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There are always reasons for not doing something. Maybe you are concerned with the costs. Or perhaps you have heard negative reviews on it. And there’s always the possibility that you’ve never even heard of it. But the environment and its instability is a topic nearly everyone has heard of, and there are easy ways to help take part in this global effort.

  1. Save energy, save money. Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer to significantly cut your bill. Unplug unused appliances and wash clothes in cold water. Did you know that 85% of energy used to wash clothes accounts to heating the water!
  2. Save water, save money. Take shorter showers to reduce water usage and use a low-flow showerhead. Most plants require minimal watering, so take it easy on the sprinklers!
  3. Less gas, more money. Rather than taking the car to the local park, exercise and use a bike or walk. Take public transportation when possible; the buses and trains are making their trips whether you board or not.
  4. Don’t fall for bottled water. Besides the fact that bottles generate lots of waste, it’s expensive! Use a water filter and purify tap water for a cost effective method.
  5. Think before you buy. Don’t be so American! Instead of buying books, get them online and sync them to your iPhone or Kindle, or even go to the library to check it out! Buy refurbished products and keep an eye on local garage sales.
  6. Recycle. Though this may seem like the obvious one, but about 25% of Americans still don’t recycle. Awareness is highest in the Northeast and West due to the higher standards of living. Did you know that recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to power a television for three hours. Enough said!
  7. Eat local. Aside from the fact that purchasing locally keeps money in the local economy, the quality is often considered greater and fewer pesticides and chemicals are used.
  8. Be creative and have fun! One of the best ways to go green is to be creative and come up with your own ways. One of my own creative ideas is to use scrap paper or paper in the recycle bin to make a CD cover.

    Leave some of your creative ideas in the comment box below and thank you for reading!
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Interactive museums are quickly becoming popular throughout the United States. One of the best in the country is the Liberty Science Center, which hosts the largest IMAX Dome theater in the country. The museum opened in 1993 as New Jersey’s first major science museum, and has been popular ever since.

The museum is conveniently located in Jersey City, a city of 240,000 with 11 miles of prime waterfront across from Manhattan; set in a region easliy accessible by millions of residents  by car or Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, which connects to PATH and NJ Transit. It hosts nearly 300,000 square feet of exhibitions and “fun stuff” to do, due to the recent expansion and renewal project of $100+ million in 2007.

The top floor is the recommended story to start on, which hosts an exhibit known as “Energy Quest”: to help teach and explore different types of energy and how to harness them. Also on the floor is a cooking workshop and an exhibit of animals displaying the food chain.

The third floor is undoubtedly the best. It is home to the Communications exhibit, offering skills such as language learning and reading body language, as well as discussing the differences that communication devices have made in everyday life. One can also learn about global health issues and infectious diseases in a different exhibition on the level.

The second floor, which I bypassed, is solely devoted to the biggest IMAX Dome theater of our nation, and from what I’ve heard, is impressive. The first floor contains the Skyscraper exhibition, the largest of its kind in the world, with artifacts from The World Trade Center, an I-Beam walk two floors above, many hands-on activites for younger children, and many videos about the architectural design of famous buildings.

Being the first time I visited the center, I was very impressed, as I expected a very boring museum devoted to nuclear fusion, the periodic table, and lots of other topics that I am not fairly interested in. Take a look at some of the photos I took there..


There are only two capitals in the United States that lie on the border of another state. One of them is Carson City, Nevada. The other is Trenton, New Jersey. Though only hosting a population of about 85,000 people, this city has a minor league baseball team that is a Double-A affiliate of my favorite, The New York Yankees.

The team, and even more so, its fans, have a phenomenal amount of support. One can always see Boomer, one of four mascots, interacting with the fans, whether it be conducting a race with a motorcycle or giving the kids high-fives. Chase, a six-year-old golden retriever, is often seen bringing the bats back to the Trenton Thunder dugout. His son, Derby, has recently started making his debut by interacting by the fans once in a while. Strike, the last mascot, is a lightning bolt and Boomer’s best friend, and also takes place in in-game activities.

The team has its own stadium, Mercer County Waterfront Park, which can open its doors to about 6,400 people. Notable alumni of the team include Tony Clark, Nomar Garciaparra, Joba Chamberlain, Roger Clemens, and even Derek Jeter. They placed first in their league 6 times, most recently in 2008.

There are many players to focus on. So far, 3 players: Andrew Brackman, Wilkin de la Rosa, and Hector Noesi, are all on the Yankees’ 40-man roster. Two other players to keep an eye on are Jorge Vazquez and, a favorite of nearly everybody, Brandon Laird. Also topping the list is Marcos Vecchionacci, the Venezuelan first baseman. Just yesterday, the team traded David Phelps for Jeff Natale from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

So far, the team is first in the Eastern League, and has won 49 games and lost 31. Will they be able to remain in their position, or will another team edge them out?


