Travel

Oddity Central examines one of the planet’s most disturbing “museums,” The Hair Museum in Avanos, Turkey. Every inch of every surface is covered in human hair, culled from tens of thousands of…





Bomb Detecting PlantSpencer Ackerman writes on WIRED’s Danger Room:

The next hydrangea you grow could literally save your life. With the help of the Department of Defense, a biologist at Colorado State University has taught plant proteins how to detect explosives. Never let it be said that horticulture can’t fight terrorism.

Picture this at an airport, perhaps in as soon as four years: A terrorist rolls through the sliding doors of a terminal with a bomb packed into his luggage (or his underwear). All of a sudden, the leafy, verdant gardenscape ringing the gates goes white as a sheet. That’s the proteins inside the plants telling authorities that they’ve picked up the chemical trace of the guy’s arsenal.


Looking for a place to stay in Madrid? Make an ec0-friendly reservation at the Beach Garbage Hotel! The Leader Post reports: A new hotel has opened in the heart of Madrid proudly…



All above-ground metropolises harbor shadow cities beneath. A New York Times reporter spent five days on a subterranean urban hiking expedition, spelunking through NYC’s labyrinthine sewer system. His colorful travel journal details…



Want to travel through the country with your firearms, but can’t get through airport security? No worries, take the train! Amtrak will soon allow passengers to transport their firearms, unloaded and stored…


A few years ago disinformation published an alternative travel book by Martin Cohen, No Holiday: 80 Places You Don’t Want To Visit. Somewhat tongue in cheek, Martin created a grueling world tour of political and cultural excursions to the likes of North Korea’s DMZ, Tora Bora in Afghanistan, and, first in line, radiation-blitzed Chernobyl in Russia.

It turns out that Martin was ahead of the curve; AFP reports that Chernobyl is now a top tourist destination! Only 79 more to go Martin…

CHERNOBYL, Ukraine — Yellow Geiger counter in hand, the guide announces that radiation levels are 35 times higher than normal. Welcome to Chernobyl, the site in 1986 of the worst nuclear disaster in history and now an attraction visited by thousands of tourists every year.

Nearly 25 years after a reactor at the Soviet-era plant exploded, the irradiated zone around Chernobyl is attracting curious visitors from around the world, from nuclear specialists to ordinary tourists, willing to pay 160 dollars (122 euros) a day to visit the zone…


Black Eyed ApocalypseThe JoeBot writes on Confessions of a CyberCasualty:

Last year, I toured with the Black Eyed Peas on their Japan/Australia run. It was dubbed The E.N.D. World Tour, which was appropriate. The production is a dazzling metaphor for the end of civilization.

As I get older, I frequently find myself forced to compromise my principles — whether ethical or aesthetic — for a higher standard of living. My job is to fly lights, sound, and video — not to judge the artists. My crew chief said this a dozen times. After all, I was paid well, enjoyed fine meals and plush hotel rooms, had fantastic adventures on the streets of Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Melbourne, and Auckland, and I only had to wear a BEP t-shirt one time — when my laundry was dirty. Still, the damage is evident.

I began to absorb the insidious beats and lobotomizing lyrics through constant exposure. To make matters worse, I was born with a hyperactive cerebral sequencer that will sample and loop any catchy tune within a 100′ radius. You hear about nuclear lab technicians who glow green when the lights go out. Well, for months after I came home you could hear “Boom Boom Pow” playing from my head in a quiet room. Just another occupational hazard …



Interesting post from Mathew Ingram on GigaOM. He focuses more on the social mobility patterns of various parts of the U.S., but if you look at the source blog Ingram refers to (PeteSearch), you’ll see a quick discussion of some social and cultural patterns he observed with Facebook data. He noted what regions of the country where God tops a Facebooker’s Fan Page, his conclusions are interesting, but no surprise…

So I learned that God actually has a Facebook Fan Page. But only 3.2 millions fans?

There’s another Facebook page calling for 100 Million Christians Who Worship God that’s reached 1 percent of its goal. In all fairness, I’m sure if I poked around more and took the aggregate number of fans from all the “God Fan” Pages that exist, there would be plenty … however, would be interesting to see how much religious diversity exists on Facebook.

Mathew Ingram writes on GigaOM:

Peter Warden, a former Apple engineer, likes to analyze data — so much so that he started scraping public profiles and photos from hundreds of millions of Facebook accounts about a year ago, and now has data collected from more than 200 million around the world. He wrote a fascinating post recently on his personal blog about what that data shows about how interconnected (or disconnected) users in the various American states are.


SFGate reports:

Only miles from the scenic vistas and celebrity mansions that draw sightseers from around the globe — but a world away from the glitz and glamour — a bus tour is rolling through the dark side of the city’s gang turf.

Passengers paying $65 a head Saturday signed waivers acknowledging they could be crime victims and put their fate in the hands of tattooed ex-gang members who say they have negotiated a cease-fire among rivals in the most violent gangland in America.