The Village Voice Announces Final Line Up For Brooklyn Pour NYC’s Largest One-Day Craft Beer Festival

Over 65 Leading Local and National Breweries Offer 125 of Their Latest, Seasonal Beers Alongside Liquor Sampling, Food, Entertainment, a VIP Experience and More on Sat. Sept. 24 at Brooklyn Expo Center

Limited VIP and General Admissions Tickets Available A Portion of Proceeds to Benefit Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescuethe-village-voices-brooklyn-pour-craft-beer-festival

The Village Voice announces the final lineup of breweries and new additions for the 6th annual Brooklyn Pour, officially New York City’s largest one-day beer festival, taking place September 24 at the Brooklyn Expo Center (72 Noble Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222) from 3:00–6:00 pm.

Drawing 2,000 attendees annually, The Village Voice‘s Brooklyn Pour Craft Beer Festival event sells out in advance every year. All ticketholders will be offered unlimited tastings and a souvenir tasting glass.

With over 125 samples of the best seasonal, micro and reserve brews from over 65 regional and national breweries, the 6th annual Brooklyn Pour will be The Village Voice’s largest to date. Additionally announced today, Brooklyn Pour will feature a game zone plus a dining hall presented by The Astor Room, the retro supper club of Kaufman Astoria Studios. Expanded tastings including mead, hard seltzer and root beer, ciders and liquor for all guests.

In addition to General Admission tickets ($55), Brooklyn Pour will also offer limited VIP tickets ($85). VIP ticket-holders will receive early entry and private VIP lounge access. The VIP lounge will feature exclusive complimentary oyster pairing samples presented by Blue Point Brewing, cheese tastings offered by Cabot Creamery, complimentary canapes and VIP gift bags.

The Village Voice is partnering with Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue on the festival this year; a portion of proceeds will be donated to the charity, which is a non-profit, all-breed dog rescue. The organization is comprised of a network of fosters and volunteers who work tirelessly together to rescue adoptable dogs from high kill, rural shelters in southern USA.

The Village Voice’s Brooklyn Pour is one of the most highly anticipated craft beer festivals in the Tri-state area,” said Suzan Gursoy, Publisher of The Village Voice. “Now officially New York City’s largest one-day beer festival, we’re thrilled to announce this year’s expanded offerings and extensive list of participating breweries.

Participating craft breweries at the festival include: Continue reading

National Geographic Teams Up with GovMint.com to Develop Limited Edition of Collectible Coins to Benefit Africa’s Big Cats

For the first time ever, National Geographic and the South African Mint have partnered to release limited-edition sets of legal-tender coins. The National Geographic Big Cats Coin Program will benefit the Big Cats Initiative (BCI), a long-term effort supported by National Geographic that aims to halt the decline of big cats in the wild. GovMint.com, one of the world’s leading sources of collectible coins, has signed on as the exclusive distributor. The collection is available for purchase on GovMint.com or by calling 1-800-642-9160.BigCats_SlvGold-634x370

The collection will feature on its coin face the cheetah, a native species of South Africa. Famously the world’s fastest land animal, cheetahs can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just three seconds. Their keen eyesight and ability to make quick and sudden turns also make them a fierce predator. The cheetah’s distinct spotted coat allows them to blend easily into high, dry grasses. Sadly, their population is dwindling due to human encroachment on the wide, open grasslands in which they live. It is estimated that only 7,000 to 10,000 of these big cats remain in their native eastern and southwestern Africa.

Struck at the South African Mint in 99.9 percent pure gold, each gold proof set contains four coins in tenth-ounce, quarter-ounce, half-ounce and one-ounce weights. All obverses feature the year and South African Coat of Arms depicting an eagle with a rising sun at the top and their motto. Each of the coins features four distinct cheetah designs created by the master artists at the South African mint. Coins are displayed in a beautifully crafted wooden case along with an official mint certificate of authenticity and booklet.

Since 1984, GovMint.com has been one of the world’s leading sources of collectible coins. Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, GovMint.com is an official distributor for seven major world mints and offers collectible coins from over 120 countries. (More information at www.GovMint.com/bigcats or call 800-642-9160.)

When we consider new editions, we try to choose subjects that we think will not only resonate with our collectors, but that also represent a direct connection to the countries issuing the coins,” said Bill Gale, founder of GovMint.com. “South Africa is proud to feature the cheetah on its gold and silver coins, and shine a spotlight on such a beloved, iconic species.

Big Cats in the wild are disappearing at an alarming rate,” said Andy Reif, head of licensing for National Geographic Partners. “It is the goal of National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative to halt this decline through on-the-ground conservation and education projects. We are happy to support this work through the Big Cats Coin Program, through GovMint.com.”

