Category Archives: travel

Cats in Japan: Shisa

by Greg Mayer “Guardian lions” are widespread in East Asia, where each country has its own particular folklore and practice associated with the common tradition. They are especially common on Okinawa, which has its own version, called shisa.  While on mainland Japan guardian lions are associated usually with shrines, on Okinawa they are everywhere, with […]

The new Wienermobiles

I’ll never forget the first time I saw the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. I was a little kid, and we were driving through Ohio with my parents and my sister. All of a sudden there was a car next to us shaped like a hot dog! I was transfixed. I didn’t know at the time that […]

Cats in Japan: Art and Culture

JAC: Here’s the second installment of Greg’s travelogue about his recent trip to Japan. This one touches a subject dear to our hearts. _______________________ by Greg Mayer Cats are an important element in Japanese culture. In Japan, images of cats, and, in some places, actual cats, are everywhere. While in Kyoto, we saw flyers announcing […]

Are you big in Japan?

Note by JAC: Greg has just returned from two weeks in Japan and will be writing us several posts about his experiences there. This one features soccer, a sport Greg plays. by Greg Mayer Are you big in Japan? Cristiano Ronaldo is, at least as judged by the prominence of his much-larger-than-life visage on the […]

I got poutine!

Thanks to Larry Moran, I found poutine–right across the street from my hotel. It’s the first food I had all day, and boy, was it good! (This one had short ribs added to the fries, cheese curds, and gravy.) That’s a margarita in front of me: cultural appropriation! Photo by Larry:

My lunch in Washington

Since tomorrow I’m doing my bit for CfI and the Dawkins Foundation without remuneration (and I don’t want any!), I figured I might as well eat well when I’m in Washington. And so I hied to Georgia Brown’s restaurant, just a short hop from my hotel. It’s slightly upscale Southern food, and they have a good prix fixe […]

Wildlife and other photos from New Zealand: Tiritiri Matangi Reserve

A few days before I regretfully left New Zealand, reader Gayle Ferguson took me on an all-day expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island, a small (2.2 km² [1 square mile] reserve located on an island only about 3 km from the shore. Here’s where it is. It is a reserve that was denuded by farming and […]

Readers’ wildlife photos and video, and more on New Zealand

Several days before I left New Zealand, Gayle Ferguson was kind enough to drive me to the Muriwai Gannet Colony near Auckland. I’d never seen a gannet before, and didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be a fantastic experience. Here’s where it is–near Auckland (colony is starred): We brought Bob the […]

Around Taumarunui, part 2

I was under the weather with an incipient cold for one day in Taumarunui, but I recovered quickly, and Heather suggested a drive to Tongariro National Park, about an hour away. It’s the oldest national park in New Zealand, the fourth oldest in the world, and is a UNESCO cultural/natural heritage site due to its […]

Around Taumarunui: animals, including glowworms!

My visit to Taumaruni and fellow atheist “blogger” Heather Hastie ends tomorrow when I take a bus to Auckland, where I’ll stay for six days before flying home. Heather was kind enough to take me to several local areas of interest, and I’ll do two posts on the area.  Two days ago, we did a […]