29 December 2010

Mt Pelee Observatory

In a bit less than a month, we'll be in Martinique for a conference. Before the conference, we will be spending a few days in Le Carbet and will visit the observatory (http://www.ipgp.fr/pages/030303.php). Apparently there has been some activity or seismic noise. See http://geoscope.ipgp.fr/scripts/stations/fiche.php?sta=FDF&id=64 for details. I'll post some photos and video upon my return.

But in the meantime, I am working on the paper titled "Sea, sun, sand and …. Selecting Surgery, an exploration of Medical Tourist Travel Behavior". In it we explore repeat or diversified travel behavior on medical tourists.

24 December 2010

Tracking Santa with NORAD

As I write this Santa is in Islamabad, Pakistan. And those folks really need him.

Again I want to wish EVERYONE a joyous holiday, no matter who you are, we MUST all stand for peace and social justice.

While I highlight Islamabad, let me put a plug in for my friends at the Hot Spot Online
(http://www.thehotspotonline.com/). I bought a VCD from them a few years ago and wish they still offered these classic films. The film was called (in English) Cat Beast Terror. I mean, the world needs this kind of entertainment!

Check out a preview at this link:

23 December 2010

Where is the North Pole on Google Earth?

Well, this time of year, many folks are thinking about Santa. I decided to look for the North Pole on Google Earth and was unsuccessful.

I mean, I tried "north pole" and "90 degrees north latitude" and even zoomed into where I expected to see an icon noting the location.

I guess it is a secret location so good Old St. Nick can finish his job.

Whatever the reason, I want to say happy holidays to all. And my sincere wish for a SAFE and Healthy New Year!

21 December 2010

new books on Medical Tourism posted on Medical Mobilities

Dr. Ormond has updated her blog with a listing of current and anticipated books on Medical Tourism. A human geography, Dr. Ormond recently defended her dissertation at the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom.

A Call for Papers is also posted on the blog:

CFP Mobilities and Health - 2011 International Medical Geography Symposium.

Looks like a good conference!

wow, the Lunar Eclipse on the Winter Solstice

Just got back inside after watching the moon disappear in the shadow of the Earth. Yep, a total lunar eclipse. We have some clouds out right now, and earlier there was a halo around the moon when I left Springfield Massachusetts about 9 pm.

We got up, I tried to video tape the beginning of the action and then retreated to the hot tub to enjoy the show. Fortunately the trees are without leaves so we had a great view of the event.

Well, now I am waterlogged and all "pruney".

This video is purely amateurish, but it is at least an attempt to record this event. Remember, I was half asleep.

19 December 2010

Lunar Eclipse 21 Dec 2010

Lots of traffic on the web to get to NASA's website for the Lunar Eclipse tomorrow night. Should be a great show for us on the East Coast. See this website for a virtual showing just in case it is cloudy where you are:


A double whammy for the winter solstice!

13 December 2010

Medical Tourism Bibliography Updated

I now have nearly 230 references on the subject of medical tourism. Many are easily retrieved from web sources.

I got an email this weekend from a doctoral student in India requesting one of these papers. Since I have most of the papers in digital form on my computer, I was able to help the student out. But this is precisely the region that I have tried to post url's for as many papers or presentations that I can get.

Free access to medical tourism research. See the latest update at:

Also stay tuned for a 2011 volume on medical tourism in Tourism Review.

12 December 2010

Abstracts available for Changing World of Coastal, Island and Tropical Tourism

We now have the abstracts posted for the Changing World of Coastal, Island and Tropical Tourism conference to be held in Martinique, French West Indies on 27-29 January 2011. The main website for the conference is found at:
http://www.geog.nau.edu/igust/fwi/index.html and from there you can find the abstracts. Our paper is titled:
"Sea, sun, sand and ... Selecting Surgery, an exploration of Medical Tourist Travel Behavior".

While the call for papers has passed, I can't think of a better place to be in January, this statement written as I look out my home office window at the freezing rain.

11 December 2010

ISSRM Malaysia venue to move 7km

According to the Facebook page for the International Symposium of Society and Resource Management - Malaysia 2011 may move a bit south along the coast to 1Borneao (http://www.1borneo.net/public/1borneohypermall/main_page.htm).

I am saving for this conference since it competes with the meeting in Madison. I attended the ISSRM at Madison back in 1992 I believe.

Here is the paper I delivered:

"Travel Diversification as a Measure of Recreation Activity Packages", The Fourth North American Symposium on Society and Resource Management. Madison, WI. May 1992.

08 December 2010

Journals for Tourism

While not all geography journals, this list is pretty comprehensive:

When I did a survey on folks teaching recreation or tourism geography with Barbara Carmichael a decade ago, we found a significant loss of recreation geography courses. You need to remember that geographers were the leader in recreation research back in the 1960's and the shift to more tourism geography related teaching started in Nineties.

We also saw the birth of Tourism Geographies:

Will geographers continue to lead in tourism?

07 December 2010

Hiking Research at NCSU

Found at HikingResearch.COM and redirected to http://hikingresearch.wordpress.com/ this is an interesting site for some research being conducted by a doctoral student at North Carolina State University. I know his supervisor is Dr. Roger Moore, but unfortunately the student doesn't post his name on the blog.

Check it out, since it seems to have some promise.

06 December 2010

Mexican Horror Films


I am getting slammed at the end of the semester, so I have left this page to get a tad old. But many of you realize I am into old (bad) horror and sci fi films so I wanted to highlight some of the research on Mexican films. Seems you can't deny that the Santos films fall into the realm of cult horror films. With titles like "Santo contra las mujeres vampiros" you can't go wrong. See this page for the details on this classic: http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~dwilt/review2.htm#vampiras.

So when you are burned out from reading all the geography papers, slip one of these films into your DVD player for some mindless entertainment.


28 November 2010

Appalachian Trail Monitoring

Checked out my section of the Appalachian Trail corridor yesterday during a snow shower. Really wasn't too cold, as long as we kept moving. The secret is to find these survey markers. Generally the yellow paint on the trees will help you find them, but sometimes you need to bushwhack through the woods with a compass to find them.

