Escape the News with the British Podcast “In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg”

Escape the News with the British Podcast “In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg”

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg,” a weekly BBC Radio 4
program that has aired in the U.K. since 1998, consists of a
conversation between its host and three academics about some worthy
cultural or historical subject—recently, Picasso’s “Guernica,” feathered dinosaurs, Germaine de Stael, and the Picts. (Up next: Thebes.) The show is beloved
in the U.K.; for American podcast enthusiasts, it might be experienced
as a refreshing change of pace. It’s nothing like the “This American
Life” style of audio entertainment, marked by self-effacing narrative
authority, inventive sound design, human intimacy of various kinds, and
artfully revealed narrative surprises. It is not organized into themed
seasons or arcs. Nor is it an NPR-style show about current events,
scientific discoveries, or new books, satisfying a need to keep up with
the cultural conversation. It’s just four intelligent people in a
studio, discussing complex topics that are, as a friend of mine once
said of Bragg’s openers, aggressively uncommercial. To mark the show’s
seven-hundred-and-fiftieth episode, last year, a Top Ten list of favorite shows
was chosen by listeners. The winning episodes included “1816, the Year Without a Summer,” “The Gin Craze,” “Photosynthesis,” and “Hildegard of Bingen.” Take that, journalistic pegs and hooks.

Bragg, who is seventy-eight, grew up in a town called Wigton, in Cumbria, as
the only child of working-class parents. For much of his youth, the
family lived above a pub. He went on to study modern history at Oxford,
publish three dozen books—fiction and nonfiction—and host
long-running culture programs on both TV (“The South Bank Show”) and
radio. In 1998, Tony Blair appointed him as a life Labour peer in the
House of Lords: he is Lord Bragg of Wigton. British journalists have
written about Bragg’s relationships, his holiday parties, his attendance
at royal weddings, his lush head of hair. For the naïve American
listener, aware of little or none of this context, it’s pleasant just
listening to this bluff, no-nonsense presence powering his way through
conversation about the Baltic Crusades or the Epic of Gilgamesh. When
“The South Bank Show” went off the air, in 2012, British observers
worried that it marked a foreboding shift in the cultural landscape—a
wide-scale dumbing down. But “In Our Time,” an ideas show in which you
run up quickly against your intellectual strengths and weaknesses, just
as you did in school, garners two million listeners a week.

“In Our Time” has a straightforward structure. Bragg gives a very brief
introduction (“Hello. Until twenty years ago, dinosaurs were widely
assumed to be large, lumpen lizards that became extinct millions of
years ago”); he asks a guest for background (“Mike Benton, how did the
idea become commonplace that dinosaurs were slow, heavy lizards?”); he
pushes onward (“How was Huxley’s news received?”); he brings in the
second expert (“Steve Brusatte, before we go further, can you give us a
few astonishing facts about their lifetime, and what they did, and why
they were there so long, and how most of them were extinguished so
quickly?”); and the third (“Maria McNamara, what are our listeners to
understand by ‘feathers’?”). Once the conversation gets off the ground,
Bragg brings in other questions and ideas, continues to extract insights
from the academics, draws toward a conclusion, and swiftly wraps up. In
the podcast, there’s an extra bit afterward, in which host and guests
talk about things they didn’t have time to cover on the air. These
segments feel pleasantly like eavesdropping, or hanging out backstage
after a lecture. There’s a “How’d we do?” quality, almost as if the tape
has been left running. (“And Maria, you didn’t get on to the molecules,
and the survival of organic matter, but there we are.”) Somebody comes
in and asks if they’d like coffee or tea, and it ends, with the brief
teaser of the announcement of next week’s odd topic.

