Social Icons


Monday, March 31, 2008

Cell Phone Use During Flight

You may not use a cell phone on any aircraft during flight. You may use a cell phone while the aircraft is on the ground if permitted by the pilot-in-command.

Airplane or "game" mode, found on some of the newer phones, is designed to prevent incoming or outgoing calls by disconnecting the telephone from the wireless network. You can still access other phone features, such as games.

While airplane mode is designed to prevent possible interference with the aircraft, it is up to the airline to decide if they will allow cell phones to be used in this mode during flight. Passengers should check with crew members before operating cell phones in this mode. Crew members may verify that cell phones are being operated only in a noninterference mode and may still request that they be turned off if interference is suspected.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Tips for Traveling Overseas

Next week, I’ll be in the Eternal City exploring ruins, drinking wine, eating gelato, and of course, shopping. But before I can say Ciao, I need to make sure I’m prepared for my trip overseas.

Thanks to Marybeth’s post on travel docs, I have the 411 on everything from entry requirements to the exchange rate‚a necessity for Woman With Luggagecalculating how much the “must have” Italian shoes and bags will cost me. Speaking of shopping, it’s a good idea to make note of your credit card limit and to find out how to report a loss of your card abroad. And don’t forget to get a number that you can call while overseas since the 800 numbers don’t work. You may also want to ask if your card has a “foreign currency conversion fee,” which can sometimes be up to 3%.

I’ve also learned from other overseas trips to leave my travel itinerary and copies of important documents (passport, will, driver’s license, etc.) with a family member or friend. But what do I do if my passport is lost or stolen in Italy? Or, I unfortunately get sick?’s International Travel section is full of useful links that can answer these questions and many more. You can get customs and health info, tips for long-distance calling, emergency services facts, and much more. There’s also important info on how to stay safe on your trip abroad at

Feel free to share any stories, tidbits, or helpful websites on traveling overseas. In addition to the resources I’ve linked to, I always have found Budget Travel and NBC’s Travel Editor, Peter Greenberg, to be invaluable.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

China Climate

China has a marked continental monsoonal climate characterized by great variety. Northerly winds overcome in winter, while southerly winds reign in summer. The four seasons are rather distinct. The rainy season coincides with the hot season. From September to April the following year, the dry and cold winter monsoons from Siberia and Mongolia in the north regularly become weak as they reach the southern part of the country, resulting in cold and dry winters and huge differences in temperature. The summer monsoons previous from April to September.

The warm and moist summer monsoons from the oceans bring plentiful rainfall and high temperatures, with little difference in temperature among the south and the north. China's complex and varied climate results in a great mixture of temperature belts, and dry and moist zones. In terms of temperature, the nation can be separated from south to north into equatorial, tropical, sub-tropical, warm-temperate, temperate, and cold-temperate zones; in requisites of moisture, it can be divided from southeast to northwest into humid (32 percent of land area), semi-humid (15 percent), semi-arid (22 percent) and arid zones (31 percent).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Historical Museum Guide for The United States

A directory of Historical Museums in the United States, classified by state and county. Along with the wide-ranging list of history museums you will find historic digital photo collections, state history timelines, state symbols, local histories, free travel guides, old historic newspapers, traveler information and other matters of historical significance for each of the states in the United States.

Taking a trip? A visit to these history museums and historical societies will permit you to soak up some local history and culture while you are there. Many of these have implicit tours and photos you can view online.... like visiting without leaving home! Visiting historic places can help you see from side to side the eyes of your ancestors and learn more about how they lived.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Historic Shipwrecks - Our Maritime Heritage of Australia

The Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Program aims to enlarge knowledge, use, appreciation and enjoyment of Australia's historic shipwreck heritage, while also ensuring the continuous conservation, protection and preservation of these wrecks and relics.

More than 6 500 wrecks lie extremely soon beyond Australia's surf-worn shores. Few of us will ever see them, but each has its own single story and forms an important part of our heritage.

