Costa Rica’s Reforestation Efforts Are Promising

Costa Rica News – Forests across the world are under threat, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The equivalent of 27 football fields a minute is being lost to logging, agriculture and development.

In Costa Rica, over the last 70 years, about 80 percent of forests have been lost. But they are being replanted and regrown in the country.

Al Jazeera’s Andy Gallacher reports from the Chirripó National Park in southern Costa Rica.



Facebook Plans to Use U.S. Mail to Verify IDs of Election Ad Buyers

USA News – Facebook Inc will start using postcards sent by U.S. mail later this year to verify the identities and location of people who want to purchase U.S. election-related advertising on its site, a senior company executive said on Saturday.

The postcard verification is Facebook’s latest effort to respond to criticism from lawmakers, security experts and election integrity watchdog groups that it and other social media companies failed to detect and later responded slowly to Russia’s use of their platforms to spread divisive political content, including disinformation, during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Facebook revealed the plans a day after U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller unsealed an indictment accusing 13 Russians and three Russian companies of conducting a criminal and espionage conspiracy using social media to interfere in the election by boosting Republican Donald Trump and denigrating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

The process of using postcards containing a specific code will be required for advertising that mentions a specific candidate running for a federal office, Katie Harbath, Facebook’s global director of policy programs, said. The requirement will not apply to issue-based political ads, she said.

“If you run an ad mentioning a candidate, we are going to mail you a postcard and you will have to use that code to prove you are in the United States,” Harbath said at a weekend conference of the National Association of Secretaries of State, where executives from Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google also spoke.

“It won’t solve everything,” Harbath said in a brief interview with Reuters following her remarks.

But sending codes through old-fashioned mail was the most effective method the tech company could come up with to prevent Russians and other bad actors from purchasing ads while posing as someone else, Harbath said.

Foreign nationals are prohibited under U.S. law from contributing or donating money or anything else of value or making any expenditure in connection with any federal, state or local election in the United States.

The indictment released on Friday laid out in specific detail how prosecutors believe Russians adopted false online personas to push divisive political content, including ads. The Russians also allegedly posed as Americans to stage political rallies in the United States and persuade real Americans to engage in pro-Trump activities.

Harbath did not say when Facebook would begin relying on postcard codes, but said they would be in use before this year’s mid-term congressional elections in November.

A Facebook spokesman declined to provide further details on the plan, but referred to a company blog post from last October announcing plans to roll out more robust identification verification measures for political advertisers.

That blog post did not specify what the verification process would entail.


Climbing Chirripó in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Travel – Climbing the Chirripó peak in Costa Rica is not for the weak.

Experts recommend making preparations at least three months prior to the climb. The online reservation is now open for October through March. Most people reserve three days.

You’ll need to reserve admission, define your entrance point, reserve at the lodge, specify if you want a meal plan and whether you’ll need extra supplies and/or a horse to carry your belongings.

Next, you should have a checkup with your doctor and start exercises to prepare. Then you will want to start acclimating to changes such as cold temperature, less oxygen in the air, and walking and climbing long distances.

Some exercises for this include:
-submerging your face in ice water
-breathing deep and fast then holding your breath with and without air in your lungs
-aerobic and running training
-climbing smaller areas such as from Santa Ana to the wind turbines.

When it comes time to pack, remember quick drying clothes, extra pairs of socks, water and fruits.

Cirque du Soleil in Costa Rica Having Weather Issues

Costa Rica News – The amazement of Cirque du Soleil in Costa Rica has had its issues with the high winds in Costa Rica. They wanted to make sure safety came first before presenting their show.

I for one admire that they are being proactive in this regards as opposed to what happened with the  Pura Vida Princess which sunk due to high winds and waves and the Nature Air flight that crashed due to high winds as well.  Both of these tragedies could have been avoided just by heading the weather warnings on those respective days.

The publicist of Cirque du Soleil has stated that it has never happened to them that the weather gave such difficulties. Strong winds are to blame in the delay of the premiere of the show ‘Sép7imo día – No descanso.’

The winds also complicated the inaugural function. A few changes were made in order to assure the safety of the artists while not cutting any numbers. The artistic director assures that all audiences will see all numbers.

The publicist has traveled with the company since March 2017. The show has faced other challenges, such as being erected on sand, but never so much trouble from wind. The wind is not normal in Costa Rica at this time of year. Gusts of 65 km/hour could not have been expected.

These gusts affected some aerial numbers since they depend on the stability of the stage dome. Much equipment hangs from the roof of the hanger, making it vulnerable to strong wind. The retaining wall built around the hanger was not large enough to cover the whole structure.

