Instagram Takeover | Brandon Thrower

first_imgThis month’s Instagram Takeover features North Carolina-based photographer and trail running fanatic Brandon Thrower—AKA @bttrailrunner. Brandon can usually be found criss crossing the trails of Western North Carolina, particularly those in and around the Linville Gorge area. When’s he’s not capturing the beauty of the Southern Appalachian landscape around him with his camera, he’s competing in competitive trail runs and sometimes directing them. He also uses his Instagram account to document his affinity for Western North Carolina beer and passion for home brewing. If you’re looking for daily inspiration and some great tips about exploring the WNC mountains @bttrailrunner‘s account is a must follow. Check out some of his shots below.Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.50.56 AM“Running in the Linville Gorge is extremely tough and demanding, but oh so rewarding.  Recognizable from so many angles across the region, Table Rock in the Linville Gorge holds a special place in my heart, as I am sure it does for many who live in Western North Carolina.  This iconic peak also offers one of the best views in all the Blue Ridge.”Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.54.32 AM“The Swannanoa Rim, which includes the massive summits of Graybeard and Blue Ridge Pinnacle, also contains a fun little bump between the two called Rocky Knob.  This small open rock face offers up 270 degree views of the Great Craggy Mountains and the ever undulating Foothills as they fall off to the Piedmont.  A fun and rewarding scramble mid run.”Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.56.41 AM“Probably the easiest hike in all of the Linville Gorge, the short trip out to Pinnacle still has some of the best views along the rim of this famous ditch. We decided to stop and catch the sunset from its rocky summit on a family camping trip last fall and it did not disappoint.  I was lucky enough to capture this shot as the sun was falling behind Bald Knob and was lighting the autumn leaves aglow.”Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.59.23 AM“Max Patch is just one example of the many wonderful high mountain balds we have in North Carolina.  All across the western part of the state, especially along the Tennessee/North Carolina border, you’ll find many like this, but I think this one takes the cake for best views.”Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 10.01.13 AM“If you find yourself in the Wilson Creek Area of Pisgah National Forest, then you must go to Little Lost Cove Cliffs and witness the best view you will find in the entire area.  Some friends and I had fun exploring the cliffs and checking out the monstrous views of Grandfather Mountain and beyond.”Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 10.02.54 AM“For the past few years near my birthday, I’ve had friends join me on a complete traverse of the entire Black Mountain Crest, which is the highest ridgeline in all of the Appalachia’s. The ridge boast 10+ peaks over 6,000 ft in elevation and numerous other 5,000 ft peaks along the way.  We start early each year to catch the sunrise from the bald between Celo Knob and Mt Gibbs and it never disappoints.  The shadow of this monstrous range is cast far into the Cane River Valley below.”Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 10.07.07 AM“North Carolina is home to many of the highest mountains in all the Appalachians, but one subset of ranges that is often overlooked is the Amphibolite Range in the extreme northwest part of the state in Watauga and Ashe counties.  With seven mountains topping out over 5,000 ft in elevation and all separated by deep gaps and valleys, the mountains here feel much larger.  Three Top Mountain might be the most impressive of them all though, especially if you enjoy to scramble.”[divider]Q & A With Brandon[/divider]BRO: What is your current home base and where are you from originally?BT: My wife and I are currently in the moving process and heading to Morganton, NC.  We are both really excited about the move and we love the town.  We have lived just down the road in Hickory for the past few years and have really enjoyed our time there as well though.  I originally grew up in a small town of the central Piedmont called Randleman. BRO: How long have you been trail running? BT: I actually didn’t start running at all until I was 20, but around that time I was getting ready to transfer to Appalachian State and was drawn to the mountains and the trails.  I started running short and easy local park trails to get in shape for backpacking trips and eventually I just began to run my backpacking trips in a few hours instead.  Trail running definitely opened up the door to explore the many trails of the High Country region on a daily basis and still be able to make it to class the next day.BRO: Outside of trail running, what is your favorite outdoor activity?BT: Trail Work!  It is so important to give back to our trails and help to keep them sustainable for future generations and the health of our environment.  I wish I could get out more and help all the great groups that do this unseen work by many, but when I’m available and there is a workday within a reasonable distance of the casa, I try to be there to help out. BRO: What’s your favorite town in the Blue Ridge?BT: Man, that is a tough question.  