Posts

Geminid Meteor Shower

How To Watch The Upcoming Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

In late April and early May, scientists claim the Eta Aquarid meteor shower will illuminate the sky all over the world, dazzling any onlookers with up to 50 meteors passing through the sky per hour. The show is actually a result of debris left behind by Halley’s Comet. 

According to experts each spring, the Earth passes through the debris trail from Halley’s Comet; one of the most famous comets in history. As bits of ice and rock enter into our atmosphere from the comet itself, they burn up into meteors, and light up the sky in what we view as a multitude of shooting stars. 

Embed from Getty Images

The Earth passes through the trail of Halley’s Comet twice a year, this marks the first for 2021 and the second crossing will occur this fall and create what is known as the Orionid meteor shower. During this specific shower, however, scientists claim that the shooting stars seem to come directly from the constellation Aquarius; which is how the event got its name. 

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is known for having extremely fast stars that can travel up to 44 miles per second from our vantage point. However, don’t worry if you’re not quick enough to catch one, because most leave glowing trials behind them for a few seconds. 

The shower in total runs from April 19th to May 28th, but more times than not there will only be a handful of shooting stars every night. For the best chance of seeing one, go out before dawn on May 5th, when the shower is predicted to be at its peak. The days leading up to and following the peak will be most ideal for viewing. 

Embed from Getty Images

Predawn early hours are thought to be the very best time to see shooting stars, so you’ll have to get up nice and early if you really want to see the show.

Your distance from the equator also may impact how many meteors you’ll see in the coming month. The closer you are, the more likely you’ll see shooting stars light up the sky every night. Scientists claim the Southern Hemisphere has the most prime viewing of this shower, however, the Eta Aquarids are visible all over the world, they’re just more predominant in some places. 

The next two meteor showers that will be around the same size as these two annual ones will be the Southern Delta Aquarid shower and the Alpha Capricornids shower, both of which are set to begin and peak in late July. However, the Perseid meteor shower coming up this August is projected to be one of the biggest of the year.

France Is Testing Digital Covid Travel Certificates For Vaccinated Individuals

France has become the first member state of the European Union to begin testing a digital Covid-19 travel certificate as a part of Europe’s larger plan to allow people to travel between countries more easily once they’re vaccinated.  

The TousAntiCovid app is a part of the nation’s overall contact tracing program, which has recently been updated to store negative Covid-19 test results on travelers’ mobile phones. The app is now being trialed on flights to Corisca and overseas to accommodate for vaccinated individuals as well. 

The trial is being extended from April 29th in order to include vaccination certificates as more citizens receive them. If the trial runs end up being successful, the application could eventually be used for entry into public events like concerts, festivals, and sporting events; officials did mention that the technology would not be used for entry into bars and restaurants. 

Embed from Getty Images

Cedric O, the minister for digital transition discussed how the trial in France will become one part of a larger more standardized system to be used all throughout Europe. Several other EU member states are already in talks with France over expanding the technology to reach more countries. 

The European commissioner for justice, Didier Reynders, said last week he expected “the EU’s digital green certificate to be operational by June 21st because the certificate is an urgent priority for southern European member states whose economies have been devastated by the pandemic.”

The program has not been referred to as a “vaccine passport” so that citizens know its not being created to discriminate against those who haven’t been vaccinated yet, especially since it’s original purpose was to carry negative Covid tests for travelers. 

Embed from Getty Images

Ideally, those who have a certificate of approval will be able to travel without quarantining, and will have proof of vaccination, negative testing, or antibodies all on their phone. Those in France being vaccinated this week, and the weeks after this, will receive a text message or email that will give them access to a state-certified online document that can be downloaded or printed out, or stored in the TousAntiCovid app. 

According to reports “the app will generate a secure QR code containing a range of information including the traveler’s name, the date and type of their test or vaccine, and details of the relevant doctor or laboratory, all of which can be checked against a national database.”

Several EU member states are already working on similar programs for their citizens, which has some experts concerned over how well multiple systems will work together. Data security and privacy is also being viewed as top concern. 

So far every app and digital proof of vaccination/negative Covid tests is in its trial phase, and they will likely continue to advance as vaccinations continue throughout the world.

