August 21, 2019

Travel

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9 unexpected adventures in India

Travel
(CNN) — India is immense; not solely in size and spirit, but also in possibilities. If you're traveling here, a visit to the Taj Mahal -- the iconic white marble mausoleum and UNESCO World Heritage site -- is likely on the top of your list. And you're probably familiar with other popular activities such as cruising the backwaters of Kerala on a houseboat, deepening your yoga practice in Rishikesh, and witnessing colorful festivals throughout the country. And then of course there's the northern region Rajasthan, most often associated with its royal palaces, mighty forts and flashes of color in the "Pink City" of Jaipur and the "Blue City" of Jodhpur. But sometimes the best travel experiences are those that are lesser known and further afield. Here are nine unique adventures to take you off the typical tourist trail -- after you've had a chance to marvel at the Taj Mahal, of course....
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Archaeologists find evidence of Biblical conquest of Jerusalem

Travel
(CNN) — Archaeologists excavating on Mount Zion in Jerusalem have uncovered evidence of the Babylonian conquest of the city, appearing to confirm a Biblical account of its destruction. Academics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte made significant finds, including ash deposits, arrowheads, and broken pieces of pots and lamps. The most surprising discovery, however, was an item of jewelry, which appears to be a tassel or earring with a bell-shaped upper portion, the researchers said.Shimon Gibson, co-director of the university's Mount Zion archaeological project, told CNN that the recovery of the rare piece of jewelry is the first time that archaeologists have uncovered signs of the "elites," appearing to confirm Biblical descriptions of Jerusalem's wealth prior to the conquest in 587-586 BC. ...
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ICYMI: Here’s Some New Articles and Interviews!

Travel
As you know, after eighteen months of writing and editing, my new book, Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler’s Journey Home, came out last month.Unlike my previous books, this is not a “how to guide” but a collection of tips, advice, and stories from the road. It a memoir of my ten years backpacking the world and the lessons I learned along the way.This book gets to the heart of wanderlust and what extended travel around the world can teach us about life, ourselves, and our place in the world. (Or at least tries to.)It’s meant to show people that if I, a sheltered nerdy kid from a small town, could muster the courage to do this and survive, you can too!Cheryl Strayed called it inspiring. The Los Angeles Times said, “This book isn’t just for travelers; it’s for anyone who has wanted more and has taken off to find it.” Tony Wheeler, the founder of Lonely Planet, loved it. So did Rolf Potts....
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Donut Hole in La Puente, California

Travel
Since 1968, residents of Puente, California, have been satisfying their sweet cravings by driving right into a giant donut.The Donut Hole is a special kind of drive through. Flanked by a fiberglass donut on each end, the tunnel houses a bakery window that serves up all kinds of delicious doughy discs, from glazed to chocolate frosted to coconut dusted. Originally part of a chain, the building is an example of the mimetic (also known as "programmatic" or, more simply, "novelty") architecture style that was especially popular in Southern California from the 1920s through the 1960s. With the rise of the car, businesses were looking for new ways to capture the interest of the increasing number of drivers on the road. A simple sign wouldn't do: In addition to giant rooftop sculptures, some architects designed buildings in the very shape of their products: tamale shops that looked like tamales, hot dog stands shaped like hot dogs, and so on....
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Scientists Distilled Moonshine With Rye Grown in Chernobyl's Dead Zone

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A team of international scientists has produced a bottle of moonshine distilled from rye and water from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and it won’t kill you. “Atomik” is the result of a three-year research project led by Dr. James Smith of the University of Portsmouth to evaluate grains planted within the 30-kilometer “Dead Zone” for radionuclides. In 1986, following the explosion of one of the city’s nuclear reactors, the area was deemed uninhabitable by humans for 24,000 years. With Atomik, Dr. Smith’s team aims to prove it’s not that bad.According to Smith, radiation wasn’t the worst thing to happen to Chernobyl residents: The greatest radioactive harm came and went within weeks while up to 300,000 people were evacuated. Rather, as a 2005 report from the UN agrees, “the stigma associated with Chernobyl caused marketing problems and led to falling revenues” for the local economy. High unemployment and poverty stemming from this stigma still hamstring the communities around Chernobyl....
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How to Restore a Hermit Hut in the Idaho Wilderness

Travel
A little more than a century ago, a man named Earl King Parrott, who had blue eyes and a habit of hoisting his jeans up with buckskin suspenders, ensconced himself in the sprawling Idaho wilderness. Parrott, known as "The Hermit of Impassable Canyon," didn't have much human company. The Shoshone people had once lived in the region, but U.S. troops had taken their land and forced them onto reservations. Parrott built himself a rustic compound where the Nugget Creek meets the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, an area that’s dizzyingly hard to reach. A team from the Salmon-Challis National Forest recently embarked on a project to fix up his humble homestead....
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Giant Cacti of Tierra Blanca in Tierra Blanca, Mexico

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In the desert landscape of Tierra Blanca you'll find one of the wonders of Guanajuato, a giant cacti sanctuary. Here you can take a guided walk that winds between unusually gigantic specimens of biznaga, or "big barrel cactus," the largest of which reach over 8 feet high and 5 feet in diameter. It's an amazing spectacle.The community of Arroyo Seco in Tierra Blanca have organized to offer tours through these unique grounds, which aside from the biznaga are home to hundreds of other brightly colored cacti and other plants. They also take advantage of the medicinal and cosmetic properties of some of the plants, which they use to make soap, body creams, and even sweets....
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The Middle East as Old Hollywood Saw It

Travel
Bold, bright, breathtaking colors paired with sensational, spectacular images of magical creatures, romance, and adventure burst out of Abboudi Abou Joudé’s posters. Every surface of his shop, hidden in a back alley in Beirut, is covered in vintage movie posters that plastered the streets of Beirut from the 1920s to the 1970s. Now a white-haired man, neatly dressed in a striped shirt, he has been collecting for over 40 years, compiling thousands and thousands of posters.Born in 1952, Abou Joudé grew up at a time when Lebanon overflowed with cinemas. He says there were over 50 cinemas in Beirut alone. Joudé would attend the movies three to four times a week, watching everything from Aladdin to Kubrick. He loved the splashy, thrilling posters, depicting electrifying romps and grandiose fantasies, but over time he noticed that certain images would repeat again and again. “I discovered that those films, or the posters of those films about Arabs, continued the imagined picture of what was thought about Arabs in the 18th and 19th centuries,” he says. “The desert, the tent, the belly-dancing, the haram, the sultan, the king. Stereotyped images continued through the posters.”...
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Drive-in sex booths proposed for Berlin's Tempelhof airport site

Travel
Berlin's former Tempelhof airport has witnessed some major events in its time -- a Nazi airfield during World War II, it was the site of the Berlin airlift during the Cold War, and most recently an emergency shelter for refugees fleeing Syria.
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The Royal Armoury in Stockholm, Sweden

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Often overshadowed by the grander and more expensive Royal Palace Museum in Stockholm, the Royal Armoury is the perfect place to spend an afternoon learning about the gruesome deaths of Swedish Royalty. This basement-level collection spans from the 16th century up to the modern day. You can do more than just glance at the items on display. You can identify the smells of the battlefield—yes, they do have an interactive sniffing exhibit for smells such as corpse, mud, and blood—look into the eyes of a taxidermy warhorse killed in battle, and feel the weight of Swedish armorThe museum winds its way through Sweden's history by focusing on the country's monarchs, queens, and kings. One of the crown jewels of the museum concerns Queen Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg. After the tragic death of her husband, King Gustavus Adolphus, Maria wrapped his heart in a cloth and kept it in storage. It hung over her bed, safely enclosed within a golden coffin. Throughout the following years, as other monarchs battled her for the throne, Queen Maria would pull out the heart, explain her grief, and be granted a few more years without a king.  ...
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How Museums Make Their Fake Foods Using Real Recipes

Travel
The morning daylight streams in through a wavy glass windowpane to illuminate a table full of food: There is a platter of grilled fish surrounded by lemons, little meat pies arranged on a plate, a bowl of fruit, and even a small pitcher full of frothy punch. Laid out with cutlery and dinnerware, it looks ready to welcome guests, or perhaps a family that is about to gather at the table.Except that it’s not. Each of these pieces of food is fake. The fake fish, the fake meat pies, and even the fake fruit were carefully placed by curators at Colonial Williamsburg who, like their peers at other historic houses turned museums, aim to present a lifelike and historically accurate experience. The painstaking research, cooking, and molding behind each “faux food” is a little-known industry within the museum world....
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For Sale: A 1699 Treatise on the Best Ways to Make Salad

