Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sacsayhuaman, Peru

Sacsayhuaman, Peru

Sacsayhuaman, Peru

Posted: 27 Sep 2014 12:18 PM PDT

Elevation: 12,213ft. An archaeological site that overlooks Cusco City. The citadel was believed to have been built during the time of Pachacuti, founder of the Incan Empire. The highest blocks forming the walls are about 26ft high and weighs up to 300 tons, yet you cannot slip a piece of paper between these massive rocks. Such an impressive feat to drag, cut/shape and build this impressive structure.

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Des Laurentides Quebec

Posted: 27 Sep 2014 11:57 AM PDT

Taking a break from off roading to enjoy this serene view.

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Trains at Dresden Hauptbahnhof

Posted: 27 Sep 2014 03:12 AM PDT

Trains at Dresden Hauptbahnhof

Markku Rainer Peltonen

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Hogwarts bound!

Posted: 26 Sep 2014 07:14 PM PDT

While traveling in Scotland, my wife and I had the opportunity to ride the fantastic Jacobite steam train from Mallaig to Fort William. This steam engine is basically the real-deal Hogwarts Express, run by the same company that provided the engines for the Harry Potter films, traveling over the same northern Scottish route seen in the first two Potter films. We smuggled aboard the Chocolate Frogs we'd purchased in Orlando, brought our wands, and completely geeked out. Plus we got to enjoy one of the most beautiful and scenic train routes in the world. And we didn't even have to run through a brick wall to board it!

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Running on Empty

Posted: 26 Sep 2014 01:02 PM PDT

Let no one say that the skies were friendly today. At the Frontier customer service counter, long lines waited for representatives to re-book flights to other destinations or offer refunds after the fire at the FAA building/Air Traffic Control station in Aurora, Illinois.

Gate representatives worked the lines offering departures to other places, such as Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and issuing cards with the customer service number for Frontier Airlines.

As the hours wore on, many decided the long wait was not worthwhile and left without resolution. Some were more humorous about the situation: "At least this go-around the perpetrator is human. Last time Chicago had a major fire like this, they blamed it on a cow." said one. Other's exhibited more macabre lines such as, "If your aim is to commit suicide and set a building on fire, and you fail at both...maybe it's time to re-evaluate your competencies."

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This is the west

Posted: 26 Sep 2014 11:02 AM PDT

A train crossing the plains off route 66 near Kingman, Arizona.

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Sunset over the Seine

Posted: 26 Sep 2014 07:45 AM PDT

I was photographing the Island of St. Louis, in the middle of the Seine, when I looked over my shoulder and witnessed the most spectacular sunset taking place behind me. So I turned my tripod around and started snapping.

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Ebola in Liberia: A Friend Across the Fence

Posted: 25 Sep 2014 11:06 AM PDT

September 24, 2014


Ane Bjøru Fjeldsæter is a 31-year-old psychologist from Trondheim, Norway. She recently spent one month working in the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Ebola response in Monrovia. Here, she discusses her experience.


Liberia is divided by an orange double fence. We built it to keep the sickness at bay. We built it to separate us (the healthy, the privileged) from them (the sick, the needy). We built it to feel less mortal. We built it for the noble purpose of barrier nursing.


Patrick is on the inside, I am on the outside.


I see him every day, and we smile and wave at each other. Patrick is just a child, but he is hanging out with guys five times his age, as if trying to make up for the fact that he is much too young to die. They play checkers and poker when they have the energy for it, and they listen to BBC Africa on the radio I brought in one day in my space-invader outfit. Patrick has a shy, crooked smile and a bruise near his right eye. He has just lost his mother, but his father is with him in this horrible place.


Every day I tell myself, "Ane, don't lose your heart to this child who no longer belongs among the living. He is here for a week and then will be gone forever. How will you do your job once he has gone? Don't you know what you are dealing with here? 'This Ebola business,' as they say on the radio. A disease that carries a mortality rate of up to 90 percent. People on that side of the fence don't return to this side. You know that it is dangerous to get close."


I tell myself this every day, and I never listen. It is impossible not to look out for his crooked smile once I arrive at work in the morning. It is impossible not to notice the small changes in his energy levels from day to day. I can't resist waving at him, or scanning his face and his medical chart for any indication, anything that will allow me to hope that he is taking a turn for the better—anything that will allow me to hope that we will play poker together one day, without all the bother of wearing a mask, goggles, and double gloves.


Then the horrible morning comes. The one I had tried to prepare for. The morning when Patrick is not waving anymore. I look across the fence and he is lying on a mattress in the shade. His group of friends tiptoe around him, looking concerned. I suit up. I fear the worst. I make my way through the ward. His father tells me Patrick has complained of stomach pains all night. Patrick has parched lips; feverish, shiny eyes; and none of his usual energy. He tries to smile when he sees me.


"Patrick, my friend, you don't look so well. It worries me to see you like this. Is there anything I can do for you?" I say.


He looks up, whispers something, and I lean closer in my bulky space suit. What did he say?


"Can you get me a bicycle?" he repeats.


