Gunther Holtorff has been driving a Mercedes Benz Galaendewagen named Otto around the world for 23 years. 800,000km without a breakdown. via Bring a Trailer
The Perennial Plate: An American Food Trip is an online documentary series of short videos featuring "adventurous and sustainable eating" beginning in Minnesota and continuing around the US.
In 2011 Malaysia Airlines introduced what is believed to be the world's first airline integration with Facebook. In February Air France KLM announced its Meet And Seat program, allowing customers to scan other passengers' social media profiles. to select or reject seatmates. (Previously). It prompted safety and privacy concerns, while others said it showed how a company "gets" social media. In June airBaltic announced it would trial SeatBuddy to make trips more pleasant by seating like-minded people next to each other. Now, British Airways has decided to use the Internet to create dossiers on its customers, including using Google images to find pictures of passengers so that staff can approach them as they arrive at the terminal or plane. The Know Me service will initially be limited to first class passengers and other 'captains of industry'. So-called 'social seating' is part of an emerging trend to marry data-mining with customer service.
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."
"Citizenship is a tough occupation which obliges the citizen to make his own informed opinion and stand by it."
'The Hubris and Despair of War Journalism: What Martha Gellhorn teaches us about the morality of contemporary war reportage.' [more inside]
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]
EcoAlberto Park in El Alberto, Mexico, offers a unique experience: participating in an illegal border crossing. VICE Magazine filmed the trip.
Adrift in a bleak economy and our isolated urban bubble, in 2010 my sweetheart and I set out to see the world the old-fashioned way: by bicycle. We did it on the cheap and without any itinerary, gadgets, or training. We moved south with the sun as the seasons changed, cooked food we found at local markets, and slept in fields or on strangers’ couches. [more inside]
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.'"
The Kinzua Bridge has been partly restored, and it has a glass-bottomed platform now. Once billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Kinzua Viaduct held the record for tallest railroad bridge in the world for two years. Although long surpassed in height, the old bridge drew visitors long past the point where it was in active use by a railroad. [more inside]
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.
FlyRights is a smartphone app designed to provide a quick and easy way to report complaints of air travel harassment, profiling, and discrimination. Within the first ten hours of its launch, FlyRights had fielded two complaints of harassment and profiling. By contrast, the DHS's report to Congress on civil rights and civil liberties listed only 11 complaints in the first six months of 2011. FlyRights was designed by the Sikh Coalition, the nation's largest Sikh civil rights organization.
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]
Eva Air has introduced the Hello Kitty Jet! Check in at the Hello Kitty terminals and have a Hello Kitty themed meal. Get out of my way, I need to get a ticket!
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.
Welcome to Vang Vieng Vang Vieng, deep in the jungle of Laos, is a backpacker paradise where there are no rules. Last year at least 27 travellers died there, and countless more were injured. [more inside]
Orbiter Autopsies "What NASA will learn from dissecting Space Shuttles Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavour" before they transition into retirement. (From the May 2012 issue of Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine.)
The newly launched Roads & Kingdoms describes itself as an online journal of food, politics, music and travel [more inside]
JetBlue names all of its jets with a variant of "blue" in the title. Blue Suede Shoes. Bright Lights, Blue City. The Name is Blue. JetBlue. If You Can Read This, You're Too Blue Close.
Cartoo uses Google Maps to show you how far you could get by car, bike, or foot in a set amount of time.
Body scanners attacked again as US blogger Jon Corbett who blogs for TSA Out of Our Pants! exposes how to beat the body scanners, carrying a metal box in a secret shirt pocket through security at two airports. [more inside]
Vintage Posters from the Golden Age of Travel 1910-1959 BrainPickings' page of vintage poster art pertaining to travel.
The International Man: "My mission is very simple: To find the 'Rolls-Royces' of every category listed on this website on the Internet to help you avoid wasting your time and make it your useful and indispensable lifestyle and luxury resource." [more inside]
He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings "loaner" devices, which he erases before he leaves the US and wipes clean the minute he returns . In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi , never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery , for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, "Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop." - Travel precautions in the age of digital espionage.
The Lonely Planet has come up with a list of thirty travel terms that aren't in the dictionary.
