Category : Travel

(NBC) Fake Uber drivers are out there: Here’s how to avoid becoming their victim

How can you avoid becoming a victim of an Uber imposter? Follow these important tips:

Before you get into the car, use the Uber app to check the license plate. Make sure it matches the actual car.

Check to make sure the person behind the wheel looks like your driver’s photo in the app.

Don’t give away your name. Instead, ask the driver who they are picking up….

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Travel

(NYT) Impose a Speed Limit on the Autobahn? Not So Fast, Many Germans Say

With few exceptions, like Afghanistan and the Isle of Man, there are highway speed limits essentially everywhere else in the world.

But this is Germany, the self-declared “auto nation,” where Karl Benz built the first automobile and where cars are not only the proudest export item but also a symbol of national identity.

It’s also the country where, in darker times, Hitler laid the groundwork for a network of multilane highways that in the postwar years came to epitomize economic success — and freedom.

Call it Germany’s Wild West: The autobahn is the one place in a highly regulated society where no rule is the rule — and that place is sacred….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Germany, Travel

(IIHS) Crashes rise in first states to begin legalized retail sales of recreational marijuana

Crashes are up by as much as 6 percent in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, compared with neighboring states that haven’t legalized marijuana for recreational use, new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shows. The findings come as campaigns to decriminalize marijuana gain traction with voters and legislators in the U.S., and Canada begins allowing recreational use of marijuana this month.

The two new studies will be presented today at the Combating Alcohol- and Drug-Impaired Driving summit, hosted by IIHS and HLDI at the Vehicle Research Center. The summit brings together highway safety and law enforcement experts to discuss the prevalence and associated risk of alcohol- and drug-impaired driving, as well as strategies to combat impaired driving.

Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older with voter approval in November 2012. Retail sales began in January 2014 in Colorado and in July 2014 in Washington. Oregon voters approved legalized recreational marijuana in November 2014, and sales started in October 2015. Nevada voters approved recreational marijuana in November 2016, and retail sales began in July 2017.

HLDI analysts estimate that the frequency of collision claims per insured vehicle year rose a combined 6 percent following the start of retail sales of recreational marijuana in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, compared with the control states of Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. The combined-state analysis is based on collision loss data from January 2012 through October 2017.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, State Government, Theology, Travel

(PJM) Bruce Bawer–Death by Entitlement

On August 7, the New York Times ran a story by Rukmini Callimachi about Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, a young American couple, both graduates of Georgetown University, who decided to quit their humdrum office jobs and go on an epic bike ride and camping trip that would take them all over the world. “I’ve grown tired of spending the best hours of my day in front of a glowing rectangle, of coloring the best years of my life in swaths of grey and beige,” Austin wrote. “I’ve missed too many sunsets while my back was turned.”

So in July of last year, they flew from Washington, D.C., to Cape Town, and from there bicycled through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Malawi to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania….

You watch the news and you read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” wrote Austin during their trek. “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted….I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own…”

They biked through Kyrgyzstan and entered Tajikistan. It was in that country that their journey came to an abrupt end this past July 29, when five ISIS members deliberately plowed their car into the two adventurers, killing them along with two temporary cycling companions, one from Switzerland and the other from the Netherlands. “Two days later,” wrote Callimachi, “the Islamic State released a video showing five men it identified as the attackers, sitting before the ISIS flag. They face the camera and make a vow: to kill ‘disbelievers….’”

What, then, is the moral of this couple’s story? In the last analysis, it’s a story about two young people who, like many other privileged members of their generation of Americans, went to a supposedly top-notch university only to come away poorly educated but heavily propagandized – imbued with a fashionable postmodern contempt for Western civilization and a readiness to idealize and sentimentalize “the other” (especially when the latter is decidedly uncivilized). This, ultimately, was their tragedy: taking for granted American freedom, prosperity, and security, they dismissed these extraordinary blessings as boring, banal, and (in Austin’s word) “beige,” and set off, with the starry-eyed and suicidal naivete of children who never entirely grew up, on a child’s fairy-tale adventure into the most perilous parts of the planet. Far from being inspirational, theirs is a profoundly cautionary – and distinctly timely – tale that every American, parents especially, should take to heart.

Read it all (cited in the morning sermon) and make sure to read the whole Ny Times original story.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology, Travel, Young Adults

(Local Paper Editorial) Arrington crash, 11-year-old’s death both needless. Drunk driving is a choice

Two high-profile DUI accidents serve as vivid reminders of just how destructive intoxicated driving can be. Two people are dead, two survivors are recovering from serious injuries, and all of their families are left in a world of hurt.

