April 25, 2019

Travel

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Can weighing air passengers cut pollution?

Travel
(CNN) — We all know the airport security process by now. Shoes off, laptops and tablets out the suitcase and onto the tray. Pockets emptied. Liquids placed in a clear plastic bag.But what if there was a new step to the process -- standing on the scales and being weighed before you board?What may seem like a personal intrusion to some, could be a way of getting airlines to cut carbon emissions by carrying less fuel, according to British software company Fuel Matrix. Before every commercial flight, airlines calculate how much weight they're carrying, based on generic size estimations for men, women and children, which -- naturally -- aren't 100% accurate.If exact weight information is known for each passenger, however, Fuel Matrix says its software can use this information to quickly calculate how much fuel is needed for the journey and optimize the fight plan....
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The Ultimate List of Things to Do in Medellín

Travel
Once considered one of the deadliest cities in the world, Medellín has undergone a transformation over the last fifteen years that has made it one of the most modern places in all of Colombia. The city has become a lot safer, there is a fantastic metro and cable car system that could rival the best in Europe, lots of parks, new buildings, libraries, restaurants, and a growing tech scene.The city has changed a lot, and you can tell the residents are very proud of everything they’ve accomplished. There’s a palpable sense of possibility in Medellin. Optimism and excitement were always in the air. Medellín is now one of “it” cities in the world. Tourists swarm it, and foreigners (especially young digital nomads) are settling and retiring here in droves. It was the most cosmopolitan and international city I visited in Colombia....
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The Horned Viper That Buries Itself Up to Its Eyeballs

Travel
How do animals survive in harsh environments? This week, we’re celebrating some extreme desert-dwellers. Previously: the worm lizard that beats the heat by never coming to the surface, the beetles that capture the fog in the Namib, and the penguins of Antarctica's cold deserts. As you might expect, the horned desert viper, or Cerastes cerastes, has two little “horns” shooting up out of its head. When it buries most of its body in the desert sand across North Africa and portions of the Middle East, those sharp-looking nubs and the piercing eyes below them are all that you can see.That’s either thrilling or terrifying, depending on who you ask, and how close to the snake you happen to be. The snakes are venomous, which isn’t great news for you if it’s threatened, lashes out, and sinks its teeth in. From the comfortable distance of YouTube, though, commenters have lovingly likened the snake’s visage to a demon, a dragon, and “cute little horned Satan.”...
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Teverga Prehistoric Park in Fresnedo, Spain

Travel
No replica, no matter how realistic, can ever compare with seeing a real cave painting created by the hands of prehistoric humans. But at the Prehistoric Park of Tevergaain, located in the foothills of the awe-inspiring mountains of Asturias, you have the chance to visit some astoundingly replicated rock art in preparation for visiting the real thing.At Tevergaain's main gallery, the "Cave of Caves," reproductions of the famous cave paintings at Niaux, Tito Bustillo, Pena de Candamo, Altamira, and many other sites are exhibited in dark underground tunnels explored with a tour guide using flashlights. Exact copies of Ice Age artifacts from all over Europe are also displayed in the museum building....
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Borrås Skåra in Åkraberg, Sweden

Travel
Bårros Skåra is a 33-foot-deep and roughly 330-foot-long gorge. Wandering between the big walls is almost like being thrown into a fairy tale. Exploring the intriguing environment will make you feel like you left Sweden and now are in a place where everything is 200 times bigger than before. Keep an eye out for the large rock wedged between the walls! ...
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Celebrate Woodstock’s fifty-year anniversary – NYC weekend getaways

Travel
It is hard to believe, but it has been fifty years since the historic Woodstock festival in 1969. Woodstock’s effect on music, art, and culture is indisputable.  However, many people don’t realize that the Woodstock festival did not take place in the New York town of the same name.  Instead, due to logistical reasons, the festival was moved several times until it finally settled in the town of Bethel, NY.  The historic Woodstock festival grounds are preserved to this day as the site of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.  Today, you can visit the grounds, tour the museum dedicated to Woodstock and participate in special events.  The summer is the ideal time to visit Woodstock’s Historic site and celebrate a special piece of history with a great weekend getaway from NYC....
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36 Hours in Kobe, Japan

Travel
In 1868, after more than two centuries of isolationism, the opening of the port of Kobe brought a wave of international influences to this sunny city on the main Japanese island of Honshu. These days visitors will find Western-style mansions built by foreign diplomats, music influenced by the United States, and dim sum in the city's Chinatown district. But the main attractions remain rooted in the region. Kobe is the western neighbor of more well-trafficked tourist destinations — Kyoto is less than a half-hour away on the Shinkansen bullet train; Osaka is just 15 minutes. Although the city is best known for its beef, those who linger in this welcoming, walkable metropolis will also discover a singular music scene, memorable museums, eclectic shopping, little-known regional specialties and an easygoing atmosphere tinged with the foreign flavors that continue to flow through the city’s glittering harbor....
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Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Museum reopens

Travel
(CNN) — It's one of the most popular museums in Japan and an incredibly moving memorial to the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack of 1945. Now, Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Museum has reopened after an extensive two-year renovation.The restored space uses personal artifacts such as victims' clothing to underscore the human cost of the first deployment of what was then the most destructive weapon ever created.Stories from survivors, some of whom are still alive, are also told in the exhibition, which creates a very emotional tribute to the estimated 140,000 who perished. Many of the artifacts and materials now on display have been donated by survivors and bereaved families. The museum originally opened in 1955 and in 2017 attracted nearly 1.7 million visitors....
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EasyJet bans peanuts on all flights

Travel
(CNN) — EasyJet has announced it's banning the sale of peanuts on flights.Not only will the British-based budget airline no longer serve peanuts, passengers are also being asked not to consume products containing nuts in order to protect travelers with allergies.The move comes after mounting consumer pressure, which has seen airlines such as Qantas, Southwest Airlines, Lufthansa and British Airways remove peanuts as snacks from all flights.However, most say they cannot guarantee a "nut-free environment" due to "cross-contamination."This means customers with peanut and peanut-dust allergies still need to indicate their allergies when booking flights and at the airport. EasyJet, which primarily serves European markets, has a specific option on its booking page for such requests....
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The Drovers Inn in Argyll and Bute, Scotland

Travel
A small girl's ghost haunts the Highlands. Guests sleeping in room six of the Drovers Inn in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, have reported feeling her icy form drip water onto their bed in the dead of night. Local lore says the child drowned after trying to fish her doll out of the quick-moving nearby river and now wanders in search of her missing toy.She's not the only restless soul reportedly spotted at the inn, which has been welcoming wayfarers for 300 years. Among the breathtaking scenery of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the Drovers Inn and its pub make a fine destination for travelers looking for hearty food and local spirits. Today, its location on the West Highland Way makes it a popular spot for long-distance hikers. But the inn was originally a stopover point for the "drovers," or cattle herders, after which it's named. Historically, Scottish cattle herders made a yearly trek from the Highlands where their animals grazed to the Lowlands where they took them to market. This pilgrimage over rough, isolated terrain proved the perfect battleground for the cattle-stealing hijinks of Scotland's warring clans, and ghosts of drovers who met bloody ends in these skirmishes are said to haunt the inn to this day....
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Monteruga Ghost Town in Nardò, Italy

Travel
The village of Monteruga is an abandoned rural hamlet in Salento built during fascist-era Italy in the early 1930s. Developed around a farm by the same name, it was once home to some 800 residents and boasted a school, church, post office, central square, wine factory, impressive bread oven, oil mill, tobacco store, and farmers' houses.After World War II, as farms were privatized and people began moving toward cities, the village of Monteruga saw a slow decline. It was deserted by the 1980s and experienced a long period of abandonment, which led it to become a place of interest for satanic cults. The local church was deconsecrated and over the years various rites and dark rituals were carried out inside it. ...
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The Thorny Tale of America's Favorite Botanist and His Spineless Cacti

Travel
In the early-20th century, Luther Burbank was a botanical superstar. Tourists, foreign envoys, and celebrities flocked to his Santa Rosa, California, home, clamoring to see the marvels the “plant wizard” developed in his garden. For years, they watched in awe as Burbank rubbed his face on large, fleshy cacti pads that were seemingly smooth as silk. It was a demonstration of one of his proudest achievements: breeding cacti to have no spines.Burbank seemed to possess “the uncanny ability to bend nature to his will,” writes Jane S. Smith, author of The Garden of Invention: Luther Burbank and the Business of Breeding Plants. For the man who had created a stoneless plum and bred the progenitor of the world’s most popular potato, making a spineless cactus must have seemed a matter of course. The Opuntia prickly-pear, which bears fruit and has edible pads, had long been a Central American food source. Burbank, though, dreamed of using it to produce cattle feed in the world’s deserts. If cows could munch on his thorn-free cacti, it would free up rich agricultural lands for human use....
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The Lincoln Imp in Lincoln, England