GovMint.com also offers a one-ounce Sterling Silver Crown 2 Rand (R2) proof. Each silver proof includes the official languages of South Africa surrounding the South African Coat of Arms. Each comes encased in original packaging from the South African Mint, accompanied by an informative booklet.

Proceeds from the National Geographic Big Cat Coin Collection supports National Geographic’s programs, including the conservation of animals and their habitats. National Geographic Society receives funds from National Geographic Partners LLC, funded in part by your purchase. To learn more, visit www.natgeo.com/info.

National Geographic Partners LLC, a joint venture between National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox, combines National Geographic television channels with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic Studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, catalog, licensing and e-commerce businesses. A portion of the proceeds from National Geographic Partners LLC will be used to fund science, exploration, conservation and education through significant ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com. To find out more about the Big Cats Initiative’s work to stop the decline of lions, leopards, tigers and other big cats, visit www.causeanuproar.org.

National Geographic Magazine’s April 2016 Issue Features 10 Different Covers for the First Time in Publication’s History

Documenting the World’s Animals, One Picture at a Time.

Multiple Covers Celebrate Photographer Joel Sartore’s “Photo Ark” Project

In a publishing first for National Geographic magazine, the April 2016 issue has 10 different covers featuring the work of well-known National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore. U.S. subscribers will receive one of the covers at random in their homes, and print newsstands similarly will offer a selection of the covers.

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©National Geographic Top row, from left: waxy monkey tree frog, hippopotamus, Reimann’s snake-necked turtle, snowy owl, Malayan tiger. Bottom row, from left: Brazilian porcupine, southern three-banded armadillo, Indian peafowl, mother and baby koalas, Coquerel’s sifaka.

The April covers highlight the National Geographic Photo Ark project, a multiyear effort with Sartore to photograph all captive species and inspire people to save these animals before they disappear. For many of Earth’s creatures, time is running out. Species are disappearing at an alarming rate. To motivate people to care and help stop the crisis, Sartore is creating intimate portraits of an estimated 12,000 species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. To date, he has photographed nearly 6,000 animals. Once completed, Photo Ark will serve as an important record of each animal’s existence and a powerful testament to the importance of saving them. 

(National Geographic magazine’s “Every Last One” feature (April 2016 cover story):http://on.natgeo.com/1WkPr6h)

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Greenbottle blue tarantula, Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Nebraska

Greenbottle blue tarantula, Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Nebraska

The 10 published covers feature portraits of the following animals: waxy monkey tree frog, hippopotamus, Reimann’s snake-necked turtle, snowy owl, Malayan tiger, Brazilian porcupine, southern three-banded armadillo, Indian peafowl, mother and baby koalas, and Coquerel’s sifaka. Sartore shot the cover images at a number of locations, including Rolling Hills Zoo, the San Antonio Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, Raptor Recovery Nebraska, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, the Saint Louis Zoo, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and the Houston Zoo.

Bat star, Patiria miniata, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Bat star, Patiria miniata, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Blue-spotted emperor butterfly, Charaxes cithaeron, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Blue-spotted emperor butterfly, Charaxes cithaeron, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Chinese flying frog, Rhacophorus dennysi, Phoenix Zoo

Chinese Flying Frog,mRhacophorus dennysi, Phoenix Zoo

Chinstrap penguin, Pygoscelis antarctica, Newport Aquarium, Kentucky

Chinstrap penguin, Pygoscelis antarctica, Newport Aquarium, Kentucky

Pink-sided tree frog, Agalychnis litodryas, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador

Pink-sided tree frog, Agalychnis litodryas, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador

Roanoke logperch, Percina rex, Conservation Fisheries, Inc., Tennessee

Roanoke logperch, Percina rex, Conservation Fisheries, Inc., Tennessee

Sand cat, Felis margarita, Chattanooga Zoo

Sand cat, Felis margarita, Chattanooga Zoo

Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, Dallas Zoo

Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, Dallas Zoo

With so many animals to choose from, the magazine staff had a difficult time selecting the 10 to use on the covers.

Fennec Fox The smallest foxes in the world have enormous ears to cool them down as they traverse sand dunes in the Sahara, where they are common. Their cuteness makes them attractive to the wild-pet trade.  2

Fennec Fox The smallest foxes in the world have enormous ears to cool them down as they traverse sand dunes in the Sahara, where they are common. Their cuteness makes them attractive to the wild-pet trade.