An intoxicated driver fatally struck a vacationing 11-year-old Danish girl walking with her family Monday night near Cannon Park, police said. This followed a head-on collision involving a drunk driver June 22 that nearly killed congressional candidate Katie Arrington and a friend. The wrong-way driver in that accident died of her injuries.

The young girl’s parents will no doubt be scarred forever. The 30-year-old driver, charged with reckless homicide and felony driving under the influence resulting in a death, faces a possible long prison sentence and a lifetime of regret. The fatal accident also leaves the city with a black eye, coming about the same time Travel + Leisure named Charleston its top U.S. destination for a sixth year in a row.

“This was preventable and never should have happened,” police Chief Luther Reynolds said at a news conference Tuesday alongside Mayor John Tecklenburg and other city officials. “I am very angry. … This hurts all of us.”

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Travel

One of my favorite stories of the week–Jermaine Gresham helps out stranger at airport

On Wednesday, Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham helped a random stranger out at the airport.

Delilah Cassidy, an American Airlines passenger, had trouble when her bag came in over the weight limit.

She explained on Twitter that she had just gotten back from Europe and couldn’t pay the $50 the airline was trying to charge her because her cards were being declined, and the airline wouldn’t take cash.

Then a stranger stepped in to help Cassidy.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Pastoral Care, Sports, Travel

(Dallas News) After landing troubled Southwest plane, pilot Tammie Jo Shults hugged passengers, texted ‘God is good’

It seems that nearly everyone in Boerne[,Texas,] has a Tammie Jo story, and taken together, they paint a picture of a woman almost too impossibly caring, too impossibly devoted to her community. But, they say, that’s why she was a role model long before she landed that damaged jetliner.

Longtime friend and fellow church member Staci Thompson said a deep Christian faith has guided the way Shults lives.

Shults has taught nearly every grade level of Sunday school at their church. She’s volunteered at a school for at-risk kids and turned a cottage on her family’s property into a temporary home for victims of Hurricane Rita and widows.

“She would tell you everything she has she’s been given from God, so she wants to share it,” Thompson said.

Read it all.

Posted in Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Religion & Culture, Travel

(Wash Post) Court in Metro’s ad ban case discusses Christmas shopping, beer-making monks, charitable giving

A central question before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit: Can Metro allow secular advertisers to promote Christmas shopping and charitable giving, but not the church?

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh was unrelenting in questioning Metro’s lawyer, former solicitor general Donald B. Verrilli Jr., and stated unequivocally his view that the policy is “pure discrimination” in violation of the First Amendment.

Kavanaugh, who is on President Trump’s list of candidates for possible Supreme Court vacancies, made several references to recent high court opinions, including a 2017 ruling that sided with a Missouri church denied access to government grants meant for a secular purpose.

The two other judges on the panel — Judith W. Rogers and Robert L. Wilkins — pointed out that the archdiocese had acknowledged its ads were designed in part to promote religion, not just charitable giving.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Religion & Culture, Travel, Urban/City Life and Issues

(The Verge) Starting in May, China will ban people with poor ‘social credit’ from planes and trains

Starting in May, Chinese citizens who rank low on the country’s burgeoning “social credit” system will be in danger of being banned from buying plane or train tickets for up to a year, according to statements recently released by the country’s National Development and Reform Commission.

With the social credit system, the Chinese government rates citizens based on things like criminal behavior and financial misdeeds, but also on what they buy, say, and do. Those with low “scores” have to deal with penalties and restrictions. China has been working towards rolling out a full version of the system by 2020, but some early versions of it are already in place.

Previously, the Chinese government had focused on restricting the travel of people with massive amounts of debt, like LeEco and Faraday Future founder Jia Yueting, who made the Supreme People’s Court blacklist late last year.

The new travel restrictions are the latest addition to this growing patchwork of social engineering, which has already imposed punishments on more than seven million citizens. And there’s a broad range when it comes to who can be flagged. Citizens who have spread “false information about terrorism,” caused “trouble” on flights, used expired tickets, or were caught smoking on trains could all be banned, according to Reuters.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, China, Law & Legal Issues, Psychology, Travel

Joe Rexrode: What do you email your wife when you think you’re going to die?

“Sorry, I died.”

The flight attendants looked as stunned as everyone else — my eyes went directly to them after the jolt — and quickly wheeled the drink cart back to the front of the plane and gathered near the cockpit. They started looking through an emergency manual. I’m no expert, but I’m thinking that’s not a great sign.

I was on the left side of the plane, an aisle seat a couple of rows in front of where the engines under the wings are located. We were about 20 minutes into the flight and I was doing work on my laptop, preparing for Sunday’s assignment of covering the Tennessee Titans at the Cleveland Browns. After that first wave of panic, with my heart trying to beat its way out of my chest, I went to my Yahoo mail account and started writing something to Katie and the kids. I figured, get them something, get a few words out, comfort them in some way. Say goodbye.

