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AlienLove: Travel

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 Space: Arctic Shipping Routes Open

TravelFrom: European Space Agency (esa)

Satellite measurements show we are heading for another year of below-average ice cover in the Arctic. As sea ice melts during the summer months, two major shipping routes have opened in the Arctic Ocean.

In 2008 satellites saw that the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route were open simultaneously for the first time since satellite measurements began in the 1970s – and now it has happened again.

While the Northern Sea Route above Russia (also known as the Northeast Passage) has been open to shipping traffic since mid-August, recent satellite data show that the most direct course in the Northwest Passage now appears to be navigable as well.

Located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the Northwest Passage can be a short cut for shipping between Europe and Asia – but with the opening of the sea route comes the potential for both sovereignty claims and marine species migration across the Arctic Ocean. ...


Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, August 25 @ 22:54:50 EDT (660 reads)
(Read More... | 3353 bytes more | Comments? | Space | Score: 0)

 Opinion: Truckers Play a Key Food Safety Role

TravelBy Amanda Hitt

Food safety is running afoul in Springdale — in more ways than one. First, meat and grain agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey linked to a salmonella outbreak and temporarily shut its turkey processing plant in the Arkansas city in early August. Then, a Tyson Foods driver died after being pinned between two truck trailers outside a Springdale poultry plant.

The death of 50-year-old Merrill Reynolds, who worked for Tyson for nearly three decades, should draw much-needed attention to the critical role of truckers in today's food system. Often overlooked, food safety and security during transport is absolutely critical for keeping America's food supply safe. Consider transportation vulnerabilities like temperature control of meats, or the general sanitation and upkeep of vehicles. One compromised shipment could easily sicken thousands of consumers.

Food transportation also represents an environmental challenge. Every cross-country load of produce spews carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University estimated that about 11 percent of food-related greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, August 17 @ 23:03:24 EDT (794 reads)
(Read More... | 4772 bytes more | Comments? | Opinion | Score: 0)

 Opinion: Riled West - There's just too much corn and coal

TravelBy William A. Collins

Seeing life,
As West we roam;
Sometimes best,
To stay at home.


For a Yankee, driving to the West can painfully confirm many previously unverified suspicions. First, of course, one must stifle guilt for driving at all. This burden is fortuitously lightened by discovering that the car, which normally gets 40 mpg around home, ramps up to 45 on the road.

But energy matters never stray far from mind. Across Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming the road parallels the UnionPacific. Here one is treated to an endless sequence of oncoming coal trains, 90 cars at a clip, hauling fodder for the maw of mighty Midwestern power plants. It's as if all Wyoming were one gargantuan mine where soon nothing will be left but a blackened pit. It's dispiriting to witness climate change zooming past, one freight car at a time.

Climate change stares out from the roadside too. Botanists have contrived a corn variety so tightly clustered that those ghostly ballplayers from the movie could no longer emerge from between its stalks to play on their true believer's magical field. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, September 08 @ 20:50:39 EDT (829 reads)
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 International: "Iran was not what we had thought"

TravelBy Kourosh Ziabari

Although the relentless and incessant spates of mainstream media's psychological warfare have turned Iran into a hazardous and insecure region in the eyes of global public opinions, thousands of Western tourists "take the risk" of traveling to Iran each year to behold in person the concealed and withheld realities of the peaceful and magnificent Iran which a hawkish leader had idiotically categorized as a part of the so-called "Axis of Evil".

The American, French, German, British and Australian citizens who voluntarily travel to Iran to discover the veiled face of this ancient land usually confess identically that Iran had not been what they had thought. The interesting similarity in the viewpoints and statements of the Western citizens who find their preconceptions and prejudgments about Iran absolutely unfounded and erroneous upon visiting the country clearly reveals the fact that the Western corporate media are portraying Iran antagonistically and this is simply a misleading indoctrination to the global audiences who don't have sufficient information about Iran, its ancient civilization, history and contemporary developments.

The foreign tourists, specially the western journalists and artists who come to Iran to examine the veracity of their countries' media propaganda, usually get surprised and astonished by arriving at the splendor of Iran, its cultural heritage, industrial advancements and natural beauties.