We wanted species diversity, from the charismatic and cute to the often overlooked. A mix of engaging characters that started to hint at the scale of Joel’s project was key,” says Susan Goldberg, National Geographic Partners editorial director and National Geographic magazine editor in chief. Continue reading

Cowboy Couture Returns to Jackson Hole with Western Design Conference Announcement of September 2016 Dates

Applications Now Being Accepted Through April 1st

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The Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale, which showcases the latest in Western-inspired contemporary functional art, will return to the Snow King Events Center in Jackson, Wyoming, Sept. 8-11, 2016. The popular Jackson Hole event displays the work for purchase of more than 130 best-of-their-craft artisans, who are selected by a jury of experts to present a variety of hand-crafted innovations in Western furniture, fashion, jewelry, accessories for the home and more.WDC-Designer-Conference

The 24th annual Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale is a four-day, multimillion-dollar event that brings together craftspeople, collectors, interior designers, architects and fashion designers with a love of the West, sponsored by Mountain Living magazine. The Western Design Conference was founded 24 years ago in Cody, Wyo., as a way to promote contemporary artists working in historical American craft methods. The WDC moved to Jackson in 2007. Allison Merritt, who purchased the WDC in 2014, after seven years acting as event manager, continues the strong commitment to Western arts in Wyoming while expanding the reach of the show. From documented American craft to home design to couture fashion, the show encompasses all aspects of the best of Western design.

2016 Western Design Conference #1

The Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale showcases unique furniture such as this music stand and chair by Henneford Fine Furniture, the 2015 winner of Best Craftsmanship at the 2015 event.

While the Exhibit + Sale’s contemporary Western design may take cues from the history and culture of the Old West, “a walk through the exhibit hall dispels the notion that Western furnishings are heavy or rough-hewn,” wrote the Denver Post after a visit to last year’s WDC. The one-of-a-kind pieces on display reflect a high degree of sophistication, creativity and craftsmanship – often with an innovative use of distinctly Western materials. Another aspect that makes the experience special for visitors, explains Merritt in a video capturing the excitement of the WDC, is the direct interaction with the artists for a deeper understanding of their influences and process.

2016 Western Design Conference -  Beltshazzar Jewels

Attendees of the Western Design Conference can browse and purchase a wide range of jewelry and accessories from artists across the country such as this dramatic necklace by Beltshazzar Jewels.

These are artists creating at the highest levels of contemporary craft,” says Merritt. But beyond the remarkable workmanship, “sometimes it’s hearing the artist’s personal inspiration behind a particular piece that gives it deeper meaning to the buyer, so that when they take it home, it is so much more than just a beautiful object. Continue reading

National Geographic Travel Announces 2016 World Legacy Awards Finalists

Finalists Comprises of Travel Companies, Organizations And Destinations Driving Positive Transformation Of The Global Tourism Industry

The 15 finalists of the 2016 National Geographic World Legacy Awards were unveiled this past week. The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between the National Geographic Society and ITB Berlin, showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations — ranging from large resorts to small eco-lodges and from wildlife conservancies to geoparks — driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the travel industry based on National Geographic’s work of inspiring people to care about the planet.NG-World-Legacy-Awards-634x358

Costas Christ, chairman of National Geographic World Legacy Awards, said, “Sustainable tourism is the foundation for the future of the travel industry, and those destinations and companies that understand this today will be the global leaders of tomorrow. Tourism is based on selling culture and nature — the very things sustainable tourism practices work to protect. Have you ever heard someone come back from a vacation and say, ‘I just had a great holiday hiking in a dead rain forest and then staying on a beach filled with trash?’ The World Legacy Awards finalists are all about protecting the places travelers love to visit and benefiting the local people who live there. Together, these 15 finalists are working towards a future when all tourism will be sustainable.

More than 150 World Legacy Awards entries were received, representing 51 countries and six continents. Finalists in five award categories were selected by an international team of judges. The judging process also included on-site inspections of all finalists. For details on the judges, go to http://www.nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacyawards/judging.html.

The National Geographic World Legacy Awards finalists are:

CONSERVING THE NATURAL WORLD — Recognizing outstanding support for the preservation of nature, restoring natural habitat and protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans.arkaba-walk-on-white_new

Arkaba by Wild Bush Luxury, Australia — Located on the outskirts of Flinders Ranges National Park, Wild Bush has systematically restored a 60,000-acre former sheep ranch into a thriving wildlife conservancy. Sharing its scientific monitoring of the area’s biodiversity with its guests, conservation groups and community members, Wild Bush is demonstrating that eco-tourism can be a vehicle for nature conservation and rural economic growth.The Elephant Camp

A Unique Elephant Experience at Elephant Hill, Thailand

A Unique Elephant Experience at Elephant Hill, Thailand

Elephant Hills, Thailand — With two tented camps bordering remote Khao Sok National Park, Elephant Hills focuses on the protection of the endangered wild Asian elephant. Through guest and community education, including caring for rescued elephants, Elephant Hills is demonstrating that local livelihoods can be improved through conservation-based tourism, while supporting an alternative to captive elephant riding as a tourism attraction.

Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, Mexico — This nonprofit grassroots community organization has been instrumental in the creation and maintenance of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, an area of rich biodiversity in central Mexico. Working with local communities, Sierra Gorda has provided new opportunities for employment, encouraging and supporting the development of small eco-tourism businesses, while monitoring and tracking benefits to biodiversity conservation and economic development.

EARTH CHANGERS — Recognizing cutting-edge leadership in environmentally friendly business practices and green technology, from renewable energy and water conservation to zero-waste systems and carbon emissions reduction.

Mission Hills, China

Mission Hills, China

Mission Hills, China —Demonstrating that environmental responsibility can be adopted across the Chinese tourism industry, Mission Hills published a sustainability manual and was one of the first resorts in mainland China to engage in green operations. They launched an educational campaign against the sale of ivory and shark fin. Incorporating solar-powered golf carts and solar “pest control,” Mission Hills Haikou earned the UK based Golf Environment Organization’s certification in 2014.

Laguna Lodge, Guatemala — A luxury eco-lodge focused on green operations and environmental responsibility, Laguna Lodge uses solar power and carefully tracks and monitors energy, water, waste and purchasing. It grows most of its own food, sources locally, and offers a vegetarian and vegan menu to all guests. It also offers cooking classes and highlights the environmentally responsible benefits of food choices.

Inspira Santa Marta Hotel, Portugal — Located in Lisbon, this hotel works to minimize negative impacts on the environment, implement environmentally friendly operations and serve as a role model for Portugal’s tourism industry. In addition to careful tracking of energy and water, the hotel’s “Green Squad” provides leadership in implementing innovative sustainable tourism ideas both in the hotel and the community.

SENSE OF PLACE — Recognizing excellence in enhancing cultural authenticity, including implementing vernacular architecture and design, support for the protection of historic monuments, archaeological sites, indigenous heritage and artistic traditions.

CGH Earth, India — CGH Earth operates 16 properties in southern India emphasizing local cultural heritage, including lodge design, community relations and helping guests experience authentic local culture. All of its properties emulate the traditional design of the region’s villages and are built using local, recycled and reclaimed materials, while the introduction of organic farming and local markets contributes to the conservation of local biodiversity.

Tierra Patagonia, Chile — Built to blend harmoniously with the dramatic landscape of Torres Del Paine National Park, the goal of the lodge construction was to create a place that not only used local materials but also took care to ensure the least amount of disruption possible to the surrounding environment, taking wind patterns, animal trails and native vegetation into account in the lodge design.

TIME Unlimited Tours, New Zealand — TIME (To Integrate Maori Experiences) Unlimited Tours is an Auckland-based eco-tourism company offering environmentally friendly tours across New Zealand. A Maori-owned company, TIME Unlimited introduces guests to both the natural and cultural heritage of New Zealand, providing a “living cultural” experience that immerses guests in the local Maori way of life, benefiting local communities while promoting sustainable tourism. Continue reading

Annenberg Space For Photography Presents LIFE: A Journey Through Time By Master Photographer Frans Lanting

The Annenberg Space for Photography (2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067, www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org) announced a photographic interpretation of life on Earth from the Big Bang to the present by acclaimed National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting. LIFE: A Journey Through Time is based on Lanting’s epic, multi-year project and features more than 70 images with texts and stories about the works, as well as an innovative timeline of life on our planet. Exclusive to the traveling exhibition’s presentation at the Annenberg Space for Photography are an original documentary short film and four short videos that explore the human connection to life around us. On view from October 24, 2015 to March 20, 2016, LIFE explores the story of our planet from its earliest beginnings to its present diversity, captured in images that evoke the complex wonder of nature through time.

We are delighted to bring the majestic work of Frans Lanting to the Annenberg Space for Photography,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “Lanting’s photographic journey combines provocative storytelling with new scientific insights. His seemingly omnipotent ability to look at situations in the natural world provides us with, to quote Lanting, ‘a window into its past.'”

For The LIFE Project, Lanting set off on a journey of photographic discovery that led him to remote 150112_10150815412425892_1223529129_nlocations such as Western Australia’s Shark Bay and Siberia’s Kamchatka Peninsula to capture primordial landscapes—and into unique museum collections to explore fossils and microscopic life. The result is a celebration of planet Earth that aims to educate and inspire through images and stories of the incredible biodiversity that surrounds us.