Travel
Lincoln, England, is best known for its striking cathedral, which surpassed the Great Pyramid of Giza to become the tallest building in the world in 1311 and remained so for over two centuries. But its height isn't the cathedral's only allure. The magnificent structure also houses a curious resident who is the subject of legend.The interior of the cathedral is full of ornate carvings, but one in particular has captured the imagination of visitors. Above a support pillar, staring at the people below, sits a grotesque of a creature known as an imp, with his legs crossed and an evil grin.There are various legends surrounding the imp, a popular one is that Satan himself sent a group of imps to cause havoc and vandalize the cathedral. After breaking windows, damaging the choir, and assaulting a priest, an angel supposedly appeared and ordered them to stop. One of the brave imps fought back against the angel and was promptly turned to stone, thus becoming immortalized as the Lincoln Imp....
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How to Calm a Crying Baby Like a Mesopotamian

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Babies cry. It’s just what they do. And while parents have been trying to get their children to pipe down since time immemorial, the arsenal of tactics they employ has changed over the years.The well-preserved Late Babylonian cuneiform tablet pictured above records a combination of songs and rituals that Mesopotamians used to hush their little ones. In these lullabies, parents entreated their babies to be calm as well water, to “be given sleep like a sleepy gazelle buck” calf, and to doze like a shepherd nodding mid-watch. Along with songs, the text suggests parents rub dust from a significant street, doorway, or even a grave—perhaps representing an ominous, ultimate silence—on a wailing baby....
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St. Peter’s Island in Erlach, Switzerland

Travel
In 1765, the Swiss political philosopher and revolutionary intellectual Jean-Jacques Rousseau was expelled from France where he had spent several years. He resettled in his country of birth and found refuge in the monastery of St. Peter’s Island in the middle of Switzerland's Lake Biel.After years of publishing (more or less legally) angry political pamphlets and having heated debates in the crowded city of Paris, his philosophical approach shifted radically in this remote piece of earth.The lovely landscape, incredible mountain views, long lonely walks, boating and taking “baths” in flower meadows gave Rousseau a yet-unknown peace of mind. In his famous 1778 book, Reveries of a Solitude Walker, he dedicated a whole chapter (chapter 5) to the island, writing that he had spent the six happiest weeks of his entire life there....
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Staffordshire Oatcakes

Travel
Locals who grew up eating them have been known to call Staffordshire oatcakes "magical circles of deliciousness." To those in the know, there are no better portable breakfast eats than these light crêpe-like pancakes made with oat flour, which are malleable to a variety of fillings, from the basic cheese to the full English with sausage, eggs, and baked beans.The oatcakes are a regional specialty, popular in North Staffordshire, in the area known as the Staffordshire Potteries (owing to the local ceramic industry). Although their exact origins are unknown, oatcakes were being cooked at home in griddles as early as the 17th century. But the expansion of the local pottery industry made way for industrial ovens in which to cook the oatcakes by the thousands....
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Scientists Come Closer to Solving the Mystery of Coral Reef Halos

Travel
Elizabeth Madin first fell into the rabbit hole of reef halos while stranded on Heron Island in Australia in 2010. She had come there with her husband, child, and mother-in-law to conduct research on a field site off the island, but dangerously strong winds cancelled her plans. So Madin walked out to the only protected part of the island, a shallow lagoon speckled with light-blue rings known as reef “halos.” Though they have been observed for decades, scientists never entirely understood why these ethereal rings appeared with such frequency in coral reefs. Madin wanted to answer that question....
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'Abbott & Cordova, 7 August 1971' in Vancouver, British Columbia

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Vancouver, Canada's Gastown neighborhood has a reputation as the wild child of the lower mainland. For decades, it has been the site of numerous civil protests and riots that have captivated the city. Back in the '70s, this are was a hub for "counterculture" and was the mecca for British Columbia's hippie population. After a crackdown on drug use in Vancouver, locals congregated for a Saturday night sit-in protest called the Grasstown Smoke-In. Eyewitness accounts report grand tales of a 10-foot long blunt, and the event attracted a massive crowd to Maple Tree Square in the heart of Gastown.Despite the peaceful intentions of the protest, a fully armed RCMP riot squad arrived to counter the protest, and it quickly dissolved into violence. The result was 12 civilians hospitalized and 38 criminally charged. The legacy of the Grasstown Smoke-In remains a prominent part of Gastown's memory, both as part of the city's history of marijuana and substance-based activism, and as a rare example of police violence....
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A Hunter-Gatherer Ate an Entire Rattlesnake and We Have the Poop to Prove It

Travel
About 1,500 years ago, a hunter-gatherer in present-day Texas ate an entire venomous snake. This isn’t presumptive, an inference based on the knowledge that our ancestors’ painful trials and errors have informed our modern dietary preferences and precautions. It comes straight from the source: the individual’s fossilized poop, replete with one of the snake’s preserved, poison-pumping fangs.The fossilized poop, or coprolite—discussed in a recent study in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports—was mined by the researchers while they were working on a group project in graduate school. The final project for the semester, explains Crystal Dozier, now an assistant professor of anthropology at Wichita State University, was simply to analyze a coprolite; neither the researchers nor their professor had any idea that this one would be so special....
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Zwangendaba's Gravesite in Nteko, Zambia

Travel
In 1816, King Chaka established the Zulu nation with such force and violence that it drove many Zulu tribes out of South Africa in an event known as the Mfecane. One of these groups was the Jere clan, who under the leadership of King Zwangendaba, would spend the next 20 years on a trek through southern Africa.Zwangendaba and his clan first fled to Mozambique under General Soshangane, where Shoshangane established the Shangaan chiefdom. There, Zwangendaba parted ways with General Soshangane and continued north into Zimbabwe, where he clashed with the Ndebele, another displaced Zulu tribe. Zwangendaba and his clan traveled farther north, eventually crossing the Zambezi river into modern-day Zambia on November 19, 1835, a day marked as auspicious by a total eclipse of the sun....
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Uppland Runic Inscription 489 in Fjärdingen, Sweden

Travel
Rune stones were generally made to commemorate a person, deed or the construction of something monumental. Like the modern-day Instagram post, they told about the great accomplishments of the person in question and demanded attention to this fact. Unlike the modern day, more than 99 percent of preserved runestones described the deeds of men and only a handful talk about women at all. The Uppland Runic Inscription 489 is one of these exceptions, describing the construction of a bridge by Gullög, wife of Ulv for the soul of her daughter Gillög. Öpir carved the runes.It is very common to see bridges and stones erected in the memory of people and to save their souls in these days. This is because the Catholic Church sponsored the building of bridges and roads in return for percussion of the soul. There are over one hundred rune stones known today that reference the building of a bridge in return for the salvation of someone's soul. However, it is quite rare that this is done for a woman and even more rare to see the stone be sponsored by a woman. It is possible that this was because Ulfr was dead by the time that the runestone was carved. Gillög's husband is not mentioned on the stone. One can clearly see Christian influences on the stone in the form of a cross....
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Is ultra-low-cost air travel really worth it?

Travel
(CNN) — It's a seven-hour flight across the Atlantic at a bargain price: Low-cost airline Norwegian will jet you from New York to Madrid for $154 one way, taxes included. And the fare isn't a travel anomaly -- the likes of American Airlines and Lufthansa are all fighting for passenger pennies, offering round trip fares between various US cities and Europe for under $400. But just how are these airlines making a profit on such low fares?They're not, says Gerald Cook, adjunct professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. It's part and parcel of airline costs and ticketing, which Cook, a former airline operations executive and pilot, calls "mysterious." "That single inexpensive ticket to Europe is not profitable for any airline but it adds to the total revenue of the flight," Cook explains. ...
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ZJNU Museum of African Culture in Jinhua Shi, China

Travel
This museum is the only museum of its kind in China and seeks to demonstrate to students and visitors the rich cultural heritage of the African continent, as well as sustained links between Africa and China.China seems an unlikely place, but located in a sleepy tree-lined section of campus, Zhejiang Normal University’s Institute of African Studies is the first of its kind in the country. The institute has developed over the course of a decade to teach courses related to economic development to Chinese students, and also to the international students. Of the several thousand international students on campus, many are from different African countries. More than 300 students are from Cameroon alone....
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Bar Vitelli in Savoca, Italy

Travel
Thanks to its remote cliffside location, the quiet Sicilian village of Savoca seems idyllically frozen in time, with preserved medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. Among these historic buildings is Bar Vitelli, a small, stone-flagged café that played an important role in the film The Godfather. Though the film's fictitious criminal family is supposed to be from the town of Corleone, on the western side of the island, director Francis Ford Coppola chose settings across Sicily's eastern coast, including ones outside Savoca's local bar and church. When he began filming in the 1970s, the actual town of Corleone had too few historic sites left to fit his vision. Savoca, on the other hand, with its fragmented ruins, traditional buildings, and old cisterns, had the perfect pastoral visuals needed to capture the scene. If you pay close attention to the movie, you'll notice that Coppola carefully left out any views of the Mediterranean Sea, which would be a dead giveaway that the characters weren't actually in the landlocked village of Corleone....
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Saint Erik's Spring in Uppsala, Sweden

