Browsing All posts tagged under »World«

Why Don’t Cleanliness-Obsessed Americans Use the Bidet?

October 16, 2017

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I have long been interested in having a bidet in our home, but it just wasn’t practical or affordable to renovate our bathrooms.  Silly me, I had no idea (until recently) that there are economical, simple-to-install, effective bidet attachments that can just go right on your existing toilet.  A mere $39.95 later, Lila became the […]

Please, No More Tourism to Cultlike, Repressive Dictatorships Like North Korea

June 26, 2017

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We originally published this article on 2 January 2015.  At that moment, there were no Americans in North Korean custody, thanks to an embarrassing and expensive mission by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to retrieve the last two American prisoners in late 2014.  Thus, we implored the American traveling public to adopt a New […]

Jeanne Henriques: Lounging on a Private Longboat – A Woman’s Extraordinary Photo Journey In Gorgeous Laos

May 3, 2017

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A most special treat this week for all of us . . . and the warmest of introductions to our guest blogger, Jeanne Henriques – someone I call a very dear friend from afar, writer and photographer extraordinaire. Jeanne not only writes like a dream, but leads and writes about the most extraordinary life I have […]

In Honor of Columbus Day: That Yummy Columbian Exchange

October 10, 2016

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When I lived in Europe, I once had the chance to stay in one of the older homes in Zurich.  The keystone above the doorway was engraved with “1402.”  “Oh, was this house built in 1402?”  I asked, impressed with its age.  “No,” came the reply, “It was renovated in 1402.”  Wow!  As I lay […]

In Honor of Oktoberfest: Trachtenmoden!

October 3, 2016

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This weekend marks the final days of Oktoberfest 2016.  Who hasn’t heard of this annual German festival, with its beer and bratwurst, its oom-pah bands and fest tents, its dirndl-clad women and lederhosen-clad men performing traditional Bavarian dances? When we were in Germany, we never did go to the “big Oktoberfest” in Munich.  What many folks […]

Planespotting in an Electronic Age

May 9, 2016

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People also laughed fifty years ago when they were told someone would fly over Berlin.  I remember the excitement in the year 1910 when Count Zeppelin first came to Berlin, and now the Berliners scarcely look up when something sails through the air.  Besides the giant airplanes and the planes for fighter pilots, there are […]

Joan Larsen’s Incredible Adventure: Caught in a Country’s Revolution

March 30, 2016

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By Joan Larsen   Looking back – not that far back really – I must have felt as we all do as we look at life ahead:  someday, someday, I was going to capture my dream.   A life of travel back then was not in the cards. . . but once my little family was […]

Joan Larsen’s Hidden Secrets of Our World: Exploring Unknown Wonders In the Heart of Siberia’s North

March 16, 2016

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By Joan Larsen A place so remote – in the very heart of Siberia – that only now have the first pictures – beyond beautiful – been shot.   So far, there has been no funding allotment to allow explorers to find their way in and explore these remarkable buttes (that you see above) on foot. […]

Cultural Appropriation: I’m Drawing the Line… ALL the Way Back.

July 13, 2015

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I have traveled the world, and there is a lot to love. If I want to wear, eat, own, use, or display anything that takes my fancy, from ANYWHERE… I will. You can stuff your “cultural appropriation” right where the sun don’t shine. A friend recently pushed my buttons on this topic by telling me […]

Papal Paradox: Curb Global Warming, But Don’t Curb Population Growth?

June 29, 2015

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Yea, verily, I say unto thee, the Apocalypse is upon us, and it ain’t the Apocalypse of John. It’s more like Genesis in high-speed reverse.   In his recent encyclical, the Pope says global warming is real, is a threat, and is partly caused by humans. I love him for that.  What I don’t love […]

Classic Car Buffs, Beware Cuba’s Time-Capsule Vehicles

January 26, 2015

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When diplomatic relations were restored between Havana and Washington, one of my first thoughts was that Havana would soon be a shopper’s paradise for fans of classic cars. Many of the same cars that were on the roads in 1959, when relations were severed, are still being driven today — an estimated 60,000 classic cars. […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Felines in Residence – the Secret World Beneath Russia’s Hermitage

January 7, 2015

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by Joan Larsen St. Petersburg. . . Russia’s most wonderful city has drawn me back more than once. Home of the world-famous Hermitage Museum — just named the best museum in all of Europe (!) — is praise enough to have art lovers making a bee-line north. But – hidden far beneath the museum — […]

New Year’s Resolution: Please, No More Tourism to Cultlike, Repressive Dictatorships Like North Korea

January 2, 2015

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Now that “The Interview” has been released, woe unto any American snared by North Korea. North Korea has a well-known history of imprisoning Americans (see the summary of recent cases at the end of this article), sentencing them to hard labor, and then – after weeks, months or years – granting the American’s release only […]

Joan Larsen Encore: Spending Christmas in Antarctica

December 24, 2014

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By Joan Larsen At this season, as another Christmas draws near, we find there are moments when we look back — back at a lifetime of memories of Christmas past . . . many times wishing they could be the simpler times we once had   I speak for all of us, longing – I […]

Jeanne Henriques: An Extraordinary Travel Moment… In Laos

October 22, 2014

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A most special treat this week for all of us . . . and the warmest of introductions to our guest blogger, Jeanne Henriques – someone I call a dear friend from afar, writer and photographer extraordinaire. Jeanne not only writes like a dream, but leads and writes about the most extraordinary life I have […]