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Though John Evelyn cautioned that he was “not ambitious of being thought an excellent Cook,” he had no reservations about authoring a volume on the art of the salad. In his 1699 Acetaria, or A Discourse of Sallets (read: "salads"), Evelyn provides a most thorough guide to the joys of vegetarian living—complete with preparation instructions, a seasonal calendar for herbs and vegetables, and pithy, philosophical asides. A first edition of the book is now up for auction at Addison & Sarova, where it is expected to sell for at least $1,000.Evelyn was not a chef by trade, but clearly knew his way around a garden and a kitchen, and understood just “how necessary it is, that in the Composure of a Sallet, every Plant should come to bear its part, without being over-power’d by some Herb of a stronger Taste.” With great patience and detail, he advocates for the careful handling of vegetables so that each might play its part most effectively. Heed, for example, his advice to “let your Herby Ingredients be exquisitely cull’d, and cleans’d of all worm-eaten, slimy, canker’d, dry, spotted, or any ways vitiated Leaves,” along with his precaution to render ingredients “discreetly sprinkl’d” rather “than over much sob’d with Spring-Water”—especially in the case “of the Cabbage-kind, whose heads are sufficiently protected by the outer leaves which cover it.” Once these measures have been carefully taken, don’t forget the Oxoleon, a dressing of “oyl,” vinegar, and salt by whose addition “the Composition is perfect … ”...
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What You Need to Know About the Hong Kong Airport Cancellations

Travel
Hong Kong International Airport on Monday abruptly grounded all departing flights and kept 70 flights from arriving after thousands of protesters filled the airport, stranding air passengers at one of the world’s most important transportation hubs. A statement on the airport’s website said that operations “have been seriously disrupted, all flights have been canceled,” and that all passengers should leave their terminal buildings as soon as possible. Here’s what travelers to and from Hong Kong need to know. Sparked by proposed legislation that would have changed extradition policies between Hong Kong and other places, including mainland China, antigovernment protests in Hong Kong are currently in their third month. Previous protests have occurred mainly downtown, in popular shopping areas and near government buildings. Monday’s protest came after clashes with the police on Sunday night, when the police fired tear gas inside one subway station and chased protesters down an escalator in another. Many of the protesters on Monday were angry that a woman at one of the protests had been hit by a projectile in her eye, and swarmed into the airport on Monday afternoon. ...
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Steve Jobs Memorial Statue in Budapest, Hungary

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When Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011, tributes poured in from across the globe. And in the days following his death, one Hungarian software company commissioned a statue in honor of the co-founder of Apple. Unveiled less than three months after his death, it became the world’s first memorial statue of Steve Jobs.The statue was unveiled on December 21, 2011, in Graphisoft Park, a science and technology park established by Graphisoft in 1997. It was commissioned by Gabor Bojar, the founder and chairman of Graphisoft, a software company that caught the eye of Jobs back in the 1980s.Bojar and Jobs first met at an information technology trade show in Germany in 1984, where Graphisoft was presenting the first version of its ArchiCAD three-dimensional design software. Jobs was impressed and agreed to support the small company, which at the time was working within the confines of communist Hungary. Apple supplied cash and computers and introduced Graphisoft to its global distribution network, forever changing the small Hungarian startup....
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Cape Wrath in Keoldale, Scotland

Travel
Cape Wrath is a vast and rugged wilderness nearly untouched by humans, and one of the most remote corners of the Scottish Highlands. It is also not an easy place to reach. The most northwesterly point of the British mainland, the isolated cape is accessible only by a very treacherous 11-mile road (it takes an hour to drive), or by a 200-mile backpacking trail that's considered the hardest hike in Britain.If you choose to go by road, you'll first cross the Kyle of Durness by passenger ferry from Keoldale, and then a friendly tour guide will take you by minibus through a Ministry of Defence firing range, and all the way to the 19th-century lighthouse at the end. When you get there, you'll see the Ozone Cafe, run by a father and daughter who are the only permanent residents of Cape Wrath. (The name "wrath" comes an Old Norse word meaning "turning point.")...
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Think you own too many mugs? She has 3,000

Travel
(CNN) — Nearly every culture has its own tradition involving a hot beverage -- whether it be tea, mulled wine or spiced apple cider. For the Turkish, the hot beverage of choice is dark, muddy coffee known as Türk kahvesi. The drink has captivated the hearts and taste buds of generations, infusing flavor and meaning into the social experience in equal parts. Art teacher Mesude Isikli, from the Osmaniye province, was fascinated by the ways in which the beverage represented the best of her culture. (For context, Turkish coffee was included in UNESCO's 2013 Intangible Cultural Heritage List for its significance in Turkish history.) She was so touched by this part of Turkish life that she decided to start collecting the vessels which make enjoying it possible: coffee cups. ...
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Paved Trail in Cooksburg, Pennsylvania

Travel
This short loop trail looks like something out of a fairytale. The verdant walkway may be one of the most magical paths in Pennsylvania.The official name for this part of Cook Forest State Park is the “Paved Trail.” But because the walkway is often carpeted by green moss, it’s known locally as the “Emerald Path.”The trail is only about a quarter of a mile long. It’s a sweet little loop that’s accessible to everyone, making it so those of all physical abilities can enjoy the beauty of this Old Growth forest.Stepping past the trail sign into the trees was like stepping into a storybook landscape. The trail looks like it’s been reclaimed by nature, as if it’s an ancient, forgotten part of the forest (though it was only built in the 1970s). Log benches dot its edges, adding to the charm....
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Big Bog State Recreation Area in Waskish, Minnesota

Travel
Big Bog is a wondrous and serene place to visit, a peat bog 5,000 years in the making located in a quiet area of Northern Minnesota.The bog features an accessible boardwalk that covers over a mile of the bog. It is also perforated, allowing for natural light to shine through and encourage plant growth under the bridge. Several rare plants (some carnivorous) and animals can be seen along the walk, especially for the most patient of visitors. The Big Bog is a rare opportunity to experience a largely untouched piece of natural history in a safe and non-destructive manner. ...
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The Bear Inn in Oxford, England

Travel
With a history dating back to 1242, the Bear Inn is one of the oldest pubs in Oxford. After several relocations, its current incarnation has lived at the corner of Alfred and Blue Boar streets since the 17th century. While it may look like any other cozy pub from the street, a simple step inside reveals what truly makes the space special: a collection of more than 4,500 snipped neckties from around the world.In the 1950s, the pub's landlord, Alan Course began a tradition of clipping the neckties of patrons in exchange for half a pint of beer. Originally pinned to the walls, the ties were later displayed in glass cases on the walls and ceilings. In order to qualify for the exchange, each tie had to come from a particular club, team, school, or branch of the military or police from around the world. Since each piece comes with a label that includes its origin and owner's signature, visitors can peruse the thousands of patterns and colors, locating ties from Princeton University in New Jersey, the New Tredegar Rugby Football Club in Wales, and of course many varied Oxford University clubs....
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Confederation Bridge in Bayfield, New Brunswick

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This incredible feat of engineering, known to locals as the "Fixed Link," provides the only road link between the province of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick in mainland Canada.Stretching an impressive 7.5 miles across the Northumberland Strait (it takes a full 10 minutes to drive across), the Confederation Bridge is the longest bridge in Canada and the longest span in the world to extend over (seasonally) ice-covered waters. Believe it or not, this bridge was built in 1997, despite there being various proposals for a land link between the provinces starting as early as the 1870s. With the rising costs of the ferry service, a proposal by a Nova Scotia businessman is the one that finally stuck, and the consultation process began. There were some who opposed the bridge, citing fears it would change their little island, or possibly endanger the marine ecosystem of the strait. In the end, and after an amendment to the Constitution of Canada even, the multi-span concrete bridge was greenlit and began construction....
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After popular demand, bathtub racing returns

Travel
For the first time in 20 years, bathtub racing has returned to Moravia's Fillmore Days festival
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Mask and Wig Clubhouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Travel
Wandering down the alleyways of Center City, Philadelphia, you might happen upon a peculiar building, not totally matching the more modern row houses and apartments that dominate the neighborhood. An inviting facade and "Alice in Wonderland"-like numbering spell out the address—310 South Quince Street—of the Mask and Wig Clubhouse, a building hiding hundreds of years of laughs, groans, and tall tales. The Mask and Wig Clubhouse began its life in the early 19th century as the home of one of the first African-American Lutheran congregations in the United States. After stints as a stable, a carriage house, and a dissecting room for Jefferson Medical College, the property was purchased by the University of Pennsylvania's Mask and Wig Club in 1894 and redesigned by noted architect Wilson Eyre to host the collegiate musical comedy troupe's show rehearsals and social activities....
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Tommy the Turtle in Boissevain, Manitoba

