Category: Interesting


Past tense: Or how I lost my Dad in a strange American city Interesting

Past tense: Or how I lost my Dad in a strange American city

My father, Roger Prior, died on 27 December 2009. This piece, written before he died (originally in present tense), is about a road trip we took together shortly after I moved from Northern Ireland, where he lived, to California. This is how it goes in past tense:WE SPENT CHRISTMAS in a hotel in San Francisco.

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DIY study abroad: 10 ways to educate yourself while traveling Interesting

DIY study abroad: 10 ways to educate yourself while traveling

Photo by joguldi1. View any trip as a research trip.You don’t need a grant to go on a research trip. Approaching your next destination with an academic goal will help keep your mind sharp and active throughout the journey and bring purpose to your decision making.Recording people’s stories, researching and then hunting out architectural styles, or photographing and geotagging a suburb’s graffiti can be educationally rewarding and enjoyable.

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Ending violence: Oakland demonstrations capture a worldwide problem Interesting

Ending violence: Oakland demonstrations capture a worldwide problem

How can we move beyond the belief that violence is still about color and class lines?Photo: SFGate.comI HAD A different piece planned for today, but feel compelled to comment on the reaction to yesterday’s verdict in the Mehserle case in Oakland.For those of you who haven’t heard about the case (probably most who reside outside of California), Johannes Mehserle, a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer, shot from behind and killed Oscar Grant in an Oakland BART station on New Years Eve 2009.

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Why smart backpackers bring their dancing shoes Interesting

Why smart backpackers bring their dancing shoes

You’re packed and ready to go, prepared for every conceivable travel scenario. You have malaria and stomach tablets, enough DEET to eradicate the Panamanian mosquito population, and more waterproof gear than an Alaskan king crab fisherman.Yet lo and behold, you’re in country no more than six hours before being invited out to a popping new night club and realizing you have absolutely nothing to wear.

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Obama considers reopening of liberty’s crown Interesting

Obama considers reopening of liberty’s crown

It was a busy first week of work for President Obama, and one filled with some landmark executive orders.Within two days of taking the oath of office, President Obama’s administration announced that Guantanamo is to be closed in a year, waterboarding is no longer a legitimate form of interrogation (covert or otherwise), and so-called “black sites” (secret detention facilities) and the practice of extraordinary rendition are to be rendered obsolete immediately.

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What NOT to do in Egypt Interesting

What NOT to do in Egypt

Matador’s destination expert on Egypt lays out the country’s avoidable attractions…and what you should do instead.1. Don’t… ride a camel at the PyramidsThose gaudy pompoms and tassels look rather fetching on the camel, and you couldn’t ask for a more magnificent backdrop for your showoff photos than the Pyramids.

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TAZine: All about eco-travel Interesting

TAZine: All about eco-travel

The latest issue of TAZine, the Transitions Abroad webzine, is out, and this month’s installment is all about that oh-so-hot topic these days: eco-travel.If you’re interested in the environment, travel, and sustainability (and as Matador readers, I’m guessing the answer’s yes for most of you!) then there’s lots of thought-provoking material to chew on in here.

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Where’s your accent on the North American English dialect map? Interesting

Where’s your accent on the North American English dialect map?

Rick Aschmann claims to collect dialects like other people collect stamps. I’m thinking a stamp collection on par with what he’s got going on here would be enough for everyone on Earth to send everyone else on Earth at least one piece of mail.The more you get into this map, the more mind-boggling it is; he’s got major dialect areas, divisions, subdivisions, and transitional or anomalous areas.

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Sleepless in SEA? (or JFK, LAX, or ORD?) Interesting

Sleepless in SEA? (or JFK, LAX, or ORD?)

If you’re a regular Pulse reader, then you know that every few weeks or so I’m due a new rant on the American airline industry.It’s that time again.A recent article in The New York Times reported what any frequent air traveler already knows: “Sleeping at an airport overnight…has become a lot more common lately,” due to the fact that “airlines are no longer as free with complimentary hotel vouchers as they once were.

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What’s the fastest way to board a plane? Interesting

What’s the fastest way to board a plane?

No, it’s not about putting all the window-seat passengers in first.The strategies for getting off an aeroplane are widely published – just check the seat pocket in front of you. That the carefully drawn sequence of actions on the laminated card typically devolves into feral screaming is not the fault of the scientists that decided the number and placement of doors on your plane.