West Virginia Will Pay Remote Workers $12,000 To Move There

Throughout the pandemic, cities throughout the US have begun offering remote workers cash as an incentive to relocate. Tulsa, Oklahoma and Natchez, Mississippi have both created official programs to pay remote workers to move there, and now, West Virginia wants to pay remote workers $12,000 to move to its “country roads.” 

On April 12th Governor Jim Justice announced the Ascend WV program, which would “allow adventurers to enjoy world-class recreation, uncrowded spaces, and a low cost of living while staying fully connected to their jobs.” 

Embed from Getty Images

Major companies throughout the US are beginning to bring their employees back into the office as multiple vaccines become available throughout the country. This is a major motivator for West Virginia, who’s looking to bring in a greater population as the nation returns to a greater sense of normalcy in the coming months. 

The $12,000 West Virginia is offering is paid over two years, with $10,000 divided in monthly payments for the first year and $2,000 paid at the end of the second year, according to the program’s website. If you move early, you keep the money that you’ve earned so far,” according to news reports. 

According to the website, “the incentive package also includes a year’s worth of free outdoor recreation, bringing the total value to $20,000. That includes a year of access to activities such as whitewater rafting and downhill skiing, as well as two years of free outdoor gear rentals, such as camping gear or paddleboarding equipment.”

Embed from Getty Images

Applicants must be 18 years or older with a full-time remote job at a company located outside the state of West Virginia in order to qualify for the program. Shepherdstown, Lewisburg and Morgantown are the first three host cities accepting applicants who are interested in the program. More than 2,000 people have already applied for the 50 spots available in Morgantown. 

Applications will be open until the end of May for Morgantown, and will open up for Shepherdstown and Leqisburg in the beginning of 2022. 

The governor’s office also revealed that the program is partially supported by Brad Smith and his wife Alys; Brad was the former CEO of Intuit and is a native West Virginian. According to the governor’s office the couple donated $25 million to West Virginia University to get the program off the ground. 

“Alys and I are committed to the success of this program and its ability to leverage West Virginia’s outdoor assets to attract fresh talent, cultivate dynamic communities and continue to fuel the entrepreneurial and innovative thinking that are hallmarks of the state,” Smith said. The Smiths hope the program will eventually include all of the states’ 55 counties as well.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaii Updated Covid-19 Travel Restrictions

Hawaii is one of the most popular destinations that people want to fly to once the Covid-19 pandemic improves, here’s how the island’s are preparing.

Alcohol Drinks

New York’s Newest Hidden Subway Speakeasy Has A 900-Person Reservation List

La Noxe is New York’s newest speakeasy, and has already gained a slew of attention from citizens looking for the most unique experiences that the city has to offer. Jey Perie is the founder of the establishment, and he’s known for his former ownership of the Williamsburg dance club Kinfolk.

“[In] early 2019, I was looking for any interesting locations that would allow me to develop my own take on a nightlife establishment. I lived in Tokyo for six years and was impacted by the restaurants, bars, and clubs I frequented while I was there. As soon as I came across the space underground at 28th Street, I instantly knew that was the spot,” he explained.

Embed from Getty Images

The venue is located at 315 Seventh Avenue, and is described as a mixture of 70s Mexican architecture inspired by Luis Barragán, as well as Perie’s experiences living in Tokyo and Barcelona. Perie said he wanted to create an “oasis of cultures and influences” within the space, and after working with the city’s MTA and Department of Buildings, his dreams were able to become a reality in March 2020; unfortunately the coronavirus had other plans.

The bar was initially projected to open fully on June 9th, but instead has now secretly opened to serve coffee, sandwiches, and fresh cold-pressed juices. The establishment also offers cocktails and to-go wine with any food purchase. After the delays and multiple pandemic-related hurdles, the speakeasy fully opened by reservation only in October.

After 12 weeks of being open, the speakeasy had to pause before reopening in mid-February. Currently, La Noxe is serving food and drinks on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., and yes, it’s still by reservation only. The venue itself can only hold 15 people at a time due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Embed from Getty Images

“Every day, we are hosting amazing new guests, many of whom I hope will become regulars. Our goal is to build a strong community of people who love great food, cocktails, wine, and music. The goal is to eventually open until 4 a.m. to truly embrace the nightlife scene. We are definitely not trying to be a tourist attraction. We believe the right people will always find their way to La Noxe,” Perie explained.

