Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maze construction nears completion

Maze construction nears completion

Submitted Photo
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Submitted Photo
Construction of the maze.
published: May 24 2010 10:10 AM updated:: May 24 2010 10:13 AM
Gatlinburg - Ober Gatlinburg's newest attraction, a 4600 sq. foot Amaze'n Maze, is scheduled to open for their guests on Memorial
The maze, with all its twists, turns and dead-ends, is more than just getting lost.
All ages can sharpen their navigational skills while competing against their family, friends and the clock.
Upon entering the maze, each guest will be issued a passport which they stamp at checkpoints as they work their way to the exit and clock their time.
The maze is being constructed by Greg Gallavan with Amaze'n Mazes of Winter Park, Colorado, and is one of only 30 installed in the United States, Canada and Spain.
Until 1996, mazes were typically made of wood until Gallavan developed plastic panels for a maze he installed in Steamboat Springs, Colo. The lightweight panels were more durable than wood and could be customized with different colors and logos. One year later, Gallavan introduced his first all-plastic maze.
Earlier this spring, Ober Gatlinburg added an indoor carousel. Other activities include the 120 passenger Aerial Tramway, Wildlife Encounter, indoor ice rink, Alpine Slide, scenic chairlift, three water raft rides, shops, restaurant and lounge.
This past winter, Ober Gatlinburg experienced a record-breaking ski season with 100 days of skiing and snowboarding due to the 50-plus inches of natural snowfall and colder than normal temperatures.
For more information, call 1-800-251-9202 or go to obergatlinburg.com.

Maze of Monkey Illusion - 2009 By Yonatan Frimer
Optical illusion maze caused by conflicting horizontal and vertical lines.

maze of monkey illusion medium InkBlotMazes Ink Blot Mazes, By Yonatan Frimer, your humble maze artist
Maze just for you, created by Yonatan Frimer

Playing in dirt is good for kids, navigate maze faster than control group

Smarter, less anxious: study; Outdoor learning experiences and school gardens help students relax and learn better, researchers suggest

Parents, here's another reason for your kids to play outdoors in the dirt: It might make them smarter.

And, as a side benefit, dirt appears to be a natural anti-anxiety drug, but without the side effects.

Mice exposed to a bacterium found in soil navigated a maze twice as fast, and with less anxiety, as control mice, in studies presented yesterday at the 110th general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego.

The researchers say we've become so urbanized we risk losing a connection with an organism in nature that may actually be beneficial to humans.

Dr. Dorothy Matthews became intrigued by Mycobacterium vaccae - a natural soil microbe - in 2007, when British scientists published a study showing that when mice were injected with a heat-killed version of the organism, it stimulated neurons in the brainstem to start producing serotonin.

"Serotonin is a molecule that has a number of different effects, but one of them is modulating mood and decreasing anxiety," says Matthews, an associate professor of biology at The Sage Colleges in Troy, NY.

Serotonin also plays a role in learning. "If you're nervous, if you're frightened, you just can't think straight," Matthews said. She wondered, could M. vaccae have an effect on learning in mice?

The bacteria-exposed mice consistently ran the maze twice as fast as non-exposed mice. They also showed fewer anxiety behaviours - less freezing, wall-climbing, stopping and grooming, returning to the start, or defecation.

After the bacteria were removed, the mice started running the mazes slower than they did when they were ingesting the bacteria. "They experienced a kind of serotonin withdrawal," Matthews said. They were still faster than the controls, on average, an effect that lasted for another month of testing.

Matthews says people are exposed to M. vaccae just by virtue of being outdoors. "It's only been the last 100 years or so that we've become more urbanized and are eating our foods in a different way."

We no longer eat foods that we grow or gather ourselves, she says - foods that haven't been "washed multiple times, and dunked in hot water, or processed or grown with pesticides."

Making time in school curriculums for children to learn outdoors might decrease their anxiety and improve their ability to learn new tasks, she says.

"There's a movement now in some schools to actually have gardens that are part of the school experience."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Maze Cartoon - OECD is a feather in the hat of Israel

Maze Cartoon - OECD, Feather in Israel's Hat

oecd hat feather in israel

Cartoon maze editorial of the OECD being a feather in Israel's hat.

Political Maze Cartoon on Comics Sherpa, by Yonatan Frimer
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Maze Topic in the News:

Israel celebrates membership of OECD

Israel has won a rare diplomatic victory in the face of stiff Palestinian opposition by being accepted into the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Israel has tried for 16 years to join the exclusive club of prosperous economies.