Food and drink menus from the international airlines, railways, and cruise ships of decades past (Click "Digital Images" link in each carrier's thread). Courtesy of the Northwestern University Transportation Library's Menu Collection. [Via]
Driving through Time features roughly 2700 photographs and 76 interactive maps of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The website allows students, researchers, and digital tourists to uncover hidden stories, hear forgotten voices, and understand the often wrenching choices that the construction and preservation of a scenic parkway in a populated region have necessarily entailed. [more inside]
Adam Humphreys created a successful business helping people navigate the Chinese embassy's bureaucracy (in a van parked across the street).
Wanderfly is travel inspiration site. Enter your starting point, when you want to travel, how much you want to spend, and what you want to do, and Wanderfly spits out some suggestions from sites around the world, including things to do and places to stay.
Tricks for getting your violin on a plane, by Lara St. John. How about an upright bass? A cello? A guitar? (previously) A trombone? A tuba (and other horns)? What about lutes, a djembe, a hurdy-gurdy, or bagpipes? (Some general tips. More general tips - part 1, part 2.)
Vacations, diversions and roadtrips: On The Way suggests attractions and reststops for any route. The Weekend Map shows events and activities for 27 American cities for the coming weekend. Nerdy Day Trips (previously) suggests trips for geeks of all kinds, while Trazzler suggests daytrips for where you live. Don't have a car? Mapnificent (previously) shows you where you can get to from any point in a given time using public transit. EveryTrail suggests walks, rambles, strolls and hikes. Google's new HotelFinder service locates places to stay in a sketched area on a map, with a range of options. via
Comparing airlines' Airbus A380s. Seven commercial carriers fly the A380. Here's a look at how each has used the space aboard the superjumbo jet. [LATimes photogallery].
Ultra Swank - Retro Living and Design from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Address is Approximate. "A lonely desk toy longs for escape from the dark confines of the office, so he takes a cross country road trip to the Pacific Coast in the only way he can – using a toy car and Google Maps Street View."
Around the World in 80 Days is a BBC television travel series first broadcast in 1989. It was presented by comedian and actor Michael Palin.The show was inspired by Jules Verne's classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days, in which a character named Phileas Fogg accepts a wager to circumnavigate the globe in eighty days or less. Palin was given the same deadline... Here's Episode 1 - The Challenge. [more inside]
The Burton Holmes Archive has information about Burton Holmes, the travel writer who became the first person to make filmic travelogues. More importantly, they also have a lot of film clips by Holmes and his associate, André de la Varre, who was also a great travelogue maker himself. Watching these clips is not quite time travel, but it is as close as we can get. Take a look at Reykjavík, Iceland, in 1926, Lake Michigan in 20s, Cairo in 1932 and the 1955 Rio de Janeiro carnival. The later films have sound and narration, but I prefer the silent ones. [Burton Holmes previously, André de la Varre previously, and the Travel Film Archive, which runs Burton Holmes site, previously]
Meet the contraption that wants to replace Central Park horses. NYCLASS and Ban HDC are two groups pushing for the change; the many unfortunate incidents involving carriage horses over the years (including one just today) have inspired a bill that would end the practice, and also a documentary about the treatment of the horses.
35 days, 2822 miles through 9 states at a cost of $252.51 ($7.21 per day). George 'the Cyclist' Christensen spends a good part of each year bicycling through a different country and wild camping in places like Iceland, Turkey, China, the foot of Mt Fuji and around Lake Victoria; And writing about his travels on his blog from libraries and internet cafés. For the past eight years, too, he has also followed the Tour de France after first watching upwards of 70 films [in 12 days] at the Cannes Film Festival.
In 1971, Hunter Thompson first published Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in Rolling Stone. Forty years later, The Daily’s Zach Baron revisits the piece and the town in which it was born, chasing Thompson's ghost through crazy desert car races, a dying local economy and a massive and menacing hacker convention known as DEFCON. (previously)
The Smallest Hotel in the World [autoplay of 'La Traviata']. So here's the story: it's 1728 and you live in Amberg, a little Bavarian town somewhere north of Munich. You and your lady friend really, really want to get married, but there is a little snag; the council laws permit only homeowners to marry, and you're still stuck renting a place. But all is not lost! You pick up a little strip of empty land between two other buildings - just 2.5 meters wide. You run up a quick wall on the front, another on the back, slap a roof on top, and presto - you're a homeowner. The council falls for it, and allows you to get married. [more inside]