Organized in sections, the exhibition begins with “Elements,” to interpret Earth’s early history and show interactions among the five classical elements: earth, air, fire, water and space; “Beginnings” traces life from single-celled origins into more complex forms in the sea; “Out of the Sea” evokes the time when life first ventured ashore; “On Land” covers the period when plants and animals colonized solid ground; “Into the Air” highlights the evolutionary innovations of birds and flowering plants, ending with the cataclysmic events that caused the demise of the dinosaurs; “Out of the Dark” portrays the rise of mammals; and the concluding chapter, “Planet of Life,” envisions the collective force of life as a sixth element shaping our planet. An outdoor component of the exhibition, “Future of Life,” portrays present-day challenges to global biodiversity caused by the impact of humans on the planet in an era many scientists now call the Anthropocene.

The simple idea of looking for the past in the present grew into a challenging photographic undertaking that extended over several years and continues to influence my work today,” said Lanting. “My mission was to create images of nature—from volcanoes to tree frogs—that could evoke a sense of time and origins. I wanted to apply both new scientific ideas to my subjects and new photographic concepts to my images. My approach has been that of a storyteller who draws on characters for the sake of telling a larger tale.”

An original documentary film commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography and produced by award-winning director Steven Kochones and Arclight Productions takes viewers on a journey through time via the remarkable images and story of Lanting’s LIFE Project, while recounting Lanting’s own evolution from wildlife photographer to visual chronicler of life on Earth. The film will include interviews with Lanting in his Santa Cruz studio; natural history writer, editor, videographer and longtime Lanting partner and collaborator Christine Eckstrom; horseshoe crab expert Dr. Carl Shuster; Harvard University evolutionary biologist Dr. Andrew Knoll; National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Elizabeth Krist; Ecological Research & Development Group President Glenn Gauvry; Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) geologist Dr. Abigail Allwood; JPL Mars Program Office Chief Scientist Dr. Richard Zurek; pioneering sociobiologist Dr. Edward O. Wilson; UC Santa Cruz Institute of Marine Sciences Director Dr. Gary Griggs; and renowned primatologist and conservationist Dr. Russell Mittermeier.

For the first time, the Annenberg Space for Photography Skylight Studios will be partnering with explore.org to offer programming to complement the LIFE exhibit. Utilizing content and live camera footage from explore.org, Skylight Studios will offer an immersive environment that celebrates species in the sea, on land and in the air. Skylight Studios will also continue to host the popular Iris Nights lecture series with exhibit-related speakers. The full schedule of events will be announced at a later date. The Annenberg Foundation provides bus funding to Title 1 schools, allowing educators to bring students to the Photography Space, free of charge, to experience LIFE‘s wondrous presentation of natural history. The exhibition-related book LIFE: A Journey Through Time will be available for purchase at the Annenberg Space for Photography and at Skylight Studios.

The Annenberg Space for Photography (2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067, www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org)

The Annenberg Space for Photography (2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067, http://www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org)

The Annenberg Space for Photography is a cultural destination dedicated to exhibiting photography. The intimate environment features state-of-the-art, high-definition digital technology as well as traditional prints by both world-renowned and emerging photographers. It is the first solely photographic cultural destination in the Los Angeles area. The Photography Space conveys a range of human experiences and serves as an expression of the philanthropic work of the Annenberg Foundation and its directors.


Hours: Wednesday through Sunday: 11 am–6 pm; closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Admission is free.
Parking with validation is $3.50 Wednesdays–Fridays and $1.00 on weekends.

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New Exhibition to Showcase National Geographic’s Pristine Seas Project

National Geographics Pristine Seas project searches for the last truly wild places in the ocean, remote areas untouched by human activity. Led by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala, the team explores, conducts scientific research and makes powerful films to motivate world leaders to protect these last pristine places. An exhibition at the National Geographic Museum, Pristine Seas: The Ocean’s Last Wild Places,will showcase the work that the Pristine Seas team is doing to protect these remote and thriving regions. The free exhibition opens in the Museum’s M Street gallery on Wednesday, Sept. 16.Pristine-Seas-Exhibit-Logo

Pristine Seas” features more than 60 images from the project’s expeditions, many captured by Sala himself. The exhibition is organized into four categories: Reefs, Oceanic Islands, the Arctic and Coastal Africa. The exhibition also features a section focused on the planning that goes into these expeditions as well as an area looking at the future of the Pristine Seas project and the team’s upcoming expeditions.

Traveling from the Arctic to tropical seas and coastal environments, the Pristine Seas team has completed more than a dozen expeditions since the project’s inception in 2008. Six of the sites the team has studied are now fully protected marine reserves totaling over 2.2 million square kilometers (around 850,000 square miles). The exhibition will feature maps, images of stunning wildlife and videos of healthy marine life from a selection of these expeditions and the conservation efforts in place to keep the protected areas safe.

