Lonely Planet Screwed

May 1, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment

Lonely Travel’s Nasty Surprise

This is some very bad news
for travel publisher Lonely Planet. One of the firm’s travel writers
admits in a new book that he never even went to some of the countries
he reviewed, that he made up most of what he wrote and that he
plagiarized the rest. It’s an absolute shocker to the company who has
rushed to review and edit all of the books he worked on. He also dealt
drugs on the side to offset his low salary and accepted free travel, in
contravention of company rules.

Thomas Kohnstamm also claims in a new book that he accepted free travel, in contravention of the company’s policy.
His revelations have rocked the travel publisher, which sells more than six million guides a year.

Mr Kohnstamm, whose book is titled Do Travel Writers Go To Hell?, said
yesterday that he had worked on more than a dozen books for Lonely
Planet, including its titles on Brazil, Colombia, the Caribbean,
Venezuela, Chile and South America.
In one case, he said he had not even visited the country he wrote
“They didn’t pay me enough to go Colombia,” he said.
“I wrote the book in San Francisco. I got the information from a chick
I was dating — an intern in the Colombian Consulate.
“They don’t pay enough for what they expect the authors to do.”

An email to management, posted on the company’s authors’
forum, describes Mr Kohnstamm’s book as “a car crash waiting to
“Why did you (management) not understand that when you hire a constant
stream of new, unvetted people, pay them poorly and set them loose,
that someone, somehow was going to screw you?” author Jeanne Oliver
Ms Oliver, an experienced travel writer having written for Lonely
Planet on eastern Europe, France, Germany and Greece, admitted to
sending the email, but did not wish to comment further.
Other writers believe some practices described in the book are
widespread. Lonely Planet forbids their authors from accepting gifts or

As to the question posed by Kohnstamm’s book,
Do Travel Writers Go To Hell?: A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics, and Professional Hedonism,
we’re thinking the answer is an enthusiastic yes. At least in his case.
What an amazing liar he is! We’re also betting that half of his wild
“adventures in hedonism” in his new book are as fictional as the travel
guides he wrote.

Mesmerizing floating robo-critter: AirJelly

May 1, 2008 at 12:39 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
I want one.
clipped from blog.makezine.com


This “AirJelly” floating mechanical creature is a joy to watch:

AirJelly houses two lithium-ion polymer accumulator batteries rated at 8 V and 400 mA, which can be completely charged in half an hour and are AirJelly’s sole source of power. A connected central electric drive unit transmits the force to a bevel gear wheel and then to eight spur gears in sequence. These gears power eight shafts, each of which activates a crank; these in turn move the jellyfish’s eight tentacles. Each tentacle is designed as a structure with Fin Ray Effect®- a construction derived from the functional anatomy of a fish’s fin. The actual structure consists of two alternating tension and pressure flanks movably connected by ribs. If a flank is subjected to pressure, the geometrical structure automatically bendsin the direction of the applied force. Together, the tentacles produce a peristaltic forward motion similar to that of their biological model.

7 (More!) Underground Wonders of the World

May 1, 2008 at 12:34 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
From Seed Vaults to Amazing Military Strongholds —- see the comments for a detailed description on each point ———–
clipped from weburbanist.com

seed vault 2

Regular readers will remember the incredible abandoned mines and sunken cities as well as the catacombs and crypts of two previous collections of underground wonders. This set, however, focuses mainly on amazing underground wonders of the recent past – many of which are still in operation. From seed vault to military hideouts and diamond mines to nuclear waste dumps, here are seven more underground wonders of the world.

seed vault 1

Underground Seed Storage Vault

cave school

Primary School in a Cave

mormon vaults

Mormon Genealogical Vaults

underground trenches

Secret WWI Military Tunnels (via EnvironmentalGraffiti)

diamond mine

World’s Largest Diamond Mine: (via DeputyDog)

subway art

Artistic Metro

Stockholm Art Metro Station

underground nuclear waste storage

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

The bottom diagram above shows the contentious Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility.

Want More? Check out These Other Amazing Wonders of the World:

7 Underground Wonders of the World
7 (More!) Underground Wonders of the World
7 Underwater Wonders of the World
7 Island Wonders of the World
7 Engineering Wonders of the World

Ocean Cooling to halt Global Warming

May 1, 2008 at 12:30 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
clipped from www.bloomberg.com
Parts of North America and Europe may
cool naturally over the next decade, as shifting ocean currents
temporarily blunt the global-warming effect caused by mankind,
Germany’s Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences said.
Average temperatures in areas such as California and France
may drop over the next 10 years, influenced by colder flows in the
North Atlantic, said a report today by the institution based in
Kiel, Germany. Temperatures worldwide may stabilize in the period.

9 Ways To Start a Fire Without Matches

May 1, 2008 at 12:06 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
I clipped the names of the nine methods. You’ll need to visit the source page for the details explaining how to implement each method. —— http://artofmanliness.com/2008/04/29/9-ways-to-start-a-fire-without-matches/
clipped from artofmanliness.com

Tom Hanks Starting a Fire Without Matches

There is a primal link between man and fire. Every man should know how to start one. A manly man knows how to start one without matches. It’s an essential survival skill. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a situation where you’ll need a fire, but you don’t have matches.

Friction Based Fire Making

The Hand Drill

clipped from viewer.zoho.com

clipped from artofmanliness.com

Fire Plough

clipped from viewer.zoho.com

clipped from artofmanliness.com

Bow Drill

clipped from viewer.zoho.com

clipped from artofmanliness.com

Flint and Steel

clipped from viewer.zoho.com

clipped from artofmanliness.com

Lens Based Methods

clipped from viewer.zoho.com

clipped from artofmanliness.com

Balloons and Condoms

clipped from viewer.zoho.com

clipped from artofmanliness.com

Fire from ice

clipped from viewer.zoho.com

clipped from artofmanliness.com

The Coke Can and Chocolate Bar

clipped from viewer.zoho.com

clipped from artofmanliness.com

Batteries and Steel Wool

clipped from viewer.zoho.com

clipped from artofmanliness.com
perhaps you’re out camping and you lose your backpack in a tussle with a bear. It need not be something as dramatic at these situations-even extremely windy or wet conditions can render matches virtually uselessly. And whether or not you ever need to call upon these skills, it’s just damn cool to know you can start a fire, whenever and wherever you are.


Field and Stream

Primitive Ways

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