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RAINBOW RYDERS – HOT AIR BALLOONS

Taking flight to lofty heights gives the adventurer in all of us an exhilarating new perspective on our world.   In 1970, a young boy named Scott Appleman and his family moved from Los Angeles, California to Albuquerque, New Mexico. In February 1971, the very first world hot air balloon championships would take place in the city where he lived. The 12-year-old seventh-grader became incredibly curious over these hot air balloons that could reach heights of up to 3,000 feet. He decided to ditch his class one day and make his way to the event being held at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds. Fascinated with these huge billowy balloons, he volunteered as a balloon chase crew member and went on his first ride. Captivated by his adventure into the sky, he was hooked. Little did he know this experience would launch him into an amazing career that would lead to world recognition. Winds of Change His family has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. His father owned his own company, a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical service company in Albuquerque.

Magic is Real: Richard Edward Turner

Through mind-bending card manipulation, a master dazzles and inspires audiences with what is seen and unseen. Magic is Real Richard Edward Turner is a magician whose life is truly an optical illusion. Turner, best known for his sensational card trick performances, began losing his vision when he was recovering from scarlet fever at the age of nine, causing irreversible detriment to his eyes. From the age of 9 to 45, he was legally blind and only able to see indiscernible shadows peripherally. After this he was completely blind. Watching his performance, you wouldn’t know that Turner’s greatest magic isn’t in the cards. Instead, it’s in how he overcomes his blindness, proving that magic isn’t only about what you can see, but what you can’t. Now You See Me, Now You Don’t Turner’s lack of eyesight isn’t the most magical part of his story. It’s how he inspires people to not let anything hold them back from their dreams. He assures people that his eyes didn’t get him to international acclaim, his heart did. “I don’t tell anyone I’m blind, but

Nasimo: Walls are His Canvas

His art bears witness to freedom of expression after the fall of communism on a scale so grand, even buildings can barely contain it. It was a time of great tumult as a revolutionary wave in the late 80s and early 90s marked the end of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. After the fall of the communist regime in Bulgaria in 1989, a young artist took an interest in spray painting on walls. He would later be known as a pioneer of Eastern European graffiti art culture and become an icon of graffiti fine art in the Balkans. “Let’s go scribble on the walls,” said a young man. The year was 1994 when a young skateboarder left the theater and did just that. It was a clear night in Targovishte, Bulgaria, and Stanislav Trifinov, known as Nasimo, stood in front of a large wall, holding a can of spray paint. The sound of sirens began to blare, and everyone dispersed in every direction. “When it was my turn, I had not thought of anything yet. I took the can,

Jason Ramos: Smokejumper

The strenuous, burning and devoted life of one aerial firefighter, out of the plane and into the fire. The wall of flame was moving fast across the forest. It was 200 yards away and the noise was building. The fire growls before it devours, as if a pride of lions roared before a feast. The embers flickered through the air, lighting up spot fires ahead of the giant wall of heat leaving ashes in its wake. An out-of-control wildfire sounds like a freight train, most survivors say, expelling molten steam at infernal pressures. These men fighting it believe that once you hear that sound, it’s over. The expanding roar ripping out your ear drums and then becomes the least of your worries. “In a firestorm, nothing is safe: sand turns to glass, metal runs like water, wood and human beings vanish into ash.” – Jason Ramos Oxygen levels drop. The attack on the senses only worsens as the heat rises and your throat tightens and dries out. Every heat wave seems to spawn three more. A Risk Worth Taking Jason Ramos

Stephen Wiltshire: Remarkable Artist

Just a brief observation and entire cityscapes are drawn as finely detailed masterpieces — from memory. An Exceptional Talent Imagine flying over the world’s most memorable metropolitan cities, glimpsing the panorama below, imprinting the vision in your memory, and coming back to the studio to recreate in painstaking nuance, every detail, completely from memory. This is the innate talent of British artist, Stephen Wiltshire, now 45. Like the character Dustin Hoffman played in Barry Levinson’s 1988 film, Rainman, British artist Stephen Wiltshire possesses some extraordinary and inexplicable abilities. His remarkable artistic talent is linked to an equally remarkable and photographic memory.   Researchers postulate that unique wiring between the two hemispheres of the brain allow certain people to access reserves of creativity, unavailable to most of us. Wiltshire is one of those people.  His motto is: “Do the best you can and never stop.” The Early Years As a child, Wiltshire exhibited exceptional artistic abilities, even though he didn’t speak until the age of five, when he uttered his first word, “paper.” In school, he was fascinated with sketching images of wildlife,