Sea Turtle Rescue While Vacationing in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Travel – When you put a fishing line into the rich waters of the Pacific Ocean off Costa Rica, you never know for certain what might latch on to the other end.

You could engage in battle with a powerful marlin, or be up against the brute strength of a dorado, which is a fish with a couple aliases — it is also called mahi mahi in some parts of the world and dolphinfish elsewhere.

Fishing this part of the global seas could also provide you with a very good chance to meet the quite peculiar-looking and appropriately-named roosterfish with its spikey pompadour, or you could land a red snapper, a snook, or arm wrestle with the acrobatic and airborne sailfish.

But on a recent winter fishing trip off Quepos, located in central Costa Rica due south of the capital city of San Jose, Toledo husband and wife Scott and Alix Kozak found another resident of these tranquil waters, and it was in distress.

While on board the “Pacific Fly” and fishing for marlin and dorado with captain Rocco Ramirez and his crew, the skipper alerted the group that there was a sea turtle in the water nearby, and it appeared to be struggling. The Kozaks quickly pulled in their fishing lines as Captain Rocco swung the boat around and got next to the floundering reptile.

“As we got closer, we could see that the turtle’s legs were tangled in a fishing net,” Scott Kozak said. The captain managed to get the vessel alongside the turtle, which Kozak estimated to be about 35-40 pounds.

Ship mates Gabriel Contreras and Santos Barrios got hold of the radio buoy attached to the rouge section of fishing net and dragged the snarled mess next to the boat.

“We all knew that if we didn’t cut him free, that turtle was going to die,” Kozak said. “Santos and Gabriel jumped into action pulling the buoy in and then went to work cutting the turtle free. We all cheered as the turtle swan away unharmed.”

The crew from Pacific Fly then cut the netting away from the radio buoy so it would not entrap anything else in the future.

Kozak, who along with his wife owns and operates Manchester Roofing in Toledo, said the group was fishing in calm seas about 26 miles out, where the ocean is about 3,000 feet deep. He said it is common to see healthy, free-swimming sea turtles as well as porpoises that far from shore.

There are at least four species of sea turtle found in the waters off Costa Rica — leatherbacks, greens, olive ridleys, and hawksbills. Kozak said there is quite a bit of commercial fishing with nets and long lines in the Quepos area, with those entities pursuing mackerel, mullet, and other smaller fish.

When those nets and lines are left in the water for long periods of time without being checked, they become a serious threat to the sea turtles that frequent these waters. Didiher Chacón-Chaverri with Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) said his organization is working with commercial fishermen to involve them in the sound stewardship of sea turtles.

He said LAST is training these fishermen in both the need and the proper technique for releasing turtles, and about changes they can make in their tackle and approach to lessen the chances of harming sea turtles. Chacón-Chaverri said LAST is also training local police and assisting local authorities in the enforcement of laws protecting sea turtles. The group also continues its longstanding efforts to rescue and release turtles and provide environmental education to local communities.

Those efforts are showing some success, he pointed out, since between 2010-13 the group received about 30 reports a month of injured or killed sea turtles, and the frequency of those reports has dropped to around one per month. Chacón-Chaverri added that when the commercial fishing fleets are seasonally present near the sea turtle feeding grounds, more conflicts do occur.

The Kozaks, who bought a home in Costa Rica in 2016, were just grateful to be a small part of the effort to protect the turtles that share these waters with so many other sea creatures and fish.

“As it is every day, it was a beautiful day of fishing in Costa Rica and it felt great to be able to assist in an ocean rescue,” Scott Kozak said.

OHIO FISHING LICENSES: New fishing and hunting licenses will be available for sale on March 1 at many outdoors stores and bait shops throughout the state, and at the website. The current 2017-18 fishing licenses expire Feb. 28. The 2018-19 resident season-long fishing license for persons age 16 through 65 costs $19 and is valid through Feb. 28, 2019. There is a variety of other fishing license options available, including one-day licenses and special Lake Erie charter fishing licenses. Hunting licenses vary in cost depending on the species, required permits, etc., and are good only for the designated dates outlined on the website.

MICHIGAN FISHING LICENSES: New fishing licenses are required in Michigan by March 1 and the season licenses are valid through Feb. 28, 2019. The resident all-species annual license costs $26 but there are myriad other licensing options, including hunting & fishing combination licenses. Consult the website for a list of the available licenses and an explanation of what they cover.

WALLEYE BAG LIMITS: Anglers are reminded that the walleye daily limit for all Ohio waters of Lake Erie and the areas immediately upstream from the lake is six fish through Feb. 28, when that daily limit will drop to four. The four fish daily limit will be in place in these waters from March 1 through April 30, with a 15-inch minimum size limit as well. The special daily limits for the Lake Erie waters are in place on the Maumee River up to the dam in Grand Rapids and on the Sandusky River up to the Ballville Dam. Sometime in April, the Division of Wildlife will announce the daily bag limits for the remainder of the license season, which will be in effect from May 1, 2018 through Feb. 28, 2019.

