In the winter of 1985 I was driving through the Mojave Desert with a friend, talking about our apparent need for new river gear. As we passed the Twenty Nine Palms Marine Base, a man unexpectedly appeared on the side of the road selling used ammo cans. My friend and I laughed wildly and quickly came to realize that the moment was "All In A Days' Karma". This blog contains the occasional ramblings of a died-in-the-wool westerner who loves seeing, understanding, and being alive upon these landscapes. I cherish the moments of bliss and irony that come to all of us as we explore the planet and its residents (and perhaps visitors) in the short time we are here.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Chasing Ice" on YouTube

Part of the film "Chasing Ice"
James Blalog made the movie "Chasing Ice." Here is a four minute excerpt that will blow your mind!

An overlay of Manhattan on the part of the glacier that calved.
Be sure to watch the time lapse at the end of the movie. It shows what is really happening here.

Friday, November 13, 2015

New Guinea's Bird of Paradise - Remarkable Evolution

Thanks to Max Motley of Sydney Australia who sent me this amazing video about the Birds of Paradise in Papua New Guinea. You will see incredible footage of some of these 39 species of birds.

Watch the five minute video here.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Grand Canyon Stratospheric Balloon Team

At nearly 100,000 feet, the Grand Canyon can be seen just left of center here
The New York Times recently published an article about a balloon outfitted with a GoPro camera that went to nearly 100,000 feet near the Grand Canyon. You can watch the video here. Took some screen capture shots and show them below.

The launch team can be seen in the lower right corner of this frame
The desert outside of Tuba City
Tuba City from about 10,000 feet

Friday, September 11, 2015

The 2014 Arizona Monsoon

One of the reason's I moved to Arizona in 1975 was because of the sky. The sky in Arizona is among its best natural treasures. Watch this 8-minute time lapse video by Mike Olbibsky of numerous monsoon cells that occurred during the 2014 season. This is an amazing series of images that includes scenes of haboobs moving across the desert!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Nature Rx

Yep - Now there is a prescription you can take to slow down, feel calm and ask yourself WTF you are doing with your life. It's called Nature:

Monday, July 27, 2015

The River Woman

Katie Lee at her best on an Arizona Public Media film that is less than 8 minutes. Watch it here.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Another Great Mt. Everest Graphic and Video

See what it is like to hike from Everest Base Camp to the highest summit in the world on this virtual hike! Watch it here.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Continents Can Be Rearranged To Form A Chicken

Proposed Developments at Grand Canyon National Park Featured on the Diane Rehm Show

You can listen to the 48-minute interview with Park Superintendent Dave Uberuagga, writer Dave Roberts, Tusayan developer Tom DePaulo, Albert Hale, and others here.

YouTube Over Shiprock New Mexico

Greg Meyer Photography has posted a great video of Shiprock in New Mexico. This monolith looms large in Navajo culture and was first climbed in 1939. It is a volcanic neck with three radiating dikes out of its eruptive center. See the video here.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fantastic Images and Video of the Iceberg Canyon (Glen Canyon) flood of June 6, 2015

June 6 was an epic day on the Colorado Plateau for late spring storms. Chuck L. sent me this link from a boat party that was camped in Iceberg Canyon. Look at it here. The Powell reservoir has risen 10 feet since the 19th of May from these series of storms.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Kathmandu and the Himalaya's from 20,000 feet

The aerial cinema experts at Teton Gravity Research release the first ultra HD footage of the Himalayas shot from above 20,000 ft. with the GSS C520 system, the most advanced gyro-stabilized camera system in the world. Filmed from a helicopter with a crew flying from Kathmandu at 4,600 ft. up to 24,000 ft. on supplemental oxygen, these are some of the most stable, crisp, clear aerial shots of these mountains ever released, which include Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, and Lhotse.

Watch it here: (It does a few minutes to load).

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rights to Grand Canyon's Iconic Names Saga Comes to a Justified End

Xanterra has given up its ill-conceived dream of owning the names, "El Tovar," "Phantom Ranch,"and "Desert View." This article from the National Parks Traveler.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts Abandoning Efforts To Trademark Business Names On South Rim Of Grand Canyon National Park

