Posts By Mike Hartung

If you are planning your next international trip, it will likely be a 2012 event. In anticipation, National Geographic Traveler magazine has tapped twenty destinations as Best of the World 2012. There’s something for everyone, and they all hold promise for improving mind, body and spirit for those who make the trip. You can visit the picture gallery online to…

There’s been plenty of ink spilled on the virtues of oriental eating habits when compared to western dietary habits. Recently, Time Magazine raised the question, “Can Eating Fruits and Veggies Outwit Bad Heart Genes?” Tofu, leafy vegetables, low sugar and soy sauce have the presumed upper hand over meat, eggs, fried and salty dishes and dessert. Now a newly published study…

A recent article in Afar magazine extols the virtues of leaving the tent behind to hike hut-to-hut through some of the most spectacular country all around the world. I’ve just returned from one such adventure—a six day sojourn through the High Sierra camps of Yosemite—and I heartily concur. Here’s the winning formula: you pack lightly (maximum 20 pounds versus the…

Recent bulletins carry news of dengue fever on the rise in Panama, Pakistan and the Bahamas. Add these destinations to those mapped by the Centers for Disease Control, including Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Vietnam, Australia, Thailand, the Caribbean and the Philippines, and it’s clear dengue is spreading at an alarming pace throughout the tropics and subtropics. How are we fighting back?…

I noted with pleasure a recent post by Virginia Heffernanthat reveals her yearning for the ability to catch a sound nap on board a plane. After all, a refreshing nap has plenty of positive health benefits. Unfortunately, there are lots of physical obstacles—cramped quarters, aisle traffic, public address announcements, turbulence—not to mention the cognitive strain of reconciling the banal proceedings…

A signal failure on the high-speed line between Beijing and Shanghai precipitated a rear end collision that has taken 39 lives and exposed the possibility of deeper, wider problems with the highly touted railway. Critics inside China, including the government itself, cite reckless pursuit of economic growth as a factor in the tragedy. China is the first and only country…

Reports from Sulawesi in Indonesia indicate that once again thousands are fleeing smoke, ash and lava from a spectacular eruption. Whether Indonesia, Chile, Iceland or Eritrea—volcanic activity is grabbing headlines and has made us wonder if world travelers are increasingly likely to encounter active volcanoes. We asked Robert Peckyno, webmaster for Volcano World at Oregon State University, what scientists think.…

Ten days of intermittent erupting by Chile’s Puyehue volcano has created an ash cloud stretching 6,000 miles through the atmosphere to Australia and New Zealand. The latest news reports carry accounts of cancelled flights throughout the southern hemisphere. On the ground, volcanic ash closed roads in southern Patagonia (Argentina).  Air traffic is reportedly often able to skirt the ash particles…

The worst drought in fifty years is threatening to severely disrupt life in Hubei, Jiangxi and three other southern Chinese provinces, which traditionally have abundant water resources. Emergency rationing of drinking water is in place for over four million people. At the same time, reduced river flow has hampered hydroelectric power production resulting in rolling blackouts and brownouts. High demand…

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