Monday, December 25, 2017

The 'end game' bucket list

Extreme skiing in Wyoming.

Cliff camping.

Skywalking in the Alps.

Climbing Redwoods. 

Sitting on the Trolltunga rock in Norway.

Jumping on the Trolltunga rock in Norway.

Rock climbing in South Africa.

Ice climbing a frozen waterfall.

Extreme picnicking.

Skywalking on Mount Nimbus in Canada.

Tree camping in Germany.

Just having a look around.

Extreme kayaking at Victoria Falls.

Diving 30 meters through a rock monolith in Portugal.

Climbing Mt. Wellington.

Standing on the Edgewalk in Toronto.

Cycling in Norway.

Sitting around at Yosemite.

Walking over a crevice.

Glacier boarding anywhere.

Biking on the Cliffs of Moher.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I’ve Come to say Goodbye: A Memoir of Friendship, Love and Loss

I've Come to say Goodbye is the story of an incredible friendship between two unlikely people, a 50-something artist and a 32-year-old Indian spice merchant named Tarun. Over a ten-year period the author traveled back and forth to India spending time with Tarun in Udaipur, Rajasthan. She became part of his family and he became like a brother. Through his eyes, she saw and fell in love with India. It is a story that you will fall in love with too.
Written in a warm, conversational style as if the author is sharing a cup of chai with the reader, Barbara's stories are based on years of journeys to India, and diaries of her travels that include sketches and photographs. The author is an artist, and hopes to evoke the same images with her words, as she would with her brush. This is evident in her writing, as she captures the colour, chaos and light of India, creating an image in the mind of the reader.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Autropolis: Driverless cars are here now.


‘Launch of Autropolis: The diverse mobility revolution’

The next ‘big thing’ according to eminent economist and future strategist, Brian Haratsis, is the autonomous vehicle (AV). It will change not only the way we move about, but where we live, how we shop, property values and employment opportunities.

AVs are the future and the future is here now, says Haratsis, who will launch his book, ‘Autropolis, the diverse mobility revolution’ at the 2nd International Driverless Vehicle Summit 2017 in Adelaide on Thursday November 16.

Mr. Haratsis, who is a co-chair of the Policy and Risk Committee for the Australian Driverless Vehicles Initiative congratulates South Australia who are leading the country in the push toward self-driving cars. South Australia was the first state to allow on-road trials of driverless cars and is currently working with a number of partners on a expanding a range of AV services.

Bigger than PCs and bigger than smartphones, the mobility revolution of autonomous vehicles has already been set in motion within Australia, and is set to revolutionise the world as we know it. Autropolis is a key first step in understanding and learning how to harness the great benefits this new technology holds.

Autropolis outlines the opportunities and benefits that are likely to result from a well-considered introduction of autonomous vehicles, , along with providing a rich context and rationale for the accelerated introduction of AVs.

“The book is about understanding how autonomous vehicles can be managed, controlled and utilised in the context of social, economic and environmental outcomes because if we don’t do it that way we will run into another freeway building era,” says Haratsis.

“Business opportunities will be revolutionised, particularly within the property, IT telecommunications, retail, finance, car sales and parking industries,” says Brian. This book is a must read for urban developers, engineers, architects, planners, business owners and the general community to understand, participate in and influence this potentially cataclysmic upheaval of personal lifestyle and business practices.

“AVs will deliver new jobs as well as high levels of productivity. They are a critical component and facilitator of Australia’s emerging global service economy and changing industry structure. Australia will participate in a new globalised car industry. If Australia can achieve an early mover advantage, this will mean around 16,000 new jobs and up to 15 billion dollars’ worth of private investment per annum. What this will do for Australia is position us as a global leader in the development of tech cities post 2030.”

“AVs will transform Australia in ways unimaged because AVs include not only passenger and freight vehicles but also terrestrial delivery vehicles and air based drones. AVs will also revolutionise the world not only in terms of physical connectedness but also through accelerated development of Artificial Intelligence. The challenge is to harness the AV revolution, to maximise the exciting and unexpected benefits for all Australians.

This was one of the key points driving Brian Haratsis to write Autropolis and why he is passionate about sharing it with businesses and the community alike.


Brian Haratsis is an economist and future strategist with over 30 years’ experience as an advisor, focusing on economic forecasting as it relates to private sector property, communities, tourism and social. He is the Executive Chairman of Macroplan Dimasi, current Chairman of the Australian Driverless Vehicles Initiative and is regularly asked to provide comment in the press.

Autropolis: How and When Automated Vehicles Will Transform Australia and Why it Matters is available for sale at for $39.95 for hardcopy - $9.95 for e-book.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Heidi Klum's Epic Halloween Accommodation

We have the inside scoop on Heidi Klum's Halloween Hideaway, because helped her behind the scenes! They offered her a home away from home on her favorite night of the year, Heidi was provided with the ultimate setting prior to turning heads (and breaking the internet) in her unexpected costume.

With all eyes on the celeb-sensation's famous annual party, Heidi has been forced to step up her game each time, and she wasn't afraid to go the extra mile for her celebrity-adorned bash this year. Seeking the perfect place to get ready for her big event, had everything the reigning "Queen of Halloween" required as she prepped for her much anticipated costume reveal – a modern, 3-bedroom penthouse in a SoHo Gallery Building with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline.

