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How to prepare for a summer music festival
How to prepare for a summer music festival

From choosing the right festival to tips on camping and pacing yourself through the shows, here’s (almost) everything you’ll need to know about preparing for your next music festival.WHEN I WENT to my first summer musical festival a few years back, I was unprepared and could’ve used a little guidance.

Re-imagining your life through the power of visualization
Re-imagining your life through the power of visualization

Photo: Martin, Age: 34. Swami Yogananda, Age: 102Visualization is a key ingredient for success in any endeavor. Find out why Martin, a photographer in India, believes the importance of the”paint dry visualization.”As I sit here writing this, I look around the room and am amazed at all the events that conspired to bring me to this point.

What’s going on in… Madagascar?
What’s going on in… Madagascar?

Editor’s Note: This is the first article in an occasional series from guest writers responding to the prompt, “What’s going on in your country?” In Madagascar, history repeats itself.Photos: fanalana_azyThe past few months have been unfortunate for Madagascar.A series of tropical storms hit both the east and the west coasts, leaving more than 40,000 people roofless and recovering from floods.

Kung Fu Fighting Gives Nepalese Nuns a Voice
Kung Fu Fighting Gives Nepalese Nuns a Voice

A sect of Nepalese nuns is taking concentration to a whole new level.Most of the people I know who have learned any martial art became entranced with the practice. Building concentration and powering up in a functional way seems to make people strong not only in body, but mind.Which is why it’s pretty damn cool that some Nepalese nuns are practicing kung fu for up to two hours a day.

Blues singer, Maria Muldaur, talks religion
Blues singer, Maria Muldaur, talks religion

Through the glass wall of the room where she was taking interviews, I could see Maria Muldaur look out toward the queue of journalists who were waiting for their turn.I WAS IN that line. It was only three deep, but I could tell she’d had enough. She arrived on the island of Borneo from San Francisco the previous night and, coming from Vancouver myself, I knew well the painfully long journey she just went through.

Shopping for a Stand Up Paddle Board? Size Matters
Shopping for a Stand Up Paddle Board? Size Matters

Somebody mentioned the other day that it still feels like winter in Hawai‘i. He was talking about the fact that everyone’s still driving around with surfboards in tow.He’s right—actually, they’re stand-up paddle boards, which makes sense, since summer is paddling season. On the Islands, the sport’s booming popularity is undeniable, and stand-up paddlers have become a fixture on the seascape.

Honduras after the coup
Honduras after the coup

From Flickr photographer Yamil Gonzales (translated from the Spanish): “Photos of protests in front of the Presidential Home, taken on June 29, 2009. I edited/modified these as little as possible so that they appear as close as possible to what occurred.”Graffiti reads: Get out, transnationals.Grafitti reads: Mel Zelaya’s nickname , the people are with you until the end.

Notes on Riding Palestinian Buses
Notes on Riding Palestinian Buses

On buses in the West Bank, Robert Hirschfield learns how a Jew can fear other Jews.I WAS WARNED. Then, I was treated to fits of Jewish hand wringing in the classical style. But mainly I was warned.The fuss was caused whenever Israelis heard I was traveling to the West Bank on Palestinian buses to interview Palestinians.

Summiting Mount Doom in Bolivia
Summiting Mount Doom in Bolivia

Not too technical, Volcán Licancabur offers a relatively easy route to just under 20,000 ft. You get the views for free.Images of Tolkien’s volcano come to mind. Perfectly coned slopes loom over a stretch of desert so sinister it could be taken for Mordor itself.I always thought Frodo was a chump, but after climbing the 19,423 ft (5,920 m) Licancabur, I’m willing to cut him some slack.

World’s newest tourist attraction: Saddam’s Babylon Palace
World’s newest tourist attraction: Saddam’s Babylon Palace

Is this a legitimate attraction, or does it strike you as just a little bit…off?A few days ago, NPR reported on one of the world’s newest tourist attractions…in one of the world’s most unlikely places.That’s right — one of Saddam Hussein’s many palaces, this one located near the site of ancient Babylon and the modern city of Hilla, is now open to the public.

Six gift ideas that give back this holiday season
Six gift ideas that give back this holiday season

Looking for something to give your friends and family this year instead of the traditional gifts that, let’s be honest, could potentially be thrown out or re-gifted anyway? The five companies listed below will either allow you to give a gift that (truly) keeps on giving or is something that is truly environmentally friendly/socially conscious.

Mercer’s “Best Places to Live in 2009”
Mercer’s “Best Places to Live in 2009”

I give Mercer’s report on the Best Places to Live in 2009 a massive yawn.Photo: mbell1975Business Week features photos of ordered, neat, European urban-scapes: stoic cathedrals coupled with familiar brand names, skyscrapers, all the tidiness of money and “civilization.” Buildings are clean and quaintly historic, skies are blue, rivers are strategically running past postcard-friendly architecture.