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Adventurers: Mike Libecki, John Castle and Others


Mike Libecki

Adventurers are people who partake in exciting or unusual experiences with uncertain outcomes. Generally bold and potentially dangerous, adventurous activities include skydiving, mountain climbing and extreme sports.

National Geographic recently released its annual Adventurers of the Year photo gallery. Top explorer Mike Libecki reflected on his adventures in Greenland, Afghanistan, Antarctica and many other locations in an interview with the magazine. He explained that he climbed icebergs in east Greenland- an incredibly dangerous feat.

“The excitement of this kind of climbing- I have done it a lot- is incredible. Icebergs are challenging because of the ice condition/quality,” Libecki said. “These moments never leave me; they are such an incredible, joyous feeling.”

He added, “The main components of my trips are remote, untouched, unexplored mystery. An adventure for me can’t be an adventure unless there is mystery, unless there is an unknown, something that hasn’t been done before.”

You don’t have to travel far to find adventure. In fact, many Americans have accomplished amazing things right here in the U.S. John Castle, Castle Harlan chairman and CEO, recreated the entire Lewis and Clark expedition on his own, traveling from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean in a 15-foot dinghy. The journey covered 3,100 miles. Mr. Castle later completed the river trip across the entire United States in a small inflatable boat.

“I went from New York Harbor the Pacific Ocean by starting out repeating what Lewis and Clark did- coming down the Missoura River to St. Louis and then I did the Columbia part of it, going through Washington and Oregon,” John Castle explained. “And then having done that, I said, ‘I might as well do the rest of the United States,’ so  left the New York Harbor, went up the Hudson River, across the Erie Canal, across the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, and up the Mississippi, completing the trip across the United States.”

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Summer Energy Conservation Tips from NYC

summer laundryThe clocks have been changed, and the weather is warming up, heralding the approach of summer.  Conserving energy during the warmer months is not as complicated as it may seem; in fact, it may be easier than in the winter. Longer, sunlit days allow us to use less artificial lighting, and the high temperatures can be used to your advantage as well by air drying laundry and dishes.

The main energy expense during the summer is air conditioning. According to energy companies like IDT Energy, there are several ways to minimize energy costs while keeping your home cool and comfortable.

New York City offers several guidelines for summer air-conditioning usage:

Window Air-Conditioners

  • Filter maintenance on all window air conditioners is critical to the efficient performance of the
    air conditioner, and should be performed prior to the start of the air conditioning season.
  •  Air conditioners shall be used only when rooms are occupied and when interior temperatures reach 78
    degrees F.
  •  Maintain temperature settings on air conditioners at no lower than 78 degrees F.
  •  Window air conditioners should NOT be set on the constant run position.
  •  On extremely hot days, fresh air louvers should be in the “closed” position.
  • Keep room doors and windows closed when air conditioning is operating.
  •  If room air conditioners are to be purchased, it should be done through the DCAS Division of Municipal
    Supply Services when ever possible. These units are Energy Star rated or equivalent, as required by law.
  • Purchase the unit with the highest energy efficiency ratio (EER) available.

Central Air-Conditioners

  • All filters should be cleaned or replaced as frequently as required to maintain maximum system efficiency.
  • Indoor temperatures should be maintained at no lower than 78 degrees F.
  • All units should be serviced to insure maximum efficiency of operation. Special attention should be given to belt drives, controls and refrigerants.
  • All control settings and time mechanisms should be checked and calibrated PRIOR to the start of the cooling season.
  • Air-conditioning should be used only when the building is occupied.
  • In non-hospital settings, outside make-up air should be reduced.


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How to Stick with Fitness Resolutions

FitnessMillions of Americans listed healthier lifestyles amongst their New Year’s resolutions. According to recent studies, the majority of these are headed for despair.

“We’ve tracked the patterns,” reveals YMCA Health and Wellness Director Sue Dissinger. “After 30 to 60 days people start to slowly decline or quit.”

The figures, which are based on several years of study, have been confirmed throughout the health and fitness worlds. People generally lose enthusiasm after about a month, despite their best intentions.

Lori Steven, a dietician with WakeMed Cary Hospital, explains the phenomenon. “We often make our goals too big, too ambitious,” she said. “We say, ‘Once the year starts, I’m going to cut all sugar out of my diet.’ That’s extreme. It’s not sustainable.”

“The main reason most people fail is because they don’t have a plan,” adds Ronnie Neal of Rex Wellness Center. They need to have specific goals, not just “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get in better shape.”

