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workworkwork-the-nicest-pictures-blogspot.com-8_street_art.jpg
 Street art from "Work Work Work" (see Wooster Collective, below).
Originally plucked from the-nicest-pictures-blogspot.com.
 

LONG LAYOVER?

 Don't spend it in the airport if you are parked in an interesting city!
An enterprising company called Trip Aside will arrange to pick you up, take you on a city tour
of wherever you are, make sure you eat at an interesting restaurant, and get you back in time
for your flight. So far, they have tours in a handful of European cities, and are expanding as we speak. 
Costs about $250 per person. See http://www.tripaside.com/
 

 

GO PREPARED

 
Now you can book a trained local guide before you
even leave home:
www.ourexplorer.com


For information on global cultural etiquette, see
www.culturecrossing.net/

Street and urban art give tremendous insights into what people are thinking around the world.  See
 
 

 
 
 
 
FOR FRESH IDEAS:  www.ted.com
(Technology, Entertainment, and Design thinkers here).
 


 
 
IF YOU'RE GOING TO FRANCE, OR IF YOU
ARE NOT, AND ARE NOSTALGIC FOR FRANCE, 
It's a great site loaded with pictures, links to
products, the flavor of living in
France experienced by an American
who married a French vintner, and, of course,
a word a day. These "words" are portals
to another country and culture.
 
                                         
                                     
Taking the kids?  For some great travel ideas,

tsunamisignbyTerminator.jpg

 You don't always get warnings like these in California. (Photo © Terminator.jpg)

  
USEFUL WEBSITES:
 
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
 

VOLCANOES:

For links to webcams fixed on nervous volcanos around the world,

please see: www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/cams.html

To visit and explore volcanoes, try: www.volcanodiscovery.com/

 

EARTHQUAKES:

  Earthquakes happen often everywhere: take a look at almost-real-time occurrences: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/  and  earthquake.usgs.gov/monitoring/gsn/


 

TSUNAMIS:
For information on tsunamis, see www.tsunami.noaa.gov/

 

STORM SURGES:

Weather Underground explains what you need to know about storm surges: https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/surge.asp


SEVERE WEATHER:

For thunderstorms as well as tornadoes, see:

http://www.weather.gov/om/severeweather/

 

TORNADOES:

 NOAA's Severe Weather Center maintains a live map -- see: www.spc.noaa.gov/.

 

HURRICANES AND CYCLONES:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

 

AVALANCHES:

For a worldwide map of current conditions, see: www.avalanche.org.

 

TRAVEL ADVICE:

For travel worldwide, see: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html

 

 MOSQUITOES: AEDES-AEGYPTI-CDC.jpg

 Aedes aegypti [left] mosquitoes are the principal carriers of Zika virus and other diseases, like yellow fever.  aedes-albopictus.jpgAedes albopictus [right] (the black and white "Tiger") mosquitoes carry Dengue fever and several serious viruses. The problem is, they move around, both the mosquitoes, now headed north; and the viruses they carry, transmitted between humans in blood and sperm. Zika virus has been confirmed as the cause of microcephaly in babies as the fetus grows in the affected mother's womb; but it can also cause neurological damage in adults, young and old, who are bitten by the mosquito.

The best preventive is at the source: mosquito repellent on your body and clothes. Wear long sleeves and pants. With an evil twist, the Aedes aegypti tend to strike during daylight and are found everywhere, not just near pools of water, but also under beds and chairs. If you find 100% DEET creepy, there are other more palatable options now which work as well. See http://www.cdc.gov/features/stopmosquitoes/ 

                                                                                                    

 

 

 
 
 
 ocean-watch.jpg
OCEAN WATCH is a steel-hulled sloop specially outfitted and sailed from an idea generated by Sailors for the Sea (http:www.sailorsforthesea.org) to do a circumnavigation of the Americas --  North, South, and Central -- in 2010. It was a bold idea, funded by Tiffany and Co. Foundation, Unilever, and managed by the Pacific Science Center. It attracted a band of edgy nautical professionals who opted to join the 13-month, 28,000 mile, 51 ports-of-call voyage. Like most explorers they had a need to know, in this case, what was happening where the ocean meets the land.  They came back enlightened and embued with a deeper understanding of the critical state of the ocean. Check out an interview we did with Herb McCormick, editor of Cruising World, who was aboard as a sailor and a merry chronicler, published in Points East, "74°N - 56°S"; (scroll through to page 28).
 
This trip took place a few years ago;  melting permafrost and dead coral reefs are greater realities today. Not to mention the plastic bags and dead party balloons. SEE: https://issuu.com/pointseast/docs/may-issuu-2011
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Stephanie Ocko is a journalist in Boston. Share your experiences at  ocko2000@att.net