With its wide choice of incredible places to stay and unique properties – from villas and apartments to hotels – was Heidi's go-to site when booking her location for Halloween prep:

  • 94 Thompson Street not only afforded the high-profile privacy Heidi needed, but the grandeur that she loves
  • The property, which sleeps 10 and even has a glass-enclosed Zen garden in the living room, is $20,000 per night.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Lamborghini Looks Back on its First SUV: The LM002

Twenty-five years after the legendary LM002 ceased production, Automobili Lamborghini will launch the Urus on 4 December 2017 in Sant'Agata Bolognese, again creating a new class of Super SUVs. In advance of the Urus world premier Automobili Lamborghini looks back on its SUV legacy in order to recall an extraordinary automobile.

The black LM002 (chassis #12231) from the Lamborghini museum, entirely-restored by the classic department Lamborghini Polo Storico represents Lamborghini's original SUV creation: the LM002 is widely considered as the father of luxury SUVs. Turning heads in sophisticated city streets, the LM002 was equally at home in dirt, gravel and snow.

The LM 002's development started as a project to develop a high performance off-road vehicle for military use at the end of the 1970s, with the name of Cheetah. Lamborghini engineer Giulio Alfieri resurrected the project in 1981 with the LM 001: an innovative concept with a rear-mounted engine, followed by the LMA prototype with a front-mounted powertrain. The final production model of the LM002 was first presented at the Brussels Auto Show in 1986, consolidating the final design: the V12 engine from the Countach Quattrovalvole provided a 5,167 cc capacity and 450 hp at 6,800 rpm.

In an aluminum and fiberglass body, with four-wheel drive transmission, transfer case and three self-locking differentials, the SUV could exceed gradients of 120%. Reaching speeds of more than 200 km/h, the LM002 was equipped with specially-developed Pirelli Scorpion tyres, allowing 'floating' capabilities across soft surfaces such as sand, and highly durable in hot conditions. The production of the bodies started in a company near Bilbao (Spain). Then the semi- assembled parts were shipped to Sant'Agata Bolognese for completion with the powertrain, mechanical parts, finishing, testing and delivery. A luxurious interior matching the individual needs of the customer completed the LM 002.

The LM002 attracted significant attention when launched, as a vehicle unlike any other, with performance to match its super sports car stablemates as well as significant off-road capabilities and an imposing design and presence. A total of 300 were produced from 1986 to 1992.

Like the LM002, the Urus will create a new Super SUV class of its own, with exceptional power and torque, distinctive design and a very significant presence. The Urus assures exceptional road-going dynamics, performance and luxury and like the LM002, has exceptional capabilities on off-road terrains, including sand.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Imagine living in an airport for 30 days


Would you survive?

If you’re stuck inside Helsinki Airport, you will. And the airport wants to prove that you’ll even enjoy your stay by launching the interestingly named #LIFEINHEL, featuring Chinese actor Ryan Zhu. Starting October 10, the dashing 33-year-old Zhu will live in a dinky cabin inside the airport, where he will need to face a different challenge every day. He’ll also get to shop at the duty free section, eat at its numerous restaurants, and have the occasional power nap at the airport’s sleeping pods.

For comprehensive travel and visitor information for Helsinki:

Source: DestinAsian

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Bart Cummings Trophy Collection unveiled at Flemington

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) today unveiled The Bart Cummings Trophy Collection in Saintly Place, ahead of the collection's official opening to the public on Seppelt Turnbull Stakes Day this Saturday.

The permanent trackside display dedicated to the Cups King features 149 notable trophies and awards including the Melbourne Cup won by the Cummings-bred and trained Saintly in 1996, alongside his 12 Melbourne Cup trainer's trophies, two Caulfield Cups won by Ming Dynasty in 1977 and 1980, and four Cox Plates won by Saintly in 1996, Dane Ripper in 1997 and So You Think in 2009 and 2010.

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said the new display, free to visit for all racegoers, was a fitting tribute to Australia's most famous and loved horse trainer.

"We are deeply honoured and thankful to Bart and the Cummings family for bequeathing this immensely important collection to the Club," she said.

"The collection is not only a homage to Cummings' unparalleled feats as a trainer, but his enduring relationships with family, jockeys, owners and horses.

"It delivers a fascinating insight into his story, charting his stratospheric rise from provincial cups to the ultimate race in the world, the Emirates Melbourne Cup, and it is fitting that the collection is on show for all to see in Saintly Place, a general admission area overlooking the Flemington winning post, the scene of 83 of Cummings' Group 1 wins.

"It is an important part of not only the Cummings family history but Australian sporting history, and it is fitting that it is housed at Flemington, the track that made Bart famous.

"I'm sure racing enthusiasts and the public alike who all knew and loved Bart will absolutely relish the opportunity to come to this beautiful racecourse and view one of the great trophy collections of the world."

The trophies and awards had been displayed in the Cummings family home, including cabinets in the family's formal dining room and offices at Princess Farm.

The collection includes statues made of bronze, trophies and presentation plates of sterling silver and gold, crystal pieces and silk presentation sashes.

Plans for their installation in Saintly Place were made prior to Cummings' death in 2015 and were endorsed by Cummings.

Bart's son, trainer Anthony Cummings, said the family was pleased the collection was on show for the wider public.

"We're delighted that the collection is being housed at Flemington, so we along with the wider racing public can enjoy and remember Bart's extraordinary feats for years to come," he said.