Stevens recommends setting realistic goals, like cutting dessert out of weeknight meals. “Or, instead of saying ‘I’m going to work out every day and run a marathon in March,’ say you’ll work out five days a week and do a 5K in April, then maybe a 10K in June and a half-marathon or marathon in the fall.”

Neal adds: “Writing down your goals hardwires them a little more into your subconcious.”

Lastly, it is very important to stay patient. It can take months to see real results, but stick with it and don’t get discouraged!

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What Do Your Valentine’s Day Flowers Mean?

Valentine’s Day is one of the most romantic days of the year. Giving loved ones flowers is a classic tradition and a wonderful way to express appreciation. Interestingly, different flowers have different implications, and the type you select or receive may have a special meaning. Spruce up your flower knowledge and learn what some of the top Valentine’s Day flowers really symbolize:


Probably the most popular Valentine’s Day bloom, the rose represents love, romance, perfection and beauty. It has a fairy-tale association and is also relatively expensive, making it the classic choice for this holiday.



Daisies are beautiful, representing innocence and purity. They also come in a wide range of bright, cheerful colors. These happy blooms have the ability to lighten the mood, and imply a relaxed, appreciative relationship.



Tulips are extremely classic. These affordable buds “stand for perfect love,” according to Michael Gaffney, Director of the New York School of Flower Design, and convey warmth and comfort.



Peruvian LilyPeruvian Lilies

The petals of the Peruvian Lily, or Alstroemeria, are long-lasting and extremely beautiful. They represent devotion and strong friendship. Multiple flowers bloom on each stem, making it easy to create full, luscious arrangements.


LilyCasa Blanca Lilies

Gaffney explains that these flowers represent “beauty, class and style.” He adds, “A man who creates a bouquet with these dramatic- and expensive- lilies is sophisticated and knows his partner well.”


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Embrace Life

The Super Bowl commercials are still generating buzz as people discuss which were the most controversial, the most entertaining, the most convincing, and of course, which were the biggest waste of time.

The five most popular commercials this year include the Tide ‘Stain‘ commercial, Best Buy’s customer service ad, Budweiser’s “Clydesdale: Brotherhood“, Taco Bell’s ‘Viva Young’ and Oreo’s Cookie Vs. Cream debate.

Commercials have a significant impact on a person’s attitude and opinion. They can be used to market products and services very effectively. However, some organizations have learned to direct them to a higher purpose- road safety. One of the best seat belt ads ever created is “Embrace Life” by Sussex Safer Roads. Though this commercial is not graphic or violent in any way, it manages to touch the very core of any audience.

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Combining Busy Business Lives with Marathon Running

Many executives use exercise as an outlet for their energy and as a way to stay fit and energized. While working incredibly long days at the office, it makes sense that running would be an ideal outlet for the busy executive, as it doesn’t box the runner into time or space constraints. Running can be done early in the morning or at the last hours of the day, from any city where the business person might find him or herself.

As Suellen Hughes, a marathon runner and creator Transforme for executive coaching explains on a blog post, running marathons and businesses are very similar. She wrote that there are some obvious similarities between marathon running and running a business, “like the need to have a vision, long and short term goals, a plan, and the metrics to tell you whether or not you’re on track.” Furthermore, she explains that training for a marathon takes a lot of time and that planning and scheduled activities are vital for both running and running businesses.

Similarly, Seth Fischer of Oasis Management is a business executive in Hong Kong. He finds the time to juggle his incredibly busy work schedule with marathon running. The list of his marathon wins and participations is long and full. He was a first race winner in the Lantau Mountain Marathon half marathon race on January 9, 2011; In the Hysan Healthy Hike & Run in Hong Kong, he placed third overall on March 18, 2012. After that race, he said, “Just happy I finished. Very hot conditions.” During one race, on January 31 of 2010, he actually confused the starting times and was last to start the half marathon. Nonetheless, he managed to come in 6th overall.

Another avid runner, Griselda K. Togobo, is the founder of AWOVI Consulting Ltd. This is a company that is devoted to increasing the success rate and profits of small business in America. After she was accepted to run across the north of England on September 16th with 54,000 runners, Togobo started to notice how running and running businesses are similar. As she wrote, “As I found out, training for a marathon (just like growing a successful business) needs more than the average prescribed routines. You need to work on your stamina. To make real progress towards your goals, you need to run the real course, train with the right people, eat right and stay on course with the right training and mindset. You need to push yourself outside of your comfort competencies stretching yourself to develop stamina. Stamina is something most small business owners don’t have, the least sign of trouble and most people shut down and give up.”

Certainly, these marathon runners and the many other business executives like them who combine their passions can learn important skills from both their running and their business lives.

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