Alternate Text
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records indicate that Xanterra Parks & Resorts has abandoned most, if not all, of its trademark applications to concession business names on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, including for the El Tovar Hotel/NPS.
Xanterra Parks & Resorts has dropped most, if not all, of its applications to trademark the names of lodgings and other concessions on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
According to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records, the concessionaire early this week "abandoned" its applications to trademark "Phantom Ranch," "Thunderbird Lodge," "Desert View Watchtower," "Kachina Lodge," "Yavapai Lodge," "Maswik Lodge," "Trailer Village," and "Hopi House."
While the records also indicate that Xanterra filed paperwork to abandon trademark applications for "El Tovar," "Hermit's Rest," "Arizona Room," and "Red Horse Cabin," the Patent and Trademark Office website indicated Friday that those applications were still "live."
Calls and emails to Xanterra's attorney on record for the applications, and to the company's offices, were not immediately returned Friday evening.
Xanterra filed the trademark applications late last fall, when it was at odds with the National Park Service over a long-term concessions contract for the South Rim.
The Denver-based concessionaire last October announced its intent to sue the Park Service over its concessions contract. That same month it filed an application to trademark the name "El Tovar," which is attached to the famous hotel on the South Rim of the canyon. Within two weeks of that application, Xanterra made similar applications to trademark the names of many other commercial businesses on, and below, the South Rim.
Xanterra's actions came after Delaware North Co., through its Yosemite subsidiary,notified the Park Service last summer that it had placed a $51 million valuation on intellectual property it held in Yosemite, including trademarks on such properties as The Ahwahnee Hotel, Curry Village, and the Wawona Hotel.
Alternate Text
Xanterra this week filed "Request for Express Abandonment" for its trademark applications to Hermits Rest and other business names on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon/USPTO screen grab
In January, the Park Service notified Xanterra by letter that it "considers the marks in use by Xanterra as property of the Service protected pursuant to common trademark law rights. The Service asserted it has exclusively and continuously controlled the marks, and in particular retains control of the nature and quality of provided goods and services through operation of concessions contracts with providers of goods and services such as Xanterra.
"The Service further claimed Xanterra's use of the claimed marks is solely by virtue of concessions contracts through which the Service ultimately controls the nature and quality of the provided goods and services."
The Park Service in that January 12 letter also asked the concessionaire to abandon its bid to obtain the trademarks.
However, efforts by concessionaires to capitalize on the names of such iconic lodges as The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park and the El Tovar Hotel might actually be mootunder a section of the U.S. Code. That provision, Section 302106, specifically gives the National Park Service the right to "retain the name historically associated with the building or structure" regardless of any trademark. That language is contained within H.R.1068, which became law in mid-December.
Sec. 302106. Retention of name
Notwithstanding section 43(c) of the Act of July 5, 1946 (known as the Trademark Act of 1946) (15 U.S.C. 1125(c)), buildings and structures on or eligible for inclusion on the National Register (either individually or as part of a historic district), or designated as an individual landmark or as a contributing building in a historic district by a unit of State or local government, may retain the name historically associated with the building or structure.
At Grand Canyon, buildings already listed on the National Register of Historic Places include the El Tovar Hotel, the Grand Canyon Village Historic District (which includes the El Tovar as well as the Bright Angel Lodge, the Buckey O'Neill Cabin, Lookout Studio, Hopi House, the Kolb Brothers Studio, the Grand Canyon Depot, and the Grand Canyon Railway), the Desert View Watchtower Historic District, and the Hermit's Rest concession building.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Fantastic Cave Journey in Vietnam

NPR recently posted a link to a film by Ryan Deboodt on explorations he has made into Hang Son Doong cave in Vietnam. To make this film, he used a camera mounted to a drone to get aerial shots of the caves opening. You can read the article here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Carving Caves in Northern New Mexico

Ra Paulette is a carving fool! He loves to dig into soft sandstone to create some very inspirational spaces underground. watch this four and a half minute video of some of his creations here:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Watch the Sun Through A Five-Year NASA Time-Lapse Movie

For five years now, the Solar Dynamic Observatory has been watching our sun, a relatively normal star within the Milky Way Galaxy. On their fifth anniversary they released a four and a half minute video of the sun through time. It is amazing! Watch it here.

This is fabulous!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fantastic Photographs of Mars from the Curiosity Rover

For 11 years now, the rover Curiosity has been traveling across the Martian surface taking photographs and samples. It is an awesome collection of material. Looking at these gives one a feel for how it is on the Red Planet. Take a look and become enchanted! See the web site here.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Do the Names "El Tovar" and "Phantom Ranch" Belong to the Grand Canyon? Or to Xanterra?

Phantom Ranch. Who owns the name?
An interesting story about Xanterra laying claim to the names of iconic features at Grand Canyon. Look at the article here, published in many newspapers across the country and online on January 25.

Phantom Ranch

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hubbell Space Telescope - Has it Really Been 20 Years Since "The Pillars of Creation" Photograph?

Check out this article and the image above, which is a high-definition repeat of NASA's iconic image shot over 20 years ago (has it really been that long?) of the Eagle nebula. Unbelievable!