Tag Archives: travel

Private Jet Set Kicking The Bucket

By Russ Alan Prince, Contributor For many years travel industry destination marketers elbowed each other to be on the bucket list for mass affluent consumers (household incomes between US$100,000 and US$400,000). The problem was that if per chance they were successful in getting mass affluent consumers to go to Australia this year instead of China, Alaska, Peru, Tahiti, South Africa, India, fill-in-the-blank, the net effect was that these consumers were unlikely to return to these destinations. They had spent a couple thousand bucks, checked it off their list. On the flight back home, they were already thinking about checking off the next box. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Three Simple Steps: How to Start Saving for Retirement

By Chuck Saletta

road signpost pointing to work and retire with person walking down the road

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Saving for your retirement is a big deal. Barring the income you might get from pensions (not what they once were) and Social Security (not likely to stay what it once was) all you’ll have is the money you save to last you the rest of your life. And it’s no secret that if your accounts run dry, it’s incredibly difficult for a retiree to rejoin the workforce a decade or more after leaving it.

Given all that, it’s understandable if you’re a bit worried about coming up with enough money that you’ll be able to retire comfortably on your terms. While building and maintaining that nest egg is a long-term commitment, it’s important to remember that you have the rest of your career to get there. With a solid plan and the flexibility to handle life’s curve balls, you can greatly improve your chances of retiring with a portfolio that can last as long as you do.

3 Steps to Get From Here to Retired

The toughest part of investing for retirement is that you face so many unknowns. How long will you live? What will the market do? Will your Social Security benefits get cut? How tame (or wild) will inflation be? Will your mental and physical health hold out, or will you need the help of a caregiver?

Those are all wise questions to ask, but unfortunately, they can’t be answered with any certainty until it’s too late to do anything about it. The best any of us can really do is develop a reasonable plan based on decent assumptions, and then adjust as life happens. With that in mind, here is a three-step foundation for a solid plan:

1. Set a target. What sort of lifestyle do you want in your retirement? Are you the kind of person who’d be happy rocking away on the stoop, watching the world go by? Or do you picture a retirement filled with world travel, box seats at the symphony, and generous philanthropic gifts to your favorite charities?

Whatever your plans, start by estimating your anticipated monthly expenses. Subtract from that your anticipated net Social Security check and any monthly pension payments you may get, then multiply the remainder by 300. That’s about how large your total portfolio will need to be to cover your costs. At that size, your portfolio should generate enough growth and income that you can take advantage of the 4 percent rule, a solid (if rough) estimate that will help reduce the odds that you’ll outlive your money.

2. Take what help you can get, and ramp up when you can. While that 300-times-monthly-expenses estimate may seem daunting, there are a number programs available to help you build your nest egg faster. Qualified retirement accounts like IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and the government’s Thrift Savings …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 7/31/2013

By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:04 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: I know you all welcomed her back on Monday when I wasn’t here, but it is great to have Jamie Smith back, a new mom, and a new, proud mom at that. If you haven't seen her little girl, she is beautiful, truly beautiful. So it’s great to have Jamie back. And it’s great to be here. (Laughter.) Now she’s going to have to go straight to daycare and check in on her. (Laughter.) I remember how that felt.

It’s great to be back here with you today. I have, before I take your questions, just a couple of things I want to note for you.

First, on Tuesday, August 6th, the President will travel to the Phoenix, Arizona area, to continue talking with Americans about his better bargain for the middle class. On Tuesday in Tennessee, the President laid out one cornerstone of that vision, a plan to create good jobs that pay decent wages by investing in manufacturing and infrastructure. Next week in Arizona, the President will lay out his plan to continue to help responsible homeowners and those Americans who seek to own their own homes as another cornerstone of how we can strengthen the middle class in America.

That afternoon, the President will then travel to Burbank, California, to tape an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The following day, Wednesday, August 7th — there’s a Leno fan in the front row I can tell. (Laughter.) The following day, on Wednesday, August 7th, the President will travel to Camp Pendleton to visit with troops and their families and to thank them for their extraordinary service to our nation.

My next announcement is in here somewhere — I thought. So with that — it’s not a big one — (laughter) — it’s just a meeting I'm sure you’d be interested in. No, I just wanted to note — and I will as much as I can off the cuff that today is the 49th anniversary of Medicare, and millions and millions of Americans — senior citizens — have led richer and healthier lives because of this extraordinary program and its success.

The President has, through a number of actions, and most noticeably, through the Affordable Care Act, strengthened Medicare and provided more benefits to seniors. And we are seeing a reduction in the growth rate of costs in Medicare, historic change in that growth rate, and we've seen it, obviously, in the private sector health care market as well. And that is a direct benefit of the Affordable Care Act as we implement it. And so that is a welcome thing.

We have over the years experienced debates about Medicare, calls to see it wither on the vine by some, efforts to turn it into a voucher program, essentially efforts to disrupt, dismantle and, in some ways, ultimately defeat Medicare. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Trips to the Tomb


For centuries there has been much confusion when people try to reason the different accounts of Jesus’ resurrection as recorded by the apostles. The fact that they all seem to have a different story to tell does not help. Perhaps, a good way to consider their seemingly different reports is to view them like transparent overlays, similar to the one’s we have seen in books showing the skeleton, then the nerves and blood vessels, organs, muscular and finally the skin and hair.

