Tag Archives: travel

Scientists set out to study Earth’s most forbidding – and Mars-like – locations

If we want to find life on Mars it might help to study the most forbidding places on Earth. And it turns out there are four places so inhospitable – too cold, dry, hot or salty – that match the conditions on Mars. A team of scientists visited these sites to see if life can survive.

The four places are:

  • Chott-el Jerid, a salt pan in Tunisia
  • Atacama desert in Chile
  • Rio Tinto in Southern Spain
  • Deception Island in Antarctica
Deception Island in Antarctica. (source: Astrobiology)

 

From AstroBiology:

“The big questions are: what is life, how can we define it and what are the requirements for supporting life? To understand the results we receive back from missions like Curiosity, we need to have detailed knowledge of similar environments on Earth. In the field campaigns, we have studied ecosystems…found a range of complex chemical processes that allow life to survive in unexpected places.”

The results are helping to guide NASA’s mission to Mars with the rover Curiosity. Hinting at places where life might be found, how cloud cover can help create moisture, and showing that bacteria can survive just below the surface.

More about this research and the results from each site – from AstroBiology Magazine - Mars-Like Places on Earth Provide Insight to Life.

20 of the world’s most remote islands

If you want to get away from it all – here’s the book for you. Roger Lovegrove has visited – and photographed – 20 of the world’s most remote islands. From the far south Atlantic to the viking north, these are forbidding places.

The book is called, Islands Beyond the Horizon, and here are three of those desolate realms. You can find all twenty at The Telegraph.

 

Islands Beyond the Horizon

 

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Sea Over Land – a 16mm travelogue in South Africa – surfing, elephants, and soccer

A beautiful short film by John Lynch set to the music of Sam Bauer – and the combination shines.

 

 

From the filmmaker:

I was so involved in my DSLR work, I had the impulse to look at some 16mm footage. To see what I used to shoot on my trusty old vintage 16mm Bolex.

It was refreshing to see moments in footage presented exactly the way they were filmed. No effects were necessary for the texture and feel. A quality that celluloid film will always have over digital.

I met Sam Bauer a few years ago on a project. We became friends and he expressed interest in doing a cut and composing a score to my cinematography. I gave him a series of out-takes from my 2003 South Africa Trip that became a part in “Change the Subject” (released in 2004).

Sam was the editor of Donnie Darko so he possesses natural affinity for sound design and score. This is Sam’s interpretation of the footage.

It was is refreshing to see this after so many years.

J. Lynch

The most travelled man on Earth…ever – Gunther Holtorf’s 23-year journey

This is an amazing journey Across Africa, Asia, South/North America, including North Korea and Cuba!

Watch it, you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Back in 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell, Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine set out on what was meant to be an 18-month tour of Africa in their Mercedes Benz G Wagen. Now, with more than 800,000km (500,000 miles) on the clock, Gunther is still going. - BBC News

Airbnb has biggest night ever – while guests stay on private islands, in castles, & on boats

Last Saturday Airbnb had a pretty amazing night:

 

Not long ago, we told you about the 10 million guest nights booked on our site. Little did we know that our community was just getting warmed up…After a few massive weeks of travel, plus a bit of excitement in London, we saw our biggest night in history take place last Saturday, August 4.

How big? Well, 60,000 people were staying on Airbnb that night. That’s five times the number of guests from August 4, 2011.

 

More than two-thirds of those travelers were from outside the U.S., coming from 174 countries. That’s pretty incredible.

The company put together a few graphics celebrating this feat:

 

 

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Wikimedia Foundation votes to start a travel guide – as Wikitravel implodes

The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to create a travel guide in the mold of its non-profit, user-written and search engine results-hogging Wikipedia.

The foundation’s board of trustees on July 11 approved a proposal to launch an advertisement-free travel guide and noted that 31 of the 48 administrators of the Internet Brands-owned Wikitravel have pledged to join forces with the Wikimedia Foundation’s travel guide website.

The foundation indicated that Wikitravel is the current leader in travel wikis, but its advertisements and monetization efforts may turn off travelers and would-be contributors.

