Tag Archives: travel

Five reasons why we haven’t found aliens yet

From Focus, Jan 25, 2016
by Louisa Field

As Prof Stephen Hawking and colleagues set out on the biggest alien hunt ever, we take a speculative look at why we haven’t already found any little green men (or extraterrestrial microbes, for that matter).


1) Aliens have never existed
We are unique. Hurray.

2) They’re already extinct
A recent study claims that we haven’t heard from aliens because they’re already dead. “The universe is probably filled with habitable planets, so many scientists think it should be teeming with aliens,” says lead author Dr Aditya Chopra. “[But] early life is fragile, so we believe it rarely evolves quickly enough to survive.” The scientists argue that life on other planets would become extinct before it had time to create a balanced atmosphere where greenhouse gases are kept in check. “Most early planetary environments are unstable,” says Chopra.

3) We’re not worth bothering with
In the world of Star Trek, the extraterrestrial Vulcans don’t bother getting in contact with the humans, because they find them irrelevant and dumb. It’s not until Zefram Cochrane invents a warp drive (a device that lets you go faster than light) that they change their minds. So maybe aliens simply don’t care about our existence because we’re stupid and they can easily hide from us. Again, because we are stupid.

4) Alien life hasn’t had time to develop
Observations from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the planet-hunting Kepler space observatory suggest that our Earth was one of the first ever habitable planets. “Compared to all the planets that will ever form in the Universe, the Earth is actually quite early,” said Dr Peter Behroozi back in the December 2015 issue of Focus. So maybe life just hasn’t had time to get started on other planets.

5) We’re looking for the wrong thing
Some astronomers think that we’ve got the wrong idea when it comes to looking for extraterrestrials. Astronomer Royal Lord Martin Rees is known for having said that aliens are more likely to be machines – not organic creatures. In this case we should be looking for pollution and solar-harvesting structures instead of listening for radio signals.

So there are reasons why E.T. has been thus-far absent. But for many, it’s just a matter of time. Maybe the Breakthrough Listen project – the largest ever hunt for alien life – will be the first to strike gold.

by Louisa Field

Christmas celebrations in New York starts with great festive mood

christmas nyIt’s the most wonderful time of the year and Christmas in New York City provides a spectacular sight, with Christmas trees, department-store window displays and other holiday attractions popping up around the city. Spending the holidays in NYC is an experience unlike any other. Ice skating in Times Square, watching the snow glisten in Central Park, and viewing the winter wonderland displays in flagship stores along Fifth Avenue has made NYC a popular spot for celebrating Christmas.

As the holiday approaches and last-minute shoppers stampede through malls to buy presents for everyone on their list, a new poll has shown that Christmas has lost its religious meaning for many Americans. Caroling, candlelight and church will be enjoyed by some Americans while others prefer last minute bargain hunting or trips to visit family. Christmas has largely lost its religious meaning and became an occasion focused on visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts.

Clement, Boqueria, Manzanilla, Al Fiori, The Smith Restaurant, Russian Tea Room are some of the best Christmas cuisines in New York. The city is jam packed with something for everyone during the festive season. Comfort Inn Manhattan, Westin New York at Times Square, Intercontinental New York Barclay, Hotel Metro, Grand Hyatt New York, Skyline Hotel are some of the best places to enjoy your halt during Christmas.

A group of atheists posted anti-Christmas message. The controversial group ‘American Atheists’ is at it again – this time taking over Times Square with their latest holiday message: Christmas is better without Christ. The activist group known for posting its controversial messages on billboards across the nation, believes the “true meaning” of Christmas involves charity, family, friends, and food but not Christ.   However, among all sorts of controversies, the tourists as well as the residents are all set to celebrate Christmas and welcome the New Year with all zeal and fervor.

From Tourism & Travel – Dec 21

9 Destinations for 2012 -This Year’s Most Spectacular Destinations

–written by Sarah Schlichter
For travelers, it’s the eternal question: Where will you go this year? To help you decide, we’ve rounded up nine amazing hot spots to visit in 2012, both far-flung and close to home. Some destinations are returning to the limelight after years off the tourist map; others are celebrating special anniversaries or hosting world-class events you won’t want to miss. Click on any image to start browsing — and dreaming of your next trip.