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Tommy the Turtle greets visitors to the small town of Boissevain, Manitoba, with American and Canadian flags in hand. The idea for Tommy the Turtle came to the Boissevain Chamber of Commerce in 1969 as a way to attract tourists and represent the Turtle Mountain area.But the giant roadside attraction wasn't built until years later, when the Turtle Derby Committee decided to fund its construction at a cost of $9,000. He was unveiled in the summer of 1974 during the third Canadian Turtle Derby. His builder, sculptor George Barone, used fiberglass and resin to create the 28-foot-tall reptile.The Canadian Turtle Derby started in Boissevain, a town with a population of about 1,500 people that's just a 20-minute drive from the United States-Canada border. The race was originally a private race among a few locals. The race grew in popularity, however, and the Molson Brewing company even donated an electric starting gate, which is said to be the very first one ever used in turtle racing. Just over 80 turtles raced in the 1973 event, and by 1983 there were almost 450....
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The 5 paradises on Earth that are found in Greece

Travel
The most precious gifts come in small packages, just like the islands that you will get a taste of below. The sophistication they have, the history, the culture and the mesmerizing beauty they are blessed with will lure you in to witness it all for yourself.You will have stepped away from the mass crowds, from the endless nightlife and you will have entered a new world that is ambrosial and angelic. With more authentic experiences and with courteous locals, you will have your most meaningful vacation on these unique islands.How can one island be so tiny but in possession of all these elements that make it unforgettable? Find out below!Paxos & AntipaxosOnly about an hour away from Corfu, there lays the magnetic island Paxos. With just 3 villages and 2,300 permanent residents, Paxos is one of the most picturesque islands one can visit in Greece. The villages of Gaios, Lakka and Loggos can be visited easily in only one day, but we guarantee you that a lifetime won’t be enough to truly appreciate the dazzling scenery. The capital of the island is Gaios and it is protected from rough seas by the two little islets of Panagia and Aghios Nikolas, home to a monastery and three little churches. Sail to the island of Antipaxos that is even smaller, with fewer residents and mostly covered in vineyards. In 15 minutes you will reach an island with clear turquoise waters, virgin beaches and you will find your peace....
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Convento de San Antonio de Padua (Convent of Saint Anthony of Padua) in Izamal, Mexico

Travel
Named after the Maya god Itzamná, the city of Izamal was established in pre-Hispanic times and grew to become an important regional power and pilgrimage site for followers of Itzamná and the Sun god Kinich Ahau. In what may seem like a rarity for the geologically flat Yucatán Peninsula, Izamal appears dotted with several small hills throughout.One of these "hills" seems to have had its top cut off and a striking yellow-and-white church surrounded by many, many arches placed on its top. This building is the Convent of San Antonio de Padua. Finished in 1561 and still functioning as a convent, the hill it was built atop is actually a Mayan pyramid the Spanish conquistadors leveled into a terrace. ...
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Folketingssalen Frieze in Copenhagen, Denmark

Travel
This frieze was painted between 1918 and 1921 by the artist Rasmus Larsen, an expert in decorative frescoes. It covers a corridor in Christiansborg Palace, which houses Folketingssalen (the Danish Parliament).The 879-foot (268-meter) artwork is full of flowers and other floral touches. But you’ll also notice animals and phrases that symbolize the vices of the Danish politicians and remind them that their true role is to serve the people.These latter details were not part of the original plan—Larsen added them after deciding the flowers were too boring. His decision to include the unflattering symbols and sayings earned him the nickname of “the evil painter.”...
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The Gardener Statue in London, England

Travel
It’s easy to take our public green spaces for granted, to stroll through a city park and admire the scenery while sparing not a thought for the men and women whose hard work keeps the grass trimmed and the flowers blooming. And that’s why, in 1971, the Corporation of London commissioned a statue in honor of these green-fingered workers.The sculpture was created by Karin Jonzen, a British sculptor who rose quickly in the art world and by the 1970s was in particular demand for her portrait busts. In 1971 she was commissioned by the city's Trees, Gardens and City Open Spaces Committee to create a work in honor of the city’s gardeners....
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Insect-only eatery aims to make bugs palatable

Travel
(CNN) — Bugs have a lot of potential -- as a food source.The average diner may be skeptical, but that's the position of food scientist Leah Bessa and her partners.Their South Africa-based company, Gourmet Grubb, produces ice cream made from an insect-based dairy alternative they've named EntoMilk. It's made from Hermetia illucens, the black soldier fly.And since June, they've been operating a pop-up food concept in Cape Town called The Insect Experience, where dishes featuring insects are plated with the same care and precision as any gourmet delicacy."We sort of wanted to try and create a viable protein alternative that is sustainable and ethical and could really create quite a positive change going into the future," Bessa said....
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Nigerian artist Haneefah Adam turns food into art

Travel
Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) — Most people dispose of their food leftovers, but in Nigerian-born visual artist Haneefah Adam's kitchen, they're put to good use.Adam, 28, is famous for presenting food in creative ways, using it to make portraits and other works of art. "I have always been artistic," she tells CNN. "Growing up, my mother said I had a flair for art."A medical scientist by training, Adam first made a name for herself in 2015 when she transformed Barbie into Hijarbie - a hijab-wearing Muslim doll. Now, she's building a career out of rejigging food into art. "I do regular portraits, I sew and paint, but what excites me the most is food," she says. Adam is inspired by random things, including life experiences and culture. She sees everything around her as something that can be made into art. ...
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Chasing Waves on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

Travel
In the 1970s and 80s, the California surfer and writer Kevin Naughton and the photographer Craig Peterson traveled the globe “Endless Summer”-style searching for perfect waves.When they arrived in Ireland, with its friendly locals and powerful, mostly empty waves, amid a landscape of stone walls and ruins, Mr. Naughton recalled, “there was a sense of disbelief,” an improbable feeling that perhaps of all places, on the often frigid island in the North Atlantic they had found what they were looking for.“I’ve had more great solo days in Ireland than anywhere else,” Mr. Naughton said when I called him to research an Irish surfing trip.Over the years Ireland has gained a somewhat mythical reputation in the surf world as a wild and unspoiled place for exploration and crowd-free surf. But you can’t jump on a flight and count on great waves, which explains why, along with the cold water, it has remained off the mainstream surf-travel circuit. ...
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Protest at Hong Kong Airport Forces More Than 100 Flight Cancellations

Travel
HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s airport canceled more than 100 flights on Monday afternoon after thousands of demonstrators flooded the transportation hub, one of the world’s busiest, in a show of anger over the police’s response to protests the night before.The cancellation of well over 100 flights, including many departing after 6 p.m. was a stark display of the power of the protests to disrupt the basic functioning of the Asian financial hub. The airport is a crucial connection point for air travel around Asia.The protesters gathered throughout the day, eventually filling the arrivals hall, before more protesters went upstairs to the departures hall.The protest came after a night in which the police fired tear gas inside a subway station and charged at protesters on an escalator in another station. Many protesters were angry that a female demonstrator was hit by a projectile in her eye....
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Here There Be Dragons. But Can They Survive an Invasion of Tourists?

Travel
KOMODO NATIONAL PARK, Indonesia — The Komodo dragon, a 10-foot lizard native only to a scattering of islands in Indonesia, flicked its forked tongue. Two boys were standing nearby, the perfect size for dragon snacks.A local guide shrugged at their unease and urged them closer to the reptile.Komodo dragons resemble dinosaurs that missed their cue for extinction. Capable of smelling blood from miles away, they eat water buffaloes, deer and one another. Their saliva is laced with venom. Females are unsentimental enough to devour their own freshly hatched offspring.Fatal attacks on humans are exceedingly rare, though they do happen. But the oversize lizard lounging near the two young tourists had just gorged on chicken and goat, and was lolling in the kind of digestive stupor Americans might experience after Thanksgiving....
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Bees Swarm Berlin, Where Beekeeping Is Booming

Travel
BERLIN — They go to the rescue when others would flee. They are the Schwarmfänger, Berlin’s 30 or so swarm-catchers, on call to collect honeybees by the thousands when they gather where people do not want them.This year, the Schwarmfänger have been very busy.While much of the Western world is worried about bees dying off, Berlin and other big German cities have the opposite problem — there are too many hives, because of the rising popularity of urban beekeeping. Shoppers at Berlin’s finer organic stores and public markets are increasingly seeing locally grown honey for sale.“It’s quite hip at the moment, people put up a hive on their balcony somewhere and think they are doing something for nature,” said Alfred Krajewski, 59, one of the volunteer swarm-catchers....
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6 of the best in New England

Travel
New England – that six-state huddle in America’s northeastern corner – retains all of the rural charm that first greeted the pioneers some 400 years ago. Dense forests carpet reaching peaks and ring shimmering lakes – scenery that’s particularly pretty in autumn’s bright reds and deep browns. It’s a region that wears its rich history with pride, complete with charming colonial towns, crucial American Revolution sites and grand mansions that remember the advent of the Industrial Revolution. It all makes for perfect cruises, with over 5,000 miles of coastline host to everything from white-sand beaches to lighthouse-dotted fishing villages. It’s not just for show either; New England is famous the world over for its fresher-than-fresh seafood. Expect buttery lobsters, just-steamed crabs and world-renowned oysters....
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Klezmer Music and Memory at a Festival Celebrating Jewish Life in Poland

