Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

[Techyum] Polynesia Tourist Cannibal Death Claim: Racist or Real?

October 21, 2011

Image from Survival International.

Forty-year-old German yachtsman Stefan Ramin disappeared in September while on Nuka Hiva, a remote tropical island in French Polynesia. After charred bones and teeth were found on the island, the press is awash with reports that Ramin was eaten by cannibals. Survival International, the chief global advocacy group for tribal peoples, says the accusation is fueled by racism.

The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Fox News, The Sun, and Australia’s The Independent are all on the cannibal holocaust bandwagon, with another Sun story quoting multiple German professors with Lovecraftian relish:

Stefan Ramin, 40, may have been killed in a ritual common on the island of Nuku Hima 250 years ago. His remains were found around the ashes of a cooking fire.

Prof Annerose Menninger, of Munich University, said he was perhaps first slaughtered to “honour” the offering to a god.

Cannibal expert Dr Gundolf Krüger admitted: “Polynesians are now Christian and literate, therefore pious and educated. But it is entirely possible that the criminal was led by old rituals into this crime.”

Yes, that’s really what the UK press is quoting. “Christian and literate, therefore pious and educated.” (emphasis mine). Whatever happened to Herr Ramin, Herr Professor Krüger sounds like he needs a less in cause and effect at the very least, and maybe a slap in the face or two.

Read the rest at Techyum. Image from Survival International.


Tequila-Soaked Sin in The Big Tomato, Courtesy of Violet Blue

September 27, 2011

There are many people who think I still live in San Francisco — which is not true; I moved to Sacramento in 2009 but have in fact not lived in San Francisco since 2004. After that it was briefly L.A., New Orleans, Berkeley, Vallejo, then Oakland for an extended stay, and finally right here in the shadow of the Capitol, where the commuters wear lanyards and eat $8 roast beef sandwiches the size of your head, flee for Roseville at 4:10 pm and the rest of us sit around and differ on matters of just how f*$#!#$*!#ing hot it really is.

The truth is, it’s a charming mid-sized town just a bit smaller than Oakland and a nice change of pace. The rivers are gorgeous, you’re spitting distance from the Sierras, and there’s a cozy not-too-crowded downtown with plenty of old buildings, evocative scenery, funky little restaurants and an astonishing number of trees.

When my good friend sex educator Violet Blue came up from San Francisco to visit me in Sac earlier this year, she landed at the breathtaking Citizen Hotel, whose marketing folks turn out to be huge fans of her books. The Citizen is one of the most gorgeous hotels I’ve ever laid eyes on, and as a former professional meeting planner, I’ve seen hotels all over the country. It’s a seriously evocative noir-ish masterpiece where you’ll expect to see guys with fedoras pulled down low carrying violin cases through the lobby. It’s right upstairs from Grange, a serious high-end restaurant that, if you can spare the lettuce, represents one of the few expensive eateries I’ve ever been to that I feel actually warrants the expenditure. the best of Sacramento locovore culture in a region where the local produce is fresh as hell because the surrounding country grows vast amounts of what all y’all eat…hence our little burg’s crimson-red nickname, The Big Tomato.

What’s more, The Citizen is in my kind of neighborhood — less than a block from the Main Library. Hellz yeah!!

Now the folks at the Citizen have set up the “Roses are Red, Violet Blue” romantic-getaway package for couples (singles, triads…you get the pic) interested in adding a little salacious romance to their weekend away. It celebrates the fact that Violet finished her most recent book, Sweet Confessions, while staying there. From a PRWeb press release:

This Fall, Joie de Vivre’s Citizen Hotel in Sacramento, debuts its fabulously naughty “Roses are Red, Violet Blue” package. The package was inspired by acclaimed sex author and expert Violet Blue, who finished her most recent book while staying at the hotel. Guests who book the package will stay in the very same room where she found inspiration in the hopes that they can channel their inner erotic adventurer. The perfect retreat with a lover—or a weekend away with someone you might like to get to know better (in more ways than one)—guests will be tantalized with an array of erotic and exotic treats, including a silk blindfold, four ties, a bottle of tequila to get the party started, a list of Violet Blue’s recommended websites (to teach them everything they need to know), and much more.

