Smithsonian Photo Contest – Dead Horse Point

Dead Horse Point

Dead Horse Point

Photography by Nick DeBarmore, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Photographed at Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah 313, Moab, UT 84532, USA

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12 Tips To Make Moving Stress-Free

Packing your belongings and moving is often fraught with high emotions and involves a to-do list a mile long. So, it’s tempting to give only passing attention to hiring a mover and the related incidental costs. That could be a mistake—for your wallet and your peace of mind. Moving can be quite expensive. A typical full-service interstate move costs about $4,300, while the same in-state move might cost about $2,500, according to the American Moving & Storage Association. And while the moving industry has many fine companies, it is notorious for fraud and dirty tactics by so-called rogue movers.

Here are 12 tips to make your move simple and avoid the hassle:

Choose a type of move: You have three basic choices: do-it-yourself, full service and a relatively new hybrid of the two. Going it alone is the cheapest alternative, costing the rental price of a truck, gasoline, packing materials and, perhaps, pizza and beer for friends you rope into helping. With full-service moves, moving within a state is charged by the hour, while moving across state lines is charged by weight and mileage.

With a hybrid move, a mover will drop off a large container at your home for you to pack. The mover will then load the container onto a truck, drive the belongings to your new location and drop off the container for you to unload. Because you’re doing the manual labor of packing and unpacking, it’s far less costly than a full-service move.

Hire a quality mover: If you hire help, get at least three price quotes and do your homework before selecting a mover. Seek recommendations by talking with family and friends, even your Facebook circle. Investigate a company’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau (, and possibly the paid-membership site Angie’s List ( Check a company’s complaint history at the federal government site,

“People think a good reputation equals expensive, but that’s not true,” said Laura McHolm, co-founder of NorthStar Moving in Los Angeles. “You don’t get a good reputation by overcharging people.”

Look for two things when hiring a moving company: A full-service mover should visit your home in person, not give a quote over the phone or online, and should provide a written estimate, experts say.

Declutter: No matter what type of move you’re making, taking less stuff is cheaper and less hassle. Set up a staging area, perhaps in a garage, with various piles, such as throw out, recycle, donate and sell.

For many items, use the rule of thumb, ‘If you haven’t used it in a year, you probably don’t need it.’

Be flexible: Like airline fares, moving rates depend on when you book. The busiest time for movers, and thus the most expensive time for consumers, is summer weekends near the 15th and 30th of the month.

If you have time flexibility, ask what rates would be for different days or seasons. If you have extreme flexibility, ask about moving standby: waiting until the mover has extra space and needs to fill a truck.

Save on boxes: Buying new boxes from a moving company is the most expensive choice. To save some money on packing materials, ask if you can buy used boxes from your moving company.

Cheaper yet is finding free boxes, ideally from somebody who just moved. Ask your real estate agent to connect you with other clients who recently moved or look on Specialty boxes, such as wardrobe boxes, might be cheaper to purchase at a do-it-yourself moving store, such as U-Haul, than from your mover.

Save on packing materials: If you’re packing your belongings yourself, fill suitcases, laundry baskets and plastic containers with unbreakable items. Use pillows, scarves and towels to wrap fragile belongings.

Mail books: If you have a large collection of books, pack them yourself and ship them at the postal media mail rate as it might be cheaper than paying a mover

Consider consolidation: For long-distance moves, ask about consolidating your stuff on a truck with other people’s as most homeowners can’t fill a full-size moving van. You might have to be flexible on delivery dates and times, but consolidation can be cheaper.

Insure it: Check your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy to determine whether it provides coverage for your belongings while in transit. If not, you’ll probably want more than the basic free valuation coverage a full-service mover provides. The standard valuation is 60 cents per pound per item. That means breaking a 10-pound, $1,000 stereo system would net you $6. You’ll want full replacement-value insurance, which reimburses you what it will cost to replace broken items. But don’t necessarily buy that insurance from the moving company. Moving insurance is likely cheaper from a third party, but be aware that you probably cannot get insurance on boxes you packed yourself.

Be prepared: Plot out where furniture and boxes will go before moving day arrives. The less time movers spend rearranging, the less expensive it will be.

In urban areas, reserve a space or two in front of your new home for the moving truck by parking your own vehicle there ahead of time. If the movers have to park too far away to unload, you could incur a ‘long carry’ surcharge.

Stake your claim: If you’re moving for a job, negotiate the best relocation package you can. Unreimbursed expenses might be tax-deductible. For details, see Publication 521 Moving Expenses at

Tip: Tipping each mover $3-$5 per hour is customary, said Stephen Coady, marketing manager for Gentle Giant Moving Co. in Somerville, Mass.