For me, a secondary pleasure of “In Our Time”—and I say this
respectfully—is that I find it quite funny, and always because of Bragg.
For one, there are those abrupt openers: “Hello, if you were to point a
reasonably powerful telescope at the surface of the moon at latitude
17.9 degrees, longitude 92.5 degrees, you’ll find yourself looking at
the al-Biruni crater.” “Hello, ‘Four Quartets’ is T. S. Eliot’s last
great poem.” “Hello, the Gin Craze gripped Britain in the eighteenth
century, when the government feared that poor people were drinking far
too much cheap gin, damaging their own health and the safety and
well-being of all.” “Hello, Germaine de Staël was born in Paris, in
1766, where her father was finance minister to Louis XVI and her mother
held dazzling salons.” Barrelling ahead, his manner is similarly
efficient—broadly curious, bluntly purpose-driven. “Let’s zoom in on
Pushkin,” he says in the “Eugene Onegin” episode, rolling up
his sleeves. He’s stern with his good-natured, compliant academics: he
doesn’t want to hear about all six of Jane Austen’s brothers, thank you.
In one episode, he says, briskly, “Can I ask you, Jane Gelman, about
time in ‘Mrs Dalloway.’ It was originally called ‘The Hours,’ Big Ben
keeps striking, clocks are all over the place—right.”

We’re all comfortable with discussing these subjects, his tone seems to
say; no need to be self-important. (And there’s none of the
self-congratulatory “We’re nerds!” giddiness that can accompany talk
about the highbrow or the arcane among people of my generation,
especially in the U.S., especially on podcasts.) Bragg can be slangy, in
his way—part Henry Higgins, part Eliza Doolittle. Napoleon “only comes a
cropper when he tries to invade Russia”; while E. M. Forster was nervous about “Maurice,” he observes, Virginia Woolf was “bowling away with lesbianism.” An overly optimistic “Little Women” joke, quickly regretted, in the Emily Dickinson episode, generated a confused few seconds of his attempting to find some link between
Dickinson and Louisa May Alcott; when I heard this moment, this summer
on Cape Cod, as I ambled through the woods, I actually stopped in my
tracks, I was so startled and amused. His guests were flummoxed, too, as
was Bragg, it seemed, but then he shook it off and rolled right along.

During that Cape Cod vacation, I developed a new appreciation for “In
Our Time.” Hiking through marshes, or watering flowerbeds and lugging
garden hoses around, I sought to escape the feeling of cultural busyness
of daily life in Manhattan and the anxiety of political life in America
in 2017—but I also wanted perspective. Heading into the winter holidays,
it’s something to keep in mind. “In Our Time” provides perspective the
way that reading a classic novel does. This summer, I listened to every
literature episode of the past few years (the whole archive is available online), explored British views of the Gettysburg Address
and the Salem witch trials, and bravely poked around in the realms of
the unknown—Saturn, eunuchs, Gerald of Wales. In part because “In Our
Time” is unconnected to things that are coming out, things happening
right this minute, things being promoted, it feels aligned with the
eternal rather than the temporal, and is therefore escapist without
being junk. On Cape Cod, listening to the “Emma” episode, I excitedly
typed the phrase “the danger of intellectual solitude” into my notepad—a
danger articulated by Austen, which Emma faced before her novel’s worth
of adventures and lessons, and which “In Our Time,” week after week,
unsentimentally fends off.


via Everything

November 22, 2017 at 02:19PM

New York City Hotels Appeal to Tourists and Locals With Innovative Design

New York City Hotels Appeal to Tourists and Locals With Innovative Design

Beth J. Harpaz  / Associated Press

The lobby of the Baccarat Hotel is one of the city’s most luxurious. Beth J. Harpaz / Associated Press

Skift Take: From historic bars and rooftop mini golf courses to creative co-working spaces and a veritable library of thousands of books, these NYC hotels have something for everyone, whether you’re just visiting town or a local.

— Deanna Ting

New York has hundreds of hotels, located in different neighborhoods, with different styles and amenities.

But a hotel is more than just a place to rest your head. Many hotels have something truly special to offer, and often those features can be experienced even if you’re not staying overnight. Stop in for a drink, for dinner or even just take a peek inside the lobby or the bar.

Here’s a quick look at five Manhattan hotels and what’s unique about each of them.


The Beekman hotel opened just last year at 123 Nassau St., but its Temple Court restaurant and bar has already become one of Lower Manhattan’s most popular after-work spots. It’s located in a landmarked 1881 building that was vacant for years before the hotel’s painstaking historic restoration brought it back to life. The building’s star attraction is a glorious nine-story atrium surrounded by decorative wrought-iron balconies. In the lobby, antique oriental carpets suggest exotic adventure, while Edgar Allan Poe’s portrait connects the site to an even earlier incarnation as the Mercantile Library Association, frequented by Poe and other 19th-century writers.