There are so many awesome towns in the region that all provide their own unique flavor.  That being said though, I’m really partial to my new home base of Morganton and my rambling college abode of Boone.  Both of them have really fun downtown vibes, great breweries and eateries, and they have been the jumping off point of so many of my adventures.  I know that is two towns, but lets just call it a tie. BRO: How did you get into photography?BT: I started shooting on film back when I graduated high school with an old SLR I got one Christmas.  I think my love of taking photos of inspiring landscapes is what drew me to the mountains in the first place.  With it being film though, it got really expensive for a college kid to develop the photos and buy film on a regular basis.  That coupled with the fact that a SLR is not the easiest thing to lug around, especially on long trail runs, I just started taking mental pictures there for awhile.  That was until smart phone camera technology became more advanced, especially in the past few years.  Almost all of my trail running pictures have been taken on an Iphone.  I can easily carry it in a small pocket in my running pack or handheld water bottle and once I see something that inspires me, I put one of my friends running through it in a picture.BRO: How long have have you been shooting?BT: Wow, I guess I’ve been shooting off and on for about 10 years now.  My current obsession with capturing trail running didn’t start until about three years ago. BRO: If you could only choose one area in this region to hike, explore, and photograph for the rest of your life what would it be?BT: I think I am in that region now.  From our new home in Morganton, I can explore the looming Black Mountains, the depths of the Linville Gorge, the numerous waterfalls of the Wilson Creek Area, the high mountain balds of Roan, the small but equally beautiful South Mountains, and the High Country in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain all within an hours drive or less.  I think I’m where I’m supposed to be. BRO: One piece of gear (minus your camera) you wouldn’t head into the woods without?BT: My Ultimate Direction AK Vest is pretty much an essential tool for me when exploring vast mountains and trails with little chance of resupply.  It allows me to carry all I need without being bulky and heavy.   BRO: Favorite trail in the Southeast/Mid-Atlantic?BT: Man, another tough question.  Narrowing things down to one thing is difficult for me if you haven’t yet realized, but I think I’d have to go with the Black Mountain Crest Trail.  That trail is so extremely diverse and amazing, it is almost unfathomable.  It is also one of the most difficult trails in the region, but that usually means fun times are ahead. 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Steph Curry skeptical he could ever top Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game

first_imgThe question made Stephen Curry smile and shake his head. He showed the same disbelief many have when they watch him play. The Golden State Warriors’ guard and defending regular-season MVP has seemingly made any shot at any angle and from any distance. But he cast serious doubts on accomplishing something else even more miraculous. Could Curry ever break Kobe Bryant’s career-high 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors nearly a decade ago?“Not a chance,” Curry told Los Angeles News Group. “There’s a reason why people are still talking about that game to this day. It’s so special.” Could all those numbers add up to what Bryant did on Jan. 22, 2006?“Steph is a talented enough scorer that you could definitely say it’s a possibility.”said Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton, who played with Bryant during his record-setting night. “But it’s not very realistic. If we’re blowing someone out, he’s going to rest.”Curry needed all 48 minutes to post a career-high 54 points on Feb. 27, 2013 against New York. Curry logged 36 minutes to score a season-high 53 points on Oct. 31, 2015 against New Orleans. Then there marked six games Curry played under 30 minutes this season amid the Warriors coasting to a double-digit victory. Through swarming double teams or rare off nights, Curry can still dish to Klay Thompson, Draymond Green or Andre Iguodala. “If there’s one guy in the league that has a chance of doing it, it would be him,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said of Curry. “But they’ve got so many weapons that’s it not needed from him to have that type of game to shoot it 40 times.”Curry’s highest volume-shooting output was a 34-point performance against Brooklyn in which he shot 13-of-31 from the field in 44 minutes. Otherwise, Curry has averaged a team-leading 20 field-goal attempts.