Monday, November 19, 2012

Taking Adventure Travel to New Heights

It is said that it's difficult to find anyone who is not interested in traveling! Many people also find great pleasure in "Adventure Travel." Adventure travel is a trip that provides an unusual and exciting experience to the vacationer seeking that never to be forgotten vacation adventure. There are a great many kinds of experiences that fall under this category of travel and we have taken our role in the fascinating world of adventure travels very seriously.

A Little History on Adventure Travel Rentals. A Travel Aggregator is a company that makes a mission out of introducing the American vacationer to all this world has to offer for a fun-filled vacation of heart stopping adventure travel. By building a reputation on not only offering the traveler rentals like RV's, Snowmobiles and Jet Skies, but showing the adventure traveler the many options on where to go and how to turn their adventure vacation into a memorable one. As a long-time adventure traveler, I once envisioned the opportunity to help people throughout the US plan and execute that vacation by matching up the adventure traveler with a person who has all of the adventure "toys" to complete the vacation. Thousands of people have vacation "toys" just sitting around their house, gathering dust but we have solved that problem by showing Americans how to rent out their idle toys from the comforts of their home and even more importantly making money on an adventure toy that would otherwise sit unused. A traveler planning a trip to Yosemite during the winter may look to rent a rustic mountain cabin as well as a snowmobile to explore the vast trails and natural scenery. We can facilitate this entire process.

It's a wild wonderful world! Follow your heart and let the adventure begin. Repelling down the mountains of Arches National Park in Utah for some extreme camping, thrill seekers hiking the Bruce Trail in Bruce Peninsula National Park, or white water rafting in the Grand Canyon are all adventure vacations that are heart stopping yet they are also the type of vacations that make you feel young again! Because, after all, aren't we all trying to stop the march of time? At least that's what it feels like to be an adventure traveler, time has stood still while you gaze at and experience the very best America has to offer. America's 58 national parks are the jewels of the country. Escaping to a safe and peaceful wilderness setting has wide appeal for families seeking a stress-free vacation with a little or allot of adventure. Reserve a spot at one of the thousands of campgrounds in America, and you'll not only have a memorable time sleeping under the stars but you may come back a few years younger.

Try going off the beaten path to see the untamed vistas of Mount Moran in Wyoming's Grand Tetons, the fourth highest peak in the Tetons or the deep forests and majestic trees of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Michigan. Surely, a sight never-to-be-forgotten. RV Travel is not what it used to be. In 2010, the RV turned 100 years old. Three prominent RV historians, renowned RV collector David Woodworth, RV/Motor Home Hall of Fame and Museum archivist Al Hesselbart, and Smithsonian Institution curator Roger White have cited 1910 as the start of the RV industry. Today some 82 million households now own RV's according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. In 1936, Airstream came out with the Clipper, and America's adoration of this particular RV brand took shape. In 1952, RV manufacturers started to realize the marketing benefits of a whole home on wheels. RVs and trailers started to get bigger, and bigger... and bigger. RV travel has become the way families come together in an economical and flexible way to see this beautiful country for their family vacations. Whether they travel in a small trailer RV or a luxury RV Motorhome there is no denying it's one of the best ways to travel and see the countryside.

RV camping opportunities abound with more than 16,000 RV parks, campgrounds and resorts on America's public and private lands. Some of the most beautiful places in North America can be reached by RV's and the destinations are well worth the drive! How about, Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort, in Bar Harbor, Maine. This RV Camping Resort is known as the only national park in New England. The Leisure Resort on the San Marcos River in Texas offers full hook-up RV sites, a fenced pet park for Fido as well as pet-friendly trails, and a scenic riverfront. The Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina is in Big Pine Key, Florida just some 38 miles from Key West. In the mood for a spa or golf vacation? Try The Great Outdoors RV Nature & Golf Resort Titusville, FL. This park is for the big guys, only 18' ft and longer are allowed. No pop-ups or tents allowed! Sam's Family Spa Hot Water Resort was built in 1971 on over 50 acres of selected desert property with underground hot mineral water springs. It is an RV park with all amenities to reserve in America. RV's have pumped in a new enthusiasm for this kind of camping. Luxury RV's like the Bounder Diesel have it all: a spacious floor plan with triple slide-outs, an impressive galley, comfy furnishings, four beds, and lots of storage. Its finishing touches include detailed molding and contemporary light fixtures making the RV feel like a home. Or is "Green" Rving more your thing? Try the first eco-friendly RV, the Ever-Lite by EverGreen, built with all composite, wood-free outside wall construction and all the design characteristics of an eco-friendly home.

Presenting a Beach Holiday With Nature

Enjoy a boat ride. Appreciate the beauty of Laiya from a distance by taking a boat ride out to sea. Accredited operators that provide daily boat trips down the shore can be found in the vicinity. Sail to see spectacular views of the coastline, or savor the impressive vistas of the horizon. You may also catch a glimpse of dolphins, sea turtles, and whale sharks during the tour.

Climb the highest mountain in town. If you're up for a more challenging nature adventure, climb Mt. Daguldol, the highest peak in San Juan. A breathtaking view of the sea and the provinces of Marinduque and Mindoro await on its summit. The mountain is considered as an easy hike because most of the trails here are forest paths that are shaded by towering trees. There are 3 major camp sites at the peak: the "Gulugod Baboy", an area covered with grass, "Niyogan", which sits near a coconut plantation, and "Anahawan", the highest spot of Mt. Daguldol.

See the giant fruit bats. An amazing sight when they are in flight, the giant fruit bats (Pteropus vampyrus) found in the province have a wing span of about a meter long. They are commonly found hanging in trees in a place called Parang Sili Dao. These mammals are already endangered, so the local government is doing its best to preserve and conserve the remaining species.

Watch the egg-laying sea turtles. Recently, the residents of San Juan discovered that the sea turtles (pawikan) are regular visitors on their shoreline. Scenes of pawikans laying their eggs on the long, sandy stretch of Laiya's coastlines have become regular to the locals, especially from the months of November to January. Today, a lot of tourists are drawn to this place to witness the hatching period of these endangered animals.

Explore its underwater world. Laiya is one of the richest diving sites in San Juan, Batangas. The natural sanctuaries in this region shelter diverse species of fish and other marine wildlife. Corals in various forms and colors are visible from the surface of the crystal-clear waters. To make the most of your underwater experience, rent a boat that will take you to the best diving spots. You can also check out some of the best beach resorts in Laiya that offer snorkeling packages.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day Trip From Udaipur and Some Good Udaipur Hotels