The restaurant side of the business serves a variety of seafood options such as “daily catch ceviche, bass tiradito, and shrimp vuelve a la vida with tostones. The house drinks include Forbidden Love (aloe, cucumber, lemon, and vodka) and the La Noux Banana Daiquiri (banana liqueur, Jamaican bitters, and charanda).”

Perie explained to the press that “the focus of La Noxe is its drinks, but it’s the atmosphere that truly stands out. The size and location of the room will make you feel like you are partying for a few hours in the apartment of an eccentric artist circa 1977. But first and foremost, La Noxe is a New York experience.”

Europe Facing Another Easter Full Of Covid Restrictions

Despite the rollout of multiple vaccines, European nations are about to endure another holiday weekend full of restrictions to combat the spreading of Covid-19 and its variants.

CDC Tells Americans To ‘Limit Travel’ As Covid-19 Surges Continue Throughout Nation 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave Americans a stark warning this week, claiming that they should limit all travel, as Covid-19 cases are beginning to spike throughout the nation again, despite the roll out of multiple vaccines. 

Dr. Rochelle Walenshy is the director of the CDC, who said that travel is helping spread the coronavirus, as it has been for the past year now. During a White House briefing she said: “I would just sort of reiterate the recommendations from the CDC that tell us to please limit travel to essential travel only for the time being.”

Walensky warned Americans of an “impending doom” if they continue to go about their lives as they currently are. She even went as far as to express that she herself was scared for the future of the nation. 

Embed from Getty Images

“We must act now, and I am worries that if we don’t take the right actions now, we will have another avoidable surge, just like we’re seeing in Europe right now and just as we are so aggressively scaling up vaccinations.” 

President Joe Biden has also asked all state officials to reinstate mask mandates to continue to combat the pandemic. Biden claimed that reckless behavior is leading to the virus spreading again. 

“People are letting up on precautions, which is a very bad thing. We are giving up hard-fought, hard-won gains. This is not a time to lessen our efforts.. We could still see a setback in the vaccination program. And most importantly, if we let our guard down now we could see a virus getting worse, not better,” Biden proclaimed. 

Embed from Getty Images

As previously mentioned, these warnings are a result of new Covid cases rising throughout the country. According to the New York Times official Covid-19 dashboard new cases have been rising by 15% for the past two weeks, and the CDC blames that rise on an increase in travel. 

TSA data shows that more than one million people have been walking throughout the airports everyday since the beginning of March. For comparison at this point last year TSA screened around 180,000 people. 

The CDC is highly recommending everyone continue to abide by proper health and safety procedures until a greater herd immunity is met, and that includes not traveling even if you’re fully vaccinated. 

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have proven to be highly effective in the real world when it comes to preventing the transmission of Covid-19, however, the CDC thinks Americans are getting too comfortable too quickly, and need to continue to be patient until the rest of the nation can catch up with vaccinations.

Why The Travel Industry Is Ready To Embrace Covid-19 Vaccination Passports

Many airlines are already looking into implementing a vaccine passport requirement to motivate safe travel as more individuals receive their doses around the world.

Some Of The Most Breathtaking Places To See Wildflowers In The US

With the Covid-19 pandemic finally beginning to reach it’s long-winded end with the release of multiple vaccines, many are ready to return to their normal lives. Many aren’t going to be rushing to the airport anytime soon, however, a lot of people are ready to begin traveling across the country in a safe way as more and more people get vaccinated. 

Below is a list of some of the most spectacular locations to see a variety of vibrant wildflowers throughout the United States. Many individuals are opting to go on road trips as the weather gets warmer and the country begins to reopen, here’s some of the most popular destinations that US residents will be heading to in the coming months: 

Embed from Getty Images

Texas: From March to May Texas is known for having spectacular fields full of colorful spring flowers. Texas Hill Country is one of the most famous parts of the state for flower viewing due to its prominent Indian paintbrushes, pink evening primroses, daisies, winecups, prairie verbenas, and golden eye phlox populations. The 80-mile loop from Brenham to Chappell Hill is also known for its intense and vibrant meadows full of purple coneflowers, verbenas, beardtongues, skullcaps, prairie parsley, yellow wild indigo, blue-eyed grasses, blanket flowers, and more.

