Technology & Costa Rica School Children

Costa Rica News – School children in Cartago created a technology capable of connecting to the Internet.

The 65 kids began a program on educational robotics and the Internet of Things in March and have already graduated.

They started with an alarm system, projects that automate functions in the home, and a car model that collects garbage. They even made a car that runs on solar energy and seawater.

The program takes place at Nuestra Señora de Fátima School. The initiative is financed by the Fun for Educational Projects of Garnier & Garnier and Zona Franca La Lima.

It’s for fourth, fifth and sixth grade students.

The children exercise a lot of skills and learn about technology, while playing and having fun.

This school won a contest for the financing based on its robotics proposal which included ideas from students wanting to change the world.

Technology & Costa Rica School Children syndicated from


5 Things To Do On A Costa Rica Vacation

Costa Rica Travel – This Central American country offers more than its fair share of natural delights and adventures. As well as looking for sloths, we enjoyed seeing plenty of other wildlife, a little time at the beach and some pretty simple and terrific meals.

Go for a walk in the woods: The trick to walking in the forests of Costa Rica is to keep your eyes open to see the astonishing biodiversity everywhere around you. Also try to keep your mouth closed so you are better able to hear the delicious cacophony of all those critters. Also, take your sweet time. “Walk slowly and wait for things to show up,” the guide advises. “If you walk fast you will miss the whole thing.”

Grab a towel and hit the beach: Costa Rica has beach towns on two oceans, the Pacific and the Caribbean. Just south of the Sloth Sanctuary, on the Caribbean side of the country, you’ll find the little town of Puerto Viejo. It has the requisite beautiful beach and surfers on the water or heading to the waves, carrying their boards while riding their bikes. It’s also got tons of funky little beach bars and tourist stands.

Check into a cabin: Marco Otlio and Aurora Gamez started Almonds and Corals hotel near the beach in Manzanillo with one room in 1993. There are 25 cabins now. You’re serenaded to sleep by the sounds of the rain forest and wake up to howler monkeys. It’s not the place for anyone who wants a TV in their room or has “phobias of animals,” but it’s great for those who get a kick out of the owner showing you a yellow snake, green frog or spider monkeys in the trees.

Might as well go for a soda: You’ll find sodas, little diners, all over Costa Rica. At Soda Mirna in Puerto Viejo, I enjoyed a healthy portion of fish, Caribbean style, along with the ubiquitous rice and beans. Sodas usually make their own hot sauce and guard the recipe. As I picked it up to douse my rice, my Costa Rican companion warned: “be careful.” Wash it all down with Hiel, a concoction of ginger, lemon juice and brown sugar, or a nice cold Imperial beer.

Eat like the locals at a cafeteria: In the Central Valley, on the way back to San Jose, Costa Rica, we stopped where the locals do for a bite to eat. Bar Y Restaurante El Yugo, a cafeteria on Highway 32, serves up all kind of traditional Costa Rican fare. My companion enjoyed a massive steak. I had chicken with fruit and rice of beans with a chaser of sweet Guananana. We also had a bonus wildlife spotting: A pretty beetle the size of my thumb was climbing on my companion’s boot.

By Jennifer Allford, The Star

5 Things To Do On A Costa Rica Vacation syndicated from

Surf Photos & Costa Rica Weekend Surf Report- October 20th & 21st

Costa Rica Surfing – (Surf Report October 20th & 21st) – We are going to give you the surf forecast for Costa Rica and we have Costa Rica surf pics.  There are going to be fun sets on the Pacific side  & the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. We have also added surf video from Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica.

North Costa Rica & Central Costa Rica & South Costa Rica Forecast for the Pacific

FRIDAY: Partially shadowed SW swell shows mainly chest to shoulder high sets at good breaks Thursday with less consistent head/head+ peaks possible at standouts. Similar sized surf starts Friday before a new SSW swell brings bigger peaks at long period focal points in the afternoon/evening.

WEATHER/WIND: A weak diurnal pattern continues for the region. That sets up mainly light/variable wind for the mornings, followed by light to locally moderate onshore sea-breeze each afternoon. Keep an eye on the Central America Hi Res Winds when planning your session.

Friday 10/20 – 3-5ft – waist to head high – Old SW swell drops out. Long period new SSW swell picks up through the afternoon/evening, showing more size late.

Saturday 10/21 – 4-7ft – shoulder high to 2 ft overhead – SSW swell builds to it’s peak in the PM.

Video of the Surf at Playa Hermosa – Equipment From Reel Cameras

Caribbean Costa Rica Forecast

Small short period wind waves from the east-northeast holding during the next few days. Light west winds with a slight chop until Saturday. Small short period wind waves from the east-northeast holding during the early part of next week. Light and variable west winds later and switching to the northwest.

