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It's the Real Thing. Only Newer.
The Washington Post (July 29, 2007)

RESEARCH QUESTION: In May, Atlanta's World of Coca-Cola moved from its old spot near chintzy Underground Atlanta to new digs beside Centennial Olympic Park. But even though the new World of Coke has double the space, a sleeker design and a nice new location next to the Georgia Aquarium, we still wondered: Why should we pay -- pay! -- to see a museum-size marketing ploy? Doesn't Coke bombard the entire planet with ads for free? more


Beijing's Moment
The Washington Post (May 13, 2007
Beijing was growing on me.
At first, I couldn't see anything but the sprawl, the construction and the vicious, honking traffic that squeezed the slow streams of cyclists in the bike lanes. Then, gradually, I quit fixating on Beijing's immense proportions and began to notice its human details. more

Atop the World of the Maya (El Mirador, Guatemala)
The Los Angeles Times (Jan. 7, 2007)
BEFORE the torrential rain and the ankle-deep mud, before the quarter-sized blister and the mouse-sized cockroach, before all that, I climbed a 2,000-year-old Maya pyramid, watched the red orb of the sun sink into the jungle canopy and felt the thrill of being an anachronism. ... read article
Chiapas, Without Reservations
The Washington Post (Nov. 26, 2006)
"Go! Go like a bullet!" the man yelled as I stepped out of the taxi and into the heavy Mexican air.
This insistently gesticulating stranger had approached as we pulled into a tiny bus stop. I had just asked him about the next bus south, and he'd started yelling and jabbing his finger down the dusty road. ... read article
Niseko, Japan: Downhill Skiing in the Land of the Rising Sun
The New York Times (Nov. 19, 2006)
JAPAN is a country with extensive mountain ranges, literally hundreds of ski resorts and plentiful snow, yet a language barrier and the country’s distance from Western markets have long prevented it from becoming a major international ski destination. But that's starting to change, especially at a resort called Niseko. ... read article
Serenity Amid the Shoguns (Nikko, Japan)
The Los Angeles Times (Oct.8, 2006)

VISITORS come to Nikko to gawk at Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and craggy, evergreen-covered mountains. But the element that animates this tourist town is water. ... read article
A Quiet Southern Town, Writ Large (Milledgeville, Ga.)
The Los Angeles Times (July 9, 2006)

CARMEN ALARCÓN, a native of Colombia, tore through the farmhouse kitchen as if chasing a misbehaving child about to escape into the warm Georgia evening. ... read article
Tokyo Is Expensive
The Washington Post (June 25, 2006)
Well, it can be. Our reporter spent a week there for under $1,000 -- including air. And he only had to sleep in an Internet cafe once. ... read article
In Durango, Don't Worry, Be Funky
The Los Angeles Times (May 21, 2006)

I saw the members of the wedding party twice. The first time was on a sunny Colorado afternoon as they bicycled down Durango's Main Avenu in gowns and tuxedos, waving at tourists... . read article
Martin Luther King, Jr 101: In the Footsteps of Dr. King
The Washington Post (Jan. 15, 2006)
Seventy-seven years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. was born. Here are destinations marked by King's work and redolent with his memory. ... read article

Atlanta Takes the Plunge (Review of new Georgia Aquarium) 
The Washington Post
RESEARCH QUESTION: Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus largely bankrolled the $290 million Georgia Aquarium, which opened last month near Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park as the world's largest aquarium. We wondered: Are more than 100,000 animals and 8 million gallons of water worth the $22.75 ticket price? And when it comes to fish tanks, does size really matter? ... read article