The OECD said it invited Israel, Estonia and Slovenia to become members after they met specific criteria as developed, open economies. The three increase OECD membership to 34.The new members ''will contribute to a more plural and open OECD that is playing an increasingly important role in the global economic architecture'', the OECD secretary-general, Angel Gurria, said in Paris.

He said Israeli politics and Middle East tensions were ''not the main focus of discussion'' but acknowledged ''the entire process of membership is political''.

The OECD's legal director, Nicola Bonucci, said on Monday a study will ''quantify the impact'' of data included by Israel from the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and West Bank settlements. Ms Bonucci said that issue ''was discussed at length''.

The head of Israel's central bank, Stanley Fischer, said membership ''is an important step towards Israel's integration into the global economy, and is an expression of Israel's commitment to meet the highest international standards''.

Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said: ''Today, a new investment avenue has been opened for us.'' He said he hoped to make Israel one of the world's top 15 economies over the next decade.

Since its formation, Israel has evolved from a tiny farming nation into a high-tech powerhouse. Palestinian officials said Israel's occupation of the West Bank and discriminatory treatment of its Arab citizens put the country at odds with the OECD's commitment to human rights.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Maze cartoon on the nail in coffin that the gulf oil spilloffshore drilling for

Gulf Oil Spill Nail in Coffin for off shore drilling - Maze Cartoon
nail coffin maze for gulf oil spill maze

Maze Cartoon editorial on how the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is the nail in the coffin of off shore drilling. Created by Yonatan Frimer

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The topic of this Maze Cartoon in the news:

How off shore drilling is affected by this gulf oil spill

Schwarzenegger Revokes Supoil, drilling, mexico, gulf, gulf of mexico, maze, mazes, maze art, yonatan, frimer, yonatan frimer, yfrimer, oil slick, oil drilling, off shore drilling, gulf oil spill, oil spill, oil disaster, gulf oil spill, britiport for Expanded Offshore Oil Drilling

As the environmental disaster unfolds in the Gulf of Mexico, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said yesterday that he no longer supports offshore drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara, NPR reported.

"You turn on the television and see this enormous disaster, you say to yourself, 'Why would we want to take on that kind of risk?' " Schwarzenegger said at a news conference.
Despite the fact that state democrats blocked a proposal last year to allow expanded drilling, the governor had supported a new plan to allow 30 new slant wells off Santa Barbara, the site of an oil platform explosion in 1969 that polluted miles of shoreline.
On Monday, Schwarzenegger said his support had been based on numerous studies finding it was safe to drill. But now, "I see on TV, the birds drenched in oil, the fishermen out of work, the massive oil spill, oil slick destroying our precious ecosystem," the governor said.
Meanwhile, Louisina Governor Bobby Jinal reported that the oil had made its way to Louisiana's Chandeleur and Breton sounds, but officials were having trouble finding it, nola.com reported. “Newspaper photojournalist Chris Granger said he could see no concentrations of oil on the barrier islands' beaches, currently a key nesting sight for a wide array of shore and water birds,” the article stated.

“Two birds found in the oil slick were recovering at a rescue center — a gannet found Friday and a brown pelican found sometime between then and Tuesday,” according to the Associated Press. (To see how trained officials clean birds, check out this article.)

“'We’re preparing for the worst,' said Jim Hood, the attorney general of Mississippi, referring both to the spill itself and the possibility of fierce legal struggles. The state has been taking photos and video of coastal areas and counting fish and birds, he said, to have a record of what exists before the oil arrives," a New York Times article stated.

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Maze cartoon of Obama's camaign promise of "Change" By Yonatan Frimer

The Promise from Obama Maze

maze of obama change
Editoral Cartoon Maze in Larger and Printable Format
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Editorial Maze Cartoon "Obama's change"

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Maze Cartoon topic in the news:

GDP grew by 3.2 percent in first quarter

By Ian Swanson - 04/30/10 09:18 AM ET

The nation’s gross domestic product increased 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2010, bolstering the Obama administration’s arguments that the economy is improving.

The jump in GDP was lower that the 5.6 percent increase registered in the last quarter of 2009, but still represents significant economic growth. It’s the third quarter in a row that the U.S. economy has expanded.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to make a statement on the figures from the Rose Garden on Friday morning. (Read More)

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