Refugee students learn job skills at city farm!

Refugee high school students grow and sell vegetables in North Park. They are Youth FarmWorks interns receiving a helping hand from the International Rescue Committee!
Refugee high school students grow and sell vegetables in North Park. They are Youth FarmWorks interns receiving a helping hand from the International Rescue Committee!

I was walking around North Park yesterday when I stumbled upon a small farm on a dirt lot north of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. I crossed 30th Street to see what was going on, and noticed a bunch of youth working the soil, and sitting at a table selling vegetables!

It turns out these super friendly new San Diego residents are refugees attending local high schools. As Youth FarmWorks interns they are learning job skills and gaining confidence in their new country. This urban farming project was created by the International Rescue Committee, which helps refugees adjust to life in the United States, where they are safe and free from persecution.

I was given a tour of the small farm by a super cool young man–he’s the guy who gave me a thumbs up in that first photo! He showed me the various vegetables they were growing, including different types of lettuce, beets, squash, cherry tomatoes, and much more. My tour was awesome!

Good luck to everyone!

Sign by the large vegetable garden reads Youth Farm Works - Job Training Urban Farm.
Sign by the large vegetable garden reads Youth Farm Works – Job Training Urban Farm.
Many large planters contain all sorts of growing vegetables.
Many large planters contain all sorts of growing vegetables.
Kids at work on the urban farm.
Students at work on the urban farm.
A very cool smile!
A very cool smile!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Photos of 54th Annual North Park Toyland Parade!

A cool sight before the 54th Annual North Park Toyland Parade gets started!
A cool sight before the 54th Annual North Park Toyland Parade gets started!

Here are lots of photos from today’s 54th Annual North Park Toyland Parade!

This was my first year watching the Toyland Parade. I headed to North Park and walked about a little before the parade began. Then I found a spot on the sidewalk and got my camera ready!

Kids head toward the parade route, which begins along University Avenue in San Diego's North Park neighborhood.
Kids head toward the parade route, which begins along University Avenue in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood.
These kids were selling fresh mistletoe before the parade got started.
These kids were selling fresh mistletoe before the parade got started.
Folks chat in the staging area before the hometown holiday parade begins in the late afternoon.
Folks chat in the staging area before the hometown holiday parade begins in the late afternoon.
And here we go! Boy Scouts lead the parade carrying flags.
And here we go! Boy Scouts lead the parade carrying flags.
After a bunch of local San Diego politicians go by, here comes the Grinch!
After a bunch of local San Diego politicians go by, here comes the Grinch!
It's the Gift of Dance! Some very lively Mexican folklorico dancing adds zest to the parade!
It’s the Gift of Dance! Some very lively Mexican folklorico dancing adds zest to the parade!
Whirling color.
Whirling color.
A fun truck with a Christmas tree in back.
A fun truck with a Christmas tree in back.
Looks like Santa-clown.
Looks like Santa-clown.
This fun parade entry sported a miniature North Park landmark sign.
This fun parade entry sported a miniature North Park landmark sign.
I believe this is a student attending Saint Didacus Parish School.
I believe this is a student attending Saint Didacus Parish School.
Lots of candy was being handed out to thrilled kids along the parade route.
Lots of candy was being handed out to thrilled kids along the parade route.
Kimberly Wong was the 2017 Miss Toyland Parade Queen!
Kimberly Wong was the 2017 Miss Toyland Parade Queen!
Friendly folks from the Cambodian Nazarene Church.
Friendly folks from the Cambodian Nazarene Church.
This silly guy with the John P. Squibob group posed for my camera.
This silly guy with the John P. Squibob group posed for my camera.
Happy people go by.
Happy people go by.
San Diego's Al Bahr Shriners seems to be in every parade around the city.
San Diego’s Al Bahr Shriners seems to be in every parade around the city.
More goofy clowns.
More goofy clowns.
Here come those fun little parade vehicles the Shriners always drive.
Here come those fun little parade vehicles the Shriners always drive.
Here come some North Park Little Leaguers.
Here come some North Park Little Leaguers.
A Mexican and Canadian flag, and a really good time. I believe these are kids at Jefferson Elementary Steam Magnet.
A Mexican and Canadian flag, and a really good time. I believe these are kids at Jefferson Elementary Steam Magnet.
Everyone loves a parade. Including the participants!
Everyone loves a parade. Including the participants!
Here comes the Madison High School marching band!
Here comes the Madison High School marching band!
Marching cheerfully down University wearing Santa hats. Many familiar holiday tunes were performed during the parade.
Marching cheerfully down University Avenue wearing Santa hats. Many familiar holiday tunes were performed during the parade.
Yikes! It's Bumble, the Abominable Snowmonster of the North! Watch out Rudolph!
Yikes! It’s Bumble, the Abominable Snowmonster of the North! Watch out Rudolph!
And here comes another Grinch! Is nobody safe?
And here comes another fierce Grinch! Is nobody safe?
Here comes a bunch of super cool vehicles. Check this out...
Here comes a bunch of super cool vehicles. Check this out…
Check out the hydraulics action of this awesome lowrider!
Check out the hydraulics action of this awesome lowrider! These guys were bouncing their cars like mad all along the parade route!
The parade crowd loved these crazy cars.
The parade crowd loved these crazy cars.
It's the Sweetwater High School Red Devil Corps!
It’s the Sweetwater High School Red Devil Corps!
Here comes Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Woodstock on an elf-driven motorcycle!
Here comes Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Woodstock on an elf-driven motorcycle!
These are members of the Realm of Andor, part of the Belegarth Medieval Combat Society. They meet Sundays in Balboa Park at Morley Field.
These are members of the Realm of Andor, part of the Belegarth Medieval Combat Society. They meet Sundays in Balboa Park at Morley Field.
Everyone is in the North Park holiday parade. Even the Junk King!
Everyone is in the North Park holiday parade. Even the Junk King!
This guy's cool Star Trike appears to be modeled after the Starship Enterprise.
This guy’s cool Star Trike appears to be modeled after the Starship Enterprise. I wonder if it’s difficult to obtain dilithium crystals?
And at the end of the North Park Toyland Parade, good old Santa Claus waves to everyone from atop a fire engine! Merry Christmas!
And at the end of the North Park Toyland Parade, good old Santa Claus waves to everyone from atop a fire engine! Merry Christmas!