Taylor Hagood: Gift Ideas for the Hard-to-Buy-For

The time of year has arrived when a great many people are buying gifts for friends and family. With one nephew aged five and another aged two, my bank account has a way of spinning like the dials on a slot machine until they all turn up apples. I have learned that there are creatures in the sea named Octonauts and creatures on land called the Paw Patrol, all of whom desperately need my business. And I am more than glad to oblige for as long as I can keep up. It occurs to me that it would be doing the readers of Throomers a service to provide some gift ideas, whether for the holiday season or for any other time when they are called for. Naturally, these ideas are for the people in your life who are most difficult to buy for (why would you need help with the others?). Having grown up in what, I have come to decide, was a unique household, I feel somewhat qualified to offer a few options. I have always harbored admiration for folks

The Perfect Stocking Stuffers for Travelers

It’s that time of year again. Searching for a gift for the jet-setting wanderer in your life? These are a few of our favorite things that also happen to make great stocking stuffers for travelers. Perfect Packing Reusable, sustainable, and built to last, our experts can never have too many packing cubes and organizers. “I have several sets in different colors for when the whole family is packed into one bag,” says Ker & Downey Product Manager (and savvy traveling parent) Elizabeth Frels. “That way I can keep our belongings organized and identifiable.” The color combinations and sizes are vastly varied, making it easy to shop for any traveler. eBags Classic Packing Cubes, 6pc Value Set | $44.99 Eagle Creek Pack-it Specter Compression Cube Set | from $25.00 Miamica Travel Laundry Bag | $11.98 Portable Power Never miss a moment because of a drained battery. Small and mighty is the name of the game in portable chargers, and everyone at Ker & Downey has a favorite. This Power Bank portable charger is “hands down the best battery pack I’ve ever

MYKA MEIER ETIQUETTE: ILLNESS/DEATH

What do you say to someone who has just lost a loved one, and how do you support them? I advise not to say you know how someone feels, because even if you have lost someone in the past, you still may not know how they feel. Instead, be sure to reach out and tell them you are thinking of them (or praying if you / they are religious) during this time and that if they need you for any reason, you are just a phone call away. I think it’s important to let someone know you are there to help or support. I also think it’s a nice gesture to cook or send food to the home of the person who just lost someone. Not only for them to have something to nurture the family at loss, but also to help feed any visitors who may stop by. What do you say to a friend who has a serious illness? How can you help but not get in the way? I think in this case it’s again important to

Fantasy Camps: Live Your Dream

Wish no more! Here’s your chance to live your fantasy! For boomers, it’s the perfect time to turn dreams into reality. As more of us approach retirement, fantasy camps are just the ticket to finally live our passion. These camps for grown-ups are popping up all over the U.S. ranging in price from a couple hundred to six figures. Camp sessions generally last a few days to a week, but some offer longer stays, even months. Living your fantasy ought to be in your bucket list. We’re not talking about fantasy football or other digital interaction. We’re talking about real life experiences, what you’ve “always wanted to do when you grew up” kind of things. Just to experience it once in your lifetime could be the most fulfilling thing you do for yourself. Have you ever fantasized what it would be like to be a rock star, a Broadway actor, a real-life 007, an astronaut, or race car driver?  We’re sharing some great ideas to reignite that “could have, should have” feeling once more, because now you really can live

David Solie: Sixty Is The New Sixty

One of the new mantras of aging in the twenty-first century is the refrain “sixty is the new forty.” Maybe. Good health and an impressive array of lifestyle options certainly make many of today’s sixty year olds look different compared to their parent’s generation. But appearances can be misleading. In their rush to celebrate biological vibrancy, sixty year olds could miss a crucial piece of information about what occurs developmentally on the journey to seventy. Biology is not psychology, and failure to appreciate the difference could leave elders uninformed and ill prepared for their final mission. Sixty year olds represent an “in between generation,” meaning not quite middle age and not quite old. Developmentally, “in between” is an appropriate characterization of a transition period marked by “agenda crossover.” What do I mean? Middle age and old age have markedly different developmental agendas. The transition between these age groups is not sudden. It is a crossover process where one agenda ramps off while the other ramps on. From a psychological perspective, knowing where you are coming from is interesting; knowing where