See this paper to learn more about monitoring:

Bristow, Robert S. 1988. "Volunteer-based recreation land management." Parks & Recreation. Vol 33 no 8, pp 70(7)

26 November 2010

Visual Geography

I love to show photographs when I teach. I mean, isn't it great that as geographers we can show our vacation slides in class? So depending on the class I can show pictures of places I have been to.
This is especially true with Recreation Geography.

And if you don't have the perfect picture in your file, you can always grab something off the Web. Be sure to give photo credit for it!

I have been posting shots on Panoramio (http://www.panoramio.com/user/2492564) which is especially neat since you can map it on Google Earth. The editors will select it for Google Earth and so far I have 58 of the 67 photos selected. Red Sky at Night ....

But I am not here to brag, I want to tell you about MapCrunch.Com. Check it out for some great photos around the world.

24 November 2010

Holiday Travel

Ok, so if you are an American that decides to drive today, or anytime this week, besides being crazy, you are not alone.

Data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics show this kind of travel behavior this week.

23 November 2010

National Opt Out Day

Wow, how'd they get my picture on http://www.optoutday.com/? Actually the phot is of a person with more hair ... on the head that is.

Travelling by air on Wednesday 24 Nov 2010? In the United States?

Good luck. Better be prepare to wait. Get to the airport 4 hours before domestic flights and the day before if you are visiting family and friends overseas.

The details from the website:

"National Opt-Out Day. You have the right to opt-out of the naked body scanner machines (AIT, or Advance Imaging Technology, as the government calls it). All you have to do is say "I opt out" when they tell you to go through one of the machines. You will then be given an "enhanced" pat down. This is a right given to you by the TSA. There is no intent or desire to delay passengers en route to friends and family over Thanksgiving. People also need to remember to stay within the confines of the law and the regulations of TSA when exercising their right to a pat down. Passengers, please note there has been at least one report of long delay for people who take the TSA up on their offer to opt out of the naked body scanners, so please keep that in mind when planning your airport arrival time."

22 November 2010

Protesting this Holiday Season

Protesters across the country have a united concern. No it is not the Tea Baggers complaining about taxes. Nope, not the Pot advocates hoping for legalization of the green stuff.

It is the tourists travelling this week who don't want the TSA to mess with their "junk".

Has our craze with safety in the air gone too far?

See the story at:

18 November 2010

Tourism Geographies

Have you checked out the latest edition of Tourism Geographies? The abstracts are found at this link : http://www.geog.nau.edu/tg/contents/index.html

Although, it would be nice to see the authors with the titles, I understand the amount of effort it takes to edit a Journal.

It is always nice to review the articles online since it saves me a trip to the building with lots of books .... called a library.

15 November 2010

Saving a Tree: DHS I-92 is Now 'Paperless'

There are 950,000 flights coming to the States every year and this I-92 form has to be filled out for each one. Not too exciting, just the courier type. number of passengers and so on. Now, if they could create an online form for the I-94!

13 November 2010

Old and New(er) Vienna

I am fascinated by old stuff. I haven't been to the Pyramids of Egypt but have seen the Mayan Ruins in Belize, the Nuraghe Monuments in Sardinia and these Roman ruins in Vienna.

I think our town, Westfield, Massachusetts is old since it was incorporated in 1669, but that pales in comparison to these really old sites.

Take the time to learn the history of the places you visit. It will make the experience that much more interesting.

11 November 2010

Meghann Ormond's work on Medical Tourism

Got an email today from Meghann Ormond who shared a bibliography on the subject. Seems her research is on Medical Tourism:


This thesis examines the shifting relationship between the state and its subjects with regard to responsibility for and entitlement to care. Using Malaysia as a case study the research engages with international medical travel (IMT) as an outcome of the neoliberal retrenchment of the welfare state. I offer a critical reading of postcolonial development strategies that negotiate the benefits and challenges of extending care to non-national subjects. Read More

Professor Ormond is also presenting at the AAG in Seattle next Spring.

10 November 2010

Climographs and Recreation Geography

We're doing climatology in physical geography this week. I thought I'd share this great resource from the National Geographic Society on climographs, the method of graphically displaying climate data.


I will always remember my climatology class at Towson State University where we were given the data (temperature and precipitation) and we had to tell where in the world the data represented.

Boy, it was a tough class.

08 November 2010

Get ready for Geography Awareness Week!

A bunch of great resources for students, teachers and parents of geographers can be found on this website:


This year the theme is "Fresh Water".

We tend to take this natural resource for granted since it is relatively cheap, plentiful and usually quite tasty.

How many people around the world can say that?

07 November 2010

BLM free on Veterans Day

We don't know much about Bureau of Land Management properties here on the East Coast, so instead of announcing the free access to NPS lands, I thought I'd plug BLM lands.

I've been to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area west of Las Vegas. It has almost 200,000 acres of beautiful rocks and get this they are red!

check out this video of this BLM site.

Go out and hike this Veterans Day!

31 October 2010

Forget Grading Stats Homework, The Tingler is on TCM

My all time favorite Halloween is on in 20 minutes on Turner Classic Movies. Here is the preview:

Directed by William Castle, watch it and be prepared for the color sequence.

There is an early use of LSD in the movie so it would be rated PG I suspect.

28 October 2010

Travel to and From stage of Recreation Experience

I like to plan trips. The challenge of trying to find the best deal in time and money is something I like to do.

Now, to get the the island of Martinique for The Changing World of Coastal, Island and Tropical Tourism conference is a bit of a challenge.

Since I prefer to fly out of Hartford (BDL) there are few if any direct flights to the Caribbean or Central America, places I like to winter. But I can get to Miami (MIA) of San Juan (SJU) and from these airports I can get anywhere I want.

Can I use frequent flyer miles? I try to when I can, but sometimes you need to balance the flight time with the cost savings. Last time I looked I could use miles to get to Martinique but since it is high season, the return flight took two days. Spending the night in San Juan is not bad (I've done it before due to mechanical problems) but after the trip, I want to get home to Biscuit.

There are essentially three choices to get to Martinique. 1. Use American Airlines. 2. Use a combo of airlines to get to the islands. 3. Fly from Paris (ORD).

Forget the last choice; the last time their was no fun. For these second, I have found that many foreign based airlines are quite good but in this case the costs are quite high. So it is likely we will fly American, not use miles and relax.

Ah the travel to and from Stage of the Recreation Experience!

