The Daily Traveler: Amazing Observatories Around the World Perfect for Stargazing

Amazing Observatories Around the World Perfect for Stargazing

If Cosmos has piqued your interest in the stars, then you need to add one of these incredible observatories to your bucket list. Perched upon mountaintops and even volcanoes, these high-tech towers are perfect for studying the heavens from behind a telescope.

Antofagasta, Chile
Chile has become a hotspot for the science, and there are at least a dozen observatories—at various levels of tourist-friendliness—working within the country's borders. Operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), Paranal is open to weekend visitors, who come to see the simply named Very Large Telescope (VLT). The VLT is actually comprised of four smaller telescopes—named Antu, Kueyen, Melipal, Yepun, meaning Sun, Moon, Southern Cross, and Venus in the indigenous Mapuche language—which can be used in tandem to create an interferometer that allows astronomers to see details up to 25 times finer than they could with individual telescopes.
Visit: Free, guided tours are offered on Saturdays at 10 am and 2 pm. There is no charge, but reservations are required.

Click through to see the full slideshow at the Condé Nast Traveler.

Photo: Gabriel Brammer/dpa/Corbis

The Daily Traveler: Life-Saving Travel Tech

These Travel Gadgets Will Save Your Life

Travel can be filled with danger. From shark attacks to heart attacks, these devices can keep your journey safe.

Danger: Collisions
Why should skiiers and mountain-climbers have all the fun? Bikers can get their own protective airbags, courtesy of Sweden's Hövding. The bag is worn deflated around the neck, like a big collar. Sensors can tell when the biker's involved in a collision, inflating the airbag around the head in a tenth of a second. And, because it zips around the neck, bikers don't have to worry about helmet hair, either.

Click through to see the full slideshow at The Condé Nast Traveler.

June Issue: Health and Fitness Guide

For the June issue, I produced a 24-page Health and Fitness Guide, conceiving, pitching, and assigning all of the s. Articles include:

-Doctors Ditching Medicine for Medi-Spas

-Meeting Non-Weight-Loss Fitness Goals (Running Faster, Toning Up, Decreasing Heart Rate, etc.)

-The Biggest Threats to the Health of High Schoolers

-One Local Girl's Success with Gene-Based Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis

-Fifteen Common Health Myths Debunked

-Five New Healthy Food to Eat in 2013

-Q&As with Westchester's Health Experts

-Why Health and Fitness Should Be a Family Commitment

Of course, I couldn't resist writing of of my own, a slideshow gallery about gadgets and apps that can get people started on the road to fitness.

Gadgets and Apps to Get You Going

Here, my favorite:

THE RUNNING DEAD: Nothing motivates as much as sheer terror: It gets the heart pounding and the legs moving. Do you think you’d have as much trouble with your get-up-and-go if you were running for your life amidst the zombie apocalypse? The Zombies, Run! The 5K Training app deposits you in the middle of one of 30+ missions; you need to run (in real life) to avoid (virtual) zombies, all set to your favorite adrenaline-pumping music. You’ll also be sent to collect critical supplies and return them to your base to save civilization as you know it. Available for iPhones/iPads, Android, and Windows phones, $1.99;

Click on "Gadgets and Apps" to see the rest of the gallery, or check out the rest of the Health and Fitness Guide

The Daily Traveler: Wacky Travel Accessories II

If you enjoyed my other article about the strangest travel gear, here is the addendum.

Even More Wacky Travel Accessories

The Walker's Path Illuminating Belt

When stumbling around in the near-dark, for obvious reasons it's best to be as unencumbered as possible. Flashlights tie up your hands, and headlamps mess up your hair (not to mention blind anyone you talk to). This LED belt provides 100 lumens of unhindered, crotch-level illumination, the angle of which can be adjusted from floodlight to spotlight. You do run the risk, however, of looking like a Care Bear in the midst of a Care Bear Stare. Available at Hammacher Schlemmer, $60.


Click through to see the rest of the slideshow at the Condé Nast Traveler.

The Daily Traveler: Wacky Travel Accessories


Whenever you travel, you have your essentials: your passport, your carry-on, your in-flight distraction of choice (iPad, Kindle, magazine). Then you have items that are…not so necessary, like these 10 odd travel gadgets and gizmos I wrote about for the Condé Nast Traveler website.

Portable Infrared Sauna
If your hotel doesn't have its own spa, but you can't live without your daily schvitz, just bring the sauna with you. The system deploys 600-watt, infrared heaters to make you work up a sweat—you just have to be cool with looking like you're resting in the world's least comfortable sleeping bag., $400

Click through to read the rest at the Condé Nast Traveler.