Oh Patrick, where would you ride your bicycle? You loved your mother, and you were near her while she was sick. Now you are surrounded by orange fences and will never learn to ride a bike. Do you think this is just an upset stomach? Didn't your older friends tell you about Ebola? Or did they turn down the volume when BBC Africa told you that soon you would be defecating blood?


I make my way out. I don't want to start crying inside the goggles. I hate myself for having met this kid. Why do I never stay at home?


The next morning, something drives me back. I want to be there for Patrick's father, no matter what he is going through. He looks tired, but he grins as soon as he sees me across the fence. And slumped in the chair next to him, someone is sending me a crooked, shy smile. We wave.


I can see that Patrick doesn't have the energy to leave the chair, so I get dressed in my suit and go inside. In spite of seeing only a fraction of my face, Patrick recognizes me:


"I see my friend. I don't see my bicycle!" he says.


I can't tell him I didn't think he would make it through the night. I try to find the right words. Can I say it slipped my mind? Patrick looks at me sternly.


"The lady forgets, but the man does not!" he says.


Oh Patrick, where do you pick this stuff up? Is this the kind of talk you hear from your entourage? Promise me you'll start hanging out with kids your own age one day.


Patrick was discharged last Sunday with his father. They both looked worn out. I could hardly believe that Patrick had healed from Ebola before the bruise near his right eye had faded. He had become so skinny that we had to tie his trousers up with a piece of string.


Being discharged from the center is a confusing affair. After weeks when people are afraid to go near you, suddenly they want to hug you and kiss you. It can bewilder anyone, even a worldly young man like Patrick.


On the rare occasions when somebody recovers, we provide them with a certificate of their negative status. Patrick Poopel, standing here on my side of the fence, smiling a shy smile, and holding his Ebola graduation papers, is ready to learn how to ride a bike.


Contrary to what you might think, Patrick, this is something "the lady" will never forget.


Read more about MSF's work on the Ebola outbreak:


Photo by Morgana Wingard

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Greek Life Disbanding At Clemson (continued)

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 03:09 PM PDT

The death of a Clemson University student has brought the university as well as its organizations to their knees as Greek life remains under fire for the events that transpired on Monday. However, the focus should really be on the loss of the life of my fellow tiger; Tucker Hipps, not on the anti-Greek Life vendetta of the school. I attended the vigil for Tucker, and a family as strong as this isn't one that would cause a member harm, inadvertently or not. Another student brought up many great points in an article he wrote, where he stated that this situation was handled poorly by OCES. The lack of details surrounding this tragedy should not have warranted the punishment of any organization, most especially IFC.


First of all, the suspension of IFC prohibits all fraternities' social events. This makes organizations lose money for things they've already committed to. For example, a mountain weekend cancelled could cost an organization $10,000. ClemsonLive is having a Mountain Weekend in a couple weeks and I do not see the school doing anything to prevent this and "keep the students safe."


Secondly, I believe that Gail DiSabitino, VP of Student Affairs, has been publicly anti Greek organizations throughout her time in office. Gail repeatedly stated that the administration was focused on Tucker and not Greek Life; however, she called many meetings during the day and shifted the campus focus towards Greek Life, which may be noted by the release of a statement minutes before the vigil. From my observations, her office was the one who released the inappropriate statement nine minutes before the vigil; however, another email was sent where she also released a statement about herself in conjunction with that email talking about her office hours and how she wants to hear all student's opinions. Her quote to the media about the situation seemed put the blame on all of Greek life without any supporting evidence. I think it is time to ask her to rethink her decision to suspend fraternities as she mishandled this situation completely. I do not wish to attend a school where the administration makes rash decisions and threatens to punish legitimate, productive student organization for failing to comply with demands such as "initiating their new members by the end of the week" or not socially hanging out in "groups of three or more." The punishment of all for the alleged actions of few is ridiculous.


Lastly, I believe that the school is violating our first amendment right to assemble. The restrictions placed on IFC fraternities call for members to not meet up in groups of three or more. If they do, they risk suspension for a year or more from campus. In a time like this, preventing friends from appreciating and supporting each other could be very detrimental. I believe that the Clemson community needs to be brought together and that we should all unite in a front against hazing instead of splitting apart and warring over this Greek topic.


On the topic of "hazing," I don't believe that the university has ever addressed the rampant hazing present in athletics and other student organizations. This is not a "Greek Life" problem, this is a nationwide problem that manifests itself in organizations across the country. I believe that the suspension of IFC fraternities will do nothing to prevent the "hazing violations" that have been alleged and neither will the early initiation of new members. I believe that the school views IFC fraternities as one unit instead of looking at each on an individual basis: this is wrong, for we are all innately different. A parallel situation would be if Clemson's soccer team was accused of hazing and all athletic teams were prevented from continuing to play.


This incident has brought the Clemson family together and we will never forget Tucker. Sadly, because of the focus the administration and media has put on Greek Life at Clemson in relation to this issue, the emphasis has been placed on the suspension of Greek life rather than a celebration of the life of a beautiful person. The closeness of the Clemson community has been inspiring the past few days and I hope that the students come together not in protest of the unfair accusations made toward Greek life, but to support each other and to honor the life of Tucker Hipps.

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