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Tag: location

Ace and the American sunset

Since Ace was the first dog in America to see the sun rise (above) — back on Oct. 3, when we were on the other side of the country – I thought it would be fitting for him to be the last dog to see it set as we make our way down the west coast.

On the road, I called my son on my cell phone and asked him to look it up on the Internet. Thirty minutes later, he called back with the answer, or at least one of them — Cape Blanco, Oregon.

That was back when I was still in the state of Washington, and I’d filed it away in the back of my mind (translation: I’d all but forgotten about it) until, while driving south down Highway 101 in Oregon, I saw a sign for Cape Blanco State Park.

Where have I heard of that before, I wondered. You know how you can set your computer to delete your Internet history when you log off? That’s kind of how my brain works sometimes.

Five more minutes down the road, it registered, and I decided to seek out a motel in Port Orford, and drive back up to the park around sunset time.

Suitable lodgings eluded us though (more on that bizarre episode tomorrow), so Ace and I killed some time sniffing around Port Orford before heading to the park, hoping the clouds and drizzle might clear up enough to see some sign of a sun setting.

We turned off 101 and followed the road, past the park and towards the Cape Blanco lighthouse until the road — and seemingly the continent — came to an end.

And as — we can only guess — the sun went down, here is what we saw:

I got only close enough to the edge to see that it dropped off pretty severely, but I could see nothing more than the vague outline of a huge rock in the ocean, or at least what I thought was the ocean.

As for Ace — our visit to Niagara Falls still in the front of my  mind – I kept him on a very short leash and right at my side, fearing he might venture into oblivion, or pull me into it. In the thick fog, it was a scary place — and maybe it is in the light of day too, like something you’d see in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Two people would get into an argument at the edge, and pretty soon you’d only see one.

Here’s what the cape looks like in the cloud- and fog-free light of day:

The top of the lighthouse is, some say, the last place to see the sun go down in the 48 contiguous states.

But not all agree with that — or even with the contention that Cape Blanco is the westernmost point in the contiguous 48. Some say Cape Alaya in Washington is westernmoster.

Apparently, the confusion is caused by land shifts and measurement anomalies and whether the measurements are taken at high tide or low tide.

One can tour the Cape Blanco lighthouse between April 1 and Oct. 31, and, for a fee, climb the three flights of stairs and one ladder to the tower.

This isolated lighthouse holds at least four Oregon records: it is the oldest continuously operating light, the most westerly, has the highest focal plane above the sea, and employed Oregon’s first female lighthouse keeper.

And it’s a great place to see sunsets.

Sometimes.

AT&T unveils collar that will track your dog

peterclarkcollage1

 
A dog collar that will allow pet owners to map their pets’ location on their computer or other wireless devices will soon be hitting the market, Apisphere, Inc.  and AT&T announced.

“The dog collar, with an embedded wireless SIM, will leverage Apisphere’s award winning geo-mobility platform to transmit location-aware data across AT&T’s nationwide wireless network directly to a pet owner’s wireless handset or personal computer,” according to an AT&T press release

In other words, what the communications company is saying, I think, is that the new gizmo will tell you where your dog is.

Apisphere is a provider of “location-smart technologies” for mobile applications and devices.

Pet owners who use the technology will be instructed to register their pets and important contacts as soon as they attach the collar. Owners may establish a “geo-fence” around the home where the pet can roam freely. Through the technology, owners can locate their dog if he strays outside of his established parameters.

Apisphere software will transmit street level data for easy pet location. Owners will have the option to program text, email, video or audio alerts, to be distributed as often as they like.

“There are few things as important to my daughter as knowing the whereabouts of our dog,” said Glenn Lurie, president, AT&T Emerging Devices, Resale and Partnerships. “The peace of mind that a wirelessly connected collar will bring my family and pet owners across the country is long overdue. We’re extremely excited about this product and its possibilities.”

Pricing, distribution, and design details of the collar will be made available at launch, expected later this year.

(Art: From Peterclarkcollage.com)

Theory on origin of domestic dogs challenged

The theory that the domestic dog originated in East Asia has been challenged by an international group of researchers who say African dogs are just as genetically diverse.

The huge genetic diversity of dogs found in East Asia had led many scientists to conclude that it was where the domestication of the dog began.

But newly published research, based on analyzing blood samples from dogs in Egypt, Uganda and Namibia, shows the DNA of dogs in African villages is just as varied, according to the New York Times.

The research was originally aimed at tracking down a newly discovered “small gene” that led to wolves being downsized in their transition to dogs. Instead, as reported in the current issue of  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers found information they say calls into question where wolves were first domesticated.

Lead scientist, Adam Boyko of the Department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology at Cornell University, says he decided to look at village dogs at least partly because his brother, an anthropologist as the University of California-Davis, was head there on a honeymoon. Also there are more mutts there — dogs more genetically diverse than bred dogs.

It’s the mutts that may hold the key to the learning the origins of dog domestication.

Read more »

Let your fingers do the dogwalking

eukanuba-iphoneFinally, a good reason to get an iPhone.

Eukanuba is offering an iPhone application that gives dog owners the location of the nearest dog parks. By simply tapping the “Locate Me” feature, users can get information about the five nearest dog parks — complete with map and driving directions.

The application will work on all iPhone and iPod Touch models, according to a company press release.

The Eukanuba OFF LEASH iPhone application can be downloaded for free at www.Eukanuba.com.  Users are encouraged to share their favorite dog parks so that they can be added to the evolving park database. 

Users of the application can also access Eukanuba TV 24-hours a day and see original dog-related content, including “Planet Puppy,” “Champions and Heroes,” “Eukanuba Legacy” and more.