Reblog: 35 Clearest Waters In The World To Swim In Before You Die

Maybe a Philippines volunteer vacation is calling my name? Help rebuild, bring cash, do some swimming, snorkeling, diving….

I’d love to swim in all these places… who am I kidding I want to go everywhere! A couple of the pics look like the boats are hovering in the air. Let’s see what’s the best route to hit up all these locations?

My route, starting at home in California:
Lake Tahoe
New Zealand
Cook Islands

tips for your first visit to NYC, transit review

So after a week in New York city for work, people keep asking me what did I do? Where did I go?  I didn’t have the daytime availability to do many of the classic NYC attractions, but I did take home some new impressions of the place.

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First, top practical tips for everybody: Download an offline version/pdf of the subway maps; maps are not conveniently placed in the stations, service is not reliable in the stations. Look up a few routes in advance to get a feel for subway vs taxis vs walking – I found both lower Manhattan and Brooklyn quite walkable but I didn’t get to see many cool neighborhoods because it is slower. Other boroughs actually can be quite far, and places within Brooklyn are not necessarily close together.

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Travel Planning New York City

I’ve been to New York City – for one day and we stayed in New Jersey.  I was 16, looked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYU and had lunch as a parade went through. So, my next trip is in a few weeks, and it’s time to do some more research!  I try not to over plan – I like to be open to seeing what I see, but I also want to know what is around, so I have plenty to choose from and don’t spend all my time in a place reading the guidebook!  So here’s a peek into my travel plans for a 1 week New York City business trip.

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Infographic: The Benefits of Public Transport | This Big City

Infographic: The Benefits of Public Transport | This Big City.  Transit & cycling are huge factors for me in picking where I’m willing to live.  I think more and more people are going to feel that way as lifestyles pickup importance.  We know stress is bad, we know gas is expensive, and we know that commuting through traffic in a single person vehicle can be the most stressful part of a day.  Let’s fix public transit as a society.

PP Planter: a resource for public peeing

PP Planter.  All attempts to help out the homeless, and clean up the city through that, are applauded here!

The PP Planter is a pretty cool concept for helping to reduce the smell around the city.  It’d be useful not just for the homeless, but also for the drunk – let’s put one of these next to every BART entrance. They need some help making a better design, and welcome contributions!  Seems like it may be dude-specific though, or maybe the ladies would need one of the Go Girls.

Public urination is not going to be solved through tickets, at least not in a city with a homeless population.

Reblog: Why Is There So Much Human Shit on the Streets? – The Bold Italic – San Francisco

Why Is There So Much Human Shit on the Streets? – The Bold Italic – San Francisco.

“We need to start by seeing our homeless population as actual human beings who need to eat and drink and wash their hands and who, yes, need a place to take a nice private dump once in a while”. 

I’d add showers to the dream facilities as well, because however people end up on the streets, sanitation is important. Keep people sane through access to basic resources! It also helps keep the city cleaner.

Brain Candy: Science Fiction Edition

Now, before you get up in arms: Yes, science fiction and fantasy can teach, and be worthy of respect beyond candy.  But I treat it like candy generally – binging on new authors, occasionally seeking the comfort of a re-read of an old favorite series..  Some favorite authors in this genre are: Tanya Huff, Lois McMaster Bujold, Elizabeth Moon, Mercedes Lackey, David Weber, Ilona Andrews, Devon Monk, Cherie Priest…  Some favorite subgenres: steampunk, space opera, contemporary fantasy, fairy tales redone.  I like character driven stories, but sometimes a good world will suck me in as well.  I don’t always include paranormal romance in this category, but sometimes if the world is good enough I do. I’m a sucker for a strong kick-ass heroine as well.  [cjtoolbox name=”Goodreads Grid SFF”][/cjtoolbox]


Pop Science & Micro Histories

I’ll credit this to the old BBC show Connections – I love finding out the trivia of where something came from, and a really in depth look at a very small part of our lives.  A perfect example of the Micro-History Genre is One Good Turn by Witold Rybczynski, about the origins of the screw & screwdriver.  He talks about early analogues, initial uses, the spread of uses, all the way into why we have different heads today.  I highly recommend it, and it’s a quick read too.  Popular Science?  Well, basically these tend to be overviews, introductions or explorations of specific scientific topics with language friendly to the layman.  One of the earliest books in this genre I remember reading in High School was Atom by Isaac Asimov about the subatomic world, and another I enjoyed very recently was The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart.  That one is the botany of drinks, a mix of micro-history, some organic chemistry, and fun.  [cjtoolbox name=”Goodreads Grid PopScience”][/cjtoolbox]