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Holiday food drive in Hillcrest to help special kids.

Aseltine School's 2017 Holiday Food Drive takes place Wednesday, December 6, 530 pm to 730 pm, at Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest.
Aseltine School’s 2017 Holiday Food Drive takes place Wednesday, December 6, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, at Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest.

If you’re in San Diego, please consider participating in the Aseltine School’s 4th Annual Holiday Food Drive. It will be taking place on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest, which is located at 1236 University Avenue.

Bring non-perishable food items such as peanut butter, canned chicken and tuna, cereal, canned fruit and vegetables, soup and pasta. The food you bring will support students and families in need.

Aseltine School is a supportive, positive place where K-12 students are helped to overcome a variety of difficulties. Their innovative program transforms young lives. Learn more at Aseltine’s website.

Your generosity will be greeted with lots of big smiles!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Cool robots invade Maker Faire San Diego!

Flames rise from the fingertips of Robot Resurrection at 2017 Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.
Flames rise from the fingertips of Robot Resurrection at 2017 Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.

Balboa Park has been invaded! Cool robots of every size and description are roving throughout the park during 2017 Maker Faire San Diego!

Maker Faire San Diego seems to grow bigger every year. During this amazing event, eye-popping inventions and marvels of technology take over the heart of Balboa Park and many of its museums.

This morning I walked around feasting my mind on all sorts of creative stuff. Students, inventors, hobbyists and local clubs were proudly showing off their unique ideas and feats of engineering. Examples of 3D printing and robotics were everywhere.

Maker Faire San Diego continues in Balboa Park through Sunday. If you can, check it out for yourself!

Here are a few of the cool robots you might see!