There is just one more day until one of the most patriotic holidays in the world. 234 long years ago, Thomas Jefferson and 55 others signed one of the most important documents in American history, the Declaration of Independence. Over the years, traditions have been shared within families, and BBQs have been shared with neighbors. Everyone has his or her own way of celebrating this All-American holiday, whether going to a traditional baseball game or relaxing at home with family and burgers. But one tradition remains popular among the diverse population of our nation: fireworks.

I went out 2 nights ago with my handy-dandy camera to go see some of the colorful explosions famous throughout the land. I got a little bit of help from @ShutterBugGeek’s blog post and got my camera set up to take these wonderful photos for all you readers out there, and I decided to mix it up a little bit and turn it into a wonderful video. Check it out:

If you want to see this video in higher resolution, click this link provided: http://animoto.com/play/70WLrZ01o6iVhYkV0VMRFw?

You can see the photos in my blog sidebar to the right or at my Flickr.

So how do you spend your 4th of July weekend? And where do you like to hang out and watch fireworks? Don’t be shy, feel free to drop me a comment anytime!

Happy Independence Day Weekend,
@alexmaxbir



Well, it’s Saint Patrick’s Day, and what better day to wear green? Coming from a mostly Irish region of the country, anyone not wearing green looks like a freak. However, the holiday has been so Americanized that it is mostly celebrated as a “feast day”.

The holiday, as its name suggests, is named after Saint Patrick who lived around 400 AD, and is one of the most commonly recognized patron saints of Ireland. Believe it or not, the holiday was originally associated with the color blue, but over the years, Saint Patrick’s Day and green stuck together like glue. Green ribbons and shamrocks are often worn on this March 17th holiday as early as the 1600s! In the late 1700s, however, a few Irish soldiers made a political statement by wearing all green uniforms, and well, the tradition stuck.

The Chicago River on St Patricks Day

The holiday also started as a day off from the Christian season of Lent, thus alcohol comes into the picture. It was officially pronounced a “feast day” in the early 1600s and a holy day of obligation for the Roman Catholic Irish. Nowadays, this originally Catholic holiday is celebrated all throughout the Western world.

The biggest Saint Patrick’s Day parade is held right here in nearby New York City! More than 2 million spectators line the 1.5 miles of 5th Ave. The 5-hour-long parade features hundreds of thousands of marchers participating in it: what other way to boast about your city than saying it has one of the most popular St. Paddy’s Day parades in the world, let alone being in a heavily Irish area.

Does your family have any March 17th traditions? Do you head out to the pub or talk to the local leprechaun? Share your secrets below! Check out the NYC St. Patrick’s Day 2009 Parade video below also:


Sadly, Stephanie Meyer’s hit book and soon-to-be-film Eclipse isn’t coming out on the same day as the next lunar eclipse. But don’t let that bring you down, they aren’t too far apart!

The next lunar eclipse will occur on Saturday, June 26, 2010. Anyone from Karachi (viewable at moonrise) to Rio (viewable at moonset) could have the possibility to see it, but unfortunately for the Québécois and the people of Maine, you won’t have this opportunity. The closer to Hawaii you are, the more likely you will see it.

The romantic-fantasy film, Eclipse, however, will premiere 4 days later: Wednesday, June 30, 2010, so you can still have that magnificent sight in your head while watching it. I don’t think it will be as good as Twilight or New Moon, but the previous movies have appealed to so many people that it won’t have any problems in being successful.

In contrast to @ShutterBugGeek, I will probably not read the book. Of course, many people say the book is better, but then they are disappointed in the movie for leaving out many details. I have been told numerous times, starting around 2007, to read The Twilight Saga, but I have never gotten accustomed to reading them, unlike Harry Potter though.

While I was visiting Vancouver this summer (the city where they film part of the TS), there was much commotion about the new movie being filmed there, and I was advised to look out for the letters “TSE”: Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Unfortunately, I couldn’t snag any pictures while visiting, but I have managed to obtain this not-so-very-secret-anymore preview (make sure you watch it in 720p for best experience!):




Lately, Larry Platt’s song,”Pants on the Ground”, has been viral. But the original version is not the only one out there. Today, I compared many different remixes of the song and have limited it down to the best.

Larry Platt (Ke$ha – Tik Tok Remix) – Pants on the Ground:

Larry Platt (“The Official” Remix) – Pants on the Ground:

Larry Platt (Gangster Remix) – Pants on the Ground:

Larry Platt (D.J. Monopoli Remix) – Pants on the Ground:

Larry Platt (DJ Ross Remix) – Pants on the Ground:

Larry Platt (FoQMix) – Pants on the Ground:

Larry Platt (Run This Town Remix) – Pants on the Ground:

Larry Platt (Alvin and the Chipmunks Remix) – Pants on the Ground:

Well, those are some of the POTG Remixes. If you have any more to add, just comment and I’ll add it after approved! Remember to keep those pants up 😉


I’ve always been interested in first class as a young boy, but ever since I got upgraded to business class on my flight from Germany to New York, I have taken a special liking to this topic. Despite not having been on a first class seat ever, I took the time to research some good first class seats and I have narrowed it down to the ten best.

