Friday, November 21, 2008

Recent Additions

I've added a few intriguing sidebar elements this week that I want to point out.

I discovered a fabulous travel blog at the International Herald Tribune called "Globespotters" that is now on the "Travel Blogs of Note" link list. In a quick scan of this page I learned about an art fundraiser in Britain featuring postcards secretly designed by stars such as Yoko Ono, mixed in to a sale anonymously with postcards painted by art students. What an idea! I also read about a Russian artist who animated the Hemingway novel The Old Man and the Sea entirely by creating intricate paintings on glass with his fingers.

I added a link to a website called "Balkanology" under the "Southeastern Europe Travel Links" section. This is an incredible site jam packed with photos and description of some of the lesser known countries in Europe - Bulgaria included. Surfing this site is a joy, particularly once you find the photo gallery section. I have just begun reading Robert Kaplan's Balkan Ghosts, and there is sure a lot to learn about this region which has so influenced the whole world (whether we all know it or not).

Finally - best for last - I added a new widget on the upper right called the "Visitor Map". Here you can see yellow dots in every place around the world where someone has looked at the blog since I put up the graphic earlier this week. I was thrilled to discover visitors in England, Qatar, Africa, Thailand, and all across the United States, and a bit worried to see a visitor from Bristol, considering my review of the Bristol Balloon Festival last summer! Ah well, no angry comments posted yet... If the little yellow dot you see is flashing, that means someone is looking at the blog in that city at the same time you are looking (and if it is in your city, it's probably you). I smiled to see a flashing dot in Duluth, MN yesterday at the same time my own was flashing in Sofia, Bulgaria. I thought of posting a quick hello message to my parents, but our overlap was too brief. Still - this is a fun new feature, at least for me!

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