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Most Thrilling Hikes In The World – White Canyon, Utah


My Body Is Different, My Hair Is Different …

Misty Copeland
[07/01/2015]   Congratulations to Misty Copeland who was just named principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre! With today’s announcement, Copeland became the first African-American ballerina to achieve that status in the 75-year history of the ABT, one of the world’s premier classical ballet companies. Her promotion came six days after the 32-year-old dancer made her New York debut in the role of Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake.” The emotional performance ended with Copeland being greeted onstage by trailblazing black ballerinas of earlier generations.

While Copeland has now reached the pinnacle of the ballet world, her rise to such heights was far from traditional. Her family was living out of a hotel room when she took her first ballet class; she and her five siblings struggled for space to sleep on the floor. She also had a comparatively late start in ballet and was 13 when she took her first lesson at her local Boys & Girls Club. At the time, she was anxious and saw herself as undersized and gangly: “I was never, you know, the popular one, the pretty one,” she says. “These big long feet and skinny legs and skinny limbs were all these things that I thought were negative things in how we view beauty in our society, and then when I was introduced to the ballet world, all of those qualities were beauty for a ballerina.”

Copeland’s talent, however, was obvious immediately, and within three months, she was already dancing on pointe, a technique that many dancers work for years to achieve. At the age of fifteen — two short years after starting lessons, and competing against girls who would have been training for ten or more years — Copeland won the Los Angeles Music Center’s Spotlight Award. That’s where she caught ABT’s eye, and soon, they had offered her a spot with the company. In 2007, six years after joining the company, she became their third ever black soloist.

Even with her abundant talent, she has been honest about her encounters with racism in the ballet world in the past. Speaking to Elle magazine last year, she said, “People make comments. For some people, I don’t look like a ballerina.” But she says that things are changing for the better. She told the BBC, “as much criticism as I get for talking about it as much as I do, I think it’s forcing people to make changes. It’s putting the spotlight on the ballet world and in a way that it’s never been done before.”

Ultimately, Copeland hopes that she can inspire young dancers of all races and backgrounds as she continues to perform. “I had some really incredible people who mentored me… I think it’s so important for young dancers of color to have someone who looks like them as an example — someone they can touch.” And to all the girls out there who feel like they don’t belong, she shared these powerful works of support: “You don’t have to look like everyone around you, you don’t have to follow the exact same path as someone before you. I think that’s been my experience — that it’s okay to be different, it’s okay to be unique, that you can set your own path.”

To learn more about her unique life story, Misty Copeland recently published an excellent memoir for older teen and adult readers, “Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina” at

She is the author of a recent picture book about a little girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina, “Firebird,” for ages 4 to 8 …………… read more at —>

Fleet Science Center July, 2015 Events

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
Your Guide to the Fleet JULY 2015
Dive Into Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean
9436ef24-fd88-4016-b892-ac46b92a1d76.jpg Experience life beneath the waves like you’ve never seen it before. Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean features breathtaking shots of some of the most peculiar creatures in the sea. Learn about the giant clam and what it eats to grow up to 400 pounds. Also witness how the highly intelligent octopus can change its color and texture to camouflage itself and disappear into its surroundings. These creatures become larger than life when seen in the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater.Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean debuts at the Fleet on Friday, July 3. Be the first to see it when it comes out. More>>
Experience the Science of the Impossible
1827.jpg Jason Latimer is back! The World Champion of Magic–and the Fleet’s Curator of Impossible Science–will astound San Diego audiences once again as he returns to the Fleet with his special blend of science and illusion in his live show: The Impossible Science Experience. If you never believed you could watch a person walk through a solid door, bend light or shape water into a solid, then prepare to have your mind blown! More>>The Impossible Science Experience takes places Friday through Sunday, 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., beginning July 5.
Join the Pluto Fly-By Party
b876156a-1023-46fd-ac9b-2d89077d1aa0.jpg NASA is on the verge of completing a monumental mission to send a satellite to every single planet–and dwarf planet–in our Solar System. On Tuesday, July 14, it’s expected that NASA will come one step closer to completing that mission when the New Horizons spacecraft flies by the dwarf planet Pluto. Join us to get a front row seat to the action as we host our own Pluto Fly-By Party. We’ll feature a live feed of the events as they happen, with special commentary from NASA representative, Jerry Hillburn, and the Fleet’s own resident astronomer, Dr. Lisa Will. More>>Tuesday, July 14, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Night of Science–Circus Feats and Science Geeks
afc3e231-9ba0-4d4a-95e8-b2851a693ae2.jpg Join the circus for a night! No kids allowed! The Fleet’s 21+ after-hours science party features food for purchase from God Save the Cuisine and a special screening of To the Limit. Plus, try your skills on the tightrope and get the scoop from local scientists on what really makes all your favorite circus spectacles work. More>>Thursday, July 16, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.Tickets are $19.95 for nonmembers and $15 for Fleet Members. Tickets available now.
Girl Scouts’ Night at the Fleet
3332be23-e0bf-42bb-bca9-6aeb39dee7f7.jpg For one night in July, Girl Scouts will be taking over the Fleet and and have the entire science center to themselves!The night will have educational hands-on workshops, a scavenger hunt in the science center, a film on the Giant Dome screen, music, dancing and full access to all of the Fleet exhibit galleries all night long!The Sleepover is open for Girl Scouts ages 6-13, with at least one adult chaperone required for every five children. More>>