"Bart typically avoided fuss, but he was delighted for this tribute to be at Flemington and we're pleased to be part of the collection's unveiling."

Cummings' 11th Melbourne Cup winner, Rogan Josh, watched the unveiling from the Flemington front lawn, visiting from his home at Living Legends.

He was joined by Precedence, the last Cup runner for Cummings in 2014 and the first he shared with grandson James. Precedence is now enjoying a successful post-racing career as a show horse, and is partly owned by long-time Cummings foreman Reg Fleming.

The Bart Cummings Trophy Collection is housed in Saintly Place, a general admission area named in honour of Cummings' Flemington stable facility which operated until 2014. The stables housed the likes of So You Think, Hyperno, Let's Elope, Viewed, Think Big, Leilani, Kingston Rule and, of course, Saintly.

The general admission area underwent a million dollar renovation in 2016 funded in partnership with the Victorian Racing Industry Fund, itself largely funded through unclaimed dividends. It is open every Flemington raceday, and entry is free for all racegoers. |

Friday, September 29, 2017

Introducing MV Agusta F4 LH44

Three Time F1 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, and MV Agusta have collaborated to design a brand new bike, the F4 LH44. This partnership follows the success of their first project on the Dragster RR LH.

The F4 LH44 is an offshoot of the F4 RC which is derived directly from the MV Agusta
Reparto Corse Superbike, the pinnacle of Italian 4-cylinder performance. Hence, the Corsa
Corta engine (bore 79 mm, stroke 50.9 mm) with central timing chain and radial valves,
which on this version puts out a maximum power of 205 hp (151 kW). The bike comes with
a kit that includes a titanium silencer and dedicated control unit, boosting power by 7 hp
to 212 hp (158 kW). It also features Lewis Hamilton's eye-catching Panther logo.

“I am very excited to continue my partnership with MV Agusta. I love working with
Giovanni and the guys at MV Agusta, their passion for engineering and attention to detail
produces stunning, original looking bikes. My projects with MV Agusta are a great way to
combine my love of riding bikes with my interest in creative design process so I am very
much involved with the CRC design team throughout.

I am particularly excited to introduce my new bike, the F4 LH44. It looks quite stunning
and I had the pleasure of riding on track a few weeks ago in Italy, it feels great and combines
the best of both worlds, a race bike for the road! There will be 44 bikes produced
so I hope the lucky owners will love it as much as I do”. (Lewis Hamilton)

The customisation that led to the creation of the F4 LH44 was based on a continuous,
direct, dialogue between the British Formula 1 champion and the CRC (Castiglioni
Research Center) workshop where every MV Agusta takes shape. Ideas, suggestions,
preferences, perception: the creative process was long, with attention paid to the bike's
every last detail. Each individual idea was meticulously assessed and checked in terms of
its feasibility, flair and functionality. Thorough analysis and creative comparison have made
the F4 LH44 much more than just a custom project: it is, rather, an unprecedented, unrepeatable
interpretation of the F4.

The first distinctive feature is the colour scheme, the result of close teamwork with Lewis
Hamilton. The candy apple red fairing and pearl white chassis makes an elegant impact,
enhancing the sensational design of the F4 and highlighting this Italian Superbike Replica's racing pedigree. This red colouring, one of many unique features on the F4 LH44,
is achieved with an exclusive, premium technique that uses ink-based paints as opposed
to traditional colour bases. The pearl white that cloaks the TIG-welded hand-built CrMo
steel trellis frame was also chosen for the sophisticated detail of the lower front fairing.
A touch of dynamism that unites the black graphics along the fairing and continues in the
sub-fairing and onto the tail section.

With the F4 LH44, the quest for a refined colour scheme extends to the suspension setup
that boasts premium suspension components: an Öhlins USD NIX 30 TiN-coated fork
- which offers separately adjustable hydraulic response in compression (left tube) and
rebound (right tube), plus pre-load - and an Öhlins TTX 36 rear shock with piggyback
reservoir, which, again, can be mechanically adjusted. The colour of the fork and rear
shock further heighten the uniqueness of the F4 LH44; the striking black anodized fork
outer tubes are the result of a specific agreement with Öhlins. Let's not forget that this
Swedish company has made gold outer tubes one of its hallmarks. The rear spring and
shock reservoir are also black, enhancing the sense of exclusivity.

The seat, which retains the much-appreciated racing ergonomics seen on the F4 RC, is
hand made using top quality materials such as natural leather and Alcantara, a winning
combination on a par with the very best automotive craftsmanship.

Colour continues to play a starring role on the engine. All-black, right down to its select,
lightweight magnesium alloy parts, it offers at-a-glance panache and a real racing feel.
The smoked screen - a first for an F4 production model - polishes the front end styling to
perfection. Extensive use of carbon fibre in components such as the main fairing sections
makes for a lightweight bike that boasts outstanding visual gusto thanks to an alternating
gloss-matt paint pattern, just one of the many unique features on the F4 LH44.

Dedicated components include a racing-style fuel cap, forged wheels and unique
items such as the rear wheel nut which, on the F4 LH44, has been CNC machined
after anodization.