South Dakota: South Dakota offers a wide variety of wildflower destinations alongside the multitude of other national monuments present in the state. Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse Memorial all contain some of the nation’s most spectacular views. The Badlands National Park is known for having some of the country’s most natural scenery in the spring and summer, including the prairie coneflowers, Woods’ roses, and Rocky Mountain blazing stars.

Florida: According to travel journalist Skye Sherman, “while they’re not exactly wildflowers, South Florida’s tabebuia trees (also known as trumpet trees) are still a sight to behold. Each spring, the trees erupt in clouds of yellow — sunny as the state itself — or a light pastel pink that perfectly captures the spirit of springtime. Head to Palm Beach starting in March to spot these colorful blooms.

Embed from Getty Images

California: California is constantly blooming, it just depends on where you go and what the time of year is. February through April is known to be the best time to find the state really covered in wildflowers and other exotic plant life. The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and Carlsbad Flower Fields are the best places to take in the golden state’s beauty. 

Colorado:  Colorado is ideal for a summer hiking trip because not only is the weather glorious, but trails across the state are surrounded by a rainbow of wildflowers. Head to Crested Butte, considered to be the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado,” for the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival and great hiking opportunities, or Steamboat Springs to spot the Colorado blue columbine and red Indian paintbrush on the trails,” according to Sherman.

Montana: Prairie and Alpine wildflowers saturate the grounds of the Glacier National Park every year from June to July. The one month residency makes Montana one of the most popular summer travel spots in the US. In general more than 1,000 breeds of wildflowers grow in the Glacier National Park throughout the summer, so you’re guaranteed some of the most beautiful views you’ve ever seen should you take the trip.

Greece Views

Greece Is Hoping To Reopen For Tourists In May 

Greece is hoping to reopen its doors for tourists and travelers in May, the 14th of May to be more specific. The country’s tourism minister recently made the announcement of what he claimed was a “much-awaited date for the tourist season to officially begin.”

Haris Theoharis told the world’s largest tourism fair, the IBT Berlin Tourism Fair, that anyone who’s been vaccinated for Covid-19, possesses antibodies, or has tested negative for Covid-19 will be able to visit Greece anytime after May 14th. 

“We aim to open tourism by May 14th with specific rules and updated protocols. Until then, we will gradually lift restrictions if conditions allow.” 

Embed from Getty Images

This reopening makes sense considering tourism is one of the largest sectors of the economy in Europe, but especially Greece. Athens specifically has been struggling greatly to cope with the loss of income and revenue that normally comes with tourism season. Authorities in Greece have even called upon the European Union to create vaccination certificates so that individuals who have received their doses can travel more easily. 

This week the European Union commission’s vice president, Margaritis Schinas, claimed that he believed a digital vaccination pass would be available by the summer.

“I think after the last summit there is convergence on the need for this digital vaccination certificate. It will be a European product and will be the same throughout Europe.”

Embed from Getty Images

Ursula von der Leyen, the commission’s president, however, also warned that there are a lot of legal and technical dangers with creating digital vaccination certificates, so it will have to be methodically planned out to ensure every citizen’s identity remains safe. 

One in five Greek residents work in tourism, in fact, it’s the country’s largest economic sector. The government has claimed that it’s aiming to attract at least 50% of the 31.3 million people who typically visit Greece annually in non-pandemic circumstances. 

According to the UK government the May 17th is the earliest date that the nation will allow international travel to occur. This projection was a part of the government’s roadmap for navigating its third national lockdown. UK tourists are Greece’s second largest source of visitors as well, so officials from Athens have been working closely with Britain on distributing vaccines and creating updated travel guidelines. 

Theoharis claims that once all elderly and vulnerable individuals are vaccinated it could begin bringing back employees to its tourism sector. The government in Greece also said that it expects the country will be able to meet this goal once it receives its order of more than 2 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.