mph. While in gyrocopter mode; the PAL-V One will have a flying range of between 220-315 miles and needs only 540 feet for take-off. While on land, the vehicle can drive a distance of 750 miles.

 

Easy to Learn

The Dutch company says flying the PAL-V One is safe; requiring only 20-30 hours of training and a Sport Pilot Certification. Gyrocopters are much safer and easier to fly than helicopters, because of slower rotation of the main rotor, the company says. After flying, the rotors fold back and store for driving mode. In driving mode, it’s hard to tell the PAL-V One is anything but a modern looking vehicle.

 

Based on current projections, it appears that the PAL-V One will be available for sale in 2016 with an estimated price tag of about $395,000. Imagine the freedom and versatility a true land-air vehicle could bring to people; allowing the best of both worlds: exploring by land and by ground!

For more information on the PAL-V One please visit: http://www.pal-v.com

Published in: on July 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Summer is Here – Practice Sun Safety

Remember to use Sunscreen when at the beach.  Photo By Robert Linsdell

Remember to use Sunscreen when at the beach.
Photo By Robert Linsdell

 

July 18, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

Those of us who live in the hot Southwest desert of Arizona are no strangers to the effects of the sun.  However, the summer months mean more sunshine for all areas of the country, so it is important to remember to protect our skin while having fun outdoors.

 

(1)Here are some interesting facts from the folks at Sun Safety Alliance:

  • Even if it’s cloudy outside, you can still get sunburned.
  • Keep children 6 months old and under out of the sun.
  • Surfaces like water, sand and concrete can reflect 85%-90% of UV rays.
  • Less Ozone means more harmful UV rays.
  • Skin cancer cases are on the rise.
  • Over 1.2 million cases of skin cancer are reported each year in the U.S.
  • Melanoma kills on person per hour.
  • One bad sunburn can double the chance of a child’s risk for skin cancer

 

Know the Dangers:

Ultraviolet rays (UV) are invisible and can cause bad sunburns and sometimes can cause skin cancer. There are three types of UV rays:

  • UVA – Year-round rays. They can cause sun burns, premature aging and some skin cancer.
  • UVB – The main cause of sun burns, premature aging and can lead to skin cancer.
  • UVC – These get blocked by the earth’s ozone and never reach earth.

 

(2)Protect Yourself

The worst time to be in the sun is from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The sun’s rays are the strongest then. If you’re out in the sun, it’s best to try to wear some kind of protection on your head, such as a wide brimmed hat and wear a good pair on sunglasses that filter out harmful UV rays. Always use sunscreen. It’s best to use one with an SPF of 15 or higher. Look for broad spectrum sunscreens that shield both UVA and UVB rays. You should use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 on your children. If you have thin hair, remember to apply sunscreen to your scalp too. If you notice any new or abnormal looking moles, dark spots, bumps or growths that change color or size, be sure to see a dermatologist right away.

You can easily avoid the dangers of overexposure to UV rays and keep yourself protected, while still having fun outdoors. Just remember these tips. For more great information, visit The Sun Safety Alliance website.

 

(1)Source: http://www.sunsafetyalliance.org/bare_facts.html

(2)Source: http://www.sunsafetyalliance.org/safety_tips.html

 

 

 

Published in: on July 18, 2014 at 2:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Angel MedFlight’s New World-Traveled Videographer

Angel MedFlight Videographer Jeff Loewe

Angel MedFlight Videographer Jeff Loewe

 

July 16, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

He’s traveled the world shooting skiing, surfing, travel and music videos. He’s Jeff Loewe, AMF’s new videographer.

Loewe joined the AMF team a couple of months ago. In this short span of time, he has assisted in filming a public service announcement for the Case Management Society of America, filmed Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken-Rouen on her medical transport, and is currently working on multiple other productions for AMF.  He has traveled around the world, from places such as Alaska all the way to Iceland, shooting skiing and surfing videos for various projects.

 

We recently got a chance to ask him a few questions in between editing a video:

 

AMF - What got you interested in Photography/Videography? Do you have any role models?

 

Jeff – “I got interested in photography and videography when I was about 12 years old. I was really into mechanical objects and a lot of older cameras, such as the Bolex h-16, had moving parts that made noise, gears that spun and other funky things that drew me to it. I’m really interested in what makes things work on a technical level. Cameras just seemed to have a huge draw from a young age for me because of this.”

