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Rhodes Greece, The Road Back To My Heritage

December 20, 2014 by  

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I look up at the clear, blue, eternal sky.  It joins hands with two endless, royal blue Seas. I close my eyes and feel a surreal warmth come over me; inhale intoxicating scents of chamomile and mint coming from the mountains.  Subtle waves crash into the beaches from top to bottom, feeding the land with history, passion and millions of tales.  I can feel 4000 years of history emanating around me and penetrating my core. I’m speechless, swept up, emotional. The island is my soul-mate. I have returned. I kiss the tarmac. My passport may say “Canadian” but my heart and soul says Rhodian — and here I am, where all things lead to Rhodes Greece. I have arrived.  
Serene First time visitors to Rodos always start planning their next visit minutes after landing.  In fact, Rodos captivates everyone immediately thanks to its countless beaches, rich history, passionate people and of course quality food.  This island has something for everyone and that’s the true appeal.   For me, it’s strikes a personal chord.  My mother is from Rodos and seeing that I’m closest with her, I consider myself to be almost…

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How Drones Can Be Used To Find You In the Remotest of Places…

December 20, 2014 by  

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Last summer, a Wisconsin search effort was under way to find 82-year-old Guillermo DeVenecia, a missing ophthalmologist who suffers from dementia. After a three-day effort involving search dogs, a helicopter and hundreds of people, DeVenecia was found by a consumer drone.
David Lesh uses his drone to shoot videos for his Colorado ski and snowboard business but decided to help with the search while visiting his girlfriend. It’s stories like these that provide an inkling of our future, one where drones will play a prominent role in many aspects of life. What is truly remarkable is that this scenario played out just four years after the introduction of the first consumer drone that helped mainstream the category. At the January 2010 CES, Paris-based Parrot S.A. introduced the AR.Drone, a $300 quadcopter equipped with a video camera and controlled by an iPhone. Parrot Bebop Parrot was the drone trendsetter, launching the first consumer drone in January 2010. Its latest state-of-the-art model is the Bebop drone, which retails for $500. Once considered a toy, drones, which are also called UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles, have blossomed into powerful aerial video tools that are reshaping many industries and…

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In the Heart of Curaçao, Dinah Veeris On Why “Going Natural” Matters

December 19, 2014 by  

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I’ve always been a fan of natural herbs for as long as I can remember and that includes recipes of natural things that are known to have curing or healing properties. It could be in part from the magic wonders that my grandmother’s concoctions seemed to have when I was a child, usually created from a wive’s tale passed down from her grandmother or so the story goes. One of them was used when my cousins and I got the “winter croop” which we always seemed to get at the same time. She would use a variety of mint oils and her magical concoction was stored in a glass bottle, the kind you’d find in old fashioned pharmacies in the sixties and seventies and today, only see in photos of early brands advertisements before plastic would take over every consumable we’d ever digest over the next several decades. When I started to hack up a storm, she’d get her glass bottle out of the cabinet, put it in a small pot filled with water on the stove and there it would sit until near boiling before she’d slap a third of it on my chest and back. By morning, I…

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Merry Christmas From the Digital #RuralRockstars of South Africa

December 19, 2014 by  

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I almost never post a video that touts a corporate award in it, however truth be told it is big business who often sponsors awards, and whether it’s entirely a PR play for them or they really want to change the world, bottom line, change can happen as a result. That said, I still wouldn’t have posted it, however I have a personal story connected to South Africa, women and education and am passionate about change for all three. As someone who has lived in South Africa a couple of times, and attended her 12th grade year there, I have a soft spot for the country. I ran across this video through one of our RSS feeds and rather than post it as it was, I decided to write about it through my eyes. I learned about the deeds of the Good Work Foundation (GWF), which helps 185 rural adults qualify for their International Computer Driving licenses. What’s even cooler is that 81% of the students are women, as is the CEO Kate Groch. Go girls and go South Africa! A staggering 7,394 online hospitality modules were completed and for the first year ever, 139 adults…

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Specialty Liquor & Beer on the Greek Island of Corfu