Contact Blade outdoors editor Matt Markey at: or 419-724-6068.

By Matt Markey, From the Toledo Blade

Sapphires from Saturn

Ghosts & the Supernatural – Stumbling through a mystical universe, filled with stars and jewels, I am enraptured with the beauty of this place. It is not so far away, yet it exists in multiple dimensions and times. My mind guides me to a library of information. I can read it by the touch of the temperature on my skin. I can absorb it like knowing what a smell is, a color stands for and where a dream exists.

“Somewhere in the ancient future is sapphires that come from Saturn”… The text plays out on multiple screens and the knowledge is digitally spread. I am here now in that room with this mana. I have suddenly pulled into a sanctuary with many others who are waiting to connect in this realm, together to learn. We step out of our realities by piecing together the secrets of a special existence.

The words pass on through us like a wheel, cycling and leaving behind tracks from where to guide us. My third eye sees past all the basic patterning of human understanding and pulls together the clues, which must be found. Well what path do we lead to next on this timeline? May we move forward together now?

There are many shimmering dances of a jewel all around. Life stands before me in a vision, behind me in memory and inside of us, it glows. The light sparkling and moving reveals the sacred geometry. Bows of fonts are written all over the walls. Now we read the darkness as well, while we are deciphering the words of the gift bestowed by someone much wiser than us…

Astrology Gemstones

There are many different ways that we can work to improve our lives for the better. One such way is to wear certain gemstones to draw luck towards us. If one is not careful and misunderstands their fortune, misfortune can also be had as well. However, the prosperity and wisdom that they could bring is worth the risk if we are in need of this. Therefore, a large purchase such as jewelry should be well thought out, including the condition of the pieces. It is thought worldwide that, for astrology gemstones, it should be as spectacular in form as possible to avoid any issues.

Each type of jewel is known to bring strength to separate areas in our lives. It is best to study them to better understand. For instance, Sapphire is known to help with intuition and also wealth. For someone that works hard, it is good to always have this gem near, in order to efficiently collect the maximum profits. In Vedic astrology, it is known to balance the crown chakra, which is where we communicate with the divine realms. Similarly, it is associated with the planet Saturn.

Saturn, in astrology, is the force which deeply defines a person’s life. It marks a soul with meaningful moments, which can either scar us or embrace us into our future. It is known as a karmic energy. It is a ruler over faith and time. When this celestial life comes and goes, it impacts us in such a way that we will learn many important life lessons. It is a giant god itself, with a full force of 62 moons orbiting its vicinity. Similarly, a Saturn return is the period in a person’s life in which it returns to the place it was when we were born, bringing tremendous changes into the forefront.


A sapphire is a gemstone that is typically blue. If it is found in another tone, it is referred to as “fancy.” However, many different variations do exist. The only color that is not natural to be found is red. Sapphire is a type of mineral named corundum and the counterpart would be the ruby. The color is made up of different substances such as chromium, copper, iron, magnesium and titanium levels. This leads to the spectrum of shades on the surface level.

The most notable significance offered up is of spiritual matters. It is a charm worn in jewelry and other decorated pieces to bring about good luck in such matters as health, law and protection. Avoid the green shade as this is thought to be a negative antidote. Many superstitions revolve around this gorgeous treasure from ancient times that are still told today. It works best for those who are pure of heart and innocent.

Americans have named this jewel as the birthstone of September. It will bring those born in this month so much joy. It is similarly used to honor the planet Venus, which rules over Libra, whose reign begins on September 23 and ends October 22. Libra is the seventh sign in the zodiac and in the moments of mass belief in ritualistic celestial timing, the planet Saturn was thought to be the seventh in line from the sun, instead of the sixth, (when people thought that the moon was a planet). Interestingly, The Goddess of the Golden age is the good hearted Astraea of the stars, who is born in Virgo, which begins August 23 and her very close ties are to Dike, the goddess of social justice and movement of forward thinking. She is represented as the scales.


In ancient Roman mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture, dissolution, liberation, time and wealth. In Roman culture, he was celebrated profoundly in the month of December with a festival called the Saturnalia. It was a time to give each other gifts, appreciate the richness of the spiritual world and to be merry. Because of the high praise and worship, the day Saturday is so named for this reason. It is the part of the week that traditionally we find the time to appreciate our freedom and servitude to others.

