You’ve got to love the retro/futuristic travel posters published by NASA.
NASA’S Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) has published ten new posters in their “Exoplanet” series.
These awesome graphic posters are “out of this world.”
The new posters can be downloaded for free on the JPL website.
NASA explains their poster series this way:
“As you look through these images of imaginative travel destinations, remember that you can be an architect of the future.”
For instance, the Mars poster:
“imagines a future day when we have achieved our vision of human exploration of Mars and takes a nostalgic look back at the great imagined milestones of Mars exploration that will someday be celebrated as “historic” sites.”
We were about 80 miles outside Paris, in the little medieval town of Provins, when I realized I was sick.
We cut our visit to Provins short, so I could get back to Paris to seek medical attention.
This was not a big deal except that it was the afternoon of July 13, and the next day was a national holiday — Bastille Day.
I telephoned a pharmacy near our hotel, and the pharmacist gave me the name of a local doctor that sees patients on a walk-in basis.
The doctor’s office was in a typical Haussmannian apartment building near Place Victor Hugo in the 16th arrondissement. The building had wooden doors large enough for a horse and carriage to enter. There was a small brass plate on the door. We rang the bell and the doctor buzzed us in. It was 6:59 p.m.
We entered the doctor’s suite and ventured down a curved hallway to the waiting room. Several other patents were waiting, holding their French national health insurance cards. There was no receptionist and no nurse. At 7:45 p.m., the doctor called me in, the last patient of the day. He gave me a prescription which I was able to fill in the neighborhood pharmacy before everything closed for the holiday.
The cost of the doctor visit: 35 Euro, payable with a credit card. The medicine cost 7.50 Euro.
This is a bit less than the copay for an urgent care visit at my HMO.
If You Need to See a Doctor in Paris
Asking a pharmacist to recommend a doctor is a good first step. Many doctors in Paris see patients without appointments. If the pharmacy is closed, they often post information about another nearby pharmacy with extended hours.
In researching this post, I came across couple of resources that may be of some help:
Orange Holiday Mobile Phone Plans: Two Weeks for 40 Euros
The Orange Holiday Sim cards give you access to a prepaid plan good for two weeks.
For 39.99 Euros, you get:
a French phone number
120 minutes to call from Europe to the U.S. (and any other country in the world)
1000 texts, from Europe to any country
1GB of mobile internet in Europe
Free access to Orange wifi hotspots
An option to purchase a top-off card
There are a lot of Orange stores all over Paris. The technician inserted the Orange sim in my iPhone and checked to make sure it was working properly. I was good to go!
The feature I was most interested in was mobile internet access. In most areas, 4G service was the norm on my iPhone. This was especially convenient for looking up information on the fly, such as transit routes, and museum locations and hours.
For a one-time charge of 40 Euros, we were able to feed our internet addiction while in Paris, yet retain our cheap monthly plan of $30 per month at home.
What’s your mobile solution when traveling abroad? Please share in the comments below!
First of all, I believe it is important to support sustainable development.
Second, my daughter’s science teacher spent five years working for Sustainable Harvest International in Central America, and takes kids to volunteer with this organization every year. That is how I know of the good work they do to provide training and tools to families, and to encourage environmentally sound agricultural practices.
Each year, travel bloggers band together under the banner of Passports with Purpose to raise funds for worthwhile projects in developing countries.
This year’s project will support Sustainable Harvest International’s work in Honduras. You can read more about Sustainable Harvest Internationalhere.
Passports With Purpose Online Raffle
Passports with Purpose is a volunteer-run effort begun by several travel bloggers from Seattle that wanted to give back. The fundraising mechanism for Passports with Purpose is an online raffle. Bloggers donate travel-related prizes or secure prizes from travel vendors. Passports with Purpose publishes a catalog of online prizes beginning December 1, 2014. You can bid on any prize by making a $10 donation. Each $10 donation is one entry and all proceeds go to Sustainable Harvest International.
The raffle runs through Wednesday, December 17, 2014.
Over 70 bloggers are participating this year.
I have thrown a prize in the pot that may appeal to some readers. I donated three United Club lounge passes which are good for entry into any of United ‘s special airport lounges. You can get a drink and snack, recharge your laptop, and relax while awaiting your flight. The book value is $150.
Some of the other prizes will likely be higher value: travel gear, hotel vouchers, tours, and other travel-related stuff, including some trips to pretty exciting destinations.
Passports with Purpose is a worthwhile effort by the travel blogger community, so please check out the raffle to see if anything entices you to enter!
Gift Card Mall is an online vendor of various gift cards. They sell directly, via Ebay, and they service other sellers such as office supply stores.
To enhance security, Gift Card Mall typically mails the card in one envelope, and an “activation code” in a separate envelope. The activation code is needed to register your card online, or to use the card to make purchases.
In theory, this practice makes sense. If someone steals a gift card from your mailbox, they will not be able to use it without the activation code.
How Secure are Mail Orders from Gift Card Mall?
Recently, I purchased a gift card from Staples. The card arrived promptly in a plain envelope from Gift Card Mall.
However, when I tried to register the card, I was informed that the card had not been activated.
After several days, I still had not received the activation code.
I called Gift Card Mall in inquire about what to do. The customer service rep asked me for some identifying information, such as my street address, and the order number. This information was sufficient to validate the gift card.
The hitch is that all this identifying information was contained in the enclosure that came with the gift card.
So if someone had stolen the envelope, they would have all the information needed to activate the card, sans an activation code. Here’s a link to report any suspected mail theft to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Is mail theft something that you worry about, or am I just being paranoid?