The Roses are Red, Violet Blue package includes:

  • One-night stay in the same deluxe guestroom which Violet Blue stayed
  • Valet parking
  • Signed copy of Sweet Confessions
  • Access to Joie Connect with list of websites recommended by Violet Blue
  • Naughty box
  • Silk blindfold
  • Four ties
  • A bottle of Joie de Vivre Herradura Tequila served with citrus & salts

For more information on The Citizen Hotel, please visit or call (916) 447-2700.

The aforementioned Sweet Confessions, incidentally, is only one of the books Violet worked on this year — add to her list Best Women’s Erotica 2012 (release date December 13, 2011) and One Night Only (release date March, 2012). To tell you the truth, Violet does so damn many of them I can’t always keep track of what she’s working on at any given moment! I believe One Night Only will make twenty-four, if I’m counting correctly…amazing!

Efter lidt for mange pivoer..

May 17, 2008

Efter lidt for mange pivoer..

Originally uploaded by Sanne Aabjerg

This photo, found through the Show Me the World game on the “Travel The World” Flickr group is apparently a house in Poland. There’s lots of helpful information at its Flickr page:

“Hey…hvad fanden sker der her? Ser huset rigtigt saadan ud eller har du lavet gejl i Photoshop? Jeg ville blive rundtosset hvis jeg boede i det hus, men det kunne nu ogsaa være meget skægt :)”

Helpful for someone, sadly not me. Cool house, though.

BART Train, 24th Street, Late Night 2007

April 17, 2008

BART Train, 24th Street, Late Night 2007

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

A BART train approaching 24th Street Station, late at night in like October 2007. You know, I really like this photo. And yet — here I mean no offense to anyone — posting photos of public transportation seems fucking self indulgent. Have I descended into the vagaries of self-conscious arty wankerdom? Leave your answer in the comments, along with $20.

Lonely Planet Writer Plagiarized, Sold Drugs, Made Shit Up

April 14, 2008

From CNN:

A Lonely Planet author says he plagiarized or made up portions of the popular travel guidebooks and dealt drugs to supplement poor pay, an Australian newspaper reported Sunday.

Thomas Kohnstamm, who has written a book on his misadventures, also said he didn’t travel to Colombia to write the guidebook on the country because “they didn’t pay me enough,” The Daily Telegraph reported.

“I wrote the book in San Francisco [California],” he is quoted as saying in the Telegraph. “I got the information from a chick I was dating — an intern in the Colombian Consulate.”

Kohnstamm’s book is called Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?: A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics, and Professional Hedonism. I’m sure it’s all very accurate.

Splatter Beach (DVD Review)

October 19, 2007

The cover of this flick features a decapitated and screaming “Erin Brown” who, in case you are not completely obsessed with extremely bad horror and softcore lesbian porn, is the artist formerly known as Misty Mundae. Erin has changed her name, apparently, to focus on her “serious” acting career, which she showcases with aplomb in this wacky spatfest by delivering her lines in a strange monotone and claiming to be a lesbian even though hers is an entirely non-sex role (as they all are here). Splatter Beach also stars Erika Smith, who I am obsessed with much like the MST3K robots are obsessed with Kim Cattrall, ever since I saw her in Countess Dracula.

Tonya, Rodney and Rupert head to Sea Bright Beach for a weekend of relaxation. Little do they know that some freaky humanoid slime creature that swims about in the lagoon and dismembers people in most gorrific fashion. Shoegazer local Tess (Brown) tries to convince them that something is seriously fucked up in paradise, but not before we get a gratuitous scene of Erika Smith disrobing (high five!). From there, it’s periodic mass slaughter of beachgoers by ol’ slimey himself, and next thing you know the out-of-towners have slogged their way through mutilated locals to discover about a zillion humanoid slime-creature egg sacks just moments from well-hatched babydom. Run! Be afraid!