Making the MV Agusta F4 LH44 even more exclusive are the Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa
SP tyres (120/70 ZR 17 at the front and 200/55 ZR 17 at the rear), specifically designed by
Pirelli for the 44 edition of the F4 Lewis Hamilton bikes. These special-edition Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa SP tyres stand out for their red sidewalls, which sport the LH44 logo, comprising Hamilton's initials and race number. Given the exclusiveness of the bike,
the tyres just had to be Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa SPs, road-approved tyres that offer
outstanding racetrack performance.

MV Agusta F4 LH44: 44 times exclusive.

Monday, September 18, 2017

New bio marks 40th anniversary of Meat Loaf’s iconic album, Bat Out of Hell!

"I never wanted to be a big star. I just wanted to be the biggest at what I do! Powerful, unstoppable, heavy – when that word still meant something good!" – Meat Loaf, as told to Mick Wall

Like a Bat Out of Hell: The Larger than Life Story of Meat Loaf by Mick Wall will be published by Hachette Australia on 14 November 2017, Trade Paperback $32.99 eBook RRP $16.99

October 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Meat Loaf's iconic album Bat Out of Hell. Adored by rock fans and musicians alike, Bat Out of Hell has sold 12 million records in the UK alone, with 29 million in America and 25 million platinum albums in Australia, more than any artist on record. And on 14 November Hachette Australia will publish Mick Wall's blockbuster new book Like a Bat Out of Hell: The Larger than Life Story of Meat Loaf.

Mick Wall interviewed Meat Loaf on numerous occasions throughout his career, and in Like a Bat Out of Hell he pulls back the curtains to reveal the soft-hearted soul behind the larger-than-life character Meat Loaf created for himself. From a tumultuous childhood with an alcoholic father to the relentless abusive bullying from classmates and their parents alike, nobody could have predicted Meat Loaf's meteoric rise to fame. But when the messianic rock opera Bat Out of Hell was released in 1977, it became one of the biggest albums of all time, selling over 45 million copies worldwide to date. Its release marked the start of a rollercoaster ride of incredible highs and seemingly career-ending lows. By the 80s, Meat Loaf was battling with drug and alcohol addiction and escalating money problems that would eventually lead to a nervous breakdown. But just when it seemed like it was all over, the astonishing success of Bat Out of Hell II and the mega-hit 'I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)' marked an extraordinary new wave of success.

Like a Bat Out of Hell will draw on the hours Mick spent with Meat Loaf, both in interviews and on tour, as well as offering up a unique insight from those who have known him best. Mick is the bestselling king of rock bios, with some of his iconic works including bestselling titles on Led Zeppelin (When Giants Walked the Earth), Metallica (Enter Night), AC/DC (Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be), Black Sabbath (Symptom of the Universe), Lou Reed, The Doors (Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre), the Foo Fighters, Lemmy, Prince and Guns n' Roses (Last of the Giants).

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lonely Planet's 'Epic Drives of the World'

Lonely Planet Explores the World's Most Thrilling Road Trips with Epic Drives of the World

Six Australian Road Trips Showcased

50 Classic Driving Routes * Six Continents * 200 Ideas for Great Drives

Buckle up for a lifetime of memorable road trips this August, with the publication of Lonely Planet's Epic Drives of the World.

This beautifully illustrated hardcover book is the second instalment in Lonely Planet's Epic series (following last year's best-selling Epic Bike Rides of the World).  It features 50 classic driving routes across the world (from Argentina to Zambia), and 200 ideas for great drives - ranging from easy-going cruises to back-country adventures.

Australia is represented by six driving routes highlighted in the chapters "The Great Ocean Road", "A Short Hop from Hobart to Queenstown", "Across The Kimberley: The Gibb River Road", "Following the Captain Cook Highway", "The Great Alpine Road", and "The Track: Alice Springs to Darwin".

"This book is intended to offer fresh inspiration for your next road trip," Lonely Planet says.  "We have routes written and ridden by motorcyclists and even a tour of Northern California by electric vehicle. A few of these drives take a day but others can be enjoyed over a weekend, a week or more."

"What they have in common," Lonely Planet continues, "is that the road tripper is always independent. Want to take a detour (and we suggest some gems) or stay an extra day? Go right ahead. It's all about the journey. Driving a car need not be a mode of transport that insulates you from your surroundings: if you stop regularly, explore, encounter local people and their culture, you'll have as rich and rewarding an experience as you could hope for."

How to Use Lonely Planet's Epic Drives of the World

The main stories in each regional chapter feature first-hand accounts of fantastic drives in that continent. Each includes a fact-box to start the planning of a trip – when is the best time of year, how to get there, where to stay. But beyond that, these stories should spark other ideas. We've started that process with the 'more like this' section following each story, which offers other ideas along a similar theme, not necessarily on the same continent. Drives are colour coded according to difficulty, which takes into account not just how long, remote and challenging they are but the logistics and local conditions. The index collects different types of drive for a variety of interests.


Published 3 August 2017 / 328pp, full colour, H260mm x W200mm, hardcover / RRP: $44.99

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Rag Tag Fleet


Ian W. Shaw

Published by Hachette Australia in July 2017, format, RRP $32.99, Ebook RRP $16.99

A fascinating account of the part 3,000 Australian men - either too old or too young to join Australian regular forces - played in the war in the Pacific

This book conveys the fascinating - and unknown - story of the Rag Tag Fleet, a collection of hundreds of Australian fishing trawlers and schooners, organised by the US Army, which transported vital supplies for US and Australian forces across the South-East Pacific.