Then I realized the wireless was gone. I gulped, closed the laptop, put it in my bag and looked around the plane.

Read it all–this was used to introduce the morning sermon.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Marriage & Family, Travel

Do not take yourself too seriously Dept–(Onion) Buick proudly Introduces its New Self-Buying Car

Posted in Economy, Humor / Trivia, Travel

(NBC) Meet the man who gives all children a chance to ride a bike

Minnesota’s Jack Carlson is making sure kids with physical challenges can still experience the freedom of riding a bike. Boyd Huppert of KARE in Minneapolis reports….

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Marriage & Family, Stewardship, Travel

([London] Times) Oxford’s Univ Church church of St Mary the Virgin asks tourists to keep unholy racket under control

Priests at one of England’s most visited parish churches have expressed concern over the unholy racket made by tourists who feel obliged to photograph everything they see.

The University Church of St Mary the Virgin, in the heart of Oxford, welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, but the volume of visitors risks overwhelming the peace of the church, parts of which date from the 13th century.

The Rev Charlotte Bannister-Parker, the associate priest, said in a newsletter that tourists needed to challenge the mentality that “if you don’t take a photo, it did not happen”.

The priest, daughter of Sir Roger Bannister, the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes, said: “I am not usually a grumpy person but I have been overwhelmed by the number of tourists coming through the church and the fact that so many of them seem unaware that this is a sacred space.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Travel

(LA Times) Iran’s latest culture battle: Should women in cars keep their heads covered?

Reihane Taravati, an outspoken social media activist, was riding in a taxi the other day when she received a stern reprimand from the driver.

Unbeknownst to Taravati, 26, her headscarf — which Iranian women are required to wear as a show of modesty — had slipped down the back of her head, leaving most of her hair exposed.

“Fix your scarf, or the undercover [moral] police will see it,” the cabbie told her. He worried about receiving a ticket in the mail, which would cost him about $30.

As Taravati relayed this story while sipping tea with friends in a Tehran cafe, a debate was raging in the Iranian capital that combines two things that people here obsess over: cars and the way women dress.

Read it all.

Posted in Iran, Travel, Women

Charleston South Carolina named the No. 1 city in the U.S. again says Travel+Leisure magazine

Charleston is the nation’s No. 1 city again, and No. 2 in the world, according to the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine.

The recognition comes at a time when residents are increasingly worried about the city’s capacity to handle more visitors.

The results of this year’s survey were released Tuesday morning. Readers were asked to rate cities they had visited on sights/landmarks, culture/arts, restaurants/food, people/friendliness, shopping and value.

This is the fifth consecutive year the magazine’s readers have named Charleston the nation’s top city. Charleston was the top city in the world last year. This year San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, took the top global spot.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Travel, Urban/City Life and Issues

(FT) One suitcase, two lives: the rise of the weekly commuter

In his 1980 book The Third Wave, the futurist Alvin Toffler predicted the rise of the “electronic cottage”. The idea was that technology would become so ubiquitous that working from home would replace the 9-5 slog in a cubicle, in the process helping to “glue the family together again”. As Iain Gately, the author of Rush Hour: How 500 Million Commuters Survive the Daily Journey to Work, put it: “The power to work anywhere and everywhere — have laptop, will travel — or stay at home according to one’s mood, seized the imaginations of Generation X: every day could be a No Pants Day.”

Yet that future has not arrived. Smartphones and laptops may be everywhere, but they have not given many white-collar employees the opportunity to work full-time in pyjamas from log cabins.

Read it all (may require subscription).

Posted in Children, England / UK, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Travel, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Local Paper Front Page) Some bet on casinos to fix South Carolina’s crumbling infrastructure

With the chances of a gas-tax increase to pay for road repairs dwindling, advocates of bringing casinos to South Carolina think they have found a winning hand.

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster declared last week that he would veto raising the state fuel tax for the first time in 30 years to fix crumbling roads and bridges. He favors a plan to borrow $1 billion, which would cover a small portion of the state’s repair tab and comes a year after lawmakers already agreed to borrow $2 billion for roads.

But there’s another roads-funding plan, one favored by a majority of South Carolinians, that’s on the table.

Casinos in the Myrtle Beach area and along the borders of North Carolina and Georgia could have South Carolina cashing in a potential $500 million a year while not raising gas pump prices or adding to the state debt load, legalized gambling backers say.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Gambling, State Government, Taxes, Travel

In honour of the Trip to the UK, a Lasting Memory–The Bells of Liverpool Cathedral

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Photos/Photography, Travel

With my Son Nathaniel this past Wednesday at Anfield

Posted in England / UK, Sports, Travel

I Really Enjoyed Seeing Chester Cathedral this Morning

Posted in Architecture, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Travel

At Edinburgh Castle Monday Morning

Posted in --Scotland, Photos/Photography, Travel

Liverpool Cathedral just awe inspiring!