Saturday, July 18, at 6:15 p.m. through Sunday, July 19, at 8:15 a.m. Sign up early to reserve your spot.

The Fleet’s Next Top Circus Performer
9d9ae28c-a9fd-4ebb-9073-9ce9219eb706.jpg Help the Fleet pick our newest daredevil circus performer when our Don’t Try This at Home live science show debuts their newest act, Science Sideshow. Our science demonstrators explore the hair-raising physics of the Bowling Ball of Doom, the Not-So-Human Cannonball and the infamous Bed of Nails.All Don’t Try This at Home live science shows are performed daily and included with Fleet admission. More>>Shows are five times a day, seven days a week.
Summer Camps Are Selling Out Fast
9f678939-6e88-4c1b-98ce-b4d1e99c8d6d.jpg Did you know that the Fleet offers more than thirty different summer science camps?Kids in kindergarten through 8th grade can learn about robotics, computer programming, wacky science and more.Check the online reservations page to see if there are still spaces available in the camp your kids want.

To register, call Client Services at (619) 238-1233 ext. 806 or sign up online.

Theater Vouchers Are Your Ticket Under the Sea
1454.jpg Free IMAX and planetarium show vouchers are one of the primary benefits Fleet members receive and one more reason why Fleet Membership is a great value all year long. If you are a member, use your vouchers to join us for our latest IMAX feature, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean. Not yet a member? Sign up now!
Thank You for Making The Non Gala Experiment a Success!
1ee893f2-75ea-4eaa-a151-0608a49dc3f7.png Your participation was the key element is raising more than $103,000 toward bringing the power of science to more San Diego County students, teachers and visitors.We love the feedback we’ve gotten from donors about how much fun the do-yourself science experiments were to do, how refreshing The Non Gala Experiment was, and that the 100% of the proceeds went directly to support science learning in San Diego.Enjoy some of the experiment videos here.
Our Mission
The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is a nonprofit organization that seeks to inspire lifelong learning by furthering the public understanding and enjoyment of science and technology.
Quick Links
Monthly ScheduleHours & AdmissionBuy Tickets Online

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Extended Summer Hours:
Summer Hours
begin July 6.Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Friday & Saturday,
10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
July Events

1 The Sky Tonight
4 Open for Independence Day
4 Tinkerers’ Club
4 Family Science Saturdays
6 Senior Mondays
7 FREE First Tuesday
11 Saturday Science Club for Girls
11 Tinkerers’ Club
11 Family Science Saturdays
13 Suds & Science
14 Summer Teacher Institute
14 Pluto Fly-By Party
16 Night of Science
18 Tinkerers’ Club
18 Girl Scout Sleepover
18 Family Science Saturdays
25 Tinkerers’ Club
25 Family Science Saturdays
Now Playing



Enter to Win
Congratulations to Pat Bryan, last month’s winner of a Certificate of Adoption of a wild Sea Turtle from the World Wildlife Fund!This month, it could be YOUR turn to win!Enter to win a $25 Gift Card to the Fleet’s North Star Science Store.


To enter, please complete this form by July 15, 2015.

Store Spotlight
Unleash your inner rocket scientist!
19c88ddc-1293-4e06-91ea-2f88a7258729.gif The Thames and Kosmos Rocket Scientist Kit features 18 different rocket experiments. Launch water- and air-powered rockets to learn about action and reaction forces or build a balloon-propelled rocket to hit target “planets.”Available in the North Star Science Store for $39.95 for nonmembers, and $35.96 for members.
MakerFaire 2015
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Copyright 2015 Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. All rights reserved.
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center | 1875 El Prado | San Diego | CA | 92101 | 619.238.1233

Bizarre Houses – Crazy House

The Hang Nga Guesthouse, Dalat, Vietnam


Also known as the “Crazy House,” this Gaudi-inspired attraction in Dalat, Vietnam features ladders, tunnels, and hollowed-out  rooms within its concrete-treehouse structure, according to the New York Times. Also an actual guesthouse, visitors can go on a guided tour of the building and may even get to chat with the “eccentric” owner/proprietor and chief architect, Ms. Dang Viet Nga.

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