25 October 2010

Halloween and horror movies

Every fall, I show one of my 16mm prints of a horror or sci fi film for Halloween. This year we are also collecting food for the local food pantry.

This title is a classic one with brain creatures (see the last 10 minutes).

I am sure that your local library or school will be sponsoring some safe Halloween event for young and old alike. Maybe even the Fiend without a Face!

24 October 2010

Fright Tourism and Salem Mass

Salem, Massachusetts. Home of the infamous witch trials. Is it something the City wants, or is it something the City Leaders would like to put behind them. In either case, the commercial exploitation of fright tourism, under the umbrella of Dark Tourism seems to be something that will live on (like a zombie eh?).

The Tourism Futures website has posted our Fright Tourism paper for all you Ghouls out there at:

enjoy this Halloween Season!

20 October 2010

Mama Juana

Now, I believe the recreational use of drink or whatever is fine. But when I first heard about Mama Juana, my ears popped up. I said what?!

Well, it is basically herbs and bark soaked in Rum, so I guess any drink concoction with booze and vegetable matter could be a recreational drink. Does this picture look appealing? I don't know. For all I know they could be soaking poison ivy in the Rum.

18 October 2010

Cultural Geography and Recreation

I am always looking for short little videos to show my students and when I can use my own clips, I will do so. But when I did a google search for Recreation Geography and Video clips, I found this one: http://videos.howstuffworks.com/hsw/9207-how-to-study-cultures-recreational-groups-video.htm

And here is one I do for Archeology Tourism:

14 October 2010

Dark Tourism in Mexico

Got an email from Prof. Phillip Stone, Dark Tourism Researcher and the following link:

Seems folks want to visit slums in Tepita, "notorious for drug deals, underage prostitution and pirated goods," or pretend to be a refuge travelling at night to cross borders.

Forget Cerveza Fria, go without.

13 October 2010

Anticipation Stage of the Recreation Experience

Three months to go until we head south to Martinique for the conference, sponsored, in part by the Commission on the Geography of Tourism, Leisure and Global Change of the International Geographical Union.

So like any good geographer, I am studying maps, using Google Earth, and reading books on this island. Ahhhh, an arm chair geographer sitting in front of a computer!

Maps besides small scale ones, are hard to come by. I found some available on Amazon and am searching for GIS layers so I can at least create some maps.

I have also used google.fr to help find information, since google.com doesn't provide as much French language information.

11 October 2010

another nice weekend in New England

Could it be cyclogenesis? According to the AMS dictionary (http://amsglossary.allenpress.com/glossary/search?id=cyclogenesis1) is is "to the development of cyclonic circulation" Makes sense eh?

There is a whole mess of good sites out there on the subject. See for example:

My point of this is that I predict that next weekend (16-17 Oct 2010) it will be a clear weekend, or at least no rain! Why? Well cyclogenesis typically creates a cyclonic disturbance and it takes 4-7 days. That means we get into a cycle of having rain (or snow) every weekend or during the middle of the week or what ever. We get into a "cycle" of having the same kind of weather on the same days of the week. That is, until the cycle is broken. Stay tuned.

09 October 2010

Fall Foliage Colours

It is that time of the year when we get the leaf peepers visiting our local forests. Our long weekend is planned out with a trip to the Paradise City Arts and Craft Show (http://www.paradisecityarts.com/) today and tomorrow we are heading to Worthington to visit a Sugar Shack for breakfast and maple syrup (http://highhopesmaple.com/).

yeah, I know it is not maple sugaring season, but what better reason to take a road trip and see the beautiful colors in our Berkshires.

If you are in the States see the Forest Service website for fall foliage (http://www.fs.fed.us/news/fallcolors/)

05 October 2010

Warning Americans who travel to Europe

What about warning guests to the US of A? I mean, get ready for a warm and fuzzy (fussy?) welcome to the States.

see http://www.travel.state.gov for the latest fun!

01 October 2010

Wet where you are?

For the States, we can monitor rainfall on a dozen websites. But what about stream flows.

See http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt for gauging stations around the country to see the local impact of this heavy precipitation.

Might be good for some water recreation this weekend?

30 September 2010

Favorite Wx Website?

We all have them. Some may like the Weather Channel's site in the States, Intellicast for world wide data and http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/ for the UK.

What is your favorite weather site?

For learning weather, I would recommend http://www.ametsoc.org/amsedu/dstreme/
sponsored by the American Meteorological Society. They have daily maps and data to learn weather. I love the station model.

24 September 2010

Tourism Promotion for the US

There is a big campaign to promote tourism to the states.

"The travel and tourism industry can play a major role in this export expansion initiative by introducing new travel related goods and services to potential international travelers as well as to professional travel and tourism industry organizations and representatives who will subsequently introduce and sell those U.S. exports around the globe."

See their website at http://www.discoveramericapavilion.travel/ as a venue to standardize US as a tourist destination.

23 September 2010

Martinique in January

I can't think of a better place to be in January. If you have been in New England in the winter, you know what I mean.

I used to like the cold. After all, camping meant no bugs! Crowds were kept at a minimum and it was real peaceful. But now the cold and dark get to me.

But in the last decade or so we head to an island or Central America sometime over the winter. We could travel in February when I was in administration, but now that I am back in the classroom, my January break is the chance to travel south. (This leaves 3 months of cold crappy weather once we return, but hey, that's the way it is.)

Anyway, how much sun can we expect in Martinique in January? Use a sun path diagram:
These guys call it a sun position graph.

17 September 2010

NERR dates set 10-12 April 2011

While the website isn't updated (http://www.esf.edu/nerr/) I attended (virtually) the NERR Steering Committee Fall Planning meeting. Hosted at Penn State, many of the committee participated in the meeting via a conference phone call.

If you haven't heard of NERR or the Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium, you are missing one fine conference.

Can't make 2011? Try 1-3 April 2012 or 7-9 April 2013, all at the Sagamore in Bolton Landing NY.

See you there?

14 September 2010

Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association

This group is more than just 2000 Milers of the AT. It includes anyone who has an interest in extended long distance backpacking.