Udaipur is a stunningly beautiful city in the desert state of Rajasthan. It is an exotic city blessed with gorgeous lakes and awe inspiring palaces & forts. It is surrounded by the lofty Aravalli ranges, beautiful green gardens, fantabulous fountains and age old mansions in the face of heritage luxury hotels. Read beyond to know about a lovely day trip from Udaipur and some good Udaipur hotels.
Udaipur is often regarded as the 'Venice of the East'. It has been rechristened as the 'City of lakes'. The entire city is dominated and surrounded by the presence of five beautiful lakes which add to its beauty and magnificence. Udaipur tourist attractions reflect an epitome of luxury and grandeur of yeateryears which has made it a hot favorite for tourists from all across the globe. It has always been a much admired outdoor destination for film shoots, royal events and corporate parties. The lovely blend of water and lush green hills along with the presence of ancient temples, heritage palaces and forts makes this place relive history by reminiscing its valor and chivalry.
For an exciting day trip from Udaipur a visit to Ranakpur is a commendable and advisable option. It is located at a distance of 98 km from Udaipur in the mountain ranges of Pali district. Regular buses ply between the two places which take around 4 hours one way. You can even hire a private taxi or cab to reach Ranakpur. The ride takes you through lush green valleys and streams offering heart capturing breathless views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. To enjoy each and every aspect of your travel start early so that you can reach Ranakpur before noon. This place is renowned for its beautifully sculptured Jain temples. It was built during the reign of the Rajput monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. It is marked as one of the five holiest places of the Jain community. The divine architecture and exceptional beauty of these outstanding structures reflect the same hue as the Dilwara temples of Mount Abu. Each temple has been surface carved with equal delicacy and intricacy. The central Chaumukha is dedicated to Adinathji. The unique temples of Parasvanath and Neminath facing the main temple entrance consist of exquisitely carved sculptures and figures resembling the famous Khujaraho temples. The Sun temple which is dedicated to the Sun God is also worth a visit. This temple structure has been beautified and adorned with polygonal walls richly embellished with the carvings of warriors, horses and solar deities. Having such strong religious significance Ranakpur is popularly called the 'The tranquil pilgrimage town' thronged by millions of tourists every year. After an exciting excursion trip around the temple premises you can halt for a sumptuous meal before retrieving back to Udaipur by late evening.
Udaipur Hotels
Udaipur has several heritage luxury hotels which make for a lovely holiday experience. Rajputana Resort is among 3 star Udaipur hotels situated in a peaceful setting amidst the beautiful lush green surrounding. The resort is about10 minutes drive from the city center. The hotel offers well appointed and richly decorated rooms in an eco-friendly atmosphere. Added amenities of the resort include a multi cuisine restaurant, a bar and a swimming pool overlooking the ancient Aravali mountains. The room charges are Rs 3500 per night.

Looking for the Best Places to Live in Florida

Aside from Hawaii, Florida is also a warm place to be in the United States during the cold months. This is the foremost reason why many would choose to have the best places to live in Florida and at the same time look for the best places to retire in Florida.
For people who are keen on having an active lifestyle, Florida is the place to be. There are many attractions that are waiting for eager patrons like theme parks that are truly incredible and the best in the whole world. The awesome ocean is great for water sports that varies from the simplest to the extreme. The younger generation would love to enjoy a good day in the beach, possible even during the winter season as it almost never snows in Florida beaches.
In Florida, there are many things to do that are perfect for the older people who are looking for the best places to retire in Florida.
1. They can go boating and fishing in numerous saltwater and freshwater fishing zones that are open all year long. World record catches are found in Florida so it is a given that fishing enthusiasts will definitely have a good time discovering what the state could offer.
2. The sandy beaches are perfect for afternoon lounges where you can freely relax and inhale the fresh scent of the sea.
3. They can go on a Caribbean or Bahamas cruise as they are just nearby tourist destinations.
4. The best places to live in Florida usually have access to parks that are meant to cater for health conscious individuals who wants to jog, walk, or simply relax at different times of the day.
Older people should consider looking for the best places to retire in Florida as this state has one of the most excellent health care programs. Because it is known to be the best place for the retirees, some of America's world- class health facilities and the best medical practitioners operate there with the aim of providing the best medical services they can give to their clients, especially the retirees who needs medical attention the most.
In Florida, the state does not collect for income tax. You get to keep all of your hard- earned money and spend it at your leisure. You will have more budget for living a comfortable life especially when you are the type who wants to reward oneself after doing all the hard work. There are even homestead tax exemptions which can be useful if you are found to be eligible for that.
So, for both young and old, one should consider moving to the best places to live in Florida. It is like having a year long vacation with no dull moments in between as you always have something to do during your free time. It wouldn't hurt to choose only what is best for you and your family right? After all, it is your choice as to where you would spend your lifetime and choosing Florida among other states could be the best choice.

The Benefits of Living in Beach Apartments

Finding a place to stay can be a challenging and time consuming process. Since there are so many properties available for you to choose from, you may want to take some time to determine what area you want to live in to help narrow down your options. If you are someone who loves the beaches and beautiful sunsets, you may want to consider living in beach apartments.
Instead of living in a place where the best view available to you is the crowded city skyline, you should think about staying somewhere where there is less noise, pollution and more peace and tranquility. You already have to deal with the stresses and frustrations of the world on a daily basis. But when the work day is over and it is time for you to come home, home is where you should be able to let everything go and relax. Beach apartments are located where everyone goes to relax and have some fun. One advantage you would have over everyone else is you won't have to travel just to enjoy the feel of the sand beneath your toes. Any time you want to feel the breeze and smell the water, you can simply open up your windows and let the nature in. Since you have some of the best views just outside of your doorstep, you can wake up every morning feeling refreshed.
In order to make your task of choosing between beach apartments much easier, you should do more than take a tour of the facilities. Take a trip to the beach as well. No two ocean fronts are exactly alike. Pay special attention to the area and the people you see. Take into consideration what amenities are close by. Do you have easy access to grocery stores, restaurants, shopping centers, malls and even freeways and highways? If you are looking for a place where you have tons of peace and quiet, you shouldn't have to gain that at the expense of being far away from civilization.
When you look at the living quarters, don't automatically assume that you are going to have quiet neighbors. Try to visit at times when most people are home; that is usually on the weekends and in the evenings. Inquire about what amenities the staff is including for you if you decide to lease from them. If you are being offered a really low rental amount per month, don't forget to take into consideration the cost of your utilities. Make sure that your rent and monthly utilities are something that you can afford comfortably. Try to find out what the average cost of utilities is from someone who lives there or you can go online and do a search for the averages. Ask to see different beach apartments from the rental property so you can decide on which one is best for your needs. Once you have decided on where you want to live, you can relax knowing that you have the best of both worlds.

Turn Off the Television and Find Some Things to Do

One of the biggest challenges that people in America face is turning off the television. Besides being honored with the stigma as the fattest nation in the world, we have also gained the title as the laziest. In an effort to help increase awareness and activeness, many organizations all over are coming up with things to do that will encourage people to want to get in shape by being active.
It is no secret that laziness and low amounts of physical activity can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions. In order to lessen your chances of developing them, you need to get off the couch and start moving. Just because you walk from the parking garage at your job to your desk doesn't mean you are getting enough exercise to make a difference. If you are spending more than an hour per day in front of the television, you are not as active as you should be. There are some things to do that will improve your physical health and make you feel much better about yourself.
If you work at a job where you sit at a desk, you should take frequent breaks. Stand up and stretch periodically throughout the day. Sitting for long periods of time is not healthy and can wreak havoc on your health. On your lunch break consider taking a fifteen minute walk to help get the circulation going to your lower extremities.
If you work at a job where you have to engage in large amounts of physical labor or stand for long periods of time, try not to stand in the same position. Move your feet and lift your legs periodically to keep the blood flowing and to prevent numbness. Make sure that you are lifting things properly. Don't attempt to lift something that is too heavy. Anything that you do lift, remember to lift with your knees and ask for help if something is too heavy.
If you have free time on the weekend, don't just sleep the day away. If you feel tired or are low energy, you need to get your body in shape so that you have more energy naturally. This means that you need to find some things to do outside of your of your home. Take a trip to your local museum and learn a little bit about the different cultures. See what activities they have going on that can help you meet and make new friends. Find out more information about stuff that you are interested in and increase your knowledge.
Go to the gym. Even if you don't plan on spending more than an hour working out, that hour is going a long way to improving your health. Initially you may be a little sore, however once your body adjusts to working out on a regular basis, you will find that you have a better mood, healthier body and improved physique. You will be more active because your body has more energy.

