A bear hug from Smokey

If you see a bear in the woods, do you expect a hug?

A new ad campaign features Smokey Bear offering positive reinforcement rather than stern warnings to the humans he encounters in the woods. Since most wildfires are caused by humans, the big guy still has a  lot of work to do.

Smokey Bear


The ads are a product of the Ad Council, in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

“As he approaches his seventieth birthday, Smokey remains the country’s renowned and beloved ‘spokesbear’ for fire prevention,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “We are confident that these new PSAs will use ‘bear hugs’ to enlighten a whole new generation of Americans on the critical importance of preventing wildfires.”

You can also follow Smokey Bear on Twitter.


Weekend inspiration: When the road ends

Nice piece on The Atlantic’s website about the places on earth where the road ends.

In Focus writer Alan Taylor used Google Maps to find where Street View ended its coverage. “I’ve always been drawn to the end of the road, to the edges of where one might be allowed to travel, whether blocked by geographic features, international borders, or simply the lack of any further road,” Taylor writes.

He includes 26 images from Street View that show some wonderful, and spoiled, places on the planet.

A village at the end of the road, near Sund, Norway. (Google)

Here’s that village on Google Maps.

The Buckner Building, a massive WWII-era abandoned structure in the tiny port town of Whittier, Alaska. (Google)

Here is the Buckner Building mapped.

The commenters on the piece include some additional locations.

Here is one I wandered onto, and as a bonus it includes the shadow of the Google mapper.


Ship Harbor Boulevard, Anacortes, Washington, United States

More than just ice in Iceland

I visited Iceland back in November of 2001. It was a wonderful solo journey filled with glaciers, waterfalls, hot springs and geysers. It was also the first place I ever saw the Northern Lights. Don’t worry too much about the complexity of the language. As one Icelander explained to me, “If you don’t know just how to say something, say it faster and faster. It is how we do it.”

(A photo essay about Iceland from Wander The Map.)

I highly recommend a trip there if you ever get a chance.

* Yeah, sorry for that headline … At least I didn’t so some sort of fire and ice thing…