The Western mainstream media's dominant trajectory with regard to Iran is mere demonization and nothing else. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, May 25 @ 21:29:09 EDT (848 reads)
(Read More... | 6965 bytes more | Comments? | International | Score: 0)

 Politics: The Last Indian Trader Ruined By Park Service Incompetence

TravelLawsuit Filed to Unearth Suppressed IG Report into Agency Misconduct

Washington, DC - One of the very last authentic Indian traders was put out of business by a misguided and inept National Park Service (NPS) investigation, but the attempt to right the wrongs has stalled in years of bureaucratic foot-dragging, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Today PEER filed a federal lawsuit against the Interior Department Office of Inspector General (IG) under the Freedom of Information Act to force it to release its long-completed report into the fiasco.

Billy Malone was one of the last of the real Indian Traders formerly employed by Western National Parks Association (WNPA) as the resident trader at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site in Ganado, Arizona. Indian traders are a vanishing tradition of the Old West, and the national historic site at Hubbell Trading Post was a congressionally-mandated effort to keep that tradition alive.

By all accounts, Malone was one of the most experienced and trusted Indian traders on the Navajo Reservation, renowned for commitment to old-time trading ways that had long been encouraged by the National Park Service and even former WNPA officials. But he got crosswise with Jim Babbitt, brother of a former Interior Secretary and then chair of the WNPA board. The Association sparked a formal Park Service probe when it claimed large losses attributable to an alleged embezzlement scheme by Malone. The assigned NPS Special Agent, Clyde Yee, bungled the job, failing to assess if a theft had even occurred, and compounded matters by using false information to support a search warrant and then seizing from Malone a life-savings in personal property not even listed in the warrant. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, September 30 @ 23:05:32 EDT (1126 reads)
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 History/Culture: Hitch-Hiker's Guide to a Better Society: Bring Back the Thumb!

TravelBy Dave Lindorff

Back in 1966 when I was a 17-year old and just finished with my junior year in high school, I spent part of the summer working as a dishwasher and busboy at a couple of restaurants on Cape Cod. It was grueling and low-paid work, and by the time I’d done it for about five weeks, I was ready to give it up.

The road beckoned, and so I contacted a friend, Charlie Vidich, and proposed that we hitch-hike to Alaska, it being the most remote place I could think of that we could get to overland without a passport.

The idea didn’t sit well with our two respective mothers, but we prevailed on them with the help of our fathers, who I think were happy to see us out of the house, and so we packed knapsacks and bedrolls, went out on the road, stuck out our thumbs, and headed north and west.

It took us about 10 days to reach Tok Junction in Alaska at the northern terminus of the Alaskan Highway that coursed from Whitehorse, Yukon to the Alaskan border. We then hitched around the state visiting the sights and the cities of the nation’s last frontier region. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, March 16 @ 19:51:03 EDT (922 reads)
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 Politics: U.S. Transportation Still In A Dream World

Travelby William A. Collins

Fight for highways,
Make a fuss;
But for me,
I need the bus.

The future of transportation in the U.S. is pretty murky, but luckily the recent spike in gas prices did give us a quick look down the road. Even though crude oil futures have now returned to a more civilized level, and even though gasoline itself has drifted back down a bit, the memory of that shock will not go away anytime soon. Drivers don’t want to get caught short like that again.

Neither do the auto companies. Thus the Hummer may soon go the way of the brontosaurus, sacrificed at long last on the altar of fuel economy, and other SUVs and pickups are quickly sprouting hybrid engines. This will make their owners feel environmentally superior, but at the same time allow the manufacturers to hang onto the huge profit margins that attend such monster vehicles.

Then, to deal with those miserly drivers who really get testy about fuel costs, as well as those few tree-huggers who actually worry about the environment, Ford, GM, and Chrysler plan to import little cars designed for foreign roads from their own overseas plants. This seemingly cheap solution is unlikely to satisfy American drivers, however, and will give a boost to Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Subaru, Kia, etc. who have already established the quality of their cars on U.S. highways That’s when we can expect to pay for the next auto industry bailout.

Elsewhere in the world a more common response to the gas crisis is to enhance mass transit. Not here. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, October 09 @ 20:49:29 EDT (963 reads)
(Read More... | 4370 bytes more | Comments? | Politics | Score: 0)

 Spirituality: The Gathering Inn: Bed, Breakfast, and Beyond, Part Two

TravelBy Carolyn Baker

In Part Two, Sally Erickson and Tim Bennett share their vision for and current activities at the Gathering Inn, in Hancock, Vermont, not the least of which is creating a nurturing space for awake individuals or families who would like to join them in sharing conversation, food, and the glorious beauty of the Mad River Valley in autumn.--CB [Part One may be read here.]

CB: It seems like as you're talking, the Gathering Inn would be a wonderful place for couples or individuals or families to come for the weekend and rest and sort of have a vacation with people who are on the same page and therefore not feel so isolated as they do in the real world they live in day after day.