The Gospels, similarly, are each reporting different events which had taken place around a major singular occurrence, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The fact is that these different events are recorded in God’s word and are therefore true. Perhaps the answer to the confusion is to consider that there were multiple trips made to the tomb.

The best way to determine the possible order of these trips to the tomb is to consider the different details that have been given about the time of day and light of the sun. Was the sun going down or coming up? These questions are actually quite easy to answer. However, we must remember that the Sabbath, like all the other biblical days, began and ended with sundown, see Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 and Lev. 23:32.

Matthew clearly tells us that when the two Marys where first headed to the tomb it was “IN the end of the Sabbath.” Therefore, according to Matthew this trip took place Saturday evening prior to sunset, “IN the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.”

The word translated “end” is the Greek word “opse,” # 3697 in Strongs Concordance. It means – late in the day; by extension, after the close of the day: –(at) even, in the end. The translated phrase “as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week” adds to the confusion of most people and caused them to think Matthew is talking about the sunrise, or “dawn” as we would refer to it. The Greek word here was translated “dawn,” while at times a correct translation, is not however of necessity the intent original. The implication of the word, since it follows “opse,” properly means to “draw on,” or, “as the first day approached,” without specifying a precise time. As a matter of fact, that is exactly how the same word here translated “dawn” is translated in Luke 23:54, “And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.”

In English the word “dawn” is frequently used to mean the beginning of something – like “the dawn of space travel” would be a reference to the first flight of man in space. This careful chronological statement, “IN the END of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of …read more

Source: Worthy Christian Forums

Ford to Offer Compressed Natural Gas Prep Package on 2014 F-150

By Alexander Stoklosa

2014 Ford F-150 CNG Prep Package

Ford has announced that it will offer customers a compressed natural gas (GNG) prep package on the 2014 F-150 pickup. Although it isn’t a full conversion, Ford’s package sets the F-150 up to be converted by a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier. The kit is available only on F-150s equipped with the base 3.7-liter V-6 engine, and it includes hardened valves, valve seats, pistons, and rings. With the prep kit, the F-150 can run on either gasoline or natural gas (via separate fuel systems), as well as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

According to Ford, the CNG/LPG prep package will cost roughly $315, but outfitting the truck with the requisite CNG fuel tank and fuel-delivery systems will set buyers back between $7500 and $9500. Still, Ford claims that customers who opt for the kit and the pricey CNG up-fit can see a return on their investment within 24–36 months, thanks to the ultra-low price of natural gas. The fuel can cost as little as a buck a (gasoline equivalent) gallon—as opposed to the current price of regular gas, which is hovering in the mid-$3 range—meaning fleets that travel lots of miles could legitimately see savings in a short period of time.

Ford claims the F-150 is the only CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup on the market, but technically most any vehicle—other half-tons included—can be converted to use natural gas, so the boast is somewhat disingenuous. Perhaps more accurate, Ford is the only manufacturer to offer a preparatory package that primes a half-ton for conversion. (Ram offers a turn-key natural-gas-powered 2500 heavy-duty pickup, and the Mopar catalog offers conversion bits for regular 1500s.) The F-150 is only the latest Ford commercial vehicle to offer a gaseous-prep engine option, and the automaker predicts it will offer eight different compatible models within the next year. Those models include the Transit Connect, the new Transit van, the outgoing E-series van, F-series Super Duty pickups, F-450 and F-550 Super Duty chassis cabs, the F-650 medium-duty truck, and the F53 and F59 stripped chassis. The multitude of CNG-prepped models are part of Ford’s plan to sell 15,000 such vehicles this year.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

How Does Google Maps Calculate Your ETA?

By Quora, Contributor

Like in similar products, maps ETAs are based on a variety of things, depending on the data available in a particular area. These things range from official speed limits and recommended speeds, likely speeds derived from road types, historical average speed data over certain time periods (sometimes just averages, sometimes at particular times of day), actual travel times from previous users, and real-time traffic information. They mix data from whichever sources they have, and come up with the best prediction they can make. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Travel To Cuba Legally & Expertly

By Larry Olmsted, Contributor

In the nearly two decades that I have been writing on travel, few destinations have interested my audience as much as Cuba – I am asked about it all the time. For sure some of this is based on the principle of forbidden fruit, and some people are interested simply because our government makes it practically impossible for most American citizens to visit the Caribbean island. But much of it is Cuba’s legitimate appeal, be it cultural, natural, musical or historical, and for a variety of reasons, there is a sizable audience of Americans who would like to visit Cuba. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Cane toad pioneers speed up invasions

(Phys.org) —Climate change is one of a number of stressors that cause species to disperse to new locations. Scientists must be able to predict dispersal rates accurately, as the movement of a new species into an area can have a significant, and sometimes detrimental, effect on that area’s ecology. When studying dispersal rates of cane toads in Australia, Tom Lindstrom of the University of Sydney and his colleagues found that toads that are first to move into a new area travel at faster rates than toads that arrive later. Their research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that failure to account for this has caused scientists to severely underestimate dispersal rates. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Phys.org

