Archive for July, 2010



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!

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