Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

What a Tree-t!

July 16, 2017

PAM-TreeHere is another exceptional work of art that I discovered last month while at the Phoenix Art Museum.  This sculpture, by Rebecca Campbell, is entitled “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” and “is composed of a tree wrapped in black velvet, standing in a base of salt and with tiny, windex-filled glass birds sitting on its branches” (from the media release).  Campbell explained that her inspiration for the sculpture came from seeing a group of burned trees against a stark snowy background.

Here’s a link to an interview with the artist.

Summer Travel Plans?!

July 13, 2017

Now that summer is well underway, have you scheduled your summer travel plans?  If you have, great!  If you haven’t and are looking for some ideas, here is an infographic detailing the 2017 travel trends.

Winspire-2017_Travel_Trends.png

Fancy Knots!

July 5, 2017

SamuraiKnotA coupe of weeks ago, while in Phoenix, Arizona, attending the Annual Conference of the Special Libraries Association (SLA), I was able to stay one extra day (post-conference) to explore a bit and visit family (my nephew and his fiancée) and dropped in on the Phoenix Art Museum.  There were several wonderful exhibits, including a collection of Samurai armor.  The armor seems to have been held in place using cords with a very intricate (and decorative) knotting convention (or at least for show or display purposes).   Very cool indeed (and a most beautiful color as well).

Was Gaudí Gaudy?!

June 25, 2017
Sagrada Familia nave roof

Ceiling of the nave

In my opinion, no, but very artistic.  Happy Birthday Antoni!  On this the anniversary of Antoni Gaudí‘s birth, let’s take a moment to honor and acknowledge one of the most famous Spanish architects who spent more than 40 years designing the Temple of the Sagrada Familia (most visited attraction and Gaudí’s most famous ) in Barcelona, Spain.  And, while the Temple is not yet complete (the anticipated completion date is in 2026 — the centenary of Gaudí’s death), it does not diminish this great accomplishment.  I was privileged to have been able to visit Barcelona (in 1998 or 1999) and got to see this structure firsthand.  Truly remarkable.

Turbulence!

June 22, 2017

I’m not the most traveled person in the world (nor am I the least traveled), and certainly I have had my share of frustrating experiences during the course of my travels, but rarely have the issues been up in the air.  Yes, there have been “minor” bouts of turbulence (the violent, unpredictable bursts of air that cause the plane to dip and dive wildly), but all in all, I have not had any serious turbulence in all of my years of flying.

Here are some interesting facts that perhaps you didn’t know about turbulence.

  • It is the most dangerous for the airline employees.
  • Pilots usually decelerate to a “turbulence penetration speed.”  At slower speeds, you are less likely to sustain damage from the shaking that can occur.
  • Jet streams, while helpful at your back can cause turbulence when hitting head-on.
  • All of the math has been done, and turbulence alone will not cause the plane to go down.
  • Turbulence in unpredictable, you just never know when it will hit.
  • Technology has been developed that can detect conditions for turbulence on the fly (the Light Detection and Radar tool (LIDAR) usually installed in the nose of the craft).
  • The industry continues to work on even newer technologies to assist in the understanding of air flows.
  • Turbulence is particularly bad in North America (we can thank the Rocky Mountains for effecting our jet streams).
  • Best solution: fly above the turbulence, but to do this you must pass through the tropopause which can in itself cause turbulence.
  • Give larger aircraft a wide berth — they can create their own “wake turbulence.”
  • Turbulence is not a safety issue; it is so normal and harmless that is is considered more of a convenience issue.
  • Planes are designed to endure way more than what occasional turbulence can deliver (i.e., the wings will NOT fall off from turbulence).

So, relax, it may scare the living daylights out of you, but on any properly functioning airplane, turbulence will not kill you.

Source: http://www.destinationtips.com

Muy Caliente!

June 21, 2017

800px-Barrel_cactus_with_a_viewWelcome to Phoenix!  I arrived last Thursday (to attend the Annual Conference of the Special Libraries Association) and Thursday has been the “coldest” day of the week thus far at 109 degrees fahrenheit.  It has been gradually getting warmer each day throughout the week peaking around 118 degrees on Monday and the temps will remain in the one hundred and teens range through the end of the week.  What a fitting start to the official first day of summer (which was actually at 11:24 PM last night, the 20th)  The good news: less than 10% humidity each day and no precipitation.  Positively glorious.  Hot, but glorious!