Hostage Rescue Operations: Not So Simple

September 19, 2014

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Obama’s detractors would have us all think that one need only snap one’s fingers and tell the military to just go rescue the hostages, and it’ll be done. In reality, hostage rescues are notoriously difficult and dangerous, and often get the hostages killed.   I haven’t seen this complaint from any credible news organization, but […]

Joan Larsen Celebrates: My First Two Years – Forming the Thread

August 6, 2014

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By Joan Larsen How could I not believe in serendipity? When the first major websites were attracting readers – readers by the thousands – with a diversity of topics to comment on daily many years ago, smart women by the hundreds – more – gravitated to a site aptly called WOWOWOW for their daily “fix”. […]

Happy Eid al-Fitr 1435

July 28, 2014

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Today, 28 July, is the day that U.S. Muslims celebrate the Feast of Breaking the Fast, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan this year. Eid mubarak!  Today begins a three-day holiday of prayer, charity, feasting, visiting, and gift-giving as Muslims celebrate the end of the difficult month of Ramadan, which requires abstaining from […]

Planespotting in an Electronic Age

April 28, 2014

5

People also laughed fifty years ago when they were told someone would fly over Berlin.  I remember the excitement in the year 1910 when Count Zeppelin first came to Berlin, and now the Berliners scarcely look up when something sails through the air.  Besides the giant airplanes and the planes for fighter pilots, there are […]

Lila’s New Year’s Celebration With “the Enemy,” 1988-1989

December 30, 2013

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A little respect and genuine interest goes a long way toward setting tensions aside, at least for one night. In February of 1988, two US grand juries indicted Panama’s de facto military dictator, Manuel Noriega, on drug trafficking charges.  It was a messy situation.  Noriega had been on the CIA payroll in the 1970s, until […]

Joan Larsen Encore: Spending Christmas in Antarctica

December 18, 2013

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By Joan Larsen At this season, as another Christmas draws near, we find there are moments when we look back — back at a lifetime of memories of Christmas past . . . many times wishing they could be the simpler times we once had   I speak for all of us, longing – I […]

In Honor of Columbus Day: That Yummy Columbian Exchange

October 14, 2013

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When I lived in Europe, I once had the chance to stay in one of the older homes in Zurich.  The keystone above the doorway was engraved with “1402.”  “Oh, was this house built in 1402?”  I asked, impressed with its age.  “No,” came the reply, “It was renovated in 1402.”  Wow!  As I lay […]

In Honor of Oktoberfest: Trachtenmoden!

October 4, 2013

6

This weekend marks the final days of this year’s Oktoberfest.  Who hasn’t heard of this annual German festival, with its beer and bratwurst, its oom-pah bands and fest tents, and dirndl-clad women and lederhosen-clad men performing traditional Bavarian dances? When we were in Germany, we never did go to the “big Oktoberfest” in Munich.  What […]

Syria: For Once, Congress is Asking the Right Questions

September 2, 2013

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Maybe the 10-year Iraq War, too eagerly launched based on faulty intelligence, no clear national security threat, and no vision of an end state, is too fresh in American minds. On Saturday, President Obama asked Congress for approval to launch military operations against Syria.  He claims the authority to act on his own (and recent […]

Happy Eid al-Fitr 1434

August 8, 2013

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Today, 8 August, is the day that U.S. Muslims celebrate the Feast of Breaking the Fast, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan this year. Eid mubarak!  Today begins a three-day holiday of prayer, charity, feasting, visiting, and gift-giving as Muslims celebrate the end of the difficult month of Ramadan, which requires abstaining from […]

A Timely Pick-Me-Up

April 22, 2013

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As we gradually gain perspective on the Boston bombing, Lauriate Roly examines the emotional impact such events have on people everywhere. By Lauriate Roly Sometimes things going on around me can really knock me flat. I mean things that I simply can’t do anything about. Like wars, or terrible earthquakes happening somewhere on the planet, […]

Margaret Thatcher Didn’t Promote Other Women in Politics. So What?

April 18, 2013

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Do powerful women owe other women a a seat at their table?  I don’t think so. Lesley Abdela, a senior partner in Shevolution Consultancy, recently wrote an article for CNN lamenting the fact that Margaret Thatcher did little to change the male-dominated political landscape in Britain.  “Thatcher had such command over her Conservative Party that […]

Horsemeat Scandal in Britain: Why It Matters

February 25, 2013

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So some horsemeat found its way into “beef” products in Britain recently.  Investigations!  Scandals!  Arrests!  Why the uproar?  What’s the problem? Well, if the horses had been raised for meat and sold with a correct label, it shouldn’t have been a problem.  After all, horse is consumed in a number of countries.  When I traveled […]

Indonesia: Aceh’s Sharia Law Demonstrates Danger to Secular Society

January 15, 2013

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You may have heard of Indonesia’s Aceh province in connection with the magnitude 8.7 earthquake last year.  Or possibly the devastating tsunami of 2004.  Or maybe in the context of its separatist “Free Aceh Movement (GAM),” which finally reached an accord with the Indonesian government in 2005, partly driven by the utter necessity for recovery […]

Yes, Indian Culture DOES Contribute to Rapes Like the Delhi Case

January 4, 2013

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Rape is about violence and domination.  It is not – not – about sex.  Now that details are emerging about the horrific attack in Delhi, anyone who thinks otherwise is being willfully blind.  Beating a man and a woman into bloody unconsciousness with an iron bar is not sex.  It is violence.  And ramming that […]

Our Russian New Year’s Custom

January 1, 2013

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At the turn of the millennium, I had been on assignment in Moscow for some months.  The work was interesting, the city was vibrant, the people were engaging, and I think I must have mailed off matryoshka dolls to everyone I had ever met, and then some.  But as my assignment drew to a close, […]