John Cline writes book reviews for The Los Angeles Review of Books
, and has co-edited two anthologies
on grindhouse cinema. Last May he was awarded his PhD in American Studies and like so many others in the humanities was unable to find a job in his field. So he decided to go for a walk. Inspired by his hometown poet
and drawing on his longtime interest in American music and history, John decided to follow the path of The Great Migration up the Mississippi
, recording and blogging his experience. This would not be a test of endurance, but an sociological/anthropological immersion, a document about the land, history and people of the Mississippi River valley.
With some help from Kickstarter
John arranged to walk from New Orleans to Memphis, to work river boats from Memphis to St Louis and finally to travel by train the last leg to Chicago. Having started on Ash Wednesday
, he has already visited Angola Prison
, encountered a down on his luck former Rodeo Star
and discovered the joys of walking fifteen plus miles with a fifty pound pack on his back
. Most importantly he is sharing what he has learned of our modern lifestyle
and the nature of human kindness
posted by bozeman's simplex
on Mar 18, 2013 -
In 1929, three young women (Edith
, and Evelyn
), ages 23 and 25, went on a three-month-long, 12,353-mile road trip. Learn more about their experience, and follow an effort to recreate the journey, at Three Months by Car
. [more inside]
posted by Miko
on Jan 27, 2013 -
In 1992, Lynn Brooks
founded the non-profit Big Apple Greeter program
, to help make a visit to New York City seem less intimidating and dangerous to first-time visitors: Pick a date, time and neighborhood, and the organization will match you up with a local who will spend several hours with you, helping you find your way around, teaching you the ins and outs of subways and buses, the cool shops, the great places to eat. (Their site also has some outstanding neighborhood profiles
and cultural attraction guides
that should be of just as much interest to local residents.) The idea spread, leading to the formation of the Global Greeter Network
, which now has greeter programs in cities all over the world
posted by jbickers
on Jan 18, 2013 -
Western tourists (mostly female) visiting Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, and Bali) are ending up dead
, likely poisoned
. Local officials have blamed the use of the insecticide DEET
as an exotic ingredient in so-called "Bucket Drinks
", or the use of Chlorpyrifos
in hotel rooms. But Deborah Blum
, an author and poison expert, doesn't buy into the insecticide theories
offered by local officials. She thinks this looks like targeted murders
. Since writing about the poisonings, she says she's been contacted by people who claim poisoning foreigners is common in 5-star hotels, and the police and owners cover it up.
. A Facebook group
was formed not only so that world travelers could share safe travel tips, but also so that notice of the unexplained, and often uninvestigated
, deaths could be made public.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey
on Jan 9, 2013 -
Back in 1999, Wandering Earl
left home for a three month trip to Asia that still hasn't ended. As a permanent nomad, Earl's aim is to demonstrate that long-term travel is not a crazy fantasy, but a very real lifestyle option instead. Find out where Earl is now, and where he's been on his blog
. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Nov 4, 2012 -
is chock full of stuff to tickle the imagination of anyone who has enjoyed science fiction accounts of space travel. You can move your cursor over the "Show topic list" button in the top right corner of the page and start exploring.
posted by Egg Shen
on Sep 29, 2012 -
Photographer Travels China, Taking Pictures of Families and All Their Possessions Huang Qingjun has spent nearly a decade travelling to remote parts of China to persuade people who have sometimes never been photographed to carry outside all their household possessions and pose for him.
The results offer glimpses of the utilitarian lives of millions of ordinary Chinese who, at first glance, appear not to have been swept up by the same modernisation that has seen hundreds of millions of others leave for the cities. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad
on Sep 24, 2012 -
is a trusted ridesharing community where travelers meet and share rides across the U.S. It’s a friendlier way to travel—one that’s good for the environment, good for your wallet, and great for getting to know new people. It's a peer-to-peer ridesharing platform connecting those who need a ride with drivers who have extra space in their car. They are partnered with TrustCloud
, another startup that assigns a “Trust Score” to individuals, to help increase security for both drivers and passengers.
