Coming January 9: guest blogger Thomas Swick
Travel dispatches from a shrinking planet

Travel dispatches from a shrinking planet

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BOOKS
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Notable Travel Books of 2005

World Hum reviewed a number of new travel books this year, but not all of them. Frank Bures highlights new titles worthy of a place on any traveler’s bookshelf.

Q&A
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Catherine Watson: "Roads Less Traveled"

Michael Yessis talks with the pioneering editor and writer about serendipity, travel as education and why travelers should talk to everyone they can, especially the quiet people

ASK ROLF
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Have You Taken the Trans-Siberian Express from Moscow to Beijing? If So, Any Advice?

Vagabonding traveler Rolf Potts answers your questions about travel

SPEAKER'S CORNER
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Why I am Still Going to Bali

Bombers have killed hundreds and decimated the islandís tourist-based economy. But Liz Sinclair refuses to cower.

HOW TO
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Ride a Bike in Holland

The country was made for pedaling, but before you hit the road, youíll need a few tips. Terry Ward explains how to roll like a Dutchman.

GREETINGS FROM
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Florida!

From: Chris Jackson
To: Friends and family
cc: World Hum
Subject: Surfing Hurricane Wilma

WEBLOG
12.14.05

Attention Everyone in Groups A, B and C, and Rows 42 Through 1: Get on the Plane! Now!

A mad boarding scramble by passengers may be a more efficient way to seat an airplane than having them load into the back rows first, according to a team of scientists and mathmeticians at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University. Eitan Bachmat and his colleagues arrived at their conclusion using concepts more commonly applied to the theory of relativity and prime number theory, writes Philip Ball in Nature

"The mathematics of permutations gets pretty hairy, involving concepts such as ‘two-dimensional Lorentz geometry’ and ‘random matrix theory’ that are likely to boggle airline companies,” Ball writes. I don’t think airline companies are the only people those ideas boggle. Nevertheless, the conclusion is clear. Ball writes: “Boarding from the back rows first - typical in classier airlines - is much less efficient. As experience tells us, boarders are frequently held up while those ahead of them block the aisles.”

Posted by Michael Yessis • 12.14.05
Categories: WeblogAir TravelIn the News

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