This woman is riding around the world with her German shepherd

This woman is riding around the world with her German shepherd

(CNN)- It isn’t every day that you spot a motorcyclist riding along the road with a German shepherd dog on the back of their bike. So it’s not surprising that the sight of content creator Jess Stone and her beloved dog Moxie cruising along together usually has onlookers doing double takes.

“Every car that rides up beside us, they take out their phones, almost causing accidents because they’re trying to get the shot.”

Stone and Moxie, who weighs around 34 kilograms, are currently 10 months into an epic bike trip that will see them travel across around 90 countries throughout Central America, North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. The pair have been on the road since last March, when they set off, along with Stone’s husband Greg, who rides behind them.

While both Stone and her husband were determined to include Moxie in their travels, she explains that she “didn’t want to have a sidecar or a trailer or something that was going to really change the dynamic of riding,” now that she was finally comfortable on a motorcycle. They quickly began designing what would later become the K9 Moto Cockpit, a motorcycle dog carrier they manufacture in Guatemala, along with a range of outdoor dog gear, through their company Ruffly.

After deciding that she was ready for another big adventure, this time with Moxie along for the ride, Stone reached out to global nonprofit Girl Up – a girl-centered leadership development initiative – and the GoRUFFLY Around the World adventure was born. “Obviously I wanted to travel the world,” says Stone, who aims to raise $100,000 for Girl Up’s global empowerment projects. “But I also wanted to show people that you can do it with a big dog.”

Of course, traveling with a dog has its disadvantages. They are largely limited to dog friendly places and rely on wild camping, and occasional Airbnbs, while on the road so that Moxie can roam free.

While they’d originally planned to ride from Guatemala up to the Arctic Ocean, and across to Canada, before flying to Spain and heading to Africa, the significant cost increase due to a number of issues, including rising oil prices and supply shortages, forced them to change their route. Moxie needs to be shipped in a giant sized crate as unaccompanied cargo due to her size. This meant that the total cost for her alone would have been around $6,500, including vet fees, cargo shipment and international pet exporter fees from Toronto to Spain, if they’d stuck to their original plan. The price of shipping their motorcycles had also risen significantly by the time they began the trip.

They ultimately chose to travel “tip to tip and top to bottom,” making their way from Guatemala to Mexico, the US, Canada and on to the Arctic Ocean. From here, they began riding to the top of North America, before turning around and heading back towards South America. Currently in Los Angeles, Stone is preparing for the next stage of the trip, which will involve taking a ferry over to Baja, Mexico, and then riding down to Guatemala, and on to Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama. From Panama, they plan to fly to Colombia, where they’ll ride to the “tip” of Argentina, and then fly over to South Africa. Once they reach South Africa, they’ll travel up the east coast of Africa to Egypt and then Greece, before “looping around Europe” and riding through Turkey and Central Asia. The next leg will see them ride from India to Malaysia, where they’ll ship their bikes, and Moxie, to North America and then head back to their first and final destination Guatemala.

Stone estimates that they’ll be on the road for at least another two and a half years. But for the time being, she’s focused on making it to the next stage of the journey, and constantly building on her riding skills.

Her four-legged companion continues to be a source of inspiration, and Stone never gets tired of seeing the way others react to Moxie, joking that every gas station visit is like “a selfie palooza.”

“It brings a smile to everyone’s face. And that’s what I love. She just makes everybody have a good day.”

Teach Your Pet to Communicate

Teach Your Pet to Communicate

Through pressing buttons of pre-programmed speech sounds or words, animal learners can share their requests, thoughts, and feelings. With time and patience, learners have been incredibly successful. Some have not only been able to communicate needs and wants, but also seem to relay more abstract concepts such as feelings or time.

FluentPet Sound Button are small, so even if you have dozens of words they don’t take up much space, and your learner can quickly move from one button to the other. Each button has the lightest possible touch mechanism, making them easy for even small learners to activate. Each FluentPet Sound Button can play back any sound you record into it.

To choose your words, pay attention to the things that motivate your learner. These may already be words they recognize (e.g., outside, play, cuddle). Once you select a word, use it repeatedly, in context without adding different conjugations. For example, to model ‘play’, when you’re about to play with your learner, say ‘Do you want to play? Ok let’s play! Play play play!’

After you’ve recorded your first button, ‘model’ the new word/phrase for your learner by (a) saying the word/phrase, then (b) pressing the corresponding button, and (c) either directing your learner’s attention to an object (‘ball!’) or engaging in the action you’ve just described.

Romania’s ‘dancing bear festival

Romania’s ‘dancing bear festival

(EuroNews) Hundreds of years ago, people in what is now northeastern Romania would drape themselves in bear skins and dance to warn off evil spirits. The quirky custom still lives on today, drawing in tourists from around the world. 

The ‘dancing bears festival’ takes place every December, starting a week before Christmas and ending with New Year’s Eve.

Animal rights groups have expressed concern that the event fuels bear hunting for costumes, though participants defend it, saying that most furs are heirlooms from the past. 

Euronews complied some of the most eye-catching photos from the celebration. 

Large buck rescued after calling through ice in Minnesota river

Large buck rescued after calling through ice in Minnesota river

Dec. 8 (UPI) — Firefighters in Minnesota came to the rescue of a large buck that fell through the ice of a frozen river.

The Thief River Falls Volunteer Fire Department said in a Facebook post that the “beautiful buck” will “live another day” after crews responded to Red Lake River in Thief River Falls.

Rescuers said they were able to lasso the deer’s antlers with tow straps and pull the animal to safety.