Posted in Architecture, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Travel

Leaving on a Jet Plane

On a personal note, my wife Elizabeth kindly got me tickets to this Saturday’s Manchester United game (a surprise for my birthday). Since I have never been to Old Trafford, this is a big deal for me. My son Nathaniel is coming to meet me and today we fly to the UK for a little over a week. Blogging will be catch and catch can during that period–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, England / UK, Harmon Family, Sports, Travel

(Babylon Bee) Family Exiting Worship Unable To Find Minivan In Sea Of Identical Minivans

Read it all–LOL

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Humor / Trivia, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Travel

Forming priests among the people: Chicago's Episcopal seminary goes all in on field education

Theological schools debate how much field education is the right amount and how to integrate practical experience into ministerial training. But what if field education were inseparable from M.Div. courses? And what if seminarians’ primary classmates were the people in the congregations they serve during their three years of seminary?

Bexley Seabury Seminary, an Episco­pal school based in Chicago, has such a model in mind as it relaunches its M.Div. degree program. “At every step,” the school states, “students will be challenged to connect the content of their academic work with insights and reflections drawn from their internship experience.”

KyungJa Oh, director of field education and formation, sees the advantages of keeping students rooted in the context of ministry.

Read it all from the Christian Century.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology, Travel

(Guardian) Two-wheel takeover: bikes outnumber cars for the first time in Copenhagen

Bicycle sensors in Copenhagen clocked a new record this month: there are now more bikes than cars in the heart of the city. In the last year, 35,080 more bikes have joined the daily roll, bringing the total number to 265,700, compared with 252,600 cars.

Copenhagen municipality has been carrying out manual traffic counts at a number of city centre locations since 1970, when there were 351,133 cars and 100,071 bikes. In 2009, the city installed its first electric bike counter by city hall, with 20 now monitoring traffic across the city.

Copenhagen’s efforts to create a cycling city have paid off: bicycle traffic has risen by 68% in the last 20 years. “What really helped was a very strong political leadership; that was mainly Ritt Bjerregaard [the former lord mayor], who had a dedicated and authentic interest in cycling,” says Klaus Bondam, who was technical and environmental mayor from 2006 to 2009 and is now head of the Danish Cycling Federation. “Plus, a new focus on urbanism and the new sustainability agenda broke the glass roof when it came to cycling.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Denmark, Energy, Natural Resources, Europe, Travel, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Local Paper) Do no harm? The pros and cons of short-term missions

As a Peace Corps volunteer, Ginny Fonner worked in a rural village in Zambia, a southern African country with a severe shortage of doctors. While there, a short-term mission group visited. Their goal: distribute medicines to fight intestinal worms.

“It’s a great goal. Worms are a big problem,” she said during a recent global health symposium at the Medical University of South Carolina. “So they spent day after day going to schools, distributing treatments, feeling really good about it.”

Except for one thing.

“They had no idea that the previous week the local government had done the exact same thing with the exact same children.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Missions, Religion & Culture, Travel

(WSJ) Terror Grows in Southern Philippines From Militants Linked to ISIS

Abu Sayyaf, once written off as one of the global jihadist movement’s also-rans, is gaining strength in the southern Philippines by chasing down high-value victims at sea and ransoming them off for millions of dollars.

After a relative lull for most of a decade, kidnappings have surged to more than 20 annually since 2014, when the group’s main leader Isnilon Hapilon swore allegiance to Islamic State.

That rebranding””and the accompanying brutality, including beheadings””has generated international headlines and raised fears that the island-dotted region could re-emerge as a hub for Islamist terrorists, as it was for al Qaeda in the 1990s.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Islam, Other Faiths, Philippines, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Travel, Violence

Charleston SC picked as nation's top small city by Condé Nast once again

Charleston has been named as the nation’s top small city for the sixth time in a row.

Condé Nast Traveler announced its annual Readers’ Choice Awards Tuesday.

“The readers of Condé Nast Traveler are lauded as some of the world’s most discerning, and the hospitality scene in Charleston continues to charm,” Linn Lesesne, board chair of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be recognized once again for our friendly people, historic ambiance and culture, award-winning restaurants, one-of-a-kind shopping and renowned accommodations.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Travel, Urban/City Life and Issues

Monday Mental Health Break–A Beautiful Portrait of Norway

NORWAY Let the journey be your goal from Pasquale Baseotto on Vimeo.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Norway, Photos/Photography, Travel