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...
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...
Photographing Pets with a Point-and-Shoot Camera

Photographing Pets with a Point-and-Shoot Camera

Photographing Pets with a Point-and-Shoot Camera People love to see great photos on websites, and if you have a pet service one way to begin to win over your new clients is with plenty of beautiful photos of prior clients or your own pets. While we can supply animal photos, it’s far more to your advantage to have custom photos from your own experiences. Photographing pets with a point-and-shoot camera can be a challenge, but nothing says you have to be an expert photographer with an expensive DSLR to come away from your own personal photo session with nice website-worthy photos. Lighting Lighting can be tricky with pets. Natural lighting is best, and photos outdoors on a nice day during mid-afternoon are ideal. Sometimes this is not possible and in those cases, you want to have a well-lit room, but preferably from an angle. A room with a sunny window or some good lamps off to the side is going to make for better photos than an overhead florescent light. Try to keep the room light enough to avoid a camera flash if possible — point-and-shoot cameras have flashes that tend to wash out a photo or create red-eye. Camera Mode: Priority Mode, Portrait, or “Kids and Pets” Many point-and-shoot cameras have various presets available on your camera; the trick is to get a fast shutter speed, particularly for happy, excited, active animals. Refer to your camera’s guide to see what options your particular model has since each is unique. Your camera may say “TV” on its dial for Priority Mode – this lets the camera select proper shutter speed. Portrait...
Why Do Creative Professionals Need A Website?

Why Do Creative Professionals Need A Website?

Why Do Creative Professionals Need A Website? You already have a Blogger or Tumblr blog, Facebook, Twitter, G+, and any number of specialized platforms to let others find and get in touch with you. Your readers and viewers should already know how to find you if they need you. Despite all this, you still should have a website of your own. Read on, to find out why. Your website is the hub for your online presence. You have probably already found the many options to get the word out about your work online, and odds are you’ve set up your profile on a number of these already. Many of these platforms for creative professionals offer something special and unique, along with a sense of community. All good things to have. Your website should be the center for all these things, the hub linking to your other profiles, the communities you frequent, and your portfolios all over the web. Your readers won’t get lost trying to find a place to contact you directly, and they won’t miss out on any of your work. You look more professional if you have your own website. Not only will your readers and fans have that hub to find you, but you will create a more professional impact for those looking to hire you or publish your work. You will be considered more on top of your game, reliable, and able to convey quality with your work. You can add new features as you need them. You may start with a blog or a gallery for your art, writing, or photography, but maybe you want to move to an online store...