The 29th annual Gathering will be the weekend AFTER Columbus Day, Oct. 15-17, 2010, at Concord University in Athens, WV and more information can be found on their website at

12 September 2010

another 16mm film last night

Cosmos: The War of the Planet

Yes, for our last outdoor film of the season, we showed this Italian SciFi flick from 1978. Following that other space film the year earlier, something called Star Wars, this bad-boy has adventure, robots, ray guns, romance and every other genre you can imagine. Watch it on Archive.org for a great time waster at work, home or play.


10 September 2010

ahhhh .... loukoumades

We are heading to Glendi 2010 this evening and I can't wait until dessert and the Loukoumades!

I call them honey balls since my Greek is as bad as my French.

Click on the title for a recipe, or better yet, find a Greek Festival nearby and save room for the desserts! Food is my friend.

09 September 2010

Glendi 2010 in Springfield Massachusetts

Want some Greek Food? How about listening to some Greek music and watching the dancers?

Head on over to Springfield Massachusetts this weekend for Glendi:

(Glendi is Greek for Celebration)
SEPTEMBER 10,11,12
Friday - 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday - 12 noon to 11 p.m.
Sunday - 12 noon to 7 p.m.

06 September 2010

World Leisure Congress 2010

My friend and fellow SIU Alum Wen-Tsann Yang, Feng Chia University just got back from South Korea and the World Leisure Congress. It looked like a great conference and I am looking forward to reading some of the papers. This organization is found at (http://www.worldleisure.org/).

Check it out.

05 September 2010

Guatemala landslide

Seems the Earth is busy this time of the year. Latest natural disaster is in Central America.

According to BBC news "At least 33 people have died in a huge landslide in a northern area of Guatemala and many more are missing."

Since this is found the Inter-American Highway, travel may be disrupted for a while.

04 September 2010

Earl's past, now what about that Quake in New Zealand

Seems the Earth is pretty busy this time of the year.

Well a powerful 7.0 quake hit New Zealand earlier this morning. See some details on the USGS site:

This website is really good since it includes technical data as well as a variety of maps. You can even download the KML file for Google Earth.

While many reports indicate no deaths, I am sure it is not a happy time there. My thoughts go out to the individuals impacted by this quake.

03 September 2010

Hurricane Tracking Charts

We've been following Earl this week. While there are numerous websites available to give you satellite imagery and the latest wind speed, a hurricane tracking chart may be useful if you can only get the coordinates of the eye.

See this link for charts for North America:

It requires the skill of latitude and longitude, but overall is quite easy to use.

After all, Fiona is on Earl's heels!

02 September 2010

Earl Update and Labor Day weekend

Since we are in the middle of a few days of warm weather and I am sitting at my home computer in AC, I think we can look forward to a nice weekend in the Northeast. Temperatures are expected to be in the 70s and I will be able to venture outside to do some needed yard work.

Oh yeah, folks might get hammered with a category 4 hurricane today and tomorrow. When you hear the phrase "category (number)" storm, what does that really mean?

See this link for information:

So even if the Hurricane is "only" a three, it could mean:
Category Three Hurricane (Sustained winds 111-130 mph, 96-113 kt, or 178-209 km/hr).
Devastating damage will occur

Talk about dampening the family fun this weekend.

The image is from http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_at2.shtml?5-daynl?large#contents

01 September 2010

Hurricane Surfing? Maybe or maybe not!

Some outdoor folks like Hurricanes. Seems these big low pressure systems and the storm surge bring some "bitchin" waves for surfers. I suspect the east coast surfers are either hitting the beaches or watching the weather forecast.

But Earl may be too much for this bunch since along the east coast a four foot wave is killer. Remember, we are not talking about the waves in Hawaii. Keep an eye out on YouTube since I am sure the daring few will post their rides over the next couple of days.

31 August 2010

Earl update

You can download GIS data for Earl from http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_at2.shtml?5-daynl

For us in the New England, (as opposed to Old England) we are expecting three more days of hot 90 degree F days. Then by the weekend, it will drop twenty degrees after Earl passes on the way to the North Atlantic.

30 August 2010

My name is Earl

Always a good thing to check out the weather in the Caribbean this time of the year. See http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ for the current excitement. The high pressure in the northeast should keep Earl away....but what about Fiona? The NC coast may be in for some breezy winds.

29 August 2010

Sinabung Volcano Erupts

Just in time for my Physical Geography class, and any geography class for that matter. Not that I want to exploit the local residents, but natural disasters like this, occur almost every day.

And it gives us geographers current events to show our students. I just Googled Earth to see where it is.

It might even eclipse, momentarily, the five year anniversary of Katrina. I mean, there is a world outside of the states.

24 August 2010

Urban Heat Islands part tres?

Working with one of my students to replicate our UHI study in Westfield. Since the town is all torn up and being reconstructed from the benefit of federal stimulus $, what better time to check out the old urban temperatures.

We will present this research at NESTVAL 2010 at UCONN later this semester, but in the meantime check out this isothermal map.

OK, please note that the temperature scale is identical for both 1993 and 2009. This means that the overall temperature was warmer last year (and that the temps in 1993 were cooler ... duhhh). We figured a way to standardize this with some fancy GIS work. I'll show that in a later post.

22 August 2010

Have you searched the National Archives...in the UK?

A great site for geography information and other goodies. Try:

See also their UFO site:

21 August 2010

Tourism Geographies

Have you checked out the latest issue of Tourism Geographies? See the webpage at:


And you can read the abstracts here:

17 August 2010

Iceberg leaving Greenland

While searching for a decent link to put with the title I found one citing the discovery of a UFO in Greenland.

Wow, ain't the Internet great?

NASA has some great remote sensing images to check out. Use Google Earth to see the glacier (South of Lincoln Sea).

12 August 2010

Free National Parks this weekend

Free is good.

What better reason to hit the trails this weekend in a US NPS park. See the details at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.

While you are surfing, check out the great resources for educators on the NPS website.

05 August 2010

Troubled Mexicana Stops Selling Tickets

From the Mexicana website:

"Domestic Flights continue to operate
and can be purchased normally

as they are operated by MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink,
unaffected by Compañía Mexicana de Aviación (CMA)

CMA has suspended its flight sales but continues to operate its flights
as scheduled to protect its passengers."

see : http://www.mexicana.com/cs/Satellite?pagename=MexicanaG5_US_EN/Page/RedirectSiteAlterno_US_EN

04 August 2010

ISSRM 2011 dates set

Direct details from the International Association for Society and Natural Resources:

Save the Dates!

