Places NOT to Travel to in 2018

Now this is an interesting idea. We spend so much money on our vacations, and they take so long to plan, that you certainly want to go somewhere that you’ll enjoy. CNN has recently covered 12 places NOT to travel this year, and the list is worth reading. After all, when so many people visit Venice, Italy that you can barely move while you’re there – you’ll probably want to know this.

If you’re thinking of Croatia, for instance, then listen up. This is what CNN has to say, “With UNESCO threatening to take away its World Heritage status due to extreme overcrowding, Dubrovnik has decided to take drastic measures in order to cut tourist numbers. The city is capping the number of people who can scale its 15th century ramparts at 4,000 a day — 10,388 did so in one day alone bay in August 2016, many drawn by the city’s starring role in “Game of Thrones.”The mayor is also planning on cutting the number of cruise ships entering the ancient port. Nearly 800,000 people disembarked from cruise liners in 2016, most staying for just three hours.”

CNN offers alternatives, however, for those who desperately want to be near these locations. Instead of Croatia, for instance, they recommend staying near Cavtat.

The Top Places to Visit in 2018

If you have your heart set on traveling in 2018, then CNN is the place to look. They’ve just put together a list of 18 must-see locations for the year ahead. Here is a quick glance of a few of them. To get the full picture, pop over to their site and relish in the glory of the pictures there! The first three they cover are:

Cape Verde Islands: Off the coast of West Africa, the Cape Verde Islands consist of 10 Atlantic archipelago with incredible beaches and outdoor adventure.

Botum Sakor National Park, Cambodia: This is Cambodia’s largest national park with rainforest, coastal plains and grasslands.

Malta: Matla’s capital, Valletta, has been named Europe’s Capital of Culture for 2018.


Making Your Holiday Home in Vietnam

While traditionally Florida and California seem to have been popular locations for people to purchase second homes in the US (with France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Canada for foreign locations) there is a lovely new way to branch out for those looking for a gorgeous destination. As part of the new luxury Resort Vietnam location called Amanoi, there are village for purchase.

It seems that now in particular is a great time to look at Amanoi for buying a property.  The luxury Resort Vietnam property provides for a wonderful oasis of rest, relaxation and nature.  In addition, the villas are “set amidst dramatic boulder outcrops on the spectacular coastline of Nui Chua National Park, offer[ing] panoramic views of Vinh Hy Bay, as well as access to a private beach and the resort’s exceptional facilities.”  So for those looking for a wonderful second home, completely “away from it all” the Amanoi is a great, new option.

Furthermore, according to a recent analysis by Financial Times correspondent Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, financially there is no better time to purchase a vacation home in Vietnam than right now.  She pointed out how the new laws of July 15 significantly opened up the Vietnamese property market to expats.  This means that today, any foreigner who holds a valid visa  (whether resident or tourist), can now purchase a home on a 50-year leasehold, with options for extension.

Maybe next year’s list of top of destinations for foreign vacation homes will include the Amanoi in Vietnam!

New Mexico

New-Mexico-MountainsNew Mexico’s State Register of Cultural Properties has an addition to its registry. The Hurd family home, belonging to artists Peter Hurd and his wife Henriette Wyeth-Hurd is a 40-acre compound that adds to the state’s history and architecture. Anthropology graduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences in New Mexico, Brittany Porter recommended the Hurd House and Studios to the New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee, because of the history and significance the artists have made to New Mexico.

Porter was able to study the Peter Hurd and Henriette Wyeth-Hurd papers in the Archives of American Art as she received grants from both the Archaeology Society of New Mexico and NMSU College of Arts and Sciences.

According to NMSU Anthropology Professor Emerita, Beth O’Leary, “Porter is the first NMSU student to present a nomination to the committee and have it approved before she had completed her master’s degree.”

The Reincarnation of Idaho Salmon

coho-salmonSalmon – that was feared to have been instinct in Idaho – may be making a comeback. Clearwater River opened a fishing season for coho salmon, offering people the opportunity to try to catch what has become an extinct fish. It seems that the tribe of Nez Perce has managed to save and restore Idaho salmon with its coho program.

What happened was, the dams from the 1900s blocked the pathway of fish into the Clearwater River Basin, and then when more dams were added the amount of coho from the Snake River continued to lessen. So much so that between 1984 and 1990 only 12 adult coho crossed from the Lower Granite Dam and then from 1991-1996, none at all returned, thus making most believe the coho was now extinct from the area.

