Monthly Archives: July 2013

Zentraveler on the perfect travel camera!

Samsung WB150F Digital Camera

Samsung WB150F
Digital Camera

As I was in the market for a new travel camera this should be fun and a piece a cake to walk in any large mall and go to the camera sections and choose the perfect travel camera.  In my pocket I had my cheat sheet which described the best travel cameras for 2013.  I went to several review websites and weighted the pros and cons of several cameras, price ranges, and quality of photos and etc.  I was prepared and ready… let the camera search begin.

Not so fast grasshopper! After testing at least twelve different cameras from different companies and getting the sales pitches,  I needed a much deserved cup of coffee.  One very expensive camera I could only see my own reflection in the monitor screen and after salesman tried several things I  politely exited scratching that one-off the list.  Several of the cameras were difficult to hold and since I have large hands…some of the knobs were difficult for me to turn …OK rule out a few more cameras.

After my last sip of coffee I had to ask myself:  what do you really want from your new travel camera?  Like my mother used to say: “everything is a trade-off.”  Some cameras felt good in your hands, but were too heavy, other cameras looked  professional but were so light they looked like a toy camera and felt that way.

You could chuck the  new travel camera idea and simply carry your smart phone…not bad for many purposes, however your smart phone doesn’t have a wide-angle or telescopic lens and you might miss some excellent travel photos… since you don’t have the range and quality lens that some of the new cameras have.

Ok, do I want the latest point and shoot camera with wifi technology and enough gadgets to keep you busy for a lifetime or is time to bite the bullet and get a new DSLR camera like the ones professional photographers use.  Interesting enough price used to be a big differential.  Not any more… you can get a good DSLR camera for the same price as the top of the line point and shoot camera.  That’s a no-brainer I’ll get the DSLR camera.  Not so fast grasshopper… that new DSLR has great features and high quality photo images, however it’s heavy and won’t fit in my pocket and is more obvious when you are trying to get that closeup of the Mafia Boss who may violently object.

Wait a minute… I want to capture that gazelle running at break neck speeds, and I want a close up of the Formula One driver approaching the checkered flag, and what about that Brazilian beauty in a string Bikini innocently walking along the beach.  I want to take portraits of my girlfriend and I want to capture the whale shark underwater and a few shots of African Lions charging… plus some stunning sunsets from the South Pacific.  What you need is a corporate sponsor who travels with you as a travel camera caddy and carries a minimum of ten cameras, umbrellas, tripods, backlights, extra batteries,  memory cards, filters, lens wipes and a ream of legal photo releases for each human shot.

After testing another ten or twelve cameras I narrowed it down to the Samsung WB150F  18x optical zoom,14.2 megapixels 3 inch lcd screen, Schneider lens,  wifi connectivity and free 8GB memory card in the box with camera case,  wrist strap, interface cable, light weight and fits in cargo shorts, pocketbook or large pocket.

Samsung Travel Camera

Samsung Travel Camera

I chose  Samsung WB150F as my new backup travel camera and after setting the time and date I was good to go.  I shot 25 test photos and realized this is a great travel camera since the images were realistic with good colors and would do most things anyone needs to write a travel blog or  post on Facebook….and the good news this camera including tax out the door in the Philippines was 9000 pesos or $208.00.  The bottom line if this camera was stolen or broken you did not break the bank …no worries mate!

I invited my friend Tody from New Zealand and he brought his pro Sony Camera.  We each took ten shots of the same scene and in many cases the sky was bluer and images brighter on the Samsung WB150 F  than the Sony. Before you start tweeting… I know the Sony is a much better camera, however I was pleased with the results and really like the Samsung camera for its ease to use, size, weight, and range of options plus WIFI and social websites.

In conclusion these new point and shoot cameras are a great addition to your travels  and will give you almost every type of shot you will encounter.  However, none of these cameras are LION PROOF and if you can smell the lions breath you are probably too close and may be in harm’s way.   On the more serious side… I am also in the market for a new DSLR camera which I will use when I know I will be in an area for an extended time and then will try to capture that award-winning photo of the Bengal Tiger taking down the Spring Buck at high-speed.

QUOTE:  “ Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst. – Henri Cartier-Bresson  Do you know how many photos you have taken up until now? You will have to take thousands of pictures to reach a point where you can begin to evaluate them objectively. Looking upon your photos as if you were looking at them through someone else’s eyes is a good way to give yourself constructive criticism. Comparing your first photos with your most recent, do you see improvement? Do you remember how you loved some of your first photos – do you still love them or are they now not so good anymore?