Travel
Erik IX of Sweden, later known as Saint Erik, was king of Swedes from 1156 until his death in 1160. During his shortlived reign he led many conquests and battles for which he is remembered, but he is best known for his gruesome end at the hands of assassins, and the legend of the miracle that happened after it. It is said that Saint Erik was killed on May 18, 1160, while on his way from Gamla Uppsala to present-day Uppsala to join the mass at the cathedral. Unbeknownst to him, a small Danish force had gathered there and waited for the king to leave the church after the service. Once he did, a conflict quickly arose and ended just as soon, with King Erik's beheading. ...
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Cueva de La Peña de Candamo in San Román, Spain

Travel
Cueva de La Peña del Candamo was discovered in modern times in the 1900s and was extensively studied by local archeologists in the decades before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.The cave houses prehistoric paintings. There are many animals represented here such as auroch, bison, deer, weasels, ibex and, even humans, but the most impressive and intact of all the animals portrayed here is a single caramel-colored horse. The horse, unlike the other paintings, was painted separately and in a more elevated position within the cave. Some archeologists have suggested that this may indicate that this animal held a particularly strong religious significance for the prehistoric humans who inhabited this cave. ...
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Musée des Égouts Bruxelles (Brussels Sewer Museum) in Brussels, Belgium

Travel
The Brussels Sewer Museum lets you tour part of the working sewer system below the city. The subterranean museum contains many old photographs and models of the sewer system's construction and operation. The most interesting part, though, is the short self-guided tour through some of the working sewer tunnels, with water—and whatever else—flowing beneath....
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The Club Devoted to Celebrating The Great British Pudding

Travel
From the outside, the Three Ways House Hotel looks like a typical bed and breakfast in Britain’s Cotswolds region. Made out of the local golden stone and engulfed in ivy, it was built in the late 19th century as a doctor’s house. Nothing about its distinguished exterior hints at the pudding extravaganza that happens here every Friday night.The Three Ways House, after all, is home to the Pudding Club, an institution with a self-proclaimed mission of preserving the “great British pudding.” Since 1985, dozens of dessert-lovers from around the world gather weekly to gorge on a feast of traditional British sweets, presented with pomp by the hotel’s resident Pudding Master. On one recent night, the event began with 60 people piled into the lounge, clutching glasses of mimosa-like buck’s fizz. A blackboard displayed the order of service: one necessarily light main course, followed by seven different puddings....
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International Real Estate: House Hunting in … Barbados

Travel
This four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath villa, called Atelier House, sits on half an acre in the parish of St. James, on the west coast of Barbados. The area, known as the Platinum Coast, is home to some of the Caribbean’s most expensive residences. This house, designed by Alistair Downie, a London architect, has been used for photo shoots and as a vacation rental, with prices starting at $1,500 a night.“The interior design is phenomenal,” said Walter Zephirin, the managing director of Seventh Heaven Properties, a luxury real estate agency based in Britain, which shares the listing with several other agencies. A walkway flanked by palms leads to the two-story villa, which was completed in 2012 and has an interior of about 4,300 square feet. (It encompasses 5,270 square feet when the covered outdoor spaces are included.) Double doors open to an entrance hall that connects the living and sleeping areas. On the left are the living room and an open kitchen, which has an adjoining chef’s kitchen. ...
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Ask Me Anything: How Do You Decide on a Place for Vacation?

Travel
Readers will sometimes email me overwhelmed with their travel options, because don’t all of us travel-lovers want to go everywhere? It’s all on “our list”. They ask me how I decide where to take my next vacation hoping it will help them decide where to take theirs.5 Ways to Decide on a Place for VacationThere are things I consider when I choose my next vacation spot, so I’ll kind of share the thought process I go into when I’m choosing somewhere to visit with the 5 questions you will want to ask yourself.1. Have I been before?The first thing I’ll consider is if I am in the mood to go somewhere new or somewhere I have been before and like to return to. I love going back to India, Sri Lanka, London, and so many other places so I try to think if any of them are calling me back....
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Arizona's Most Unusual Cacti Have Their Own Fan Club

Travel
A gnarled, sage-colored cactus is propped along a road in Tucson, Arizona. It’s a botanical kraken, tentacles sprouting from a core ribbed like dry lava. Cars whiz past. Phil Kozol stands beneath the figure, gazing at its claw-like arms. “It’s like staring at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel,” he says, “looking at all these crests.”Pat Hammes stands nearby, her face creased. This monstrous beauty of a plant looks ill. And she would know. She’s spent years documenting malformed cacti such as this. Though their exact numbers are unknown, thousands of these crested saguaros, or cristates, speckle the Sonoran Desert....
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Emperor Penguins Always Wear Warm Coats

Travel
How do animals survive in harsh environments? This week, we're celebrating some extreme desert-dwellers. Previously: the worm lizard that beats the heat by never coming to the surface, and the beetles that capture the fog in the Namib. Picture a desert, and your brain probably leaps to sun-splattered sand. In those landscapes, plants and animals face intense heat and limited water, and often go to great lengths or depths to suss out food and avoid the sun. But not all deserts are sweltering or parched: Some are frozen. For instance, NASA characterizes Antarctica—home to the coldest place on the planet—as a desert. The continent fits the bill because it sees so little precipitation (just a few inches a year), and because much of the water is locked up in ice sheets. To hack it there, animals don’t need to cool down, but warm up. And no one knows this better than the emperor penguin....
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Runestone in Gamla Uppsala Church in Uppsala, Sweden

Travel
When visiting an old church one does not usually expect to see a Viking runestone built into the exterior. But at the old cathedral of Gamla Uppsala, this is exactly the case: An 11th-century runestone is embedded in the wall.The runestone was not always part of the church; it once stood in a field at a location that's been forgotten to time. The engraved slab commemorates the father of "Sigviðr, a traveler to England." Unfortunately, no more than that is known, as the stone was damaged sometime in the 14th century when the church took it and used it as an altar table. The stone was cut down to form a more suitable square shape, and part of the old runic inscription was lost....
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El Sidrón Neanderthal Bones in Oviedo, Spain

Travel
Looking at these bones can be a bit unsettling, and not just because they’re remnants of an extinct species of archaic humans. What’s most disturbing about these Neanderthal bone fragments is that they belonged to individuals who were the victim of cannibalism.The remains of a dozen individuals were found in El Sidrón, a cave. Their discovery wasn’t a huge surprise—Asturias is, after all, a region rich with hints of Neanderthal’s presence. What was a surprise, however, was the realization that these long-dead individuals had likely been cannibalized.The bones were all found in a tiny compartment nicknamed the “Tunnel of Bones,” though it’s believed the Neanderthals did not die there. Their bones are scarred with slice marks, possibly caused by someone butchering the corpses, and the longer bones were cracked open, likely so an eater could access the marrow....
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A New Museum Explores 2,000 Years of Jewish Life in Italy

Travel
The epigraph etched in Latin on the ancient stone tablet was short and tender: “Claudia Aster, prisoner from Jerusalem.” Brought to Rome in chains after the quelling of the revolt in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., she was apparently the concubine of a Roman notable who wanted to give her a dignified burial and added an unusual element to the funerary stone. “I pray," it said, “take care and follow the law that no one should remove the inscription.” That tribute is one of many revelations at the new Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah in Ferrara, and is at the heart of the museum’s first major exhibition, “Jews, an Italian Story. The First 1000 Years,” which examines the long and complex relationship between Rome and Jerusalem, Italians and Jews, Christianity and Judaism. ...
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TRENDING: Taking Your Dog on a Plane Just Got Harder

Travel
When Alexander Lim was promoted to a new job that required a move from Beijing to Washington D.C., he was thrilled. The 40-year-old international bank employee started plans to move his entire family, including his English bulldog, Bua Loy.“Giving up the dog never crossed my mind,” he said. But he quickly realized that the easiest trip available, taking a nonstop flight from Beijing to Washington D.C., was impossible with his dog.Only two airlines, United Airlines and Air China, offer nonstop service, and both now ban snub-nosed breeds like Bua Loy from the cargo hold. Knowing that his dog was also too large for the airplane’s cabin, Mr. Lim researched going by boat (“difficult transit”) and by private jet (“beyond my means!”)....
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Tides uncover a century-old shipwreck on North Carolina's shore

Travel
(CNN) — The remains of a 100-year-old ship showed up on a Surf City beach in North Carolina on Monday afternoon.The town of Surf City announced in a Facebook post that the wreckage of the William H. Sumner appeared about 150 yards north of the old Barnacle Bill's Pier.The ship went down off the North Carolina coast in 1919 while carrying mahogany and phosphate rock from the West Indies to New York, according to CNN affiliate WECT.Tides reveal the ship's remains once or twice a year, the town said.The ship was built in 1891 as a schooner, a sailing ship that has fore-and-aft sails on its two or more masts, according to WECT. After recovering some of the ship's parts, the Coast Guard blew it up because it was a safety hazard for boaters. ...
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'Lighter-than-air' craft flies for first time