 

Jeff got his first 35mm camera when he was 9 or 10 years old, He learned to operate the camera by taking classes in outdoor photography.Jeff became interested in shooting videos after seeing a Warren Miller Skiing film. “He used to shoot on an old Bolex, so naturally I wanted one as well. This is the only camera I’ve ever kept and never sold to replace. There’s something truly special and unique about film.” “Watching those films inspired me to go out to the hill and shoot skiing,” Jeff explained.

Jeff filming with his Red Camera

Jeff filming with his Red Camera

Earlier this year, Jeff got to travel to Norway to shoot some skiing footage.  He was lucky enough to get to go along with his role model cinematographer, Tom Day. Day is a world famous cinematographer known for his work on Warren Miller Ski films and more. Jeff had a chance to film and edit a Warren Miller trailer with Day. “I really try to model my workflows and in the field processes after Tom. He’s been at it for so long that working with someone like that kind of sets you back down a few pegs, but shows what levels you can achieve if you work as hard as they have,” said Jeff on his opportunity to work with Day.

 

AMF – Where were some of your most memorable shoots/countries you visited?

Jeff – “The mostmemorable countries have been Norway, Iceland and India. Norway has a certain magic and clarity. It’s quiet and uninterrupted by the rest of the world, yet extremely modern. They have traditions that have been in place for many generations, and they’re not going anywhere any time soon.India, Pakistan and Kashmir are just spectacular. Iceland is magical, can surf and ski in one day. No trees, but plenty of waterfalls, volcanoes and other unique things to make it amazing.”

 

AMF -What do you like about working at AMF?

 Jeff – “In my short time at AMF, I like the people the most. Anywhere you can come in and make friends quickly is really amazing. The family feel is the best part so far.”

 

Jeff has had many opportunities to travel around the world and experience many adventure through his work.  Besides shooting video and still photography, Jeff likes to play hockey, ski, surf and workout.  He enjoys spending time with his wife and two dogs, a husky and a poodle.  AMF is looking forward to seeing all that Jeff has to bring to the videography team.

 

 

Published in: on July 16, 2014 at 4:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Commercial Aviation has Come a Long Way – What the Future May Hold

The Benoist Airboat

The Benoist Airboat

July 14, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

This year marked 100 years of commercial aviation, which has come a long way throughout the years. We have the Wright Brothers to thank for getting it all started back in 1903 with their historic 12 minute flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Once man was able to take to the sky in a powered aircraft, the possibilities for commercial flight were endless.

 

Today it seems pretty routine to hop on a commercial flight and fly anywhere in the world, but back in 1914 it wasn’t that easy. The first true, paid commercial flight took place in 1914, between Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida. The Benoist Airboat  held one passenger that needed to weigh less than 200 pounds and the flight took 25 minutes. The cost of a one-way ticket was $5.00. A few years later, KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) started scheduled flights between Amsterdam and London, and is still in operation today, making them they oldest commercial airline.

DC-3

DC-3

100 Hundred Years of Advancement

The first Trans-Pacific flight was on a Pan-Am M-130 Clipper in 1935. It flew from San Francisco to Manila in a week and had to make several stops to get there. The Clipper was a flying boat with spacious cabins and a dining area. The American Airlines Douglas DC-3 entered into service in 1936, offering flights from New York to Chicago. The DC-3 was known as “the plane that changed the world.” It was considered a modern marvel for its time, having both long range capabilities and speed.

 

de Havilland Comet

De Havilland Comet

By 1952, the jet-age had arrived and the British made De Havilland Comet was the first commercial jetliner. Jets soon took over the commercial airline industry and by 1970 the world’s first wide-body luxury airliner took flight. Pan Am introduced New York to London flights aboard their beautiful, huge Boeing 747. Additional milestones followed over the next two decades beginning with Southwest Airlines’ introduction of their low-cost fare approach. By 1973, the first female pilot was flying for Frontier Airlines. In the 1980s, American Airlines offered the first frequent flyer miles program, providing incentives and benefits for repeat customers.