Laiya, Batangas: Presenting a Beach Holiday With Nature

An easy 3-hour drive from Manila will bring you to the best beach resorts in Laiya, giving you the perfect weekend getaway to recharge and unwind. For years, the province of Batangas, Philippines has been a favorite outpost of weekend-warriors, for its proximity to the capital, as well as its long stretch of coastline and diving havens. Here, travelers get close to nature by engaging in a slew of exciting activities. To discover the wonders of this tropical destination and make the most of your stay at a Laiya beach hotel, here is a shortlist of the things that you must try during your stay.
Enjoy a boat ride.
Appreciate the beauty of Laiya from a distance by taking a boat ride out to sea. Accredited operators that provide daily boat trips down the shore can be found in the vicinity. Sail to see spectacular views of the coastline, or savor the impressive vistas of the horizon. You may also catch a glimpse of dolphins, sea turtles, and whale sharks during the tour.
Climb the highest mountain in town.
If you're up for a more challenging nature adventure, climb Mt. Daguldol, the highest peak in San Juan. A breathtaking view of the sea and the provinces of Marinduque and Mindoro await on its summit. The mountain is considered as an easy hike because most of the trails here are forest paths that are shaded by towering trees. There are 3 major camp sites at the peak: the "Gulugod Baboy", an area covered with grass, "Niyogan", which sits near a coconut plantation, and "Anahawan", the highest spot of Mt. Daguldol.
See the giant fruit bats.
An amazing sight when they are in flight, the giant fruit bats (Pteropus vampyrus) found in the province have a wing span of about a meter long. They are commonly found hanging in trees in a place called Parang Sili Dao. These mammals are already endangered, so the local government is doing its best to preserve and conserve the remaining species.
Watch the egg-laying sea turtles.
Recently, the residents of San Juan discovered that the sea turtles (pawikan) are regular visitors on their shoreline. Scenes of pawikans laying their eggs on the long, sandy stretch of Laiya's coastlines have become regular to the locals, especially from the months of November to January. Today, a lot of tourists are drawn to this place to witness the hatching period of these endangered animals.
Explore its underwater world.
Laiya is one of the richest diving sites in San Juan, Batangas. The natural sanctuaries in this region shelter diverse species of fish and other marine wildlife. Corals in various forms and colors are visible from the surface of the crystal-clear waters. To make the most of your underwater experience, rent a boat that will take you to the best diving spots. You can also check out some of the best beach resorts in Laiya that offer snorkeling packages.

Pisa and Florence, Italy

After taking the train from Venice, we made a quick stop in Pisa to see the Leaning Tower before going on to Florence. Our first view of the tower was one of total amazement. According to history, the tilt of the tower began shortly after construction started in 1173 and continued for most of the 344 years it took to build. The tower was finally completed in 1319 but was halted several times during construction, once for almost one hundred years, because of the continuous tilting. Currently the tower is 183.27 feet high on the low side and 186.02 feet tall on the high side. There are about 294 steps to the top with the stairs wrapping around in a spiral formation on the inner side of the walls. Renovation work has been done on the foundation in recent years and it is estimated that it will be good for another two hundred years at least. However, in spite of the work done, neither of us was inclined to make the climb to the top. It looked like it would be a long way down and the tilt was significant.
The Leaning Tower was another one of those sites that, although having seen many pictures previously, is quite unbelievable anyway. It almost defies the laws of gravity. The other buildings in the square, the Cathedral and Baptistry, were very impressive in their architecture and although picturesque, it was the tower that held everyone's rapt attention. The tower is the third oldest structure in Pisa's Cathedral Square. After getting the usual corny touristy pictures of holding up the tower, we headed back to the train station to continue our trip to Florence.
Our accommodation for our one night stay in Florence was a room in a hostel. We were very impressed with the set-up of the hostel and the statues displayed in the lower court yard. Also impressive was the fact that both breakfast and dinner were available at extremely reasonable prices for those who were staying there. Our trip of Europe unfortunately, has been a case of a lot of tasting the icing but not having time to eat the cake. But it has opened up our eyes to what can be seen when you travel and what a wonderful experience it is.
Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance and has been called the Athens of the Middle Ages. It is a city steeped in history and lures you down its streets with its architectural wonders. Shortly after our arrival, we took a guided walking tour. Throughout our short tour of Florence, our guide pointed out many buildings, indicating whether their architectural influence was Renaissance, medieval, Baroque or that of the Medici family.
The first place we visited was the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore built in Renaissance style architecture. Built in 1296, the facade of green, pink and white marble was not completed until 1436. Our guide explained that lack of financial resources was the reason for this. Another place we visited was the Plazza della Signoria which is in the center of the historic area featuring an open air sculpture exhibit. There are many squares in Florence and many are like outdoor museums with beautiful works of art. Also, the Ponte Vecchio, built in 1345, was Florence's first bridge across the Arno River and the only bridge surviving from medieval times.
Taking us to a Gelato shop, our guide claimed it was the best in all of Florence. Most who got one seemed to agree with her. Besides there being many cafes and restaurants, it is also considered to have some of the best shopping in all of Europe. She said that the city is the place to come to see art by Michelangelo, as well. There are many pieces of his art throughout the city.
The Uffizi Gallery is a place that should not be missed having only masterpieces and works of art collected by kings and other royalty. This includes such artists as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Goya, Bellini, Leonardo Da Vinci and Botticelli. The gallery, built in 1560, has art dating from the 13th century.
At the end of the tour, our guide left us in one of the many sqtares in Florence, letting us find our way back to the hostel ourselves. This gave us the opportunity to explore more of Florence in the short time we had available.
Our next adventure is Rome where we will be able to stay for three nights and have a little more time to explore that city.

Beach Apartments Are a Great Place to Call Home

Did you know that living in beach apartments is much healthier than living in the city? According to several studies done in different countries, those who live closer to the oceans and beaches are much healthier than those who live elsewhere. This seems to suggest that there are some additional benefits to living seaside besides being able to feel the sand beneath your toes. If you are searching for a new place to stay and looking for an area that where you will feel the most at ease, then you should look no further than beach apartments.
People who live near the oceanfront have the best relaxation environment at their doorstep. After a long day at work, the first thing you want to do is go home so you can get away from all of the stress and frustrations you may have. When you live in beach apartments, you don't even have to leave the house. You can open your windows, step out on the terrace and start forgetting about the things that have made your day so stressful. Instead of you having to travel far just to escape, you can simply walk out of your front door and in a few short moments you will be walking along the oceanfront.
If you want to have a romantic night, you don't have to spend a ton of money and go to some fancy restaurant. You can simply add some minor details to your home, open the windows to let the breeze in and open the drapes. You can create a romantic setting in the comfort of your home and spend more of your time bonding with your significant other. Both of you can enjoy the tranquil view that exists just outside of your windows. Sunrises and sunsets make for some very beautiful and romantic dates.
If you like to jog, you can do so just outside of the beach apartments. You can go swimming and participate in other activities that will improve your social life and your health. You don't have to go far since your new home is located just a few moments away from all of the excitement.
Beach apartments are a great place to live if you need some inspiration in your life. Living near the water can help to soothe and calm your mind. You can learn how to meditate and focus better. You will be in a better mood and feel more motivated to do more things that will make you more productive in other areas of your life. You have easier access to more amenities. You can spend more time with nature since you will live so close to it. You can enjoy some of the local events for free such as fireworks and concerts. Since you will live in an area that people of all ages can have fun, you can mix and mingle with friends, family and other associates without you having to leave home.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to Survive Nonstop Hong Kong Walk-A-Thons