In addition, the foundation argues that Internet Brands has failed to keep pace with the times and that Wikitravel suffers from a “lack of technical support/feature development.”

Jani Patokallio, a Wikitravel admin based in Melbourne, Australia, wrote about the editors’ mass exodus from Wikitravel, and told Skift that the situation there had reached “the boiling point.”

 

Source: Skift – Wikipedia Parent to Launch Travel Guide with Wikitravel Rebels

 

 

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In 1938, why were so many Austrians Nazi-friendly?

Why Were So Many Austrians Hitler-Friendly?

By Rick Steves

Today I stood on Vienna’s Heroes Square where, in 1938, more than 200,000 tearfully happy Austrians gathered before Adolf Hitler. The Nazi dictator stood on the palace balcony and stated, “In front of German history, I declare my former homeland now a part of the Third Reich. One of the pearls of the Third Reich will be Vienna.” From that day on, Austrians were forbidden to say the word “Austria.”

Americans often wonder how Austria could so eagerly embrace Hitler. Let me hazard an explanation: Imagine post-WWI Austria. One of the mightiest empires on earth started — and lost — a great war. In a few bloody years, it went from being a grand empire of 55 million people to a relatively insignificant landlocked state of six million that was required to be nonaligned.

The capital, Vienna, was left with little to rule, and now its population comprised a third of the country’s. With the economic crisis we know as the Great Depression, Austria also got a fascist government complete with a dictator named Engelbert Dollfuss. He was as right-wing and anti-Semitic as Hitler, but he was pro-Roman Catholic Church, pro-Habsburg, and anti-Nazi. When an Austrian Nazi assassinated Dollfuss in 1934, it was easy for the German Nazis to take over four years later. By that point, the Austrian fascists had already put down the leftists. The German Nazis just took over their Austrian counterparts’ file cabinets. And, Hitler promised greatness again…and jobs…

 

Read the rest, and check out Rick’s travels through modern-day Vienna

 

 

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Keep toiletries from exploding during airline travel – with plastic wrap under the cap

Nothing’s worse than coming home from a long flight to find your shampoo all over everything in your bag. Redditor thinkadinky has an easy fix: put some plastic wrap under the caps of your bottles.

Even if you use Ziploc bags as required by the TSA, this method still saves you from losing all that shampoo/lotion/whatever, and keeps it from getting all over your other toiletries. All you need to do is unscrew the cap, lay some plastic wrap over the hole, and screw it back on. You should be safe from any explosions that may come your way.

Source:Lifehacker

 

 

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Travel writing – visiting the tiny island of Giglio, a wrecked cruise ship in the harbor and old-time Tuscany in the villages

(Filippo Monteforte / AFP/Getty Images / June 8, 2012)

 

GIGLIO ISLAND, Italy — My ferry was full of school groups, delivery trucks and tourists when we left the Tuscan port of Santo Stefano and headed toward the island of Giglio, 12 miles away. I sat on deck with the other foreigners, enjoying the spring sunshine: It was too cold for the Italians, who huddled downstairs drinking espressos.

And then, Giglio’s white cliffs appeared in the distance and gradually grew closer.

Except that there are no white cliffs on this granite island. I was looking at the wreck of the Costa Concordia, which ran aground Jan. 13 just outside Giglio’s harbor.

As the ferry whipped past, my eyes were drawn to the great wreck, which lay on its side with a long, rusty gash in its hull. It name was inscribed on a white bow towering above the water. The ship was so close to the tiny harbor, massive and modern and incongruous.

Giglio is known around the world because of the Concordia, but I was hoping to see a Giglio that was not defined by the disaster in which 32 passengers and crew died. Thirty-five years ago, my husband, Mike, lived on Giglio for several months, shortly after its inhabitants gave up mining granite and pyrite and abandoned self-sufficient agriculture in favor of tourism. He remembers an unspoiled family vacation island, little known outside Italy, where affluent Romans (plus a handful of foreigners such as Los Angeles political power broker Stanley Sheinbaum) spent their summers in apartments or second homes.

 

Keep readingLife returning to normal on Giglio Island after Costa Concordia

 

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