Travel
(CNN) — An innovative aircraft that turns into a "lighter-than-air" balloon to propel itself forward has been flown for the first time.The Phoenix is designed to repeatedly switch between being lighter and heavier than air to generate thrust and allow it to stay in the skies indefinitely. Officially known as an "ultra-long endurance autonomous aircraft," it was developed by scientists in Scotland and flown over a distance of 120 meters (394 feet) during its first test flight in March.The blimp-like aircraft, which is 15 meters long and has a wingspan of 10.5 meters, has been designed for businesses and scientific use, and its creators hope it will revolutionize the telecommunications industry....
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Neptuni Åkrar in Borgholm N, Sweden

Travel
Along the northwest coast of the island of Öland lies Neptuni Åkrar, Swedish for "Neptune's Fields," a vast shingle beach dotted with unusual limestone rock formations and abutting a Viking-era burial ground.The pebbles of Neptuni Åkrar were created as a result of stones left behind during the last ice age, which eroded down to their present shape by the waves over the centuries. During summer, the otherwise barren and colorless coast transforms into a sea of brilliant blue, as the viper's bugloss, or blueweed, flowers bloom.The area was named by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1741 in honor of Neptune, the Roman god of the sea. Today the beautiful alien landscape is a nature reserve featuring several ancient monuments, most notably, the sprawling grave field on the southern border of the reserve....
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Kangaroo Island Bee Sanctuary in Kangaroo Island Council, Australia

Travel
In the 1880s, a group of Italian queens moved to Australia's Kangaroo Island. With its Mediterranean-like climate and largely unspoiled wilderness, this sunny island about 10 miles from the Southern Australian mainland was the perfect home for these ladies from Liguria. They weren't the deposed monarchs of an erstwhile Italian city-state: They were queen bees.In the late 1800s, Southern Australia was graced with a bevy of beekeepers who'd imported the purebred Ligurian bees from their native Italy. At the time the bees were brought to Kangaroo Island, its rugged strip of coast, with powdery white beaches and bright turquoise sea, was barely settled. Thanks to an 1885 act of parliament designating the land a bee sanctuary (possibly the world's first), Kangaroo Island has remained more or less pristine ever since. Because of the island's isolation, absence of indigenous bee species, and ample flowers, the Ligurian bees thrived without the disease or interbreeding that normally plagues apiaries. Now, the bees on Kangaroo Island are believed to be the world's last remaining population of purebred Ligurian bees. This purity is strictly maintained: The Australian government prohibits visitors from bringing bees, honey, pollen, or used beekeeping tools. This is good news for gastronomy. Ligurian honey is as varied as the flowers it's made from, ranging from amber, intensely flavored eucalyptus honey to the lighter, milder canola and clover honeys of spring. ...
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5 car-free aka care-free Greek destinations

Travel
For most of us our daily routine consists of crossing busy intersections, walking on sidewalks so we won’t get hit by cars and even using our own vehicle to get to any place that we consider to be far from home. What if we could go about our day without turning our heads to see if there’s a car behind us so we can safely cross the street? What if we crossed the street without looking left and right just because we saw a picture perfect spot and we absolutely needed to observe it up close? That sounds like a care=free walk that gives us the opportunity to enjoy our time to the fullest. What if you weren’t interrupted by the noise that trucks make at the same time when you thought you were having a romantic moment overlooking the sunset with your loved one? What if you could finally breathe fresh air in a town without having to smell the car fumes?...
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Yes, It's a Witch Bottle Hunt

Travel
Back in 17th-century Britain, certain small containers had a big job. “Witch bottles” were ceramic jugs filled with a cocktail of curious ingredients, thought to protect against bewitchment. Today, a team of historians and archaeologists are on a witch hunt of their own to find more of these mysterious bottles.The three-year project, Bottles Concealed and Revealed, centers around the phenomenon of bottle magic, which gained notoriety through texts such as Astrological Practice of Physick, published in 1671. The book offered a how-to guide for preparing a bottle that might protect its owner from the forces of witchcraft. Over the years, researchers have unearthed objects that appear to be witch bottles in all sorts of places—after a bit of digging....
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Alvastra Abbey in Ödeshög V, Sweden

Travel
The ruins of this monastery preserve a part of Swedish history from before the Protestant Reformation. It’s from a time when people donated land or money to gain easier access to heaven after their deaths.This monastery started in the 12th century, when King Sverker the Elder and his queen, who wanted to gain favor with the church, donated land to the French Clairvaux monks and invited them to come and build the sanctuary. After the king was murdered, his body was buried in the monastery grounds.A century later, Saint Bridget of Sweden stayed at the monastery. While there, she had various visions and revelations, which were written down and later helped her become canonized as a saint....
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Sand Tiger Sharks Are Drawn to North Carolina's Shipwrecks

Travel
Off the North Carolina coast, the rusty coral-ridden hollows of sunken vessels have become an important habitat for a certain underwater predator, one who can’t seem to get enough of the camera. Underwater photos dating back to 2007 revealed that six female sand tiger sharks had returned to the same shipwrecks months and sometimes even more than five years apart, according to new research published in the journal Ecology.This phenomenon, when an animal returns to a habitat with some regularity, is known as site fidelity. The discovery may prove invaluable for scientists attempting to understand the conservation status of sand tiger sharks, categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a globally vulnerable species....
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North Shore Dance Paving Stones in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Travel
If you visit Chattanooga, Tennesee, take the trolley (or walk over the bridge) to the North Shore. There, all along Frazier Street, you'll find dance steps embedded in the pavement. From the Merengue to the Waltz, there's something for everyone. The artwork actually teaches visitors how to dance! Follow the numbers, and you'll be dancing the appropriate steps. If you have some time on your hands, you can even dance your way down one side of the road and up the other....
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This Restaurant Has Wed Six Couples in Pools of Chocolate

Travel
Cleo Gakshteyn had not planned to get married in a kiddie pool whose contents reached her shins. But thanks to one restaurant's penchant for pageantry, her wedding, literally dipped in chocolate, became the prelude to a 20-year union made all the sweeter for its unique backstory.In 1999, Gakshteyn (née Londoño) was running a tiny two-room spa in Manhattan with her boyfriend, David. One chilly February day, Joe Calderone came in for a facial. On the spa table, Calderone mentioned a wedding he was planning in order to promote Serendipity 3, the Upper East Side restaurant where he worked as creative chef and public relations manager. He was looking for a couple, he said, who’d get a free, Valentine’s Day wedding as long as they agreed to marry in front of New York press in a tub of the restaurant’s iconic Frrrozen Hot Chocolate....
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The Red Ghost of Quartzsite in Quartzsite, Arizona

Travel
Quartzsite, Arizona, is a small town with a thing for camels. The town’s welcome sign is adorned with camels; its graveyard is the final resting place for Hadji Ali, a camel herder for the U.S. military; and just off of the 10 freeway sits Georgette, a scrap metal camel with ties to a fascinating bit of folklore: Arizona's Red Ghost.In the 1880s, stories spread throughout Arizona of a giant red horse with a devil on its back. The Red Ghost trampled a woman to death, tore through a second campground, and supposedly flipped over two freight wagons at a third. At the scene of each event were signs of the creature: enormous hoof marks larger than any horse, and strands of red hair....
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D.C. Half and Half Marathon

Travel
Doctor’s orders to exercise on an empty stomach are not for the strong-bellied runners of the D.C. Half and Half Marathon, which requires the consumption of a complete meal before getting to the finish line. Held annually in November, the 13.1-mile half marathon includes a stop at Ben’s Chili Bowl at the 6.55-mile mark. Runners are given a basket of half-smoke and chips, and must finish their meal and show volunteers their empty plate before being allowed to complete the remaining trail.A half-smoke, which is thought to have originated in D.C., is a spicy sausage that is usually served inside a hot dog bun, topped with chili and condiments. Nobody can agree on the origin of the name, which could refer to the half-beef/half-pork meat composition, or the fact that the sausage is partly smoked and partly grilled, or even that it’s slit in the middle before cooking....
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Yoshiya Nobuko Memorial Museum in Kamakura, Japan

Travel
The Yoshiya Nobuko Memorial Museum preserves the legacy of a trail-blazing writer from the early 20th century.Just a 10-minute walk away from the Kamakura Literary Museum lies the former house of one of Japan's most celebrated and prolific novelists. Nobuko Yoshiya was a pioneer of Japanese lesbian literature and wrote prolifically about intense emotional relationships between young girls. She built this house in Kamakura for her and her lifelong partner, Monma Chiyo, and there they entertained numerous other female artists and writers.After Yoshiya died in 1973, her house was converted into a museum containing memorabilia from her life. Most rooms were preserved just as she left them, with Yoshiya's own original furniture and artwork. The museum also contains handwritten manuscripts of her work and a gallery of photos from her life. And the house itself is beautiful, with maple and elm trees cresting a tranquil garden that serves as an oasis from the bustle of the city. ...
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Why Desert Sunsets Are Incredibly Colorful

