No More Leftovers

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On my most recent international trip I visited three countries that all used different currencies. By the time I got home, I had a baggie full of miscellaneous coins and bills that may never get used. Now, all of that cash resides in the back of a drawer with coins and bills from a dozen other unused currencies.

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The new TravelersBox kiosk service that’s popping up in airports around the world is just the ticket for this nearly universal travelers’ dilemma. Already available in ten international airports in seven nations, the simple,automated service allows flyers to deposit leftover coins or bills and receive iTunes credits, gift cards, store vouchers, make charitable contributions, or even direct deposit to digital accounts such as Paypal.

TravelersBox is currently available in Canada, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Japan, Georgia, and Singapore, with more sites to be added very soon.

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Posted in Air Travel, Asia, Canada, Europe, Tourism | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Drawn Together

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Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Robert Crumb have been creating brilliant and transgressive comic books together and independently for more than four decades. The pioneers of the underground comic genre have been smashing taboos and busting boundaries with insightful, funny and decidedly not politically correct work from the start. Drawn Together is an exciting exhibition of their collaborative art opening today at the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea, New York City. The show, which will run through February 18, 2017, is based on a wildly popular exhibition of the same name that was held at Basel’s Cartoonmuseum.

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Posted in Animation, Art, Books, Museums, USA | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New York, New York

When Israeli director/animator/filmmaker Ynon Lan visited New York City for the first time, he recorded his impression in over 3,000 photographs. He then used 330 of the images of people, taxis, brownstones, and Starbucks to create a stop-motion film called Still NYC. Now that he’s living in the Big Apple, he has followed up the first film with Still NYC#2. 

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A 3D Time Machine

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British illustrator Steven Wilson has created some mindblowing cover art for Knopf Doubleday’s Vintage Books imprint’s new H.G. Wells series. The Time Machine reissue even comes with a set of 3D glasses.

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First Bedbugs, Now Germs

Recently we have seen a spate of stories online and in travel publications about bedbugs in hotel rooms and filthy conditions in most airplanes. Some folks religiously clean their airline seats, arm rests, tray tables, and entertainment systems with anti-bacterial wipes. Now it seems we need to be just as concerned about the cleanliness of hotel accommodations too. According to a study commissioned by the online trip calculator TripMath.com, hotel rooms at all price levels are chockablock with disease causing germs. Time to start traveling with disinfectant.

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In a galaxy far, far away…

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Last year, I shared a post on Penguin’s reissue of a series of hardcover science fiction titles with stunning cover designs by Spanish artist Alex Trochut. Now the publisher has released a limited edition box set called “Galaxy”. The book series was curated by the inimitable Neil Gaiman, who also contributed an introduction to each volume.

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The box set includes Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein; Dune by Frank Herbert; The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin; Neuromancer by William Gibson; A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark; and The Once and Future King by T.H. White. Looks like a great gift for some sci-fi bibliophile.

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Resistance Is (not) Futile

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Since November, a website has been compiling anti-Trump cartoons and comics. Now the New Yorker’s art editor Françoise Mouly and her daughter, writer Nadja Spiegelman have edited the contributions for the protest comic named Resist!, which is being printed in a run of 55,000 copies, to be distributed for free in Washington D.C. on January 20th, Trump’s presidential inauguration day, and at the Women’s March the next day.

by Julie Wilson

by Julie Wilson

The website dedicated to the publication has been inviting submissions since November, and has received over 1,000 pieces of work. According to the website, the aim was to make the print version an all-women issue, though would remain open-minded and consider all submissions. It has been periodically publishing some of the submitted works on the site. Resist! will be published as a special issue of the tabloid newspaper Smoke Signal.

by Ellis Rosen

by Ellis Rosen

by Rebecca McCorkindale

by Rebecca McCorkindale

Resist! is also available to order online here for $10 and will be sold at comic book stores in the U.S..

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Miss Lasko-Gross

by Kate Glesheen

by Kate Glesheen

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Mini Metros

Washington, D.C.-based graphic designer Peter Dovak has created a beautifully simplified series of transit maps for 220 metro and light rail systems from around the world. They might not help you get where you need to go, but they sure look great. You can see more of Dovak’s design work, and even purchase prints, posters, pins, and mugs, on his website.

 

 

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It’s Old Book Week

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image © Bonnie M. Butler

Although for years now pundits have been predicting that digital books would eliminate printed books any day now, the real thing still has an enduring allure. Some of us are fortunate enough to surround ourselves with printed volumes and even get to spend quality time with hand crafted books. Though most books today are mass produced by machine, some dedicated printers continue to make books by hand. You don’t need to be a bibliophile to enjoy the short video below documenting the historic process.

Posted in Books, Film, History | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Real Sharing Economy

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Notfairbnb is a brilliant initiative of Belgium’s Solidarité Grand Froid and TBNA Bruxelles, which are non-profit groups whose aim is to help homeless people live better lives while on the street. They provide material assistance, as well as psychological and social supports. The project, which hopefully won’t be scuttled by the real Airbnb, allows people to place faux reservations for a place in a doorway, a cardboard box, or an old mattress. Your financial contribution goes directly to homeless services. Take a look at the website (while it’s still up) and consider helping out.

Those of us who get to visit Europe for fun or work can easily forget the enormous problems that so many residents face. While we gadabout sightseeing or rushing to meetings, it’s all to simple to overlook the vulnerable people all around us.

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