Moxy hotels are part of the Marriott chain, but they were designed to appeal to millennials and they have the look and feel of fun, chic boutique hotels. The Moxy Times Square, which opened in late September at 485 Seventh Ave., has already become a playground for the city’s 20somethings. It’s hosted everything from a graffiti master class to a pop-up shop with an “embroidery bar” offering personalized designs. But it’s the Moxy’s Magic Hour rooftop bar and lounge that’s the killer attraction, with a view of the Empire State Building, live DJs, a carousel, a minigolf course called Foreplay and topiary bears in naughty poses. You can even order up a $99 crash pad from the cocktail menu.


Hang out with the cool kids on the Lower East Side in the coworking spaces at the Public hotel, 215 Chrystie St. It’s got everything from stadium-style seating to long white sofas, along with spots for food, coffee and cocktails. Bring your laptop, sketchpad or notebook and come up with the next big idea. There’s also a small, tranquil park with a picnic table just out front, a sleek rooftop bar with great views and a groovy escalator lined with neon-like lights. The hotel opened earlier this year and is the brainchild of Ian Schrager, co-founder of the legendary 1970s disco Studio 54 and the businessman credited with creating the concept of boutique hotels.


There are 6,000 books in the Library Hotel. You’ll find books in the lobby, in your room, at the rooftop bar and in the hotel’s reading room. Located at 299 Madison Ave., it’s a block from the grand New York Public Library building with those famous stone lions out front. You can even see the public library from some of the guest rooms. But the really clever thing about the Library Hotel is that it’s organized according to the Dewey Decimal System, which uses numbers to classify books by subject. Every floor is themed on a different Dewey Decimal category — for example technology, social sciences or literature. And each room is themed with art and books on a topic within that category. Looking for a romantic place to spend the night? On the philosophy floor, there’s a room themed on love.


You may know the name Baccarat from the company that produces some of the world’s finest French crystal. But you may not know that there’s a Baccarat hotel, open since 2015 and discreetly located at 28 W. 53rd St. across from the Museum of Modern Art. If you can’t afford an $855-a-night room here, how about a $42 cocktail called La Belle Epoque? As you walk to the bar, take in the crystal chandeliers and candelabras, the sparkling stemware and bowls, the white sofas and bouquets of perfect, bright red roses. It’s not just bling. It’s a sumptuous look that simply defines luxury.

Copyright (2017) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. 

This article was written by Beth J. Harpaz from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to


via Skift

November 22, 2017 at 02:06PM

Complete Global Entry Interview at 16 Airports Upon Arrival From an International Trip

Complete Global Entry Interview at 16 Airports Upon Arrival From an International Trip

The Customs and Border Protection agency is making it easier for you to get approved for Global Entry. The agency has announced that more airports have been added to its “Enrollment on Arrival” service, which allows you to complete your Global Entry enrollment interview as part of the immigration process when arriving at the airport after an international trip.

When “Enrollment on Arrival” first launched in July, it was available as an option at five airports: Houston (IAH and HOU), Austin (AUS), San Francisco (SFO) and Vancouver (YVR). Now, a Reddit user received a letter from the CBP, indicating that the program was now available at several new airports. The “Enrollment on Arrival” option is now available at the following 16 airports:

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Denver International Airport (DEN)
Detroit Metropolitan International Airport (DTW)
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)

The “Enrollment on Arrival” option is available only for those who have already submitted their online Global Entry application and have been conditionally approved for membership. Oftentimes the wait times for an interview slot can exceed weeks or even months. So, the “Enrollment on Arrival” option can help to expedite the process of being approved for Global Entry while simultaneously clearing customs from an international trip.

If you’re interested in taking advantage and are traveling through one of the aforementioned airports when returning from an international trip, you’ll want to follow signs in the airport for the “Enrollment on Arrival” lanes. A CBP agent will then complete your Global Entry interview during your admissibility inspection. No other documents are needed other than your “requisite documents for international travel,” for example, your passport. If your Global Entry membership is approved, your fingerprints will be collected and you’ll get membership for five years.

