Sep
30
2009
0

Where can I buy a former Prisoner of War Camp?

Harperley POW huts in need of restoration. (Photo by Draco2008 CC-BY)Harperley Prisoner of War Camp in County Durham, England, which was used during the Second World War to house Italian and German POWs has been placed for sale on Ebay under a classified listing. The asking price is £900,000. The present owners acquired the camp 10 years ago with the intention of turning it into [&hel[more...]

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Sep
29
2009
0

Which cellphones have large, high resolution screens?

Nokia E90 smartphone (photo by renaissancechambara - CC-BY)Amongst mobile phones, the king of the displays is currently (as at September 2009) Toshiba’s TG01 with its 4.1 inch screen (cellphone screens are measured diagonally). Waiting in the wings are phones with even larger displays from HTC and Archos. The Nokia E90′s display is only slightly smaller at 4.0 inches, but this phone is [&hel[more...]

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Sep
28
2009
0

What is it like to have a tooth extracted?

Image by wakefielddavid - CC-BYWhen a dentist removes a tooth, he or she generally administers a local anaesthetic then pulls the tooth out mechanically. Some practices may offer a general anaesthetic so that the whole procedure can be carried out while you are “asleep”, but in most countries this is uncommon because of the possible side-effects of the anaesthesia [&hel[more...]

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Sep
28
2009
0

How can I search the web phonetically?

Ear (graphic by davi sommerfeld - CC-BY)Sometimes you need to search the internet, but you don’t know how to spell the word you’re looking for. You only know how to say it. Most modern search engines are pretty good at spelling correction. For example, if you search for elvis preslie, you will be offered the search results for elvis presley. But [&hel[more...]

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Sep
28
2009
0

Should I visit Maligne Lake?

Spirit Island becomes an island in the spring when the ice and snow melt raises the level of Maligne Lake. Photo by answerfinder CC-BYThe beautiful Maligne Lake is to be found in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and contains the iconic landmark of ‘Spirit Island’. The lake should certainly be on any visitors’ itinerary when touring the area. Maligne Lake is situated in Japser National Park, Alberta, and lies 48km from Jasper. The drive to the lake itself offers [&hel[more...]

Sep
23
2009
0

What African and Afrikaans words have made their way into South African English?

Sosatie (photo by chee.hong - CC-BY)If you visit South Africa, you’ll find that English is now the main language for signage, education and tourism. But South African English, as well as being spoken with a distinctive accent, has adopted many words from the Afrikaans language, and from various African languages including Zulu and Xhosa. Here are some of the words [&hel[more...]

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Sep
18
2009
0

Can I grow palm trees outside where it freezes?

Windmill palms standing in the snow in Seattle - courtesy rutlo - CC-BYAre you thinking of being out in the cold looking at bare trees and wishing you could have a more tropical landscape?  Well, maybe you can.  There are palm trees that can take 20 degrees fahrenheit below zero temperatures and survive.  There are palm trees that will grow as far north as Canada and some [&hel[more...]

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Sep
11
2009
0

What’s driving like in South Africa?

Wide-open South African roadInternational travellers are sometimes hesitant to drive in another country, but self-drive is a great way to see the highlights of South Africa. Driving is on the left, as in 30% of the world including Japan, Australasia, and the British Isles. Distances are in kilometers, and speeds in kilometers per hour. Your drivers license is [&hel[more...]

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Sep
10
2009
0

What happens on a visit to a South African game reserve?

Elephant sighting on a game drive at Addo Elephant National Park (photo by H Browne - CC-BY)A game reserve combines nature conservation with travel and adventure. Some game reserves also incorporate animal tracking and hunting, but those are not the kind of game reserves we’re discussing here. We’ll take as our example the game parks run by SANParks, the South African National Parks authority. The game reserves are huge tracts of [&hel[more...]

Sep
09
2009
0

How strong are vitro-ceramic (“glass”) cooktops?

Chipped stovetop (photo by Roger Browne - CC-BY)Vitroceramic cooktops are flat and sleek, but they also look fragile. How robust are they? A vitroceramic stove top is a sheet of glassified ceramic which has been heated in such a way as to remove internal discontinuities where cracks would develop. A cooker made from this glass-ceramic substance is surprisingly strong. The instruction manual [&hel[more...]

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Sep
07
2009
0

What do you see on a South African Township Tour?

Informal self-built house in Walmer Township (photo by H Browne - CC-BY)The South African townships originated when rural South Africans left their tribal areas and migrated to the cities, setting up squatter camps on the periphery. These areas later became locations where the policy of Apartheid was enforced—with black South Africans being restricted to living in the townships while white South Africans lived in the main [&hel[more...]

Sep
06
2009
0

What’s a good two-week itinerary for South Africa’s garden route?

Southern Right Whales at Hermanus (photo by exfordy - CC-BY)The Garden Route isn’t about gardens. The name alludes to its lush and verdant coast, mountains and forests, which contrast with the arid nature of much of the rest of South Africa, and it makes for a great driving holiday. The Garden Route is that part of the N2 highway which follows the coast between [&hel[more...]

Sep
04
2009
0

How do South Africans cope with the high crime rate?

Electric fenceBy some statistical measures (but not others), South Africa has the highest crime rate in the world. Robbery, murder and rape are astonishingly high. How can people live in a place like that? First, it should be said that the statistics, horrendous though they are, are somewhat misleading. South Africa is unusual in that it [&hel[more...]

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