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4 mistakes to avoid when hiking in the winter

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Hiking in the winter is a peaceful yet challenging endeavor. However, it can be dangerous if you’re not well prepared. To make sure your winter hiking adventure is a success, avoid these four common mistakes.

1. Forgetting that water freezes
Carrying and drinking water on a hike is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer. However, it will freeze if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Carry it in the middle of your bag or near your body to keep it as warm as possible.

Also, water freezes from the top down, so take a tip from serious mountain climbers and carry your bottle upside down. This way, ice will form at the bottom of the bottle rather than the top.

2. Overestimating your abilities
Walking in the snow, both on foot and on snowshoes, is more challenging than walking on land. Allow more time for a winter hike than you would for a summer excursion of the same distance.


Also, remember that the days are short in winter, so plan accordingly to be back before sunset.

3. Wearing cotton
Cotton absorbs moisture and takes a long time to dry, leaving you at risk of losing your body heat fast. Instead, opt for clothes made from synthetic materials, merino wool or silk.

4. Not layering properly
The weather can change quickly in winter, especially when climbing, so it’s important to dress in layers that you can shed as needed.

Wear a moisture-wicking base layer next to your skin, a polar fleece middle layer and a wind- and water-proof shell and pants on top. Finally, for your outermost layer, put on a down jacket and pants. Be sure to also bring extra warm clothes as well as a spare hat and mittens.

In addition, be sure to remember to fuel up as you go. It’s easy forget to eat while hiking in the cold, so don’t neglect to carry and munch on snacks throughout the day.

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Network latency: What it is and why you should care

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A fairly obscure tech term is becoming more commonplace as mobile networks upgrade to 5G technology. The word is latency, which is the time it takes for your data to travel across the mobile network to its destination and back again to your device.

Fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks offer significantly lower latency than older technology, according to CNET. Latency for 3G networks often crept into the hundreds of milliseconds, while 4G networks currently offer a range of 30 to 70 milliseconds. The new 5G networks range from five to 20 milliseconds, but experts and industry groups hope to push that all the way down to a single millisecond in the future.

The lower latency could provide a huge boost to services that require ultra-fast response time, like telemedicine, augmented reality, and self-driving cars. With almost instant latency, surgeons could perform procedures remotely using robotic surgical devices, while self-driving cars could communicate with instant response to prevent crashes. Mobile video games would also see a bump in response time between devices, leading to a faster-paced game for players.

5G networks offer significant benefits over older networks beyond just the improved latency. According to Forbes, 5G can transmit data as much as 10 times faster than older networks. And when a large number of mobile users cluster in one place, 5G networks are significantly less likely to experience those dreaded network slowdowns.
Of course, only 5G-compatible devices benefit from 5G network speed and latency, and according to PC Mag, only about 16 percent of Americans will have a 5G device by the end of 2021. If you’re still carrying a 4G phone, and it isn’t yet time to upgrade, don’t fret — those devices will still work in upgraded networks, and you’ll even see a bump in speed.



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Smartwatches: an introduction

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Smartwatches are becoming increasingly popular. If you’re interested in purchasing one, here’s an overview of what you should know.

They have a range of features
Similar to smartphones, smartwatches are essentially tiny computers. In addition to displaying the time, these devices allow you to receive notifications, make calls, surf the internet, listen to music, track your sleep patterns, and more.

You can track your fitness habits
If you regularly work out, many smartwatches feature heart rate monitors, step counters, and calorie trackers to help you reach your goals. Many models also come with functions that allow you to create training programs and keep track of your performance. It’s important to do your research, as some watches are specifically designed for certain sports such as diving, golfing, or hiking.

Visit your local electronics retailer to find a smartwatch that suits your needs and budget.


There are several types of smartwatches available on the market. Some need to be paired with your cell phone via Bluetooth to take advantage of their full potential. Others, however, are completely autonomous devices.

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CVs: should you list your interests?

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If you want to make your CV stand out, consider sharing your interests. Though you should highlight your work experience first, also mentioning your hobbies and passions can give potential employers a glimpse into your personality. Sharing this information can help set you apart from other applicants with similar skills.

Draw connections
It’s a good idea to focus on activities that show you have talents that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, you might want to mention previous volunteer experience if you want to work for a non-profit organization. Similarly, stating that you’ve participated in team sports could be beneficial for a position that values collaboration.

Be specific
You should personalize your areas of interest beyond simple keywords to capture the recruiter’s attention. Have you traveled? If so, mention the destinations you visited. Or, if you practice traditional dance, note if you’ve ever won any competitions. Depending on the activity, the recruiter may learn more about your level of fitness, creativity, or sense of responsibility.