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KRAKOW, Poland — There were lectures on the journey of Jews from shtetls in Poland to new homes in what would become Israel; workshops on chanting the Torah and cooking for Shabbat; exhibitions documenting the devastation brought by World War II; and debates about Jewish life in Poland today.Everywhere, there was music. Gentle lullabies and Yiddish folk songs, thumping Israeli hip-hop, and rousing celebratory tunes played by scores of Klezmer bands filled the ancient alleyways of Krakow, a Polish city that was once at the center of Jewish life in Europe.It was all part of the Jewish Culture Festival, a yearly event meant to celebrate the 1,000 years of Jewish life that had flourished in Poland before World War II, but had been erased by the Holocaust. Attracting about 30,000 visitors each summer and advertising itself as the largest Jewish festival in Europe, the event draws many Poles as well as internationally recognized performers....
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World's biggest frogs are so strong they build their own ponds

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New research shows that Goliath frogs -- the world's largest frog species -- build ponds for their eggs and tadpoles, pushing rocks more than half of their body weight in the process.
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What they really think: America seen through the world's travel warnings

Travel
Close US allies have long warned their citizens about the risks of exploring the New World, with online advisories that often categorize domestic mass shootings as simple terrorism -- and also warn about the astronomical cost of American healthcare for visitors.
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What happened to Denmark's hippie paradise?

Travel
(CNN) — Seen from a boat drifting along Copenhagen's wide canals, the neighborhood of Christiania is a verdant enclave tucked beneath a thick canopy of trees. Half a century after it was founded as a breakaway anarchist commune, it seems to have matured into a slice of paradise.But all is not well in Christiania. While the hippie community still thrives today, it's beset by problems that threaten its identity and future -- an existential crisis variously blamed on intolerant local authorities, police, gentrification and, inevitably, tourists.Denmark is often listed among the happiest countries in the world, but back in 1971 there was enough discontent to inspire a group of hippies, junkies, oddballs and outcasts to set up a permanent squat in a former military complex in the country's capital. ...
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The ultimate luxury resort experience in Crete

Travel
When visiting Crete, the opportunity to indulge in the deep blue Aegean Sea and an incredible resort might be too much to resist. Thankfully, Daios Cove is ready to capture your imagination. This 5-star luxury resort in Crete is situated in Vathi near Agios Nikolaos in the north east part of the island. Its wonderful location is private with incredible views and a fabulous choice of Deluxe Sea View rooms and suites, suites with private pools, waterfront villas and luxury villas with private pools, and The Mansion – a true home away from home unique to this luxury hotel in Crete.With spacious bedrooms, private terraces, sophisticated décor, marble-lined bathrooms and living spaces, and stunning views, this is pure indulgence. Whichever you choose, all of the accommodation at Daios Cove will give you an experience of exceptional comfort and wonderful amenities....
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Hotel Review: Hard Rock Hotel, London

Travel
A deluxe double room starts at £259, or about $320.With its new hotel at Marble Arch, Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc. brings it back to where it all began: London. The eponymous music, merchandise and restaurant company now has 186 cafes, 29 hotels and 12 casinos worldwide, but it started — by two Americans — with a small burger-serving diner in the city’s Mayfair district in 1971. After nearly 50 years, you might think the idea is tired, but on a recent Saturday night stay, at least in its first London hotel, the party is still going strong. Take the large open-concept lobby and restaurant area, where two bars and a stage welcome guests with brightly colored furniture, friendly staff and nonstop tunes. Homage to rock music and rock musicians is found in details large and small, starting above the check-in desk, where hundreds of drum sticks hang down vertically from the ceiling, with electric lights at their tips. Rock memorabilia, including instruments, costumes and other clothing adorn the walls, and a Hard Rock merch shop is just across the lobby. ...
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Where Libraries are the Tourist Attractions

Travel
About a decade ago libraries across the world faced a dilemma. Their vital functions — to supply books and access to information for the public — were being replaced by Amazon, e-books and public Wi-Fi.To fight for their survival, said Loida Garcia-Febo, president of the American Library Association, libraries tried to determine what other role they could play. “They invented these amazing new initiatives that are finally launching now,” she said. It took them this long to raise money and build them.Libraries are certainly having a moment. In the past few years dozens of new high-profile libraries have opened close to home and across the world. And they certainly don’t resemble the book-depot vision of libraries from the past....
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5 Items to Always Bring to the Beach

Travel
A smooth patch of sand, a cool bottle of something refreshing and the beach read you’ve been waiting to crack — these sound like everything you’d need for the perfect day in the sun. Here are a few additional suggestions, though, to help make your next beach trip as comfortable as possible. Breezes do kick up, after all, and you’ll be wanting a way to keep those drinks cold. Just don’t forget a buddy to help slather on the sunscreen!This tent looks great, folds up small and sets up in seconds, providing shade and shelter from the wind for two adults.Light, simple to carry, difficult to over pack and insulated enough for a full day at the beach, this might be the perfect backpack cooler....
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10 best French restaurants in Paris

Travel
(CNN) — Down-market food trucks and pop-up restaurants have invaded Paris just like other cities around the world. But when looking for the best French restaurants in Paris, we want the kind of classic tables that make French dining a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Item.To find the most memorable food and drink experiences, we turned to Meg Zimbeck, brainchild of the extensive online food guide Paris by Mouth.Zimbeck and her colleagues lead walking tours in the capital of France and have been seeking out the best tables in the city for years. With her help, we compiled a list of 10 best French restaurants in Paris: 1. Bistrot Paul Bert"This is one of the restaurants that I always recommend when people ask for a classic bistro experience," says Zimbeck. Located in the east section of the city, the bistro has a lively atmosphere and serves delicious steak frites and apple tart. Also worth checking out: the same owner's modern version of the cafe, Le 6 Paul Bert, just down the street....
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A Maine fisherman caught a rare cotton-candy-colored lobster -- again

Travel
(CNN) — Maine lobsterman John McInnes seems to have a knack for catching colorful crustaceans.Last month, he hauled in a rare cotton-candy-colored lobster in Casco Bay, near Portland.That would be remarkable story on its own, but McInnes said this is the second time he's caught this particular lobster."I caught it last October, and it was too small to keep, and then I caught it again," McInnes said. "It was probably a mile and a half away from where I let it go. It didn't go far."This time, it was big enough to keep, but McInnes says the lobster's not destined for a dinner plate. In case you were wondering, yes, the lobster would still turn bright red if you cooked it in boiling water.The lobster has a vibrant purple, blue and pinkish shell that stands out dramatically next to its brownish relatives....
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Awkwafina wants you to staycation more often

Travel
(CNN) — The characters played by rapper-turned-movie star Awkwafina (Nora Lum) have traveled all over the world: Singapore, China and Los Angeles, to name a few. But for Awkwafina herself, the most rewarding place to spend her time off continues to be in her beloved home, New York City. Awkwafina, who you may recognize from "Crazy Rich Asians" and her recent starring role in "The Farewell," is an outspoken fan of staycations (traveling within your own city or vicinity). The Queens native spends her free time between movie sets exploring hotels across New York City's boroughs, combining the familiarity of home with the perks of hotel stays for the ultimate out-of-office getaway. Her latest hotel of choice? The Sixty Soho, a few blocks south of Washington Square Park, where CNN Travel met with the actress to talk all things travel -- from her hotel must-haves to an unfortunate mishap at a nude beach. ...
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Want to pet a bison on your next vacation? The National Park Service says that's a bad idea

Travel
(CNN) — The National Park Service has released a guide to safely petting bison after recent dangerous encounters between tourists and the giant animals.The short version is: Don't.The agency also posted a diagram on Facebook to go with its guide to smart wildlife watching.It urges people to think before scratching a bison's back and warns that petting the shoulder area could be vacation ending. If you fancy a bison belly rub, check your insurance first.Bison are the largest mammals in North America and a full-grown male can weigh 2,000 pounds -- not much less than a Mazda Miata convertible.Last month, a bison gored a teenager at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Officials said the 17-year-old was punctured in the thigh and tossed 6 feet....
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El Vilsito in Mexico City, Mexico

Travel
If you were to drive by El Vilsito during the day, you'd find mechanics working on cars. Come 8:00 p.m., however, and this humble garage becomes home to several spinning spits of some of the finest marinated meat in Mexico City.Servers wielding giant knives slice off chunks of the succulent pork and layer it onto corn tortillas, along with a flick of pineapple and a sprinkling of onions and cilantro to make stunningly sweet and savory al pastor tacos. Even though the mechanics are long gone, hints of the space's body shop alter ego remain: a sign displaying a giant red car hovers overhead and services are emblazoned across the red-and-black exterior, offering to improve your ride's lubricación, suspensión, or transmisión. ...
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Franz Mayer Museum Courtyard in Mexico City, Mexico

