Tag Archives | Travel

Terence McKenna: Butterfly Hunter

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PIC: Klea McKenna (C) -click to see more images and learn about the book.

This month we remember the late, great Terence McKenna. The author, lecturer, scientist and philosopher was the heir apparent to Timothy Leary, bringing more lucidity, humor and insight to spreading the gospel of the psychedelic experience than anyone has been able to muster since we lost McKenna to brain cancer in April, 2000.

While it’s always nice to recall our heroes in an online post, I mention McKenna to point to the remembrance created by his daughter. Klea McKenna’s The Butterfly Hunter is a gorgeous photography volume that documents her dad’s butterfly collection as she explains in the introduction of her book:

For four years, beginning in 1969, my father lived out an unlikely fantasy: he became a butterfly collector. (We use the term collector but that is just a euphemism for hunter.) Butterfly hunting is a conflicted activity, a desire for beauty and a small act of violence, both justified by science.

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Aokigahara Forest, The Suicide Woods Of Japan

AokigaharaInformational signs scattered throughout warn passersby, “Your life is precious”. Tofugu on one of the spookiest spots in Japan:

Located at the base of Mt. Fuji, Aokigahara is perhaps the most infamous forest in Japan. Also known as the Sea of Trees, Suicide Forest, and Japan’s Demon Forest, Aokigahara has been home to over 500 confirmed suicides since the 1950s.

Wataru Tsurumui’s controversial 1993 bestseller The Complete Suicide Manual is a book that describes various modes of suicide and even recommends Aokigahara as the perfect place to die. Undoubtedly, the most common method of suicide in the forest is hanging.

Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed in the forest have permeated Aokigahara’s soil and trees, generating paranormal activity and preventing many who enter from escaping the gnarled depths of the forest.

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Into Haiti’s Zombie Underground

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 9.52.03 AMWriter Mischa Berlinski traveled to Haiti in search of zombies. Epic Magazine has the story.

Via Epic:

About a month after I arrived in Jérémie, a rumor swept through town that a deadly zombie was on the loose. This zombie, it was said, could kill by touch alone. The story had enough authority that schools closed. The head of the local secret society responsible for the management of the zombie population was asked to investigate. Later that week, Monsieur Roswald Val, having conducted a presumably thorough inquiry, made an announcement on Radio Lambi: There was nothing to fear; all his zombies were accounted for.

Shortly after that incident, I started taking Creole lessons from a motorcycle-taxi driver named Lucner Delzor. Delzor was married with four children, but he kept a mistress on the other side of town. He told me that he had never so much as drunk a glass of water at his mistress’s house for fear she might lace his food with love powder.

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Embark On A Themed North Korea Christmas Tour

christmas tourPresenting the most dangerous and surreal holiday-themed overseas travel itinerary ever? Gawker reports:

A tipster forwarded us a promotional email from the Chinese travel agency Taedong Travel hawking “the first Christmas tour of North Korea,” costing approximately $1,000 (€740) for five days in Pyongyang.

“You can now join local North Koreans for a Christmas and New Year to remember!” the pitch promises. “Will you be visited by Santa Claus, enjoy Ginseng flavoured Turkey or listen to familiar Christmas carols?”

Taedong Travel’s founder Stuart Leighton, writing from Taiwan, assured Gawker that the trip was real. “The Christmas tour is particularly special as it has not been done before, and we were the first to arrange it with KITC about a month or so ago,” Leighton told us.

He added: “There is no problem for those practicing religion to enter the DPRK, but we stress to all our tourists that they should in no way try and force their views and ‘convert’ the guides or any North Koreans that they meet during a tour.”In North Korea, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ—indeed, practicing Christianity in any way—places you at risk of imprisonment, torture, and death.

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Elon Musk’s Hyperloop

The remarkable thing, to me anyway, is that Mr. Musk has really thought the Hyperloop concept through and come up with a plan that while seemingly fanciful, could actually work. The only snag is, now that he’s announced it we’ll probably see it copied and linking Shanghai and Beijing rather than Los Angeles and San Francisco. Elon outlines his ideas at his SpaceX site:

When the California “high speed” rail was approved, I was quite disappointed, as I know many others were too. How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL – doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars – would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world? Note, I am hedging my statement slightly by saying “one of”. The head of the California high speed rail project called me to complain that it wasn’t the very slowest bullet train nor the very most expensive per mile.

