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Dylan Thomas Christmas, Brom Wikstrom

23 min read

10 Mediterranean — Gifts for the Food Lover in Your Life

Mediterranean Diet cookbook

More than a mix of rich history, gorgeous beaches, and warm blue waters, the countries along the Mediterranean Sea and their people have a history of living longer and healthier lives and you can too! By simply following a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, even drinking wine with meals, you can prevent diseases and prolong your life.

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Traveling Boy’s Brom Wikstrom on CBS Sunday Morning

Brom Wikstrom

Traveling Boy’s Brom Wikstrom received his 15 minutes of fame last Sunday. Of course, we’ve all known that Brom has been famous for years. The world-renowned  mouth painter appeared on CBS Sunday Morning with correspondent Lee Cowan. A diving accident in 1975 left Brom a quadriplegic. During rehabilitation, he learned to use a mouth stick to turn pages when reading. Towards the end of rehabilitation, he started mouth painting; a continuation of his talent and  passion for the arts. He developed an art program at Seattle Children’s Hospital and began a long association with VSA arts. In 1994, Brom became a full member artist of the International Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists. His work has been shown around the globe, including the United Kingdom, Belgium, British Columbia, Austria and Australia. Join us as we celebrate the holiday season and pay homage to Brom on this CBS Sunday Morning clip, where he has turned a negative into a positive, helping countless others with disabilities, turning their lives around. On a personal note, I recently purchased a painting from a mouth painter in rural Costa Rica, who was once a student of Mr. Wikstrom.

SEE CBS Sunday Morning clip

Random Acts of Canine Kindness

Cedric the Dog takes a well-deserved break after an ill fated attempt to shut down a white supremacist rally in Alabama.

You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog. – Harry S. Truman

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Martin Scorsese Speaks

Fine words by Martin Scorsese

director Martin Scorsese poses on the red carpet of the movie 'The Irishman,' at the Rome Film Fest
Director Martin Scorsese poses on the red carpet of the movie “The Irishman”, at the Rome Film Fest, in Rome, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. © AP Photo/Andrew Medichini.

Cinema is an art form that brings you the unexpected. In superhero movies, nothing is at risk, a director says.

When I was in England in early October, I gave an interview to Empire magazine. I was asked a question about Marvel movies. I answered it. I said that I’ve tried to watch a few of them and that they’re not for me, that they seem to me to be closer to theme parks than they are to movies as I’ve known and loved them throughout my life, and that in the end, I don’t think they’re cinema. Some people seem to have seized on the last part of my answer as insulting, or as evidence of hatred for Marvel on my part. If anyone is intent on characterizing my words in that light, there’s nothing I can do to stand in the way.

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Newly Discovered Treasures Came From the Same Sunken Ship That Carried the Controversial ‘Elgin Marbles’

The “Mentor,” a vessel owned by the notorious Lord Elgin, sank in 1802 while carrying panels and sculptures looted from the Parthenon

Courtesy Jason Daley, smithsonian.com

In September 1802, the H.M.S. Mentor sank off the coast of Avlemonas, Greece, sending 17 crates of antiquities tumbling to the bottom of the Mediterranean. More than 200 years later, the Greek Ministry of Culture reports, marine archaeologists tasked with exploring the wreck have recovered gold jewelry, cooking pots, chess pieces and an array of other artifacts connected with the trove.

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10 Crowd-Free Alternatives to America’s Most Iconic National Parks

Kenai Fjords National Park glacier

For every national park swarmed by visitors, dozens of state and federal preserves, parks, and monuments go relatively untraveled.

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5 Easy Ways to Secure Your Hotel Room

Inexpensive, portable safety devices to take with you when you travel
Courtesy by David Dean

Are you worried about the security of your hotel room when you travel? You never really know who else has a key to your room, or how good the locks and deadbolts actually are. Luckily, there are several easy, inexpensive ways to secure the room more effectively. Here are five of the best.

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Secrets the Cruise Lines Don’t Tell You

Courtesy Erika Silverstein, Cruise Critic

Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park. Photo courtesy of Deb Roskamp

Cruise ship life can be a little mysterious. Your choices aren’t always spelled out in black and white. The more you cruise, the more you pick up on the unofficial secrets the cruise lines don’t tell you — which give you more options, let you save money and generally allow you to have a better time onboard.

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Protect Yourself Against Airport Checkpoint Theft

airport checkpoint

Airport theft is becoming a major problem for travelers, so make sure to get to your destination with all your items intact.

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How to Renew a Passport in 24 Hours

Courtesy Shannon McMahon

taking a passport photo

By partnering with an existing service called RushMyPassport, FedEx is facilitating a nationwide solution for those who need very fast passport renewal.

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7 Common Travel Crises and How to Conquer Them

Courtesy Denise Caiazzo, Travel Planners International

travel luggage

Travel advisors are well-equipped to handle just about anything travel-related. Give them a destination, a budget, and a few key interests, and they can whip up an entirely personalized itinerary that will make a client feel over-the-moon, as they make their travel dreams come true.

But what happens when an unforeseen travel nightmare occurs? We’re talking, “I can’t find my passport and I leave for my trip in a week!” or “Surprise, a bad storm hit, and all flights are canceled.”

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Behind the Bucket List: What Americans Really Want in Travel

Courtesy Tours.com

what Americans really want in travel

What do Americans want when it comes to Bucket List travel? A group from Provisional Living wanted to find out not only what’s on those lists, but why and how they got there. What they found was pretty revealing.