Boys under the age of 17 and men over 60, and those who weren't well enough to join the Australian regular forces formed the crews. Each boat was armed with one machine gun - and sailed under the American flag. Conditions on the boats were grim. Numerous crew members contracted diseases including malaria, dysentery and dengue fever. Vulnerable to aircraft attack, the boats were frequently strafed and bombed.

The story is told through the experiences of the Australian crew on half a dozen ships - including Jack Savage, boat builder extraordinaire; Ray Parer, air fighter, explorer and gold miner; and Norm Oddy, bandleader, drifter and mechanic.

The focus of The Rag Tag Fleet is the unknown story of the final months of 1942, when these men ran the gauntlet of Japanese air attacks, reefs and shallow, shark-infested waters to bring in the supplies and equipment for the US and Australian troops that defeated the entrenched Japanese forces at Buna on the PNG coast, and so helped turn the course of the war.

Ian W. Shaw lives in Canberra, and is the author of a number of books, including On Radji Beach and Ghosts of Roebuck Bay.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kit Harington, Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, at Giffoni Film Festival 2017

"Winter is coming"

Kit Harington enchanted the Giffoni Film Festival 2017: well-known for his portrayal of Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, Mr. Harington was literally overwhelmed by the affections of his fans, many of which had been waiting all night at the Cittadella for their darling to arrive, eager  to get some sneak previews on the series as well as the actor's background.

"I don't think Jon Snow will ever become king, he's not ambitious enough for that, but I could see Tyrion sitting on the Iron Throne: I've always considered him the right person to rule over the Seven Kingdoms", said Harington, and went on declaring himself a great fan of Harry Potter – with a preference for the Gryffindor - and Italian director Matteo Garrone.

"What I like most of my character – he revealed - is the fact that he's always siding with the weakest. He's a man of action and I like fighting in movies. That's why this show fits me so well. The hardest scene to shoot? Maybe Ygritte's death".

From Ygritte's death to Jon Snow's death and resurrection the step was short: "When I read the script of the 5th season, which ended with something like: 'Jon Snow dies with his black curls', I tried to react without panicking and started waiting for an official mail of dismissal from the production, but a week went by, then two and three and nothing happened, until I was eventually summoned by the producers.  Then I thought: "That's it: they will either ditch me or tell me that somehow Jon is rising from the dead'. Luckily, the latter supposition proved to be right, but I was imposed the utmost confidentiality because only for people, including me, knew the forthcoming development of the plot. I took a great leap and shouted: 'Yeah! What a relief!"

He was only able to say "ciao" and "grazie" in Italian, yet his face clearly showed immense gratitude: "I'm always asked how fame has changed my life – he went on- but I really didn't expect anything like that. I just wanted to become an actor, not a celebrity, which, incidentally, is a word I'm not quite fond of. After all, fame is not about me personally but rather about the Game of Thrones series. In my future career I might not be able to find another role of the same relevance as this, and I will never stop to be grateful for it, even if I should be trapped in Jon Snow's shoes forever. After 9 years together he's a part of me, and I think he will always be".

Before leaving  the Cittadella, where he received the Giffoni Experience Award , Harington also mentioned his Italian holiday and confessed: "I really enjoyed my stay in Naples: they made me dance, eat and totally forget about myself!".

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Kasbah Tamadot: Best Resort Hotel in North Africa and the Middle East

Kasbah Tamadot has been named Best Resort Hotel, North Africa and the Middle East in the Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2017 readers' survey.

To celebrate the Travel + Leisure award win, here are very latest photos from Kasbah Tamadot,  hot off the press.

Check out the new images for yourself.

When you book a stay for three nights or more, you'll be able to enjoy an extra night for free until the 10th September 2017.

Rates start from MAD 5,300 per room, per night and include your accommodation, breakfast and taxes.

Book now.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Deliveroo and TripAdvisor bring the restaurant to you in Europe

TripAdvisor and Deliveroo Announce Agreement Bringing Restaurant Delivery Services to Hungry Travellers and Locals throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific

TripAdvisor® (NASDAQ: TRIP), the world's largest travel site, and Deliveroo, the on-demand food-delivery service, today announced the integration of Deliveroo's restaurant network into the TripAdvisor desktop website, mobile web and mobile app experiences across 12 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific regions.

Consumers browsing TripAdvisor restaurant listings now have the option to order food from more than 20,000 of Deliveroo's restaurant partners spanning across 12 countries and more than 140 cities.

By simply clicking the "Order Online" button when browsing the TripAdvisor restaurant listing of one of Deliveroo's partners, consumers are brought to Deliveroo's online or mobile platforms to quickly and easily place an order.

The integration with Deliveroo expands TripAdvisor's food delivery service into 12 new countries:  United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

"Through this partnership with Deliveroo, we aim to give our restaurant listings a new way to engage with the TripAdvisor community – both at home and on-the-go. TripAdvisor is already a highly effective marketing platform for restaurants, and new services like food delivery create incremental value for both businesses as well as consumers," said Bertrand Jelensperger, Senior Vice President, TripAdvisor Restaurants. "Whether reading reviews, reserving a table through TheFork or placing a food order through Deliveroo, our goal is for TripAdvisor to serve as a one-stop-shop for diners around the world."

At Deliveroo we're always looking for new ways to bring great food to people's doors", says Will Shu, Founder and CEO at Deliveroo. "We're excited to partner with TripAdvisor to make it even easier for our customers to order delicious food from the best local restaurants, wherever they are in the world."