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The underlying motive for a statewide mass transit system is a good one. It would be great to have an alternative to flying or driving, but obviously only if it is actually better than flying or driving…

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Lost Between the Cushions: CouchSurfing’s Identity Crisis

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The culture of sharing your house and goodwill in hopes of getting a social return may be at risk due to growth and rude people.

Via The Connectivist:

Is trusting a stranger’s Internet profile still a safe and meaningful way to travel?

Florian, a 44-year old German man, felt used and taken advantage of by the stranger in his house. For a week, the stranger came and went as if he owned the place, returning late at night and making no time at all for the distraught Florian. Hardly any dialogue or intimacy was shared between the two. Florian, deeply distressed, complained that he and the stranger had “almost no opportunity to eat together or really get to know each other.”

Such are not the ways of CouchSurfing.

The Internet has a history of providing safe havens for new social, economical, and scientific experiments, like Bitcoin or downloadable vaccines. But what happens when they get too big for their boots?

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Man Has Spent 26 Years Dragging 12-Foot Crucifix Around The World

An apt metaphor for the pointlessness of religion? Via the Daily Mail:

A determined Christian evangelist has demonstrated his devotion to his faith by carrying a huge cross for thousands of miles across the globe for the past 26 years.

Lindsay Hamon, 60, has trekked through 19 countries including India, New Zealand, Romania and Sri Lanka during his remarkable journey. And despite being thrown out of St Peter’s Square, in Rome, and being shot at in Bangladesh, he remains resolute and has no plans to give up on his mission.

Mr. Hamon carries the huge cross for up to 12 hours a day, and often has no idea where he will sleep that night. He [began] in 1987 and has only spent a handful of weeks without it. Mr. Hamon receives donations from supporters to help him stay on the road, but he stops to carry out carework in his home town in order to pay his family’s bills.

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A New Bermuda Triangle Off The Coast Of Venezuela?

Fancy a trip? The Guardian reports:

The as-yet-unexplained disappearance last Friday of the plane carrying six passengers and crew, including Italian fashion mogul Vittorio Missoni, has prompted some to blame the “Los Roques curse”.

There have been a series of mysterious plane crashes and “vanishings” over the past decade or so between the Caribbean archipelago of Los Roques, where Missoni’s plane disappeared mid-air, and the Venezuelan capital Caracas, 140km to the south. Inevitably, comparisons have been made with the infamous Bermuda Triangle, the area between Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico that has long had a reputation for unexplained disappearances of ships and planes.

To date, no wreckage of Missoni’s plane has been located since it took off from Los Roques for Caracas. Venezuela’s civil aviation authority said the aircraft’s last recorded position was 18km south of the Los Roques.

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Netherlands Judge Backs Cannabis Cafe Ban For Foreign Tourists

Cannabis CafeVia BBC News:

A judge in the Netherlands has upheld a new law to ban foreign tourists from entering cannabis cafes.

While soft drugs are tolerated, there is growing concern at tourists visiting just for drugs, and foreign dealers selling illegally at home.

The ban is due to start in three southern provinces next month, and go nationwide by the end of the year.

A group of cafe owners argued at The Hague district court that the ban was discriminatory against foreigners. Under the new law, Dutch residents will still be allowed into the cafes, as long as they have valid identification, or possibly hold a new “weed pass”, which is also being debated. There are about 700 coffee shops, as they are called, in the Netherlands. The cultivation and sale of soft drugs through them is decriminalised, although not legal; police generally tolerate possession of up to five grams of cannabis.

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LA to NY in 30 Minutes: 10,000 MPH Tunnel Train Used for Underground Bases?

Bullet TrainVia the Intel Hub:

The Vary High Speed Transit System (VHST) was a Rand Corporation concept that was presented to the military industrial complex in the 1970′s.

The concept was way ahead of it’s time, exactly what the secret sinister government needed to connect their vast expansions of underground bases throughout the United States and in various regions worldwide.

This could offer an explanation for some of the recent strange sounds and booms across the country. The late (and presumably murdered) Phil Schneider spoke about what he called an Electro Magneto Leviton Train System that traveled at speeds in excess of Mach 2.

The VHST and its proposed routes, (vast advanced tunnel systems) at the time of it’s conception in the early 1970′s, fit and follow other underground base researchers findings as well as some of my own. An interesting aspect within the Rand Corp. document is the fact that the tunnels are way to expansive to pump all of the air out at once to create the frictionless environment needed travel at speeds in excess of 10,000+ MPH.

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