Australia has a rich maritime history which can be traced back some 60 000 or more years to the appearance of Aboriginal people. They were followed later by the Macassans, who came to fish Australia's northern waters. In the 17th century, Europeans, including the Dutch, English and French, began arriving on the coast of the southern continent, having braved extraordinary distances in small sailing boats.

The earliest recorded remains is the English vessel Trial, which foundered in 1622 on the North West Coast of Western Australia. Other wrecks followed in the 17th and 18th centuries, which saw a number of Dutch East India Company ships foundering on the gravel coast of Western Australia.

After Captain James Cook's 1770 voyage in the Endeavour, Australia's coastline became the focal point for hundreds of ships from the Northern Hemisphere. But some of these little European sailing ships venturing into Australia's often treacherous waters never returned.

These shipwrecks and associated relics often give us with what may be the only means of documenting and understanding important aspects of our history. Some, like HMS Pandora off the Great Barrier Reef or the Japanese I-124 submarine in the Northern Territory, are internationally essential for their historical associations.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Australian Convict Sites

There are 11 convict sites (known as the Australian Convict Sites) that build up Australia's World Heritage nomination to UNESCO. The sites are:

* New South Wales: Old Government House and Domain (Parramatta), Hyde Park Barracks (Sydney), Cockatoo Island Convict Site (Sydney) and Old Great North Road (near Wiseman's Ferry).
* Norfolk Island: Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area.
* Tasmania: Port Arthur Historic Site (Tasman Peninsula), Cascades Female Factory (Hobart), Darlington Probation Station (Maria Island), Coal Mines Historic Site (via Premadeyna) and Brickendon-Woolmers Estates (near Longford).
* Western Australia: Fremantle Prison.

Together the sites represent the global phenomenon of convictism - the required migration of convicts to penal colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries - and global developments in the punishment of offense in modern times. The Australian Convict Sites are the preeminent examples of our rich convict history, with more than 3,000 offender sites remaining around Australia. This is unique in the world today. In 2007 the importance of the Australian convict memory to all humankind was recognised when some of Australia's convict report were included in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tips for Visiting Beijing

A Beijing tour can be an interesting and unique experience because it is a city steeped in culture at the same time embracing the contemporary western values. Beijing will be hosting the Olympic Games in 2008 and is undergoing most important changes heading towards modernization. As the capital city of the world's most populous nation, Beijing is the center of national politics, economy, culture and tourism..

Travel Around Beijing

When traveling in Beijing, for all time carry a map (which is available at bus and railway stations and at the airports) and be sure that you know accurately where you want to go because most people do not speak or understand English very well. Traveling by taxi is the easiest way to obtain around Beijing. They exist in front of hotels, train stations and the airport. Always make sure the taxi driver turns the meter on when you find inside; unmetered taxis are illegal. Buses are everywhere in Beijing, regrettably for some travelers, they are very crowded and the signs and stops are only in Chinese. The subway is one more great way to get around Beijing. The Circle Line, East-West Line, and Fuba Line connect all major streets in Beijing. The trains run every 10 minutes, and have a fixed fee of ¥3.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tips for Traveling Abroad

# Register so the State Department can better assist you in an emergency: Register your travel plans with the State Department through a free online service at This will help us contact you if there is a family emergency in the U.S., or if there is a crisis where you are traveling. In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare and whereabouts will not be released to others without your express authorization.

# Sign passport, and fill in the emergency information: Make sure you have a signed, valid passport, and a visa, if required, and fill in the emergency information page of your passport.

# Leave copies of itinerary and passport data page: Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas with family or friends, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.

# Check your overseas medical insurance coverage: Ask your medical insurance company if your policy applies overseas, and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. If it does not, consider supplemental insurance.

# Familiarize yourself with local conditions and laws: While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. The State Department web site at has useful safety and other information about the countries you will visit.