posted by netbros
on Sep 17, 2012 -
is sort of like a Wikipedia for travel information. It's a for-profit service supported by banner ads. In a recent RfC
over at Wikimedia - the non-profit that runs Wikipedia and other projects - it was decided to start a new Wiki-based travel project. Meanwhile at least 38 of 48 the volunteer admins at Wikitravel.org said they would jump ship and join a new Wikimedia travel site (travel.wikimedia.org). The owners of Wikitravel, Internet Brands
, have responded by issuing law suits against two of its admins in a possible bid to intimidate the creation of a Wikimedia travel site. Wikimedia is counter-suing
and supporting the legal defense against the two admins.
posted by stbalbach
on Sep 5, 2012 -
Alfonso Calza created this video
from photographs he took of the streets, desert, ocean, mountains, and ruins of Morocco.
posted by gman
on Aug 28, 2012 -
"I chose the meditation style known as Vipassana for several reasons. It's wholly nondenominational. No gods are prayed to, no mantras chanted, all religious iconography is prohibited. If you typically wear, say, a crucifix, you must remove it for the duration of the course. Also, there is no need for prior meditation experience – in fact, I was told, a neophyte is the ideal student because you won't have any bad habits to avoid – which suited me perfectly, as I'd never meditated before.
" [The Quiet Hell of Extreme Meditation
posted by vidur
on Aug 27, 2012 -
is a website packed full of evocative, interesting and historical pictures of old ships from A
. It's a feast of all kinds of other vintage maritime images
, including ports
, docks, ferries
, harbors, paintings
, canals, rivers
, maritime scenes, onboard pictures
, shipboard menus
, lots of great postcards
and other old historical nautical memorabilia
(even the ship's cat
). [more inside]
posted by nickyskye
on Aug 24, 2012 -
is both a free-lance photographer and an internationally recognized historic preservation consultant specializing in the use of architectural photogrammetry to document existing buildings." [more inside]
posted by Namlit
on Aug 12, 2012 -
Clearing the Bar Is the Easy Part: [NYTimes]
"Mark Hollis is a pole-vaulter, and while he and his competitors here feel significant pressure as they compete for a place on the Olympic team, the anxiety they experience just trying to get their equipment to meets is sometimes even more excruciating."
posted by Fizz
on Jun 23, 2012 -
In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report.
But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3
. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report
investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jun 20, 2012 -
Take a holiday in Somaliland: journey to the state that isn’t.
"Positioned on the upper haunch of the Somali dog-leg the Republic of Somaliland looks initially unpromising. It is mainly dry and rocky, there are few paved roads, and the population is small and generally dispersed. ... Whilst the economy may be on the up, Somaliland still feels extremely isolated. An employee of a big international NGO who I met in the lobby of my hotel, The Mansoor, looked at me with astonishment when I said I’d come to Hargeisa for fun. 'The biggest danger here,' he said 'is dying of boredom.'
posted by mykescipark
on May 28, 2012 -
Spanning one-ninth of the earth's circumference across three continents, the Roman Empire ruled a quarter of humanity through complex networks of political power, military domination and economic exchange. These extensive connections were sustained by premodern transportation and communication technologies that relied on energy generated by human and animal bodies, winds, and currents. Conventional maps that represent this world as it appears from space signally fail to capture the severe environmental constraints that governed the flows of people, goods and information. Cost, rather than distance, is the principal determinant of connectivity. For the first time, ORBIS allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.
posted by Blasdelb
on May 11, 2012 -
Welcome to the Anthropocene
: A 3-minute journey through the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the Rio+20 Summit. The film charts the growth of humanity into a global force on an equivalent scale to major geological processes. [more inside]
posted by quin
on May 1, 2012 -
Ever get that uncanny feeling of deja vu while walking down the street in some city that you've never been to before? Maybe you saw it in a movie some time ago. Maybe the combination of the scenery and the architecture and passersby being in the same places as the principal actors set it off. The Movie Mimic
does this on purpose, and includes Google Maps of the sites in case you'd like to go there yourself and strike a pose.
posted by Halloween Jack
on Apr 23, 2012 -