By Katie Steinharter Lynsey Addario’s book, “It’s What I Do,” is one of those books that stays with you, that changes you, that influences you. It is one of those books that does what a book should do – offer a perspective, inspire a new point of view, inform you about a corner of the world you may not otherwise see. Not only is the story fascinating, but the hard cover copy is also genuinely a beautiful artifact filled with thick,glossy photographs. In a way, I was drawn to this book because I wanted to see myself in Addario. Like me, she is a woman who was born in Connecticut but has a passion for global travel and using the arts to increase awareness about issues, while working for a media company. Unlike myself, however, Addario has spent time in every major international conflict area in her lifetime and went on to produce award-winning photography and write an award-winning book that addresses controversial modern issues: feminism, gender roles, … [Read more...] about It’s What She Does: Sharing Lynsey Addario’s World
Why does gender inequality exist
There was a moment during the Prime Minister’s highly anticipated environment speech when something quite unexpected happened. For the majority of the 25 minutes, Theresa May attempted to communicate the contents and commitments of the 151-page Environment Plan (PDF, 11MB). Emphasis was given to the recent progress in banning microbeads as well as the nine billion fewer plastic bags used following the introduction of the 5p charge in retail outlets across the UK. Yet, what stood out was not so much the bedazzling spread of content. Instead, it was a rare admission.Seeming to go momentarily off script, May described how commonly today ‘we look back in horror at some of the damage done to our environment in the past,’ citing the historical dumping of toxic chemical into rivers. ‘In years to come,’ she added, ‘I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly.’The PM could easily have been talking … [Read more...] about Does the UK government’s 25-Year Environment Plan go far enough?
The Myth: An ancient Greek poem attributed to Homer, The Odyssey traces Odysseus (Ulysses in the Roman version of the myth) and his epic journey home after the Trojan War. A fantastic chain of events has the homesick hero battling the fierce one-eyed monster Cyclops and the six-headed sea monster Scylla. The Place: Along the Cyclops Riviera (who knew?), from Catania to Acireale along Sicily's gorgeous eastern coast, you'll find seaside towns, citrus orchards, and looming Mt. Etna, home of Cyclops and Vulcan, the god of fire. Scilla, a nearby fishing village, is named after the sea monster that devoured Odysseus' companions. Why Go: To see Cyclops Rocks, the volcanic cliffs offshore that, as legend has it, Cyclops threw at Odysseus. Ride a cable car to the top of Mt. Etna, then take a special terrain vehicle to the crater area at this active volcano. Sicily is also home to the Valley of Temples, ruins of temples built for Zeus, Hercules, and other gods. The Myth: An ancient Greek poem … [Read more...] about 10 Mythical Places That Really Exist
It seems like every time I fly, I come home with an unwanted souvenir—a cold, stomach bug, or sore throat. I’m usually pretty good about trying to stay healthy—I wipe down everything at my plane seat with anti-bacterial wipes and always wash or sanitize my hands before eating. So I asked the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT) what gives—why do I always get sick after traveling? Daphne Hendsebee, Communications and Marketing Specialist for IAMAT, explains that many people get sick after traveling. “There are many factors that make you more prone to illness when you travel,” she says. “You are out of your regular environment and you come into contact with different bacteria and viruses from those you are exposed to back home. You touch many surfaces covered in bacteria and viruses (door handles, tray tables in planes or trains, seats, railings, money, etc.). You may also be in contact with crowds of people … [Read more...] about Why Do I Always Get Sick After Traveling?