Terms and length of the agreement will not be disclosed.


Monday, July 3, 2017

New book examines the scandalous history of Nazis in Australia

In a new book due to be published this August, bestselling author Frank Walker shows the ugly side of war and power and the many betrayals of ANZAC and Allied troops during and after WWII.

Here are ten of the shocking revelations committed by our own side against our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses:

· The gross betrayal of our Anzacs who risked their lives to fight the evil of Nazi and Japanese imperialist by Allied politicians and intelligence agencies who let war criminals go free in order to use them in a new war against communism.

· Nazi doctors conducted live human experiments on ANZAC POWs and how they fought back.

· The evil of Japan's top secret Unit 731 that conducted widespread live human experiments on Allied POWs, and how Allied leaders later hired these same scientists to continue their horrific work.

· As the war in Europe was coming to an end Churchill drew up battle plans to ally with defeated German troops and launch a new war against his exhausted eastern ally, the Soviet Union.

· How the Catholic Church helped install Hitler in power, then cooperated with the Nazi regime in order to preserve its own power in Europe.

· The extraordinary story of the Ratlines – the underground network for Nazis and war criminals to escape Europe and justice that was assisted by the Vatican and Allied intelligence.

· Many household names in today's industry and manufacturers of everyday products made a fortune out of the war, using slave labour from concentration camps and by secretly trading with the enemy.

· After the war the Allies, including Australia, made a desperate scramble to seize Nazi and Japanese scientists, engineers and technicians who were responsible for the deaths of countless thousands, if not millions of deaths, to come and work for them.

· What was Australia's Hollywood action hero Errol Flynn doing mixing with notorious Nazi spies?

· Why did our US and UK allies pressure Australia after the war to drop investigations into Nazi and Japanese war criminals and let some of the worst get off with light sentences or not face justice at all?


Get the whole story at

Struth! National Ice Cream Day lick-starts US dairy industry



David Ellis

WHEN President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July of 1984 to be National Ice Cream Month, and the third Sunday of that month to be National Ice Cream Day, there were those who suggested that maybe the President had lost the plot.

But it was, in fact, the result of some very clever political lobbying by the American dairying and ice cream industries, both of which were hurting from then-tough economic times, and desperately needing a kick-start to help them get moving again.

And it paid off. Sales of ice cream and frozen dessert products across America skyrocketed – not just during 1984's National Ice Cream Month and Day, but for years to come, ballooning from a modest 3,357 million litres of their products worth the equivalent of 4.6 billion in Aussie dollar terms back in 1984, to an astonishing 5.8 billion litres of sales worth a staggering AU$51 billion this year. That's right, billion. And in a year.

The industry dreamed-up new flavours too, so while old-faithfuls like vanilla, choc chip, Neapolitan and rocky road will always be there, in America you can also tuck into such bizarre unknowns to us as bacon flavoured ice cream, crab, garlic, oyster, squid ink, strawberry-rhubarb, honey roasted peanut butter, grape and nut, and caramel cheesecake flavoured ice creams – to name a few.

And one of the most off-beat of all, Superman Ice Cream that was created in a store in Michigan in the super-hero's colours: a swirl of blue, red and yellow, with the blue being vanilla flavoured, the red cherry flavoured and the yellow banana flavoured.

All whipped together and served rainbow-like in a cone or cup, or as a separate scoop of each piled into those cones or cups.



[] JUST some of the many flavours and colours of ice creams in America today, ranging from traditional vanilla, choc chip and rocky road to such bizarre creations as bacon-flavoured, crab, garlic, oyster, strawberry-rhubarb, grape and nut, and sweet caramel cheesecake flavoured.  (Wikimedia)

[] SUPERMAN Ice Cream dreamed up by the owner of an ice cream shop in Michigan USA, and offered as a swirl of the super-hero's colours of blue, red and yellow in cone or cup, or as three individual scoops in those colours with the blue being vanilla flavoured, the red cherry flavoured and the yellow banana. (Wikipedia)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Quirky German phrases and insults

Here's a special German treat from Lilian Noack. It takes the cake:

This man is 'nicht mein bier' (not my beer, ie, not my cup of tea). He is such an 'eigenbrotler' (one who makes his own bread, ie, an eccentric character) and always 'gibt seinen senf dazu' (brings his mustard along, ie, has a word to say), even if nobody is interested. And then he acts like a 'beleidigte leberwurst' (insulted liver sausage, ie, insulted child). I really think 'an ihm ist hopfen und malz verloren' (hop and malt are wasted on him, ie, nothing can be done with him). I guess 'gegen ihn ist kein kraut gewachsen' (there is no herb grown against him, ie, there is no cure for people like him), and life around him is certainly 'kein honigschlecken' (no honey lickin', ie, no fun).

'Nun ist mir alles wurst' (now it is all sausage to me, ie, now I don't care any more) and 'ich werde mir nicht die zahne ausbeissen' (I won't break my teeth on this case). 'So ein kase!' (such a cheese! ie, what a shame). It could have been so nice. But when he started 'mich durch den kakao zu ziehen' (to pull me through the cocoa, ie, to make me look ridiculous), I knew 'es geht um die wurst' (it is about the sausage, ie, it is a question of now or never). I said to myself: 'da haben wir den salat' (there we have the salad, ie, that's a nice mess). After I left him, I went through a 'durststrecke' (thirsty stretch, ie, difficult period). But looking back, I know that I had 'schwein' (pig, ie, I was lucky). I could have 'die radieschen von unten angeschaut' (looked at the radishes from below, ie, ended up lying in the graveyard).