Travel
There’s that small window of time, every day before night falls, when the sun hangs in the balance between daylight and darkness. In astronomical terms, sunsets are the daily disappearance of the sun’s upper limb below the horizon. And though their warm beauty is expected, not all sunsets are created equal. In deserts, sunsets are decidedly more colorful.While it may not visibly appear that way, sunlight is actually made up of the full spectrum of colors. “The atmosphere acts as a filter for incoming sunlight, just like a filter you would put on a camera to filter out certain colors,” says Stephen F. Corfidi, Research Associate at the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center. “The longer the pathway through the atmosphere, the more that filtering effect becomes noticeable to humans.” Each color represented in the rainbow has its own unique wavelength. Colors with longer wavelengths, such as oranges and reds, are more visible, while purples and blues (which have shorter wavelengths) get left out....
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Art Cartopia Museum in Trinidad, Colorado

Travel
While driving in Colorado, near exit 15 off of I-25, you may spot something utterly odd off the side of the road. You can’t help but gape at the giant red gorilla holds a car over its head, or the vehicle showing a large skeleton driving a jet, or the van covered in eyeballs.Welcome to the Art Cartopia Museum. Here, sideshow banners and an incredible sculpture made of Volkswagen parts loom above curious visitors as they explore the museum’s exterior. Off to the side, you’ll find an old truck covered with old toys and figures.Opened the door, and you’ll be met by an explosion of color and curious "stuff" everywhere as you enter a large showroom filled with an astounding array of gloriously wacky embellished vehicles. There, you’ll see a fire-breathing dragon parked next to the "Stink Bug," a VW covered with cigarette butts that had been collected as litter. To the right is an Isuzu Trooper completely covered with glass....
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'Thing of all Swedes' Mound in Uppsala, Sweden

Travel
People tend to picture ancient Scandinavia as a lawless place full of violent Vikings and barbarians. But many aspects of the culture were quite civilized and in some ways more free than the rest of the world at that time. One of these was a process called "the thing."A "thing" was a governing assembly of sorts used by Germanic peoples from prehistoric times through the Middle Ages. The assembly was attended by the country's free people and overseen by so-called "lawspeakers," people who had memorized all the laws of the land. These meetings functioned both as parliaments and courts for all levels of society, and even held more power than the king....
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Rathskeller Cafe in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Travel
Rathskellers originated beneath German town halls. These restaurants and beer halls let parties debate upstairs, then come downstairs for a few drinks and restoration of camaraderie. German immigrants brought the tradition to the United States, including a striking example that lies hidden beneath the Minnesota State Capitol. Recently, architects and consultants have employed paint remnant analysis and two photographs to restore the 114-year-old beer hall.After an art conservator removed 22 layers of old paint from the rathskeller walls using a scalpel and tweezers, designs emerged that had been hidden for 70 years. This included 29 German mottoes, such as "Drink, but don't indulge in drinking; speak, but don't pick quarrels" and "Today for money, tomorrow for nothing....
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Urdar's Well and Yggdrasil in Uppsala, Sweden

Travel
Yggdrasil, the World Tree, is a tree from Norse mythology that was said to have held the entire world in its branches. Its three roots stretched into three different wells, one of which is known as Urdar's Well.A trip to the legendary well is less impossible than you may think—you just need to Gamla Uppsala in Sweden. According to a sign at the site, the well was excavated in the early 20th century, dates back to the 1180s, and is thought to have been built together with an old Church. The tree it once held is mentioned in Poetic Edda, the 13th-century collection of Old Norse by Snorri Sturluson. If you visit the site today, you sadly won't see any mythological, constantly green tree towering above the burial mounds. There is, however, a stump with some small branches....
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Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in New Orleans, Louisiana

Travel
In 1969, Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain Causeway was officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest bridge over water in the world. Then, in 2011, a rival claim from China threatened to oust the nearly 24-mile bridge from the top spot. But the causeway wasn’t bowing out without a fight.As New Orleans expanded in the 1940s and 1950s, access to the north of the city became a problem. For people heading north from the city, or traveling south towards New Orleans, one major obstacle had to be circumvented: Lake Pontchartrain.Heading east or west around the lake was a time-consuming process, so plans were made to create a direct connection across the center of the lake to its northern shore. In 1955, the Louisiana Bridge Company was created to undertake the construction project. It took just 14 months to build the first two-lane span of the causeway, which opened in 1956 with a total length of 23.86 miles. ...
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On Everest, a Trail of Old and Faulty Oxygen Equipment

Travel
KATHMANDU, Nepal — On a frozen lip of rock near the summit of Mount Everest, the climber Adrian Ballinger watched as his teams’ oxygen regulators failed, one after another.Several of them hissed, swiftly expelling oxygen from cylinders carried by the hundreds of climbers who scale the world’s highest mountain every year. Others shot plumes into the sky “like fireworks,” Ballinger said.Panic spread among the 25 climbers. Of the group’s few dozen regulators, which sit atop cylinders and control the flow of oxygen, nine failed in less than an hour during their expedition last spring, he said.“This was by far my most dangerous day on the mountain,” said Ballinger, who has been leading Everest expeditions for over a decade....
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The Return of the Pie Company That Gave the Frisbee Its Name

Travel
When Dan O’Connor picked up an old Frisbie Pie Company tin at a tag sale over thirty years ago, he knew he had a piece of history in his hands. After all, the long-gone Connecticut bakery was the namesake of the wildly popular Frisbee flying disc.The find made O’Connor, an avid Ultimate Frisbee and disc golf player, hungry for anything Frisbie. “I started collecting as many pie tins as I could,” he says, amassing close to 100 Frisbie tins from tag sales, antique shops, and flea markets. Then, after decades of buying old Frisbie pencils, coin holders, and other knick-knacks, O’Connor hit the jackpot....
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National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Travel
At the world's only museum entirely dedicated to bobbleheads, you can learn about the history of this singular head-nodding doll, browse through the thousands of bobbleheads that are on display, and even design a custom oversized plastic head in your own likeness. While the bulk of the collection is sports figures (including a life-size bobblehead of Chicago Cubs announcer Pat Hughes) you will also see the wobbling heads of cartoon characters, pop culture icons, celebrities, politicians, and even animals in this unique collection.The museum has been open since February 2019, but the co-founders, Brad Novak and Phil SklarBrad, have been collecting bobbleheads since 2002. Once they announced plans to open a museum, bobblehead collectors began adding to the assortment. Today the collection numbers over 10,000 bobbleheads, with some 6,500 currently on display at the Milwaukee museum. ...
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The Thirsty Beetles That Capture the Fog

Travel
How do animals survive in harsh environments? This week, we're celebrating some extreme desert-dwellers. Previously: the worm lizard that beats the heat by never coming to the surface. As night gives way to morning, portions of southern Africa’s Namib Desert—one of the most rain-starved places in the world—are enveloped by fog. It blows in and beads on tufts of grasses, and hangs low around the dunes, making their tops look like mountains peeking above clouds. It stamps out visibility such that it sometimes appears that you’re glimpsing a scene through a lens smeared with vaseline. In a place where rain is so rare, the fog can help sustain life. It’s a crucial companion for the Stenocara gracilipes, also known as the fogstand beetle. ...
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Patuxai in Vientiane, Laos

Travel
Patuxai is a massive war monument and triumphal arch in the center of Vientiane, Laos. It was completed in 1968, using funds donated by the United States – funds that were meant to be used for the construction of an airport.Patuxai, meaning Victory Gate in English (and variously written as Patuxay, Patousai and Patusai), was built between 1957 and 1968 in memory of the Laotian soldiers who died during World War II and the war of independence from France in 1949.It’s also known as the Arc de Triomphe of Vientiane due to its resemblance to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Patuxai, however, is slightly taller than its Parisian counterpart, has four gates rather than two, and is covered in distinctly Laotian designs....
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Cloverland Ghost Town in Asotin, Washington

Travel
Situated in Washington's Asotin County, the town of Cloverland was first formed at the start of the 1900s and reached its peak in 1910 with a mere population of 400 people. As of today, few buildings from its short-lived existance remain.Cloverland was built in hopes of forming booming orchards and irrigated fields. Unfortunately, all attempts failed, leaving only those who could afford to purchase enough land to raise livestock able to make a living. The town was eventually abandoned and left to the elements.Currently, the Cloverland Garage is still standing in the center of town. As you drive in from Asotin, you will see the garage on your right. It was actually initially built as a general store but was converted into a garage in 1918 as cars became more readily available to eastern Washingtonians. Today the building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places....
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Dream vacation? Running a bookstore in Scotland

Travel
(CNN) — Do you dream of packing in the 9-5 and opening a bookstore amidst the hills and heather of Scotland?If you do, you probably dismiss the fantasy as a pipe dream -- but that's where The Open Book steps in.This unique vacation rental in Wigtown -- Scotland's National Book Town -- lets guests run their own bookstore by the sea.The Open Book is the brainchild of American writer Jessica Fox, a former NASA employee who packed in her Californian lifestyle at the age of 24 after dreaming of another life in Scotland. Fox fell in love with Wigtown and its plethora of book shops. She never looked back. "It's not just me. I think the people who come to the Open Book have a very similar reaction to Wigtown," Fox, now in her 30s, tells CNN Travel. "It's a magical place, it has all the things you could hope for in a trip to Scotland."...
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The 52 Places Traveler: In Uzbekistan, Encounters With a Dead Goat. But in a Good Way.

