Category: Interesting

The Last Notes

New shark monitoring system warns lifeguards by text

New shark monitoring system warns lifeguards by text

Australian scientists are testing a new great white shark monitoring system that will text a warning to lifeguards whenever one of the predators gets too close to shore.As part of the program, researchers from Western Australia’s Department of Fisheries have fitted over 70 great white sharks with satellite tracking tags.

8 Chinese idioms to sound like a native speaker

8 Chinese idioms to sound like a native speaker

1. 省吃俭用 shĕng chī jiăn yòng – to live frugallyWhy it’s important: As someone who grew up with my family’s small business, I have a deep understanding of saving for a rainy day and living modestly. This is a personal favorite of mine because of how it resonates with my upbringing and, more than an expression, it’s also a reminder for us to separate needs vs.

Win $250 in cash and a MatadorU course in the #ExploreCanada contest

Win $250 in cash and a MatadorU course in the #ExploreCanada contest

Share local knowledge about your favorite spots in Canada with the chance to win cash + tuition to MatadorU. It’s Matador’s explorecanada contest. (Contest deadline: October 31, 2012)About the contestMatador and the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) partnered up this year, sending journalists from the Yukon Territory to Vancouver Island to Newfoundland and everywhere in between (check out their reports here).

Paddling canoes 2,600 miles across Canada

Paddling canoes 2,600 miles across Canada

Ever since I began canoeing, at age 16, my head has been filled with paddling routes. Dream trips and bucket lists with the names of classic Canadian rivers. Above all, I liked to think up long routes that connected multiple watersheds. The best canoe trips always cross a height of land.All photos: AuthorI developed a habit of looking at maps like people look at puzzles.

5 techniques for writing bilingual dialogue

5 techniques for writing bilingual dialogue

Photo: SoylentgreenIncluding dialogue in your travel narratives is a great way to flesh out characters, keep the action moving, and to tell a story that feels real. But when you and the people around you are speaking a language other than English, or English and another language, it can be hard to figure out how to recount your conversations.

5 tips for taking better photos of landmarks

5 tips for taking better photos of landmarks

With simple changes of perspective and equipment, you can capture fresh, original images of even the most iconic landmarks.TAKING UNIQUE PHOTOS of landmarks can be very challenging because postcard icons such as the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Canyon have been shot thousands of times and are instantly recognizable.

Coastal Brown Bears of Katmai National Park, Alaska [pics]

Coastal Brown Bears of Katmai National Park, Alaska [pics]

Katmai National Park in southwestern Alaska is known for two things: the volcanic landscape of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes…and bears. The headwaters of numerous salmon streams bring massive numbers of fish to the region each summer. And those fish lure dozens of Alaska Brown Bears.On the several photography and paddling trips I’ve led to Katmai, I’m often asked the difference between Brown Bears and Grizzly Bears.

On Skype, narcissism, and long-distance showering

On Skype, narcissism, and long-distance showering

I have a serious problem. I’m living in Bali, and when I talk to my girlfriend Cortney long-distance on Skype, I spend most of my time looking at that little one-inch by one-inch square in the bottom right corner to see what I look like while I’m talking.I mess with my hair, pulling it up, out, back.

Photo essay: The sulfur miners of Ijen, Indonesia

Photo essay: The sulfur miners of Ijen, Indonesia

Photojournalist and Matador contributor Andrés Vanegas Canosa reports from an independent trip to the Ijen volcano sulfur mine in East Java, Indonesia.I HAD HEARD about the sulfur miners of Ijen before I arrived in Banyuwangi, a town on the eastern edge of the island of Java. Not many tourists visit this town, and finding information in English was tough.

13 things I learned about Anthony Bourdain from his Reddit AMA

13 things I learned about Anthony Bourdain from his Reddit AMA

BOURDAIN HAS CERTAINLY not endeared himself to me recently — during his visit to Montreal in The Layover, he declared, “Without Montreal, Canada would be hopeless.” Ouch, Anthony. Ouch.Despite this, I enjoyed following his Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit. In typical snarky Anthony Bourdain fashion, he delivered nothing but honest responses.

Learning how to travel from The Wizard of Oz

Learning how to travel from The Wizard of Oz

Perhaps the ultimate American travel narrative is L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It inspired my own dreams of travel at a young age, when I used to hope for a tornado to whisk me away from the suburbs of Detroit to a magical land like Oz.Reading the novel again as an adult, I’m struck by how much the power of the book’s strong female protagonist keeps getting neutered by Hollywood.