“A lot of it has to do with our system and the way we play,” Curry said. “Kobe had a reason to get up as many shots as he did in the [Toronto] game. I don’t think anybody will get up 40-plus attempts no matter how hot they are.”But Bryant did. He helped the Lakers overcome an 18-point deficit against the Raptors by going 28-of-46 from the field. With Kwame Brown and Smush Parker in tow, Bryant spent the 2005-06 season carrying everyone with a team-leading 27.2 shots per game. He then averaged a career-high 35.4 points per contest on a 45 percent clip. “You have to be in tip-top shape to do it,” Bryant said. “It takes a lot of energy to carry that for the duration of the game.” Yet, Bryant performed just fine on his record-setting game a day after consuming grape soda and pepperoni pizza. He scored 55 second-half points amid endless pull-up jumpers, layups and dunks. He shot 7-of-13 from 3-point range. He went 18-of-20 from the foul line. “The consistency is just unreal. I know he didn’t have too many weapons on that team. So Toronto was trying to stop him, and they couldn’t figure it out,” Curry said. “It boggles your mind to think how he did that.” Several have thought the same thing about Curry.Just like Bryant once did in March of 2007, Curry became the first player since then to average at least 36 points in a single month. He nailed a 37-footer with .06 seconds left in overtime to beat Oklahoma City. He hit a 40-foot shot to beat a first-quarter buzzer against Miami. He heaved a half-court prayer that sailed into the basket against Orlando. “He shoots the ball from angles that you just don’t shoot,” Scott said. “When he throws it up, sometimes you’re thinking, ‘What is he doing?’ He’s off balance. But the thing that makes him so difficult to guard is that he can make it from anywhere. You have to get up on him.”Good luck. “He moves so well without the ball,” Bryant said of Curry. “You can’t really track him. He doesn’t really isolate so I’m not going to load up on him. He has great shooters around him and passers around him. He’s constantly on the move. Because of that, he has to be the hardest player to defend.” So much that Curry has set the top three single-season 3-point marks of all time. So much that Curry has scored at least 20 points in a quarter five times this season. “It’s fun. You have the ultimate confidence,” Curry said. “You feel like every shot is going in no matter where you are on the court and what kind of defense you see.” All of which left Curry intrigued on whether he could reach Bryant’s milestone if he ignored team dynamics and played as if an NBA game took place on the playground. “You would like to think if I were to try or if I were to get hot after a quarter or two, I would have 50 in 2 ½ quarters,” Curry said. “Maybe you could finish it off. But that’s still pretty crazy to think to have 50. Those are career days for almost anybody.”Well not for Bryant, whose No. 24 jersey number also represents the amount of times he has cracked the 50-point barrier. Hence, the game’s best shooter still struggled to comprehend how anyone could mimic the game’s best scorer. “For him, it was just clicking that night,” Curry said of Bryant’s career game. “There’s no real explanation.”Quotable“It boggles your mind to think how he did that.” — Warriors guard Stephen Curry on Kobe Bryant’s career-high 81 point-gameEditor’s note: This article has been updated to remove a sentence referring to Curry as having the highest scoring quarter in NBA history. Klay Thompson set that record. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Yes, Bryant’s career game still represents the NBA’s second-highest scoring performance behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962. But Bryant does not consider the milestone special enough to think his record will remain sacred. Said Bryant: “It’s just a matter of you have to believe it’s possible.” The Lakers (12-51) enter Sunday’s game against the Golden State Warriors (55-5) at Staples Center with Curry doing what was once considered impossible.He has averaged a league-leading 30.7 points per game despite playing only 33.9 minutes per contest. He has ranked first this season in posting 30-point games (29), 40-point games (11) and 50-point games (three). He shattered his own single-season three-point record (293) still with 22 games remaining. According to, Curry has made 3-pointers from basically anywhere, including the right corner (53.3%), the left corner (45.3%) and at the top of the key (46.5%). Very few can guard Curry no matter the distance, including shots from 10-14 feet (54.5%), 15-19 feet (39.7%), 20-24 feet (48%), 25-29 feet (45.9%) and 30-34 feet (58.3%). last_img read more

Oil experts for high-level Cabinet Ministers caucus today

first_imgThe Natural Resources Ministry late Tuesday evening announced that it has organised a high-level caucus for Cabinet Ministers to engage global thinkers and experts on natural resource management as part of the Government of Guyana’s agenda to prepare for petroleum production in 2020, and beyond.The event will be facilitated by Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs through its New Producers Group, and will feature world-renowned experts Sir Paul Collier, noted Professor of Economics at Oxford University; Sir Shridath Ramphal, Caribbean statesman and advisor; Eric Parrado, former Manager of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Chile; Ambassador Patrick Duddy, Lecturer, Duke University; Dr Valerie Marcel, Chatham House Fellow, Professor Matthew Andrews, Harvard, Kennedy School of Government; Professor Peter Harrington, Harvard, Kennedy School of Government and Natural Resource Governance Institute Advisor Patrick Heller.The Government’s objective, according to the Ministry, is part of an ongoing effort to move preparations to a deeper level of engagement on issues such as prioritising spending on infrastructure, agriculture and social programmes; inter-generational savings; geo-political considerations; legal and institutional strengthening, benefit sharing and engagement and involvement of the people of Guyana, to name a few.This caucus, which will be held today, is expected to lead to further similar engagements in a scheduled and programmatic way in the months ahead.last_img read more