Friday 10/20 – 4-5ft – Shoulder to head – Small short period wind waves from the east-northeast holding during the day. Light and variable west winds all day and switching to the northwest.

Saturday 10/21 – 3-4ft – Knee to shoulder – Small short period wind waves from the east-northeast rising slightly later in the day. Light and variable west winds all day and switching to the northwest.

Now Some Costa Rica Surf Pics (Photos Taken By Una Ola Surf Camp (

Surf Photos & Costa Rica Weekend Surf Report- October 20th & 21st syndicated from

Amazon’s New $5 Billion Headquarters May Ruin Your City

World News – There may be a few good reasons not to add your city to Amazon’s shopping cart.

Formal bids in the nationwide search for Amazon’s second headquarters are due Thursday, and cities have been pulling out all the stops to attract the $479 billion retail behemoth. From the 21-foot cactus that Tucson, Arizona, shipped to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, to the giant Amazon packages that Birmingham, Alabama, placed around its city center, the nation’s mayors, residents and business leaders clearly believe that having one of the world’s most valuable companies move into town is a golden ticket to economic prosperity.

But although the $5 billion project is sure to inject billions of dollars into the local economy and provide work for thousands of residents, some economists are warning that hosting the retail giant could bring on some equally giant headaches.

“It feels like ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,’” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told NBC News. “It’s a real prize, but they’re going to need to be very disciplined. It’s a big deal, a big project with lots of moving parts.”

While residents of the chosen city will likely reap the benefits of high-paying jobs and skyrocketing property values, they may also have to contend with some pain points as Amazon gets settled.

Traffic jams and labor pains

“It’s a big construction project, and all large projects can be a bit of a nuisance to the existing residents,” Zandi said of the proposed eight-million-square-foot headquarters.

For a start, that means an influx of construction workers and materials coming to and from the site. This will raise the cost of labor for other businesses, Zandi said, since Amazon will be competing for workers.

“People will move in to take the jobs, but it will probably put pressure on other businesses in the community who have the same labor pool,” he said. “Some businesses might not be that excited.”

Traffic patterns in the chosen city will also be forever changed as thousands of workers commute to and from the new headquarters. Amazon is targeting metropolitan areas with more than one million people and within a 45-minute drive to an international airport.

“There could be all kinds of traffic problems associated with a burst of construction and a change in location of employment,” Gary Burtless, an economist at the Brookings Institution, told NBC News.

And, while traffic jams may already be a way of life in cities like Phoenix and Chicago, they’re “the kinds of problems cities like Buffalo and Rochester and St. Louis dream of having,” he said, noting that these are “problems of prosperity.”

However, Tom Kucharski, president and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara — which is launching a joint bid with neighboring Rochester — said he sees the benefit of Amazon choosing a city looking for a resurgence.

“The benefit we have is, through the structural reordering of industries over the past 100 years, we have infrastructures that can accommodate new investments in rail, airports can ramp up greater service,” Kucharski said. “Where a lot of other communities may struggle with housing and workforce, we are sitting here ready for this opportunity.”

Concerned communities

As the window comes to a close this week, 73 community groups from around the United States signed an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking for the company to make some commitments to the cities under consideration.

“We love jobs, we love technology, and we love convenience — but what you’re looking for will impact every part of our cities,” the letter said. “We built these cities, and we want to make sure they remain ours.”

The signatories want promises from Amazon on everything from transparency and taxes to jobs and housing.

That means asking for commitments on affordable housing, a promise to hire locally for construction jobs, and pledging to pay property taxes and sales tax on HQ2 building materials, and declining to sell its corporate income tax credits to other companies.

“We need to make sure that Amazon commits to clear and enforceable benefits to any community they would move into,” said Dorian Warren, vice president of the Center for Community Change, a national community organizing group.

“This means, among other things, a commitment to hire locally for the many jobs that will be created, taking proactive steps to avoid gentrification and displacement of poor and working class residents, and to pay their full taxes like the rest of us,” he said.

Housing boom — or bust

For some homeowners, when big technology companies move into town, it can be like winning the jackpot as housing prices skyrocket.

Home values in Seattle, the site of Amazon’s sprawling and still expanding original headquarters, have jumped more than 11 percent in the last year compared to a 6.9 percent annual average, according to Zillow.

But for renters, the housing boom can be a nightmare, driving lower income people farther outside of town.

Seattle rents jumped 7.2 percent, according to the same index, well above the national average of 1.2 percent.

