Friday, May 22, 2009

Book all your travel here!

One of the services we offer through World to the Wise is a travel portal where you can get great deals on flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars, condos and more. It works just the same as the other travel sites out there -- only if you use this site, you'll be contributing in your own way to World to the Wise and our upcoming projects.

We had to cancel the World to the Wise Cultural Tour to Paris scheduled for this month, due to a lack of registrations -- but we've received enough feedback to believe that we'll have a full group this time next year -- so stay tuned, and start saving those pennies.

In the meantime, whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, please bookmark this site:

There is unfortunately not much about the address that will stick in your head -- thus the need to bookmark it or save it in your favorites! And please give us your feedback via this blog, on Facebook, or e-mail me at to let us know how it's working for you. Let me clarify that I am NOT a travel agent -- we merely act as a portal to connect you with the travel vendors -- so if you have special travel needs that you can't take care of simply by using the automated site, just call the toll-free number on the site and our friends at Hemisphere Travel will take care of you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Justice" in Somalia

It was the most excitement the southern Somalian city of Kismayo had seen in quite some time: a vehicle with loud speakers roamed the streets, inviting the public to the enforcement of the Islamic law the dictates punishment for theft -- the cutting off the the right hand.

Hundreds gathered in Freedom Park as a young man named Mohamed Omar Ismail, found guilty of stealing goods from another man's house, was brought before the crowd as a statement was read. The passage from the Koran was read which decrees the relevant punishment. His hand was then immediately severed and held up before the crowd by the index finger, as if to prove that 'we mean business.'

Ismail, recovering from his wound in a local hospital, says he did not commit the burglary and is still in shock from what has happened to him.

The current struggle for control in Somalia is not secular forces versus Islamic forces, but hardline Islamists versus more moderate Islamists. Both say that sharia law, or Islamic law, will sooner or later be firmly in place in that war-torn country.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The International Language of Beatboxing

Witness and marvel: this 18-year-old Japanese kid has taken the art of vocal percussion to an uncanny level. 
If you're reading this in an e-mail or on Facebook, here is the link for the video:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

On May 5, 1862, the underdog Mexican army withstood the onslaught of the powerful French army, undefeated in fifty years, in the southeastern state of Puebla. Even though it was not even a turning point in the war against the French, who completed their invasion a year later, it is remembered and celebrated for the Mexicans' determination to stand up against great odds. 

Believe it or not, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more outside Mexico than within -- the people of Puebla certainly celebrate, but it is primarily a regional, not national, celebration. Many non-Mexicans believe it is Mexican Independence Day (that is September 16). The date has evolved throughout the world simply as a day to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage, and a good excuse for many to indulge in Mexican food and tequila. 

Today's celebration in Puebla, however, will no doubt be mitigated by the current virtual lockdown in Mexico because of the H1N1 virus. In any case, here's to a lively, colorful culture which has impacted us all in one way or another.