Test Photo

Test Photo

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:  You often don’t or can’t see beauty in the world until someone shows it to you. Take a look around you just now – even without moving from the computer. Can you see something in a new way, a different way of presenting something common? Just take a look again. If you want quality photos you need to take many photos…and now comes the hard part editing and deleting your really bad photos.

“ Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph. – Matt Hardy

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Old Cameras…Don’t have a hobby start collecting old cameras.  Its fun plus you might find a bargain at the next garage sale.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Don’t be on the sidelines grasshopper, purchase a light weight digital travel camera and take  shots until the cows come home. It’s a no brainer  grasshopper…hop to it you will be glad you did.

From here to Infinity and Beyond is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on. Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under DSLR cameras, perfect travel camera, point and shoot cameras, Samsung WB150F digital camera, Uncategorized, WIFI ready camera

Zentraveler is there life on other planets?

Alien Grey Photo Using New Infrared  Camera           CLASSIFIED

Alien Grey Photo Using New Infrared Camera
CLASSIFIED

With NASA’s latest discovery of 22B the odds are beginning to look good that life exists on other planets. However before you get too revved up about traveling there on our spaceships…  we are probably about 600  light years away,  but not a problem we just need to learn how to manipulate time in our favor,  since time doesn’t exist in some of the outer galaxies.  To go to long distance planets we need to give up our current forms of transportation and use more modern methods like the ion gravity system.

A newly discovered Earth-like planet could very well contain continental features where normal human-like life could exist. Or it  could be more of a water world with an ocean containing life forms similar to dolphins.

That’s according to Dr. Alan Boss,  of the Carnegie Institution for Science, one of the researchers involved in  discovering the new planet. NASA announced that its Kepler space telescope confirmed the first planet orbiting a star in its “ habitable zone,”  the region where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface.

Some scientists described this planet, known as Kepler 22B,  as “Earth-like” with a star similar to our sun.  Located some 600 light-years away, Kepler 22B is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth.  And while scientists don’t yet exactly know if the planet is predominantly rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, its discovery has excited  scientists who now say we’re now one step closer to finding other Earth-like planets throughout the cosmos.

If it is truly made of rock, as some speculate, Dr. Boss says it might look something like our own Earth with probably a fair amount of water on it as well.

  1. Thomas Lewis says: “Hopefully within 15 or 20 years we can see what chemicals are in the atmosphere of 22B,giving us a good indication of what is happening at the surface. Seti has turned their telescopes toward it and do listen,but remember it is 600 light years from us,so depending when they broadcast,there is a 600 year wait,before we receive those signals.I think intelligent life is very rare,but the sheer numbers of stars, almost guarantees that a planet somewhere in time and space has intelligent being’s.”Chances are, we will need to terraform almost ANY planet in order to be able to survive on it. We are severely limited by our biology. For instance, outside of .5 to 2 atmospheres, and we really can’t survive it long term. Even with the right pressure, only with the right percentage range of oxygen (partial oxygen pressure).

    Chances of finding this one aspect only randomly on other worlds is virtually zero unless, like it did on our world, life spawned and slowly created this balance suited to life as we know it over the eons.The number of criteria we need is huge. So, if we ever want to “find another earth”, outside of existing in domed environments, I believe it is the only reasonable assessment that should first learn to terraform (or perhaps to modify ourselves genetically, which I’m not too enthusiastic about…). Venus is probably a better long term choice than Mars to this end, though we don’t have the tech to even start there yet. We don’t even know if 1/3 gravity is liveable for us long term. A 1-year mission to Mars might help figure that out.

    So there you have it!  There is a high possibility that life in some form exists on other planets and as one scientist explained: “why don’t we invite aliens to visit earth for a look-see!” He was concerned they might think we taste like chicken and start devouring us one at a time.  I wonder if they know we are over 7 billion strong and growing. Just a thought …maybe they don’t know how to GOOGLE!

  1. QUOTE: “Intelligent life on other planets? I’m not even sure there is on earth!”  —Albert Einstein

    THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:  Extraterrestrial life represents an enormous gap in our knowledge of nature. With instruments such as the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have discovered a bewildering amount of cosmic turf, and yet they still know of only a single inhabited world.