TPG highly recommends getting Global Entry for all travelers who venture outside of the US — even on a semi-regular basis. One of the most frustrating parts of being approved for a Global Entry membership, however, is waiting for an interview. This “Enrollment on Arrival” option takes the pain of waiting for an interview out of the equation by allowing you to do so right at the airport — now at more airports than before. Remember that you can get a fee credit for Global Entry (and therefore TSA PreCheck) through several credit cards. Cards that offer that credit include the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Platinum Card from American Express and more.


via The Points Guy

November 22, 2017 at 01:17PM

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Flight Deals for 2017

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Flight Deals for 2017

Be sure to bookmark this post, as we’ll be updating it through Cyber Monday 2017. If you spot a deal that isn’t listed below please share it in the comments. Also, see our Black Friday hotel deal roundup here.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are best known for major discounts on holiday shopping purchases, in recent years airlines have gotten in on the action as well. So we’ve put together a list of all the major Thanksgiving holiday promotions currently being offered by carriers in both the US and overseas. When booking these flights, don’t forget to use a credit card that gives you bonus points for airfare purchases, and if you’re buying a ticket in a foreign currency, double check to be sure your card waives foreign transaction fees.


Southwest Airlines teams up with the Kidd Kraddick foundation to fly chronically and terminally ill children and their families to Disney World for an all-expenses paid vacation. The annual Kidd
You can get up to $250 off a Southwest Vacation package during the airline’s Cyber Week sale.

While the airline is promising to announce daily deals throughout the long holiday weekend, it’s already launched discounts on its flight + hotel vacation packages. You can save $125 on packages to US destinations with promo code SAVE125, or $250 on international vacations with code SAVE250. Travel must be booked by December 4 at 11:59pm Central time and completed by August 6, 2018. A one-day advance purchase is required.


An image of a tram in Amsterdam Markus Gann / Eyeem via Getty Images.
Flights from the US to Amsterdam are as low as $99.99 during WOW Air’s “Purple Friday” sale. Photo by Markus Gann/Getty Images.

The European low-cost carrier routinely offers impressively low prices on its transatlantic flights, but that hasn’t stopped it from launching what it’s calling a “Purple Friday” sale. The airline is offering one-way tickets on select dates to London (LGW), Amsterdam (AMS), Dublin (DUB) and other cities in western Europe from several eastern and midwestern US cities for as low as $99.99 (though a round-trip purchase is required), with flights from the West Coast coming in slightly higher at $129.99. But if you fly on WOW, make sure you’re prepared to pay extra fees for everything from meals to seat assignments.


The Ha
The Dublin-based carrier is offering super low prices on flights from its main hub and within Europe. Photo by Getty Images.

If you’re already in Europe or need flights within the continent while you’re there, you might want to take a look at The Black Friday Sale from RyanAir which, despite its name, is already underway and offers rotating daily deals through November 26. Thus far, some of the eye-poppingly low prices have included Dublin to London Luton (LTN) one-way for just $15.26 and London Stansted (STN) to Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) for just £9.99 (~US$13). Make sure you also keep an eye on the airline’s UK-focused Black Friday page for additional routes and use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees if booking in British pounds.


DeIta continues to expand its Africa service and will fly an A330-200 to Lagos. Image by Kentaro Iemoto/Flickr.
Use your Delta SkyMiles and redeem for as little as 5,500 miles on selected routes. Photo by Kentaro Iemoto/Flickr.

If you’re looking for discounted mileage tickets, Delta’s Pre-Holiday award sale has domestic US flights between selected cities starting at 5,500 SkyMiles one-way with a round-trip purchase required. The airline lists a number of routes as part of the promotion, but with some searching you can find additional city pairs — such as Chicago (ORD)-New York (LGA) — with discounted award prices. Awards must be booked by December 14, and remember that SkyMiles tickets book into the Main Cabin, so you won’t be subject to the airline’s Basic Economy rules on these redemptions.


Waves surge towards Waikiki
Hawaii is just one destination on sale from cities in Canada on WestJet. Photo by Getty Images.