It’s something Silicon Valley is also being forced to consider. In the tech-focused San Francisco Bay area, many police officers, teachers, firefighters, and other professionals essential to keeping a city safe and thriving have already been priced out and are instead forced to commute into the city where they work.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the charitable foundation that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg co-founded with his wife, Priscilla Chan, has already donated $3.6 million to help with the San Francisco housing crisis.

While Burtless said this is the kind of opportunity that keeps local development offices “salivating,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Nelson Wolff, a Bexar County judge, announced in an open letter to Bezos why the Texas city isn’t submitting a proposal.

“Blindly giving away the farm isn’t our style,” they wrote in the letter. “It has to be the right fit, not just for the company but for the entire community.”

While they were complimentary of Bezos and Amazon, the city’s leadership ultimately decided their mix of real estate and incentives wouldn’t make them the most attractive candidate for Amazon, according to a statement given to the San Antonio Business Journal.

In fact, Nirenberg even believes Amazon already has its mind made up — but isn’t saying just yet.

“We’ve long been impressed by Amazon and its bold view of the future,” he wrote. “Given this, it’s hard to imagine that a forward-thinking company like Amazon hasn’t already selected its preferred location.”

Either way, it’s not likely that the final answer will be announced any time soon. After Thursday’s bid deadline, Amazon may take a year to announce its decision.

Vying for attention

“This is about as big of a project I can ever remember,” Zandi said. “There will be growing pains, but it will be well worth it, I am sure. I don’t think any city would go wrong if Amazon chose their site for expansion.”

Look no further than what Amazon did for Seattle: The company’s investments in the city from 2010 to 2016 added $38 billion to the city’s economy, according to data provided by Amazon.

Or, to put that in simpler terms: For every $1 Amazon invested, the company said it added $1.40 to the local economy.

While each city has made its own particular case, Moody’s scored the competing cities in five categories: business environment, human capital, cost, quality of life, and transportation and geography.

Using a data-driven approach, it found Austin, Texas, was in first place, with Atlanta a close second. Philadelphia, the Rochester-Buffalo joint bid, and Pittsburgh rounded out the top five.

Ultimately, the winning factor will likely be the good will of residents, said Zandi.

“Amazon wants to be welcomed by the community. If there are people protesting or objecting, I would think it would have an impact on Amazon’s location decision,” he said. “They want to make sure the community wants them as much as they want to be there.”


Amazon’s New $5 Billion Headquarters May Ruin Your City syndicated from

An Inquiry Into Fear

Driving down the short, steep grade into the canyon just beyond town, I passed a score of young people with shovels and buckets, obviously returning from trail work. From that point on I saw no one in three hours.

I parked in the last parking area before the locked gate at the end of the bumpy, gravel road. It’s less than a half-mile walk into the gorge, affording a stupendous view for meditation.

The “Diablo” winds from north to south have ceased in recent days, and smoke from the fires in wine country to the south have blanketed the skies in northern California in an otherworldly haze.

The hills are now bone dry, and desolate beyond description. Normally I welcome, even relish solitude, but there was something unearthly in the atmosphere that brought forth deep fear.

Photo Martin Lefevre

The combination of tinder-dry hillsides, total solitude, and miasma lent a dreamlike quality to the experience. It was no daydream however, but reality, outwardly and inwardly—without the division between “outward” and “inward.”

Except for one unseen plane, there wasn’t a sign or sound of humans and the man-made world for hours. Due to the physical and metaphysical conditions, I felt more alone than I ever have except while backpacking by myself. But was I alone?

If you’ve ever spent a night or two in the wilderness alone, you know there is a primal fear at the core of human consciousness.

Though it’s been a long time since I backpacked alone, I recall the ancient fear and chaotic mental activity the solitude induced on the first night. Why did I put myself through it?

At a deep level I wanted to stand alone and face fear. Not just ‘my fear,’ but fear itself.

Sure enough, after two days and nights of remaining with what is, psychological fear dissolved, like a bad dream on a beautiful morning.

Sitting on the lip of the gorge yesterday, a question I read earlier in the day came to mind: Is it that the whole structure of the cell is frightened of not being?

I don’t think the cells themselves are frightened of not being. Even the lowliest insect is imbued with a survival instinct, which, when confronted with danger, incites the flight or fight response. So fear is part of the survival instinct that is intrinsic to every living thing.

The questions, it seems to me are: Do we humans tend to live in fear because we’re social animals? Is fear intrinsic to the neo-mammalian brain dominated by symbolic thought?

Certainly the fear of standing alone, or even being alone for a few hours in nature, is linked with our social natures. Is fear the essence of conformity?

