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Earth Day

Welcome to Earth, 3rd Rock from the Sun.  Today is the day that we celebrate it.  I’m not sure why, something from the 1970s.  Anyway despite what you might think you know about me, I do support the earth.  I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.  In fact, I’ve gone far out of my way to visit some of it’s most beautiful places.

Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about the National Parks of the United States of America.  Currently there are 61 of them.  (Whether or not some actually deserve to be named parks is up for debate, but not here).  I have been to 28 of them.  Not everyone is represented on my website yet as a full review, (there’s not enough time in the day), but I have photos from them all.  I’m not posting 28 photos here, just some of my favorites.  So, check out the jump, read all about it, and remember, stay in school.

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National Parks Adventure

Robert Redford is the narrator of this new IMAX film that’s set to be released next year.  It goes over America’s National Parks, and helps celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.  The trailer is full of amazing photography, and reminds you why these places were protected in the first place.  Please try and visit as many of them as possible, it’s the only way to keep them funded and keep them protected for a further 100 years.


awesome DIY LEGO photo

LEGO National Park Service

LEGO idea user LegoRanger16 has come up with a great LEGO Idea project – United States National Parks.  He has made representations of 3 (of the currently 59) National Parks.

  • Everglades, located in Florida, known for their alligators and vast wetlands
  • Katmai, located in the southern part of Alaska, the famous Brown Bears catching spawning salmon at a waterfall takes place in this park
  • Saguaro, located in Arizona, what you would call the traditional Cactus grows in this park

Everglades NP LEGO
Katmai LEGO NP
Saguaro NP LEGO

His choice of parks is weird, they’re not what the average person would think of.  Normally I think of The Big Three, The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, & Yosemite.  While those aren’t necessarily the first three National Parks, they are the most widely known, at least in my opinion. However, part of the LEGO Idea is to educate the public about the vast lands set aside for their unique natural beauty, and choosing some of the lesser known parks does a good job at that.

The sets themselves are very simple, and I think that’s what helps them alot.  There’s no over-complication to it, just the single most famous thing that this park is known for.  I like it.  I think there might be a problem representing the other 56 parks though.  They all have famous scenes, and amazing vistas, but how can you do The Grand Canyon justice when you’re limited to a 10×16 base plate?

  • Yellowstone would be easy, – Old Faithful erupting, with a Bison, this is pretty much a given
  • Joshua Tree could/should/would be similar to Saguaro above
  • Hot Springs you could do a pool like thing
  • Arches would be self explanatory, probably Delicate Arch
  • Bryce Canyon, The Hoodoos

But what about the remaining 51?  Wind Cave, The aforementioned Grand Canyon, Gates of the Arctic?  Those will all be difficult to represent in LEGO form.  But I guess, maybe with professionals, and 10,000 other people thinking about it, it could get done.

This is all done in preparation of The Centennial celebration of the National Park Service next year.  In 1916, the Organic Act created the National Park Service, since then the Service has grown to over 400 individual units of various different designations ranging from Memorials, to Monuments, to the most prestigious, the National Park.

This LEGO Idea project needs to hit 10,000 votes in order for The LEGO Group to take alook at it and consider it for widespread production.  It’s kind of like Kickstarter, but for LEGO sets, and official.  There’s still a year left to go, hopefully it will get the over 9,000 votes it still needs.


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Yosemite HD II

Yosemite HD II from Project Yosemite on Vimeo.


Even if you don’t care at all about National Parks, or Yosemite National park.  Even if you hate time lapse videos, or photography in general.  You should still watch this video.  Hopefully it will change your mind about a few of those things on the list.

Part of  Project Yosemite, (which in my mind should be reversed, it has such a cooler name that way), the above video is the result of two people who spent 10 months (total) hiking over 200 total miles of trails to get all those amazing shots.

Shots like those are ones I dream about getting.  And one day, I’ll make another trip out to Yosemite, and maybe get some of them.


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