If you’re a resident of our neighbor to the north — or can easily position to one of several Canadian cities — WestJet currently has tickets on sale for itineraries from Canada to the US, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. The airline’s Black Friday sale includes deals on one-way flights such as Toronto (YYZ) to Honolulu (HNL) for as low as CAD$308 (~US$241). Tickets must be booked by November 24, 2017 at 11:59pm Mountain time, with travel completed by April 28, 2018. Some blackout dates apply.

Turkish Airlines

Don’t discount this sale just because you can’t get a Turkish visa — it’s expected to include plenty of other destinations.

Visas for trips to Turkey are rather complicated at the moment, but this one-day Black Friday sale from Turkish Airlines will include many destinations outside of Turkey that only transit through Istanbul (IST). Take a good look, because the airline is advertising a 40% discount on economy seats for flights from the US. Eligible travel must take place between December 27, 2017, and May 15, 2018, excluding a two-week blackout period on return flights at the beginning of January.

Several other airlines are expected to launch Black Friday, Cyber Monday and “Travel Deal Tuesday” sales as the holiday weekend progresses, so check back here regularly for updates.

Which of these Black Friday/Cyber Monday flight deals are you most excited about?

Featured image by DDurrich/Getty Images.


via The Points Guy

November 22, 2017 at 01:12PM

News: Air Harrods celebrates milestone anniversary at Stansted Airport

News: Air Harrods celebrates milestone anniversary at Stansted Airport

Air Harrods is celebrating its 20th year of operation at London Stansted Airport this November.

Air Harrods was founded when the former owner of the famous Harrods Knightsbridge store expanded his personal helicopter fleet and decided to offer luxury helicopter services to the open market for charter.

The fleet then consisted of three aircraft – one Sikorsky 76A+, one Sikorsky 76B and an Aerospatiale AS355F2 (Twin Squirrel) – and Air Harrods began its journey as a commercial operator and aircraft management company, completing over 100 operations in its first year.

By the tenth year of operation, Air Harrods averaged over 1,000 flying hours per annum and operated up to six helicopters.

The business changed direction in its 15th year and the focus turned more towards management of private aircraft with charter playing a secondary role.

Today Air Harrods manage a fleet of helicopters flying globally both land and yacht based.

The experienced, long standing team of twelve, are all dedicated to providing a first class, personalised and highly professional service to VVIP clients.

Air Harrods can, and have, offered helicopter charters to many famous events including the British Grand Prix, many music festivals and a host of other social and sporting venues.


via Breaking Travel News

November 22, 2017 at 01:10PM

Thomas Cook Sees Profit Slump in UK Division

Thomas Cook Sees Profit Slump in UK Division

Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook’s Sentido Tucan Hotel in majorca, Spain. The company has seen profits in its UK division fall. Thomas Cook

Skift Take: Thomas Cook indicated that the problems in the UK were specific to this summer and that overall the business is in good shape. That might be the case but if the UK economy is hit by any Brexit-related issues in 2018 it could be a similar story – or worse – next year.

— Patrick Whyte

Thomas Cook’s UK business has reported a fall in profit of 40 percent after a mixture of hotel price increases and a weak pound took their toll.

An improved performance in other markets meant that overall the companies full-year pre-tax profit rose by 35 percent to $61 million (£46 million).

The pan-European tour operator said the problem in the UK was down to a number of issues. A more competitive market in Spain put pressure on costs and selling prices and the continuing struggles of the pound following last year’s Brexit referendum gave rise to increased costs. The company also blamed the disruption caused by Hurricane Irma.

Underlying earnings before interest and taxes slumped from $115 million (£87 million) to $69 million (£52 million) in the unit.

Thomas Cook had previously guided that increased demand to Spain was likely to push prices up.

“After four consecutive years of profit growth, margins in our UK business declined due to a more competitive market environment, especially for holidays to Spain,” said Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser.

There was better news for Thomas Cook in its airline division and in its other European markets. German airline Condor, which had been struggling in recent years, moved into the black and underlying profits were also up in Continental Europe and the Nordic region.