2017 Maker Faire San Diego features lots of very cool robots, including 28 foot tall Robot Resurrection.
2017 Maker Faire San Diego features lots of very cool robots, including 28 foot tall Robot Resurrection.
A human operator emerges from the chest of the gigantic flame-throwing robot!
A human operator emerges from the chest of the gigantic flame-throwing robot! If this thing could walk it would be a formidable battle robot!
Human and robot fingers meet.
Human and robot fingers meet.
Robot Resurrection has a couple of tiny pals. Here's one.
Robot Resurrection has a couple of tiny pals. Here’s one.
Here's the other!
Here’s the other!
The very cool Electric Giraffe has returned again to Maker Faire San Diego.
The very cool Electric Giraffe has returned to the annual Maker Faire San Diego.
The Electric Giraffe can move about while using an array of sensors in its head. When the neck is raised, this crowd-pleasing robot is 17 feet tall.
The Electric Giraffe can move about while using an array of sensors in its head. When the neck is raised, this crowd-pleasing robot is 17 feet tall!
This cute cow robot is named Milky White. It can move its eyeballs, eyelids, ears, tail and jaws!
This cute cow robot is named Milky White. It can move its eyeballs, eyelids, ears, tail and jaws!
People at San Diego's annual Maker Faire in Balboa Park check out a very creative robot designed by a friendly young man.
People at San Diego’s annual Maker Faire in Balboa Park check out a very creative robot designed by a friendly young man.
Many schools from around San Diego are demonstrating their robot and other engineering projects during Maker Faire.
Many schools from around San Diego demonstrate robots and other engineering projects during Maker Faire.
The Robotics Society of Southern California has a sophisticated humanoid robot that moves realistically.
The Robotics Society of Southern California has a sophisticated humanoid robot that moves realistically.
The Glendale Robotics Academy had their Party Rover on display in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
The Glendale Robotics Academy had their Party Rover on display in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Kids check out another robot in the garden.
Kids check out another robot in the garden.
A performance artist becomes a fun robot. People walking down El Prado posed for photos!
A performance artist becomes a fun robot. People walking down El Prado posed for photos!
This robot named Darth Zamboni was created by the Top Hat Technicians of High Tech High North County. It launches balls!
This robot named Darth Zamboni was created by the Top Hat Technicians of High Tech High North County. It launches balls!
Small autonomous cars on a track inside the San Diego History Center. They were being controlled remotely in order to gather navigational data.
Small autonomous cars on a track inside the San Diego History Center. They were being controlled remotely in order to gather navigational data.
Autonomous car technology being developed today utilizes deep computer learning.
Autonomous car technology being developed today utilizes deep computer learning.
A student participating in the First Robotics Competition demonstrates a small vehicle that they built. Many robots can be seen up close in the San Diego History Center.
A student participating in the First Robotics Competition demonstrates a small vehicle that their team built. Many robots can be seen up close in the San Diego History Center.
This competitive robot corrals balls and then launches them.
This competitive robot corrals balls and then launches them.
Cool robots of every size and description are on display throughout Balboa Park during 2017 Maker Faire San Diego!
Cool robots of every size and description are on display throughout Balboa Park during 2017 Maker Faire San Diego!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

How to create 3D printed intertidal organisms!

Sign inside Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument describes the fascinating 3D Cabrillo project.
Sign inside Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument describes the fascinating 3D Cabrillo project.

The Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument has a cool exhibit of 3D printed intertidal organisms. An explanation is provided of how the tide pool animal models were created, and shows how the general public and interested educators can easily access essential resources via a dedicated website!

Student curriculum, simple instructions and the 3D Cabrillo biomodel .STL files library (and a link to raw Autodesk files) are all found here.

For 3D Cabrillo and the particular models seen in this exhibit, free imaging software and an iPad were used to capture images of intertidal organisms preserved by La Jolla’s world-renowned Scripps Institute of Oceanography. After models were edited on a computer using design software, they were sent to a 3D printer at the San Diego Central Library’s Innovation Lab.

This program was adapted from the Scan Our Seas project created by Dr. Andrew D. Thaler.

Do you know of any school students who’d like to learn more about marine biology, the environment and technology? This is definitely a very cool (and fun) project!

Many colorfully painted 3D printed models of intertidal organisms are on display inside the Visitor Center.
Many colorfully painted 3D printed models of intertidal organisms are on display inside the Visitor Center.
3D printed Starburst Sea Anemone.
3D printed Starburst Sea Anemone.
3D printed Dorid Nudibranch.
3D printed Dorid Nudibranch.
A video explains the 3D printing process, including editing the tidepool animals.
A video shows the 3D printing process, including editing the tidepool animals.
3D printed Wavy Turban Snail.
3D printed Wavy Turban Snail.
3D printed Ochre Sea Star.
3D printed Ochre Sea Star.
Students are encouraged to create nature journals. Writing is fun, too!
Students are encouraged to create nature journals. Writing is fun, too!
3D printed Scallop.
3D printed Scallop.
3D printed Garibaldi.
3D printed Garibaldi.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of interesting photos for you to share and enjoy!