TB: A friend recently suggested that it would be a good place for people to come where they could let out that part of themselves that always has to keep their awareness to themselves.

CB: I notice that the sub-phrase on your logo is "a next-paradigm inn." Can you say more about that?

TB: I notice that everyone talks about the next paradigm, but nobody does anything about it. It became really clear on our screening tours that we have to move beyond talking about that different level of awareness that Einstein pointed to, taking some steps and kind of feeling our way into what that might be by planting some seeds. Future generations will certainly have more to say about it than we will, but we can plant those seeds and start some movement in that direction. So we're trying to do that. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, October 06 @ 20:24:20 EDT (1710 reads)
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 Truth To Power: The Gathering Inn: Bed, Breakfast, And Beyond

TravelBy Carolyn Baker

Ecovillages, intentional communities, anarchist collectives, Community Supported Agriculture, bicycle culture, animal husbandry, natural building techniques, biochar, sail transport network, and the path of the peaceful spiritual warrior. And more, add away. If you are not a part of these things, or aren’t supporting them, then you are definitely part of the problem and will be left behind in today’s Consumer Age. Whether the latter is a good or bad memory, we'll see.-- Jan Lundberg

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving--Lao Tzu

If you're watching the state of the world and are up to speed on the collapse of civilization, and if you want to take a vacation or just get away for the weekend, where do you go? Do you want to hang out with folks who haven't noticed that "normal" is over and that a new paradigm is foisting itself upon us whether we welcome it or not? If that's you're only option when planning your getaway, you may lose your motivation to pursue it-unless you could escape to a place where you'd be surrounded by people who know what you know and are willing to talk about it with you. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, September 18 @ 20:48:21 EDT (2217 reads)
(Read More... | 14931 bytes more | Comments? | Truth To Power | Score: 0)

 War News: I Was a Victim of the Government’s Absurd & Over-Hyped War on Terror

TravelBy Dave Lindorff

I was injured thanks to the government’s ridiculous airport security program last week on a US Air flight from Chicago to Philadelphia. I also saw how pointless the whole thing is, if the supposed goal is really to prevent airline hijackings.

First, my injury. Because of a silly fear that I might blow up a plane with explosives tucked into my running shoes, I, along with everyone else in the security checkpoint line at O’Hare, including two-month-old babies wearing little booties, had to doff my footwear. Clad in just socks, I tried to maneuver my way around a metal counter that held those plastic trays carrying my laptop, my shoes, my belt and change and keys, and my carry-on bag, and in the process my unprotected big toe hit a sharp piece of metal protruding from the table.

The metal sliced right under my toenail, making a painful and bloody cut into the soft tissue under the nail. Cursing and bleeding, I made my way through the metal detector, and collected my goods.

Now, inside my bag, unbeknownst to the Transportation Security Administration inspectors, was a bottle of mouthwash. It was larger than the approved 2-oz size, and it was not in an approved sealed plastic bag. But TSA inspectors looking into their video screens at the X-Ray machine didn’t see it, because I made sure that it was vertical as it passed through. All they saw was a little circle of plastic. Likewise, on an earlier flight, I had made my way aboard with a Swiss Army knife. By standing it in my carry-on bag so that it would be vertical for the X-Ray, I was able to slip it through and onto the plane. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, July 21 @ 22:07:04 EDT (994 reads)
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 Truth To Power: Location, Location, Re-Location

TravelBy Carolyn Baker

For approximately ten days last month I traveled across the United States from my former home in New Mexico to my new home in Vermont. My journey has been the culmination of years of researching and soul searching in response to the odyssey of my species and the earth community which has now entered an irreversible trajectory of collapse.

At the completion of this transition, I feel compelled to clarify a number of issues around my relocation and relocation in general. Obviously, for the past two years on this website I have been talking about relocation as one piece in the complex tapestry of collapse preparation. Therefore, I feel that I owe it to regular readers and subscribers of Truth To Power to let you know that I've taken this enormous step since many of you have relocated long before I did, and many more of you are contemplating doing so. I believe that where we choose to stay or move to is monumentally important in terms of how we prepare or do not prepare for collapse. I do not believe that everyone should relocate, and I certainly do not believe that everyone should relocate in Vermont since relocation is a highly individual decision encompassing myriad factors, and one size definitely does not fit all.