Dear ISSRM Participants and Members of IASNR,

We are excited to announce that for 2011 IASNR will be hosting TWO ISSRM Symposia to encourage broader participation from across the globe.

ISSRM 2011 – June 4-8, 2011
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

ISSRM 2011 - June 13-17, 2011
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

You can also find us on Facebook:
Madison: ISSRM 2011 Madison
Malaysia: ISSRM2011

These are certain to be exciting meetings and we hope that you will plan to attend one, and perhaps even both, in 2011. Please continue to check the websites for important updates on abstract submission deadlines, registration information, lodging and travel information, and other exciting updates.

If you have any questions about the Madison, Wisconsin, meetings please email the conference organizers at: ISSRM2011.Madison@gmail.com

If you have any questions about the Sabah, Malaysia, meetings please email the conference organizers at: ISSRM2011@ums.edu.my

03 August 2010

No BlackBerry's in Dubai

Will the ban on this popular smartphone hurt tourism in the fun capital of the Middle East? Don't know, but BlackBerry's web access will not work in the the United Arab Emirates. You can still use the phone, just not access the network.

The Country wants to control it.

The ban doesn't take effect until the 1st of October, so download your YouTube clips while you can.

31 July 2010

Proceedings of the 2000 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium

About time eh? Well click on the title link to see papers like:

Constraints and benefits of changing the distribution process for recreation special use permits in the U.S. Meybin, Jessie; Burns, Robert; Graefe, Alan; Absher, James D.

Changes in national park visitation (2000-2008) and interest in outdoor activities (1993-2008). Warnick, Rodney B.; Schuett, Michael A.; Kuentzel, Walt; More, Thomas A.

Recreation trails in Maine and New Hampshire: A comparison of motorized, non-motorized, and non-mechanized trails. Wilkerson, Ethel; Whitman, Andrew.

Experiences of campers and campsite impacts in the St. Regis Canoe Area Wilderness. Dawson, Chad P.; Schuster, Rudy M.; Propst, Blake M.; Black, Corenne.

NERR. Always a good source of recreation research!

27 July 2010

Do you shop for art and crafts while travelling?

I think it is important to support the local artist.

I don't mean visiting shops to buy t-shirts and junk made in China (unless you are in China). I mean supporting local artist who paint, do pottery, carve wood and so on.

Here is an artisan at WassiArt Pottery Works, who can throw a pot like a pro.

Good place to visit when in Ocho Rios.

25 July 2010

Summer Road Trips

I think I have finally recovered from our roadtrip to Maryland this past week. After a 10 hour day on Thursday (including stops) I have to rant a bit about improper driving techniques...of others.

Say you are on an US Interstate highway that has three lanes. The outside lane is for slow vehicles and for those who want to exit or enter the road. The middle lane is called the travel lane, where theoretically, drivers are doing the speed limit. Finally the inside lane is for passing. I repeat that passing. Not travel, not slow, but actually a slight faster pace to pass those in the travel lane.

Typically what happens is some driver will get in this lane and just do the speed limit. For those who travel a bit faster, the only way to get ahead of this person is to pass on the right. (I'm talking American or non-British style of driving)

So please folks, if you can drive safely at the speed limit, travel in the travel lane. If you must pass, do so, and get back over to the right!

For some interesting facts about highways, check out the wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway

24 July 2010

a Belated Congrats to our graduates

Yeah, I know...graduation was two months ago. But since I got a 60 gig card in my camera, I don't download the pictures often enough.

Congratulations to members of the Class of 2010 at Westfield State.

Our major is in Regional Planning and we are in the Department of Geography and Regional Planning.

23 July 2010

stress and air flying

One thing I notice is that I get to read USA Today when I travel. The hotels dump a copy at my door every morning and I get a sound byte of news.

Yesterday was no different while I was in Easton Maryland. One article that caught my attention was about rudeness on airplane flights. See http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-07-22-airplaneetiquette22_CV_N.htm for the fun details.

I have to admit that I get annoyed by crying babies and folks jamming their seat back into my lap. The whole experience is frustrating. I do try to remain calm. After all, the paranoia in the States has meant that some poor TSA employee gets to smell my shoes.

Since airlines are nickel and diming (sp?) us to make payroll, the planes are smaller and full, fewer routes are available, we are at the mercy of the airlines.

So, stay calm, get to the airport in plenty of time, bring a book to read and enjoy the flight!

21 July 2010

Growth of Travel and Tourism Spending Outpaced the Growth of U.S. Economy

A report from the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI):

Growth of Travel and Tourism Spending Outpaced the Growth of U.S. Economy

See the press release at:

Now, there are crabs to steam and eat....

19 July 2010

Rainy Day Recreation

So I am a wimp sometimes. I used to go outside in any kind of weather. In fact, the wetter, the colder, the better. Ok, maybe not the wet stuff.

And summertime meant prime backpacking time. Now I prefer to hit the trails in the fall, when the temperatures are milder and there are NO bugs!

Anyway, the purpose of this particular blog is to highlight the Classic entertainment available today on Turner CLASSICS Movies (TCM).

Where else can you wake up to The Manster, followed by The Killer Shrews. Too bad I am doing a road trip today. (I got these films on DVD besides).

You might want to catch The Green Slime at noon Eastern. This one I have on 16mm!

18 July 2010

hmmmm Crabs!

A road trip this week to my old stomping grounds will take me to Blue Crab country....Maryland's Eastern Shore. There I will indulge in sea food and then some more sea food.

I sure do like the crab cakes at this place in Cambridge! Maybe I'll get a dozen steam crabs too!

Water quality in the Chesapeake has improved tremendously since the eighties.

13 July 2010

Outdoor Recreation Research page by Yu-Fai Leung

Always been a fan of this links page managed by Yu-Fai Leung. He needs to update them a bit, but still a valuable resource for recreation geography. See http://www4.ncsu.edu/~leung/recres1.html for an example.

Check it out for some great information. After all, that is what the Internet is all about (that and the hokey pokey).

11 July 2010

Final Day of the World Cup

The world has had their eyes and ears glued to media about the World Cup. Besides the Olympics it is truly a world event.