For tens of thousands of years, being cast out from the group into the wilderness meant almost certain death. There’s a subconscious memory of that fear, which infuses and confuses us in the modern world much more than we think.

Photo Martin Lefevre

In short, fear a necessary survival reaction in animals, but an unnecessary psychological condition in humans. It isn’t the condition of life that produces fear, but the accretion of conditioning that produces fear.

Isolation and loneliness lie at the root of fear within us. Of course there is the fear of poisonous snakes, for example, which is both instinctual and learned (the latter being fitting or phobic). But I’m referring the deep need to be part of a group, and the inability to be truly alone.

The root meaning of the word alone is “all one.” Initially what I experienced in the desolate canyon beyond town was not aloneness, or even solitude, but isolation and loneliness. This is what gave rise to fear.

Fear was the theme of the day, since I also read this bit of inanity yesterday: “Fear causes people to privilege psychological security over liberty.”

That evinces not only an utter lack of understanding of fear, but also a failure to perceive the fact that there is no such thing as psychological security. The need for security destroys security, for oneself and for others.

Psychological thought, fear and time are inextricably related, and form a single movement. Solitude, aloneness and isolation are distinct, though easily confused and conflated qualities of being.

Solitude is essential to aloneness, as all-oneness. Paradoxically, watchful solitude is also necessary to uncovering and transcending isolation, loneliness and fear.

When solitude brings forth loneliness, observe it and remain with it. Then solitude is the soil that engenders freedom from loneliness and fear, and opens the door to the sacred.

Martin LeFevre

An Inquiry Into Fear syndicated from

Costa Rica Regional Airports Getting A Financial Injection

Costa Rica News – Local airports are to receive an injection of ¢13.6 billion colones for improvements this year.

The terminals in Quepos, Drake, and Los Chiles are the ones getting the highest budgets of all the local airports.

The other ones being invested in include Coto 47, Puerto Jiménez, Golfito and Los Chiles.

The investment comes from the General Directorate of Civil Aviation and includes plans to recharge runways, make new terminals, create fences and parking platforms among much more.

This is the largest injection of resources that these aerodromes have received in a long time.

Next year, an investment of ¢7,268 million is planned for Puerto Jiménez, Palmar Sur, Upala, Guápiles, Pérez Zeledón and Barra del Tortuguero.

These local airports are being brought up to more decent levels to bring more tourists to these areas.

They have taken priority over the roads in need of development, since fixing the roads will take decades.

Costa Rica Regional Airports Getting A Financial Injection syndicated from

Why Do Puppies Cry?

Lifestyle – Just like a human newborn, your new puppy communicates many of his needs by crying. But what do you do if you’ve met your puppy’s basic needs and he continues to cry and whimper?

Dr. Carolyn Lincoln, a Cleveland-based veterinarian who specializes in behavior medicine, says puppies have to make the difficult adjustment of being away from their mother and littermates, so it’s important to give your puppy time to adjust. “Your dog isn’t trying to annoy you. He just has a need and he’ll continue to cry until it’s met.”

But Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor with petMD, cautions that how you respond to puppy crying is important. “How you act when a puppy is crying can dramatically affect future behavior,” she says. “Knowing how and when to respond is key.”

Why Do Puppies Cry?

The best way to get your puppy to stop crying is to get to the root of the problem. Here are some common reasons behind why your puppy is crying and how you can help.


Frequent whimpering and crying could be signs that your puppy is sick, says Lincoln. Some symptoms to be on the lookout for include lethargy, a loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness or an increased breathing rate. Excessive licking, biting or scratching in one area could be signs of an allergy, infection, parasites or other skin problems. If your normally affectionate pup becomes anti-social and doesn’t want to be touched or runs away or hides from you, he could be in pain or suffering from an injury.

How to help: It’s important to get your puppy to the vet as soon as possible if you notice any of these symptoms. “Puppies don’t have the reserves of adult dogs, so taking a ‘wait-and-see’ approach is riskier in younger pets,” warns Coates.


Dogs are social animals. But puppies can be especially needy as they adjust to being separated from their mother and siblings, says Lincoln.

How to help: Lincoln recommends reassuring your puppy by keeping him near you—even during busy times of the day. She suggests strategically placing crates throughout your house in high traffic areas such as the family room, bedroom, or kitchen. For instance, if you need to focus on fixing dinner in the kitchen your puppy can hang out next to you in his crate. In most cases he just needs to feel your presence and be part of the action.

“If you need to be more mobile you can also tie your puppy to your waist with a leash and attach it to a harness so you’ll always know where he is,” Lincoln says.

