Taking Treadmill to The Top

There are treadmills and then there are exercise experiences on machines.  According to Vermont Gaming Lounge co-owner Jamie Danaher, the University Mall in South Burlington has something better, providing the user with “the most immerse experience” that’s out there.  He explained that they use the Virtuix Omni – a treadmill that needs “a harness, special shoes, and Wi-Fi transmitters that detect your motion and transit that data into any game.”

This is one of only five venues throughout America that has this level of technology – something very out of the ordinary for Vermont which usually gets things like this “after they have been out for a while.”  With this however, Danaher said Vermont is “on the cutting edge.”

Initially it looks like a flat screen which moves when the user moves.  But actually it’s all around and when the user turns their head they are still in the game.  In other words it is all-encompassing.  Video game enthusiasts are incredibly excited about this technology. The user doesn’t realize they are surrounded by people as they are in their own swing and their own game.

Vermont is most fortunate to have such a truly out of this world experience!

Come One, Come All

Marathon runners, Vermont needs you. As of yesterday, almost 1,000 runners are still needed for the upcoming city marathon. Watch the video and see if you can help this amazing cause.

Vermont’s A-Grade

Vermont has just been ranked the fifth best state, nationwide for K-12 Education.  The national data aggregator SmartAsset gave Vermont an A- for its educational achievements.  While it is true that the state does spend more money per child than any other state, this is still great news for Vermont students and as such has a ratio of less than 10 students per teacher (with 22.8 to 1 in Utah).

Furthermore, the state is teaching the importance of taking care of the environment, being at the top of the country’s implementation of the Universal Recycling law.  They are engaging in practical food education, putting an emphasis on local resources to reduce food waste, with which they are succeeding, simultaneously managing recyclable materials and creating food scrap diversion programs.

As children get older things still look good in Vermont.  It was found that the four-year high school graduation rate was 88 percent (although college attendance rate was relatively low at 54 percent).  and, this remains true for the environment as well.  The University of Vermont was recently recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency as being a “conference champion” of the 2016-17 College & University Green Power Challenge.  This was in recognition of the fact that it has used more green power than any other school in the America East athletic conference.

Sail the Wonderful Waters of Lake Champlain

A double-ended ferry on the Burlington-Port Kent route.

Since 1826 the Lake Champlain Transportation Company has been a reliable, safe, and especially friendly form of transportation for travelers desiring to cross the magnificent Lake Champlain on the western border of Vermont.

Travelers can choose among three different routes between Vermont and New York; Grand Island, Vermont and Plattsburgh, New York; Burlington and Port Kent; and Charlotte and Essex.
Grand Island-Plattsburgh is the northernmost route, taking 15 minutes to cross, with 24-hour service provided. Looking to connect with route 87 in New York or 89 in Vermont? Then this is the best way to go.

The best route for sightseeing is the central route at the widest part of the lake. It takes about an hour to get from shore to shore and offers brilliant views of New York and Vermont. In Burlington the dock is right in downtown, walking distance to the many shops, hotels, restaurants and especially the Burlington Waterfront.

At the southern part of the lake the ferry is a 30-minute voyage. The views are magnificent in summer and fall, when the leaves are displaying their golden hues. Although the crossing is open all year long, it can be temporarily closed in the winter months if ice conditions or strong winds make sailing hazardous.

Explore the World of Bug Art on Your Next Visit to Vermont

John Hampson’s “Bug Art Star.”

While we are on the subject of art created by non-vertebrates, such as spider webs, let’s take a long look at art literally made from insects and their various body parts.

Yes, right here in Vermont those so inclined can hop on over to Saint Johnsbury and have a peek at the amazing art created by John Hampson. On display at the Fairbanks Museum are geometric mosaic designs made with thousands of actual moths, beetles and butterflies. The insects were meticulously placed on wooden boards and framed, creating an extraordinary, and unusual, to say the least, work of art.

Hampson was born in 1836 in Stockport, Cheshire, England. He arrived in the USA in 1860, married in the 70s, and then moved to Newark, New Jersey. He was fascinated with and passionate about insects. Due to his extraordinary love of all things insect, he spent literally years assembling each one of his nine mosaics. Each artwork contains anywhere from 6,300 to more than 13,500 insects or their parts. Even the frames of the mosaics are composed of shining beetles and colorful flies.

In 1923 the Newark Evening News waxed poetic about Hampson’s art:

“Most of them are the common field flies and moths – the skippers, cabbage flies and other familiar to everyone who has a back yard. It would take perhaps three or four years for Hampson to complete one picture, mounting the insects so that the white, black, red, orange, blue and yellow wings would form pictures of famous American generals in characteristic poses, or intricate designs such as the North Star, completed in 1887, or the Centennial Wheel, finished in 1892, copies from patchwork quilts, which had won prizes at exhibitions. But no scraps of silk or calico can match the deathless coloring contained in the wings of these tiny children of the fields and flowers.”

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