The Pristine Seas project is a great example of the impact National Geographic can have on conservation,” said Kathryn Keane, vice president of National Geographic Exhibitions.This project not only provides a baseline of data for science, but it also records some of the most pristine places in the ocean and inspires people around the world to get involved in preserving these places.

Sala will share behind-the-scenes adventures from his Pristine Seas expeditions with National Geographic Live audiences in New York on Oct. 20, Los Angeles on Oct. 29 and Washington, D.C., on Nov. 19. After each talk, he will sign copies of his new National Geographic book, PRISTINE SEAS: Journeys to the Ocean’s Last Wild Places. Tickets to the Nat Geo Live events start at $25 and can be purchased at nglive.org.

Also open in the Museum’s 17th Street galleries are Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants,” which will run until Oct. 12, 2015, and Indiana Jones™ and the Adventure of Archaeology,” which will be open through Jan. 3, 2016.

The National Geographic Museum (1145 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.), is open every day (except Dec. 25) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission to the 17th Street galleries is $15 for adults; $12 for National Geographic members, military, students and seniors; $10 for children 5-12; and free for local school, student and youth groups (18 and under; advance reservation required). Tickets may be purchased online at www.ngmuseum.org; via telephone at (202) 857-7700; or in person at the Museum between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. For more information on group sales, call (202) 857-7281.

Explore the Big World of Small Wonders with New National Geographic Products Exclusively at PetSmart

Pet Habitat and Care Items Offer Deeper Connection to Natural World

Hundreds of innovative National Geographic pet products are now in PetSmartTM stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and on Petsmart.com/natgeo. Drawing on National Geographic’s extensive experience in the natural world and PetSmart’s deep pet expertise, the new habitats, décor and food inspire a fresh look at the world of specialty pets. The products now available are for the care of freshwater fish, reptiles and small pets. Additional products will be available later in the year.

In keeping with National Geographic’s mission to inspire people to care about the planet, products include detailed information on natural habitats, behaviors and diets that help pet parents learn about and care for their specialty pets. National Geographic’s net proceeds from the products will support the conservation of animals and their environments.

PetSmart will team with award-winning photographer Joel Sartore, a National Geographic fellow and 20-year contributor to National Geographic magazine, who will share his experiences and wonderment of animals. Sartore specializes in documenting endangered species and landscapes in a way that draws attention to a world worth saving.

Aquatics

Smart design and elegance come together in aquariums with low-profile hoods and integrated LED lighting. Pet parents can create a natural environment with 3-D backgrounds and coordinated décor that’s simple to maintain with fish products that include:

  • National Geographic Aqua Oasis Aquarium: A curved, seamless bow-front allows for uninterrupted views with easy access to make feeding simple. Available in 8.5-, 15.8- and 23-gallon sizes, this starter kit contains touch-sensor screen LED lighting with day and night features, an internal power filter with filtration media and a submersible heater.
  • National Geographic Water Care: Easily start or maintain a healthy aquarium with fast-dissolving and premeasured tablets. Water care can neutralize chlorine and heavy metals, provide vitamins or clear up cloudy water from overfeeding, particles or gravel.
  • National Geographic Tropical Fish Flakes: This seafood meets the Marine Stewardship Council’s global standard and is made with sustainably harvested whole fish, kelp, spirulina, vitamins and extra fiber. Added carotenoids provide natural color.

Reptiles

This complete line of thoughtfully designed products simplifies maintenance and simulates the reptiles’ natural environment with 3-D backgrounds and coordinating décor. Reptile products include:

  • National Geographic Reptile SanctuaryMultiple entry points make feeding and cleaning easier, while cord management keeps everything organized and pets securely inside. Tanks are available in 13-, 18- and 50-gallon sizes appropriate for desert and temperate environments and a 26-gallon size for tropical environments.
  • National Geographic Reptile EntréesConvenient, semi-moist pellets are formulated for optimal health and mimic diverse foods found in the wild. The bearded dragon diet can even replace cricket feeding for adult and juvenile bearded dragons.
  • National Geographic Reptile Bulbs: High-quality, nickel-plated copper threads help prevent corrosion while bulbs regulate reptiles’ body temperature and metabolism. High-efficiency halogen basking bulbs deliver full spectrum light for up to 2,000 hours.