Read more at Eros Zine.

Bacterium (DVD Review)

October 19, 2007

I’m going to be honest with you, my inner Beavis was already writing the review for this masterpiece before I watched the flick, just based on the awesome cover. It started something like this: “Mutant alien space-spores rule! THEY RULE!!!” Luckily for me, my inner Beavis often gets a swift kick in the nuts and I shall instead start this review by pointing out more eloquently that mutant alien space-spores do, in fact, rule, but perhaps more to the point this low-budget drive-in green slime orgy hits everything that I love about the shamefully small genre of biohazard-mutant virus-teen jeopardy shock cinema. It also is quite possibly the best movie I’ve seen yet from Shock-O-Rama cinema, not because of its rampant and self-aware badness (and there’s plenty of that… come on, look who you’re talkin’ to) but because of the deftness with which it treats its action sequences, and the general skill applied to the campy scripting and quick pacing.

Read more at Eros Zine.

Eden (DVD Review)

October 19, 2007

Forgive me for wanting to like Eden; Adam & Eve sent it to me in a hot pink beach bag. To summarize the flick: A bunch of people show up on a beautiful tropical island, have sex….Even without the beach bag, I can be forgiven for getting excited about a porn movie featuring Bree Olson, Carmen Luvana, Ava Rose, and Courtney Cummz — hotties all. Watching them have sex on beautiful beaches, sailboats and in jungles should have been fun. It kinda wasn’t. Some of the problem with Eden is that it bears the kiss of death for a porn movie — a slow, meditative guitar soundtrack intended to evoke the peacefulness of tropical surroundings, which in fact, for me at least, evokes the peacefulness of the insides of my eyelids. But mostly, Eden just felt like a standard-issue, painfully-vanilla movie that allowed its cast and crew to travel to some gorgeous beach somewhere on the production company’s dime. Mazel Tov. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Read more at Eros Zine.

Girl in 6c (DVD Review)

October 19, 2007

Charlotte (Carmen Hart) is a spunky Southern college girl who pays an unannounced visit to her brother Keith (Tommy Gunn, barely legal himself). Unfortunately for her, Keith’s on his way out of town on a business trip. He leaves Charlotte in the capable hands of his best friend (Eric Masterson), who refuses to bang her no matter how hard she begs. (Charlotte, you see, is a slut). He does, however, have impure thoughts about her. After he takes her out for a nice dinner and abandons her halfway through when she won’t take no for an answer, she satisfies herself with her waiter (Charles Dera) in the kitchen while the chefs watch. The next morning, when her shower doesn’t work, the building handyman (Randy Spears) gets a free show and a free fuck in return for promptly fixing the shower. The buiilding’s doorman, who Keith talked into “taking care” of Charlotte while she’s in town, interprets that to mean hook her up with a trip to a live sex show where Marco Banderas assfucks Trina Michaels onstage. Charlotte, meanwhile, starts blowing guys in the audience… what part of “Take care of my sister while I’m out of town” means “pimp her out to a blow bang?”

Read more at Eros Zine.

Who Gets Better Sex? Country Kink or City Perv? (Midori: Diva’s Debauchery)

October 4, 2007

“I know this isn’t San Francisco…” As my teaching tour takes me to various cities and towns, invariably someone will apologize to me about the supposed lack of sexual sophistication in that particular town.

“Oh, you’re so lucky to live in San Francisco. It must be amazing and wild!” Some will exclaim to me, as their gaze drifts off, imagining some sunny Shangri-La shaded by palm trees and the wafting scent of leather.

Indeed, my beloved San Francisco is a wonderful town, unique and blessed. There are also other cities known for relatively sexually liberal social climates, such as Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles, etc. With the mention each of these locales, my friends from small towns and villages must imagine some non-stop bacchanal, with each player more sexually savvy then the last.

Read more at Eros Zine.