Play with Cuddly Cats All Day in Hawaii

If you’ve ever gone down the rabbit hole of the Internet for pet lovers — pun intended — you would know that designations as dog persons or cat persons are usual. Or even seemingly necessary. Dog person versus cat person debates even brew up sometimes, but all in good fun. For me, though, there’s no battle between species. And I hope you agree, dogs working at museums and cats surprising old ladies are equally adorbs.

I was just at the rabbit hole cooing endlessly at cute pictures — a rabbit hole which needs more bunny people, to be honest, because they’re also super cute — when I came upon this piece of exciting news for cat people and pet-neutral people like me. You can now spend your Hawaiian vacation on something other than getting a tan and sipping pina coladas. Why not hang out with the island’s lovable felines?

The Lanai Cat Sanctuary, only a “tail’s wag” from the Lanai Airport, hosts nearly 600 former street cats on a gorgeous property that attracts more than 10,000 visitors a year. The open-air space — where the cats can run, play, nap and generally do whatever they like all day — is a feline paradise.

Visitors may come to the sanctuary from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. everyday. And the best part? Admission is free! The place, however, accepts donations to be used for maintaining paradise and helping the kitties do the activities they like.

The other best part? If spending the day with cuddly cats isn’t enough, you may choose to adopt one. Many of the felines are adult, and all of them are up for adoption through the sanctuary. But those who won’t be adopted may live their whole lives at the place.

The organization started as a project to sterilize Lanai’s street cats to control overpopulation. In 2009, the group moved the cats to its current site and established itself as a nonprofit.

If work is taking over your year, however, and you need to put off your vacay for a while, you may opt to visit the Lanai Cat Sanctuary’s website in the meantime. Though I hope it inspires you to plan ahead for when you can finally slip away into holiday mode. After all, what other vacation could beat hugging cuddly cats while sipping pina coladas and getting a tan on a gorgeous island?

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Map Shows Literal Translation of Country Names

Not everyone who has walked through the beautiful pueblos of Spain knows that the country is named after rabbits. Likewise, you may have revelled in the sun-kissed beaches of Maldives, not knowing that the natives called their place a garland of islands. A beautiful name for a beautiful place, really. In an awesomely nerdy project that indulges our interest in travel, the Australian company Credit Card Compare created a map with the literal meaning of all the country names in the world.

“Learning the etymology – the origin of words – of countries around the world offers us fascinating insight into the origins of some of our favourite travel destinations and the people who first lived there,” the company says. Zooming in on continents and regions, from Europe to South America and Africa, the map offers a different perspective.

Varied reactions sprung up online, ranging from pure fascination to a personal need to verify the facts and study further, but one thing is for sure: the company’s research provides us with valuable insight to see the places we have been and the places we have yet to be in a new light.

“The interest has been enormous far beyond Australia because of some of the unexpected names. People are contacting us with their positive feedback and reasons for some corrections to one or two names. We plan to release even high-def downloads suitable for big poster-sized prints.”

A while ago, I wrote about the many different ways you can maximize your weekend. It could be difficult—though definitely not impossible!—to cram an exhilarating getaway in that two-day window. But sometimes, when you cannot go out there yet and travel, relaxing at home and making discoveries about the places you dream to explore could suffice. Make yourself a hot chocolate or a mojito, cozy up, and start with this map.

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Swiss Town To Pay Families £50,000 To Move In

In a new age of technology, tradition is becoming outdated. Still, small, independent groups are attempting to keep bits of history alive. Just recently, students from a Hong Kong university paid tribute to bamboo weaving in Peitian. The project proved impactful but modest, whereas other communities are taking a more urgent approach. To keep afloat, the Swiss village of Albinen is offering potential residents up to £50,000 to migrate in.

The council will soon be voting on the new initiative, which aims to repopulate a community that has dwindled to just 240 residents.

Like with all attractive propositions, the move comes with a catch — several of them. Takers must be below the age of 45 and live in a 200,000-franc residence for at least 10 years. You’ll also need to learn German. And while you may still be salivating over the promise of a hefty check, there is little to do in Albinen.

