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Boise Is An Adventure Mecca, But… 

You Should Follow These Eight Safety Tips Before Exploring One Of USA’s Best Cities For Recreation.

“Boise is a recreationalist's paradise. If you value the outdoors and time spent among rivers, mountains, canyons, deserts and lakes – and all the activities encapsulated therein – it's worth a serious look.” If you saw the above paragraph just sitting by itself on a piece of paper or on a website, you might think to yourself ‘that sentence was written by a Boise, Idaho, employee, or someone who was paid to write great things about Boise.’ If you thought that, you were wrong. Boise is, in fact, regarded as one of the best cities in the United States for people who want to explore the outdoors and want to get in and stay in excellent physical condition via walking, hiking, bicycling, jogging, and many other outdoor activities. It was the magazine U.S. News & World Report that labeled Boise a “recreationalist’s paradise” while listing Boise as the 12th best place to live in the nation. Another publication, Outside, lists Boise as one of the 16 best “adventure meccas” in the country. There are numerous reasons why Boise is regarded as one of the best places in the USA to explore the outdoors. Here are a few:

The Boise River Greenbelt

You can walk, jog, bicycle, and even skate on about 25 miles of trails along the Boise River. The Greenbelt extends from the Lucky Peak Dam on the east to the suburban town of Eagle on the west. The Greenbelt runs through downtown Boise and connects many of the city’s parks. About 60 points of interest along the route are listed on this website.

The Ridge to Rivers Trail System

The Ridge to Rivers trails aren’t paved like the Boise River Greenbelt trails are. That makes them more adventurous!! And there are more than 190 miles of trails to travel on. These trails are in the Boise Foothills. Many of them are steep, end at peaks a few thousand feet higher than Boise’s already high elevation (2,730 feet above sea level), and are challenging for hikers, mountain bikers, and hill climbers. There are also equestrian trails.

The Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area

This is a great recreational facility for families, including kids. Located about 16 miles northeast of Boise, the Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area has about 2,600 acres of hills for alpine skiers and snowboarders as well as about 23 miles of trails for cross-country skiers. The highest slopes are more than 7,000 feet above sea level.

Do you want to enjoy Boise’s top-notch outdoors recreational areas? You should, but before you become too adventurous you should follow these eight safety tips so you can be as safe as possible.

1. Study The Options

Beginners shouldn’t seek to conquer difficult ski slopes or difficult trails. How do you know the degree of difficulty of your options? Study beforehand. In fact, there are innumerable sources of information for prospective Boise explorers. This article, for example, lists beginner trails and moderate trails in the Ridge to Rivers system. And this website has specifics about the steepness of the system’s trails.

2. Carry A Map

It’s easy to get lost while you’re hiking -- and easy to wind up on a trail that isn’t safe for your skill level. On its Ridge to Rivers webpage, the city of Boise reports that many stores in the city have a Ridge to Rivers map.

3. Carry A Cellphone

Yes, we understand that you want to get away from it all when you go into Explorer mode. And you can by turning your cellphone off. Nevertheless, you need to be prepared in case there’s an emergency. You need to be able to call 9-1-1 and you also should bring with you a list of people you want or need to phone in an emergency.

4. Take One Step At A Time

No, that’s not advice on how to walk. What we mean is that you shouldn’t go from a life of no exercise to a rigorous workout in one day. Exercising beyond your physical conditioning puts you at risk of injury or a medical emergency. In addition, people who have been experiencing health problems such as chest pains or shortness of breath should consult a doctor before vigorously exercising.

5. Eat Properly

Thinking that dieting and vigorously exercising will help you lose weight is the wrong approach to exercising on Boise’s trails. Exercising properly requires adequate calories, which are a measurement of energy. Those calories come from eating. There are plenty of calorie charts that tell you how many calories you need to exercise lightly, moderately, and vigorously for specific periods of time. A lack of calories could cause exhaustion, which could cause falls and other mistakes. Also: Bring snacks in case you need an energy boost during your exercise.