When I went to Hong Kong last year, it felt like an amazing race. My friend Jen and I were determined to cover as much ground as we could in the four days and three nights we were there. We were able to do that by walking a LOT.
If ever you find yourself in Hong Kong and wonder why most Hong Kong natives are slim, it's probably because they are always walking. In fact, most women are able to walk long distances in fashionably high heels. For the casual traveler, here are some tips on how you can survive nonstop walk-a-thon in Hong Kong.
Absorbent and Quick Dry
All-day walking means you're going to be sweating buckets especially in sunny weather. Trust me, an extra shirt is not going to be enough. It was summer in Hong Kong when I went there so I opted to wear shorts and a thin but comfy shirt. Lightweight clothes dry easily under the sun. So whenever Jen and I needed a break, we would find a seat under the shade or go inside a cafe to cool off and dry ourselves. A small absorbent hand towel is also more helpful than a handkerchief.
Flat is Not Equal to Comfort
People often think that flat shoes equals comfort. This is not always the case. A friend of mine made this mistake when she wore doll shoes while walking endlessly. She complained that her feet were so sore, she had to stay off them the next day. Flip-flops are also a no-no. You need sufficient protection for your feet lest someone steps on them. Slippers are too flimsy and break easily. Don't use new shoes when traveling. You won't know they're suitable for walking unless they have been broken in. Sneakers are your best bet or any comfortable pair of footwear that have been tried and tested for traveling.
Sparkly Vampires Need One, Too
We all know how unpredictable weather is and we never really know how the day will turn out unless we're there. We went to Hong Kong in July so the weather was sunny with clear blue skies. I was glad I had my trusty portable umbrella with me to shield me from the scorching sun. You can also opt for a cap or a hat but if you have sensitive pale skin that burns easily, use an umbrella instead. In Hong Kong, I saw so many citizens wielding gorgeous umbrellas, some with sequins and embroidery. Unfortunately, the language barrier prevented me from finding out where I can buy the fancy looking ones.
Leave Excess Baggage Behind
Walking while lugging heavy suitcases or bags is exhausting. It takes the joy out of exploring especially when you're busy worrying if your luggage might get stolen. What Jen and I did was that we left our things at our hotel's concierge while we set out to explore the city. We carried small bags for the bare necessities: wallet, cellphone, digital camera and map. As much as we wanted to bring the dslr camera, we didn't want it to weigh us down while traveling on foot.
Lather up and Drink a Lot
When I say lather, I don't mean the soapy kind. Drink here doesn't mean alcohol either. Lather up on sunscreen and make sure you are protected from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Use sunblock with sufficient SPF for your skin. They say the higher SPF, the better. But sometimes these can be too strong for sensitive skin. Remember to hydrate and drink a lot of water. You can bring your own water bottle or just buy from 7-Eleven stores found everywhere in Hong Kong. If you plan to visit theme parks like Disneyland, they have water fountains where you can refill your bottles.

New York City and Its Unique Attractions

With a skyline that is renowned the world over, New York City is an incomparable international destination. Whether it's your first visit to New York or your tenth visit, there's always something new and refreshing to see and do in New York tours. New York City pulsates with an unmistakable vibrancy that attracts more than 45 million visitors annually. The city holds tourist attractions galore and it is difficult to draw up an entire list of places one should see when in New York.
Statue of Liberty tour - A historic gift from France for the centennial of America's Independence which now symbolizes the USA and a memorable landmark in New York. A short boat trip is all that is needed for you to get to the Statue of Liberty from Manhattan.
The Brooklyn Bridge - this far-famed bridge, built in late nineteenth century, connects Manhattan with New York's most populous borough, Brooklyn. The bridge is one of the most magnificent spectacles in New York.
Times Square - This is arguably the most bustling square of New York and is particularly known for its plethora of Broadway theatres, cinemas and super signs. This is one part of New York City that never sleeps.
Central Park - This lush green park is one of those star attractions that lend New York such a unique charm. This massive park spread over 843 acres (341 ha), is located in the heart of Manhattan. Its design is exquisite and worth emulating by city parks around the world.
Empire State Building tour - The Empire State Building reflects the soaring ambition of humans to build towers that stretches out to the skies. It probably is New York's most famed building and is prominently printed on several picture postcards.
Rockefeller Center - This center familiarly known as Radio City is a buildings complex that was strangely developed during the Great Depression. Initially the complex comprised of 14 buildings and to this day, this 70 story RCA building is the tallest.
The headquarters of the U.N. in New York were developed by group of professional architects of international renown. The main building - the Secretariat - was one of the city's first towers developed conforming to international style and standards.
Metropolitan Museum of Art - This rare museum features more than two million works of art spanning thousands of years. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most commodious and prolific art museums in the world and it should not be missed by any visitor to New York.
Bryant Park - This park may be described as an enchanting 8 acre (3ha) lush green oasis at the intersection of 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue. Even though the park is surrounded by busy streets with heavy traffic, it is strangely a very quiet park with the right ambiance for relaxation. The design is eye-catchy with a huge, central lawn encircled by trees.
Grand Central Terminal is one of two splendid gateways that were built in New York in the heyday of railway transportation and it is certainly worth a visit.
Do not forget the World Trade Center - the National September 11 Memorial - that pays a poignant tribute to the victims of the historic terrorist attacks.
The list is endless and you will do well to use a shuttle tour that will cover all the landmark spots in New York. You may contact New York Shuttle Tours (Phone: 1-866-991-TOUR (8687) for availing their 9 Hour New York Daily tours or 4 Hour Tour of the city. Please visit: New York Tours for more information
Being an expert in writing articles,Larry Daron has contributed articles related to New York Tours. He has written many articles in various topics related to New York Tours. For more information visit New York Bus Tours.

Is Your Car Ready for Your Holiday?

If you're going on holiday then there are a lot of things you need to consider. This means for instance making sure that you have all your spending money and your travel documents/passports. It means making sure that you have given yourself ample time to get to the airport, it means making sure that you know what you have planned for when you're out there, and it means making sure that you have arranged for someone to come around and water the plants/pick up your post.
All this then means taking care of yourself, of your home, and of the holiday. At the same time though there is one other factor you need to take care of because you go away and that's the car. Most likely you'll be driving to the airport and back, and this is a crucial link in making sure that you arrive at your destination on time and without stress. But how do you know if your vehicle is ready? Here we will look at some tips to help you do just that.
Your Car's Condition
For most of us the journey to the airport is a relatively long one and that means that we need to make sure our car is in good nick and up to the challenge. The first thing to do then is to ensure you're topped up with petrol and the best advice is to do this the night before your travel so that there's no chance of you getting stuck in traffic or finding it's closed down. Fill this all the way up and you might be able to get back on the same tank.
Other things to consider are of course your water, your oil and your tires and you should do all this the night before as well. If you have any other problems such as a cracked windshield or bad suspension or brakes, then make sure you get these seen to as soon before your holiday as possible.
The Route
The one downside of driving to the airport is of course that you need to be in charge of getting there and this means knowing the route and the time to set off. Plan your route out again before you go, look into how long it should take, and then plan everything else around that.
If you're driving to the airport and back you will need somewhere to leave it while you're gone. Don't assume you'll find parking when you get there - look online first and try to find somewhere that will keep your car well sheltered from the elements and safe from car thieves, but at the same time will be easily reachable to and from the airport.
You have packed, but have you packed the car? Again, the less there is to worry about in the morning, the quicker you can set off and the more you can enjoy a quiet breakfast. Don't just pack your cases then, get them in the boot and make sure you're all ready to go. This way you also eliminate the chance of forgetting anything crucial.

Chiaroscuro: The Power Of Light-Dark

On my Facebook page, I have already posted a few examples of chiaroscuro photographs that I made some time ago in Siem Reap and thought I'd write a post about them. Chiaroscuro photographs are a natural for the temples of Angkor Wat; an ideal place to apply this technique with its dark-light ambiance.

Chiaroscuro is an Italian coinage word which literally means 'light-dark', and is a way to enhance a scene by placing light and darkness next to each other. I don't want to be wordy, but penumbra can also be present in chiaroscuro scenes, as in the lower folds of the monk's robes in the top photograph.

