Thursday, June 30, 2011

Animal Attractions

A couple weeks ago, I was given the task of taking photos of all the places you could go to see live animals in the Las Vegas area. There is definitely a variety, from aquariums inside casinos to aquariums inside malls, to lions inside casinos and mermaids swimming in a large tank next to a Bass Pro Shop. You can watch flamingos fight during mating season while eating at a casino cafe. You can also ride a water slide through a shark tank a one local casino pool. Not to mention the little noted Las Vegas Zoo on North Rancho and the Bonnie Springs Petting Zoo out in Blue Diamond. There are definitely plenty of animals to see around here, if you are so inclined.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wrestling for the Love

After seeing an article about Future Stars of Wrestling by April Corbin in Las Vegas Weekly a couple weeks ago, accompanied by awesome photos by Bill Hughes, I knew I had to go to their next event. FSW is a couple steps above a backyard wrestling club, and have their own 2 a.m. Sunday morning show on the local CW station. I went to last week's Friday Night Fight, and was not disappointed. These hardworking young wrestlers are definitely not doing it for the money. They do it for the handful of hardcore fans that lined up outside the arena an hour and a half before the doors opened with handmade signs. They do it for the pure joy of performing ridiculous scenes in often hilarious costumes. They do it to hear people laugh and scream, to hear children curse and shout. They do it for the love of the sport.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Extreme Nail Art

Hired for a freelance gig last weekend, I found myself at one of the most interesting and undiscovered (by me) annual events in Las Vegas: the Nailpro Cup & US Invitational at the International Beauty Show. This indeed is the World Series/Super Bowl/Stanley Cup of nail art competitions. I have no regrets about waking up a 5:30 a.m. last Sunday in order to catch the start of the Fantasy Nail Art category. This year's theme was mythology and the nail artists dressed up their models in full costumes to go with the elaborate hand decorations. I say hand decorations because to call them nails is an understatement.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Big Thrills

Here are some of my favorite photos from a feature we ran online about the 10 best Las Vegas thrill rides. I rode all of them (except for the one where you jump off the side of the Stratosphere). The only injury I attained was on the ride shown in the first photo. The Desperado roller coaster in Primm, Nevada was one of the most killer coasters I've ever ridden. I was not prepared for it's severe G-forces and extreme drops, and I may have tensed up a bit and tweaked my back while trying to clutch onto my G11 for dear life. I lost my notebook during the ride, but at least I kept my camera safely clutched to my body. That was my first ride. I smartened up for the next rides and had my little camera taped to my hand.

My favorite ride was Insanity at the Strat, which is described as follows by the reporter: "Imagine a giant mechanical arm carrying you 64 feet over the edge of the Stratosphere Tower. You dangle in a chair 900 feet above the Strip (that’s one-sixth of a mile), then spin at speeds that reach three G. Suddenly, the arm shifts and you tilt 70 degrees to face the Earth below." You can see that ride in photo #5.