Excerpt from Tales of a Road Junky by Tom ThumbIsraelis liked to joke about themselves, saying ‘you put four Israelis in a room and you’ll have five opinions. There was certainly no shortage of attitude in the country – children of 8 years old already had established political views and were well trained at the Shabbat dinner table in the art of argument. Observe the raucous shouting, denials and abuse that accompanies a speech in the Israeli parliament and you could only blame their parents for setting the style when they were young.A joke of my own invention:How does an Israeli agree with you?He says no.I’d walk into a shop and remark what a hot day it was and the shopkeeper would look at me as though I was stupid.” No, it’s very hot. This is a very hot country in the summer. Where are you from? England? You don’t know what is hot.”A joke circulating around Israel at the time was:Why does no one make love in the street in Tel … [Read more...] about Why Israelis Are So Argumentative
Each year the RGS-IBG holds a national competition for pupils aged between nine and 18. Young Geographer of the Year aims to encourage pupils to engage with a specific geographical topic. Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3 and GCSE pupils submitted posters, while A level students were asked to write 1,500 word essays on the question, ‘Why does Antarctica matter?’, which could include illustrations, maps and graphs.In December, the winning pupils in each age category, along with three highly commended entries, were invited to a special ceremony at the Society to receive their awards from Jane Rumble, Deputy Commissioner of the British Antarctic Territory (BAT), and Dr John Shears from the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI). This year's winners, from left to right, were: Amelia Bowling, Wendy Walford, Molly Hughes, Jack Rogers, Anisha Mehta, Anna Kelly, Anna Michaels, Rohan Woodcock, Fiona Tremelling, Lucy Wardrop, Jane Rumble (BAT), Catherine James, John Shears (SPRI), … [Read more...] about Why does Antarctica matter?
According to the report, discrimination and under-representation of women in health, education, politics, work and other parts of life has repercussions for the development of their capabilities and their freedom of choice. Four of these aspects form the index which puts them in a globally measurable and comparable form: reproductive health is measured by the maternal mortality ratio and adolescent birth rates; female empowerment is measured by proportion of parliamentary seats occupied by females; education is expressed by the proportion of adult females and males aged 25 years and older with at least some secondary education; the economic status is included as labour market participation and measured by labour force participation rate of female and male populations aged 15 years and older. Using these aspects, the index shows human development costs of gender inequality. A higher GII value relates to more disparities between females and males within a country.While gender inequality … [Read more...] about Gender inequality
California’s drought is a trending topic in today’s media. While the US West coast is running dry of water, the internet is saturated with articles, maps and shocking before and after galleries illustrating the change in Californian weather. In a way similar to popular ‘ruin-porn’ articles of urban decay in Detroit, the golden state has become the subject of mass image galleries – ‘drought-porn’ if you like. It has also garnered countless print and web articles, celebrity opinions and ‘drought shaming’ on social media. However, this universal coverage of waterless woe does not seem to apply to other droughts currently afflicting locations around the world. So why is there such a fascination with drought media, and why does it only apply to California at the moment? DISTRIBUTION OF DROUGHT MEDIACalifornia is not the only place drying up. Queensland in central-west Australia is seeing the worst drought event for many years. … [Read more...] about Drought media: does it help?
Dear Backpacker, Get a clue! Why do you constantly promote and review gear that is way too expensive for the average person? I mean, come on! $600 tents? $500 rain jackets? $300 boots? What planet do you guys live on? I know you get it for free, and probably only promote gear from companies that advertise with you, but you are missing the boat and not serving your customers. Come back to earth! The above is not technically a real letter, but it may as well be. We constantly get berated from our readers who challenge us on the gear we choose to review and our editorial integrity, so I thought I would write an “open letter” explaining how we select the gear we do. First, we primarily look for new gear and new technologies and innovations. Why? Well, because that’s what our readers are interested in...the stuff they’ll soon be seeing on the racks at their local shops or the stuff that pops up in their website searches. We totally agree that good gear can be crazy … [Read more...] about Gear Pro: Why Does BACKPACKER Review Such Expensive Gear?
Anyone who’s stepped foot onto a trail knows that nature is good for you. Now, Florence Williams is here to tell us why. Her new book The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative delves deep into new research showing the psychological benefits that being in nature has on human health. Between presentations and panel discussions at Telluride’s Mountainfilm festival, Williams tested a group of peoples’ blood pressure and EKG readings before and after a short hike in the woods. The surprising conclusion: it took very little nature time to make a difference. Most participants were noticeably more relaxed after only a few minutes walking among swaying trees, singing birds, and trickling streams. We caught up with her to learn a little more about her research. BACKPACKER: Why does our society need a nature rebalance? Florence Williams: I think there are a couple main factors. One is that we are facing the largest mass migration in human … [Read more...] about The Science of Why You Love the Wilderness