What You’ll See at the Darkest Park in the Eastern U.S.

first_img Live Out Your Westworld Dreams at Casteel Creek Retreat Editors’ Recommendations It’s Time to Ditch Your Sleeping Bag for a Versatile, Lightweight Camping Quilt Nevada’s Train to Nowhere Promises Out-of-This-World Stargazing Nevada’s Massacre Rim Named Latest International Dark Sky Sanctuary “Right Coasters” (those along the eastern seaboard of the United States) are cursed. The northeastern U.S. — and New England in particular — is blanketed by some of the worst light pollution in the world. The cluster of Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, and other high-density urban centers expose the region’s skies to a constant haze of artificial light. The population explosion in the last hundred years guarantees that this problem isn’t going away. That means Northeast locals who never venture away from home aren’t likely to ever see the night sky as our ancestors did. Indeed, there are some who will never witness the beauty of a true black sky.The antidote lies in rural Western Pennsylvania in an area beset with lush state parks and pristine preserves. Among the massive, 262,000-acre Susquehannock State Forest, the tiny, unassuming Cherry Springs State Park is surprisingly the darkest place in the eastern United States. That’s according to science. In 1998, it was designated by the International Dark Sky Association as a Gold Level International Dark Sky Park (its highest designation). Today, the park’s nightscape remains much as it did thousands of years ago with almost no trace of light pollution from any direction. In addition, the park actively maintains the surrounding natural and artificial landscape to ensure that it remains as dark as possible.The 82-acre park is still relatively unknown. But it has become a legitimate destination for amateur astronomers and — affectionately — other geeks. Some travel hundreds of miles to camp overnight and spend just a few hours in the star field.Shortly after nightfall, it’s easy to see why. Every night, visitors venture onto the Astronomy Field with camp chairs, blankets, and Thermoses in tow. After 20 minutes, the human eye has had enough time to acquire its night vision. It’s only then that dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of pinpricks of light begin to come into focus until the entire sky is awash in stars. For a native New Englander, it’s like seeing the night sky for the very first time. On an average night, visitors can spot Mars and Saturn with the naked eye. Shooting stars are a common occurrence. Under clear skies — which happen frequently in the area — the Milky Way is bright enough to cast a shadow. On exceptional nights, the Aurora Borealis is clearly visible, making Cherry Springs arguably the southernmost point in the Eastern U.S. to experience the phenomenon. Good to know: Inexpensive, rustic camping is available in a well-maintained campground. During the week, visitors can often have the park to themselves. The park also frequently hosts dark sky parties and other astronomy talks and events hosted by park staff and amateur astronomers. Escape to the Pacific Northwest at Hoh Rainforest Caravan Cabinslast_img read more

BlackBerry Ltd expects a US500million tax refund within a year

TORONTO — BlackBerry Ltd. expects to receive a US$500-million tax rebate within the next year, according to a recent report filed with regulators.[np_storybar title=”Rogers won’t stock BlackBerry’s new Z30 phone when it’s released later this month” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2013/10/03/blackberry-ltd-rogers-wont-stock-new-z30-phone-when-its-released-later-this-month/”%5D BlackBerry says its latest smartphone will arrive in Canadian stores later this month, but it won’t have the support of one of the country’s largest carriers — Rogers.Rogers’ decision not to stock the Z30 touchscreen model, which will become available in Canada on Oct. 15, comes as a surprise since the Toronto-based wireless and cable company was an early adopter of BlackBerry products.Continue reading. [/np_storybar]The Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker expects to receive the money by the end of next August, when the second quarter of the company’s 2015 financial year ends.The documents were not clear on whether the bulk of the tax refund would come from Canada, where the global smartphone company is based, or another jurisdiction.It’s common for companies with big losses to seek and receive tax refunds.Last week, BlackBerry booked a US$965-million loss for the second quarter of its 2014 financial year, mostly due to a writedown of inventory.More details on BlackBerry’s financial situation have come to light since it made a regulatory filing earlier this week.Among other things, the documents indicate BlackBerry expects to book US$400-million in charges from a variety of factors before the end of May 2014.Those expenses will cover costs associated with the previously announced layoffs of 4,500 employees, the reworking of its smartphone lineup and other changes to its manufacturing, sales and marketing operations, it said.Earlier this year, BlackBerry said it would likely book $100-million in charges through its 2014 financial year, which ends on March 1.But the company’s financial results have weakened, amid poor sales of its BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen phones, and the company is restructuring and looking for a buyer.On Friday morning, BlackBerry shares rose a penny to $7.98 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. read more

Nearly six per cent admit to drink driving men more likely to

first_imgNEARLY SIX PER CENT of people polled by the AA have admitted to having driven whilst drunk with men more likely than women to drink and drive.A new survey of over 16,300 people by AA Motor Insurance has found that more than 11 per cent of drivers say it’s common to see drunk drivers on the road.AA spokesperson Arwen Foley described this is a “shocking statistic” which is too high.The majority of those polled (nearly 52 per cent) said it is rare to see drunk drivers on the roads while 17.4 per cent said they never see it.Of those surveyed 7.3 per cent of men admitted to drink driving compared to just  3.8 per cent of women.Foley said that with the days getting colder and wetter people may be more inclined to use their cars to get around, including to go drinking.She said: “Getting closer to the festive season there is going to be more occasions for staying out drinking.“Worsening weather will make it difficult for drivers in general but driving under the influence of alcohol in these conditions is just crazy.”AA is advising people to take taxis in groups to reduce costs or else have a designated driver.Read: 127 arrests for suspicion of drink driving in the last weekThe Comeback Kid: car crash survivor spreads word about drink drivinglast_img read more