Armed robberies in Baja
Increasing number of seriously fucked up robberies of American surfers in Baja, including at least one sexual assault. Goddamn I was at Cuatro Casas like five days ago.

I ask the people of France: is Charles de Gaulle airport really the face you want to present to the world? And if so, why do you hate us?

Travel tips and reviews with a young Brit slant. Neat.

Moscow Part One
  • Moscow is having a very, very mild winter. No snow anywhere and my window is open right now.
  • Natives and other Russian-speakers with the right skills are getting paid much more than they would in similar corporate jobs in the US or Europe; one person today told me it was three times as much.
  • Just before I got here I had lunch with a woman who emigrated from Russia twenty years ago. Her first piece of advice was "don't get married." I haven't been out of the office much, but I don't feel much at risk.
  • In fact something about this city makes me feel perpetually under-dressed.
  • The amount of renovations and new construction is staggering. I haven't seen any part of the city whose looks reflect the fact that Russia is still, in some ways, a developing country.
  • The fact that Russia has 26 billionaires and is the most expensive city in the world probably helps.
  • And oh yeah, my tri-band US cellphone works here! Email made the long line at passport control a little less demoralizing.

Travel geeks talk top tips to travel cheap - er, I mean, if you have some time on your hands and your travel plans are flexible, you could score some deals here.

Tells you exactly what to put in your bag to be ready for anything while traveling, without carrying anything needless. Super useful, if only to calm you down before the trip.

It'll predict security wait times and actual flight departure times (based on delays so far today, history, ?black magic?.)

Advice for someone living short-term in DC
I'll be splitting time between LA and DC for the next few months.

online mapping apps
I want every app I use to have some sort of playlist/smart playlist functionality. Anyway for maps, so far:

Tell it where and when you're flying, it'll tell you when it's cheapest to buy your ticket.

For frequent flyers - turn yourself into a perk-maximizing robot. Guides and tips and deals and stuff. e.g., spending your employer's money? Here's the best rewards card. It's always better if it's freeee.

Useful stuff here, like where to stay in Amsterdam/Athens/etc for less than 100 euros.

things to do in new york this weekend
  • see that David Smith thing at the Guggenheim
  • call you, dear reader
  • ummm ... any ideas?

train over highwayTaking the train through southern California is a strange, foreign luxury, like having a sommelier pour your drinks at a football game. Most of the trip has been through densely populated areas, so the driver's been leaning on the horn (or the conductor's been hanging on it, or whatever) most of the way. The train tracks don't skirt the cities - it's a constant level of sprawl and we're just cutting through it. Mostly, though, it's the novelty of public transportation that makes an impression - you've given up some of your God-given auto-driving freedoms to sit on this train, and in exchange you get to sit and relax for a bit.

Volunteer vacations
Just an idea to file away. Apart from the do-gooder angle, doing work in a place gives different / interesting perspective.

A guide

dry air in planes causes colds
Well, OK: according to one study from 2004. They claim the problem is dry mucous membranes.

Cheap last-minute travel. Enter a departure city and see the cheapest weekend trips to anywhere.

Hotel Fox
I will stay here next time I am in Copenhagen.

London after hours
Most bars in London close at 11pm, believe it or not. These bars will get you (keep you) drunk after hours without a cover. I really wish I could use this information.

So Brazil is impossible not to like, despite pickpockets, heat, language barriers and other minor travel annoyances. Go.

I'd like to stay here, probably due to some vague arctic yearning I got from from listening to Bjork and Biosphere.

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