6. Bring Water

You should drink 16 to 32 ounces of water before your exercise begins, recommends Men’s Fitness magazine. A lack of water can make you dehydrated and, thus, increase your risk of heart problems. The magazine also recommends bringing water with you and drinking water regularly while you exercise, even if you’re not thirsty. A sports drink if you’re exercising for more than an hour could also be beneficial.

7. Dress Properly

The city of Boise points out that checking the weather report is important so you can dress properly. If very hot weather is projected, dressing light is crucial. That also means putting on sunscreen and wearing a hat. In addition, hikers should wear boots “with a strong tread to prevent ankle injuries and falls,” recommends the Cleveland Clinic.

8. Follow Safe Trails

The city of Boise urges people who use the Boise River Greenbelt to “stick to” trails that are well-lit and to avoid shortcuts through alleys, parking lots, and wooded areas. Similarly, the state of Idaho asks people who use the Ridge to Rivers trails system to not use trails that are closed. There are innumerable other steps you can take to improve your chances of having a safe experience while exploring Boise’s fantastic recreational opportunities -- and many sources of information on safety tips. Here are two sources of safety tips -- “16 Outdoor Fitness Safety Tips” by Men’s Fitness magazine and “9 Tips for Safe Outdoor Workouts” by the Cleveland Clinic. Hopefully, following these safety tips will help you explore and enjoy one of the USA’s premier adventure meccas -- Boise. Good luck!!

The Science Behind Drones 

Soar to new heights: Learn the science about drones, how they fly, and how they transmit information.

Do you love drones? Then you love science. Drones are very intricate machines and understanding how to fly them means understanding the science behind them. And yes, it's awesome.

Curious kids, adults and whole families alike can learn about drones and more with the fun and activities at the Discovery Center of Idaho in Boise.

What Are Drones?

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles. But unlike the old remote control helicopters of the 20th century, they're designed to not only respond to remote commands. They can control themselves.

How do Drones Fly Themselves?

Drones have A.I., artificial intelligence software. This AI software can detect movement and "see" around it.

It then makes decisions about what to do next. In other words, they can think for themselves.

And they're only getting smarter.

How Do Drones Fly?

Physics, of course. 

Lift = 1/2 air density X Velocity^2 X Surface Area X Coefficient of Lift

This equation may seem complex to some, but keep this in mind. During flight, the drone can't change the air density or its surface area. Those are always constant.

There is only one variable in the equation the drone can control.

Can you guess what it is?

The answer is "velocity", which in the case of a drone would be the rate of speed at which the blades rotate.

The drone must adjust velocity to perform maneuvers.

The basic maneuvers for a drone are:

1. Taking off
2. Rolling from side to side
3. Pitching - lowering and raising the front of the craft
4. Yawing - turning from side to side
5. Hover - staying in one place

But how can the craft perform 5 distinct maneuvers simply by adjusting the velocity of its blades?



More, physics.

While each of these maneuvers seem distinct, all of them are controlled by how fast the blades rotate and which of the 4 or more blades rotate.

For example, to take off the blades must spin in unison to reduce the air pressure above and increase the air pressure below the craft. The pressure generated beneath the craft must exceed the drone's weight in order for it to become "lighter than air".

To roll to the left, the drone increases the speed of the blades on the right and decreases on the left.

This increases the downward force on one side causing the other side to rise.

You get the picture.

How Do Drones Transmit Information? Drones are part of the Internet of Things. They are connected through WI-FI to our mobile devices.

This allows them to transmit images and data in real time. They can be equipped with sensors, infrared and night vision.

This real time data helps farmers monitors their crops, the military scout out enemy territory, news stations keep an eye on traffic and artists get the perfect shots.

This WI FI connection also allows us to switch them over to manual control to move them in to the right position before allowing the AI software to take over.

Drones can be equipped with GPS technology that not only allows the drone owner to always know where it is but also helps the drone's AI navigate from one location to another without being manually controlled.

Why Learn About Drones?

Science needs you. Drone technology is ever-changing. We are finding new uses, improving the AI capabilities and the hardware itself every day. When you learn more about science and support the curiosity of tomorrow's inventors, you can take a major role in shaping the technologies of the future.