The Most Outstanding Golf Courses & Resorts

GOLF RESORTS OF THE WORLD: A Guide to the Most Outstanding Golf Courses and Resorts  by Daniel Fallon

From Turtle Bay on Oahu's famous North Shore to the once royal estate of Vidago Palace Hotel near Portugal's famous port-making Douro Valley region, Golf Resorts of the World is a fascinating guide to the most outstanding golf courses and resorts that are open to the public. Some of the most respected golf writers, golf professionals and course architects in the world have come together to select the worlds' top golf resorts in this beautiful hardback book.

With a mix of history, course architecture, tips on how to play each course, fine dining and luxury features, as well as other resort activities such as scuba diving and fishing, the reviews combine to provide a comprehensive guide to the world's best luxury golf destinations.

New Holland Publishers RRP $49.99

available from all good bookstores or online


Daniel Fallon is an experienced golf writer, journalist, editor, travel writer, copywriter and avid golfer. During his 17-year term at The Sydney Morning Herald, travel assignments took him to some of the best golf courses and resorts in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Daniel has more than 20 years' media experience and has worked for leading companies including Fairfax Media and ACP (now Bauer Media) as a section editor, magazine editor and online editor.

Australian Ice Hockey League Finals

O'Brien Group Arena is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the hosting rights for the 2017 Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) Finals, presented by Air Canada.

The AIHL Finals will be held on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September, 2017.

"We are excited that the 2017 Australian Ice Hockey League Finals will again be at the O'Brien Group Arena for the fifth year in a row and seven out of the past eight events.  O'Brien Group Arena is undoubtedly Australia's best venue to host the teams and provide spectators with a quality ice hockey experience," said Paul Keisler, General Manager of the O'Brien Group Arena.

O'Brien Group Arena has significantly increased visitor capacity and spectator areas for this year's finals to ensure nobody misses a minute of the action.  Upgrades include a newly renovated bar, a new food outlet and guest furniture  to the bar level and new flat screen TVs to keep the O'Brien Group Arena Australia's largest ice sports spectating venue.

"Melbourne remains a sporting mecca in Australia – welcoming all to the city – and in September, has a fantastic finals feeling. We're thrilled to host our Championship series in Docklands.

"The O'Brien Group Arena is home to the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, an ideal venue for the peak of the AIHL's season. Every year the Finals weekend becomes bigger and better. With a festival atmosphere, there's something for everyone to enjoy," said AIHL Commissioner Robert Bannerman.

Air Canada's General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Paul McLean is excited to partner with the AIHL once more.

"This is our fifth year as naming rights partner of the AIHL Finals.  It's an event that brings to life the same characteristics of Air Canada – thrilling, an experience beyond the ordinary – ice hockey in Australia is going from strength to strength and we are proud to share the journey with AIHL fans," said McLean

The AIHL Finals consist of the top four teams at the end of the regular home and away season playing for the iconic Goodall Cup, the world's third oldest ice hockey trophy, over two days (three games) in a single elimination tournament.

The AIHL also welcomes AIHL Live to the Finals mix this year, offering fans anywhere in the world the ability to tune in via our first pay-per-view offering.

Melbourne Ice is looking good to be in the finals mix come September and there is a possibility that Melbourne Mustangs may also feature.
Tickets range from single game to three day passes and are available now at

Premium Seating and Advertising Opportunities

We can tailor a package to meet your needs. Please send an email to to discuss rink side seating, catering, advertising (in the programs, broadcasts, or programs), souvenirs, and corporate experiences.

For more information please visit

Monday, June 26, 2017

Solar Vehicle Alarm Light just $15

Deter Thieves and Keep Your Car Safe At Night with This Solar-Powered Vehicle Alarm Light. This Light Simulates an Alarm System to Make Your Vehicle Less Attractive to Potential Robbers. Only $15 with Delivery Included

BUY NOW (delivery inc.)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Struth! Donald Trump grounds his private jet


David Ellis

JUST as many new recipients of a company car have to decide what to do with the old-faithful family vehicle – keep it, sell it or give it to the kids – on a far loftier level President Donald Trump had to decide what to do with a different old-faithful, and that was his personal Boeing 757 jet he calls "T-Bird."

Because as President he was given an even bigger Boeing to flit around in, a 747-200 known to the world as "Air Force One."

Donald Trump had declared on his election that his US$100m 757 "T-Bird" would transition to presidential jet, as it was, after all, worthy of the role with leather armchairs for 43 passengers, gold plated seatbelt buckles, his own master bedroom with gold plated ensuite shower and handbasin taps, a guest's bedroom, a surround-sound TV-cum-home-cinema with 145cm (near five feet) screen, and dining and boardroom areas.

But his new presidential minders declared a firm No, citing security reasons and telling him he had to use Air Force One. No argument.

And, anyway, AF1 came with a presidential bedroom suite, seating for 70 officials and guests, a conference/dining table, teleconferencing facilities capable of televising live to the world from 40,000 feet, a medical centre with operating theatre and full-time professional medical staff (and even a stock of his own-type blood,) an onboard security team, and both anti-missile and radar-jamming facilities.