I hasten to add that I just arrived in Vermont a few days ago and that I do not have elaborate plans for making a seamless transition into some groovy ecovillage where I intend to live happily ever after in harmonious community with other collapse watchers. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, June 03 @ 19:12:42 EDT (1544 reads)
(Read More... | 16192 bytes more | Comments? | Truth To Power | Score: 0)

 International: Tourist Destinations: Places of Paradise & Parasites

TravelTranslated by Julia Bulygina

Every big city dweller dreams of going somewhere to forget about traffic jams, hordes of people and buildings of concrete and glass. A well-known portal AskMen.com made a top ten list of most serene places on Earth where people can find peace and calmness.


Top ten places of paradise on Earth

1. Island Tristan da Cunha
The world’s remotest island, Tristan da Cunha, is situated in the South Atlantic Ocean, 2,800 kilometers west of the Republic of South Africa. Here you can really stay alone – the only inhabited island is home to 300 people, and there are 400 tourists annually at most. There are no regular flights to this lost world. One can get there only by fishing boats from the Republic of South Africa. Here you will find an unusual volcanic terrain, hospitable islanders and no criminality at all. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, May 27 @ 17:51:00 EDT (1041 reads)
(Read More... | 5547 bytes more | Comments? | International | Score: 0)

 Rants: The Glory of Living in New England

Travelby Ray Lemiere
StreamingOldies.com

An article first published in 2005....and ideal, I believe, for this time of year as cabin fever slowly drives us all insane.

Last night, I was surfing the internet and I came across a statistic that surprised me. To be honest, that statistic really has nothing to do with this, but it seemed like a good starting point for a rant.

YOU THINK ITS EASY LIVING HERE?

Item: Did you know the Four Seasons have had 29 different members in their long musical career? So, there were actually a lot more than just Four Seasons.
Comment: Big deal. In the northeast, we also have more than four seasons. We have:

Mud Season…Those extra-special days in March and early April that make you curse every dirt road you travel on. ....


Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, February 11 @ 13:04:17 EST (1136 reads)
(Read More... | 4976 bytes more | Comments? | Rants | Score: 0)

 International: Traveling Light

TravelBy Kathy Kelly
t r u t h o u t | Report

Traveling with as light a load as possible is something I long for during long stretches away from home. I routinely discard paperwork and periodicals, "recycle" gifts and give away clothing. But, here in Amman, Jordan, when a ten year-old Iraqi girl named Nauras gave me a camera, I quickly put it in the envelope where I keep my money; confident it would survive my next purge.

The camera consists of two pieces of drawing paper, cleverly folded so that the parts slide past each other, opening up a tiny square "shutter." I think of Nauras peering through the shutter and pretending to snap my picture, then gleefully posing for imaginary snapshots as I take my turn as photographer. I remember her fetching her only other toy, a bedraggled baby doll with long white hair and eyes of aqua blue, and placing it in my arms.

Fortunately, Nauras is playful and inventive; for the time being, she seems somewhat oblivious to the desperate insecurity she and her family face. But though she seems to register it but little, Nauras is no stranger to tragedy. Growing up she daily saw her father's fingerless right hand, a brutal message from Saddam Hussein's government which left Nauras' mother the family's sole breadwinner, and for which, following the US invasion, Nauras' parents had hoped to obtain overseas medical care. They traveled to Jordan seeking a German visa. But a series of catastrophes have ensured that, barring a miracle, they will never complete that journey. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, December 10 @ 21:51:16 EST (1103 reads)
(Read More... | 8561 bytes more | Comments? | International | Score: 0)

 Health News: Euthanasia Triggers Suicidal Tourism in Switzerland

TravelTranslated by Ksenia Sedyakina

Euthanasia is considered to be one of the most complex issues nowadays. Is it well-intentioned help to someone who suffers and wishes to die or a murder of a human being? While some people whose relatives are at death’s door would sacrifice everything to ease and stop their poignant death agony, the Orthodox community holds debates about the sinfulness of suicides and illness as a punishment. Meanwhile, people suffering from incurable diseases from different countries, whose relatives did not give them “help”, come to Switzerland to meet “easy” death at the hands of professionals in accordance with the law.

Switzerland is one of the few European countries where euthanasia is legalized.

A person, who knows about his or her hopeless situation and is unable to endure terrible pain, has a right to stop the torment. Such suicide has been legalized in Switzerland since 1942. There are only three required conditions: a documented proof of the existing disease, relatives’ disinterest in the death of a person and a signed contract, confirming that the decision to leave this world is voluntary and invariable. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, November 29 @ 21:10:54 EST (1055 reads)
(Read More... | 4459 bytes more | Comments? | Health News | Score: 0)


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