 

Airbus A380 - Photo by Joe Ravi

Airbus A380 – Photo by Joe Ravi

The Future

Commercial jets have become bigger, faster and more technologically advanced. In 2007 the world’s largest commercial aircraft, the Boeing 747, was replaced with the mammoth Airbus A380 Super-jumbo.

Compared to early commercial jets like the De Havilland Comet, that held 44 passengers, this  modern marvel has two passenger decks and holds 853 passengers. If Airbus has something to say, the future of commercial airliners is going to be something like a scene out of Star Wars. Design concepts for future aircraft can be found on their website , featuring a jet with a skeleton-like frame called a bionic structure and membrane. The membrane allows you to see panoramic views of the outside. Other futuristic features include “organically grown” seats. The plant-based seats adapt to the passengers’ bodies and conform to become a custom fit for the individual. The seat will offer a massage, drinks and vitamins.  Body heat absorbed by the seat will create energy that will be used to help power the aircraft’s cabin; according to www.airbus.com. The special organic materials used in the cabin will clean and repair themselves. Personal cabin spaces can transform into an office or a bedroom and the cabin and jet could change shape. It all sounds so futuristic (much like it would have been for the Wright Brothers to imagine a 747), but Airbus claims it will become a reality in the not too distant future.

 

Looking back over the last 100 years of commercial aviation and the advances that have been made, it’s easy to imagine a future like Airbus predicts. To view some of these amazing concepts, you can go to: http://www.airbus.com/innovation/future-by-airbus/concept-planes/

 

 

 

Angel MedFlight Team at the Case Managers Society of America 24th Annual Conference and Expo

Angel MedFlight presents a check

Angel MedFlight presents a check

July 11, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

 

Angel MedFlight was proud to once again participate at the 24th annual Case Management Society of America Conference and Expo that was held June 17-20th in Cleveland, Ohio.  Angel MedFlight had their own booth, held presentations, and handed out giveaways to all who stopped by.

The Case Managers Society of America (CMSA)“is the leading membership association providing professional collaboration across the healthcare continuum to advocate for patients’ wellbeing and improved health outcomes by fostering case management growth and development, impacting health care policy, and providing evidence-based tools and resources” (cmsa.org).   CMSA allows case managers from across the country to join together to help provide the best care and experience possible for their patients and loved ones. Angel MedFlight works one-on-one with many members of the CMSA community to coordinate the care and safe transport of patients who are in need. In the opening ceremonies, CMSA members honored Angel MedFlight with the Award of Recognition for “Extraordinary Contribution to Advancing the Practice of Case Management”.  The Angel MedFlight booth was a place of giveaways, presentations, and lots of information on the services provided. Lotions, toy airplanes, and signature pens were handed out.  Several lucky attendees won prizes including $100 Visa gift cards, $500 in cash and an Alaskan Cruise!

Angel MedFlight presents the winner of the Alaskan Cruise with their prize.

Angel MedFlight presents the winner of the Alaskan Cruise with their prize.

 

Angel MedFlight Flight Nurse Greg Tidrick and Flight Paramedic Matt Butler lead the presentation “Innovation in Air Medical Crew Training.” Tidrick kicked off the session by explaining the history of air medical transport.  He talked about how the very first medical transport vehicles were hot air balloons, whisking injured soldiers off battlefields, and airlifting the wounded into the earliest airplanes. Today, more than 300 air medical programs exist in the United States alone.

Tidrick went on to explain what a typical medical flight crew consists of: critical care flight nurse, critical care paramedic, pilot, and co-pilot. “Flight paramedics and flight nurses must have extensive experience in critical care, as experience builds autonomy”, Tidrick explained.

The key characteristic of a flight nurse and paramedic is that “they must be great communicators and think on their feet”, Tidrick said.  The nurse and paramedic must work as a team to be prepared and tackle any medical emergency situation that may arise at any point during the flight.  Their number one goal is to keep the patient healthy and alive.

Tidrick goes on to tell about what Angel MedFlight does to make sure that all flight medical crew are equipped with the training and skills necessary to provide the best care possible. All flight nurses and flight paramedics must participate in advanced training curriculum and be prepared to treat any circumstance or trauma issues that may arise during a medical transport. They are trained with the use of SimMan®, a simulator android on which trainees can participate in life-saving maneuvers as the simulator has life-like reactions. SimMan® reacts as a real patient would; blinks, secretes from eyes, ears, and nose, among other bodily functions.  Training on this simulator allows nurses and paramedics to be more prepared for any emergency situation that may occur during a transport.