Shoot better travel photos with these 5 essential tips

Shoot better travel photos with these 5 essential tips

WE ALL KNOW the DRILL: you spend hours researching flight prices, destinations, accommodations, tourist hotspots, things to see and what to do.For many people, time spent traveling comes and goes much too quickly, but great pictures can last a lifetime. If you want to relive the spectacular moments you scrimp and save for, leave prepared to capture the priceless memories you encounter on your journey.

A non-alcoholic toast to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day

A non-alcoholic toast to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day

In America at least, St. Patrick’s Day is generally considered a good time to wear silly green hats, maybe watch a parade, and get stupidly shit-faced drunk.But if we’re going to devote one day a year to celebrate all things Irish, why not also take a minute to appreciate something else about the country besides its famed drinking culture?

3 backpacking and hosteling cliches worth examining

3 backpacking and hosteling cliches worth examining

Obviously when you examine the truth behind any cliché you invariably come to the conclusion that reality isn’t as black and white as the cliché so purports.Of all the concepts or ideas that clichés or fantastic notions touch upon, I think there are some really ingrained ones — at least in Western culture — regarding activities such as ‘backpacking,’ ‘hostelling,’ ‘backpacking Europe,’ ‘backpacking Asia,’ ‘backpacking South America,’ etc.

How to piss off an Indian

How to piss off an Indian

According to Priyanka Kher, it ain’t easy to piss off an Indian. But it’s possible.ATITHI DEVO BHAVAH. This Sanskrit verse literally means “Guest is God,” the Indian philosophy when it comes to guests and visitors, to their country and to their homes. They will accommodate and they will tolerate.They’ll let you get away with a number of things…but it’s possible to hit the limit.

A new kind of gangsta in South Central LA

A new kind of gangsta in South Central LA

RON FINLEY got sick and tired of seeing his neighbourhood of South Central Los Angeles become a victim of fast food, liquor stores, and vacant lots. According to him, the neighbourhood has the equivalent of three Central Parks’ worth of unused land. He saw clearly that the environment was nurturing an unhealthy community, where many people — 1 in 2 kids — die of curable diseases like type 2 diabetes.

This Week’s Picks: Slumdog DVD, PJ Harvey, Yoga Dorkage and…Reptilian Humanoids.

This Week’s Picks: Slumdog DVD, PJ Harvey, Yoga Dorkage and…Reptilian Humanoids.

Slumdog MillionaireSlumdog Millionaire makes its way to DVD this week. It will be curious to see if the Oscar hype has legs, or if bread-and-butter America would rather slap their money down on Adam Sandler’s Bedtime Stories. While the ending still makes us trickle a tear, this take on the final dance makes us figgle a giggle.

Your perception of wealth distribution in the US is wrong

Your perception of wealth distribution in the US is wrong

Nine out of ten Americans have a perception that wealth distribution in America is skewed unfairly toward the top 10 richest people. They believe that the rich control about one hundred times more wealth than the poorest Americans.Looking at what the wealthy can do that the rest of us can’t — castle-sized mansions, private jets, even slipping out from under criminal prosecution — that perception might seem accurate.

On culture as commodity: A tale of two cities

On culture as commodity: A tale of two cities

There are few things I can think of that have done more to inspire my desire to travel than living in a tourist city. Over my five years of living in Orlando, I had come to resent it, considering it a sort of cultural void, a city built on a commercial idea with culture as an afterthought. It has its local boroughs and unique spots, of course, but its neon-lit tourist appeal and continual transient growth (the university there uses its status as ‘Nation’s Largest University’ as a bragging point) were hard to ignore in such a vast place that seemed to feed on an endless draw of people hungrier to experience what it offered visitors than what it offered residents.

How to craft perfect travel writing pitches and leads

How to craft perfect travel writing pitches and leads

Leading travel authors and editors share what they look for in the perfect pitch and lead. For more professional advice, consider enrolling in the MatadorU Travel Writing program.DON GEORGE, Lonely Planet’s Global Travel Editor, explains a perfect pitch in succinct terms: “A perfect pitch is where a writer puts themselves in the mind of the editor.