Travel
The collector and philanthropist Franz Mayer was born in Germany in 1882 and moved to Mexico in 1905. An insatiable collector, he amassed a large number of paintings, tapestries, cutlery, and many other decorative arts during his lifetime. Following his death in 1975, the extensive collection was opened to the public as the Franz Mayer Museum, housed in a renovated 16th-century hospital building in Mexico City.While the collection itself is notable for the impressive number of objects on display, it's the museum's inner courtyard and gardens that really set it apart. With massive trees covered in vines, a small central fountain with uneven tiles, and hardly a noise other than the chirping of birds and the almost-whispered conversations happening in its café, sitting here hardly seems like chaotic Mexico City. In fact the space is so well known as an oasis from the urban hustle and bustle that the museum offers a separate ticket to access it....
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18 Obscure Sports That Are Well Worth Rooting For

Travel
From the hockey variant known as Broomball to the wild and often difficult-to-comprehend sport of Kabbadi, the world has no shortage of lesser-known yet entirely worthy athletic pursuits. Plus, such sports can offer a key window into the culture of the people who play them. We recently asked Atlas Obscura readers over in our Community Forums to tell us about their favorite esoteric sports, and we got some winning responses.Check out a selection of some of the best submissions below. If you know about a fascinating sport that didn't make the list, tell us about it over in the forums and keep the conversation going. GOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!!!...
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The Incorrupt Body of Santa Rosa in Viterbo, Italy

Travel
At about four feet tall, this tiny saint looks genuinely relaxed through the glass of her gilt coffin. Her leathery skin has pulled back from her pearly teeth in the approximation of a smile.Santa Rosa (Saint Rose), the patron saint of Viterbo, Italy, died in the 13th century at the age of 18 after a short life of devotion, prayer, charity, politics, and miracles. Today, her incorrupt body lies in a church bearing her name.Santa Rosa had gained attention at a young age for the miracles she is believed to have performed, including bringing people back from the dead. A pious and eloquent girl, she cared for the poor and encouraged the citizens of Viterbo to rise up against the Holy Roman Emperor. For this disruption, she and her parents were driven from the city by the authorities. When the papacy regained control of the region, Santa Rosa returned to Viterbo where she later died....
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A Rocket Treated Florida to a Light Show at Dawn

Travel
At 6:13 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, August 8, a bright trail of purple, blue, and white leaped across the Florida sky. The arc was as sweeping as a rainbow, but this wasn’t just a trick of the light. It was the result of a van-sized rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41.Unlike NASA launches of old, this rocket was engineered by a private company, Lockheed Martin, and launched by a private entity, the United Launch Alliance, on behalf of the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. “ULA is a launch service provider, and contracts with customers such as NASA and the U.S. Air Force to launch satellites,” says Heather McFarland, a communications representative at ULA. The United Launch Alliance was founded in 2005 as a collaboration between Boeing and Lockheed Martin....
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Nebraska Bridge in Tionesta, Pennsylvania

Travel
Unlike most bridges that are meant to stretch over bodies of water, the Nebraska Bridge near Tionesta, Pennsylvania, is actually expected to be underwater for at least a few weeks every year. Even on a “good” day, the bridge sits just inches above the water level. Due to constantly changing water levels, the bridge goes from almost completely underwater to being fully functional.What geniuses would build such a thing? Well, the bridge wasn’t always like this. It was erected in 1933, designed to cross the Tionesta Creek in northwestern Pennsylvania and serve the small lumber town of Nebraska....
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How the 'Swiss Milkman' Brought Cheese Production to Nepal

Travel
After three days of uphill trekking through Nepal’s Langtang Valley, Prem Bhattarai, my hiking companion from Kathmandu, was enthusiastically animated by the prospect of cheese. “Now we’re here, this cheese must be taken at any cost!” he exclaims as we reach the village of Kyanjin Gompa.Kyanjin Gompa sits mere miles from the Tibetan border, at an oxygen-starved altitude of 3,800 meters. Yet in this remote Himalayan village, perpetually enveloped by mist and fog, there’s a factory specializing in the production of Swiss-style cheese made with local yak milk. These days, it’s in high demand across Nepal. But such cheese was nonexistent until the arrival of a Swiss development worker in 1952, who would become known as “the Milkman.”...
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Guru Sweet Mart in Mysuru, India

Travel
Maharaja Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, the 19th-century king of South India's Mysore Kingdom, was bored. He had a serious sweet tooth, but he'd grown tired of the creations of the royal kitchen. He told his cook, Kakasura Madappa, to create something new. In response to the directive, Madappa created a fudge-like concoction called Mysore pak. More than a century later, Madappa's descendants continue to sell Mysore pak from their Mysore-based shop, Guru Sweet Mart.At first, Mysore pak—made from a deceptively simple combination of sugar syrup, chickpea flour, and ghee—may not seem like a royal creation. Consider Guru Sweet Mart's modest layout: While the storefront display is stacked high with multicolored milk-based sweets, the Mysore pak is often kept in crates on the floor. But that's not because the sweet is unwanted. It's because the store's proprietors have maintained such an elevated level of Mysore pak-making, their creation simply can't stay on the shelves. While small stores across South India sell mediocre Mysore pak that can be either too wet or unpleasantly chalky, Guru Sweet Mart's version is the antidote to uninspiring imitators: soft, with a toasty ghee smell and a lusciously melty mouthfeel. It is also an instant sugar rush you will feel in your veins. ...
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There's a secret way into Egypt's new museum

Travel
(CNN) — When it finally opens, Cairo's Grand Egyptian Museum will be the largest museum dedicated to a single civilization.Standing just two kilometers away from the pyramids of Giza, the monument, which will house some of Egypt's most precious relics, is expected to attract around five million visitors a year.More than a decade in the making, and with its opening being pushed back once again in 2018, there's one "secret" way travelers can visit the 5.2-million-square-foot structure before it officially launches in 2020.A private behind-the-scenes tour is currently in operation -- albeit with a $250 price tag.This exclusive experience provides a very select few with a sneak preview of the $1 billion project before the rest of the world gets a look in....
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Zaha Hadid-designed hotel nears completion in Dubai

Travel
(CNN) — Dubai's hotels are among the most luxurious and extravagant in the world. But there's one that's about to set itself apart from all others in the Emirate.The soon-to-be-opened ME by Melia, will be the first and only in the global city to be designed by the late, world-famous architect, Zaha Hadid.More than three years after her passing, Hadid is set to make her mark on the city as a boutique hotel within The Opus prepares to throw open its doors.The Opus was first proposed back in 2007 as a commercial and retail development. Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) say the building is designed as two separate towers that merge into a singular whole taking the form of a cube. The two towers are linked by a four-storey atrium at ground level and by an asymmetric three-storey bridge that is 71 meters above the ground. The hollowed-out core allows those in the center of the building to have views of the outside world. ...
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Cathedral installs giant slide but insists it's not a gimmick

Travel
(CNN) — Godspeed!A historic cathedral in England has installed a giant indoor fairground slide, supposedly so that visitors can see its roof up close.The 50-foot-high ride, known in Britain as a helter-skelter, was unveiled on Thursday at Norwich Cathedral in eastern England and will be open to the public to enjoy for 10 days.The church, completed in 1145, insists the initiative is no gimmick -- in fact, a clergyman says the idea came to him while he was visiting the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican."I had the slightly risky thought of, 'I know this is amazing, but actually the ceiling at Norwich Cathedral is every bit as wonderful,'" Reverend Canon Andy Bryant told the Press Association news agency....
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Zigzag Path in Folkestone, England

Travel
After the First World War, many soldiers returned from the battlefield to face a precarious state of unemployment in Great Britain, which was in a major economic recession. One way the British government attempted to deal with this problem was to develop a number of public work schemes across the country. One such project was the construction of the Zigzag Path in the leas area of the coastal town of Folkestone. It began in 1921 and mobilized hundreds of local war veterans to build a new ornamental feature in the Lower Leas Coastal Park. This winding path leads down the cliff from the Upper Leas to the seafront, stretching over an area approximately 160 feet high and just as wide. ...
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'Half Rabbit' in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Travel
On one of the many buildings peppering the quiet and winding streets of Gaia, Portugal, is a massive rabbit sculpture made from recycled materials and trash collected from the city.The sculpture, which was brought to life by Portuguese artist Bordallo II (who often creates animal art using repurposed materials), serves as a subtle yet scathing critique of society's wastefulness and its consequences for the natural environment. The art piece is also a call for increased social awareness of ecological sustainability.The sculpture is positioned on the building in such a way that the rabbit is seemingly folded in two, with one half being multicolored and the other unpainted, which serves to illustrate the materials' original colors. It is for these reasons that the artwork is called the "Half Rabbit." Metal pieces, street signs, and plastic containers are just some of the materials used to create the rabbit's eyes, ears, and whiskers....
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Chop Suey Sandwich