If you’re having trouble writing your CV, consider reaching out to an employment agency for help.


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5 tips to help farmers stay safe this fall

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The fall harvest can be one of the busiest and most dangerous times of the year for the agricultural industry. For this reason, the third full week in September is annually recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week. This year, the event takes place from Sept. 19 to 25, and the theme is Farm Safety Yields Real Results. To mark the occasion, here are five tips for reducing stress during this busy time.

1. Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation increases the risk of health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

2. Eat healthy and stay hydrated. A balanced diet can reduce the risks for myriad physical and mental health conditions.

3. Stay connected with family members and friends. Making time for the people who matter most to you can help relieve stress and keep you grounded.


4. Make time for yourself. In addition to spending time with loved ones, remember to take care of your own needs.

5. Ask for help when you need it. If you feel overwhelmed, reach out for assistance. Talking to a mental health professional can help you stay on track.

There are real risks associated with working in agriculture, but adopting healthy practices during the harvest and beyond will help keep you safe.

The lineup of this year’s topics

• Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety
• Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, Overall Farmer Health
• Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture
• Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, Agricultural Fertilizer & Chemical Safety
• Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture

Visit necasag.org for more information.

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Older Kindles to go offline

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Kindle users beware — older Kindle e-readers with built-in 3G connectivity will start to lose their ability to connect to the internet in December, according to The Verge.

Amazon announced the change as mobile carriers upgrade their networks to newer 4G and 5G technology. Kindles with built-in WiFi capabilities will still be able to connect to the internet wirelessly, but older Kindles that only connect via 3G will not be able to connect at all.

Users with affected Kindles can still download and read new books until December, and after those devices lose connectivity, all downloaded materials will remain accessible on your device, but you will not be able to download new content. But don’t get annoyed just yet — visit Amazon’s online storefront to see if you qualify for a deal on a new device that will let you enjoy your e-books without interruption.

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How SOS became the world’s distress call

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It doesn’t mean ‘Save Our Ship’ — in fact, it doesn’t stand for anything. It is just a very recognizable signal in almost any form.

SOS was invented in Germany in 1905 for use as a distress signal in Morse code: Three dots, three dashes, three dots. If you keep doing the pattern, it doesn’t matter where you start.

… — … —…—…—

Plus, if you are stranded on a mountain, you can create an SOS, and it can be read backward or upside down, unlike HELP for example.


Today, digital communications have made Morse code, the signal system made up of dots and dashes, mostly obsolete, but SOS can still be written with nearly universal understanding.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Sep
23
Thu
6:00 pm Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
Sep 23 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
The Col. John S. Mosby Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, will lead the annual “Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony” commemorating the fallen of Mosby’s command at 6 pm on Thursday, September 23rd, at Front Royal’s[...]
Sep
25
Sat
10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
10:00 am National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. A blight decimated American Chestnut trees in North America in the 1920s. One hundred years later, Sky Meadows State Park has teamed up with the Virginia Chapter of the[...]
11:00 am Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sep 25 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Stop by the Friends of Sky Meadows Farmer’s Market for tasty preserved products, heirloom vegetables, eggs and more. Pick from seasonal vegetables grown in Sky Meadows’ authentic Kitchen Garden, July through September. Grab[...]
Sep
26
Sun
10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
Sep 26 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
Sep
27
Mon
2:00 pm Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Sep 27 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
WARREN COALITION OFFERS FREE TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER Have you ever felt alone? Do you wonder why you react the way you do? Do you work with children? If you answered yes to any of[...]
Sep
28
Tue
7:00 pm Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Sep 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Dominion Ridge Academy is proud to host this free community event for parents featuring international speaker, author, and comedian Christopher O’Shaughnessy. Come enjoy an evening of laughter and inspiration as Chris addresses the themes of[...]
Oct
2
Sat
4:00 pm Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oct 2 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
October 2, 2021 from 4pm-8pm All are welcome to attend the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at Wakefield Country Day School. Loosen your Leiderhosen and get ready for Oktoberfest! This year, the Edelweiss Band is coming to[...]
Oct
14
Thu
5:00 pm 6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
Oct 14 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
Last year we did not get to hold our annual Wine Pull due to COVID. We are so excited that we are able to have this fun fundraising event this year, so be sure to[...]
Nov
6
Sat
9:00 am Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth C... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth C... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Nov 6 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Carriage Barn. Sky Meadows State Park provides a unique opportunity to explore the rich natural diversity of the region. Join professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch to learn about the remarkable fall wild[...]