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Wish list: Patagonia Insulated Powder Bowl Jacket
Wish list: Patagonia Insulated Powder Bowl Jacket

Waterproof, windproof, and breathable. Enough said.Some people have a “to-do” list, while others have “books-to-read” lists. Well, I have added a new jacket to my continually growing list of winter shells: Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket.For me, there’s nothing more exciting than waking up in the morning and taking a look outside the window to find a blanket of fresh snow, blue skies, and the endless possibilities of first tracks.

Carnaval highlights from Oruro, Bolivia
Carnaval highlights from Oruro, Bolivia

Per South American tradition, Carnaval festivities are held in every major Bolivian city. Yet, it’s the fabled revelry of Oruro—a town in the Altiplano largely overlooked the other 50 weeks of the year—that draws crowds from throughout the country and beyond.The main attraction is a 20-hour nonstop dancing parade accompanied by marching bands.

Is Civilization Based on Beer?
Is Civilization Based on Beer?

That beer led to civilization is the sort of claim you might find on a crappy t-shirt saying, “BEER! Helping ugly people have sex since forever!” But apparently the beer and civilization theory has been around for a while, and now an archaeologist in Canada called Brian Hayden claims to have more evidence for the idea that the desire to brew beer underpinned the development of agriculture.

Traveling solo: How to tell your partner you want to travel…alone
Traveling solo: How to tell your partner you want to travel…alone

Photo by garryknightTravelling without your significant other. Is it totally crazy and just plain wrong? Not at all.EVERYONE HAS A DIFFERENT approach to travel; for some, being the lone wolf is best.I’m going to assume that anyone actively seeking out this sort of advice wants to travel alone for wholly innocent reasons — namely, a burning desire to see the world –and nothing nefarious (ahem…Thai school girls, cough…Kuta cowboys).

World Cup team profile: United States
World Cup team profile: United States

A lot has changed for the US national team since the last World Cup. But could they be contenders in 2010?For the sixth time in a row, America is going to the World Cup. Since beating El Salvador on September 5, the US selection has been sitting in first place in their region, with two qualifiers left.

Wunderland Kalkar: Nuclear power plant turned amusement park
Wunderland Kalkar: Nuclear power plant turned amusement park

The SNR-300 was meant to be Germany’s first Fast Breeder nuclear reactor. I have no idea what that means, other than you may not want to take your kids there for a family-friendly adventure.But judging by the photos I saw on Laughing Squid today, maybe you should.The SNR-300 site was sold in 1995 to a Dutch businessman after public outcry over Chernobyl and other high-profile nuclear catastrophes shut the project down.

Free the Hikers: Update from Sarah Shourd
Free the Hikers: Update from Sarah Shourd

Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, Photo courtesy of Sarah ShourdSarah Shourd, one of the three American hikers detained in Iran in July 2009–and the only one who was subsequently released– provides an update about her friends who remain imprisoned. Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on the Free the Hikers blog, and is reprinted here with permission of Sarah Shourd.

The 3 Funniest Campaign Ads I’ve Seen So Far
The 3 Funniest Campaign Ads I’ve Seen So Far

As the seemingly endless U.S. election campaign draws to a close, it’s nice to know that at least some activists and backroom types have held on to their senses of humor.Think how surprised I was to see this news clip land in my inbox:Or to learn that voting McCain is kind of like the new drunk driving:And finally, I never liked those Wassup guys, but even they don’t deserve this fate:Seen any other funny political ads lately, for either side?

3 coaches we’d canonize (and 3 we’d excommunicate)
3 coaches we’d canonize (and 3 we’d excommunicate)

Two Chilean soccer fans are asking that the Vatican canonize their national team’s coach. Here are three coaches who we think deserve sainthood – and three who need to repent for their soccer sins.The Saints:Guus HiddinkPatron saint of underdogsGuus Hiddink has a knack for getting remarkable results out of unremarkable teams.

Culture Hopping: Life Is The Essential Ingredient
Culture Hopping: Life Is The Essential Ingredient

Like a roasted pepper, you’re done: well cooked, charred on the outside, burnt, spent. But on the inside, hidden within the veil of life’s fire-burner, you’re soft and ready-anticipating for more.However, it doesn’t come all that easy. After the months, weeks, or often only the days of travel, you return home to the accustomed life once left behind, and there, piled with new baggage you thought you were ready to unpack, you find yourself overloaded with a new beginning.

War On Terror: Fun For The Whole Family
War On Terror: Fun For The Whole Family

All I want to know, is why didn’t I hear about this before Christmas?Everyone starts with the best intentions. Then you notice your neighbour has more oil than you. Before long, war is waged, nukes are dropped, revolutions are fought and terrorists are doing your dirty work, before turning on you…This is the War on Terror, the boardgame: A quality boardgame for 2 – 6 players, lovingly illustrated and politically correct (in a very literal sense).

Bangkok binge eating 101
Bangkok binge eating 101

One man’s quest to eat as much shopping center food as possible (in one day).Siam Paragon:The food court here was massive, spotless and buzzing with life. I grabbed a lemon iced tea, a bbq chicken stick and a spicy chicken noodle curry (which I immediately spilled on my lap). The stalls ran the Asian gamut, from steamed buns to bird knuckle.