But then all of a sudden, in 1997, 840 adult cohos returned, with fewer the next year. But by 2003, that figure had gone up to 1,135. Then, five years ago, cohos that returned were spawned and supplemented with eggs from the Columbia.

This year, the number has exploded to 15,000, enabling Idaho to open a sport fishing season, giving credit to the tribe that has been supportive of the program.

Impact of Anthropological Research on Humankind

getting-fitA study published in Pediatrics (the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) has shown that if school kids don’t move around enough it could affect their brains as well as their waistlines. According to kinesiology professor at the University of Illinois, Charles Hillman, “if you consider the anthropology of humankind, we were designed to move.”

Hillman’s study showed that kids aged between 7 and 9 who ran around for at least 70 minutes a day, had improved thinking skills (especially when it came to multitasking) than those who didn’t. There were two types of data used: one, when kids were engaged in activities and the other, a brain scan.

Another study took this theory even further. Researchers from Oregon State University (OSU) found that kids with autism are less likely to move around than their non-autistic peers. In this study it was found that they spent 50 minutes less a day engaged in moderate physical activity, with 70 minutes more each day of sitting. What was positive about this study was the finding that kids with and without autism had similar fitness abilities in all areas except for strength. It seems that the kids with autism just need to be given similar opportunities such as adaptive physical education programs. As Megan MacDonald, assistant professor at OSU said, “anything we can do to help encourage children with autism to be more active is beneficial.”

So because historically we move less these days – largely due to lack of need – it is important to find modern ways of integrating exercise into our daily lives. And there is no better way to start this than with education and children.

Human Population “Explosion”

population-explosionWhat do anthropologists do about the population explosion? What are the current statistics indicating? This article will examine the current growth in population, the anticipated continued explosion and how such growth has affected humans since the Industrial Revolution.

Since 2011, there have been approximately seven billion humans on our planet. By 2050, anthropologists and scientists believe this figure will have escalated to 10 billion. While on one hand this is really good news – because it means that people are living longer due to improved healthcare and farming practices – on the other hand, it leads to an escalation in greenhouse gas emissions and fewer resources. In terms of the latter issue, many argue that it is not the population explosion that is to blame for this, but rather a huge rise in consumption. In other words, there is too much global inequality.

To address these problems, Dr. Tim Jones who wrote Future Agenda, believes that our biggest challenge is to develop cities that will address what rapid growth means. He explained this as follows:

“Hong Kong and Paris are good examples where densities are key to success. They are seen as successful cities. For example, just 5% of Hong Kong’s personal income is spent on transportation whereas in Houston it is 20% because everyone drives such huge distances commuting. Paris, with its six- and seven-storey housing, open spaces and street-based cafe culture is a model to aspire to. The Japanese are also role models when it comes to living densities. We must aspire to be like them. For example, we can’t let China shoot past Japan and attempt to live like the Americans.”

But is this a new phenomenon? Since the population explosion started around 2,000 years ago, Oxford College Associate Anthropology Professor Aaron Stutz has established archaeological and demographic data to indicate when humans thrived.

“The Industrial Revolution and public health improvements were proximate reasons that more people lived longer. If you dig further in the past, however, the data suggest that a critical threshold of political and economic organisation set the stage 1,500 to 2,000 years ago, around the start of the Common Era. ‘The resulting political-economic balance was the tipping point for economies of scale – It created a range of opportunities enabling more people to get resources, form successful families and generate enough capital to transfer to the next generation.”

So what has happened is that:

“Humans have used up the natural resources the world can supply in a year in less than eight months, campaigners warned last month. The world has now reached ‘Earth Overshoot Day,’ the point in the year when humans have exhausted supplies.”

So this theory supports the one above that it is not the population growth per se that is causing potential earth problems, but the human consumption in certain corners of the earth. In fact, human population explosion is good and indicative of enhancements in health care and farming practices, but humans need to be respectful and there needs to be enhanced global equality in this regard.

Understanding US Society Through Wildlife

birdfestUpcoming in Ridgefield is the Birdfest and Bluefest Nature Festival. For those interested in US society and culture and wants to learn about it through the country’s wildlife, mark down October 4-5th in your diaries.