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How to Complain Effectively at a Hotel

Courtesy Charlyn Keating

Demand satisfaction when you have a valid complaint

How to Complain Effectively at a Hotel
(Click to enlarge) Photo courtesy of TripSavvy 2018
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Are Airlines Tracking Your Flight Searches (and Raising Prices)?

Courtesy Caroline Morse Teel

flight searches

Ms. Caroline Morse Teel, Senior Editor of SmarterTravel, investigates whether or not searching for airfare makes the price go up.

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Deb's Poetry Break

A Child’s Christmas In Wales

A poem by Dylan Thomas

One Christmas was so much like another,
in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound
except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep,
that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights
when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.

All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea,
like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street;
and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves,
and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find.
In goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays resting
at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Mrs. Prothero and the firemen.

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Send Deb your favorite travel poems

7 Things You Should Always Wear on a Plane

Courtesy Caroline Costellos

Be the best-dressed (and most comfortable) person in the cabin with our guide to in-flight apparel.

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Beatles Christmas record

Question: How many Beatles’ Christmas fan-club songs were recorded?

Scroll down for the answer

Go Swimming in the Brazilian Desert in These Lagoons That Appear Like Magic Every Year

Courtesy Cailey Rizzo, Travel & Leisure

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
Photo courtesy of RipioTurismo

Nobody can put on an event quite like nature.

Every year, the sand dunes at Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Brazil collect rainwater from about January to June. And come July, these dunes become temporary pools full of clear, warm water.

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10 Ways to Get a Better Night of Sleep

By Brandon Peters, MD

ways to a better sleep

With a few simple guidelines, you can have better sleep tonight. At some point in our lives, for any number of reasons, nearly all of us will have difficulties sleeping and suffer from acute insomnia. This can lead to significant distress but have no fear. There are simple steps to take that will help you sleep better tonight.

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Two Thirds Of Americans Worry About Work Whilst On Vacation

Courtesy Calum McCloskey, 10 Yetis Digital

New research has found the biggest worries that Americans have whilst on vacation, with the weather, accommodation, spending money and arguments all making the top five, with almost two thirds confessing to also worrying about work whilst away.

Traditionally, American small farmers find it difficult to take carefree vacations due to the endless four-season work on the farm. Photograph by Deb Roskamp

As well as determining the biggest worries that Americans have on vacation, with work featuring quite heavily for many, the biggest worries Americans have at the airport were also revealed, with fear of a flight being delayed or cancelled, luggage getting lost or damaged and missing the flight from being late topping the list.

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6 Destinations with Sunscreen Bans, and What You Need to Know

Courtesy Shannon McMahon, SmarterTravel

sea turtle in Hawaii
The reef-rich state of Hawaii voted to ban the sale of sunscreens that contain the reef-damaging chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate beginning in 2021.

Think the plastic straws you gave up sipping from are bad for our oceans? It’s time to consider the same about the sunscreen you use. Non-biodegradable sunscreens that contain harsh chemicals like oxybenzone have been proven to be toxic to coral reefs and other sea life. But travelers haven’t been as quick to widely abandon them for a natural alternative — so now some destinations are enacting sunscreen bans themselves.

Here are some of the most popular destinations that have banned non-biodegradable sunscreens, and how you can switch to a responsible alternative.

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12 Things You Can Do to Handle Flight Delays and Cancellations

Courtesy Benet Wilson, TrippSavy

Odds are if you are a regular traveler — and even if you’re not — you will eventually experience a flight delay. These delays are caused by things including weather, air traffic control issues, mechanicals, crew problems, delayed aircraft, and airport security, to name a few. DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) tracks this data monthly ​and breaks it down by the airline, airport, and what caused the delay.

Below are 10 things you can do to help minimize the effects of delays and cancellations.

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How to Disinfect Your Airplane Seat

landing plane

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Virtual Reality Helps Japan’s Elderly Travel the World

CNN Travel

Traveling from the canals of Venice to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, a group of elderly people in Japan is seeing the world – without even leaving their seats. It’s all thanks to virtual reality, as well as a team at the University of Tokyo led by Kenta Toshima.

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Half of Americans Would Take a Job With No Paid Time Off for a Higher Salary

Meanwhile, One in Three Workers Would Give Up Some Pay for Unlimited Vacation

Half (49 percent) of working Americans would accept a job with no vacation time if they were paid more, according to the 11th annual Vacation Confidence Index* released by Allianz Global Assistance. Millennials (63 percent, compared to 47 percent of Gen X’ers and 32 percent of Baby Boomers) and men (57 percent, versus 41 percent of women) are the most likely to sacrifice paid time off for higher salaries.

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Pickpocket-Proof Clothing: 10 Garments to Protect Your Stuff

Courtesy Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Aday’s Throw It Higher Leggings

Nothing sours a trip like having your belongings stolen by a pickpocket. But chances are, if you travel frequently — or just happen to be unlucky — a sticky-fingered stranger will one day secretly separate you from your stuff. Since traveling sans cash, credit cards, and other valuables isn’t an option for most of us, I’ve rounded up a passel of pickpocket-proof clothing and accessories that’ll make you less of a target for thieves.

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The Best Navigation Tools to Keep You on Track on a Car Trip, Here or Abroad

Courtesy Catharine Hamm, L.A. Times

navigation tools
Choose the navigation methods that work for you. Image Credits: LA Times (latimes.com)
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Beatles Christmas

Beatle Beat Trivia Answers

Question: How many Beatles’ Christmas fan-club songs were recorded?

Answer: 7

Beatles’ Rare Fan-Club Christmas Recordings: A Complete Guide

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