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On my way to work: Kingston, Jamaica Interesting

On my way to work: Kingston, Jamaica

A slice of daily life as Derwin Kitch drives to work in Kingston, Jamaica.IT’S A TYPICAL APRIL MORNING IN KINGSTON, sunny yet pleasantly cool. By ten o’clock the sun will be hot, and by four o’clock the clouds will roll in over the Blue Mountains and, most likely, a rain will soon come, as people say here.

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Confessions of an (almost) religious hitman Interesting

Confessions of an (almost) religious hitman

Governments aren’t the only ones using secret agents these days. Baxter Jackson uncovers the truth about the use of undercover missionaries in the Muslim world.I WAS SERIOUSLY considering becoming an undercover agent of the Lord.In exchange for some back alley preaching and a few hush-hush conversions to Christianity here and there (a sort of save the world one heathen a time kind of thing) Azusa Pacific University was offering me (at 50 the going rate) a Masters of Arts in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

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The 6 best starter ranges for mountaineering Interesting

The 6 best starter ranges for mountaineering

All of these areas provide serious objectives for a novice mountaineer. However, when paired with a guide or experienced friend, they are ideal places to test and expand your mountain skills.1. White Mountains of New HampshireA premier destination for summer backpacking and autumn leaf peeping, the White Mountains of New Hampshire transform into an arena for serious mountaineering in the winter.

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Argentina joins the reciprocity club: U.S. visitors to pay $131 on entry Interesting

Argentina joins the reciprocity club: U.S. visitors to pay $131 on entry

American, Canadian, and Australian passport holders planning to visit Argentina anytime after December 20, 2009, may want to recheck their bottom line.AFTER A COUPLE OF false starts this year, Argentina is officially set on December 20 to implement a reciprocity fee for visitors who come through its main point of entry: Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza International Airport.

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10 tips for working location independent Interesting

10 tips for working location independent

Photo: mangpagesLocation independent jobs allow web-savvy professionals to open a virtual office anywhere in the world.Last year I packed my job as a web designer to over 20 countries and worked the same job I did when I was at home. Let’s flash back- I had just graduated college in America and had started a job as a web designer for a car company.

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Useful Arabic phrases for travelers Interesting

Useful Arabic phrases for travelers

Going to the Middle East? Here are some useful phrases for talking politics at the hookah cafe.TRAVELING TO THE MIDDLE EAST can be a daunting experience, but you’re about as likely to get struck by lightning as you are to meet an Al Qaeda member.Instead, you’ll come face to face with people who are as curious about you as you are about them.

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7 ways to thank someone for staying at their home Interesting

7 ways to thank someone for staying at their home

Staying with a host family can be such a great experience, it’s hard to know how to thank your hosts properly.THE BEST MEMORIES of my recent trip to Ecuador come from the family in Quito that graciously opened their home to me.After nearly two months of traveling, home-cooked meals and real beds with clean sheets were just what I needed.

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Watching the pig slaughter with Albina Interesting

Watching the pig slaughter with Albina

So many of us are disconnected from our food sources. Teresa Ponikvar notes one local Nicaraguan family that isn’t.THE MIST IS CREEPING through the banana trees and Albina drags us outside to show us her world.She introduces us to the fat-bellied puppies first. The mother dog is thin and exhausted. She lifts her head just long enough to decide that we are no threat, then lets it flop back into the dirt.

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24 hours in: Puerto Escondido [PICS] Interesting

24 hours in: Puerto Escondido [PICS]

Deep in southern mainland Mexico, on Oaxaca’s Pacific coast, is the town of Puerto Escondido. If you only have 24 hours here, you’re blowing it.MY FIRST TRIP years ago was supposed to be a quick stopover to re-supply on our way further south. We ended up staying a month and I continue to spend long stretches of time here.

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Meditating in Mexico: Close encounters of the guru kind Interesting

Meditating in Mexico: Close encounters of the guru kind

Waiting the arrival of the guru / Photo Suzanne ShanklinDani Redd experiences the unorthodox techniques of a Mexican spiritual teacher.“Do you have any white clothes?” asked a voice, rudely awakening me from a few hours of disturbed and uncomfortable sleep. “Come on, hurry up, we need to buy fruit and flowers before we meet the guru.

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