Small Pet

Pet parents can peek into small pets’ daily lives with panoramic views and clear habitats. Natural bedding, food, treats and chews draw on animals’ natural environments and needs. Small pet products include:

  • National Geographic Exploration LoftTwo habitat sizes offer 360-degree views into multi-level play areas. A skylight provides easy access and fresh airflow, plus cleaning is simple with a removable top, a dishwasher-safe food dish and a deep base for bedding.
  • National Geographic Natural Food, Treats and ChewsBlended with natural ingredients such as cabbage, carrots, apples and parsley, each small pet entrée offers a nutritionally complete and hearty meal while promoting natural foraging behavior.  Supplement with forage mix salad, trail mix and Power Snap bars for an added treat.
  • National Geographic Natural Comfort BeddingAvailable in fragrance-free chamomile buds, silky kapok, lavender, coconut and crinkle paper, this soft bedding is made of post-consumer paper, triple-cleaned for low dust and treated with colorfast dyes. Natural inclusions of dried pellets encourage instinctual burrowing and nesting.

I developed a passion for nature and animals as a child, and I’ve spent hundreds of hours observing, photographing and documenting them in the wild for National Geographic,” Sartore said. “I’m pleased that the new National Geographic products at PetSmart will introduce more families and their pets to the natural world, because it’s important to get people to see the wonders and beauty that exist in nature – and to see that there’s beauty and grace and power in all of our species.”

Fans are invited to join a Twitter chat with Sartore, hosted by PetSmart (@PetSmart), on June 9 at 5 p.m. EDT, using #NatGeoPets, to discuss his work in the natural world and adventures with National Geographic.

The new National Geographic products spark a curiosity about specialty pets and the places they inhabit in the wild,” said Steve Chattin, PetSmart Vice President of Specialty Merchandising. “Pet parents can build deeper connections with their pets while learning about the natural world each animal would inhabit and caring for those pets at home.”

For more information and the full collection of available products, visit Petsmart.com/natgeo.

National Zoo’s African Lion Gives Birth to Four Cubs

Cubs Expected To Be On Exhibit by Summer

March came in like a lion—four lions, to be exact—when 9-year-old African lion Shera gave birth to a litter at the Great Cats exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Their delivery March 2 spanned a seven-hour period, from 8:27 a.m. to 3:17 p.m. These cubs are the second litter for Shera and the fifth for 8-year-old father, Luke. Recently, Luke also sired 10-year-old Nababiep’s two female cubs born Jan. 24.

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Animal care staff watched Shera give birth via a closed-circuit webcam and continue to monitor the family. The first cub was born at 8:27 a.m. and appeared active and healthy. At 9:03 a.m., Shera delivered her second mobile cub. The third cub was born at 11:09 a.m. and the fourth at 3:17 p.m. The Zoo’s animal care team has been closely observing the family throughout Sunday and Monday’s snowstorm. All four cubs appear to be nursing, moving and vocalizing well.

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“Shera successfully raised her previous litter of four in 2010, so we’re cautiously optimistic that these cubs will thrive,” said Kristen Clark, and animal keeper at the Great Cats exhibit. “Like any new mom, she needs some peace and quiet to bond with her cubs, so we’re giving her the solitude she needs. From what we’ve observed on the cam, her behaviors are right on point, and there’s no need for us to intervene.”

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The National Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ African Lion Species Survival Plan, a program that matches individual animals across the country for breeding in order to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse and self-sustaining population. The birth of these cubs marks the next step in building a pride at the Zoo. The pride social structure makes lions unique among the great cats, many of which are solitary animals. African lion populations in the wild have dwindled by 30 percent during the past 20 years as a result of poaching, disease and habitat loss. They are considered a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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“At this time, both mothers have a den space to bond with their cubs that is separated from each other and Luke,” said Rebecca Stites, animal keeper. “In the wild, a lion may take up to six weeks to introduce her cubs to the rest of the pride, so we are emulating that process. Once Shera’s behavior indicates that she’s comfortable with the cubs meeting their half-siblings, aunt and dad, we’ll begin introductions. Our aim is to bring all nine lions together.”

Shera’s cubs will not be on exhibit until early summer, which will give the Zoo’s animal keepers and veterinary team time to examine them. Nababiep and her cubs will also remain indoors until late spring but can be viewed via the Lion Cub Cam on the Zoo’s website. National Zoo visitors can see another set of cubs—7-month-old Sumatran tigers Bandar and Sukacita—on exhibit every day, weather permitting.

To follow the Zoo’s progress in caring for the cubs, check for news on the Zoo’s InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Endangered Black Rhino Conservation Is Newest ‘Boutique Adventure’ On Crystal African Voyage

Exclusive Excursion Offers Rare Close Encounter with Nearly Extinct Animal

Flying in a helicopter high above South Africa’s lush Maputaland, one can’t help but marvel at the black rhino – classified as “critically endangered” – resting below.  Crystal Cruises’ newest Boutique Adventure promises an ultra-intimate and exclusive, hands-on “Rhino Conservation Experience” in Africa, with tales to tell afterward that could rival any Ernest Hemingway novel.  Offered with Crystal Serenity’s March 10 2014 voyage from Singapore to Cape Town, the excursion makes guests a part of the vital local tracking and protection efforts that are fighting to keep the animal from extinction.  From helping locate rhinoceroses to notching their ears while anesthetized (enabling researchers to identify the animal and aide in the repopulation process), participants will assist the expert anti-poaching team from beginning to end.