Travel
Our columnist, Sebastian Modak, is visiting each destination on our 52 Places to Go in 2019 list. He has been traveling in Uzbekistan, after a stop in Doha, Qatar.I’m in the back of a rusty trailer attached to a Soviet-era tractor with six Uzbek men and a dead goat. The air smells of horses and sweat, and when my teeth hit each other, I can feel the crunch of fine dust in my mouth. The tractor moves into the middle of an empty field, a snow-capped mountain range dominating the horizon. We’re being pursued by a horde of men on horseback packed into a scrum so dense it’s hard to tell which man is riding which horse. Then, two men in the trailer lift the goat carcass, made heavier by the salt it’s stuffed with, and drop it into the dust. The shouts of the horsemen get louder and it’s a frenzy. With stiff riding crops in hand, they whip their horses, each other’s horses, and each other....
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Travel Tips: How to Take Better Travel Photos, Without a New Camera

Travel
I have a secret to tell you: You don’t need an expensive camera. Don’t get me wrong, I love my big digital camera, huge lenses and all. I love taking photos too. It’s a hobby as well as part of my job. But it’s a myth that a “real” camera instantly makes all photos better. Sure, there are some photographs only possible with big lenses and a real camera, but these situations are less common than you’d think.A good photographer can take award-winning photos with whatever camera is available. Or to put it another way, your photos aren’t going to get better just because you have an expensive camera. Anyone can make sounds with a guitar, but you have to learn how to make music with it, and it takes a lot of work to master it. A camera is the same....
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23 beautiful reasons to visit South Africa

Travel
(CNN) — Its human history is checkered, but South Africa's natural wonders have never been less than glorious.From surf-ravaged beaches to big game-roaming national parks, towering mountains to flooded wetlands, stunning coastal drives and the junction of two oceans -- the Atlantic and Pacific -- at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa is blessed with treasures.Then there are the man-made attractions, from rolling vineyards to plunging diamond mines, poignant Robben Island and Johannesburg's Apartheid Museum to cosmopolitan Cape Town and Table Mountain and buzzing Jo'burg itself.South Africa celebrates Freedom Day on April 27 -- a commemoration of the first post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994....
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Asia's 9 busiest airports in 2019

Travel
(CNN) — With Beijing's new world-beating airport set to open this year, it adds to the list of megahubs in the region already vying for passengers and airlines while innovating along the way.The continent holds nine of the world's top 20 busiest airports by total passenger numbers (including both domestic and international flights), according to the latest report by Airports Council International highlighting preliminary 2018 figures. Three of the top 10 busiest airports in the world are in Greater China, where aviation is taking off dramatically. The country is building eight new airports per year, and aims to open 216 by 2035.But though Asia is the most crowded region in the world for air travel, for the most part it provides a masterclass in airports. Four of the top five airports named at the recent Skytrax World Airports Awards are in the region. ...
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United Airlines Employee Charged With Using Racial Slurs Toward Customer

Travel
A United Airlines employee accused of directing racial slurs at a customer has been charged in Texas with disorderly conduct, according to court documents. The charge, a misdemeanor, was filed in Municipal Court for Houston in March, a month after the Houston Police Department issued the employee, Carmella Davano, a citation for profane and abusive language in a public place. She was accused of repeatedly calling Cacilie Hughes, a black woman and United customer, “a monkey” and “a shining monkey.” Ms. Hughes, an actress and co-founder of the Big Sister Little Sister Mentoring Program, a nonprofit group, had returned home to Houston on Feb. 26 from a speaking engagement in Michigan when she encountered Ms. Davano in the United terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. ...
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Gorillas strike a pose in selfie with ranger

Travel
Two gorillas mimic human behavior in a remarkable selfie with a park ranger at Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Iceland's most beautiful places

Travel
(CNN) — There aren't many countries where you can visit thermal springs and glaciers on the same day. It's no wonder Iceland tourism is booming. Ranked among the world's happiest countries, the Land of Fire and Ice is home to some spectacular natural surroundings.In the southeast is Skaftafell, where visitors are treated to striking white glaciers against a backdrop of green fields and black sands.Then there's Hraunfossar in the west, a series of waterfalls streaming over 900 meters out of a lava field. Skagafjörður in northern Iceland, is an agriculture-rich region with more horses then humans. Scenic delights here include snow-topped mountains, a beautiful coastline and chunks of glacial ice dotting the fjord....
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The best places to visit in Mexico

Travel
(CNN) — Do you want to add Mexico to your travel list but don't know where to start? We can help with this list of the best destinations. Best beachesPuerto Vallarta: This is one of the safest cities in Mexico. Find out why the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton loved it here and what it offers today.Cancun: There's more to Mexico's Caribbean capital than wet T-shirts and shooters. Discover another side to this beautiful destination.Isla Mujeres: Just a short ferry ride away from Cancun, this island has Mayan ruins, an ecological park and even an underwater museum you can visit over the course of a weekend.Riviera Maya: For a mix of gorgeous beaches and world-class food and drink, head to the Riviera Maya on the country's east coast. ...
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Taiwan's most beautiful places

Travel
(CNN) — "The most beautiful scenery of Taiwan is its people."While this famous saying is often cited by travelers as a reason to love Taiwan, this 36,193-square-kilometer island also happens to have a staggeringly diverse wealth of stunning scenery and destinations, from cityscapes to natural wonders. "Taiwan has the highest density of high mountains in the world, leaving us adventurers with endless places to hike, camp, river trace and more," says Ryan Hevern, co-founder of Taiwan Adventure Outings. Taiwan's natural beautyHevern, after living in Malaysian Borneo as a jungle guide, moved to Taiwan and started an eco-friendly outdoor tour company with co-founder Dustin Craft two years ago."We aren't city people, so we spend our free time in Taiwan's outdoors," says Hevern. ...
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25 of the best places to visit in the UK

Travel
(CNN) — From vibrant, culture-laden cities to peaceful areas of outstanding natural beauty, the UK is an incredibly diverse destination for travelers. Here's our pick of 25 of the best places to visit in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: Isles of ScillySituated 40 kilometers off the tip of Cornwall, this Atlantic archipelago of islands and islets has the look of a tropical paradise, but with a bucolic, English sensibility. The main island of St. Mary's is home to winding lanes and stunning beaches, while tiny Bryher offers arguably the best sunset views in the entire country and has just one hotel -- Hell Bay.Tresco Abbey Gardens easily beat any country estate on the mainland for variety and color, while a boat trip to the uninhabited islands of Samson or St. Helen's offers the chance to see seals and seabirds up close....
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Los Cerrillos in Los Cerrillos, New Mexico

Travel
The Cerrillos Hills in north-central New Mexico—a mere 20 miles from Santa Fe—is one of the oldest historically documented mining districts in the United States. Keres and Tano Puebloans from the nearby Rio Grande and Galisteo Basins began mining turquoise in 900 CE, which was used for medicinal and ritual purposes.By the early 1300s, Pueblo potters from the central Río Grande area were mining galena (lead sulfide), which was the source of glaze paint used to decorate pottery. This ceased after 1700 when the Spanish inhabitants, who worked many of the mines in the Cerrillos Hills for their silver and lead content, cut off Puebloan access....
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Mission Creek Indian Cemetery in Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Travel
This peaceful American Indian cemetery, abutting Mission Creek, contains only a few headstones or grave markers. The most well-known person laid to rest here is Chief Shaw-Shaw-Waw-Nay-Beece, also known as "the Swallow."Chief Shaw-Shaw-Waw-Nay-Beece was instrumental in securing six townships (about 216 square miles) of land in and around Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, as the permanent home for his Ojibwe (or Chippewa) people, as part of the 1855 Treaty signed in Detroit.  In addition to the chief, an unknown number of Native American children who attended the nearby Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial School are buried here. The boarding school's policies compelled the kindergarten through eighth-grade students to surrender all aspects of their social and cultural heritage. Over its 41-year history, at least 174 Native American children died while attending the school....
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Evel Pie in Las Vegas, Nevada