Fankhauser said: “Looking to the year ahead, we can see real momentum in our Group Airline, and expect our Continental Europe and Northern Europe tour operator businesses to continue their good performance. While conditions are challenging in the UK, we have implemented a set of actions to improve performance.  Overall, based on current trading, I believe that we are well-positioned to achieve a full year operating result in line with market expectations.”


via Skift

November 22, 2017 at 01:02PM

Live chat: a hotelier’s guide

Live chat: a hotelier’s guide

Sponsored by Triptease.

The latest white paper in Triptease’s Hotelier’s Guide series looks at live chat. Click here to download the report.


Live chat may have been optional in 2017. In 18 months’ time, it’s likely to be as necessary for charming guests as free wifi.

Last year, 1.6 billion people were using messaging apps to communicate. By 2021, that number’s going to be nearly 2.5 billion. A hugely significant minority of the world’s population is moving to messaging as their primary method of communication – and that has immense ramifications for how the world’s businesses navigate their guest relationships over the internet.

For hotels, messaging is uniquely important. The ‘business’ of hospitality is based on communication and relationships between people. Increased automation should not mean the loss of people-oriented service; indeed, it’s the technology of live chat that will allow hoteliers worldwide to deliver their individualised service at scale.

While almost a third of businesses in the USA are now using live chat, we’ve only fairly recently started to see widespread adoption in the hotel industry. Those that are using it, though, are seeing it revolutionise their relationships with guests – and their online conversion rates.

Alexander Gibb of Baur au Lac on Triptease’s Front Desk live chat:

“At the beginning, I guess we viewed the tool as a gadget to have on our website. We didn’t expect it to be such a big avenue for converting bookings and driving more revenue.”

Having launched Front Desk (a live chat built specifically for hoteliers) back in April, the team at Triptease are now taking their learnings public with their latest report. Filled with best practices, interviews and tips for selling rooms over live chat, the Hotelier’s Guide is an essential primer to the world of live chat for hotels.

Download the guide for free today.

See also

Triptease and tnooz are hosting a free workshop on Tuesday 28 November, in which Triptease founder and chief tease Charlie Osmond will offer hoteliers practical advice and hints on how to make the most of the opportunities live chat provides.

Click here for more details and to register.

This article from Triptease appears as part of the tnooz sponsored content initiative.


via tnooz

November 22, 2017 at 12:44PM

Thirteen Signs You’ve Been Reincarnated As a Synthetic Cornucopia Display

Thirteen Signs You’ve Been Reincarnated As a Synthetic Cornucopia Display

1. As far as you can tell, there is a convex wall that wraps around and around you, tapering to an ambiguous point.

2. Your view of the outside world is obscured by a bright-red, non-porous apple. The apple is adjacent to a pumpkin, which, for some reason, is smaller than the apple.

3. When making purchases online, your address keeps autocorrecting to “The Farmers’ Market, between the bongo player and the kale guy who is sort of hot but also smells like manure,” regardless of how many times you punch in your street address.

4. You are filled with a deep, existential ennui that is only temporarily alleviated by the smell of simmering gravy wafting over from somewhere.

5. January through October, you are stored in a cardboard box in an old lady’s attic, which you share with two Civil War ghosts who argue about what caused the war. (Compromise is never mentioned.)

6. For some reason, there is a bunch of grapes underneath you, which seems regionally incongruous with the whole North American-autumn theme, but who are you to quibble?

7. You’re not sure where you were born, but your first memory is of being purchased from a church thrift store, where you’d sat for months next to a porcelain cherub with exposed buttocks.

8. Sometimes inappropriate objects get crammed in next to you, like chewed gum or a half-smoked cigarette, while two co-workers make out next to you at an office party in the early nineties.

9. You’ve seen society self-destruct at least twice, but never once have you even remotely begun to biodegrade.

10. You’re pretty sure that, symbolically, you are the very essence of seasonal abundance, while also being completely inedible.

11. Once a year, small children are required to color in your likeness with crayons, never quite fully grasping what it is you are actually supposed to even be. About half believe you’re an ancient musical instrument used to announce the raking of leaves.

