ON THE ROAD TO..... ANYWHERE
From Delsey- The Pluggage.
This range of suitcases from Delsey has an inbuilt battery with an external USB port to recharge mobile devices. It can be unlocked by fingerprint ID (up to 5 prints) or via the free app which also tracks the case internationally or alarms when the case is moved a certain distance from you and lets you know when it has arrived on the luggage carousel. Apart from that it has a weight scale incorporated into the handle which also registers on the app. All they need to add is a refrigerated section and a small microwave and you'll be entirely self sufficient. Due for release March 2018.
The Stendhal Syndrome
You're in Florence admiring some breathtaking work of art and suddenly, literally your breath is taken away, you may be experiencing Stendhal Syndrome. A psychosomatic disorder, Stendhal Syndrome causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, sweating, disorientation, fainting, and confusion when someone is looking at artwork with which he or she deeply emotionally connects.
Commonly referred to as Florence Syndrome but can occur in numerous cities such as Paris where anxiety, dizziness, tachycardia, hallucinations can be experienced when visitors realize that Paris is drastically different from the idealized city they thought it would be.
In 1817, a French author named Marie-Henri Beyle described his experience visiting the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence. Beyle, who wrote using the pseudonym Stendhal, felt overwhelmed by all the beauty and rich history surrounding him and over a century later, visitors to Florence continued to suffer from similar symptoms.
After a few days of rest, or leaving Italy and resuming their normal lives, patients usually recover fully. Sounds quite extreme to me, I mean, being told by a Doctor you have to leave Italy and resume a normal life! Come on!!!
Where's the charger?
The question that strikes fear into any technophile!
Checked into your room, unpacked and just about to charge your phone /camera /iPad and that little plastic box, or charger as it's known, is nowhere to be seen. Fear not!
Before accusations start to fly around the room like lanterns at the Chiang Mai lantern festival take a peek behind the TV. These days all TV's have at least one USB port that usually provides power as well. With wall mounted TV's it may require some hand gymnastics to squeeze between the wall and the TV but desperate times call for desperate measures.
The airvent fallacy
While we're dealing with public health issue, the well circulated story of how the air in planes gets recycled and spreads germs/viruses/plagues from the front to back of the aircraft is, apparently, unfounded. From various articles I have researched it seems that modern day plans incorporate a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter of medical quality that filters out 99.97% of bacteria as well as the minute airborne particles that viruses use for transport. Additionally, cabins are divided into separate ventilation sections about every seven rows of seats, which means that you share air only with those in your immediate environment and not with the guy who’s coughing up a lung ten rows back. So next time you pick up a bug just after a flight it is more likely to be from the air in the terminal rather than the plane or even more likely from something you have touched, see article to the right.
Germany has retained its position as the world's most powerful passport for 2018, while Australia leads the way as one of the world's most expensive.
The rankings are based on how many countries a passport holder can visit without requiring a visa.
The Australian passport remains unchanged from last year's rankings as the seventh most powerful in the world, tied with New Zealand and Greece, though the number of countries Australians can visit visa-free increased by one.
World's most expensive passports-
New Zealand $168
United States $155
United Kingdom $149
Number of countries you can enter without a visa
Singapore, Switzerland 176
Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, UK 175
Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, USA 174
Ireland, Portugal, South Korea 173
Australia, Greece, NZ 171
Can't find yours here?
Check out this site for a very extensive list.
Aiguille du Midi- Step into the Void.
Departing from Chamonix at the base of Mont Blanc the combination of two cable-car rides will take you the closest you can get to the summit of Mont Blanc without a pair of crampons.The Aiguille du Midi is open most of the year, only closing due to bad weather and for annual maintenance in Autumn so check well before to avoid disappointment. The “Step into the Void” is a glass room situated off the uppermost terrace of the Aiguille du Midi at an altitude of 3842 metres. It claims to be the highest attraction in Europe which allows the visitor 1000 meters of free air directly under their feet. No cameras allowed into the cube though staff will take your pic, for free too, with your own camera. Included in the price of 60 Euros for the cable-car ride to the top might seem a little "steep" but the views are well worth it. Get up early to take the first gondola to avoid lining up for too long and take some warm clothes no matter what the temp is in Chamonix it will be much, much colder at the top.
Microbes and where to find them.
As Nurses we are very aware of possible transmission of germs via surfaces that other less hygienic humans may have touched. Recently an article on Lifehacker's website caught my eye. 18 tests across six different surfaces at three major airports were conducted by an insurance company.
The dirtiest place? That nice smooth, tactile self check-in display that we all touch right when we get to the airport without giving it a second thought. Now there is even more of a reason to use mobile boarding passes for every flight.
Coming in a poor second was the armrest on the benches you sit on while waiting to board. Airports are dirty places just due to the high volume of people that pass through each day. You might look likely a nerdy germaphobe when you pull out a package of wipes at check-in, but you'll be happy you did when you arrive at your destination without that tickling at the back of your throat. On the plane, the biggest bacteria culprits are no surprises, the button to flush the toilet, wash your hands after you touch that sucker!, followed by the tray table and then the seat belt buckle.
I am still quite amazed at how few people know of this little helpful hint. No matter how svelte and flexible you are, getting into and out of aircraft seats is still quite a contortionist manoeuvre. Then factor in a few advancing, all-too-fast, years and the operation becomes almost life threatening!
Aha!!! Now with this bit of information you will be slipping in and out of that aisle like a Russian Gymnast. Next time you are seated in the aisle seat take the time to feel under your arm rest towards the rear. Some seats have a little sliding raised section, some a button and some even have a hole where you press the little tab inside the hole. Whatever type you have push the button and Hey Presto!! the armrest now lifts right up allowing you to rotate your derriere and simply stand up in the aisle. Other passengers will be astounded and flight attendants give you that "how did you know about that" look as you smugly sashay down the aisle.
Eiffel Tower to be a "new" colour.
Since its construction in 1889, the Eiffel Tower has been given a fresh lick of paint 19 times, an impressive feat given it takes 60 tonnes of coating to freshen up the famous Parisian monument.With a three-year project to give the tower, currently a murky brown, a facelift beginning in October, speculation is rife as to what colour the city's authorities will choose for the latest revamp.
The Eiffel Tower was originally a deep red, chosen in an attempt to combat rust, before being re-painted ochre in 1892. The turn of the century saw its hue change to yellow, before the colour was deemed "too optimistic" for the era and a change was made to a yellow-brown from 1907. An effort was made to return it closer to its roots in 1968 when it was painted a red-brown. As work begins on the tower this year, it has been suggested the colour may return to a bolder red.
While the ministry is yet to decide on a shade, the colours found on the layers beneath are sure to influence its decision. Experts will look at the 19 coats deposited on the metal over the last 129 years. In much the same way that a painting is restored, it is hoped that the original colour will be possible to recreate.