Tidrick and Butler went on to demonstrate a typical scenario when transporting a patient who becomes critical at high altitude. They explained that crews must be keenly aware of the laws of physics regarding oxygen, gas, and how altitude plays a role in what a team needs to do to administer the best treatment to a patient. Angel MedFlight crews are experts at trauma recovery, repatriation, and the transport of patients who are in need of organ transplants and other life-saving procedures.

Angel MedFlight was honored and proud to be able to contribute to the success of another annual CMSA conference.  The team is looking forward to collaborating with many more CMSA members on future flights.

For more information on CMSA and Angel MedFlight’s role in the conference, visit cmsa.org.

 

Summertime Travel Destinations – Iceland – The Land of Fire and Ice

 

Surfing in Iceland

Surfing in Iceland

 

July 9, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

Where would you go this summer, if you could travel anywhere in the world? There certainly are no shortages of destinations to imagine flying off to and spending some time exploring or relaxing at. According to Fodors.com, one of the best places to visit in Europe this summer is Iceland. If you are an adventurous person, looking to travel somewhere you can explore rugged landscapes, meet warm and friendly people and experience a kind of beauty that is unparalleled, Iceland should be on your list of must-see destinations.

Siglufjörður

Siglufjörður

The Culture in Iceland

When thinking of traveling to Europe, Iceland is probably not the first country that comes to mind. Most people know little about the country.  Iceland was settled by emigrants from Scandinavia and the British Isles. It was the last country in Europe to be settled. Iceland remains sparsely populated, with a population of 318,452. Iceland’s people are  warm, friendly, resilient, and have strong family values. In addition to the beautiful landscape, Iceland has many museums that reflect their culture.

Rugged mountains and white glaciers make up the landscape

Rugged mountains and white glaciers make up the landscape

Natural Beauty of Iceland

Iceland is a place full of natural beauty. The country is sparse of trees, but what it lacks in foliage, it makes up for with astonishing waterfalls, spectacular white glaciers, lava fields, crisp blue hot springs and black sand. Angel MedFlight Videographer and adventure traveler Jeff Loewe traveled to Iceland last year. He appreciated the beauty and the diversity of the country; “the coolest part to me was being able to surf and ski in the same day, having overhead waves at sunset and skiing at sunrise was pretty phenomenal!”

Hvítserkur Rock

Hvítserkur Rock

Iceland Offers It All

Iceland is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise, known for having the largest national park in Europe. Surfing, skiing, mountain-biking, hiking, whale watching and ice climbing are abundant. Vatnajökull National Park covers 13 percent of Iceland.  The park has a diverse landscape filled with geothermal pools and glaciers. Towering snow covered mountains are the backdrop for crystal clear glacial lakes that are filled with floating icebergs. Iceland’s highest peak, Öræfajökull, overlooks black sands, created by thousands of years of volcanic ash deposits. Loewe says,“the Island has roads that go around the east and west sides, that allow you to see the waterfalls, volcanoes, glacial pools and mountains. ” If you choose to go to Iceland in winter between September and April, chances are you will see a spectacular light show in the sky. Iceland is noted for its magnificent views of the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights. Because the Icelandic winter is so dark, on a clear night it is easy to see the eerie greenish glow in the sky. One can also go exploring through some amazing lava tubes. Iceland boasts spectacular geological formations due to its position on the Mid-Atlantic ridge and from having so much volcanic activity. In summertime, Gjábakkahellir Cave near Þingvellir National Park is the most popular place visited. Something else you may see on your adventures are Icelandic horses. This unique breed comes in hundreds of colors, and is known for its fast four-beat gait known as Tölt. Icelanders use this horse to traverse the rugged terrain.

Reykjavík

Reykjavík

Built-in Spa

Iceland is perhaps best known for the abundance of geothermal energy. Icelanders and visitors alike use some of the one hundred geothermal pools to bathe and relax in. The hot water is very soothing and therapeutic. Bathing or swimming in these natural hot pools is a deeply rooted tradition among Icelanders. The geothermal pools not only provide health benefits, but also a source of heating for homes and water.

