Wanderlust: Jiuzhaigou (China) & Singapore

I’m always up for Wanderlust… it’s one of my very favorite lusts…


Launch Port - The Open Door Business Blog

“The only thing that should ever be for sale in a man is his own soul – in a good cause.”

from the Business, Career, and Work of Man

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Golden October in China

Creatures of the Roof

Detroit: The Time Capsule

And there ya go.

peeling walls

House McAllister features 8-tracks and margarita glasses on the shelf, a decorative clock on the wall, retro electronics, and a calendar in the bathroom from 1980.

Coleman Young, now deceased, was the mayor from 1974-1994.  The slogan on this sign dates back to 1985.

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Indochina: A Journey Through Time – Chapter One

Pursuit of Adventure 2015-


Adventure is a word which encapsulates so many emotions at once. It’s frightening, it’s beguiling, it’s exhilarating, it’s astonishing. It’s the moment when your heart beats faster than ever as you step into the unknown, swept up in a tide of discovery. It’s the day that you wake up in a new place as a stranger and go to sleep that night as a local. It’s the journey you take to learn more about a country, its people and most of all, yourself.

It’s a word which perfectly describes a trip that took me further than I’d ever been before: Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, three countries rich in history and stunning natural beauty, yet affected by different forms of conflict in recent times. For me, this was uncharted territory: my first time in Asia, and my first major trip to a place without any grasp of its language.


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Am I too old for treasure hunts?

I Geocache and I create geocaches


Okay explanation, I’ve found a new hobby to keep myself entertained while there is not much else going on. It’s called Geocaching and it’s basically a worldwide treasure hunt for anybody with a phone and GPS. ‘But what is it really?’ well, the official geocaching website describes it as “ a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.”

Exactly what I said right? A “Geocache” is just the fancy name the company has for the treasure.

I came across it during a quiet period at work when my colleague was explaining how she started doing this new thing called ‘Geocaching’. She said “if you just download the app and open it up, it uses your current location to show you the Geocaches around you” which she promptly did and I was amazed at just how many there were so…

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A blog, a trip, and what the hell is a Geocache?


Wow, I haven’t written in a post in 2 weeks.

My bad.

I’m gonna start this one off by IMPLORING you, to go over and check out the newest Beauty to Di for blog post on

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Film in a time of catastrophe: Ali Cherri’s The Digger

Writing to Inform

In 2014, Ali Cherri set off on a journey into Sharjah’s desert interior, his mind preoccupied by post-apocalyptic thoughts.

The Lebanese artist was scouting for locations for his latest project, a docu-essay that would form a companion piece to his Beirut-based film The Disquiet (2013).

The result was The Digger (2015), a 24-minute film that receives its Dubai debut tonight as part of Cinema Akil and Alserkal Avenue’s new summer film season, A Hard Day’s Night.

The Disquiet explored the effect of an earthquake, a catastrophe that Cherri deployed as a metaphor for the profound crisis facing his home and the wider Middle East, and in his 2014 search for locations the filmmaker was looking for landscapes that contained traces of civilisations that had long since disappeared.

“If catastrophe is already happening and is inevitable,” Cherri asks,“then how can we survive that catastrophe?”

For the rest of this story, please…

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Toxic High School

You know I love vadding…

Abandoned Southeast

In the 1930sthe Silver City Dump operated as the second-largestlandfill in New Orleans. Known as the “ulcer ofthecity,” thelandfill collected 150 tons of garbage.


Above, workers repair part of the Silver City Dump after fill was removed for a harbor project.

During the 1930s the New Orleans NAACP led a fight for a second high school due to overcrowding. Black leaders pushed for a vocational training school since most black students were expected to go to work right after high school. This led to problems with the white community who viewed a new vocational high school asa threat to white jobs. School board officials came to a compromise and agreed that the trades taught at the new high school would be mostly occupied by African-Americans. However after purchasing land, the school board backed out of the deal and built another school on the property instead. Black leaders were not swayed…

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another day, another 10 miles


I think that I have averaged 10-12 miles a day thus far. That is to say, I’m exhausted. I’m so tired and have such sore legs and a sunburn, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Plus, I feel pretty okay about eating as much as I have (Italians, we need to talk about carb-overload!!!!). Thus, I truly have nothing to complain about. Everything is beautiful, everything is full of art, everything is literally everything that I love about history and the world. I drink coffee and have a croissant every morning (but I did buy cereal today!!!), I see pieces of art that people read and don’t appreciate the massiveness and beauty of until they see; I’m seriously doing everything that I love.

A few days ago, we got to see the incredibly stunning fountains and art of Tivoli, Hadrian’s Villa, and a beautiful view of the city from atop…

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Liberians, Americans: Shared Stories


St. John’s University dove deep into the history of Liberian-American relations and celebrated Staten Island’s Liberian community, the largest in the United States! Scholarship mixed with dance and food, provided by the Staten Island immigrant organization Napela. We were thrilled to have Dr. David Kazanjian and Dr. Bernadette Ludwig present their scholarship on U.S. Liberian relations, past and present.