In Atlanta, A New Arts District Catches On
The New York Times
Like almost any activity in car-dependent Atlanta, browsing the city's contemporary art galleries normally involves driving - largely between locations in the wealthy Buckhead district but also through midtown and elsewhere. Recently, though, the city's core has sprouted a place to visit a diverse array of galleries on foot: the emerging Castleberry Hill
Arts District. ... read article
U Rock, U Roll
The Washington Post
Pink Floyd told us that we don't need no education. I don't want no argument with rock-and-roll royalty, but perhaps the band failed to consider higher education. I say this because -- to borrow one of Jack Black's lines from the movie "School of Rock" -- colleges quite clearly "service society by rocking."... read article
Chaco Canyon Mystery Tour
The Los Angeles Times
After a two-hour walk through a desert canyon, I spotted it: a blazing star painted on the underside of a sandstone overhang. ... read article

Ouray or the Highway: Jeeping in Colorado
The Washington Post

Jeep guide Keith Gerry has a system for classifying the four-wheel-drive trails around Ouray, Colo. It involves just two categories: "mellow scenic" and "gnarly scenic." ... read article


Mammoth, in Depth (Mammoth Cave, Kentucky)
The Washington Post

Exhalation causes the chest to contract. Most people do not attach great importance to this fact. But imagine that you are belly-crawling through a 10-inch-tall opening in a cave passageway, 250 feet underground. ... read article

500 Years? Seems Like Yesterday in the Andes
The Los Angeles Times
On a busy Peruvian street, crammed between a video store and a restaurant, is a narrow, stone storefront with the words "ransom room" carved above the door in Spanish. ... (no online version available)
Does This Guy Look like a Model to You? (humor essay)
The Washington Post

Most people who travel love seeing foreign places. This is obvious. What is less obvious, but equally true, is that we love what those places do to us. ... read article
The Soul of Colonial Quito
The Los Angeles Times
Jesus came to Quito with a heavy military escort, nine brass bands and a crown of thorns made of barbed wire. ... read article
In the Andes, Surprising Twists (skiing in Argentina)
The Los Angeles Times
I first road a South American ski life last year, on a sparkling June night in the Argentine Andes. ... read article
Huacachina: Head over Heels (sandboarding in Peru)
The Los Angeles Times
"Do you like to fly," Jose asked me, the silver rims around his teeth glinting in the desert sunlight. ... read article

Aspen, Without the Trust Fund
The Washington Post
While I was recently walking the streets of Aspen, Colo., the driver of a white Suburban with Oregon tags stopped beside me, rolled down his window and asked if I lived there. ... read article

Charleston, By Night and Day
The Washington Post
Loose sand is hissing across the beach in 25 mph winds as my shaggy, blond kiteboarding instructor squints up at the 65-square-foot kite that he is inching upwind -- barely -- by hanging his entire weight off its steering bar. ... read article
Bargaining: Where the Buck Stops
YHA Backpacker Essentials
We budget travellers can sometimes push the quest for a bargain a bit far. I saw the walking embodiment of this at a market in Ecuador, where a young man with frizzy blonde hair and John Lennon glasses was attempting to buy a pair of pants from a tiny indigenous merchant. ... read article
Star Parties in South America
The Los Angeles Times
The astronomer was annoyed.
Luigi "Rolly" Bedin, a young researcher from Padua, Italy, had traveled to northern Chile to study dense groupings of stars called globular clusters. Instead, he'd spent several nights hopelessly waiting for the clouds to clear. Considering northern Chile's reputation for perpetually perfect astronomical conditions, this was sort of like visiting the Bahamas in the middle of a blizzard. read article

Look Out Below! (Biking Bolivia's "Road of Death")
The Washington Post
In the course of dropping nearly 12,000 feet in less than 40 miles, Bolivia's "Road of Death" poses a number of challenging questions to mountain bikers. Here's a sample ... read article
Peru: The Ruin of Me
The Washington Post
Here's a tip for visiting remote ruins in the cloud forests of northern Peru: If someone offers you a donkey, take it. ... read article
The Anti-Aspen (Wolf Creek Ski Area, Colo.)
The Washington Post
When skiing through the trees in nearly a foot of fresh powder, the violent release of one's ski bindings can sound a bit ominous. ... read article
The Faithful Flocked to See the Holy Tortilla
The Dallas Morning News 

© Ben Brazil