Provided the right lighting situation presents itself, or is set up (as most of these accompanying photographs are) with one source of light , one can achieve the effect by exposing for the absolute highest tones in the image. I generally do it by using spot metering and opting for manual exposure.

I was also interested to know that there is a technique called tenebrism, (also from the Italian tenebroso or dark/unclear, which is a style of painting using very pronounced chiaroscuro. Meedo Taha, a photographer, film maker and architect (and a Facebook friend) reminded me of Caravaggio, who is credited with the invention of the style.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Another visit to MaMa Nyonya Restaurant at Taman Molek, Johor Bahru.

We had been visited the MaMa Nyonya Restaurant (N1.52412 E103.78532) at Taman Molek for few times in the past, and I would like to share some Nyonya dishes served by the restaurant with you.

Beside that I mentioned on previous post, these are some of the Nyonya Delicacies that you will not going to miss it...

Ayam Keluak (Authentic Nyonya dish)

Ayam Keluak from MaMa Nyonya Restaurant

The Authentic Buah Keluak from Indonesia

If you like know more about 'Buah Keluak', please click here : Peranakan Cuisine.

The preparation of the dish above took much more longer compare with other dishes...estimately one day. Some peoples might not easy to adapt the taste of the Buah Keluak, we normally mixed it with the rice and we like it very much! The curry chicken was tender and tasteful.

Garlic Ginger Fish

Garlic Ginger Fish from MaMa Nyonya Restaurant

The fish was fresh and the taste goes well with the dried garlic.

Ayam (chicken) rendang from MaMa Nyonya Restaurant

I believe most of us will think, this Ayam Rendang is commonly available anywhere around Malaysia. But the taste was different from the normal stall I visited, it had a thick rendang and nice frangrance taste. One of the Nice Rendang Chicken I ever taste before..

Sambal Petai Sotong (squid)

Sambal Petai Sotong from MaMa Nyonya Restaurant

If you follow my blog post, you'll notice that we like this dish very much! As long as the dish available in the restaurant, we'll ouder. It taste like others, but the sambal was different and Good!

Bean Sprout with salted fish

Bean Sprout with salted fish

This was average but the satled fish was nice!

Nyonya Spicy Steamed Fish

Nyonya Spicy Steamed Fish

Normal steamed fish mixed with Nyonya Homemade Chili paste. This was my first time tasting the Nyonya dish! The homemade chili paste and the steamed fish really enhanced this Nyonya Delicacy very well! Hardly describe by words, you have to taste it yourself for the Delicious steamed fish!

We had a delightful dinner every time we visited the restaurant, we listed as one of our Favorite Restaurant within the Taman Molek area.

Related posts :-
* MaMa Nyonya Restaurant (Home cook) at Taman Molek, Johor Bahru.
* Nyonya Popiah at MaMa Nyonya Restaurant, Taman Molek - Johor Bahru.

MaMa Nyonya Restaurant
8, Jalan Molek 1/28,
Taman Molek, Johor Bahru
Tel : +6016-7167190 (Grace Lim)

Location map of MaMa Nyonya Restaurant at Taman Molek, Johor Bahru.

Muhammad Fadli: The Wa People

Photo © Muhammad Fadli-All Rights Reserved

I stumbled on the website of Muhammad Fadli, an Indonesian travel and documentary photographer, whose various galleries include photographs made in Taiwan, China, India, Singapore, and his native country.

I favored his work from Wengding, a Wa minority village in Yunnan which he titled Wa Frontier. Wengding is about 20 miles from Cangyuan county seat. The village is made up of 98 families who've kept primitive Wa residential architectures and ethnic culture. It has been the best-conserved primitive ethnic community and the must-see tourist site in Lincang Municipality.

You'll see images of buffalo skulls in the gallery, and that's because the Was used human skulls in their religious rituals, which included sacrifice to the God of Rice. These have been replaced by buffalo heads which are a symbol of wealth.

As for the woman with blackened teeth in the above photograph; blackened teeth is relatively common amongst ethnic minorities and tribes in Vietnam, China, Laos and Cambodia. Most of us have noticed that some Asian women cover their mouths when talking or laughing. This is a remnant of a superstition that exposing teeth is uncivilized savagery, and that's the reason behind blackened teeth. In Vietnam for example, the original rationale for blackening of teeth at puberty was the assurance that one would not be mistaken for an evil spirit!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Clear blue sea

Never getting tired of taking photos of this boat. Bequia in the background..

Can't stop looking at Alex's image below by the way, not because it's of me, but because it's perfectly composed with the angles, the shadow of my fingers and the stripes of my dress in perfect symmetry.. Some images are just so much more attractive for the eye than others, and I'm loving that Alex has started to spend more time with the camera lately. Less boat work, more time to be creative...

Transformar la luz del sol en carburante limpio ya es posible.


La idea de almacenar energía solar para convertirla en hidrógeno no es nueva, pero un nuevo prototipo de bajo costo, utiliza agua y óxido para producir esta molécula, presentado este domingo en Nature Photonics, puede aumentar considerablemente el potencial de este sector.

Con el objetivo de conseguir energía disponible a cualquier hora del día y de la noche, los científicos de la Escuela Politécnica Federal de Lausana (EPFL) desarrollaron una tecnología que transforma la luz del sol en un carburante limpio, el hidrógeno, pero utilizando materiales baratos.

La receta usa agua (H2O), compuesta por oxígeno e hidrógeno, y óxidos metálicos, por ejemplo el de hierro, que no es más que herrumbre.

El problema es que el óxido de hierro, un material abundante y estable, no es un buen semiconductor. El óxido de hierro utilizado por los investigadores es algo más complejo que el de un viejo clavo.

El "Nanoestructurado", contiene óxido de silicio y está cubierto con una capa nanométrica de óxido de aluminio y de cobalto: unos tratamientos que "optimizan las propiedades electroquímicas del material, pero que son sencillas de aplicar", recalca la EPFL en un comunicado.

El rendimiento del dispositivo, todavía experimental, es "modesto", admite, de entre 1.4 y 3.6 por ciento. Pero se espera que alcance un rendimiento del 10 por ciento en algunos años y de 16 por ciento a término, sin perder de vista el objetivo de bajo costo.

Descubren Estrella de la Muerte en Saturno


Una magnifica imagen fue tomada por la sonda Cassini durante su paso por Saturno, el segundo planeta más grande del sistema solar y único con anillos, en la que aparece una de sus más pequeñas lunas que tiene un enorme parecido con la "Estrella de la Muerte, de la saga cinematográfica "La Guerra de las Galaxias".

Las fotografías tomadas por la sonda enviada en 1997 por la agencia NASA , muestran al cuerpo esférico "Mimas", de tan sólo 396 kilómetros de ancho, que tiene en una de sus caras un enorme cráter que hace referencia a la estrella artificial de la película.

El pequeño satélite, que queda eclipsado por el gigantesco planeta anillado, muestra multitud de impactos de cuerpos celestes, entre los que destaca ,además por su posición en la luna, en un lugar muy similar al de la "Estrella de la Muerte" el referido cráter.

La sonda Cassini fue enviada al espacio en 1997 al mismo tiempo que la Huygens  y pasó por el planeta Saturno en 2004, como parte de un trabajo conjunto entre la agencia estadounidense, la europea y italiana.

Fuente : NTX.

Monday morning

Just got back from a morning hike up the hills, what a breathtakingly beautiful island this is. The hills, valleys, never ending palm plantations and the wild nature combined with flowers in every color imaginable. Must bring the camera next time. We've never really given the main island of St Vincent a chance before as we've always been on a mission somewhere else nearby, Canouan, Bequia or Tobago Keys which also are part of the nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines. This time we'll stick around for a few more days before heading to another neighboring island. Hope you all have a good beginning to the new week. Soon thanksgiving I hear!