Travel
A pizza joint in Las Vegas pays tribute to Evel Knievel with an impressive array of memorabilia devoted to the legendary daredevil.Las Vegas is an important city in Knievel's journey. On December 31, 1967, he tried to jump the fountain at Caesars Palace. He cleared it, but fell off his motorcycle on the landing, crushing his pelvis and femur, and fracturing parts of his hip, wrist, and ankles. While he spent nearly a month in the hospital, the jump and subsequent crash brought Knievel international attention and a decades-long career in death-defying showmanship was born. Knievel would go on to attempt even more audacious jumps, including one over Snake River Canyon, but he'd never attempt the fountain stunt again. His son, Robbie, however, decided to try his luck. On April 14, 1989, Robbie revved his star-studded bike at the end of the ramp, sped toward the fountain, and launched. He flew over the water, and landed, still safely on his bike....
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The Green Skeleton in Oviedo, Spain

Travel
In the Archaeological Museum of Asturias lies a skeleton with an eerie green hue suggestive of the supernatural. The story behind this curious cadaver is one that reflects the monumental cultural changes that arose during the Bronze Age.The transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age in Spain heralded huge technological development as humankind began to manipulate natural resources to produce tools. As a result, mines became culturally and spiritually important places.This era brought about radical changes in every aspect of ancient Asturian society, including its funerary rites. During this period, dead individuals of high social status were buried in disused mines. It’s believed these burials may have served as ritual offerings in accordance with the cosmovision of these ancient peoples who worshiped the new gods of the earth and its precious natural resources....
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Traveling to Cuba May Get Harder for Americans

Travel
For Americans who want to visit Cuba, things got even murkier as the Trump administration last week said that it would further restrict nonfamily travel to the island. The new restrictions are part of a tougher policy toward Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba, said John Bolton, the president’s national security adviser, who called the three countries “the troika of tyranny” in a speech to veterans of the Bay of Pigs invasion, the failed 1961 attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro.“The Department of the Treasury will implement further regulatory changes to restrict nonfamily travel to Cuba,” he said. “These new measures will help steer Americans’ dollars away from the Cuban regime.”...
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Tower Bridge Chimney in London, England

Travel
Tower Bridge is one of London’s most recognizable sights. But unknown to many is an unusual feature that often goes unnoticed.Take a good look at the lampposts lining the iconic piece of infrastructure, and you'll realize one isn't a lamppost at all. It's a chimney, painted a bright blue to match the lampposts, just without a light on top. The seemingly out-of-place chimney is a relic of London's industrial past. The cast-iron flue used to be connected to a coal fire in a room tucked underneath one of the bridge piers, where the guards on duty could warm up. After the Clean Air Act of 1956, only smokeless fuels were allowed to be burned in central London, and so the chimney went unused. Yet to this day it remains inconspicuously stood among the lampposts, passed unnoticed by over 40,000 people daily....
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The Blind Beggar in London, England

Travel
Named for an Elizabethan ballad, the Blind Beggar pub gained notoriety as the site of the murder that put East End gangster Ronnie Kray behind bars for the rest of his life.Built in 1894, the pub is named after the legend of Henry de Montfort, son of the 6th Earl of Leicester, who fought in the Barons' War against King Henry III in the mid-13th century. By most accounts, de Montfort was killed during the Battle of Evesham in 1265; however, a popular Elizabethan ballad depicts him surviving the battle, but with wounds that render him blind. In the story, known as "The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green," de Montfort marries a baron's daughter who nurses him back to health. (Some say that he sunk to the status of beggar because his family's possessions were taken by Henry III after their defeat at Evesham; others say he used the beggar as a disguise to hide from the king.) ...
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Before Jell-O, Colorful Gelatin Desserts Were Haute Cuisine

Travel
Marie-Antoine Carême made his name cooking for some of the greatest figures in France at the dawn of the 19th century, including Napoleon Bonaparte. He was arguably the world’s first celebrity chef, and later served Czar Alexander of Russia and King George IV of England, evangelizing the elaborate and expensive hautecuisine he’d helped pioneer. He even invented some of France’s best-known desserts, such as croquembouche and mille-feuille.He was also a fan of gelatin. As food historian Christina Ward has noted, he was especially renowned for the massive, architecturally inspired molded gelatin dishes that often served as showstopper edible centerpieces for his feasts. In modern terms, this would be like a master chef placing towering Jell-O concoctions at a royal wedding or the French Laundry....
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Want to Write for Nomadic Matt? Here’s How!

Travel
Earlier this year, I announced I was opening this website up to guest posters. For years, I turned away unsolicited guest posts, but, this year, I decided it was time to change that policy as I want to add more voices, opinions, stories, and tips to this site.I want to bring in people out there who have helpful information and insight I might not have, especially now that I’m traveling a lot less.So, if you’d like to write for this site, here are our guidelines for submissions:First, what kind of submissions are we looking for? We’re interested in the following (and only the following) areas:Your pitches should have a focus on budget-related issues: cheap things what to do, budget accommodation, good companies or apps to use, travel hacks, or ways to save money. We want the kind of service article that will help readers travel cheaper, better, and longer....
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Bramhope Tunnel North Portal in Bramhope, England

Travel
The Bramhope Tunnel was built for the Leeds to Thirsk railway line at the height of England’s railroad mania in the 1840s. Around the village today, you can see four of the 20 original airshafts intact, a tall sighting tower and plenty of large earth piles that look almost like small hills along the length of the tunnel. If you follow them far enough, they will lead you to this incredible castle-like facade.At the north entrance of the Bramhope Tunnel, a Gothic-style castellated portal was built from sandstone rock. It has three side towers with turrets, and a horseshoe-shaped archway decorated with a carving of a bearded man (possibly the likeness of the landowner for whom the facade was built). The portal is sadly somewhat in disrepair now, and often has graffiti emblazoned on it....
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Nelson Mandela's Prison Cell, Through His Eyes

Travel
Before becoming the first democratically elected president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for his efforts to dismantle the brutally oppressive apartheid system. As Mandela sat in his cell, both his mother and his oldest son passed away. He was forbidden from attending either funeral.But Mandela, it seems, only drew more strength from the injustice he endured at Robben Island, where he was incarcerated for 18 of the 27 years. “Today when I look at Robben Island I see it as a celebration of the struggle and a symbol of the finest qualities of the human spirit,” wrote Mandela in 2002, “rather than as a monument to the brutal tyranny and oppression of apartheid.” These words accompany a collection of original drawings called “My Robben Island,” composed by Mandela after his presidency ended and he took up formal artistic instruction....
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Powder Hill Dinosaur Park in Middlefield, Connecticut

Travel
Dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts once roamed Southern New England, leaving evidence of their wanderings in the form of footprints on the sandy shores of the ancient river delta that flowed through the Connecticut Valley. Over millions of years, this sediment solidified into sandstone, preserving the footprints as fossils. In modern times, this rock, also called brownstone or arkose, has been quarried extensively for building material.In the 19th century, one such quarry lay on the Middlefield, Connecticut, property of Wesley Roswell Coe, a lecturer and Curator of Zoology at the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University. From 1848 to 1849, stone cut from this quarry was used to construct a dam across the nearby Beseck River. The resulting lake provided hydraulic power to a multitude of factories built along its shores....
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Don’t Call It Tex-Mex

Travel
HOUSTON — This city’s Second Ward is full of temptations for Adán Medrano, a writer and chef who lives just a few miles southeast.The Mexican-American neighborhood is home to the perfect flaky tortillas at Doña María Mexican Cafe, scratch-made in flour or corn, and ready to be folded around eggs with the fine threads of dried beef called machacada. It has the off-menu roasted tamales at the Original Alamo Tamales, with blackened husks and caramelized edges of masa and meat. And there’s Taqueria Chabelita, where the owner, Isabel Henriquez Hernandez, makes pinto beans whose smoky intensity comes not from pork fat, but from a slow char in a hot pan.For Mr. Medrano, who grew up in San Antonio with generations of relatives on both sides of the Rio Grande, this is all his comfort food, his culinary heritage, his comida casera, or Mexican home cooking. ...
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Stadtbahn Viaduct World War II Damage in Berlin, Germany

Travel
The Stadtbahn is the busiest section of Berlin's S-Bahn, a rapid transit system that covers much of the city. First planned in 1871, the Stadtbahn opened in 1882 and was modernized between 1922 and 1932 to accommodate increasingly heavier trains.Although much was destroyed by Allied bombs, the Stadtbahn viaduct along Georgenstraße escaped relatively unscathed. Battle scars are still visible on the eastern approaches to Friedrichstraße station, an area left under Soviet control after the war. These scars were left because of a lack of funds to make repairs, but also as a warning to the local population of the follies of National Socialism....
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The Devil’s Bit in Glenreagh, Ireland