Saturn’s father is Caelus (Uranus) and his mother is an Earth goddess also known as Gaia. He took a wife know as Ops. She birthed him several gods, also known as Ceres (goddess of plants), Juno (protector of women), Jupiter (the god of sky and thunder), Neptune (god of the waters), Pluto (god of the underworld), Veritas (goddess of truth) and Vesta (goddess of the hearth and home). Because it was prophesized that Saturn would have a child that would be greater than him, he ate up all his children, except Jupiter, who was hidden away by his wife. She fed him a stone instead, fooling her husband, which caused him to vomit the children back up. Hereafter, Jupiter was the one to overthrow Saturn, who had previously taken the crown from his father Uranus.

Saturn’s reign was widely popular during a peaceful and prosperous reign, called the Golden Age. Life was abundant and merry. Many lived with the gods in passion and vitality. There were many moments of happiness and joy. He is often depicted as an old man because during this era people were known to live long years very easily. He also holds associations as father time. His popularity was so great that the planet Saturn was named in his honor and beauty.

Sapphires in Dreams

In dreams, jewels are known to portray the riches of life. This can mean anything from a sexual pleasure to business dealings and luck. The color richness is important as it identifies with the level of energy being dealt here. Whatever happens to the gemstones in your dream will deeply speak on many subconscious points as to the destiny within us.

People who see their selves wearing these treasures will need to identify what part of their body it is associated with to better understand. A sapphire on the wedding ring finger may speak to a special promise, while one worn as a pin may mean an improvement in ranking, whether social or career wise. There are several interpretations to consider.

In particular, a sapphire stands for loyalty, good fortune and spiritual wisdom. It is usually attributed to all positive things such as an increase in money, status and title. This is only true except for in the cases of arrogance as it could be our subconscious telling us to make a change for the better and take notice of the non-material world, as we are possibly focusing too much of our time on nonsense. It can also signify a death may be at hand but an inheritance could be expected soon. Take pride in yourself but, remember these blessings are also from the hands of the angels and gods, so be humble to be alive as well.

Sapphires in Legend

Sapphires have made an impression in many cultures. Because of the significant beauty of this precious treasure, it was often compared to attractive objects and other pieces of the universe. In our world, a hard stone like this is valued for its composition. For spiritual purpose, we are filled with peace, love and desire when we see one. All of these lovely fractions of light help to give sapphire its ultimate mystical power. When we acknowledge the great splendor, we can increase our essence and enchantments.

Folklore tells us that in Persian culture, it was believed that the Earth was a sapphire and that’s why the sky was blue is because of the reflection of this light. If this jewel is ground up, it can be used as an all-purpose medicine. The Ten Commandments are rumored to be inscribed onto this object. Stories from the bible, about the breastplate of Aaron, describe this presence and quality. In parts of the Orient, Saturday was the day to dress in blue and wear this charm. From the British throne, Princess Diana wore one on her finger as a sign of royal love. Blue represents the heavens and so it’s a retainer of holy resonance.

Because of its Greek language origins, it is also known as sapheiros and in Latin as saphirus. It is meant to increase one’s faith, luck and happiness and also to keep the wearers thoughts pure and divine. Oftentimes in history it is thought to have been mistaken for Lapis Lazuli, which also increases a person’s intuition and psychic nature. Its shape is important and the clearest qualities will bring about the highest possible attunement.

Sapphires from Saturn

What I know is what I hold in my hands and so it resonates inside of me. My heart and soul radiate with a positive energy, aligning with other forces that are just as bright. We attune ourselves to one another and reach far into the Heavens to bring down our amulets of sapphire. We are each rulers of our temples and leaders divine.

May the beauty rest upon your soul and inspire you to move on with grace and honor. Our love will soak into others and cause a permanent change resulting in a new start. I hope that we can all grasp the power of this jewel one day and succeed in becoming exceptional people. That’s what we need in order to become eternal.

Let us bring more of this ambiance into our lives and feel the spiritual cleansing rush over us like waterfalls forming into a river. Anything that can be imagined can be had. We must continue to push forward and do not surrender for too long to the forces of nature. May we guard the hearts of our soul with a surging desire.

Sapphires from Saturn
By Deanna Jaxine Stinson, Mystical Mage

Halo Paranormal Investigations – HPI International.!/groups/HPIinternational/

Severe Turbulence Injures 2 Aboard Air Canada Flight to Costa Rica

Costa Rica News – Two people were taken to hospital after an Air Canada Rouge flight encountered turbulence on the way to its destination in Costa Rica.

AC1806 was en route to San Jose when it encountered severe turbulence approximately 90 minutes into the flight, according to data from

The plane then turned around just over Asheville, North Carolina and returned to Pearson airport, where it landed without incident.

Peel Paramedics say two flight attendants were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Air Canada says passengers have since departed to San Jose on another aircraft.

From Toronto City News