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Mad as Hell Doctors take their tour on the road
Mad as Hell Doctors take their tour on the road

The Mad as Hell Docs’ RV, Photo courtesy of the author. Feature photo: Progress Ohio“Why are you mad as hell?”The question was posed to a panel of doctors in a high school auditorium in Sequim, Washington.Answers varied, but all had the common thread that the current health care system is broken, inefficient, and corrupt and that the best solution is universal single-payer health care.

The Mystery of Zillion
The Mystery of Zillion

What can a video game teach us about travel…and about life?The first thing I notice about the Tokyo subway system is how quiet it is. No panhandlers, no music leaking through cheap headphones, no complaints.Photo by GusttyI came here to understand the men I grew up with-men like Pacman, Q-Bert, and Mario-but so far I don’t see them on the faces of the commuters with their heads down towards their hand-helds.

Virtual travel:  Nothing like the real thing?
Virtual travel: Nothing like the real thing?

Since Halo 3’s long-awaited debut I’ve been living in a virtual reality.I accompanied my boyfriend to the game’s midnight release and, comparing his passion for video games with my passion for travel, I considered the following question:“Why would you spend $1000 dollars to sit on a plane for 12 hours when you can spend $50 for a video game and be transported to another world in an instant?

Congo: Africa’s “Invisible War”
Congo: Africa’s “Invisible War”

Is the decade-long conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo “Africa’s invisible war”?Some fascinating number-crunching from Social Design Notes compares the numbers of fatalities in Darfur and the Congo — roughly 500,000 and 5.5 million, respectively — and then notes the enormous disparity in the media coverage of the two.

NaNoWriMo – Anyone writing a novel next month?
NaNoWriMo – Anyone writing a novel next month?

What’s up with writers just sitting down and blasting out 50,000 words as fast they can? And is that ass-to-chair time ‘well spent’?EVERY NOVEMBER, a large group of people (there were more than 100,000 in 2007) who have signed up with NaNoWriMo begin writing with the goal of completing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

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.

5 Reasons To Stay In A Timeshare
5 Reasons To Stay In A Timeshare

Please note: this is a sponsored post.One of the best parts about traveling is the opportunity to push your comfort zone.You travel to discover new cultures and ideas, but, as you go, you’ll also unearth unknown aspects of yourself: things you didn’t know you were capable of (like stomaching that scorpion soup) or that you didn’t know you’d love (like the whip of brambles on your legs as you explore a verdant rainforest.

What’s The Worst Thing That’s Attacked You?
What’s The Worst Thing That’s Attacked You?

Where there’s jungle, there’s nasty creepy crawly creatures lurking to sting, bite, or paralyze you.Or at least that’s what we’re led to believe when listening to local guides with a macabre sense of humour.During my travels, I’ve survived encounters with deadly Fijian sea snakes, tarantulas in Australia’s Outback, and even a face-to-face stare down with some local Vancouver deer.

7 Common Challenges You Encounter After You Launch Your NGO…
7 Common Challenges You Encounter After You Launch Your NGO…

Photo: The author at her NGO in Indonesia.Starting the NGO is the easy part. But the aftermath? Now, that’s the thing that keeps you up at night.I recently started an NGO, 4th World Love, that focuses on community development in distant lands and I’ve learned a few lessons on the front lines of grassroots NGO’dom.

PrAna Tanner LS Shirt for men
PrAna Tanner LS Shirt for men

Images courtesy of prAna.The perfectly unlikely night-and-day all-weather base layer.It came in a white UPS envelope made in part from recycled plastic. Not a moment too soon. It was rolled and bundled with a short length of twine. There was no packaging, per se. Just a tag with a note on aspirations and a simple warranty spelled out in soy ink on 100 post-consumer waste, safety-pinned to the cloth.

Pueblo Inglés: Best volunteer experience in Spain?
Pueblo Inglés: Best volunteer experience in Spain?

Photo courtesy of Barbara HicksLisa Lubin explains how to enjoy a week of good wine and great conversation in the heart of Spain – for free.Habla Ingles??What if I told you that I just had a whole week’s vacation in a four-star villa in a small, beautiful village near Salamanca, Spain and it included three full meals a day with wine and it came with about forty new best friends …all for free?

Book Review: South Carolina (On the Road Histories)
Book Review: South Carolina (On the Road Histories)

Being a history geek, I usually buy at least two books when traveling somewhere new.I need a travel book for getting around and a history book to help me understand what I see. Your average backpacker book provides some historical and cultural explanation.However, the balance of hostel details compared to location background information never sits right with me.