Firefighters said the deer is well known to locals, who recognize the buck by his asymmetrical antlers.

Empire Magazine Cover Reveals New Look At Harrison Ford For ‘Indiana Jones 5’

Empire Magazine Cover Reveals New Look At Harrison Ford For ‘Indiana Jones 5’

Indy returns!

Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones 5 takes the spotlight in the latest issue of Empire Magazine.

The marketing campaign for the yet-to-be titled fifth Indiana Jones movie has officially kicked off with the new issue of Empire Magazine. Harrison Ford reprises his role as Indiana Jones on the cover of Empire, which has arrived ahead of the first trailer for the movie, which is expected to hit the web within the next four weeks, according to a recent tweet from director James Mangold.

Empire has also dropped a stunning subscribe-exclusive cover for Indiana Jones 5, illustrated by Sam Hadley. The image finds Indy in 1960s-era New York City, teasing one of his stops in the upcoming movie. You can check it out below.

In addition to the two covers, Empire has revealed the first official image from Indiana Jones 5, featuring Harrison Ford in full costume.

The Indiana Jones covers arrive a few days after the news that Disney and Lucasfilm are looking to keep the franchise alive through new projects, including a Disney Plus series. Harrison Ford has stated that the next movie is his last turn as Indy.

Indiana Jones 5 is currently slated to hit theaters on June 30, 2023.

California baker creates life-sized Han Solo out of bread

California baker creates life-sized Han Solo out of bread

(AP) — Han Solo may be a hunk. But “Pan Solo” is a hunk of bread. That’s what a bakery in the San Francisco Bay Area has dubbed its 6-foot bread sculpture of the “Star Wars” character as he appeared after being frozen in carbonite in “The Empire Strikes Back.”

Hannalee Pervan and her mother, Catherine Pervan, co-owners of One House Bakery in Benicia, California, spent weeks molding, baking and assembling the life-sized sculpture using wood and two types of dough, including a type of yeastless dough with a higher sugar content that will last longer.

The two worked at night, after the day’s business was done. The lovingly crafted details show Han Solo’s anguished face and his hands straining to reach out.

Creating Pan Solo was particularly meaningful because she contracted COVID-19 in January 2021 and lost much of her senses of smell and taste. “So just to find joy in a different part of food is really important,” she said.

The sculpture is now on display outside of the bakery, located about a half-hour’s drive north of San Francisco. Pan Solo is the bakery’s entry in the annual Downtown Benicia Main Street Scarecrow Contest. The public will get to vote on their favorites from among more than two dozen creations entered by local businesses.

The Pervans, who are big science-fiction and fantasy fans, entered another “Star Wars”-themed creation in 2020 featuring the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda.

Unfortunately, Pan Solo won’t last forever. The dough eventually will be composted, not eaten.

Teenage pilot becomes youngest person to fly solo around the globe

Teenage pilot becomes youngest person to fly solo around the globe

A 17-year-old pilot has become the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a small aircraft after he landed in Bulgaria. That’s the country where Mack Rutherford’s journey kicked off five months ago. Rutherford landed on an airstrip west of Bulgarian capital Sofia on Wednesday to complete his task and to claim two Guinness World Records.

Rutherford is now also the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe in a microlight plane. Rutherford said he hoped his achievement would inspire young people to pursue their dreams. The teen is a Belgian-British dual national.

Ecovado – The Environmentally-Friendly Fake Avocado You Probably Didn’t Know About

Ecovado – The Environmentally-Friendly Fake Avocado You Probably Didn’t Know About

The avocado is one of the most energy and resource-intensive plants cultivated around the world, but apparently, you can opt for a more environmentally-friendly alternative called ‘ecovado’.

The popularity of avocados has skyrocketed over the last couple of decades, with the World Economic Forum estimating that about 5 billion kilograms of avocados are consumed annually around the world. However, this significant increase in demand has come at a huge cost for the environment. Forests have been cut down to make room for avocado plantations, and water sources have been sucked dry by what is widely considered one of the most unsustainable crops. It was this worrying development that inspired the creation of the ‘evocado’, a more sustainable avocado alternative.

The ecovado is the creation of Arina Shokouhi. She teamed up with Jack Wallman, a food scientist from the University of Nottingham’s Food Innovation Center, to come up with a substitute for the avocado. It was a massive challenge, as they could only use locally-sourced ingredients for the project.

At first glance, it is difficult to distinguish the ecovado from a real avocado. It has a very similar skin, only it is actually made of beeswax and colored with food coloring. The creamy interior of the fake fruit is made primarily of broad beans, hazelnut, apple, and rapeseed oil, a combination that Shokouhi claims comes pretty close to the creamy avocado flesh.

“The flavor of avocado is quite subtle and, overall, is most often described as ‘creamy’,” said Shokouhi. “On the other hand, broad beans can contain quite a lot of bitter compounds called tannins and can have a beany flavor caused by lipoxygenase. To reduce the bitterness, we reduced the amount of broad beans in the recipe. The flavor of avocado has been described as ‘nutty’. So we used creamed hazelnuts which would bring a good amount of fat, adding to the creaminess.”

As for the large pit of the ecovado, Arina Shokouhi experimented with a number of options, including balls made of wood or recycled paper, but ultimately settled for the most uncomplicated solution –  a large whole nut (walnut, chestnut or hazelnut).

The ecovado was Shokouhi’s final-year project. It was designed for the UK market, using ingredients that were easily sourceable at a local level. Better variants could thus be created somewhere else, like in regions that have easy access to olive oil (a fat very similar to that of the avocado), for example.

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