Iced Coffee on the Road

By Sara Bonisteel I’ve been drinking cold-brew iced coffee year-round since college, and so when I travel, it is always a challenge to find a suitable substitute that is as smooth and strong as my coffee back home. I like cold coffee. I like it because it takes less time to consume than hot coffee. Caffeination comes quickly. I use a Toddy maker at home (shown bottom right). It’s basically a plastic bucket with a filter in the bottom that holds a pound of coffee grounds and 10-12 cups of water. You let it steep overnight and filter the coffee concentrate into a glass carafe that can sit in the fridge for up to two weeks. You’re supposed to water down the concentrate before adding milk and/or sugar. I’ve been drinking it so long that I drink the concentrate watered down with just milk. One of my big complaints with ordering an iced coffee from anywhere besides my home (or the coffeeshops of New Orleans) is that it’s often made from hot coffee that’s just refrigerated. Which tastes exactly how you’d expect it too … like stale, acidic coffee. Yesterday’s brew. A three-month stint in London–where the coffee culture in the late 1990s was basically packets of Nespresso freeze-dried crystals–forced me to learn to like *gasp* espresso over ice. In a pinch, I’ll drink a few shots of this bitter brew, cut with a little skim milk. I still do this at turnpike Starbucks when necessary. But lately, I’m finding that there are more good coffee options out there for iced-coffee lovers on the go. By far my favorite is Cool Brew, a cold coffee concentrate sold at grocery stores in Louisiana. The 500ml container makes 16 coffees, and if it weren’t for TSA travel restrictions on liquids, I would bring back bottles and bottles. This is as good or better than most coffeeshop cold brews. (And it’s available online.) Barnies CoffeeKitchen recently released Pronto!, an individual serving concentrate that comes in seven flavors. The portable sleeves make it an easy win for road trips. The packets work out to be about a dollar a piece. A third option is finding the local coffee chain in the region where you’re traveling. Growlers of cold brew travel well in a cooler, and will get you caffeinated faster than that hot sludge they’re serving at the gas station. Are you a cold-brew fan? How do you cope while traveling? (All photos by Sara Bonisteel except for Cool Brew)

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Source: Epicurious

Business travel expenses plummet, but SBOs are picking up more of the bill

In its 2013 Expense IQ Report, Concur, a developer of expense report software, has found that business travel expenses fell off dramatically at the end of 2012.

The average travel and entertainment expense report fell 4.5 percent from 2011 to 2012. The decline dramatically accelerated in the last quarter of the year, when a huge 21 percent drop in T&E expenses was measured.

The report notes that, “While 2012 was overall a year of tighter budgets for U.S. travelers, the sudden and extreme decline in Q4 T&E spend in particular is a bit of an outlier. The dip is likely due to a set of exogenous macro-economic events, such as the impact of Hurricane Sandy, uncertainty about the U.S. presidential election in November, and the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations that extended into the first days of 2013.”


Curiously, Concur notes that small businesses are spending considerably more on travel than their large-company counterparts. On a quarterly, per traveler basis, SMBs pay more for airfare (13.6%), lodging (21.0%), car rentals (56.7%), and even dining out (17.8%). Partly this is because small-business employees are traveling more than large ones, but also because they are often subject to higher rates. In explaining this, Concur notes that private rate agreements with hotel chains, for example, are responsible for offsetting many of the costs that large businesses pay.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Borneo's orangutans are coming down from the trees

Orangutans might be the king of the swingers, but primatologists in Borneo have found that the great apes spend a surprising amount of time walking on the ground. The research, published in the American Journal of Primatology found that it is common for orangutans to come down from the trees to forage or to travel, a discovery which may have implications for conservation efforts. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Phys.org

‘The Wolverine’ Credits Scene: Director James Mangold Explains How It Came About

By The Huffington Post News Editors

If you haven’t seen “The Wolverine” and are still planning to, this is where you’ll want to stop reading.

After “The Wolverine” story ends, there is a mid-credits scene that teases the next X-Men adventure, “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” Since you’re only supposed to be reading this if you’ve seen “The Wolverine,” there’s no need to spoil the details of that scene, except to say that a couple of old friends from the past X-Men movies show up.

There’s been some speculation that Bryan Singer (who is directing “Days of Future Past”) directed the mid-credits scene — actually, as he confirms here, it was “The Wolverine” director James Mangold. (We resisted the tantalizing headline “Movie Director Directs Scene In The Movie He Directed.”) Though, Mangold did travel to Montreal (where “Days of Future Past” is being filmed) to film the extra scene and, here, discusses how it came about and how it ties together “The Wolverine” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post

Korea veteran fails to locate remains of first black Navy aviator

A decorated Korean War veteran from Massachusetts left North Korea on Monday without fulfilling his mission: to travel the Chosin Reservoir battleground where he was hoping to locate the remains of a friend who was the U.S. Navy’s first black aviator.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News