Taking place at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, the festival will have activities for the whole family. Indeed, as director of Friends of the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge, Sarah Hill pointed out, “Birdfest is the perfect time for families to experience everything this great region offers – its diverse wildlife, scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage.” Those attending will be able to view sandhill cranes flying in and out of their night roost in a special sanctuary.

Birdfest is also the only time all are welcome to check out this area that features a ton of great wildlife. Indeed, viewing the wildlife has become increasingly popular at the festival over the last few years. Understanding US wildlife is often crucial to gaining a deeper insight into US society and culture. If we trust what D. A. Poole, former Wildlife Society President said, then we will really make an effort to get to know our country’s wildlife. He argued: “the future of fish and wildlife depends as much, if not more, on understanding the social, behavioral, and economic habits of man as it does on knowing the habits of the animal.”

At this festival, there will also be bird, plant and nature tours and presentations given by experts in the region. One topic discussed at the length will be Southwest Washington’s unique ecoregion, with a special focus this year on the Belted King Fisher.

Those who want to discover more about US society will be able to do so through archeologist-led walks following in the footsteps of Native Americans and Lewis and Clark to interesting sites such as a Cathlapotle plankhouse replica hand-crafted using ancient techniques and tools and a tour of the Kiwa Trail.

Alaskan Anthropology

Denbigh-Flint-ComplexThe Alaska Anthropology Association recently focused on ancient sites throughout northern and western parts of the state through its yearly month-long festivities. The theme of the event was the Denbigh Flint Complex – a pre-Eskimo archaeological culture of North America, uncovered in1948 in Iyatayet, Alaska. Typical to the Denbigh complex – that predates 2500 BC – is small flaked blades; small, chipped side and end blades; burins; scrapers; knives; and points of ancient American types.

The Denbigh people were distant ancestors of modern Inupiat. They were technologically-minded, founding new lands that established what was needed for the next four millennia of Arctic survival. Further, according to Chief of Resources for Gates of the Arctic National Park and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, Jeff Rasic, “they were also the first people to set foot in the Canadian Arctic, all the way across to Greenland — one of the biggest human migrations in human history. The launching pad for all that was right there in Northwestern Alaska.”

It was quite fitting that the Alaska Anthropology Association focused on the Denbighs in their annual celebrations since it’s exactly 50 years since works were first published about these people. Further, it was the Denbighs who were the first humans that colonized most of Arctic North America. That took place close to 5,000 years ago.

One way of studying the Denbigh people is by unearthing various animals. Scientists can then use these to figure out what the people were eating, how game and marine mammals were processed and how they migrated based on the seasons. Rasic added that these were “the best ever craftspeople of stone tools from Alaska. They made incredibly fine tools that were functional, but also beautiful. They’re little works of art and nobody before or after Denbigh ever matched that quality. The Denbigh people were very specialized in how they hunted and gathered food in all these different environments.”

Rasic also discovered that these people were “restless” having moved across the region toward Greenland, despite maintaining connections with their Russian roots. He added that it was important for Northwestern Alaskans to “know that their own backyard is this unique (link) to human history on a global scale.”

Miami Skyline Adding Class

Anyone who has ever seen either a picture of Miami’s skyline, or has seen it in person, is sure to have been impressed by the sleek, modern towers rising seemingly straight out of the water and into a deep blue sky dotted with puffy, white and grey clouds. Many of those towering buildings are modern office buildings or luxury residences lining the exclusive and high-end Brickell Avenue.

Soon to add an additional notch of class to this desirable avenue will be the much awaited Miami Flat Iron Brickell Building. The building, designed by famed architect Luis Revuelta, the Miami Flat Iron Brickell will be one of the tallest buildings in Miami.

Vladimir Doronin and Ugo Colombo
Miami Skyline About to Improve

With 550 residences on 65 floors, the design is sleek and modern, resembling a cruise liner sailing on the waters of Biscayne Bay.

Developers of the project, which will rise just north of the Metromover light rail and the “Flatiron Park,” are veteran Miami developer Ugo Colombo, and internationally renowned Russian real estate developer Vladimir Doronin.

Sales of units at the Flat Iron were launched by Vladimir Doronin and Ugo Colombo in late April. In addition to the apartments, 40,000 square-feet of retail space will also be available, including a restaurant, lounge and more.