Start the Slideshow!

Call Travel Masters 604-659-4176 or 1-877-659-4176 to book to your holiday.

Check out a great Cuban Coach Tour

A Lady on the Go in Israel

from Barb, A Lady on the Go

We arrived in Jerusalem in the late afternoon yesterday, checked into our hotel to rest as we were in for an exhausting day ahead, as to explore the old city can only be done by foot.  

We entered the city by the main gate called The Damascus Gate and is the most monumental gate of the old city.  The present day gate was situated on the road to Damascus, and is built over the remains of the original Roman Gate and parts of the old city.  We were overlooking the old city and “The Dome of the Rock” – a Muslim church that is one of the first and greatest achievements of Islamic architecture. It was built in 688 – 91 AD and dominates Jerusalem, and has now become the symbol of the city.  The dome was originally made of copper but is now covered with gold leaf – thanks to the late King Hussein of Jordan. 

 We then moved on to Herod’s Gate known as “Gate of Flowers”, referring to the rosette above the arch.  Christians wrongly thought that inside the gate was the palace of Herod the Great’s son.  We then visited the Sanctuary of the Flagellation and the Sanctuary of the Condemnation where Jesus was stripped of all his powers and sentenced to death. Then we travelled along Via Dolorosa – a street that passes through the Arab market quarter.  It traditionally traces the last steps of Jesus Christ, where he was crucified, and the tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where He is said to have been buried.  There is no historical basis for the route which has changed over the centuries.  However, the tradition is so strong that countless pilgrims walk the route identifying with Jesus’ suffering as they stop at the 14 stations of the cross – all of which we did.

 Our lunch stop was to be a typical Jewish lunch – a fast food lunch.  I had a sandwich of a pita pocket stuffed with shaved chicken and vegetables.  It has a specific name, but I can not think of it at the moment.  We finished strolling through the ancient city, ending up by strolling along part of the Western Wall.  The wall is a massive blank wall built of huge stone blocks, and is Judaism’s holiest site, and the plaza in front of it is a permanent place of worship.  The wall is part of the retaining wall of the Temple Mount and was built by Herod the Great – this was wall #2, as he expanded his territory.  For some time, it became where Jews came to lament the destruction of the Second Temple, thus became known as the Wailing Wall.  While we were there, hundreds of people were praying – it apparently was a special Prayer Day for the sick and infirmed.  The men’s section was to the left – women to the right.

Then we returned to our van to drive to the Mount of Olives on the eastern side of Jerusalem to see the magnificent view of the Dome of the Rock, the Jewish cemeteries and the old city.  We then went to the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed, only to be arrested as he left the garden.  We travelled on to Mount Zion where the tomb of King David is, as well as seeing the room of The Last Supper.  Our last stop of the day was at the Garden Tomb where some believe, but are not sure, that Jesus was buried there.

 After a very long day we returned to our hotel – absolutely exhausted.  We worked out that we had walked at least eight hours.

A Very Good Idea – Attn: All Airlines

Japanese Airline All Nippon Airways to Offer Women-Only Toilets
Japanese Airline All Nippon Airways to Offer Women-Only Toilets
Starting next month, Japan’s All Nippon Airways will assign one lavatory on most international routes to be used exclusively by women.

Airline officials say that this move comes in response to numerous requests.

A recent survey also showed that 90 percent of women polled were in favor of the idea.

The toilet would be available to women from all classes. Men would also be allowed to use the women-only restroom in the event of “emergencies” or when there were “very few” female passengers on board.

Apart from new signs, there will be no differences between ladies’ rooms and other lavatories–although they are considering giving the women-only restrooms special soaps.

All Nippon Airways apparently takes restrooms and bodily functions very seriously. The carrier recently requested that all their passengers make bathroom pit stops before boarding their flights so that they could fly with less weight and better fuel efficiency.

What do you think? Would you like to see more carriers designate lavatories specifically for women?

By Dan Bence for PeterGreenberg.com.