Friday, August 29, 2014

Activities to Help You Spend and Enjoy Your Labor Day Holiday

This Monday, the country will once again be celebrating Labor Day. Every year, the United States celebrate this holiday on the first Monday of September. During this day, the contributions of employees that made the country strong and prosperous are remembered and highlighted. Since 1887, the US has been officially celebrating this national holiday. During this day as well, the US Department of Labor along with its attached agencies are holding programs that will promote the rights of every American worker through education and celebrations commemorating this special day.

Since tons of people will be hitting the streets finding ways to celebrate this holiday, here are some celebrations that you might be interested to take part in.

Labor Day Concert

The federal government will be holding a free concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol building. A concert that lasts 90 minutes, this Labor Day concert will be jumpstarting the performance season. In the concert, patriotic, Broadway, and popular music will be played, helping raise awareness for the rights of every American worker.

Kennedy Center Stage

Another Kennedy Center-sanctioned event, you can see readings, open rehearsals, and conversations with 40 different theatre companies. The event will be held on August 30 to September 1, 2014 at the Kennedy Center, 2700 F. Street. The performances will start at around 12 noon till 10 in the evening.

D.C. Blues Festival

For music festival lovers, you may want to see the Blues Festival. This free concert has been going on for 20 years and has featured countless blues artists and workshops. The concert is for free though an after party that will happen at around 8 pm, which costs $10 in advance and $15 when you buy the tickets at the venue. It will feature Selwyn Birchwood at the Wheaton American Legion Post 268.

National Book Festival

The Library of Congress National Book Festival will hold its 14th staging. Here, 100 authors, illustrators, and poets will be there to talk about and sign their books. Pavilions for Children, Teens, Picture Books, Contemporary Life, Culinary Arts, Fiction & Mystery, History & Biography, Poetry & Prose, Science and Special Programs will be open.

Maryland Renaissance Festival

This recreation of a 16th Century English Village will consist of craft and food booths, five pubs, ten major stages, and a Jousting Arena where games will be played. This is held in honor of a visit by henry VIII and his Royal Court.

Virginia Scottish Games

This fair will celebrate the Scottish Heritage of the Virginia. A highland athletic competition will be held along piping and drumming, highland dancing, fiddling competitions, an antique car show, exhibits, along with live entertainment and children’s activities will be held.

War of 1812 Alexandria Signature Event

For history lovers, there will be a commemoration of the bicentennial of Alexandria’s involvement in the War of 1812. Exhibits, food vendors, waterfront activities, and a rematch between Alexandria residents and the British Embassy will be held.

Epicurience Virginia: Wine and Food Festival

You can have a taste and purchase the best and finest wines from Virginia in this event. See celebrated chefs create sample food and have a chance to meet top winemakers in this outdoor event.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Driving in California as an Outsider: Learning What the State’s Traffic Laws Are

If you are from outside of California but are planning to visit the state’s cities like Los Angeles or Santa Monica, you would most likely have to be aware of its road rules and driving laws. Whether you are bringing your own vehicle or planning to rent a car, it is important that you adhere with the driving regulations and at least have a grasp of the key laws. Basically, they are found in the California Driver’s Handbook, which is the simplified version of the laws set forth by the California Vehicle Code (CVC).

Meanwhile, here are some of the important road rules and laws you need to consider when you drive any vehicle as someone from outside the State of California:

  • Speed limit. When you are driving on a suburban or city road, your speed limit should be at 25 miles per hour (40 kilometers per hour). If you are driving down a freeway or a highway, your speed limit should be 55 mph (90 kph). Unless there is a speed limit sign that says otherwise, you must assume that the road you are on has either of the two.
  • Having your car registered as a nonresident of California. If you bring your vehicle into California, or buys a vehicle in the state as a non-resident, you must know that there are some vehicles that cannot be registered in the state. That is unless your vehicle was manufactured to meet the state’s emission standards, or whether you or the vehicle is qualified for an exemption.
  • Car booster seat laws. If you are driving out to California with your family, you must make sure that your child is correctly restrained in a booster seat or safety seat in your vehicle’s back seat. They can be restrained by your vehicle’s safety belt if he or she is already 8 years old or 4’9” tall.
  • Use of handheld phones and texting while driving is not allowed. California is one of th states in the U.S. that ban cellphone use for all drivers unless there is hands-free device connected to it. Drivers below 18 years are not allowed to use cellphones, even with hands-free. Texting is likewise banned for all drivers.
  • Encountering other road users. When encountering pedestrians trying to cross the street, always remember that you must yield right of way, especially when at marked or unmarked crosswalks. Also, it is important that you are aware of the other road users, especially motorcyclists and bicyclists. Finally, when an accident happens, driving away from the scene could spell trouble for you; you may likely be slapped with a hit-and-run charge.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Another Malaysian Airlines Flight Bites the Dust

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Barely four months after flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared, Malaysia Airlines is facing another controversial tragedy. Early Thursday morning, July 17th, 2014, the company’s MH17 flight was shot down by a missile, causing it to crash near the Russian and Ukraine border. According to some officials, a complex surface-to-air missile was used to bring down the jet, the only thing is that it is unclear who fired it.

Over 300 Lives Lost
This incident is not a case of a simple aviation accident. The plane, exploded as soon as it was shot, causing it to crash in a village called Hrabove. This area is controlled by the pro-Russia separatists that are going against the Ukranian government. The crash has caused the death of 283 passengers along with the carrier’s 15 crew members. Victoria Premier Denis Napthine has told reporters that a “substantial number” world-renowned AIDS Researchers as well as activists were on board the plane. These are headed to the 20th International AIDS Conference to be held in the following week. And so, here is a list of the nationalities of those who were killed because of the crash.

-          154 Dutch
-          27 Australians
-          23 Malaysians
-          11 Indonesians
-          6 Birtish
-          4 Belgians
-          4 French
-          4 Germans
-          3 Filipinos
-          1 Canadian, and
-          15 Malaysian crew members