It’s spawned millions of books and a couple of movies, but 150 years after she was created, Alice in Wonderland continues to entrance readers young and old. And the little girl who went down the rabbit hole celebrates her 150th birthday this year.
You can join in.
It’s been 150 years since an Oxford mathematician named Lewis Carroll—his name was really Charles Lutwidge Dodgson—wrote stories for a friend’s daughter named Alice. Those stories became Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
To celebrate, a number of exhibits are popping up around the country. You’ll find digital reproductions of Carroll’s original book and later editions at the University of Texas’ Harry Ransom Center. Kids have a dedicated reading nook and a place for a pretend tea party.
Another Lewis Carroll exhibit will be staged later this year at the Morgan Library and the Grolier Club in New York City. Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum and Library will also launch an exhibit. A Philadelphia book collector, Rosenbach acquired Carroll’s original manuscript. It’s usually on permanent exhibit at the British Library, but it will be on view at the New York’s Morgan Library between June 26th and Oct. 11th.
Join the celebration.
You may think that only in extreme circumstances do passengers ever have to go down those emergency slides to evacuate a plane. Not always. Most incidents never make the news, but here’s the most common mistake passengers make in that situation.
I was once on a flight that made an abrupt turnaround shortly after taking off from Los Angeles. We descended sharply, the plane stopped at the end of a runway far from the terminal, and we were ordered to deplane immediately via the side emergency chutes.
It turned out someone had called in a bomb threat. But in Denver recently, a passenger plane was evacuated when the cabin filled with smoke. And a Turkish Airlines plane made an emergency landing when a cockpit window shattered in flight; passengers performed an emergency evacuation.
Patrick Smith, a commercial pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential, says most passengers ignore instructions not to grab their carry-on bag or computer or anything when headed to the slides. Doing so can lead to major injuries. Those slides are steep and fast–passengers sometimes land and break an ankle.
Don’t complicate things or risk injuries by trying to rescue any personal belongings. Get off the plane!
It’s summer vacation planning time—have you thought about worst scenarios? Like, you break a leg while surfing. Or you’re in a car accident far away from home. Or you take ill on the road and require hospitalization.
Who ya’ gonna call?
If that happens to you far away from home, you may not want to go to a local hospital. Or there may not be a local hospital, and you may want to be evacuated for medical attention elsewhere. Which is what happened to one of my television show producers who tripped and fell on some uneven rocks at the Roman colosseum and found himself in a very unpleasant Italian hospital with a serious shoulder injury and a surgeon eager to operate.
He thought his premium credit card covered medical evacuation, and it did—to the nearest hospital only. It cost his wife $5,000 to find him a ticket back to his home in Seattle.
Check out InsureMyTrip to compare comprehensive plans. My television crew and I use MedjetAssist that allows you to buy short term or long term coverage. And here’s a perk—MedjetAssist will give you a 10% discount if you use the code “Maxa.”
It’s not easy being a disruptive force.
I landed at Los Angeles’ airport this week, summoned the Uber app on my iPhone to request a car, and was told that Uber had been barred from picking up passengers at LAX.
It’s just one front of many for Uber. A court in Germany has banned all ride-sharing operations. In Paris, police raided Uber’s office. South Korean officials charged Uber with violating the country’s transport laws. And in its home town of San Francisco, Uber is being sued by taxi companies.
Uber is called a “disruptive technology,” but Uber didn’t invent a new, technology. It invented a way to monetize existing assets—people with cars usually in better shape than your average taxi willing to join Uber to create an efficient, easy-to-use transportation network. Just as Airbnb found a way of offering unused rooms, condos, and vacation homes to travelers seeking temporary lodging.
Taxi companies hate Uber, hotels hate Airbnb. But in the long run, I’m betting they’ll continue to prosper.
That’s what happened to Steve Esmond, his wife, and two children. It’s believed the day the Delaware family checked in, the condo below theirs was sprayed with a powerful insecticide that was banned for inside use three decades ago.
The family was rushed to a hospital in serious condition. Esmond and his wife eventually were stabilized, but their two children were still in serious condition by mid-April.
The pesticide, methyl bromide, is commonly used on fruits and vegetables grown in the US. There are occasional reports of consumers taking ill after eating fruit or veggies not cleaned sufficiently, but farmers say it would cost millions if the pesticide was outlawed. It’s supposed to be banned in six years because it’s been proven to cause short term and long term mental damage.
The FBI and the Environmental Protection Agency are investigating the St. John’s incident, and Terminix immediately halted spraying living units there.
Methyl bromide is invisible and odorless, so there’s little you can do to protect yourself except to ask how vacation units are cleaned and hope there’s no methyl bromide involved.