The Centennial of the National Parks Service

The Centennial of the National Parks Service

This year welcomes the 100th birthday of the National Parks Service. Established in 2016, the National Parks Service was created in foresight to maintain the integrity of the small number of poorly maintained national parks at the time. Conservation was not always at the foresight of park visitors in the early 20th century, when the last American bison herd was being poached and tourists were defacing ancient native dwellings. Conservation was essential if future generations were to to experience these areas. The N.P.S. is celebrating their centennial with free admission days. August 25-28 is their birthday celebration. September 24 is National Public Lands Day. And November 11 is Veterans Day. Additionally, the N.P.S. is has several programs running, including a Kid in Every Park, the Urban Initiative, and other programs designed to get people more involved. The service and the facts President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service, a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior, in the August of 1916. At the time there were 35 national parks and monuments, and this act was also designed to cover future parks, monuments, and reservations. According to the National Parks Service, the purpose of this was “..to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Today the United States considers 210,000 square miles land protected, and this consists of parks, preserves, seashores and lakeshores. Additionally, national forests and grassland, trails, monuments, sanctuaries,...
Don’t Take the Bait In a Phishing Scam

Don’t Take the Bait In a Phishing Scam

Don’t Take the Bait In a Phishing Scam Have you ever received an alarming email from a bank you don’t patronize, informing you that something is wrong and that you should click a link to find out more? Or one that asks you to open an attachment and view the provided statement? Ever found an email waiting in your inbox from PayPal or Facebook notifying you that your account has been compromised and that you must click the link to reactivate? Maybe you’ve received invoice from a company you’ve never heard of, and open an attachment that sets off your antivirus software? These emails, known as phishing scams, are both alarming and potentially dangerous to your computer and your business. It’s important to learn to spot one immediately, before you give away secure information or find your computer flooded with malicious software. Phishing emails, designed to lure you in to take the bait, can be tough to spot. Why the scam? Email scams are designed to alarm and trick you into taking one of two actions that ultimately release secure info into the hands of a scammer. An email that appears to be from a familiar company will try to alarm or confuse you into clicking a link requesting private information, or get you to open a file that releases spyware on your computer. Common examples of the link-clicking scam involve emails that claim to be from PayPal, Gmail, a bank, or a very convincing utility bill. Clicking the provided link takes you to a false but official-looking website. The website requests that you input private information such as...
Safer Emergency Candles By Kevin’s Kandles

Safer Emergency Candles By Kevin’s Kandles

By Raina Kuptz Kevin’s Kandles Safer Emergency Candles come in a small package and they go a long way. Boasted as a “safer, cost-effective and environmentally friendly emergency candle,” they don’t look like much, but surpass expectations. Each pack holds five floats and 100 wicks. The floats are small clear plastic discs with raised sections to trap air and float. A grooved area and lowered section allows fuel in for the wick. Each wick is about ¾” tall and is placed in a small hole in the center of the float. You supply the glass, the oil and the water. A small jar, glass, candleholder or ceramic cup is sufficient so long as the opening is approximately two inches wide, the diameter of the float. Place water in the glass, an inch or two is sufficient, and then add the fuel. Fuel in this case is vegetable oil. A half-inch of vegetable oil will sit on top of the water when added. Place the float on top of the vegetable oil. It will float while allowing the wick access to the oil. Light the candle and let it do its thing. Instructions state that each candle will last 10 hours, provided enough fuel is added. Tests indicate that this is true. The candle burns steadily for hours. After the wick burns down a bit, the candle does not give off any smoke, and it is virtually odorless. Drops of fragrant oils can be added as desired. If placed in a clear glass container, the candle is surprisingly bright since the flame reflects off of the oil and water. Safer...
Phone Failure in Times of Emergencies

Phone Failure in Times of Emergencies

By Raina Kuptz It was two days before Christmas. I’d returned home from visiting my mom at the hospital after a medical emergency situation. I had family texting and calling me to update them on her status, which I answered promptly. Now it was late, and I’d finally settled in for the evening, browsing Facebook mindlessly on my smartphone before trying to get some sleep. Then the phone went dead. Phone down Most people who have smartphones realize when the phone shuts off, it’s generally the battery. I was stumped in this case, because the phone was plugged in and charging. I fought with the phone a bit, trying to turn it on, finding a different charging cord, and otherwise attempting to problem-solve why the phone  would not turn on. Eventually, I gave up, set my old-fashioned alarm clock – the kind with bells, the sort that could wake the dead – and managed to get some sleep. Bricked I don’t have a landline. Many people my age or younger do not. Having moved several times in a few years, trying to maintain a landline would only have been an extra expense and inconvenience. This proved problematic for the moment with my cellphone “bricked,” no sign of life from the charging light, no easily removable battery to pull and replace. I wanted to be available to family; my technological mini-disaster was proving to be a serious inconvenience. Contact Even without a phone, I was not entirely without contact to the outside world. I messaged my brother on the computer, updating him on the situation. I also grabbed a few...
Traveling with Electronics

Traveling with Electronics

By Raina Kuptz It is almost unheard of these days for most people to travel without at least some form of tech gear, particularly on a business trip. Phones, laptops and tablets all have their uses, and all make life a little easier in some ways. But they also all have their complications, and they may cause as much stress as they prevent. When traveling with tech, foresight is infinitely valuable. The more prepared you are with your electronics, the less stress you’ll be faced with if the unexpected happens en route to your destination. Traveling with the proper pieces of technology, preparing in advance for potential data loss and anticipating the travel through effective recharging deserts will make your trip more enjoyable, or at least less frustrating. Devices It’s easy to fall into the mental trap that you need all your tech devices when you travel. Laptops let you work on the go. Phones let you keep in touch. Tablets and e-readers give you something to do while on the move. And nobody wants to miss a chance to take a good photo of an interesting sight. Instead of loading up on all devices, take a moment to consider your tech essentials carefully. Consider leaving redundant tech at home and keeping lean on what you decide to bring. If you have a tablet and you don’t need to type extensively, you may not need to bring a laptop. If your phone takes very good photos, you might consider leaving the camera at home. Err on the side of traveling lighter and you may be happier. Remember that anything...