Archive for » February 5th, 2012«

India journey: Sacred cows, plastic bags and raptors

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After two days of solid travel, I finally arrived at a simple rural hotel outside Bikaner, India. Upon arrival, I am acutely aware of the time difference; it is 12½ hours ahead of Colorado time.

The land journey from Delhi has been a blur of navigating roads congested with buses, trucks and three-wheelers. Motorcycles, a common sight, dart by with young men driving while young women sit side-saddle behind them seemingly unafraid of the sea of chaos around them. Throw in pedestrians, free-wandering sacred cows, a few stray dogs, 100 blaring horns (honks, beeps, musical tunes) and … you get the idea.

I came to India to meet with my friend and local raptor biologist Pranay Juvvadi. We were to work together for the next two weeks in the Thar Desert. This desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, borders India and Pakistan in western Rajasthan.

Although India is the world’s second-most populated country, western Rajasthan is strikingly rural and serene. Wildlife such as the blackbuck antelope and the Indian gazelle (or Chinkara) are common.

The area also is a haven for numerous species of migratory and resident birds of the desert, including birds of prey. This spot would function as a base for the next two weeks, as Pranay and I surveyed power lines for raptor electrocutions.

On the first day of field work, Pranay asked me to be ready at 6 a.m. It was pitch dark out with the room temperature in the high 40s. I turned on the light to find I had a new welcome roommate, a large, slow-moving gecko on the ceiling. Jet lagged, I could relate to his demeanor as I headed out to meet Pranay and our hired driver, Bahwar.

Winter is mild in this part of India and attracts migrating birds seeking a respite from the colder northern latitudes in Mongolia, China and Russia. Pranay assured me there are numerous migrating raptors at a nearby carcass dump. Our driver fired up the open-top jeep and we climbed in. We bounced along dirt roads for several kilometers then illegally veered across railroad tracks and onto a two-track road; this is where a jeep is required. As we approached the site, the stench of decay settled into my nostrils, making me glad it was cold. Our driver was from the city and has never spent time with a biologist before. He was taken aback by the smell and asked Pranay, “Why do you two want to come to such a place?” Pranay laughed as he interpreted for me.


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Chasing Super Bowl XLVI Super Cars: Fan Experience

Twenty-three hours over dual days. Seven hundred twenty miles. Thirty-three Super Bowl XLVI Super Cars. And one large question: why?

I’ve gotten that doubt a lot over a past integrate of days. Why on earth would we spend all that time and burn adult all of those miles only to sketch some cars? Why not only take cinema of them while they were all on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis for a Super Bowl XLVI celebration?

From a unsentimental perspective, it was formidable to get good cinema of all of them when they were lined adult so closely downtown. Add to it that there were thousands of people there, all perplexing to get cinema of their favorite cars, and it was a madhouse.

The incomparable reason for roving all over executive Indiana is that we wanted a experience. We all applaud Super Bowl XLVI in opposite ways. Thousands of people volunteered their time and bid to beam visitors from Point A to Point B all week. Thousands of others enjoyed a NFL Experience and a Super Bowl Village. Thousands some-more shelled out large bucks to attend a diversion between a New England Patriots and a New York Giants in person.

I enjoyed a NFL Experience and a Super Bowl Village—three times, in fact—and given my dual favorite teams, a Seattle Seahawks and a Indianapolis Colts, weren’t confronting any other in Super Bowl XLVI, it wasn’t value it to me to spend a bazillions of dollars required to secure a integrate of tickets to a game.

But a Super Cars unequivocally intrigued me. They’re something singly Indiana, consistent IndyCar racing with a NFL. As we looked during them all on Monument Circle on a day they were unveiled, we was mesmerized. It didn’t take me prolonged to figure out that any automobile was numbered with a year in that any group assimilated a NFL. The splendid colors, a fact in any car, and a jubilee of any of a 32 teams—plus Super Bowl XLVI—was something we wanted to check in closer detail.

So we took a Indianapolis Super Bowl Committee adult on their challenge: find all 33 Super Cars. It would be my singular approach of celebrating Super Bowl XLVI.

To counterfeit Johnny Cash, I’ve been to Indianapolis, Speedway, Plainfield, Lafayette, Zionsville, Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Anderson, Muncie, Greenfield, Shelbyville, Columbus, Bloomington, and Richmond. I’ve been to museums, county centers, selling malls, humanities centers, colleges, a creamery, a restaurant, an airport, and more. I’ve been on interstates, state highways, county roads, and sand drives. I’ve met large people that I’d have never met otherwise—other Hoosiers, as good as fans from other states.

I took a garland of cinema for other people with their cameras, we chatted with Super Bowl XLVI volunteers during many stops, we saw kids’ faces light adult during Super Cars, and we witnessed a spreading fad that a large diversion brings to executive Indiana. Many Super Cars were during Super Celebration sites via a state, and as we was photographing cars, others were sharp on a convey to take them downtown to a Super Bowl Village. It was fun to listen to their generous gibberish as they kept a sharp eye out for a large immature licence train to arrive.

I unequivocally enjoyed chatting with a lady who was volunteering during a Fishers Train Station—the site of a Cincinnati Bengals Super Car. There was something relaxing about only station there, admiring a Bengals automobile together, chatting about football, and pity with him what we had seen of other Super Cars during that point.