    We all have our suppositions, our scenarios. The late astronomer Carl Sagan estimated that there are a million technological civilizations in our galaxy alone. His more conservative colleague Frank Drake offers the number 10,000. John Oro, a pioneering comet researcher, calculates that the Milky Way is sprinkled with a hundred civilizations. And finally there are skeptics like Ben Zuckerman, an astronomer at UCLA, who thinks we may as well be alone in this galaxy if not in the universe.

    All the estimates are highly speculative. The fact is that there is no conclusive evidence of any life beyond Earth. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, as various pundits have wisely noted. But still we don’t have any solid knowledge about a single alien microbe, a solitary spore, much less the hubcap from a passing alien starship.

    THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Our governments inclusive evidence of spaceships, alien bodies, and photo records of flying saucers.  Or did they put all of that info through a shredder?  As I was typing this blog the following info appeared mysteriously on my screen and could not be deleted:  “The Greys are probably the most known alien species because of how often they visit Earth. They are responsible for most of the abduction cases in the world and many of the alien implants.The Grays are a humanoid alien race from the Zeta Reticuli 1 and 2 star system that have large dark eyes, long fingers and extremities, and are telepathic. There are two different types of Grey aliens visiting Earth. The tall Greys which are the ones in control, and the smaller worker Greys which are the ones that end up doing most of the grunt work when people are abducted.”

    ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Think like an Alien… beam me up Scotty!

    From here to Infinity and Beyond is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on. Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

    Photo credits:  Alien-UFO-Research

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Zentraveler on the health benefits of Yakult.

Yakult Probiotic Drink

Yakult Probiotic Drink

By now you have probably seen or drank the cute little bottles of Yakult which are showing up everywhere in the refrigeration section of the convenient stores and shopping malls across the world. I don’t know about you , but if you are into math, I think its a good idea to add over a billion friendly bacteria with one gulp on a daily basis.  Just like any army battlefield many of the friendly bacteria were destroyed when antibiotics were sent into your body to ward off the next generation of the flu or infection that is an ongoing battle for both the doctors and the patients.  I personally do not like to take antibiotics for that reason.

For those of you who grew up in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and arguably Korea and other parts of the world, you may (or may not) have had a lil’ container of this miraculous Japanese drink called Yakult. In Hong Kong this is phonetically retranslated and pronounced “Yik Lik Dor”, as in the nutrients will give you a lot of energy.  In Taiwan this is “Yang Lir Duor” which has a similar meaning, with Yang having a direct literal translation of “breeding” or “raising”.

Mami-san and Nobu K informed me recently that many years ago in Japan, Yakult used to be bottled, and delivered by these older ladies door to door (hence the term Yakult ladies).

On the health benefits of drinking Yakult. The thumbnail version of it is that it is full of active good bacteria cultures that aid in digestion. Mainly, that means that Yakult will put good bugs in your intestinal tract to fight bad bugs. One of the benefits of it is that it can survive your stomach’s gastric juices and make its way to the places where it can help the most. This is unlike some supplements that claim to accomplish the same task, but burn up in your stomach before its little buggies can get to where they need to go.

The  bottles  are very tiny and normally come in a package of five with the cost 10 pesos per bottle. The packaging is like a milk jug, cloudy but clear so the color you see is the color of the drink itself. There is only 65 ml. of drink in it. Consider that the average can of soda has 350 ml. and you can get a greater sense of how small it is.

After peeling off the foil cover,  The first sip revealed  sweetness coupled with intense yogurt-like sourness. It really is like drinking hyper-concentrated yogurt which is nearly as thin as water. The ingredients include water, sugar, powdered skim milk and Live Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain.

Yakult

Yakult

Here’s the thing about health foods and beverages like Yakult; if you have a problem with your digestion, they are invaluable.  This is simply one of the easiest and fastest ways to get friendly bacteria (probioticcs) into your body and it’s such an old and established product that you can be nearly certain it’ll live up to its health claims.

Disclaimer: This website is simply the writers views and is not an attempt to practice medicine or provide specific medical or health advice and should not be used to make a diagnosis or to replace or overrule a qualified health care provider’s judgment. None of the statements on Zentraveler are to be understood as a recommendation on how to treat any disease or health related condition. If you require medical or other assistance Zentraveler strongly encourages users to consult with a qualified health care professional.

QUOTE: Probiotics or the essential gut flora helps by neutralising the toxic products during digestion, thus stimulating the overall digestion process. This in turn helps strengthen the immune system. Source: Wonder Woman India.