Travel
Some say summer in Salem, Massachusetts, doesn’t start until you’ve had your first chop suey sandwich. Others have called it “literally a slimy bean-sprout pile on a soggy bun.” Wherever you stand, the chop suey sandwich isn’t going anywhere.According to the New England Historical Society, the sandwich was developed by Chinese immigrants around 1875 to infuse local snack forms with the flavors of home. It consists of roast chicken or pork sautéed with celery, onions, and bean-sprouts in a soy-gravy and is served between two hamburger buns, often with a fork. The cheap, filling snack gained a loyal local following among mill workers, students, and park visitors. While the sandwich spread throughout the 20th century to reach as far as Coney Island, New York, it's largely disappeared. In its native home, just one Chinese take-out stand, Salem Lowe, still carries on the local tradition....
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Grissel Jaffray Memorial in Dundee, Scotland

Travel
Walking along the Murraygate pedestrian thoroughfare in Dundee, Scotland, you will come to an alleyway called Peter Street. At the entrance, on the ground, you'll see a tiled art piece in the shape of a cone. On the opposite side of the footpath is another mosaic cone. The first looks to be holding water and the other fire. In between is a blue plaque that reads "Grissel Jaffray (Spaewife, ? - 1669)." Yet there is no further information about who this person was, or what atrocious event took place here.Grissel Jaffray was the wife of a local and respectable businessman in the 17th century, and both she and her husband were accused of practicing witchcraft. (The term "spaewife" is Scottish for a female fortune-teller or prophetess.) Records of the trial have been lost, so there is no account of their crimes. The names of the accusers—three local ministers—and the method by which she was put to death are all that remains....
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One Family’s Story of Survival Under the Khmer Rouge, No Longer Buried

Travel
Though 10-year-old Vira Rama didn’t understand what his family’s secrets were, he knew that they had to be kept hidden. At first glance, they seemed innocuous enough: a stash of family photos of trips to the beach and Siem Reap, a photo of Rama in a youth scout uniform, all wrapped up in a bag made of cut tarp.When the Khmer Rouge seized control of the country in April 1975, Rama’s mother, Kim Pean Ky, had insisted on taking this bundle of photos with her as her family was forcibly relocated from their home in the northwestern city of Battambang. She kept them concealed as soldiers marched them into the country on dusty roads congested with people fleeing in three-wheeled tuk-tuks, on ox-driven carts, and even on foot. As soon as the family was resettled in a village called O’ Srarlao, located in what the military regime called Zone 4, Rama watched as his mother dug a hole under their small wooden hut just large enough for the bag of photos. He didn’t ask questions as she hid the traces of their middle-class life under a pile of banana leaves. Though the family would travel to several other zones during the rule of the Khmer Rouge, from 1975 to 1979, Rama’s mother never forgot about the photos. Each time they moved, she quietly and dutifully excavated the bag and then buried again, and again, and again. If the severe, unpredictable, paranoid Khmer Rouge had found it, their lives would be forfeit....
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Samson and Golaith in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Travel
These two massive gantry cranes can be found in the Harland and Wolff shipyard and are considered engineering masterpieces. They're known locally as Samson and Goliath, and were modified to meet Harland and Wolff’s special requirements. Goliath, the first crane to be completed, was finished in July 1969 and was largely constructed within the company. Samson was provided by Krupps and was completed in May 1974. Part of the fun of spotting these two metal giants is trying to work out which is which.While the shipyard played a key role in the first and second world war, producing warships, Harland and Wolff will forever be synonymous with The Titanic, these cranes were not related to the famous ocean-going liner's construction. However, Samson was actually involved in a disaster of its own. In 2007, Samson knocked into a smaller crane called Henson, toppling it to the ground and narrowly avoiding injuring workers nearby....
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To Save Tiny Penguins, This Suburb Was Wiped Off the Map

Travel
PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia — It’s a magical sight: Just as the light begins to vanish, thousands of tiny penguins waddle out of the surf on an island in southeastern Australia, then head up the beach and along well-worn paths toward their burrows.The “penguin parade” has been a major attraction since the 1920s, when tourists were led by torchlight to view the nightly arrival of the birds — the world’s smallest penguin breed, with adults averaging 13 inches tall — from a day of fishing and swimming.For much of that time, the penguins lived among the residents of a housing development, mostly modest vacation homes, in tight proximity to cars and pets, as well as ravenous foxes. The penguins’ numbers fell precipitously. But in 1985, the state government took an extraordinary step: It decided to buy every piece of property on the Summerland Peninsula and return the land to the penguins. The process was completed in 2010....
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El Jem Amphitheatre in El Jem, Tunisia

Travel
The Amphitheatre of El Jem is one of the largest Roman amphitheaters ever built. Indeed (depending on how you measure it) El Jem may be considered to be the third-largest ever, after the Colosseum in Rome and the destroyed amphitheater in Capua. Designed to seat a whopping crowd of 35,000 people, today El Jem is both the largest and the best-preserved Roman amphitheater in Africa.Located in the city of El Jem (or El Djem), which was known back in Roman times as Thysdrus, El Jem Amphitheatre was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage in 1979. Hence, if you make it to the town of El Jem, you're probably not going to miss this dramatic attraction. Although far from secret, the backstory of the construction, and the modern-day misconceptions of El Jem Ampitheatre, are little known....
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A Turkish woman owns over 3,000 coffee cups

Travel
Coffee is an important part of Turkish culture. Mesude Isikli of Osmaniye, Turkey, has collected over 3,000 coffee cups, and that's not even the world record.
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The Howff Cemetery in Dundee, Scotland

Travel
When Mary, Queen of Scots was visiting Dundee in the 16th century, she was so taken aback by the dilapidated state of the local cemeteries, she established an area outside the city's walls to inter the deceased. In 1564, the Howff was chosen for the location of the new graveyard.For as long as anyone can recall, the Howff was the site of an open meeting space where the local guilds would gather once a year to conduct business. These included masons, tailors, bakers, and other such tradesmen who would meet to discuss various aspects of commerce. Today there are an estimated 80,000 or more people buried in Howff Cemetery, and some 1,000 tombstones, many of which are carved with the emblems of these various trades. Other gravestones are adorned with excellent examples of Memento Mori, such as skulls, bones, and other signs of death....
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La Crucecita Church Murals in Crucecita, Mexico

Travel
Muralism is among the most important visual arts movements in Mexico. Plenty of private and public walls, both in the open and in government institutions, are covered in paint. Ranging from social realism to the abstract, many modern trends have started to look to the past for inspiration. One such case is the murals of La Crucecita Church in the Bays of Huatulco.Murals have been painted in Mexico since before the Spanish conquest. The arrival of European Catholicism led to a new movement of murals intended to evangelize the indigenous population. When artist José Ángel del Signo was asked in 2000 to paint a mural for the inside of this church, which had been recently consecrated to the Virgin of Guadalupe, he gleaned inspiration from those early religious murals....
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Spain: have it your way

Travel
Spain is home to emerald hills, charming red-roofed hamlets, and pristine white villages, not to mention an abundance of wine, olives, cheeses, and culinary delicacies unique to each region. While the interior of the country has much to offer in its own right, we have found the most inspiring scenery and cultural treasures in the northern and southern regions. Walk the highlights of the famed Camino de Santiago across northern Spain, or pair southern Spain with northern Morocco to discover two distinct cultures with a fascinating shared history.FoodFoodies, take note: you can’t go wrong with either trip. (In fact, you should probably just join both!) On the Camino, we like to begin in Basque country—renowned for pintxos, cider houses, and more than 40 Michelin-starred restaurants—we recommend spending at least two pre-tour days here. As you cross through the distinct regions, you can try the best salt cod, beef, pork, and seafood along the way. ...
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New Seven Wonders of the World: See our greatest achievements

Travel
(CNN) — For the longest time (we're talking millennia here), we had the Seven Wonders of the World. There was just one problem for the demanding 21st century travel set.Except for the ever durable Great Pyramids of Egypt, the rest were nothing more than distant memories from a hazy history.Want to see the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or the Colossus of Rhodes? You missed that boat by many centuries. A rendering in a book or online is the best you'll ever do.The solution? In 2007, a global contest was held and more than 100 million votes were cast for the New Seven Wonders of the World.And while many of them are very old, they're still here! These are durable destinations where we can actually go see the wonders -- and take a selfie for posterity....
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Traveling in Hurricane Season: Is it Worth the Risk?