# Take precautions to avoid being a target of crime: To avoid being a target of crime, do not wear conspicuous clothing or jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money. Also, do not leave unattended luggage in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Entrepreneurship Tour Heading to West Virginia

The Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour will travel to the Mountain State on Nov. 15 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at West Virginia University Tech (Davis Hall). This free session will provide students, entrepreneurs, and community leaders the opportunity to network and brainstorm, in addition to refining their entrepreneurial ideas and initiatives. The agenda format is available here.

Interested persons may register online or contact Workforce West Virginia’s Deana Keener at (304) 253-3611. Various economic development groups partnered to bring the tour to West Virginia.

“This will be a wonderful event and we would be so excited to have anyone interests attend. There is no need to register. Davis Hall in CTC @ WVU Tech will hold up to 210 people and it would be great to have standing room only at this FREE to the public event.”

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Support get up campaign for pay equity

I observed a real groundswell of support for gender equality around International Women's Day this year. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, marches, afternoon teas, speeches and community awareness raising activities were held across the country to celebrate our achievements as women and to bring attention to our ongoing pursuit towards equality. I felt a great sense of renewed optimism and camaraderie amongst women at all the events I attended.

To mark International Women's Day 2008, an independent, grass-roots community advocacy organisation has launched a campaign to raise awareness of pay inequity.

Did you know that women working full time earn 84 cents in the male dollar? When we take into account casual and part time earnings, the pay gap is even bigger with women earning 66 per cent of what men earn.

As part of the Equal Pay for Women campaign, Getup! is collecting signatures for a petition to the Australian government.

The petition calls on the Australian Government to take action to achieve equal pay for women. I encourage you to sign it and spread the work to your family and friends. Click here to see the campaign.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Back on Tour – Western Australia

The WA Listening Tour kicked off today with a meeting with the Pay Equity Unit at the WA Department of Labour and Consumer Protection. Did you know that WA has the largest gender pay gap of any state or territory? The difference between men and women’s full time earnings in WA is 27%. This is 11% higher than the national average. The Pay Equity Unit is doing some interesting work to address this issue including industry specific education and awareness raising, gender pay gap audits and reviews and monitoring and reporting of trends. You can read more about these initiatives .

We then made our way to the Curtin Graduate School of Business where we held a public consultation in partnership with WiSER (Women in Social and Economic Research, Curtin University) and the Equal Opportunity Commission, WA. Around 40 passionate and engaged participants raised concerns similar to the rest of the country - anxiety about retirement savings, the need to recognize and value unpaid caring work and the right for women and children to live without the fear of harassment and violence.

Specific to WA, participants put on the table the significant gender pay gap and housing affordability, particularly for women on low incomes or on welfare. One gentleman echoed the sentiments of a number of older people I have met on my Tour, telling me of his frustration about the new requirements for older drivers to sit new tests at the age of 85 and the bureacracy to be negotiated to undertake the test.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Secure Border Initiative

The Secure Border Initiative (SBI) is a comprehensive multi-year plan to secure America’s borders and reduce illegal migration which includes:

* More agents to patrol our borders, secure our ports of entry and enforce immigration laws;
* Expanded detention and removal capabilities to eliminate “catch and release” once and for all;
* A comprehensive and systemic upgrading of the technology used in controlling the border, including increased manned aerial assets, expanded use of UAVs, and next-generation detection technology;
* Increased investment in infrastructure improvements at the border – providing additional physical security to sharply reduce illegal border crossings; and Greatly increased interior enforcement of our immigration laws – including more robust worksite enforcement.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Air Travel

Home. Business trip. Honeymoon. Family vacation. No matter where you're going, air travel is an essential part of your trip. That's why most of our efforts are dedicated to getting you there. At every commercial airport, large and small, our Security Officers are motivated individuals who take pride in making YOUR travel secure.

We screen every passenger; we screen every bag so that your memories are from where you went, not how you got there. We're here to help your travel plans be smooth and stress free. Please take a moment to become familiar with some of our security measures. Doing so now will help save you time once you arrive at the airport.