Back roads often lead to glorious scenery and great discovery, and so it is with the Turquoise Trail. When you leave the freeway and venture onto the scenic and historic Turquoise Trail, you get a chance to see 15,000 square miles of central New Mexico from a bird's-eye view atop Sandia Peak, the magnificent summit of the Sandia Mountains that rises 10,378 feet. From here, you can venture into Sandia Mountain Wilderness and hike through aspen glades and across flowering meadows, coming upon one spectacular view after another. You can also visit the ghost mining towns of Golden, Madrid, and Cerrillos, towns now with great arts, crafts, theater, music, museums, and restaurants. In addition, the Museum of Archaeology and Material Culture in Cedar Crest exhibits a 12,000-year timeline that tells the story of North America's earliest inhabitants and goes chronologically through history until the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1890. Archaeological Qualities of the Turquoise Trail Over … [Read more...] about New Mexico Scenic Drive: Turquoise Trail
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The holidays are the most wonderful time of year, unless you are the planet. To get to actual holiday joy, you’ve got to tear through several layers of waste: disposable wrapping, frilly ribbons, packing tape, wads of plastic shopping bags, mountains of clamshell packaging, and crappy lights that didn’t even make it to Christmas eve. Estimates say Americans throw out 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than they do during the rest of the year, equal to about 25 million tons of additional garbage. That’s everything from wrapping paper and packaging to all the leftover Christmas pudding no one wanted; plus delivery packages and crappy dollar store decorations. That figure doesn’t even count the carbon (and moral) footprint of all your last-minute overnight deliveries and toys from China. “We don’t like to think of the environmental impact during the jolly season for a very simple reason: it’s a killjoy,” says … [Read more...] about How to Create Less Waste This Holiday Season
In the audiobook version of That Is All, the final book in John Hodgman’s gloriously detailed trilogy of fake knowledge and real wisdom, there’s a story within a story about a science-fiction writer telling of his friendship with the mysterious (and also fictional) Anne D. Egan. Performed by Wyatt Cenac, the reminiscence plays out in wistful yearning, Cenac’s measured cadence encompassing the odd tale’s mix of meticulously imagined mythology and personal loss with an immediacy belied by Cenac’s unobtrusive voice. In a book full to bursting with different voices and styles of storytelling, Cenac’s contribution strikes a deeply human tone of plaintive regret. Such a quality might seem incongruous with a career as a stand-up comedian, but it’s Cenac’s seeming detachment that makes the material on his new album, Furry Dumb Fighter, resonate as much as anything. With his heavy-lidded eyes and hint of a drawl (the Brooklynite Cenac grew up in … [Read more...] about Wyatt Cenac’s latest album finds the funny in world-weariness
Dr. Ann Schneider holds up the half-pint of blood that black Lab Jackson just donated at the Eastern Veterinary Blood Bank in Severna Park, Maryland. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images A few years ago, Bethany Schultz's dog, Chopper, was diagnosed with immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, a condition where the dog's immune system destroys its own red blood cells. Although Chopper's bone marrow was producing an adequate number of red cells, once they were released into the blood stream, the dog's immune system attacked and killed them as if they were an infection or virus. Not sure what to do, Schultz walked into IndyVet in Indianapolis, where doctors there gave Chopper four blood transfusions. The transfusions helped. Schultz was so happy that she decided that her other dog, Zaha, should become a blood donor. Schultz told her story to the local Indianapolis ABC affiliate, boasting that Zaha was her superhero. The dog, it turns out, is a universal donor and now gives blood monthly. Zaha … [Read more...] about Does Rover Have a “Red Cross”?
An old smartphone can become a permanent GPS or music device. kali9/Getty Images When you upgrade to a new smartphone, don't let the old one collect dust in the junk drawer. Here are six creative ideas for putting that used (but still useful!) device to work. 1. A Backup or 'Burner' Phone If your old smartphone still works, consider using it as a second phone. A second phone can serve several purposes: a data backup if your new phone dies or gets lost; a safer choice for camping trips, beach outings, or other places where your fancy new phone could get damaged; or even as an untraceable "burner" phone. To use the backup phone to make calls, it will need to be an unlocked phone that allows you to swap out the phone's SIM card for a new phone number and calling plan. Since you'll only be using the backup phone occasionally to make calls and send texts, choose a "pay-as-you-go" plan that only charges you when you use the phone. Those plans can be as cheap as $2 for each day you that … [Read more...] about 6 Creative Uses for an Old Smartphone