28 June 2017

New Island to visit?

Shelly Island is brand new.  If you have a chance to visit this new island, do so.  You never know how long it might be around.  Imagery from February 2017 in Google Earth shows the sand bar (look for "cape point north carolina").

UPDATE: check out this comparison imagery from the Earth Observatory.

27 June 2017

Robbery and shooting in Providenciales, TCI

I have been following this crime story for a few days to see how it played out. I still get news feeds daily from the Turks and Caicos Islands so it is still in media attention.

Well an American tourist was shot during a robbery in Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.  Not sure where exactly but since I know the area well, I can only suspect his 143 A.M. Friday morning walk was in the commercial area and he was heading back to his hotel. (Google this to get more info)

Long story short, after triage in Provo, he was transferred by air ambulance to the States to get the needed treatment for the gun shot.  He is recovering and will likely be transported to his home in Alabama for his needed rehab.

This sad news is nothing new. Crime and tourism is still common, and despite the relative crime-free TCI, the State Department reports "Crime in TCIS is low but increasing."

The point here is that we shouldn't put our guard down when travelling for vacation.  Some research has even found that domestic tourism and international tourism are rated the same as far as safety is concerned (Floyd et al., 2004).

The second point here is an economic one.  The TCI is not inexpensive.  The average summer price (off-season) for hotels in Grace Bay is probably $500 a night.  Consider that when you pick up a local newspaper and see job advertisements offering $6.50-$7.00 US for general labour or housekeeping positions.  What, don't read the local paper while on vacation?

Let me conclude this by saying I hope the gentleman recovers from the crime and that they capture the individual responsible.  But in order for crime to be reduced, we must adopt a more equitable policy in tourism.  The United Nations World Tourism Organization reports:

"Tourism is one of the strongest drivers of world trade and prosperity. Poverty alleviation is one of the greatest global challenges. Despite turbulent times for the world’s economy, these basic facts are unlikely to change. Focusing the wealth creating power of tourism on people most in need remains an immense task and opportunit(y)."

Source: Floyd, M. F., Gibson, H., Pennington-Gray, L., & Thapa, B. (2004). The effect of risk perceptions on intentions to travel in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 15(2-3), 19-38. 

26 June 2017

Glacier Retreat and Climate Change Evidence

I have travelled to Iceland twice in recents year (2013 and 2015) and plan to return in 2018 for another conference.  During these trips I did the touristy kinds of sightseeing in south Iceland.  We saw some spectacular landscapes including  waterfalls, geysirs, the Northern Lights, seascapes and volcanoes.

The  one thing that blew me away was Sólheimajökull.  Not knowing that I would be returning two years later, I have tried to compare the glacier between the two years using the photos I took during the two trips.  Since I hiked different routes over the two trips, I did not get before and after photos, BUT I did overlap video and pictures taken from the same place.  While the video is not georeferenced like  the  still  camera that has a GPS, I still  believe the images reflect the changes over time.  Here is a comparison.

Next I do have a still from 2015 that you can compare to a video from 2013 from the exact same point.

So what is your take on the glacial retreat?  Maybe 150 meters in 2 years?

25 June 2017

Water Temperatures along the coasts

Summer time means beach time.  So where can you find ocean temperatures that won't freeze your @#$% off?  NOAA to the rescue.  Sixty-eight degrees F at Woods Hole, and a balmy 76 deg F at Ocean City Maryland.  And of course 84 in Miami.  But take that with the air temps and humidity too.

For a global view, see this.  Notice how North Carolina changes the Gulf Stream.

24 June 2017

Google Earth Fun

It is fun to explore the planet from a plane and Google Earth.  Here is a short video on finding the Happy Face on Earth.


21 June 2017

What in the world is this?

I like to explore the planet using Google Earth.  I use it before trips (the anticipation stage, see Clawson and Knetsch 1966).   And I use in the recollection stage as well.

When I fly I also like the window seat to watch the land beneath.

So anyway, I was playing around with Google Earth retracing a flight from Europe where we flew over Eastern Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador and discovered this.

SW of Labrador City, near Fermont

What the heck in the red stuff?  See it for yourself.  Well it is the waste from a mine.

20 June 2017


On my tour of Iceland, how about a video of Seljalandsfoss.

Sorry, but the file limit in the blogger website meant I had to convert to a MPEG2 file from the higher quality original.

18 June 2017


Waterfalls are always an a great tourist attraction.  I think it is essentially just our interest in seeing running water that amazes us so much.  No matter how big, just take a few minutes and watch one.

There are several good websites for Gullfoss, so check this one out.

16 June 2017

Count Arthur Strong

The best comedy on TV (IMHO) is Count Arthur Strong.  Now unless you are in the UK, the only way I know to watch it is to use your Acorn TV account streaming. (get a one week free trial and binge watch it).  Or use Youtube.

The Count has a website too, where you can purchase a t-shirt (I did!).

14 June 2017

NY Times 360

Check out a really cool virtual reality link found at the New York Times. It changes everyday!

In fact view this news report from a Red State.

13 June 2017


If you recognize this statement, you know it is Doomsday Clock.  "2017: For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stayed set at three minutes before the hour, the closest it had been to midnight since the early 1980s. In its two most recent annual announcements on the Clock, the Science and Security Board warned: “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.” In 2017, we find the danger to be even greater, the need for action more urgent. It is two and a half minutes to midnight, the Clock is ticking, global danger looms. Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink."

What does this mean for tourism?  Like last chance tourism, better see it now.

12 June 2017

Greece Earthquake

A 6.3 quake hit the Greek islands today.  Lesbos, close to the coast of Turkey was the site. It was a pretty serious one and at least one person has died.  For technical details see one of the many sites monitoring conditions.  Best to steer clear until an assessment can be made about the damage.

06 June 2017

Hurricane update

So it is still early, but I posted a hurricane update a last year that links to YouTube  video earlier.  Still no activity this year, but it is still early.  Best not to make travel plans, or if you do, do it one week out.

In the meantime, check out  the weather in Europe.  (at the time I wrote  this, there is a serious low over eastern UK.)

05 June 2017

Summer "Official" Forecast

I think we will fire up the wood stove tonight since it is rainy and cool (58 deg F).  And this is June?

Yet for June, July and August, NOAA is predicting warmer than average for the east coast.

And normal precip in the same area.  Who knows?

And what about next year?

04 June 2017

Hurricane Season Prediction 2017

Late summer and early fall is a popular time to travel.  But if you are heading to the Caribbean, you should pay attention to the NOAA prediction.

So pay attention to the weather forecast before travelling into the area.

01 June 2017

Bad weather lately?

Six years ago I wrote about the Western Mass Tornado.  Seems last night we have some serious hail too.  Here are a couple shots to show the pea size hail and damage to our Rhododendron last night.

 Too bad.