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:

Yakult is a fermented milk drink containing the live cultures of the lactic bacteria, Lactobacillus caseistrain Shirota, which can survive in the human intestinal tract. In 1930, Dr. Minoru Shirota, founder of the Yakult Honsha, isolated this strain of lactic acid bacteria which plays a beneficial rule in the human intestines. Subsequently, the product Yakult was developed. This product provides consumers with a healthy drink that contains 8 billion live Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota, which maintains intestinal health and thus helps prevent disorders.

Microorganisms have to conquer various physiological barriers in order to survive in the human intestinal tract. These barriers – gastric juice and bile – are strongly bactericidal and kill most of the microorganisms that invade the human intestinal tract. The Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota in Yakult, however, is resistant to gastric acid and bile, and is able to reach the intestines alive. Once in the intestines, they act to exert various beneficial effects, which retain and promote intestinal health.

One milliliter of Yakult contains more than one hundred million live Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Yakurt Bottles…they must be good for something.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:  Start your day by Drinking a Yakurt  to replenish your friendly bacteria and give your immune system a boost.

From here to Infinity and Beyond is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on. Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under friendly bacteria, lactobacillus, Uncategorized, Yakult, Yakult Probiotic Drink

Zentraveler on how to write a travel blog!

Shooting the Travel Story

Shooting the Travel Story

How many times have you said to yourself I wish I would start writing a travel blog?  It’s a lot like the quote “How do you eat an elephant?”  Answer: one bite at a time! Seriously speaking… its more like baking a cake. Your first step is to set up a FREE  travel blog.  I use wordpress.com which is very user friendly and professional.   Every travel article starts out the same way: You start with internet research, which I find challenging and fun,  record in a small notebook or print out areas of your trips itinerary and areas of interest,   travel to your destination,  take travel photos, pick up any free brochures and maps you find at airports or resorts and  write a daily log of your travels.

Perlas Fashion

Perlas Fashion

You are now ready  to write a rough draft of your travel article.  After your rough draft you want to verify your information so your reader knows how to get there and what to expect for daily expenses, travel and lodging. Do a spell check and read it over a few times…see how it looks on preview and make any necessary edits or adjustments and publish. That’s it in a nutshell.

People Travel Photo

People Travel Photo

One of the most important ingredients  to writing a successful travel blog  is to  maintain a travel log or journal.  Write in a journal daily as you travel, in order to remember the specific details like food, restaurants, weather, culture , historical events, towns, methods of transportation,  and general areas of interest.  If you have discovered a waterfall off the beaten path take the time to tell your reader how to get there the easiest and most cost efficient way. We recently missed going to a waterfall because the  hotel staff said you had to hire a private four-wheel vehicle to get there.  We later learned it was a fifteen minute walk from our resort.

Sunset Boat Scene

Sunset Boat Scene

The good thing about writing your own travel blog… it gives you an instant snapshot of your last trip which you can easily share with friends and family and send it over the internet for everyone interested in your topic to enjoy.

Shadows

Shadows

In todays fast paced society readers like to see interesting photos.  I try to select 5 to 7 photos and limit my travel article to under one thousand words.  So there you have it …why not create a bit of history and nostalgia and join the ranks of travel bloggers around the globe.

 

Zentraveler

Zentraveler

QUOTE: “To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote: To travel is to live.” ~ Hans Christian Anderson

Zip Line Action

Zip Line Action

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: If you don’t try to write a travel blog it will never happen.  Of all the mistakes aspiring travel writers make, none is more catastrophic than failing to enter the game. It’s not an easy life. It requires a lot of talent, determination, perseverance and resilience. But the world is full of people who turn their travels into a living – through blogging, professional writing, video journalism and beyond. There are more resources than ever available to those who wish to travel for a living. If it’s what you want to do, then go for it. Research Credits: Lonely Planet.

Wild Monkeys

Wild Monkeys

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Your travel photo images:

When I travel for photography, I know that the most valuable things I have are not my cameras or equipment. The most valuable thing I carry are the images I am creating. Gear can be replaced, but the photographs can not.  Carry  several external drives,  upload images as a backup and place them in several locations.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Travel light, travel often, take tons of photos,  don’t forget to see the forest for the trees and start your new travel blog?  What are you waiting for grasshopper? An invitation! You got it!

From here to Infinity and Beyond is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on. Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under save your photos, travel blog, Uncategorized, Zentraveler how to write a travel blog