KiLife Tech from BYU wins 2015 Rice Business Plan Competition

first_imgShareNEWS RELEASEDavid Ruth713-348-6[email protected] Lynn [email protected] Tech from BYU wins 2015 Rice Business Plan CompetitionNearly $1.5 million awarded at world’s richest, largest student startup competition  KiLife Tech from Brigham Young University emerged as the top startup company in the Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) Saturday at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. The annual event is the world’s richest and largest student startup competition.KiLife Tech from Brigham Young University won the 2015 Rice Business Plan Competition. Photo courtesy of ShauLin Photography.Selected by 275 judges from the investment sector as representing the best investment opportunity and taking home $500,000 in cash and prizes, KiLife Tech bested 41 other competitors hailing from some of the world’s top universities. KiLife Tech developed the Kiband, a smartband for parents concerned about keeping track of young children in crowded public spaces.MyHelpster from University of Manchester won the new $5,000 online People’s Choice Competition. The winner was determined by more than 20,000 people who voted for their favorite team via a Facebook survey held March 23 through noon U.S. CDT today.The prizes were presented tonight at a banquet at the Omni Houston Hotel that concluded the three-day event, which began April 16.This year’s competitors were the most diverse in the history of the competition and came from top universities around the globe. The teams were chosen from more than 400 entrants to compete in four categories: life sciences; information technology/Web/mobile; energy/clean technology/sustainability; and other. Each team made its case in 15-minute investment pitches and a rapid-fire 60-second elevator-pitch contest on the first night of the competition.Since the RBPC’s inception in 2001, when nine teams competed for $10,000, more than 155 former competitors have gone on to successfully launch their ventures and are still in business today; another 15 have successfully sold their ventures. Past competitors have raised in excess of $1.3 billion in funding and created more than 2,000 new jobs.The 15th annual RBPC was hosted by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and the Jones School.The top six finalists based on the judges’ overall score in the 2015 RBPC are listed below, along with the total amount the team won in prizes:KiLife Tech, Brigham Young University — grand prize with a total value of $588,000. KiLife Tech developed the Kiband, a smartband for parents concerned about keeping track of young children in crowded public spaces.The grand prize includes:$250,000+ Investment Prize from The GOOSE Society of Texas.$250,000+ OWL Investment Prize.$50,000 from TMCx Accelerator.$25,000 Technology Award from Opportunity Houston and Greater Houston Partnership.Marketing and design services provided by BrandExtract and The Padgett Group ($25,000).Website development and hosting services for one year provided by ContentActive ($30,000).Treasury services provided by Bank of America ($5,000).Business Plan software provided by Palo Alto Software.Opportunity to ring the closing bell at the NASDAQ Stock Market in New York.In addition, the team will receive more than $150,000 in services.Inscope Medical Solutions, University of Louisville — second place and $73,000, awarded by one of the sponsors of the first RBPC in 2001, Finger Interests.Leveraging 35 years of combined experience in the health care industry, Inscope Medical developed an innovative laryngoscope that integrates several devices into one to improve patient outcomes for airway intubation.Hyliion, Carnegie Mellon University — third place and $162,500.Hyliion is creating an add-on hybrid module for tractor trailers that can reduce fuel costs by over 30 percent. Its product is intended to improve the driver’s quality of life as well as reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.Veritas Medical, University of Utah — fourth place and $137,100.Veritas Medical is a medical device company that has developed a groundbreaking technology using light to sterilize medical devices and prevent hospital-acquired infections.DexMat, Rice University — fifth place and $64,000.DexMat manufactures high-performance carbon nanotube fibers as a stronger, more flexible and lightweight replacement for old-fashioned metal wires that are currently being used in aerospace cables.Aerox, Thammasat University — sixth place and $31,000.Aerox manufactures A-Shield Silica Aerogel, a NASA-grade insulation at only 10 percent of the cost. According to Aerox, their product unlocks an opportunity in building material worth $37 billion.For more information about the RBPC, visit” alt=”last_img” /> read more