So it's meant that whilst-ever he is President, the Trump-owned Boeing 757 stays at home, alongside his personal 12-seater Cessna Citation X business jet, and two Sikorsky S-76B helicopters.



[] DONALD TRUMP'S personal Boeing 757 jet comes complete with gold plated seat belt and bathroom fittings, two bedrooms and loads of personal comforts for its 43 guests and officials, and spread through a space in which commercial 757's carry up to 180 passengers.

[] A boardroom-cum-dining table and a lounge area with leather armchairs and a TV/home-cinema with surround-sound 145cm (near five feet) screen, are amongst the luxuries aboard Donald Trump's personal Boeing 757.

(Images: The Trump Organisation)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Murphy's Law: Shot with a .38 and lived



David Ellis

HOW'S this for putting faith in your product – New York businessman Mr W.H. Murphy, puts his life on the line to prove just how effective is the bullet-proof vest created by his Protective Garment Corporation.

It was in 1923, a time when bullet-proof vests used by American police and criminal gangs alike were simply thick layers of compacted cotton wool and cloth, with luck just able to absorb bullets from light gauge .22 handguns and rifles fired from a distance.

So when the crims began using heavier .38 revolvers and even machine guns in their fights with law enforcers, companies like Mr Murphy's came up with vests better able to protect police officers literally in the line of fire… and close-up.

The one being demonstrated here by Mr Murphy at the Washington City Police headquarters was made from over-lapping steel scales fitted to a leather lining, and as proven by the photo, able to deflect bigger gauge .38 bullets fired from as close as just 3m metres away.

The vest weighed 5kg (11lb,) and although the two .38 bullets had been fired directly at Mr Murphy's chest from such close range, he "had not batted an eyelid."

Unfortunately, however, few police forces appeared interested in the vests – mainly, it's believed, because of their weight – and the Protective Garment Corporation simply faded away… with Mr Murphy living to reminisce with whoever would listen as to how many times he'd lived through being fired at by colleagues and the police.


[] BULLET-PROOF vest maker Mr W.H. Murphy proves just how good is his product, by having a colleague fire two .38 bullets directly at him from just 3m away.

Japan welcomes 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup

One of the world's most coveted sporting trophies was on show in Japan today, with the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup the centrepiece of the Victoria Racing Club's (VRC) racing and tourism engagement lunch in Tokyo.

To coincide with the running of one of Japan's biggest races, the Group 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (2400m) on Sunday, VRC representatives engaged in market with key racing figures, government officials, tourism operators and media at an event held at Tokyo Racecourse.

The event was attended by guests comprising representatives from the Japan Racing Association (JRA) including Jun Tanizaki (Director), Akihiro Shinoda (GM of International Department) and Hiroshi Ito (Head of International Planning Development)  and members of the Yoshida family, who have been instrumental in crafting Japan's reputation as a global force in thoroughbred racing and breeding.

Speaking at the event, VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott noted that Japan forms an important pillar of the VRC's international strategy, and highlighted the positive relationship that the Club shares with the Asian nation.  

"The Melbourne Cup Carnival continues to experience strong visitation from Asia, and our wonderful relationship with the JRA benefits both our respective international racing events to grow wagering and horse participation in both directions," Mrs Elliott said.

"We are proud to use trade, lifestyle and tourism, and of course, racing, to strengthen that bond further."

Six Japanese horses have joined a large international contingent to contest races during the past three Melbourne Cup Carnivals, with Japanese horse connections embarking on the quest for a second victory in the Emirates Melbourne Cup, following the landmark win of Delta Blues in 2006 at Flemington.

Having tasted success in Australia's greatest race with Delta Blues, prominent owner-breeder Katsumi Yoshida of Northern Farm was represented by son Shunsuke Yoshida who shared with the audience in Tokyo memories from their triumph in 2006. Shunsuke remarked that his father was "most overjoyed by the massive outpour of congratulations from the entire country of Australia. In particular, despite Delta Blues being a foreign bred horse, the congratulations extended beyond the race track to restaurants and even the staff at the airport.

Asked about the importance of the Emirates Melbourne Cup for Northern Farm, Shunsuke commented that "we have always known about the prestigious reputation of Australia's landmark race, having shuttled stallions back and forth between the North and Southern Hemisphere for several decades prior to our win in 2006. Since our win we have enjoyed success at other races around the world, but to win again at Melbourne would be the ultimate prize."

Interest from Japan in the Emirates Melbourne Cup continues to soar, with 2016 marking the first year that the race was broadcast into Japan via The Green Channel. This was also the first time Japanese racing enthusiasts were permitted to bet on the Emirates Melbourne Cup, with approximately A$1.92 million wagered on the race.

The Emirates Melbourne Cup is the pinnacle of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival, which injected more than A$427 million of gross economic benefit into the Victorian economy in 2016.

In 2016, there were over 80,000 visitors from interstate and international to the Melbourne Cup Carnival, such is the attraction of Australia's original home grown event.  

The 157th edition of the Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) will be run at 3pm (Australian EDT) on Tuesday 7 November, featuring A$6.2 million in prizemoney and the $200,000 18-carat gold Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy.

The 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival runs from 4 November to 11 November. Visit for tickets and information.

Image:         Models wearing Myer and Kim Fletcher Millinery and the Emirates Melbourne Cup in Japan.

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