There’s little going on in the town’s centre, save for its narrow cobbled turns, centuries-old houses, a church and a shop.

That being said, with good company and a zest for the outdoors, Albinen may be the place for you.

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Deep-Sea Canoe Travels Around The World In 3 Years

There is no denying that people are capable of achieving the impossible. This Hawaiian deep-sea canoe brigade is no exception, having circumnavigated the globe in just 3 years. What makes the feat even more impressive is that the Hōkūle’a did so using only Polynesian navigational methods.

“Hokule’a’s crew would forgo up-to-date technology, using celestial navigation to prove that ancient Polynesians used only the stars, sun, moon, wind, and waves to travel to the islands in the Pacific. It would prove that the crew’s ancestors were not simply blown off course to Hawaii — that they were expert voyagers, who sailed with a purpose.”

The voyage, first envisioned in the 1970s, took years to plan. The style of canoe that navigators intended to build had not been accomplished for nearly 600 years.  This made it difficult to construct — something I can relate to, as I sometimes have trouble pitching simple tents. When it was finally time to sail, Hōkūle’a embarked on “Mālama Honua” or “Care For The Earth.”

Its goal was to reach environmentalists, scientists, concerned citizens, and children around the world, finding common ground in their desire to protect the planet. Hōkūle’a would “connect with communities who care for the health of the oceans and our shared island, Earth.”

Hōkūle’a traveled to 150 different ports in 23 countries and is now embarking on a Hawaiian tour. That’s what I call perseverance!

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This Clock Is Perfect For Frequent Travellers

All jet-setters know that time is a hassle when traveling on a regular basis. When trying to keep up with family on the other side of the world, it’s easy to forget time zones. This intelligent World Clock is a game-changer. Give it a roll and it’ll tell you what time it is anywhere in the world!

Developed by Japanese product designer Masafumi Ishikawa, the tiny clock has 12 flat edges and a single hour hand. Each side corresponds to a city – and as you roll [it] from one side to another, the hand automatically changes its position to show the time in that location.

Pretty neat! In addition to its sleek wooden interface, users don’t have to manually set the time. It is a smart device, after all. A second version of the product even addresses daylight savings.

Rotation is the only physical action necessary to tell the time anywhere on earth. The trick is a simple ball bearing that sets the new position of the hand when the clock is rotated.

I’m not usually one for quirks, but this clock is certainly a brainy find.

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Abandoned Castle Gets A Funky Makeover

Some long-forgotten buildings remain perpetually neglected and in the past. Even the most prestigious have-been structures don’t always get a second chance. Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel hopes to change this–at least for one abandoned castle in France.

Spanish street artist Okuda San Miguel… is known for creating prismatic, geometric murals that cover abandoned historic churches, city streets, high-rises, and the sides of trucks and trains. Okuda has transformed an abandoned 19th-century chateau in France’s Loire Valley into a pop art paradise.

The makeover is going to promote a French street art festival, LaBel Valette. While street art is usually given a bad rep, it seems Okuda is turning things around.

The mural’s title is Skull in the Mirror. Okuda painted two large-scale geometric skulls across the castle’s white facade, and added colorful polka dots and paint accents to the remaining blank surfaces.

Looks like Lichtenstein proteges are going to have to step aside. Skull in the Mirror is nothing short of astounding!

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Traveling Made Easier: Genius Earpiece Translates Foreign Languages As You Speak

The hassle of communicating in foreign countries has been a common struggle for many tourists. Ever tried to order a burger and ended up with dessert instead? You wouldn’t be the first one–but Lingmo International’s translation earpiece hopes you are the last.

The Translate One2One uses IBM Watson’s natural language understanding technology to understand both the words and context being spoken, before purportedly delivering a near-instant translation.

Translate One2One is incredibly multi-lingual.

The device can translate conversations across English, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German and Chinese.

Past translation devices have not always demonstrated accuracy, making conversation more difficult.

“Anyone who’s traveled will have found themselves in a similar scenario of incorrect translation, while realizing the social benefit of being able to converse across cultures,”

The device’s technology can even recognize dialects and slang phrases. Take that Google Translate!

The earpiece is now available for $179. Customers can also download an app version of Translate One2One.

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