10. Qantas Airways

This Australian airline offers lounges in Sydney and Melbourne that have a library, a fine-dining restaurant, a business center and a spa that offers massages. Seats onboard are 6.5 feet long, and entertainment is video on-demand (400 channels). The designer silk toiletry kits–Akira Isogawa for men, Collete Dinnigan for women–are stuffed with Payot products. Meals are eight-course affairs. Even in economy class on some of the models, you have a self-serve bar (non-alcoholic drinks).

9. Air France

Air France features seats that feel like they were ripped right out of your den. Sporting side-by-side recliners that fold out into flat beds, these beefed-up seats in the first-class cabin make sure that you and your eight fellow travelers feel right at home. Air France stepped up its first-class offering in response to the new airlines rolling off the assembly line. The cabin reflects the idea of a French work experience, which is to say it’s comfortable and light on the actual work.

8. Lufthansa

This airline, ranked eight on the top-10 list, is a star performer on the ground. When fliers arrive at Frankfurt Airport, they lounge on couches and sip drinks while an attendant checks them in. After clearing security, they are led to a lounge where a chef cooks any meal of their choice. When it’s time to board, they are driven to the aircraft in a Mercedes. Comfortable lie-flat seats and efficient service await them onboard.

7. American Airlines

American Airlines has been pushing the envelope in productivity onboard an airline. Introducing what they call the “flagship suite,” the emphasis is on prepping for that meeting in Taipei while in the air. Features like swivel seating that lets you meet face-to-face with coworkers, laptop power outlets at each seat and individual satellite phones you’ll find everything you need to work right from your seat — which also carries an unintended downside. When your company books you first class on one of American’s 777s, you’ll have little chance to sample the spa-like amenity kits.

6. Air Canada

The first-class seats on Air Canada feel quite a bit like a futuristic office cubicle, which in a way could doom us all. With a lie-flat bed, ergonomically designed seats and laptop power and data jacks, Air Canada has entered the list with a completely competent, plush and well-designed first-class experience. The in-flight entertainment is top-notch, with individual armrest screens, three days worth of on-demand video, individual DVD players, and premium news — you’ll never be out of the loop. Hopefully, office managers don’t fly Air Canada too often, otherwise, they’d never be in the office.

5. All Nippon Airways

All Nippon Airways has taken your seat and wrapped it in high, curving walls. Flying then becomes almost a pod-like experience. Everything from your own personal monitor to your slide-out dinner table is contained within your own space. Personal space is something airlines have been shedding at every possible turn, so it’s good to see that All Nippon is building that personal area back into its first-class section. Each pod has all the basics covered for work and play. All Nippon Airways makes sure you’ll be able to make a call on your personal satellite phone while working on your laptop powered by your own outlet. And they make sure you can do so in complete privacy.

4. Emirates

You really have to hand it to the Emirates right now, they are taking outside-the-box thinking to an entirely new level. Want to travel to Dubai and see some of the outrageous architecture they’re working on? Go ahead and do it in style on board Emirates first class, which has taken the revolutionary concept of a private bedroom in air travel and added that touch of ridiculous. In addition to the flat-screen TV and requisite bed, you’ll find that you have your own coat closet, vanity desk and personal mini-bar. If that third gin and tonic has you a bit apprehensive about your flight, you can monitor the whole thing on your personal TV via the series of cameras mounted all over the plane.

3. Cathay Pacific

Seats here become ‘suites,’ thanks to sliding panels that provide total privacy. They turn into 81-inch-long beds and have built-in massagers. Each flier also gets a personal closet to store belongings. Cathay got high marks for its food: It’s one of the only carriers to have rice cookers, skillets and toasters onboard, so parts of meals are prepared fresh, like eggs made to order.

2. Qatar Airways

Flying first-class here means access to a separate terminal in Doha that mimics a five-star hotel with several fine-dining restaurants, a medical center, and a spa with sauna and Jacuzzi. On board passengers get caviar service, full-size pillows, white linen mattresses, Australian wool blankets and Bulgari toiletry kits. The seats are 79 inches long, have 15-inch LCD screens and come with a 23-inch meal table that allows dining for two, just as in a restaurant.

1. Singapore Air

Far and away the best experience possible in any first-class section anywhere in the world; Singapore Air doesn’t just provide a private bedroom, it provides a private suite. It’s not even really a suite, it’s like a flying apartment. Every other offering on the list has a seat that turns into a rather comfortable bed. Singapore decided that was cheating and not quite kosher with the stress of international business. The airline will just give you a comfortable recliner and set it right next to your static bed designed by Jean-Jacques Coste. You get a chair and a bed in the single cabins. If you happen to be traveling with someone, the option of a double bed is available. This is the absolute best experience you can have flying with any other passenger on board with you.

That’s it! Which one of these do you think should be #1? Did I leave out any airlines? Comment below and tell me what you think of my list. Thanks for reading!