Travel
Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean — and that includes the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and destinations in the Bahamas and Florida — runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Hurricanes can strike at any time, but peak season runs August through October, when the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration says 96 percent of major hurricanes have struck.That period, and extending through November, is also when resorts in the Caribbean, especially, offer rock-bottom rates, enticing budget travelers to risk a storm. For example, Calabash Cove Resort and Spa in St. Lucia currently has an all-inclusive deal for two people for five nights at $1,572 through Dec. 23 versus $3,485 in high season. Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas has rates from $189, or 30 percent off high-season prices this fall, including a $100 resort credit. The all-inclusive Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa in Jamaica is offering rooms in September from $213, a 45 percent discount....
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What Questions Do You Have for the 52 Places Traveler?

Travel
Sebastian Modak is near the midpoint of his yearlong trek to visit all the locations on our list of 52 Places to Go in 2019, and the time feels ripe for a crowdsourced debriefing.Curious about the high points and low points of his time on the road? Wondering if he has any advice for gracefully handling travel hiccups? Eager to know how what the experience has taught him so far?Submit your questions using the form below. We’ll pass them along and publish Sebastian’s answers in an upcoming Q. and A....
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Soap Lake in Soap Lake, Washington

Travel
In the town bearing its name, Soap Lake has been heralded for centuries for its curative properties. The lake gets its name from the natural occurring foam that forms on the surface of the water, giving it a soapy appearance. The water also has an extremely soapy feel as well, as the lake is teeming with more than 20 minerals. It's not unusual to find people visiting the lake from across the globe seeking to soak in the mineral-rich waters or to coat themselves in the mud of the lake. ...
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For the first time, high-speed rail available during Hajj pilgrimage

Travel
(CNN) — High-speed rail service will be available for the first time this year during Hajj, the pilgrimage by Muslims to Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca.Some of the millions of pilgrims expected to make the journey will be riding Haramain High Speed Rail (HHR), which links Mecca to Medina and passes through three stations: Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh, according to the railway's website.The railway launched in October 2018, after the Hajj, so this year is its first handling the annual crush of pilgrims. In 2018, 2.37 million Muslims made the journey to Mecca.The pilgrimage, which begins Friday and lasts five days, is one of the five pillars of Islam. Every Muslim is required to perform the Hajj at least once in their lifetime, if they are physically and financially able....
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Last name Green or Greene? You could fly free

Travel
(CNN) — Frontier Airlines is offering free flights for people with the last name "Green" or "Greene." The Colorado airline says it operates "America's greenest flight" and is giving away flights -- up to $400 in value -- for the promotion of Green Week, the company's ecofriendly initiative. "Our fleet's fuel efficiency is unmatched by other U.S. airlines and allows Frontier to deliver not only the lowest fares but the most sustainable approach to flying," President and CEO Barry Biffle said in a statement.The airline says customer response has been positive."We're very excited to share our green message with everyone," said Zach Kramer, a Frontier Airline spokesman, adding that many people are tagging friends with those names. "I was surprised how many people have the last name Green." ...
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Hong Kong Protesters Descend on Airport, With Plans to Stay for Days

Travel
HONG KONG — Antigovernment protesters on Friday swarmed Hong Kong’s international airport, taking aim at both a global transit hub and the city’s closely guarded reputation for order and efficiency.The protest in the airport’s arrival hall, which is planned to last through Sunday, comes as Hong Kong reels from its worst political crisis since Britain handed the former colony back to China in 1997, and less than a week after protests and a general strike caused chaos in the city and led to 148 arrests.In recent days, mainland Chinese officials have issued stern warnings to protesters about the risks of continuing their broad campaign for political reforms. The movement began in opposition to a bill that would have allowed extraditions to the mainland — where the courts are controlled by the ruling Communist Party — but has since expanded to include a number of other demands for greater democracy....
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An 8-year-old girl got sick on an airplane and drew a cute thank-you card for the staff

Travel
(CNN) — A child who fell ill on an Asiana Airlines flight is thanking the workers for "saving her life" with an adorable hand-drawn picture."To Asiana," the drawing says, featuring an Asiana airplane soaring over flowers. "Thank you for saving my life. Thank you so much!"The airline shared a photo of the drawing on Instagram last week and said, "We'd like to send our special thanks to the passenger who sent us this thoughtful drawing!" She was headed to visit her grandparents, the post explained, when she fell ill. "On behalf of our brave little passenger, Asiana Airlines would like to give a special recognition to the cabin crew members who professionally and quickly resolved the issue," the airline wrote....
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Fans flock to Abbey Road on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' classic photo

Travel
(CNN) — On August 8, 1969, the Beatles took staged a photo shoot for the cover of "Abbey Road," the last album the band recorded as a group (even though it was released before "Let It Be").To mark the 50th anniversary on Thursday, hundreds of fans flocked to Abbey Road Studios in St. John's Wood in London and its famous street crossing.Lookalikes were photographed re-creating the album's cover.The cover of "Abbey Road" is one of the most iconic in music history, and the crosswalk has become a tourist attraction. Diehard fans make pilgrimages there every year in an attempt to re-create the image of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr walking across.Abbey Road Studios has operated a live cam of the crossing since 2011, and it even has a wall of fame, chronicling some of the odd or interesting moments captured on camera....
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High-speed trains ease crowding for 2M Hajj pilgrims

Travel
Saudi Arabia welcomes over 2 million people to Mecca every year for the Hajj pilgrimage. New train networks are making getting around easier.
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A Cornish castle has recreated the legendary crossing of King Arthur's father

Travel
(CNN) — It's not every day you get to recreate the journey of a legendary king, but visitors to Tintagel Castle will now be able to do exactly that.A bridge will open on August 11 at the historic site in north Cornwall, UK, restoring a vertiginous crossing which brings the two halves of the castle together again, according to English Heritage.Tintagel Castle plays a crucial role in the legend of King Arthur, the mythical leader of Camelot.As the story goes, Merlin the wizard transformed Uther Pendragon, King of Britain, to make him look like the Duke of Cornwall, and the King entered the castle to sleep with the Duke's wife Ygerna, who later gave birth to Arthur.There is some debate as to whether King Arthur was a purely mythological figure, or if he was inspired by one or various historical leaders....
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Sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps can lead to hefty fines

Travel
(CNN) — Visitors to Rome's famous Spanish Steps looking to take a load off will need to keep on walking. Earlier this week, city officials made good on their promise to preserve Rome's historic and cultural spots by fining visitors in violation of the city's ordinances -- including sitting or lying down on the UNESCO-protected monument. And the fines are not insignificant. Starting at 250 euros ($280), tourists may be charged upwards of 400 euros ($448) if they've soiled or damaged the steps in any way. Restoration -- at a cost of some €1.5 million -- of the Spanish Steps was finished in October 2016. Bulgari, an Italian luxury brand, footed the massive cleaning effort while it celebrated its 130th anniversary. ...
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It's All Greek to You and Me, So What Is It to the Greeks?

Travel
It’s a curious thing when there is an idiom—structured roughly the same way and meaning essentially the same thing—that exists in a large number of languages. It’s even more curious when that idiom, having emerged in dozens of different languages, is actually … about language. That’s the case with “It’s Greek to me.”In a wide-ranging number of languages, major and minor, from all different branches of the language family tree, there is some version of “It’s Greek to me.” These idioms all seek to describe one person’s failure to understand what the other is trying to say, but in a particular, dismissive way. It’s not just, “Sorry, I can’t understand you.” It’s saying, “The way you’re speaking right now is incomprehensible.” And it specifically compares that incomprehensibility to a particular language, a language agreed upon in that culture to be particularly impenetrable....
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Fresh Produce, Brought to You By Robots

Travel
In San Carlos, California, under LED lighting in a controlled, 8,000-square-foot environment, a team of autonomous robots is whirring night and day between rows of leafy greens. There is no dirt, there are no pesticides, and on this indoor farm, the only humans work behind screens. This is one of the world’s first autonomously operated commercial farms, and their produce is now flying off the shelves.As a child, roboticist Brandon Alexander spent summers in Oklahoma helping his grandfather grow potatoes, peanuts, and cotton on a 6,000-acre farm. But as CEO of Iron Ox, the start-up company behind the automated farm, he says traditional farming is now his biggest competition—and granddad understands. “He knows that for farming to survive, this is almost inevitable,” says Alexander....
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'The Motherland Calls' in Volgograd, Russia

Travel
"The Motherland Calls" is a towering statue that dominates the summit of Mamayev Kurgan, a hill that overlooks the city of Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad). The enormous artwork is the centerpiece of a wider memorial complex that commemorates the Battle of Stalingrad, one of the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare.Construction began on the massive monument in May 1959, and it was finally completed in October 1967. At the time, it was the tallest statue in the world. It has since lost that record, but remains the tallest statue in Europe and the tallest statue of a woman in the world. And this isn’t a woman you want to mess with, as she wields the world’s largest sword....
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Indigenous Women Are Publishing the First Maya Works in Over 400 Years