The World Series in the States is not even close.

Once the games are over, visit one of your local youth sporting events and cheer the kids on.

07 July 2010

It's not the heat, it is the humidity

We left dinner last night about 7PM and our car's thermometer registered 108 degrees F! And we were in the shade.

Once we left the parking lot, the temperatures cooled to 104.

My wife and I have a game we play as we drive home. We try to guess what the temperature might be at the "farmhouse". Topographically, we are located in a small creek valley and it is fairly wooded (except for our neighbors to the west that clear cut their backyard). It is typically 4 degrees cooler at our house compared to downtown Westfield.

I've written about urban heat islands and everything we noticed yesterday points to this. Urban temperatures (and other built up environments) are warmer.

I'm going to plant some more trees!

06 July 2010

Got your cloth bag for shopping?

It started about a decade ago. I was attending the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Pittsburgh, PA and after paying a couple of hundred bucks for registration six months earlier, I arrived at the conference to pick up my registration supplies. Instead a a nice shoulder bag made of nylon, we all got a canvas tote bag with the book of abstracts and miscellaneous materials about the conference.

Ten years later I am using that bag and others on a daily basis. The "nicer" should bags carry my school notes for a class while the cheaper cloth bags are kept in the cars to use when I shop at the grocery, pharmacy, hardware, farmers market and so on.

I can put the bags in the laundry to clean them and they are just great!

Do you carry cloth bags for shopping?

05 July 2010

New Fiscal Year and Recreation Budgets

Typically new fiscal year budgets start 1 July of each year. Now typical is that it really starts a few days later so not to rush our hasty exit for a three day weekend.

Anyway, if your budget is like ours, you know you have to do more with less. That reminds me of the idea proposed by The President's Commission on Americans Outdoors and the idea that Partnerships are a way to do more with less. (you can pick up a copy of this book on Amazon for US$0.01, see http://www.amazon.com/Americans-outdoors-challenge-Presidents-Commission/dp/093328036X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278335142&sr=8-2). It doesn't have to be a Coke sponsorship of your park, after all they don't really need the income (see the impact that Coke has on the World Cup when local vendors are given the boot).

But instead I'd like to (re)propose the idea of Friend's Groups. You know the Friends of (fill in your park). These groups of volunteers can help with the maintenance, upkeep and even the management of your park.

Think your park is too big for this? Well remember the Appalachian Trail is essentially managed by volunteers.

04 July 2010

Guilty Pleasures on Fourth of July

I will admit that I do love fireworks. I mean, it is such a big part of our American culture. But my guilty pleasure is threatened by the fact that people in this world deal with "fireworks" on a daily basis.

That is, a war.

I realize we are celebrating something here in the States, but for many people, the sound of explosives mean something else. After all fireworks ARE explosive devices.

But today, let's all band to end war, so fireworks can be thought of as entertainment, instead of an implement of war.

01 July 2010

Happy Dogs at Brindle's 4th Birthday Party

Long lost footage from Brindle's Fourth Birthday party at the Bar-S Ranch back in July 1983.


Now, what better reason for a party? Celebrating a Birthday, even a four legged one.

30 June 2010

U.S. Travel Abroad Declined Three Percent in 2009

News from the Office of Travel and tourism Industries today:

June 30, 2010

U.S. Travel Abroad Declined Three Percent in 2009

Spending Down 12 Percent from 2008

The overall U.S. outbound market totaled 61.5 million in 2009, down three percent compared to 2008. Travel to overseas regions declined two percent, while travel to Mexico and Canada declined four percent and seven percent, respectively.

The top five countries in 2009, measured by U.S. visitation, were: Mexico (19.5 million), Canada (11.7 million), the United Kingdom (2.7 million), France (1.9 million) and Italy (1.8 million).

In 2009, U.S. travelers set records for travel to the regions of Central America, Africa and the Middle East, and to the countries of Greece, Dominican Republic, Israel and India.

Spending by U.S. residents traveling abroad (imports) totaled $99.2 billion, down 12 percent from 2008. Spending within foreign countries (travel payments) amounted to $73.2 billion, down eight percent, and spending on air transportation, via foreign air carriers (passenger fare payments), totaled $26.0 billion in 2009, down 20 percent. Top countries for U.S. spending included Mexico ($9.6 billion), the United Kingdom ($7.8 billion), Canada ($6.2 billion), Japan ($4.8 billion) and Germany ($4.6 billion).


for more info, see:


28 June 2010

Summer Food Festivals, BBQ this time

This is my first BBQ food festival. Sure, I have attended other themed food festivals and the now scarce "Taste of (name your town) in the past. But our travels to Boston for a wedding opened up an opportunity to visit the Phantom BBQ Beach Party (http://bbq.phantomgourmet.com/SD/home.aspx).

We hit four of the seven champs and sampled their ribs or pulled pork. The weather was great, cloudy and even a light sprinkle. Why is this great? Well it kept the temperatures low so we didn't bake on the parking lot. No tents were available!

But the chow was tasty.

I was kind of partial to the Two Fat Guys "Q".

26 June 2010

We need more dog parks

Since Westfield is preparing a Outdoor Recreation and Open Space Plan, what better time to promote a dog park in the City. See http://www.dogparkusa.com/ for details about dog parks near you (in the States).

Biscuit is our dog and she is a great companion. She always give unconditional love, is generally well behaved and is a great lap dog. What more could you ask for?

Here's Biscuit chewing on a raw hide under the back porch table.

25 June 2010

Westfield Outdoor Recreation and Open Space Plan

seems the City is on a rush schedule to crank out the 5 year Outdoor Recreation and Open Space Plan. Well it is now a seven year plan, so it is even more important to get citizen input.

Sorry folks, no survey this time. A public forum was held last night and the 30 or so attendees are representing the interests of 40,000 residents.

What came out of forum? Seven goals that will direct all Outdoor Recreation and Open Space issues for the next 7 years in Westfield.

