Camping in Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine National Park pic
Torres del Paine National Park
Image: campingpehoe.com

A mental health technician at Temple University Hospital, Todd Belok has years of experience in medicine and patient care, both in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. In his free time, Todd Belok enjoys traveling. Among other treks, he completed a backpacking trip through Patagonia last year.

Patagonia, which stretches across the southern end of South America in Chile and Argentina, is a hiker’s paradise, full of mountains, valleys, glaciers, lakes, and waterfalls. In particular, Torres del Paine National Park in Chile has been often ranked highly by outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the best ways to explore Torres del Paine is by backpacking and camping. Most campers begin in Puerto Natales, Chile, where they catch a bus to the park entrance. Many campsites are free, though they can sometimes be full or closed. Paid campsites are also an option. There are two kinds of paid campsites: private ones, which offer toilets, showers, water, and a place to cook, and those located next to a refugio, which offer a great deal of amenities, including restaurants and minimarkets as well as rental gear. While hikers may rent their gear when they get to Torres del Paine, it is less costly to buy and bring along your own equipment.

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Why Philadelphia Is a Great City for Bikers

Schuylkill River pic
Schuylkill River
Image: schuylkillriver.org

Based in Philadelphia, Todd Belok serves as a mental health technician at the Temple University Hospital Episcopal Campus, a position he has held since 2015. In his free time, Todd Belok enjoys cycling, hiking, and running.

Renowned to most of the world for its cheesesteak sandwiches and the Liberty Bell, Philadelphia is also steadily becoming one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation. As the city is mostly flat and its grid layout is easy to navigate, Philadelphia is ideal for bikes. The city has more than 435 miles of dedicated bike lanes, making it easy for bike commuters to get around. Additionally, many of these bike routes run along the Schuylkill River and tributary creeks, providing a scenic view and an escape into nature.

Like many cities, Philadelphia also offers a bike-sharing program called Indego, which allows people to rent and return bikes from numerous stations around the city. Finally, every year the city hosts the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, a 12-mile race through the city that includes the formidable Manayunk Wall.

Prolific Author Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick Image: en.wikipedia.org
Philip K. Dick
Image: en.wikipedia.org

 

The holder of a BS in biomedical science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Todd Belok serves as a mental health technician at Temple University Hospital. In his leisure time, Todd Belok enjoys reading, particularly the novels of the late science-fiction author Philip K. Dick.

Born in Chicago in 1928 and later moving to California, Dick started to write professionally in the 1950s, launching a career that produced 44 books and 122 short stories. His works often dealt with altered states of mind and psychological difficulties.

Ten years after he became an author, Dick won the Hugo Award for his 1962 novel The Man in the High Castle. The book presents an alternate post-World War II scenario in which the United States was defeated and occupied by Japan and Germany. The book proved Dick able to weave serious literary value into a science-fiction framework. It was adapted into a television series in 2015.

Other Dick stories made into movies were Minority Report, Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, and The Adjustment Bureau. Though not filmed, Dick’s novel Ubik was named by Time magazine as one of America’s top 100 novels.

Master Chef Alton Brown

Master Chef Alton Brown pic
Master Chef Alton Brown
Image: altonbrown.com

A licensed emergency medical technician, Todd Belok works as a mental health technician for Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. In his spare time, Todd Belok enjoys cooking and is a fan of television chef Alton Brown.

Brown began learning to cook by watching his mother and grandmother. He continued this interest while he was a film student directing and photographing videos. Between takes, he found himself watching cooking shows that he felt he could improve upon. This realization led to his decision to attend the New England Culinary Institute.

After graduating, Brown pursued his dream and ultimately made a pilot show for WTTW in Chicago. The show became the basis for Good Eats, a program that combined food science and humor. Aired on the Food Network for 13 years, Good Eats was conceived as a cross between Monty Python and Julia Child. Reflecting the show’s success, Good Eats earned a Peabody Award and a James Beard Award.

When he ended Good Eats in 2011, Brown appeared on Iron Chef America, The Next Iron Chef, and Cutthroat Kitchen. He has written four books, including I’m Just Here for the Food, which became one of the best-selling cookbooks on 2002. Brown’s latest book, EveryDayCook, is scheduled for a September 2016 release.