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Anyone can be a pillow

Anyone can be a pillow

My friend Nikki is going on a trip to Thailand next month (lucky!), and knowing my near-constant travelling (I’m currently averaging 17 mph for the year) she wanted some tips on how to prepare for long flights. There are several websites and blogs that discuss this, and even a book, but here’s my own personal tips for preparing for and surviving a long ride in the flying bus.

Preparing for the Trip

Make sure you have the best seat: Nearly all airlines allow you to choose your seat online, but how do you know your seat reclines or has a power plug or has a good view of the movie?   Read the rest of this entry »

The Amazon

The Amazon

Like most tourists, I recorded much of my recent trip to the Amazon by camera, capturing the beautiful scenery, fauna, and anything else that caught the eye.   Yet sight is only one of our senses, and in the jungle possibly our least useful.  It’s hard to see the frogs, toucans & howler monkeys behind the veil of vines and trees – but you sure can hear them (and occasionally smell them).  So I brought along a digital voice recorder and tried to capture some of the sounds of the experience.  The result is an organic tapestry of chirps, warbles and whistles that will more surely transport you to the jungle than any still image could. Enjoy!

Night jungles sounds from the Amazon (33m41s; 30.8 Mb)

By the way, this is an excellent sleep aid…

rioA couple of weeks ago I had the fortune of being down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for a meeting of the International Astronomical Union.  In addition to the great science, scenery and sunshine, we had a few really spectacular meals.  Rio isn’t just churrascarias (just skip Porcão); there is a wide mix of styles and tastes to satisfy any palate.  Here is a perfect day of eating for anyone going to A Cidade Maravilhosa. Read the rest of this entry »

I was recently on an American Airlines flight from Santiago to DFW when the women next to me started telling me all about her and her husband’s flight around the world in March – 10 destinations in 1 month paid for with frequent flyer miles, and for what seemed to be an incredibly low mileage. So I called AA, checked out the websites, and here’s the scoop (at least as of August 20, 2008).

Read the rest of this entry »

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