The goals (not in any order):

1. Protect water resources
2. Create large connected tracts of open space
3. Increase public access to open space resources
4. Identify, preserve and protect natural treasures and farmland
5. Balance growth with land management and protection
6. Resurrect, enhance and promote city's identity
7. Create connections of green corridors that encourage green transportation

What do you think? Email your comments to the Planning dept at larry.smith@cityofwestfield.org

22 June 2010

Summer Solstice (yesterday and northern hemisphere)

Got back too late to post this last night, but I spent the day with my sister yesterday and explored the glacial landscapes in Central Park. It was fun. For years I had read and watched video about the Pleistocene Ice Age and the impact on North America. So when the trip was decided to visit family in NYC and I was asked what do I want to do, I immediately thought about the glacial features in Central Park.

I "googled" the topic earlier (remember that is the Anticipation Phase of the Recreation Experience) and got psyched. Then we got to the park. It was hot but fortunately for us, the humidity was low (50%). Did I say it was hot?

18 June 2010

Fright Tourism and more with the Monster Bash

One week and counting to the annual Monster Bash (http://www.monsterbashnews.com/bash.html) in Butler PA. I haven't attended for a few year because of work responsibilities and such and I have a wedding that weekend. But if you are looking for a kid friendly event next weekend, head on over to the Days Inn in Butler.

Meet celebrities, watch old movies, and shop for monster collectibles and DVD's. What more could you want?

17 June 2010

Fright Tourism 3 and dark tourism photography

I subscribe to the Dark Tourism Forum so I get these emails all the time. Typically someone will highlight their most recent travel to some "dark" attraction or a student will ask for help on a research topic.

But a recent post identified a photographer's website and I thought I would share it here. Toby de Silva has a series of "horror houses" found at this link:

Since I am on this horror movie location theme, check out these houses made famous by horror films.

Too bad Toby didn't catch the "House on Haunted Hill" house. See this link for the status of this landmark: http://www.ennishouse.org/

16 June 2010

Fright Tourism 2 and the Monroeville Mall

For part two of Fright Tourism I want to share the experience of visiting a shopping mall. Not just any mall but the Monroeville Mall in Pennsylvania. I wasn't looking for a pair of shoes. I wanted to see the place for another famous zombie movie. (Notice how zombies are all the rage right now!).

Shot between 11 PM and Dawn, George Romero's second zombie movie was called "Dawn of the Dead" and was filmed in the Monroeville Mall.

So next time you are in Pittsburgh forget about the Duquesne Incline, the Carnegie Museums or Point State Park, head east on I 376 toward Monroeville and visit the Maul (get it).

If you take pictures, don't let the security catch you.

15 June 2010

Fright Tourism and Evans City PA

The opening scene, after the credits, in the Night of the Living Dead, was filmed in the cemetery in Evans City, PA. Next time you are in the area (north of Pittsburgh), stop on by and pay your respect. This video clip shows some of the key grave stones used in the flick.

Fright tourism, a term we coined in a paper published by the USDA-FS and found at this link
http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/9597 illustrates the tourist behavior when one seeks a frightful (and playful) experience. Finding this grave yard was a sort of pilgrimage to one of the greatest horror films of all time The Night of the Living Dead (1968) and directed by George Romero. I have the video, DVD and a 16 mm print of this film.

13 June 2010

Blue Ridge Parkway celebrates 75th

The Blue Ridge Parkway is 75 years old!

I think one of my earliest memories of the Blue Ridge Parkway (and Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park) was a road trip taken with my dad around 1970. We drove a portion of the road somewhere in Virginia and actually spent the night in some motel. We had a tradition of taking Sunday drives but this one was an over-nighter.

On this trip I remember stopping at one of the overlooks and saw a sign for the Appalachian Trail. I walked a few feet up the trail and read an information sign that identified this trail as one that was 2000 miles long and between Maine and Georgia. I think this was the defining moment that put the thought of hiking the AT into my brain. Some five years later in June 1975, I had hiked all 2000 miles.

Thanks Dad!

10 June 2010

Boundary Maintenance on AT

Yesterday I spent the day doing some Appalachian Trail corridor boundary maintenance. I worked with a team of 12 or so volunteers, staff and student interns from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. We broke up into 3 groups to clear the National Park Service boundaries in a section of the AT south of Cheshire Massachusetts.

The weather was cool and while it rained in the afternoon, I think that beats high temps and high humidity when you clear brush. We hiked into the area, climbing close to 900 feet to reach the corridor lands.

The picture shows one of the student interns clearing some blow downs from the numerous ice and wind storms we have had in the Northeast over the past 18 months. Note the yellow boundary blazes.

07 June 2010

In a recent e-newsletter from the American Hiking Society, I found this link to a hiking conference in the Southeast: http://southeastfoottrails.org/SEFTC-2010-Conference-Presentation-Archives.htm

I found several good presentations from hikers, not academics, about hiking hints and stories.

Check it out.

03 June 2010

M and M Trail Anyone?

Gettin' ready for National Trails Day. Doesn't have to be only one day. I mean, we can hike every day of the year. Here is the trail sign for the M and M Trail and a section I recently hiked.

01 June 2010

National Trails Day this Saturday

Click on the title link to find an event in your hometown. Finding nuthin'? Well, go out to your favorite spot or explore the place you have been putting off far too long.

Get out and hike! Maybe try some of the Appalachian Trail?

31 May 2010

another Quake

it seems that this year is a year of natural disasters. While millions across the country are firing up the BBQ this weekend, life goes on. The folks in the Philippines are suffering the consequences of today's quake (see http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/ for a world map of current activities).

So this weekend, please set aside a few bucks for the Red Cross or your favorite charity.

27 May 2010

Farmer's Market time, Yippee

Farmer's Markets

Yep time to get those fresh veggies and support the local economy. And the strawberries will be fresh and not those fruits shipped half-way around the world contributing to green house gases.

Local farms are important. Buy local!

Now, how can we grow a banana in New England?

24 May 2010

and of course, food can be recreation

I'm getting into food tourism and the slow food movement. I mean, we should be more "locovores", enjoying the food products available in our home area. But that means more than using maple syrup, drinking local micro brews, and slurping whole belly clams. It means an overt attention to what we eat.

We can reduce our carbon footprint. Think about this when you eat something out of season.

I am building a bibliography so stay tuned.

21 May 2010

Oil tourism

Yep, better stay inland if you are foolish enough to visit the Gulf coast this summer. Besides the hot and humid temps, don't worry about bringing baby oil. BP has you covered with some mighty fine crude. Check out this clip from UF tourism professor Stephen Holland.