Travel
I'd stumbled upon Taller Leñateros—the “Woodlanders Workshop”—completely by chance.I was walking aimlessly through the pastel-hued streets of San Cristobal de las Casas, trying to get a feel for what my guidebook had described as southern Mexico’s “most beautiful colonial city.” One particular street was quiet, dusty, and less colorful than the rest. But there was something about it—perhaps the faint sound of a Mexican ballad escaping from a rusted window, or maybe the beat-up aquamarine VW Beetle at the end of the road—that invited me to turn down it.I hadn’t been walking long before I spotted an unusual sign outside a sad-looking, graffitied colonial house: a black-and-white etching of an ancient Maya riding a bicycle, wearing an enormous feathered headdress that fluttered in the wind behind him. Next to it, a handwritten note pleaded “Save our workshop!”...
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Venice to stop huge cruise ships from docking in its historic center

Travel
(CNN) — Venice is to start rerouting cruise ships away from its historic center, in a victory for residents tired of the enormous vessels towering over the city's skyline.Some ships will be redirected to dock at Fusina and Lombardia terminals from next month, Italy's transport minister said -- meaning they will stay on the other side of the Venice lagoon, away from the city's central islands."Starting now, we will decrease the number of liners passing by Giudecca and San Marco, particularly the bigger ones," Danilo Toninelli, the Italian minister of infrastructure and transport, said at a transport committee hearing on the divisive issue."The aim is to reroute about one third of the cruise ships already booked on Venice towards new berths by 2020,"he added. "We've been talking about big ships for 15 years and nothing has been done. These floating palaces will start to go elsewhere."...
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'The Swedish Melancholy' in Linköping, Sweden

Travel
At first sight, "The Swedish Melancholy," a sculpture made by the artist Marie-Louise Ekman, just looks like a rusty old sculpture that has been long forgotten. But for anyone paying attention, it's obvious that the rust is a part of the piece. Take a closer look at the statue, and you'll notice tears trickling down the cheeks of a man troubled by melancholy.The iron statue weighs 1,300 pounds (600 kilograms) and is exposed to rain, snow, wind, cold, and heat. It was originally made for the Swedish pavilion at the World Exhibition in Seville in 1992. It then went on display at a regional museum in the city of Linköping, which later purchased the artwork for its permanent collection....
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Summer Art Trek: Gallery Hopping in the Hudson Valley

Travel
The day will come this month when you’ll feel compelled to flee the city, at least for an afternoon. Luckily the visionaries of the New York art world have built a number of entrancing destinations around which to organize an easy day trip or a relaxing weekend. With the exception of Jack Shainman’s the School, in Kinderhook (roughly a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Manhattan), all these art institutions are accessible by MetroNorth. (Remember to check opening — and closing — times.) And if this partial list leaves you wanting more, consider stopping by Art Omi, Bard College’s Hessel Museum of Art, the Ice House and River Valley Arts Collective.Kinderhook, N.y.In the elfin village of Kinderhook, the gallerist Jack Shainman has transformed the former Martin Van Buren High School into a large exhibition space called the School. The details of its build-out may be a little more sumptuous than the mission really calls for. But that only makes it a better setting for “Basquiat x Warhol,” an unforgettable exhibition of the collaborative paintings made by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol in the mid-1980s, contextualized by an extensive display of solo works....
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In a Special Room in an Ohio Library, Toni Morrison’s Legacy Lives On

Travel
In fall 1993, the city of Lorain, Ohio, was in a frenzy. Toni Morrison had just won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and her hometown couldn’t decide how to celebrate. Officials and citizens held countless meetings and discussions, speaking over each other in excitement. One proposed to rename Broadway Avenue after her. Others wanted to put her name on a school or the local library. “When Toni heard about this, she contacted us,” says Cheri Campbell, the adult services librarian at the main branch of Lorain Public Library. “She said ‘I want a reading room where people can sit and read and just think.’ And that’s what we gave her.”...
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Ferryland Lighthouse in Ferryland, Newfoundland and Labrador

Travel
You'll find this quaint lighthouse just beyond the colony of Avalon, which was established in 1621 as a British outpost in Newfoundland and is now a tourist and archaeological destination in its own right.The Ferryland Lighthouse was built in 1870 to guide sailors along the oft-foggy coast. It contains plaques that tell the stories of some of the shipwrecks that occurred just offshore both, before and after the lighthouse was constructed. For instance, in 1856, the brigantine Heather got stuck in the ice, and several of its crew abandoned ship for a pan of floating ice. Ten Ferryland villagers risked their own lives to save the men. Another ship, the Torhamvan, transporting macaroni as well as other goods, ran aground in 1926, and local lore claims the shores were “white with macaroni for weeks afterward.”...
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Macaques of Tanaxpillo Island in Mexico

Travel
In 1974, a group of investigators from the University of Veracruz introduced a small colony of stump-tailed macaques to the uninhabited island of Tanaxpillo in the middle of Catemaco Lake. Native to South and Southeast Asia, the macaques were introduced as part of a study to discover how the animals would adapt to a similar environment to their original one but with distinct flora and fauna to feed on.Apparently, the experiment turned out to be a huge success, as a larger population was introduced to the same island and an additional one in the lake for further study in the 1980s. It's unclear if the original investigators ever planned to remove the macaques from the islands, as the monkeys are still there today....
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David Balfour and Alan Breck Stewart Statue in Edinburgh, Scotland

Travel
The author Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. He based many of the characters and circumstances in his 1886 adventurous tale Kidnapped on actual people and places.Two such individuals were David Balfour and Alan Breck Stewart. At the end of the story, the two characters bid farewell to one another at a spot referred to as "Rest and Be Thankful" on nearby Corstorphine Hill. This might explain their unusual placement on a busy road on the outskirts of Edinburgh's city center.The statue was designed by Scottish artist Sandy Stoddart. It was unveiled by Sir Sean Connery, another of the city's legendary citizens, in 2004. The grounds adjacent to the monument once boasted the Balfour Stewart House, the headquarters of a brewing company that was demolished in 2008....
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Barker Character, Comic and Cartoon Museum in Cheshire, Connecticut

Travel
In this two-storied building, you can indulge in the amazing history of toys and cartoons. The grounds are covered in unique cartoon decorations from all genres and eras. The museum also hosts a scavenger hunt for kids. It's certainly a visit that kids would enjoy and guaranteed to take any adult down memory lane. Inside, there is also an art gallery with gorgeous prints available....
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The best way to disembark an airplane

Travel
(CNN) — Your airplane finally lands, the seatbelt sign flashes off and you leap to your feet, ready to get out of the cabin and on with your vacation.The problem is, everyone's got the same idea.You all -- sort of -- deplane row by row, but with everyone jostling and reaching for their luggage via the overhead locker, it's never entirely clear whose turn it is to get off next.Now imagine if passengers waited patiently and disembarked one row at a time. Sounds like a pipe dream, right? Except apparently it does sometimes happen -- and flight attendant Louise Vadeboncoeur has the video to prove it. Vadeboncoeur, a flight attendant with Canadian carrier WestJet, recorded timelapse footage of passengers disembarking an internal charter flight in Canada....
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'Der Fall Daidalos und Ikaros' ('The Fall of Daedalus and Icarus') in Berlin, Germany

Travel
The old Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus is a well-known one. The ancient Greek adage about not flying too close to the Sun is a classic tale about the dangers of growing too confident.The story also touches on the dangers of flying, as Icarus flies too high and ultimately plummets to his death. As such, this symbol about the risks of taking to the air seems like a strange thing to exhibit in an airport.But there is more behind this as the exhibit. The artwork was made to represent the likeness of Otto Lilienthal, Germany's aviation pioneer who took to the sky in his homemade hang gliders. He's a well-known person in Germany and has schools, streets, and buildings named after him, including the Tengel airport. As such, this statue does not represent the failure of flight, but rather the perseverance that is necessary to achieve it. The statue artwork was made by Rolf Scholz in 1985....
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The Last Refuge of Eurasia’s Giant River Dwellers

Travel
Consider the sturgeon. It’s a robust, odd fish that has seen little reason to change its evolutionary course since the Triassic, over 200 million years ago. Perhaps that’s because, for most of its time on Earth, the sturgeon didn’t have to deal with us.Armor-plated and occasionally massive, sturgeon make up a family of more than two dozen species, nearly all of which are now staring down extinction. The demise of the sturgeon accelerated in the early 19th century, when countries such as the United States developed a taste for caviar, made from their roe. In the 20th century, major sturgeon populations were down by as much as 70 percent, according to World Wildlife Fund estimates. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, sturgeon remain the most endangered species group on Earth overall. Significant environmental regulation has provided hope for recovery for American sturgeon populations, but it’s not the same everywhere....

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