Kuba Kaminski: The Whisperers

Photo © Kuba Kaminski-All Rights Reserved
In remote northeastern Poland there lives a group of elderly Orthodox devotees who are said to possess special powers. They are called “Whisperers.”

The work of Kuba Kaminski was recently featured in LENS, the photo blog of The New York Times, and it got my attention, not only because of its subject matter, but also because of the back stories that are told by Mr Kaminski about this photo essay.

"The Whisperers" are people in northeastern Poland who believe they have the power to heal diseases and physical pain, and that they are able to throw bad spells and exorcise possessed people from evil. It seems that they, mostly elderly women, treat their 'patients' by whispering special prayers.

I initially shrugged off this as being a way to con people out of their money, but it appears that the "whisperers" take no money for their services. After all, I've come across shamans in Bhutan, balians on Bali, the Zar women in Egypt, and the charlatans in the Sufi shrines of South Asia....but reading the text on the LENS blog, and Mr Kaminsky introduction of his web site makes me wonder.

Do read the article on the LENS blog with the back stories recounted by the photographer, and of his initial incredulity.

As he's quoted in the article...“It’s this type of situation when if you believe in something, maybe it’s true or maybe it’s the power of suggestion. Maybe it’s real spirits, and you don’t know that, and you cannot know that because, how can you?”

Kuba Kaminski was born in Poland, and hold a degree in photography from Lodz Film School. He worked as a photographer for the "Zycie" daily and a staff photographer for "Rzeczpospolita" daily newspaper till 2012. He's currently part of reportage. by Getty Images Emerging Talent.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Freedom is...

... watching your boat swing with the wind on the clear blue sea and knowing that you don't have to be any specific where in the next few weeks.

(still a bit annoyed about the dinghy story though..)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

POV: Is It Time For The Mamiya 645 (Again?)

I've been thinking about my Mamiya 645 film camera and its 80mm f2.8 Sekkor for some time. It's been stored in my closet for some 20 years...virtually untouched. I had bought it at the start of my photography hobby (which it was then), and used it to learn the craft, thinking that I would continue using it...but with the technological advances in the SLRs and later on, the was forgotten and sat forlornly in the closet ever since.

I believe cameras are tools; nothing more and nothing less. And I just couldn't think of a specific use for this tool. Although some photographers use it very successfully while traveling, travel photography generally doesn't lend itself to medium format cameras, whether digital or film. They're bulky, heavy and impractical in non-studio settings (or so I think).

However, the quality of its images is superlative.

It needs a bit of a professional cleaning, but before I do that, I'll try it out for a while on local mini personal projects. So I looked around and found that B&H stocks Kodak Tri-X 120 and other brands, and The Darkroom, an outfit in California processes film, and can also digitally scan the film on a CD.

We'll see if this impulse survives the coming few weeks, especially as I've embarked on a minimalistic panoply of tools, or is it just a flash in the pan.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The 8th Angkor Photo Festival

This wonderful Angkor Photo Festival will be held from December 1– 8, 2012 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I know from first hand experience that it's a festival that's well worth participating in, and attending because of the quality of the photography exhibited during its evenings and galleries. The quality of the curating, and the gracious hospitality of Francoise Callier and Jean-Yves Navel is instrumental in making a success of the event, along with the assistance of Camille Plante and Jessica Lim.

Since its inception in 2005, more than 180 young photographers from all over Asia have been selected to participate in the annual free Angkor Photo Workshops. Conducted by renowned international photographers who volunteer their time, the Angkor Photo Workshops provide participants with firsthand training, invaluable exposure and a chance to perfect their art.

I was privileged to attend the Angkor Photo Festival in November 2011 and one of my photo essays The Possessed of Mira Datar was featured at the festival. 

This is a phenomenal opportunity for all photographers, emerging and established. If you haven't submitted your work, go and attend it. You'll never regret it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Descubren exoplaneta gigante que puede ser habitable


Astrónomos han descubierto un sistema solar con seis planetas, uno de los cuales podría albergar vida.

La estrella enana conocida como HD 40307 está situada a 42 años luz de distancia y es el hogar de al menos seis planetas gigantes, uno de ellos un mundo terrenal, que se cree que esta a la distancia adecuada de su estrella para caer en la 'zona Ricitos de Oro ", donde el agua líquida puede existir.

Este nuevo mundo es de aproximadamente siete veces el tamaño de la Tierra y tiene un período orbital de 320 días.

Desafortunadamente, debido a la distancia de la estrella y las dificultades inherentes a aprender más acerca de los planetas será muy difícil determinar nada más sobre el descubrimiento.

"No tenemos ningún seguimiento explícito planeado, por el equipo de HARPS es probable que se reúnan más datos, y en el futuro ser capaces de confirmar estos resultados, y quizás añadir mas planetas ", dijo el astrónomo Steven Vogt.

Los científicos añadieron que tres nuevos planetas a otros tres descubiertos en 2008 orbitando una estrella llamada HD 40307  que tiene aproximadamente tres cuartas partes de la masa del Sol y esta situada a unos 42 años luz de distancia en la constelación de Pictor.

Quitan mas de 30 mil llantas de las Islas Galápagos


Ecuador finalizó con la extracción de mas de 30 mil neumáticos usados de las islas Galápagos mediante un proyecto para declarar a la reserva libre de estos desechos, cuya acumulación sin control amenazaba los frágiles ecosistemas del área, informaron las autoridades.

Un último embarque de 4 mil 400 llantas salió el martes hacia el continente desde la isla San Cristóbal, una de las cuatro habitadas del archipiélago de donde fueron retirados los cauchos a partir de agosto, según un informe del Parque Nacional Galápagos.

Los neumáticos de autos, camiones, motocicletas y bicicletas fueron recolectados y clasificados con la colaboración de instituciones de las islas, tras permanecer hasta décadas en la reserva sin ningún tratamiento, agregó el reporte.

Los artefactos fueron puestos a disposición del Ministerio de Ambiente, que a través del Programa Nacional de Gestión de Desechos los entregó a centros de acopio donde los utilizarán como materia prima para la elaboración de alfombras de carros.

La iniciativa también contó con el apoyo de instituciones como la Armada (Marina de Guerra), que proporcionaron personal y maquinaria.

Hace tres décadas, la Organización de Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (UNESCO) declaró a las Islas Galápagos (a mil kilómetros de la costa ecuatoriana) Patrimonio Natural de la Humanidad por su rica fauna y flora terrestre y marítima.

Fuente : AFP

POV: Chutzpah or Clueless?

Photo © Tewfic el-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

"Hi Tewfic,  As a photojournalist who specializes in the distinct cultures of Asia, Latin America and Africa, and someone who has led photography expeditions in the past, I am curious if a new photography tour from XXXXXXXXXXX is something you would share with your blog readers.

This is the first paragraph of an email I received a few days ago. The rest of the email is essentially describing the photography tour led by a "renowned" travel photographer.

Now this wouldn't be worth a post on this blog, as I get similar solicitations every now and then. However, this solicitation comes from a firm that describes itself as specializing in public relations representing some of the world’s best resorts, destinations and brands. More importantly, the photography tour it refers to is offered by one of the top adventure travel companies in the United States.  

Let me rewrite this: one of the top US based adventure travel companies is asking me to publicize one of its photography tours on this blog...knowing full well that I offer such photography tours and workshops myself. Flattering perhaps, but why would I publicize and endorse a competitor...and one that I know nothing about?

So it's either chutzpah, or the sender of the email is clueless. It also means that The Travel Photographer blog is considered as a must-go-to blog for travel photography and photojournalism professionals, enthusiasts and anyone in between...and its readership is valuable to tap into.