Coates agrees that keeping your puppy nearby is beneficial. “This will let your puppy benefit from your physical presence but reduce the risk of accidents or other problems when most of your attention has to be elsewhere,” she adds.


As your puppy explores his new world, his behavior may range from being playful and daring to being withdrawn and fearful. He may whimper and cower in the corner or under furniture instead of greeting visitors who don’t look familiar to him. He may run away from you when you introduce an object such as an umbrella, backpack or hat.

Lincolns refers to these periodic behavioral displays as “fear periods.” During these times puppies can suddenly become afraid of new things or of things that didn’t previously scare them.

This typically happens between 8-12 weeks, at 4-9 months, and again at 1 ½-2 years, says Lincoln. “We’re not sure why but it could be because a puppy’s brain has growth spurts,” she adds. “Or, it may be a survival instinct, as puppies begin to separate from their mom, they learn to be more cautious.”

How to help: This can be normal behavior for a puppy, but pet parents should pay close attention to their puppy’s body language. If he is avoiding eye contact or if his ears are back or his tail is down he’s telling you he’s afraid, says Lincoln.

Dr. Coates advises that if a puppy is showing signs of fear, he or she needs to be removed from that situation immediately. “Fears can become ingrained when a puppy is exposed to a fearful situation over and over again.”

To promote confidence, Coates recommends exposing your puppy at a later time with a “less intense version of the experience.” For example, if a puppy barks and backs away when approached by a stranger, repeat the scenario the next day keeping a greater distance from the stranger and allowing the puppy to approach the person rather than the other way around, says Coates. If the fearful behavior persists or worsens, talk to your veterinarian.


If your puppy’s cries occur primarily in the time leading up to meals, it could be a sign of hunger.

Lincoln says it’s common for puppies to experience an increase or decrease in their appetite as part of normal biological changes. “A puppy’s growth phase is not always linear,” she says. “So you can’t always go with the directions on the food package because each puppy is different.”

How to help: If you suspect your puppy isn’t getting enough to eat, consult with your vet about adjusting his diet, says Lincoln. Coates agrees and adds, “rather than focusing on the amount in the bowl, it is sometimes better to pay closer attention to your puppy’s body condition. If they’re looking a little thin, increase the amount of food you are offering. If they’re getting chubby, cut back a bit.”


Your puppy may excessively bark and cry because he’s bored and has a lot of pent up energy. “Puppies need mental as well as physical exercise,” Lincoln says. All puppies need to expend energy and have mental stimulation at various times throughout the day.

How to help: Lincoln says that exercise and playtime is an important part of your puppy’s day. But in addition to ensuring your puppy gets regular exercise and play with you, you can try adding some food puzzles for those times when you have to be gone. Or try a game of hide and seek, where your puppy searches around the house to find his food. “There’s nothing that says you have to feed your puppy out of a bowl,” says Lincoln.

Lincoln also likes to fill a muffin tin with kibble then top each cup with a tennis ball. Your pup can’t indulge in the treat until he gets the ball out. “It’s a challenge because the ball fits snugly. It’s also a great way to develop a good relationship with your puppy while entertaining him.”

They Want Affection

Puppies also need connection and affection. Your dog may wait all day to interact with family members who’ve been gone.

“They’ll cry if they can’t get to someone they want to be with like when they see a child come home from school. They want so badly to greet and spend time with them,” says Lincoln.

How to help: Lincoln says that it’s important that you acknowledge your puppy when you walk in the door and be present and pay attention when you are spending time with your puppy. “It’s important to spend even just a minute greeting your puppy when you walk in the door—that can be enough to calm him down,” she explains.

But Dr. Coates cautions that you should be deciding when your puppy gets your attention, not the other way around. “Puppies who cry and demand attention when their needs have been met should be ignored,” she says. “Once they are quiet, you can give them all the attention you want. Reward good behavior, not bad behavior, with your attention.”

Don’t Yell at a Crying Puppy

The more your puppy cries the more you may be tempted to yell at him. “None of it will help. In fact, it just makes it worse. He may stop if you punish him but it just confuses him and ultimately hurts your relationship,” Lincoln says.

Coates notes that some puppies seem to prefer negative attention to no attention at all. “By yelling at a crying puppy you might actually be reinforcing the behavior you’re hoping to stop,” she says.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a “time out” when you’re feeling frustrated, Coates adds. Make sure your puppy is in a crate or other safe location, then take a walk outside to calm down until you can address the situation in a more effective manner.

By Katherine Tolford, From PetMD

Why Do Puppies Cry? syndicated from