The most famous of these naturally heated pools is Blue Lagoon in Reykjavík.

 

Exploring the Regions of Iceland

Iceland boasts a great night-life in the capital city of Reykjavík. Known as the starting point for travelers of Iceland, the city is surrounded by beautiful mountains, and has a combination of modern and traditional architecture. Museums, monuments and the oceanfront music and convention center are all throughout the city. Loewe says, “dining out and ordering a beer can be expensive, a beer can cost about $10.00 U.S.” The price, however, is definitely worth the experience.

Harpa Concert Hall - Reykjavík

Harpa Concert Hall – Reykjavík

Northern Iceland is the second largest populated area of the country. In the northern city of Akureyri, you will find charming, traditional wooden homes, golf courses and one of the largest fjords – Eyjafjörður. You may want to visit The Húsavík Whale Museum or check out the most powerful waterfall in Europe – Dettifoss Waterfall. Loewe visited Dettifoss and said, “it’s really indescribable; I couldn’t put my camera down.” He said that he traveled on an unplowed, snow-covered road to the waterfall. The one road to the falls was specially constructed for the film Prometheus, whose opening scene is a magnificent shot of Dettifoss falls.

Dettifoss Waterfall

Dettifoss Waterfall

Iceland is more than just a vacation destination, it is a rugged and beautiful land, filled with stunning natural features, warm and welcoming people, and a rich history.

 

 

Summer Safety for Children: Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Those living in the deserts of the southwestern United States don’t really need a thermometer to feel the summer heat. Yet, as the temperatures climb, it’s helpful to remember our bodies have to work even harder to keep cool, especially for those who are physically active in the heat. As a result, various ailments may develop, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. These conditions can lead to serious injury or death, so it is important to know what signs to look for and how we can avoid these dangers.

Do you know the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

Would you know what to do if someone close to you was suffering from either of these conditions?

Heat illness includes a range of disorders that result when your body is exposed to more heat than it can handle. Especially in desert and subtropical climates, those not accustomed to hot weather are at higher risk of suffering from heat stroke (the most serious and life-threatening heat-related illness) as well as heat exhaustion and heat cramps.

Heat stroke while in vehicles has become an increasing issue for young children, causing 43 fatalities in 2013, according to SafeKids.org. Children overheat three to five times faster than do adults, making hot cars lethal in just minutes.

What is the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

Heat exhaustion results when someone is not properly hydrated. In children, ensuring they have access to drinking water, especially while they play or participate in athletics, is vitally important.

Children produce more body heat during physical activity that adults, but they sweat much less. This reduces their ability to get rid of body heat and can quickly lead to dehydration. The symptoms of heat exhaustion are dehydration, fatigue, weakness, clammy skin, headache, nausea, vomiting and irritability.

Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat illness, and is a life-threatening medical emergency. When a child is suffering from heat stroke, his or her body loses the ability to regulate its own temperature. Your child’s temperature can soar to 106 degrees or higher, leading to brain damage or death if not treated quickly. Prompt medical treatment is required. Heat stroke symptoms include flushed, hot, dry skin with no sweating, a temperature of 105 or higher, severe throbbing headache, weakness, dizziness, confusion, seizure, decreased responsiveness and/or loss of consciousness.

What to do

If your child is suffering from heat exhaustion symptoms:

  • Get him indoors or in the shade immediately
  • Encourage her to eat or drink
  • Loosen your child’s clothing

Heat exhaustion can escalate into heat stroke. If this happens:

  • Get your child inside immediately
  • Undress and sponge cool (not cold) water all over the body
  • DO NOT GIVE FLUIDS (in heat stroke only)
  • Call for emergency assistance.

How can you prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke in children?

  • Have your child drink lots of fluids before beginning outdoor activities, even if they are not thirsty.
  • Dress your child in loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
  • Limit your child’s exposure level by allowing outdoor activities only before noon and after 6pm.
  • Teach your child to stop playing and come inside whenever they feel overheated.

Knowing the signs, symptoms and treatments can prevent your child from suffering the effects from either of these life-threatening conditions.

Read more on this growing issue and protect your children.

http://www.safercar.gov/parents/heatstroke.htm

http://www.safekids.org/preventing-heatstroke

Source: National Safety Council

Published in: on July 7, 2014 at 5:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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