Africa's black rhino.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Africa’s black rhino. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

How many times in one’s life do you get to stand right next to a one-ton+ wild animal in Africa, and feel its skin, study its valued horn, and know you’re part of an effort that will hopefully help this creature, and its descendants, survive?” says John Stoll, vice president of land programs.  “This is an experience that, both on a personal level and a larger, macro level, promises to be beyond rewarding and memorable – and that has been created exclusively for Crystal cruisers.”

Crystal’s “Rhino Conservation Experience” is available only to guests also participating in Crystal’s mid-CRYSTAL-CRUISES-LOGO1cruise, off-ship Overland Adventure to the Phinda Private Game ReserveThe Overland Adventure, which departs from Durban and returns to Port Elizabeth, features two nights of luxury accommodations and game drives in search of lions, elephants, buffalo and leopards.  The line’s Boutique Adventure collection, first introduced in January, features shoreside experiences that are extremely limited in participation and not available with any other cruise line.

The 21-day sailing departs Singapore for Jakarta, Indonesia; Mauritius/Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius; Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town (overnight), South Africa, with a two-night, inclusive pre-cruise program to Bangkok and Cambodia beginning on March 7.  Cruise-only fares start at $7,520 per person if booked by January 3, 2014.  The “Rhino Conservation Experience” is $1,287 per person. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

THE PAW PROJECT OPENS IN NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES

VETERINARIAN DIRECTS ACTIVIST DOCUMENTARY TO INSPIRE CHANGE AND PROTECT CATS AND DOGS FROM UNNECESSARY PAIN AND SUFFERING.

THE PAW PROJECT, a documentary directed by Dr. Jennifer Conrad.

http://www.pawprojectmovie.com/

THEATRICAL SCREENING INFO.

September 27- October 3: New York (IFC Center)

October 18 – 25: Los Angeles (Pasadena Playhouse 7

October 19 & 20: Santa Monica (Laemmle Monica

National roll out to follow NY, leading into LA

If you are an animal lover, then this is the film for you. In the United States today, six out of ten pet owners consider their pets to be family members. Today, 36,117,000 households have a pet cat in the home. (“U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics.” U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 July 2011.) Currently, approximately 25% of these cats are declawed. While many cat owners are unaware of the true nature of this surgery, they are never told that it is an amputation of the last toe bones in a cat’s paw; and it actually does more harm than good. More than half of American households have at least one cat, and majority of them consider their cats to be members of the family. Over twenty million, or one-quarter of all cats, are declawed by veterinarians who promote the procedure as a quick and easy means to protect household furnishings from unwanted scratching. But vets rarely explain that declawing requires the surgical amputation of the last bone in the cat’s toes and the fact that declawing may result in permanent disabilities and behavioral changes, such as increased biting and litter box avoidance. Declawing is illegal and considered inhumane in most of the world. So, why is declawing so common in the United States?

Dr. Conrad and the bobcat

Dr. Conrad and the bobcat

Dr Ken Jones

Dr Ken Jones

Declawing is a series of bone amputations. Declawing could more accurately be termed “de-knuckling” because it is not merely the removal of the claws. In humans, fingernails grow from the skin, but in cats and many other animals, the claws grow from deep within the bone; therefore, the last bone of each of the ten front toes is amputated so the claw cannot re-grow. In the process, the tendons, nerves, and ligaments that normally enable function and movement of the paw are severed. An analogous procedure applied to humans would be cutting off each finger at the last joint.

Declawing, also known as onychectomy (än-ik-ek-tō-mē), is major surgery and a potentially crippling procedure that robs an animal of its primary means of defense. Declawed animals may be at increased risk of injury or death if attacked by other animals. They are also deprived of their normal, instinctual behavioral impulses to use their claws to climb, exercise, and mark territory with the scent glands in their paws.

Auburn Cat

Auburn Cat

Felines—whether house cats or big cats—can suffer pain, post-operative complications, serious health problems, psychological trauma that manifests itself in negative behavioral changes, and even death because of being declawed. Declaw surgery exposes cats to the risks of general anesthesia and complications of the surgical procedure, which include bleeding, infection, lameness, nerve damage, gangrene, extensive tissue damage, and death. Continue reading