So here's what I'll do;

1. I will reply to the email offering to write a post with all the details of the company's tour against payment of $1500. Since the land cost for the trip is over $10,000, it can surely afford to pay for sharing its details on this blog.

2. The alternative would be for this adventure travel company to advertise my photo expeditions-workshops. I have one planned for the first half of 2013 and have the details ready.

If I get a reply, I'll share it with you.

And what does an Instagram photo of Jimi have to do with this post? Nothing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

El elixir de la vida de Kazajstán

elixir antigu

Científicos de Kazajstán afirman haber desarrollado una bebida a la que le denominan un "elixir de la vida".

El presidente de Kazajstán, Nursultan Nazarbayev, ordenó a a la Universidad Nazarbayev que desarrollara un nuevo elixir en el año 2009.

La bebida con base de yogur conocida como "nar" no suena particularmente revolucionaria, pero los científicos fuera de Kazajstán han expresado interés en su desarrollo.

"Definitivamente, los kazajos están en lo cierto", dijo Roger Highfield. "Hay mucho interés en tratar de ajustar su cultivo microbiano. La mezcla complicada de microbios tiene una gran influencia sobre la obesidad ,la diabetes, tal vez incluso en los ataques al corazón, así que estamos tratando de ajustar los probióticos ahora."

Dr. Jennifer Rampling, experto en elixires con sede en Cambridge, comento : "Nursultan Nazarbayev es el último de una larga línea de gobernantes y personas importantes que se han acercado a los científicos y médicos para encontrar una especie de elixir capaz de prolongar la vida y van en buen camino”

Video de Pie Grande en Provo,Utah

Un hombre que acampaba con su familia en un bosque de Utah ha tomado imágenes de vídeo de lo que se supone que es un Pie Grande .

El vídeo se ha ganado la atención general y acumuló millones de visitas desde su aparición en el sitio de videos YouTube .

El hombre detrás de la cámara, usa el alias de  "Beard Card", y comenta que vio a una criatura con pelaje oscuro entre los arbustos y comenzó a filmar bajo el supuesto de que se trataba de un oso.

Después de unos segundos sin embargo el 'oso' se pone de pie y 'Beard' hace una escapada rápida y desesperada.

"Habíamos estado allí por un tiempo", dijo. "Habíamos pensado que era un oso hasta ese momento, pero cuando se puso de pie y nos miró a nosotros, vi que era  un animal enorme."

Las opiniones están divididas en lo que el video muestra, algunos creen que la criatura es un oso de pie , mientras que otros son de la opinión de que todo es un engaño.


¿Funcionan los mensajes subliminales?


Para algunos, simplemente ver los últimos cortos de una nueva película que pasaran en el cine puede evocar imágenes de palomitas de maíz.

Para otros, tal vez, el sonido de un jingle pegajoso podrían dar lugar a a pensar en comprar un nuevo conjunto de llantas.

Sin saberlo o por lo menos sin estar consciente de esto, el fenómeno podría ser el resultado de los mensajes subliminales.

La idea de que las palabras y las imágenes parpadeantes pueden filtrarse en la mente subconsciente y persuadir a un observador a hacer algo sin su conocimiento llegó a la luz pública en 1950.

Fue entonces cuando un experimento de marketing dirigió el mensaje "Beba Coca-Cola" en una pantalla de cine de Nueva Jersey y este se correlacionó este con el aumento de las ventas de Coca-Cola en esa área.

Si en realidad funciona o no es aún tema de debate.

La idea detrás de la técnica : el parpadeo de imágenes a una velocidad superior a la que los ojos y el cerebro pueden procesar o hablar a un volumen ligeramente inferior a lo que tus oídos oyen permite que los mensajes se pueden colar a través de su mente consciente y en su subconsciente.

La palabra subliminal en sí se deriva de la palabra latina "sub", que significa debajo y "lilen" umbral (por debajo del umbral del conocimiento de la persona).

Los científicos siguen intentando desentrañar el misterio detrás del persuasor furtivo, una investigación lanzada el año pasado muestra que la persuasión subliminal podría ayudarte a aprender, sin darse cuenta.

The Travel Photographer's Hà Nội Streets (X Pro-1)

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
If there’s anywhere that lives life on the street, it’s Hanoi. 

So here is a gallery of 12 monochrome photographs made in its streets. For these I used my Fuji X Pro-1 and the Fujinon 18mm f2.0 lens and most were shot from the hip.

I didn't know this while on my last month's photo expedition-workshop, but it's said that Hanoi's Old Quarter consists of 36 streets (in reality, there's almost twice that number), each originally named for a traditional trade, and those eventually forming guilds. For instanceHàng Muối (salt) Street was where the salt traders converged to sell their ware. Not surprising, since Hanoi's Old Quarter has a history that spans 2,000 years. 

This has now changed to a great extent, with some exceptions such as Hang Bac street (which I walked up and down many times) and that was and still is where goldsmiths and silversmiths plied their craft/trade. Most street names in the Old Quarter start with the word Hàng. Hàng means merchandise or shop.

In Vietnamese, the formal term for street is đường phố; the latter word not be confused with its delicious signature soup, but which is a staple of its streets. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Latest Google Travel Whitepaper

Many travel companies are struggling with the speed of change in the mobile sector and in assessing the scale of the mobile opportunity, in deciding when and how much to invest in mobile, and whether to build mobile optimized sites and/or apps. The travel path to purchase is becoming increasingly complex in a multi-screen world, where customers jump not only from site to site but also from device to device in their online travel-purchasing journey.

The shift from desktop-only towards the use of multiple devices to access the Internet has radically changed how consumers engage with digital content and when they choose to do it. It is no longer an activity we solely conduct either at home or our work via a desktop computer, but is something which now also happens on the train, bus, in a café with friends, everywhere possible.

In this whitepaper we have seen evidence that usage behavior varies by device, which in turn has made the travel-purchasing process highly complex and therefore challenging for advertisers to fully grasp and benefit from. The only common denominator across all devices is that we, as users, expect to have our needs for information and services fulfilled immediately in a seamless and intuitive way. Travel advertisers must meet these expectations in order for their multi-platform strategies to become successful.

You can access the whitepaper here.

Posted by Jonas Vang Gregersen, Senior Industry Analyst UK.

Election Day

"Vote For Obama" chalk graffiti on a sidewalk in SoHo.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

La famosa teoría de la relatividad


Albert Einstein fue famoso por muchas cosas, pero su mayor creación es la teoría de la relatividad. Esta teoría cambió para siempre nuestra comprensión del espacio y el tiempo.

¿Qué es la relatividad? Sucintamente palabras, es la noción de que las leyes de la física son las mismas en todas partes.

Nosotros aquí en la Tierra obedecemos las mismas leyes de la luz y la gravedad como alguien en algún punto lejano del universo.

La universalidad de la física significa que la historia es provincial.

Diferentes telespectadores pueden ver el tiempo y el espacio del mismo evento de forma diferente.

Lo que para nosotros es un millón de años podría ser simplemente un abrir y cerrar de ojos para  alguien en un cohete de alta velocidad o alguien que cae en un agujero negro.

Todo es relativo.

La relatividad especial

La teoría de Einstein se divide en relatividad especial y general.

La Relatividad especial llegó primero y se basa en que la velocidad de la luz es constante para todo el mundo. Esto puede parecer simple, pero tiene consecuencias de largo alcance.

Einstein llegó a esta conclusión en 1905 tras pruebas experimentales que mostraron que la velocidad de la luz no cambió cuando la Tierra gira alrededor del sol.

Este resultado fue sorprendente para los físicos porque la velocidad de la mayoría de las cosas no depende de la dirección en la que el observador se mueve.