Best to stay local and enjoy the warm 15 deg C temps in Hyannis!

17 May 2010

Grading exams

yeah, I know....break out the world's smallest violin for me. Well, I need a break from grading my rec geog final exams. Seems students don't recall the details of the Mass CPA (and not certified public accountants). But the topics of "Fright Tourism" or "Risk Tourism" have been well thought out. I am kinda' disappointed that the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria" wasn't researched a bit more.

But overall, the exams are good. So for the afternoon, I am going to work in the yard.

16 May 2010

Greece tourism with Riot Prices

Don't know about that, but with the economy in the pits for Greece, the stronger dollar against the Euro (now it is 1 euro to 1.24 US dollar compared to 1 euro to 1.39 US dollar this time last year) and Americans feeling better about spending money, this summer may be a time to visit some ruins. Not banks burned in the riots but the real old stuff.

I just ran a Kayak search for a vacation in Athens for seven nights from 30 June to 7 July 2010 from BOS and BDL. Picked a 3 star hotel (Apollo Hotel, sounds nice huh?) and found it to be cheaper from BDL than BOS!

The flight over has two stops but only one stop coming back. For us in Western Mass, it just goes to show us that BDL is a decent airport and BOS may not be worth the extra cost to drive, park etc.

Greece not in the plans? Well you may wish to avoid Northern Europe since that nasty volcano is still active.

12 May 2010

Recreation Geography

So, what is this thing called Recreation Geography. Take the two words and define each. Then merge the two definitions to come up with one possibility. How is this like the definition that we have used in our class?

Use the photo to explain the term.

08 May 2010

Community Preservation Act in Massachusetts

We have a great recreation planning tool here in Massachusetts, the Community Preservation Act or CPA.

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is a tool to help communities preserve open space and historic sites, and create affordable housing and recreational facilities.

The Community Preservation Act provides new funding sources which can be used to address three core community concerns:

Acquisition and preservation of open space
Creation and support of affordable housing
Acquisition and preservation of historic buildings and landscapes

What a great idea huh?

05 May 2010

the Recreation Experience....again

ahhhh, enjoying the recollection phase of the Recreation Experience today. Lemme' go through the whole thing with you today.

About a month ago we had a small party in our house and played a CD by Rodrigo y Gabriela (http://www.rodgab.com/) so I checked online and found that they were touring and scheduled a visit to the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, MA. I bought the tickets and began the Anticipation Phase. Traveling to NOHO last night was an adventure following a quick 60 mph storm through Western Mass. Trees were down all over the region and it took well over an half an hour to get through town as we avoided down trees. Got to Spoleto's in NOHO for Dinner and made the show in time.

A wonderful time last night! Absolutely wonderful. Highly recommended. See this duo when they come to your area!!!

Travel home last night was uneventful, although late for me since I typically hit the sack by 10 pm.

And now the recollection phase where I am reliving the live concert in my head.

Think about the last concert you attended and think about that Recreation Experience. I hope it was as wonderful as mine! See this YouTube clip to see what I am talking about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5VFWA2YKdo

03 May 2010

Urban Heat Island to Increase in Westfield?

I don't know. I was driving through town today and noticed that all the beautiful trees in the Green were being chopped down. Maybe the city needs some money. Just makes me want to do another UHI study this fall to see the impact. After all, this past fall we found the Green to be one degree cooler than the rest of downtown Westfield.

Check out the slide from our research where we discovered the cooling effect of the Green. Stay tuned. Click on the graphic to enlarge it.

02 May 2010

I walked my dog in Stanley Park today

Great way to get exercise for me and Biscuit. It was a bit warm, but then again, we are after the Spring equinox so the days are getting longer. I was surprise to find that the park really wasn't crowded. I wonder what is up.

Have you walked your dog today? No dog? Well you can still take a walk, right?

29 April 2010

After the bad news yesterday, let's travel!

Granville Gorge, Massachusetts. Find it on Google Earth! (hint: along Rt 57 between Granville and Southwick MA).

27 April 2010

Movie Night at WSC and Food Drive

My Recreation Geography Class is
Conducting a food drive to benefit the local
Westfield Food Pantry.

Enjoy the cult classic "Reefer Madness"!

Thursday April 29, 2010
8 PM on the Westfield State College Green

Please bring a non-perishable food item to donate!

26 April 2010

Appalachian Trail monitoring

I have been a trail monitor for the Appalachian Trail for probably over 15 years. A monitor, more precisely a corridor monitor acts as the eyes and ears for the AT. A monitor surveys the property and must like to bushwhack in the woods. Good map and compass work is needed in order to follow the property lines to make sure outsiders are not disturbing the National Park Service land.

Typical impacts might be littering, ATV use, hunting and other things you would not want on your property. Sometimes we find someone building a road or a building on these public lands.

If interested in checking this out, let me know.

24 April 2010

Medical Tourism Association

Ahhhh, Spring Weekend at WSC. What better time to check out the latest Recreation Geography Blog, right?

Who am I kidding!

Anyway, if you care, you might want to check out the Medical Tourism Association homepage to get some background information on the subject. In particular, you may check out the certification program for facilitators:

21 April 2010

Administrative Assistant's Day

Ok, it might be a Hallmark moment, but at least, be sure to say "thank you" to the women and men that support us on a daily basis. After all, these individuals are always there to help us!

20 April 2010

Medical Tourism

This week's lecture will be on Medical Tourism. We established a web presence last year at
http://www.wsc.ma.edu/medicaltourism/ where tourists could access a survey. We posted some of the basic findings on sustainable medical tourism, but have taken the link down to collect more data. One paper has been published on the USDA-FS website and another paper is currently under a second review for Tourism Review.

Check out the bibliography on the website to see the variety of papers out there on the subject.
http://www.wsc.ma.edu/medicaltourism/medtourbib.htm. Over 212 and counting! If you find a web accessible paper, please send me the details!

18 April 2010

Airport and Airline rating

My recreation geography class is working on the last lab assignment now, where they get to plan an overseas trip somewhere in the world next winter break. The lucky ones got a place near the equator since New England can be quite cold that time of the year.

So anyway, this site (http://www.airlinequality.com/) lets you assess the quality of airlines around the world. It also rate airports! Check it out to learn the best around and which ones to avoid!