Dreams of gold on the darkening blue.

Admiral Hornblower on blue San Diego Bay gleams in the last rays of daylight.
Admiral Hornblower on blue San Diego Bay. It gleams in the last rays of daylight.

This evening I glimpsed dreams of gold on the darkening blue…

The darkening ship moves across the water toward a golden sunset.
The ship moves across the darkening water toward a golden sunset.
Youth row a Maritime Museum longboat as the sun sets, perhaps dreaming of finding pirate gold.
Young students row a Maritime Museum of San Diego longboat as the sun sets. Perhaps they dream of finding pirate gold.
Rowing forward across the water, all together as if in one shadowy dream.
Rowing the longboat forward across the water. They move together, as if in one twilight dream.
A trail of gold gleams behind a ship heading into evening darkness.
A trail of gold glistens behind Admiral Hornblower as it moves into the mysterious distance.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Wildlife paintings at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.

Common Buckeye. Anna Le and Clarisa Cuevas.
Common Buckeye. Anna Le and Clarisa Cuevas.

On a fence behind the Nature Center at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park one can find many colorful paintings of native wildlife. The fence follows a dirt road that leads to a hiking trail through Tecolote Canyon.

The paintings of spiders, butterflies, beetles and other insects were recently completed by students at University City High School. I believe the paintings of mammals, reptiles and birds have been on the fence for some time.

Colorful paintings of insects and other wildlife on a fence behind the Nature Center at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.
Colorful paintings of insects and other wildlife on a fence behind the Nature Center at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.
California Root Borer Beetle. Lucero Rayos.
California Root Borer Beetle. Lucero Rayos.
Black and Yellow Garden Spider. Nour Barbakh.
Black and Yellow Garden Spider. Nour Barbakh.
Anise Swallowtail. Lawdyka Solano.
Anise Swallowtail. Lawdyka Solano.
Spotted Cucumber Beetle. Kayla Kenney.
Spotted Cucumber Beetle. Kayla Kenney.
Tarantula Hawk. Andrea Angeles and Christian Covarrubias.
Tarantula Hawk. Andrea Angeles and Christian Covarrubias.
Western Tiger Swallowtail. Tyler Coehrane and Lauren Ferrer.
Western Tiger Swallowtail. Tyler Coehrane and Lauren Ferrer.
Darkling Stink Beetle. Morgan Boland.
Darkling Stink Beetle. Morgan Boland.
Roseate Skimmer. Issac Felcher.
Roseate Skimmer. Issac Felcher.
Silver Argiope. Zaynab Albaghdadi.
Silver Argiope. Zaynab Albaghdadi.
American Lady. Aurora Godinez Quevedo.
American Lady. Aurora Godinez Quevedo.
Green Lynx Spider. Jamison Legaspi.
Green Lynx Spider. Jamison Legaspi.
Harlequin Shield Bug. Jakob De La Cruz.
Harlequin Shield Bug. Jakob De La Cruz.
Datura Weevil. Jacob Stoermer.
Datura Weevil. Jacob Stoermer.
Green Fruit Beetle. Makayla Srioudom.
Green Fruit Beetle. Makayla Srioudom.
Vivid Dancer Damselfly. Miyoko Seldon and Andrew Bayot.
Vivid Dancer Damselfly. Miyoko Seldon and Andrew Bayot.
Pruinose Squash Bee. Quincy Stone.
Pruinose Squash Bee. Quincy Stone.
California Sister Butterfly. Steffany Shapow.
California Sister Butterfly. Steffany Shapow.
Coyote.
Coyote.
California King Snake.
California King Snake.
Great Blue Heron.
Great Blue Heron.
Striped Skunk.
Striped Skunk.
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake.
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake.
Western Scrub Jay.
Western Scrub Jay.
Raccoon.
Raccoon.
Red Tailed Hawk.
Red Tailed Hawk.
Southern Alligator Lizard.
Southern Alligator Lizard.
Anna's Hummingbird.
Anna’s Hummingbird.
Bobcat.
Bobcat.
Pacific Gopher Snake.
Pacific Gopher Snake.
Gray Fox.
Gray Fox.
Western Fence Lizard.
Western Fence Lizard.
Great Horned Owl.
Great Horned Owl.
Spotted Towhee.
Spotted Towhee.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!