How to Buy a Round-the-World Plane Ticket (That Kicks Ass).
Chris Guillebeau: "....Each airline alliance has its own rules for how the ticket works. The one from Star Alliance is mileage based, meaning you’ll have a limit of 26,000, 29,000, 34,000 or 39,000 miles on your ticket. The trick here is to optimize your route to...below one of the tiers, (A friend of mine got his itinerary to 33,998 miles, which I thought was pretty good.)". This, and reserving, paying for and planning the mother of all plane trips (along with Things to Watch out for).
posted by storybored
on Oct 11, 2010 -
Forty years among the Zulus
, twenty-five years in Honan
, twenty-one years in India
, thirty years in India
, thirty years in Nyasaland
, eighteen years in the Khyber
, twice around the world
, twenty years in the Himalaya
, four years in the White North
, thirty years in the Arctic regions
, thirty years in Madagascar
, five years in a Persian town
, eight years in Iran
, fifty-three years in Syria
, four years in Ashantee
, forty years in Burma
, five years in the Sudan
, thirty years in Australia
, forty years in Brazil
. [more inside]
posted by shii
on Oct 2, 2010 -
A family traveled to France and Germany in 1938 and shot this footage
which features two appearances by Adolf Hitler. It's creepy seeing this Nazi spectacle shot by an amateur. It's a perspective I don't know if I've ever seen. The video opens in France and the Nazi footage starts around 1:45.
The collector writes: "The Basement Collection presents: An 8mm film bought at an estate sale back in the 90's. This reel is part of a series of a family vacation movies to Europe in 1938. On this reel the family visits France and then Germany. The footage of Hitler is from a celebration in the Berlin Stadium on what I think is a May Day celebration (May 2, 1938) then another celebration at Berlin's Lustgarten. (on May 1st). (I think the reel was edited together out of order)."
posted by zzazazz
on Aug 12, 2010 -
is a web site that allows you to find or offer rooms, couches, apartments, houses, backyard tents, treehouses, castles, islands... for rent. Terrific for travellers on the cheap or who want unique experiences in lodging. There are some fantastic properties on here--many of them reasonably priced.
posted by dobbs
on Jul 18, 2010 -
, physicist, nuclear scientist, and designer of the deceptively tiny Davy Crockett nuclear recoilless rifle
, is not quite as famous as one of his other projects: nuclear spacecraft propulsion.
was intended as an interplanetary (and eventually interstellar) vehicle which could achieve Earth orbit with a series of 800 nuclear explosions, each detonated about a second after the other below the spacecraft. It would propel itself through space in a similar fashion, carrying many orders of magnitude more mass than chemical rockets such as the Saturn which would ultimately take men to the moon.
Taylor and others intended a mission to Mars by 1965, but the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963
destroyed all hope to see Orion take flight.
For the interested, "The Curve of Binding Energy"
goes into much more detail, including the U.S. Air Force's plan to turn Orion into a nuclear space battleship (!).
A youtube video of an Orion concept test using conventional explosives is here
(flight footage begins around 0:23).
posted by edguardo
on Feb 1, 2010 -
Come see "the busiest bicycling street in the Western world", and lots of other you-gotta-see-them-to-believe-them features including bike counters (featuring digital readouts), LEDS, double bike lanes (for passing) and giant hot pink cars. Bicycle Highways may be coming
to your town. [more inside]
posted by hortense
on Dec 20, 2009 -
If there's one genre you have to read before you die it's the travel book
Standard guidebook: "Should you be caught up in a frenzied riot during your time in Jakarta, make your way immediately to your country's embassy. Once inside, relax with one of the native beverages, and think about what a great story you'll have to tell Andy and Rhona on your return."
Hip guidebook:"Should you be caught up in a frenzied riot during your time in Jakarta, consider yourself fortunate to witness the valid cultural expression of a wonderfully passionate race. Feel free to hurl a Molotov cocktail at the riot squad." (via Jorn>
posted by caddis
on Dec 11, 2009 -
The funicular railway
is a kind of cable-based railway
that gives me great joy because of its peculiar shape and its uselessness for doing anything other than what it does. A funicular carriage is generally stairstepped
, so you can't repurpose these cars for other uses. They generally work in a particular way, too, as pairs: one goes up the mountain, one comes down the mountain! Maybe this kind of glee is why they seem to be especially popular in Japan today, where they can be taken to many popular sightseeing areas--but a fair number of funicular railway riders are probably there for the journey, not the destination. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet
on Aug 25, 2009 -
The Present Sound of London
-- "I’ve been lured to London by money at the hottest, stickiest time of year. Every time I visit, I’m struck by the noises—not necessarily their volume, but their strangeness and variety in comparison to the quiet humdrum of the provincial town where I live. So this time I’m equipped with an audio recorder."
By Giles Turnbull.
posted by nthdegx
on Jul 21, 2009 -
"I filled my water bottles , fuel bottle and ate some snacks. I reset my altimeter to 1300ft and started shortly past 2pm. The first sign stated 'Eagle Plains 363, Inuvik 735'. The distances were measured in kilometers with green km posts every 2km along the road. A few kilometers down the road, I crossed an old fire burn area with dead trees still standing. The sun was shining and I was eager to get started on the road. The gravel was occasionally soft as the road slowly climbed along the valley."
An enterprising man relates his journey up the Dempster Highway on bicycle
. [more inside]
posted by Avenger
on Jun 19, 2009 -
Dr. Frances W. Pritchett, Professor of Modern Indic Languages at Columbia University, New York, has created a superb online collection of resources
, all about India and South Asia
, its art, history, literature, architecture and culture. Her Indian Routes
section (the Index page
) is a particularly rich resource. Her vast, colorful and informative site also has many great images. Check out her "scrapbook pages" on the Princes
l the Ghaznavids
l British Rule
l Women's Spaces
l Perspectives on Hinduism
. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye
on Jun 9, 2009 -
Triptrop NYC: Subway Time Maps
— Plug in an address in New York City, and Triptrop generates a super slick looking map of how long it takes to get anywhere on the subway. And maybe you're moving? Then plug not one but two addresses into the comparison version and see which one gets you where you want to go. [via mefi projects
posted by netbros
on May 19, 2009 -
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has put 675 reels of archival 16 mm film online
via the Internet Archive. Most of the film is unedited, and stems either from Museum research, or was donated by interested amateurs. Much of it is silent, reflecting the technology of the day. One highlight are the four surviving reels
of the long-running TV show 'What in the World" (look for the episode starring Vincent Price), but the archive is full of other hidden gems, such as the 1950s archaeological expedition to Tikal
, a 1940 film "A 1000 Mile Road Trip Across America
", and Glimpses of Life Among the Catawba and Cherokee Indians of the Carolinas (1927).
The films are downloadable in various formats, including MPEG2, Ogg Video, and 512Kb MPEG4. Happy browsing! via.
posted by Rumple
on May 3, 2009 -