Travel
Located in the rolling green of the Tipperary countryside, the Devil’s Bit is a gap between a plateau and an outcrop of rocks. The top of the mountain looks as if a chunk has been taken out of it, which local folklore has explained as a result of the Devil biting into the mountaintop. As the story goes, the Devil broke his tooth during the bite and spat it out, forming the Rock of Cashel outcrop, a historic landmark about 20 miles to the south. (A fun story, even if the Devil's Bit Mountain is comprised of sandstone while the Rock of Cashel is limestone.)In reality, the curious bite-shaped gap is a geological anomaly, but this place is surrounded by myth. It has also been said that the Book of Dimma, an 8th-century manuscript copy of the four Gospels of the Bible, was discovered near the Devil’s Bit in 1789. There is some debate on whether the manuscript could have survived in the conditions it was rumored to be discovered in, but the supposed discovery highlights the intrigue surrounding the mountain....
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More Benches, Special Goggles: Taking Steps to Assist Older Travelers

Travel
Samantha Flores was having a tough time getting through the airport. The signs were hard to see, the announcements were hard to hear and the people rushing by made her feel unsteady on her stiffened knees. Finally, with relief, she made her way to a bench to sit down, catch her breath and take off her “age simulation suit.”Ms. Flores is the director for experiential design for the architecture firm Corgan, and the nearly 30-pound suit was meant to help her, a 32-year-old, experience the physical challenges of navigating the world as an older person. Goggles and headphones “impaired” her sight and hearing. Gloves reduced feeling and simulated hand tremors. Weighted shoes, along with neck, elbow and knee movement restrictors, approximated mobility limitations....
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Pinehurst and San Sebastian Cemeteries in St. Augustine, Florida

Travel
A giant, crumbling cross, half-sunk in the ground, rises out of the tall grass. Makeshift headstones lean crookedly over the thick roots of gnarled trees, their inscriptions long faded, the names of those laid to rest forgotten. All that remains in their memory are mossy conch shells, weather-worn pebbles, a rusted antique roller skate, mementos of hard lives and different times.This is the condition of both Pinehurst and San Sebastian cemeteries, two woebegone, neglected burial grounds half-hidden under untamed grass and debris. Together, Pinehurst and San Sebastian are believed to be the oldest segregated black cemeteries in the state of Florida. ...
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Life in Pripyat Before, and the Morning After, the Chernobyl Disaster

Travel
In the early hours of April 26, 1986, a nuclear accident took place during a safety test at the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station near the city of Pripyat, in what was then the Soviet Republic of Ukraine. In this excerpt adapted from Adam Higginbotham’s new book, Midnight in Chernobyl—illustrated with photos of life in Pripyat before the accident—civic leaders and others begin to realize the gravity of the situation. It was sometime after 3:00 a.m. when Alexander Esaulov was jangled awake by the telephone. Shit!, he thought as he fumbled for the receiver. Another weekend ruined.With his wife and children off with the in-laws for a few weeks, he’d been looking forward to enjoying a few days to himself: perhaps squeezing in a little fishing. Having the two children at home—a five-year-old daughter and a son about to turn six months—there was always plenty of work to do, even without his job. And as the deputy chairman of the Pripyat city ispolkom—the equivalent of deputy mayor—Esaulov spent his days reeling from one administrative headache to another....
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General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge in Maracaibo, Venezuela

Travel
The General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge was considered a marvel of modern bridge design when it opened in 1962. A few years prior, the government of Venezuela held a competition calling for designs for a bridge across the Tablazo Strait of Lake Maracaibo. Twelve entries were submitted, but in the end it was the design of the innovative Italian civil engineer Riccardo Morandi that won the contract.Morandi was known for his use of reinforced and prestressed concrete, and his proposal was the only concrete design of the 12 entries. It was also the first of what would become his signature cable-stayed bridges. ...
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Hacienda Sac Chich, Near Merida, Yucatan

Travel
My parents recently came to visit and I really wanted to show them a Hacienda. I had been to some for lunch outside of Merida and had stayed in a couple of smaller ones in town, but I was looking for a really epic one since they were on vacation. Hacienda Sac Chic has won tons of awards and is well-known as a luxury wedding destination and Casa Sisal, another home of theirs on the same property is a house that really inspires Ben and I when it comes to how we want to build our dream house in Cholul. I decided it was perfect to check these out, and they invited me to stay complimentary to share about it with you!When you first enter, you don’t see the pool straight away but as we toured the house and got settled in, we were drawn to it like moths to a flame! It was a hot day, and the pool was perfect. It’s such a beautiful setting and right next to a bamboo forest!...
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In Jordan, Bedouins Are Preserving Ancient Rock Art With an App

Travel
If you’ve seen The Martian, then you didn’t just see Matt Damon’s stranded astronaut trying to escape the Red Planet. You also saw the stunning backdrop that stood in for Mars: Wadi Rum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s home to a citizen science experiment like few others.Located in southernmost Jordan, this area, sometimes known as the Valley of the Moon, contains sweeping sand dunes, burnt-red sandstone arches and canyons, and an abundance of rock art, much of which dates back several millennia. These markings were made by the ancestors of the nomadic Bedouin communities that still populate and traverse the area today....
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The Goofy Worm Lizard That Beats the Heat by Never Coming to the Surface

Travel
How do animals survive in harsh environments? This week, we're celebrating some extreme desert-dwellers.Wind carries cool Pacific air across the desert on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Here, a smattering of cacti and succulents get plump and green in the sun. It’s a pretty scene, but the Mexican worm lizard rarely gets to see it.That’s because this little creature, technically known as Bipes biporus, has adapted to life underground. Our buddy is an amphisbaenian—a group of generally legless, eyeless squamates. It's one of the few species that does have legs, and B. biporus’s are crowned with claws....
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The Most Interesting, Spectacular Mirages Aren’t in the Desert

Travel
A desperate, thirsty traveler crawls among the dunes in a never-ending desert. Then something miraculous appears in the distance: the unmistakable blue of an oasis pool. You know what happens next. Of all the tropes about deserts—and there are a lot of them—the mirage may be the trope-iest.But you don’t have to journey into the Sahara to see a mirage. In fact, the most spellbinding and storied example of this phenomenon happens in some of the coldest places on Earth and in the balmy archipelagos of the Mediterranean (probably the ideal place to kick back and get fooled by air and light).Mirages are one of nature’s cruelest and coolest tricks. They’re not hallucinations, which are all in your mind, nor are they optical illusions, which are perceptual errors in vision in which you see something that isn’t real, according to Andrew T. Young, an astronomer and optical specialist at San Diego State University, in his online introduction to mirages. What you see when you see a mirage is a real, tangible optical phenomenon, even if your brain doesn’t necessarily know what it’s actually perceiving....
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Pike Place Market in Seattle: What to see and do

Travel
Seattle, Washington (CNN) — Pike Place Market is second only to the Space Needle as the most famous spot in Seattle.While the gum wall and Rachel the pig are favorite photo ops for visitors to the Emerald City, the bustling market is still a major draw for residents. Every day, thousands of Seattleites come by to pick up birthday flowers, shop for fresh produce or meet friends for a drink after work. In and around the marketSarah Anne Lloyd, the editor of Curbed Seattle and a native Seattleite, is one of the many locals who loves spending time at Pike Place Market. She advises starting the day with (what else?) a coffee at Il Bistro: "In a weird twist, this Italian restaurant has the best Spanish coffee in Seattle."...
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The Strange Tale of the Great Trans-Saharan Ostrich Heist of 1911

Travel
It was 1911, and the Union of South Africa was awash with rumor and suspicion. It was said that there was a turncoat who had deserted the Ministry of Agriculture to sell secrets to a shadowy syndicate of American capitalists. South Africa had only been autonomous—as a dominion of the British Empire—for about a year. Any disruption to a major industry could be very damaging to the fledgling country.In response, the parliament authorized a clandestine expedition to the Sahel, the semi-arid region south of the Sahara. The expedition was led by Russell Thornton, a veteran of the Boer War and two other “competent experts.” The alleged traitor? None other than Thornton’s brother, Earnest, a former employee of the Secretary of Agriculture....
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Cantabrian Bears of Asturias in Cangas del Narcea, Spain

Travel
An endangered subspecies of the Eurasian brown bear stalks the mountains and ancient woodlands of Asturias, Spain. Once in grave danger of disappearing, the population is now recovering, thanks to the work of dedicated conservationists. The brown bear has always been an important animal in Spanish culture. As such, it features heavily in folklore, history, and heraldry, and is notably the symbol of the country's capital city, Madrid. Though the bears primarily eat plants such as acorns, wild cherries, madronos, and fungi and prey on wildlife, they have a bit of a sweet tooth, and as such occasionally raid beehives. Honey is an important product of the local economy, and the destruction of the hives and honeycombs frustrate local beekeepers. On rare occasions, bears may also kill livestock, angering farmers whose livelihoods are negatively impacted....
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Ohio River Museum in Marietta, Ohio

Travel
There are several interesting exhibits at the Ohio River Museum in Marietta, but the crown jewel is the W.P. Snyder, a restored 1918 paddlewheel steamboat that is one of the last remaining boats of its kind in the United States. Visitors are welcome to tour this historic vessel from bow to stern. The century-old steam-powered towboat is docked by the bank of the Muskingum River, along with a shanty boat and the wheelhouse of the wrecked Tell City....

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