Si tu conduces tu coche junto a las vías del tren, el tren parecerá estar moviéndose mucho más rápido que si dio la vuelta y siguió en otra dirección.

Einstein dijo que todos los observadores medirán la velocidad de la luz en 299,792,458 m/s, no importa qué tan rápido y en qué dirección se están moviendo.

Esta máxima del comediante Stephen Wright que pregunta: “¿Si estas en una nave espacial que viaja a la velocidad de la luz, y encienden los faros, sucede algo?"
La respuesta es los faros encienden normalmente, pero sólo desde la perspectiva de alguien en el interior de la nave espacial.

Para alguien parado afuera viendo la nave volando, las luces tardan una eternidad para salir adelante de la nave espacial.

Estas versiones contradictorias surgen debido a reglas y relojes (las cosas que marcan el tiempo y el espacio)  no son las mismas para diferentes observadores.

Si la velocidad de la luz se mantiene constante como dijo Einstein, entonces el tiempo y el espacio no puede ser absoluto, sino que debe ser subjetivo.

Por ejemplo, una nave espacial de 100 metros de largo, viajando a 99,99 por ciento de la velocidad de la luz parecerá de un metro de largo para un observador estacionario, pero seguirá siendo su longitud normal para las personas a bordo.

Tal vez aún más extraño, el tiempo pasa más lento, cuando más rápido se va. Si das paseos individuales en una nave espacial a exceso de velocidad a alguna estrella distante y luego regresas, serás más joven que alguien de tu misma edad que se quedó en la Tierra.

Esta relación entre la masa y la velocidad es a menudo expresada como una relación entre la masa y la energía: E = mc ^ 2, donde E es la energía, m es la masa y c es la velocidad de la luz.

La relatividad general

Einstein perturbo nuestra comprensión del tiempo y el espacio. Luego pasó a generalizar su teoría mediante la inclusión de la aceleración y encontró que esta distorsiona la forma del tiempo y del espacio.

Para seguir con el ejemplo anterior: imagina la nave espacial que se acelera por el disparo de sus propulsores. Las personas a bordo se pegan al suelo como si estuvieran en la Tierra.

Einstein afirmó que la fuerza que llamamos gravedad es indistinguible en una nave acelerando.

Esto por sí mismo no era tan revolucionario, pero cuando Einstein elaboró ​​la matemática compleja (que le tomó 10 años), descubrió que el espacio y el tiempo se curvan alrededor de un objeto masivo, y esta curvatura es lo que experimentamos como la fuerza de la gravedad.

Es difícil imaginar la geometría curvada de la relatividad general, pero si se piensa en el espacio-tiempo como una especie de tela, un objeto masivo estira el tejido circundante de manera que cualquier cosa que pasa cerca ya no sigue una línea recta.

Sin indicios de metano en Marte


El  rover Curiosity de la NASA no ha podido encontrar ningún signo de metano en el Planeta Rojo.

La presencia de metano en Marte habría sido un indicador prometedor de vida allí ,en la Tierra más del 90% del metano en la atmósfera es producido por organismos vivos.

Tras las mediciones tomadas con el análisis de muestras Curiosity a Marte (SAM), el instrumento no ha encontrado hasta ahora ningún indicio del gas.

"La conclusión es que no tenemos ninguna detección de metano hasta ahora", dijo Chris Webster del JPL. "Pero vamos a seguir buscando en los próximos meses ya que Marte, como todos sabemos, puede tener sorpresas para nosotros."

El rover Curiosity de la NASA no ha detectado ningún indicio de metano en sus primeros análisis de la atmósfera marciana noticias que sin duda decepcionarán a aquellos que esperan encontrar vida en el Planeta Rojo.

Crédito de la imagen : NASA

HAN (韩) Korea BBQ Restaurant at Taman Molek, Johor Bahru.

HAN Korea BBQ Restaurant (韩) (N1.53038 E103.79330) is located along Jalan Molek 2/2 of Taman Molek, Johor Bahru, which is just next to Standard Chartered Bank Taman Molek Branch. We had a bad experienced with the other outlet at Jalan Molek 1/28 (behind OCBC Bank Taman Molek) which was smoky and stuffy on our visit months ago, so we decided to give a try in this outlet on one of the evening...

HAN Korea BBQ Restaurant, Taman Molek

Heard from friends that this outlet was took over from another restaurant not too long ago, and the design also different from the traditional Korea tatami.

It was quiet and not many customers on that evening, therefore it was nice and cooling...for me, the environment is better and spacious than the other outlet which I mentioned above...

The interior design of HAN Korea BBQ Restaurant

As usual, we ordered the one of the set in the menu for 2-3 person, the set include marinated Pork (五花肉), chicken, beef and a choice of soy bean or kimchi soup. We took the kimchi soup...

There were 15 different types of refillable side dishes (as appetizers) served on table before the main dishes serve where you experience in all Korean restaurant...

side dishes served by the restaurant

The friendly waiter preparing the BBQ at the next table while we enjoyed the side dishes...

Every table has the flexible vaccum to avoid smoky condition, common in all Korean restaurant. The waiter patiently barbeque the meats till perfection...under the smokeless environment. Great!

The raw beef...

The BBQ pork in process...

About less than 5 minutes, the BBQ pork served...

Korean BBQ pork with onion...


Follow by the BBQ beef...

BBQ Beef...

While we enjoyed the pork and beef, he (waiter) continue preparing the chicken immeditely...

BBQ chicken in process...

BBQ chicken with mushroom...

After all done, the Kimchi soup presented on our table...served with a steam egg...

Korean Kimchi soup...

The pork, chicken and beef were tasteful! All were well marinated and tender! The chewy moment of the pork was unforgotten.
There were vermicellis, korean rice cakes and others in the Kimchi soup, and it was slightly 'special' compare with others, not very sour...we like the soup very much! I don't really like too sour and spicy Kimchi soup, that it kill the original taste of it (personal preference).
The texture of the steam eggs was nice, just melted in our mouth...

The Damage : RM118.00 for 2 adults and 1 kid included a jug of Korean tea.
The quantity of the foods enough to serve at least 3 adults, so we were overloaded again! We will be back and of course with more friends...:)

韩 HAN Korea BBQ Restaurant
84, Jalan Molek 2/2,
Taman Molek, 81100 Johor Bahru.
Tel : +607-3539002

Location map of HAN Korea BBQ Restaurant at Taman Molek, Johor Bahru.

POV: I Just Couldn't Do It....

Photo Iwan Baan for New York Magazine

I tried but my heart wasn't in it. It's that simple. It might surprise many of my readers and peers...but that's the truth.

I didn't want to photograph "my" New York City neighborhood suffering in the aftermath of Sandy...I'm not that kind of photographer. I never photograph the homeless...the down and out...the infirm...who frequently walk the streets of New York City...or  anywhere else in the world.

I don't have that type of photography in me. It doesn't appeal to me. I recall going to lower Manhattan two or three days after 9.11, and returning home not having made a single frame. I just couldn't do it.

Sebastiao Salgado is quoted as having said "If you take a picture of a human that does not make him noble, there is no reason to take this picture. That is my way of seeing things." Perhaps the word 'noble' in his statement is a little too much, but documenting misery, human misfortunes and other disasters, just doesn't appeal to me.

And I felt that photographing my neighborhood, its restaurants, its stores and its people in the storm's immediate aftermath was an intrusion...why would I document its pain and discomfort? That's not what I do.

Now that it is recovering, and there's a smile on the faces of its residents, I might return to my neighborhood's streets.

I did photograph in the past few days, but I looked for the quotidien, the commonplace...and I found it north of 30th Street.

Of course, no such thing as quotidien exists in New York City...but you know what I mean.