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I’ve taken a few pictures of our trip to Geneva and uploaded them here. It’s hard to go wrong when taking pictures of the alps…
Flickr would have been a better place to put them (it offers more flexible organization, easy commenting tools, more storage etc) but I have exceeded the meagre 20Mb a month limit on uploading pictures to their free account. If anyone reading would be willing to donate $25 or a reasonable fraction thereof to buy us a year’s Pro subscription as an unbirthday present, I would be grateful…
I recently discovered maisonneuve, a Canadian magazine out of Quebec with an interesting editorial policy:
What does Maisonneuve publish? The sky’s the limit – hell, what’s in a sky? Poems about nothing? Love ’em. Got a cousin who writes long diatribes against houseflies? How about a really good vignette on the way people walk? Photocopies of your childhood collection of gum-wrappers. Audiofiles of people talking at the Jackson Pollack retrospective. Sonnets to your beloved–they better be good.
Sounds a bit like “McSweeney’s”:http://www.mcsweeneys.net/ that way. What makes it succeed of course is that they seem to attract and choose good stuff. It’s available in print and on the web – check it out!
People often use the Internet to try to get a personal glimpse of what things are like across the world. “Webcams”:http://www.comfm.com/webcam/ give you a peek but they can’t talk back, and travel guides written by travellers for travellers like “Wikitravel”:http://www.wikitravel.org/ or “igougo”:http://www.igougo.com/ but if you want a day by day slice of life account of life in a country weblogs can provide one. A very large proportion are “from the US and Europe”:http://www.blogcensus.net/?page=map but I recently heard about two weblog indexes from further afield sinosplice indexes weblogs in English from or about China and “Blog Africa”:http://www.blogafrica.com/ should be reasonably self-explanatory!
I got talking recently to a guy who runs Internet hotel booking services for a living and naturally I had to ask him how to get cheap hotel rooms online. He suggested two services – Travelaxe (a downloadable app) and “SideStep”:http://www.sidestep.com/ which installs inside your browser (IE or Netscape only, apparently).
I tested these using London as an example over the weekend of Nov 15 to Nov 16 and trying to find the cheapest possible rooms. SideStep failed to find the “Atlantic Paddington”:http://www.newatlantic.co.uk/ hotel (really a hostel) which has some of the lowest prices and neither has many hostels or B & Bs – primarily because these are generally not yet ‘plugged in’ to the major reservation systems. As a result you may be better off going to (for example) “ase.net”:http://ase.net/servlet/HotelList?type=8%2C4&dist=2 and contacting the individual B & Bs and hostels listed individually.
Still, either may be worth a try if you travel on business and need/want to stay in hotels instead of B&Bs.
P.S. both apps are free of charge and the creators make their money via the commission they get from sending traffic to the hotels when you book through them. As far as I can tell this commission doesn’t raise the price to you…
A “page of captioned images”:http://www.erin.utoronto.ca/~w3pkota/sabbatical_webpage/sabphotos10.html of a recent journey to my family’s birthplace, Norton-Sub-Hamdon, as interpreted (in their customarily ideosyncratic fashion) by our fellow voyagers, “Peter Kotanen”:http://www.erin.utoronto.ca/~w3pkota/ and “Leslie Ambedian”:http://www.wiznet.ca/~ambedian/.
I have hundreds of digital photos of various trips knocking around but have yet to get around to organizing them into galleries let alone providing witty captions. Oh well…
I just came back from the “Mayor’s Thames Festival”:http://www.thamesfestival.org/ and had a great time. It’s a good example of how cities have the scale to produce public goods which tens of thousands can enjoy. Tonight’s event was a two-hour-long parade of groups of varying age and ethnicity joining peacefully simply to have fun themselves and entertain others.
Oh, and I also love the fact that this is an entirely synthetic festival – set up six years ago just for entertainment, with no commercial hook (though of course it is probably good for the tourist trade)…
It’s slightly melancholy, however. as it is about the last of a string of large-scale public free events throughout the summer, and it is notably both colder and darker at this time of the evening than I remembered earlier.
ChefMoz is a clever idea but a little under-cooked at present. Looking at the London section it has 172 restaurants listed and categorised (out of c. 10,000 available restaurants) and just 24 reviews linked – the Paris entry has 226 entries and 31 reviews. The search engine is pretty limited in its ability to use the categories that have been input. Nonetheless, it is an idea that deserves to go far and I hope it gets developed a little more. If you want to know where to eat in, say, Afghanistan (where conventional restaurant guides may fail to cover you) dmoz may have the answer one day – right now it just has one review.
Thanks to Danny O’Brien’s Oblomovka for the link
Discount UK and Ireland-based airline Ryanair.com is at it again offering a selected number of free flights booked any time up to Thursday midnight. However it appears from what people have commented (via the comments on an old posting about a previous offer) that the free seats may be few and far between. Still might be worth having a go, though.
Big Dead Place – a highly jaundiced glimpse of what working in Antarctica is really like from an anonymous American stationed there.
I wonder if he is Phil Jacobsen, who just wrote this article for Salon?
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