12. Despite the mistaken belief that you originated with the first Thanksgiving meal, you can actually be traced back to ancient Roman times, which were famous for their mirthful vomitoriums.

13. Regardless of how you are perceived through the ages, deep down, you will always be a plastic version of a horn torn from an animal’s skull to be hollowed out and packed full of seasonal produce. But, then, isn’t that all any of us really is, after all?


via Everything

November 22, 2017 at 12:05PM

Podcast: Travel Weekly’s Arnie Weissman on decades of industry insights

Podcast: Travel Weekly’s Arnie Weissman on decades of industry insights

Travel Weekly has been publishing for over sixty years. The media landscape has shifted considerably during the brand’s tenure, yet the brand continues to publish print to this day. Current editor-in-chief Arnie Weissman joined Travel Weekly at the dawn of the digital era and has shepherded the venerable publication through many changes yet.

For those looking to learn about this journey — certainly, those of us here at tnooz found the insights compelling — this podcast delivers. Also, in a rare appearance of two editors of industry publications, Arnie and Nick share some vital tips for those startups and communications professionals looking to get the organic attention of reporters.

Travel Weekly’s Arnie Weissman on Travel is Your Business


Show notes from our partner Mouth Media:

The most influential B2B news resources for the travel industry…

Arnie Weissmann, Editor in Chief of Travel Weekly, discusses the 60-year+ publication, embracing technology, and proper PR behavior with hosts Pavan Bahl and John Matson along with guest host Nick Vivion of tnooz, in the MouthMedia NetworkStudios powered by Sennheiser. (Weissmann’s profile)

Sixty years of experience, AOL and ATT, and print vs. digital

Weissmann discusses how Travel news offers the opportunity to be learning from experienced deep domain experts, the launch of more than 60 years ago to becoming one of the most influential resources in the travel industry, how Travel News has been online since 1997 and continues to be strong, big involvement with events, and how Weissmann likes to be a “player and coach”, in management and into interviews and writing.

How the movement of technology allowed Travel Weekly to grow and get a foot in the door with AOL, providing core destination content for AOL for years. ATT had them build a business travel website, Twitter chats result in more than 100 million impressions, why they haven’t been more committed to video, curation differences between print and digital, and the difference in storytelling real estate.

Brand strength, the recent rise of travel agents, and a PR pet peeve

How B to B media is a more sustainable business model, the significance of brand strength, loyalty, the impact of time poverty, how different publications look at specific angles of the industry, a focus on distribution that is mostly travel agents, a recent rise of travel agents, what’s old is new, and how those who embraced tech have survived. Respect for readers, uncovering stories, a disturbing trend, a PR pet peeve, and the horrible the phone call of “did you get my email?”.

How the subject line must grab you, and the relationship matters in getting a reply from an editor or publisher.

College dropout turns writer, rambling vs. traveling, and camping in a Dodge Dart

Personal questions cover Weissmann’s first significant story he wrote, being undirected, college coursing in Japanese tea ceremony, bowling, oil painting, organic gardening and more resulting in dropping out of college.

How saving money and travelling led to blossoming as a writer when not structured or pressured, an extensive camping trip in a Dodge Dart, rambling vs. traveling, camping in ten countries in Africa, working as a nanny in Cyprus, picking fruit in Israel, making choices to experience more instead of rushing, and where in the world would he have liked to grow up.

Gross National Happiness, when a guide makes all the difference, how the travel industry is fragile, and seeking a good story that is bigger than a company and progresses a narrative.


via tnooz

November 22, 2017 at 12:01PM

Thank You to All Our Friends

Thank You to All Our Friends

UsIt’s that time of the year when Americans express their thankfulness for many things. And, Terri and I offer our thanks to you.

That we do it each year doesn’t mean it is less sincere. Indeed, it is just the opposite.

To our clients: Thank you for your trust in our work on your behalf…and for your support over the past 22 years.

To the readers of this blog: Thank you for following our stream of consciousness and sharing your take on our thoughts (more, please).

And, to our Friends: Just Thank You. We have both known friends that, when tested, were not. The ones with whom we today hold our glasses high are the ones we hold most dear.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.


via Bill Geist’s Zeitgeist

November 22, 2017 at 11:34AM