December 18, 2014 by  

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  corfu While many people know Greece for its wine — especially Santorini with its assyritiko — there’s another island offering a completely different drink experience. Actually, it offers two. On the beautiful Corfu, home to attractions like Sisi’s Palace, Mount Pantokrator and Paleokastritsa Beach, those wanting a sip of the local culture need to savor the flavors of the local ginger beer and kumquat liqueur. I was introduced to these two libations — which are not made elsewhere in Greece — during a visit to Corfu by my island guide, Filippos “Philip” Azzopardi. ginger

Ginger Beer

Along with kumquat liqueur, ginger beer — also locally known as sitsibíra (τσιτσιμπίρα) — is an island specialty, especially refreshing in the summer when it’s hot, delicious flavors of fresh lemon mixing with the spicy, pepper notes of the ginger. According to Philip, the recipe for ginger beer includes water, lemon, sugar and ginger, and can be purchased at street kiosks or cafes. To learn more about the local ginger beer tradition, Philip puts me in touch with Maria Cheimarios, who helps to run a small family-owned ginger beer producer with her husband…

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British Fare & The Holidays: How About a Bowl of Smoking Bishop?

December 18, 2014 by  

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  drink Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a holiday classic revisited every year, especially by fans of British food. After all, the story is heaped high with all the cozy comestibles of an old-fashioned English yuletide. From plum puddings to mince-pies to wreaths of spiced sausages and roasted chestnuts, it’s enough to get your seasonal taste buds salivating. That is, until we come to the final chapter and find Scrooge bellowing out the book’s first food reference that leaves something to be desired. “A merry Christmas, Bob!” said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken…we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop…” If the great author will pardon the pun, what-the-Dickens is smoking bishop? While we might be able to reasonably rule out the literal (and very unseasonable) connotations of a conflagrated clergyman, it’s definitely time to get to the bottom of Scrooge’s celebratory bowl. Starting on the surface, nicknaming drinks after church officials seemed to be a rather irreligious and rampant habit amongst Victorian Brits. “Pope is burgundy, Cardinal is champagne or rye, Archbishop is claret” says Cedric Dickens – great-grandson of Charles –…

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Wellness Travel: Where Wine & Yoga Converge Around the Globe

December 17, 2014 by  

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Photo courtesy of Ditty_about_summer via Shutterstock. On first consideration, drinking and yoga may seem rather incompatible. If, like me, you’ve occasionally had one too many glasses of red wine before heading to an hour of vinyasa and downward dog, you may have reservations about combining the two. But trust me: these two contrasting activities can actually come together to create a truly relaxing and rejuvenating vacation.

For those who love wellness travel — wine and beer included — here are ten of the world’s top boozy yoga holidays:

Wellness Travel Photo courtesy of ISchmidt via Shutterstock.

1. Yoga & Cocktails At A Maldives Retreat

In this retreat held at W Hotels Retreat and Spa and run by yoga guru Tara Stiles, you can relax into a routine of regular yoga classes, peppered with welcome drinks and cocktail evenings. There are also spa treatments, meditation and water activities available, plus plenty of sunset beach yoga in the tropical paradise of the Maldives. Prices start from $1,760; click here to find out more. Wellness Travel Photo courtesy of Westin Verasa Napa.

2. Wine, Women & Wellness In



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The Home May Become Connected, But What’s Useful & What’s Not?

December 17, 2014 by  

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When Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion in January 2014, it loudly signaled that the Internet of Things (IoT) and Connected Home trends had arrived. But it also caused more market confusion, as many now question Google’s motivations in the smart home market.
Connected devices are proliferating at a rapid clip. Besides the connected thermostat, we now have connected beds, connected toothbrushes, lightbulbs and light switches. Any device that is connected to the internet is considered a member of the Internet of Things.

Market Forecasts

It’s clear that 2015 is going to be a pivotal year, when the pixie dust starts to settle in the connected home market:
  • Market growth – According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and Parks Associates, shipments of both smart-home devices and controllers will grow by 20%, or more, annually in coming years.
  • Smart home devices – In 2015, U.S. smart-home device shipments will reach 25 million. By 2017, Parks estimates, total shipments of such devices as smart thermostats and smart door locks will reach 36 million:
  • Smart home controllers – Smart-home controller or “hub” shipments are predicted to increase 36% in 2015 to nearly 2 million. A 32% growth rate in


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