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Online & Interactive Thule Atlas

Teacher as Researcher

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 Connecting Inuit with lost history of Knud Rasmussen expedition

By Elyse Skura, Jennifer Geens, CBC NewsPosted: Apr 23, 2016

22 Drum Dance_thumbThe online Fifth Thule Expedition Atlas is a new interactive online map is connecting Inuit with a lost part of their history captured by a Danish anthropological expedition led by the Inuktitut speaking anthropologist Knud Rasmussen Between 1921 and 1924. Rasmussen, who was part Inuk and spoke Inuktitut, was the first European to travel the Northwest Passage by dog team. The Fifth Thule Expedition collected vast amounts of Inuit knowledge in the form of oral traditions, traditional place names, linguistic information, Inuit drawn maps, photographs, and ethnographic objects. A select amount of this information was published in a series of scientific reports. A network of Danish institutions, including the National Museum of Denmark, currently cares for the ethnographic objects, field notes and associated records from the expedition.

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Abandoned gothic church in Detroit

urban methexis

Finally made it to Detoit and this is one of the decayed beauties i got to visit. An English-Gothic style church abandoned since 2010; one of the most magnificent ventures so far! As renovation work has started since 2014, this awesome spot might be converted soon.Glad to have made it in!

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Review: Garmin Epix – outdoor gps watch with mapping


So, about a month agoe I got the Garmin Epix. I had been droling over it since it was first announced, some time agoe.

I have to admit that I was really unsure before buying it. First of all because I thought the Fenix 3 looked cooler, second because I read about all the complaints about the Epix having a lot of software bugs.

But in the end I thought that the software stuff would be sorted out in time. The hardware with having a map on your wrist at all time was the thing that made me buy it in the end.

Price and alternatives

This is an expensive watch priced at $550. It’s suppose to do everything the Fenix 3 does but adding the mapping feature.

This is not true. As I understand, the Fenix 3 has indeed a support for Wifi, which sounds kind of clever…

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WednesDIY: Paper Map Wallets

Sea Salt and Lemon


I don’t know about you, but I love to travel. I also love maps, maybe not using them so much, but just you know, looking at them. So, what better to do than to have for myself a beautiful travel wallet which looks like a map? Nothing. There is nothing better, except  Harry Potter, but that’s always better.

Some people have recommended that you get yourself a map wallet, which I have noticed are becoming increasingly popular with the rise in popularity of all things “vintage;” as a pick pocketer though likely to target tourists, is less likely to be interested in a folded up map in your pocket, than what he or she, or it – I suspect nargles sometimes, would expect your wallet to look like.

But, it’s my wallet and I want it now, so going online to buy a fancy one is all good…

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Two Days in Prague – Day 2: Petrin Hill and Kampa Island

World and Time Enough

After hitting the “big ones” in Prague, we woke up the next day to a beautiful day. So we decided to keep walking around the city while enjoying the sun.

Petrin Hill

Petrin Hill is a lovely green space west of Charles Bridge, near Prague Castle in the Mala Strana area. The day we went was so nice that the hill was full of both locals and tourists enjoying the beautiful day. From the foot to the top, Petrin is almost entirely a park. Benches, flowerbeds, grass, and a tower at the top from which to see the entire city: what could be better?

To get to Petrin Hill, one can either hike up or take a funicular, or do a combination of both. There are three stops: Ujezd at the bottom, Nebozizek in the middle, and Petrin at the top.

At the top of the hill, you can simply enjoy…

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The Shady Tree

Finally, I found a swarm. You may not remember or weren’t following me when I participated in Photography 101 (Day 18) offered by the Daily Post. It was a 30 day challenge (weekends off) with a new challenge word each day. Swarm was something I couldn’t find in my archives or that day of the challenge. I alluded to the fact that when I did find a swarm, I would post it. Today is the day.

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Exploring Cities: Genoa


Most of my enjoyment during travel are the simple things. That moment after a long day where you sit in a small cafe, cars whiz by somewhere near and you watch the sorts of people walking home from work. You sip at a nice hot chocolate or a local wine. You share good company with your fellow travelers, maybe swap peaks at photos you’ve taken. But perhaps the thing I enjoy the most is exploring a city. I almost wrote exploring a new city, but when you get on your feet and walk around, every city is a new city. I’m always proud to say I could walk anywhere in downtown Rome. But the truth is I had a good map and I didn’t mind walking as far as it took, as long as there was a cafe break somewhere in between.


The best place I have explored so far…

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Osaka Castle in Autumn

Fogo’s Smart Flashlight Is The Swiss Army Knife Of Personal Lighting