How About Some Shakespeare?!

May 27, 2017

ShakespeareDo you ever get that hankering to attend a Shakespeare play?  While there are numerous places throughout the country that offer the occasional play, the three best venues to do so in the United States include: the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR), the Illinois Shakespeare Festival  (Bloomington/Normal, IL), and the Utah Shakespeare Festival (Cedar City, UT).

If you can’t make it to one of these, there are several other festivals around . . . then check out this list of Shakespearean Theatre Companies to find a company near you.

My college offers a week-long trip to Ashland to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in late summer every year (hosted by our resident Shakespeare Scholar, Dr. John Mercer).  I’ve been dying to go along on this trip, but the timing for me just hasn’t worked out yet (it has recently conflicted with my regularly scheduled vacation to Michigan to visit family) . . . one of these years the timing and the stars will align to allow me to attend.

One Wish Each!

February 22, 2017

Happy Wednesday!  We are half way through the work week, so here is a bit of homeland security/TSA humor to help get us through today and a bit closer to the weekend.  Enjoy!

A New York fireman, an American mother of three, and a TSA supervisor are the only survivors of a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean. They all wash up on a desert island where, half drowned, the fireman spots a lamp in the sand. As soon as he touches it, a genie emerges in a cloud of smoke.

“I am the Genie of the Lamp,” he intones. “Because you have released me, I will grant you each one wish.”

The mother breaks into tears. “Oh, thank you, thank you!” she cries. “I just want to fly back home to my babies!”

“Very well,” says the genie, and a pontoon plane appears by the shore, its pilot beckoning to her. Happily she runs off and climbs aboard.

“All I want,” says the fireman, “is to return to my fire station in New York. People there rely on me to help them in times of trouble.”

“Very well,” intones the genie, and another plane pops out of nowhere to idle next to the first. The fireman runs out and climbs aboard.

“And what is your wish?” the genie asks the TSA supervisor.

“Get those people back here. They haven’t been properly searched!”

Source: unknown

Fun Fact Friday, Number Eleven!

February 17, 2017

It may be winter, but the country’s national parks are still open.  Here are the best National Parks to visit during the winter:

  • Everglades National Park (Florida)
  • Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)
  • Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho)
  • Acadia National Park (Maine)
  • Saguaro National Park (Arizona)
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Colorado)
  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (California)

Did you know that the National Park Service manages over 350 parks on 80 million acres of public land? (Real Fact #695)

Did you know that over half of the world’s geyser’s can be found in the Yellowstone National Park? (Real Fact #742)

Did you know that Manhattan Island was once home to as many different species as Yellowstone National Park? (Real Fact #684)

Source: http://www.snapple.com/real-facts

International Holidays for October!

October 5, 2016

Here is a listing of various holidays that occur in October from around the world.  Enjoy!

October 1 – National Day Holiday (China)
October 1 – National Day Holiday (Hong Kong)
October 2 – Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (India)
October 3 – Labor Day (Australia)
October 3 – Unity Day (Germany)
October 3 – start of Rosh Hashanah Holiday (Israel)
October 3 – Foundation Day (South Korea)
October 9 – Chung Yeung Festival Holiday (Hong Kong)
October 9 – Hangeul Day (South Korea)
October 10 – Cultural Diversity Day (Argentina)
October 10 – Family and Community Day (Australia)
October 10 – Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
October 10 – Fitness Day (Japan)
October 10 – Columbus Day (United States)
October 11 – Dussehra/Vijaya Dashami (India)
October 12 – Our Lady of Aparecida (Brazil)
October 12 – Muharram (India)
October 12 – Yom Kippur (Israel)
October 12 – National Day (Spain)
October 16 – Bank Holiday, afternoon (Israel)
October 17 – First Day of Sukkot (Israel)
October 23 – start of Chulalongkorn Day Holiday (Thailand)
October 24 – Shemini Arzeret/Simhat Torah (Israel)
October 24 – Labor Day (New Zealand)
October 28 – Civil Servants’ Day (Brazil)
October 29 – Deepavali (Singapore)
October 30 – Diwali/Deepavali (India)
October 31 – Bank Holiday (Ireland)

Source: http://www.qppstudio.net