I am unequivocally elegant of 3 kind group during Sandman Brothers in Shelbyville who unbarred their doors and stayed a few mins past shutting time so that we could sketch a Cleveland Browns Super Car. we was in Muncie during a Oakland Raiders Super Car when we satisfied that Sandman Brothers sealed during 7 p.m. If we altered my designed march of transport and brisk from Muncie to Shelbyville, we would only hardly make it. After encountering some traffic, however, we didn’t make it in time. These 3 gentlemen, though, went out of their approach to make certain that we got what we came for. Hoosier liberality during a finest.

(On a associated note, appreciate we to a excellent citizen of Dunreith, Ind., who posted a handcrafted pointer warning of erring GPS directions that would send me down a wrong street. You saved me profitable time!)

I’ve been to places that we didn’t even know existed. I’ve been to places where we wish to lapse during another time with my mother and kids. I’ve seen unequivocally neat art and other exhibits. I’ve gotten ideas for destiny articles. And we came home with tighten to 700 photographs and a garland of lustful memories.

All told, it was an enriching experience. I’m so blissful that we chose this query as my approach to applaud Super Bowl XLVI. I’ve lived in Indiana for 15 years, and nonetheless by this experience, we was struck by how small we know about my state, as good as how most some-more we wish to learn about it. we was also struck by how welcomed and appreciated we felt during each Super Car location.

It done me feel unapproachable to be a Hoosier, and that is because we chased them all down.

To see my photos of each Super Car, visit RedZoneWriting.com.

The author is a proprietor of executive Indiana and a Featured Contributor in Sports for a Yahoo! Contributor Network. You can follow him on Twitter during @RedZoneWriting and on Facebook.

Also by this Author:

NFL announces confidence skeleton for Super Bowl XLVI diversion day

Super Bowl XLVI volunteers and staff make Indianapolis amazing

Super Bowl XLVI activities in suburban Indianapolis

Note: This essay was created by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign adult here to start edition your possess sports content.


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Heavy sleet disrupts transport opposite most of Britain


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Snow causes intrusion opposite UK

Heavy sleet has brought intrusion to many tools of Britain, with highway closures and moody cancellations.

Up to 16cm (6in) of sleet fell in some areas, and icy conditions have stirred warnings from a Met Office. as a skies transparent during a day.

Scores of highway accidents were reported overnight, and on a M40 about 100 vehicles were stranded.

A third of flights from Heathrow have been cancelled and some trains and Tube services disrupted.

Snow fell over tools of Scotland, Wales, northern England and a Midlands on Saturday before unconditional down to London and East Anglia.

Church Fenton, in North Yorkshire, reported 16cm (6in) of snow, contributing to some-more than 60 accidents on a region’s roads.

Rain or sleet is foresee once a layer eases on Sunday morning, though afterwards transparent skies will lead to widespread icy rags combining opposite most of England and Wales, a Met Office said, advising people to “be prepared”.

In other developments:

Train on snowy tracksDelays and cancellations were reported by many sight companies

Heathrow user BAA pronounced on Saturday it was cancelling one-third of Sunday’s estimate 1,200 flights to “minimise disruption”.

Air passengers during London’s Heathrow and Stansted airports have been suggested to hit their airline for some-more information about flights on Sunday. At Gatwick, flights arrivals and departures were operating.

At Luton Airport 10cm of sleet fell overnight and a runway was sealed for a period, causing 3 vacating flights to be cancelled. But so distant there have been no cancellations for Sunday, nonetheless a infancy of flights are behind for an hour or more.

A solidified rapids in YorkshireTemperatures have been so low that waterfalls in Yorkshire have frozen

British Airways pronounced it would concede passengers scheduled to fly on Sunday to re-book for journeys between Monday and Thursday.

Stansted airfield in Essex sealed on Saturday night for a duration to transparent sleet from a runway, while Birmingham Airport reopened after sleet was privileged from a runway.

Leeds Bradford Airport has warned of delays or cancellations.

Richard Scott, from BAA, pronounced since Heathrow operated during capacity, there was no tardy in a complement to understanding with a reduced series of flights that could take off and land in bad weather.

He added: “If we can suppose you’re driving, we have to expostulate slower, leave some-more space for a automobile in front in fog, clever winds, snow. It’s a same with aircraft.

“If we don’t proactively cancel flights, a delays build and build and build and it’s most worse for passengers.”

Walkers in a London parkThe winter landscape enticed many walkers outward on Sunday

Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander pronounced it seemed a essential precaution.

“There are resources in that it is improved for a airlines to act proactively rather than, as we have seen in a past, apparently being held unawares and afterwards a turn of delays being gifted by passengers goes up, not down.”

On a roads, Thames Valley Police pronounced as many as 100 vehicles were still on a M40 between Junction 4 High Wycombe and Junction 9 Bicester for several hours and sleet ploughs were brought in to assistance transparent a roads.

Motorist Katie Jones told BBC News she had spent hours sitting in her automobile on a M25 in Hertfordshire.

“We were still for about 7 and a half hours. We upheld cars deserted in a side of a road, carrying crashed off. We upheld lorries jack knifed opposite two, 3 lanes of a motorway and it’s been insurmountable in vast part.”

Transport for London pronounced several Tube lines were hit by suspensions or delays since of a continue late on Saturday.

This enclosed a Central Line, where passengers became stranded on a sight that pennyless down between Snaresbrook and South Woodford and contend they were asked to travel 15 mins down a marks to a subsequent station.

The RAC’s Kevin Andrews pronounced complicated sleet and sub-zero temperatures would emanate “a dangerous cocktail of pushing conditions” and urged drivers to stay during home where possible.

February has seen daytime temperatures thrust 4 or 5 degrees reduce than normal over a past few days, and cold conditions are expected to continue into a early partial of subsequent week.

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