...out blinding light so scientists can't measure individual energy efficiency for them, said study co-author Christopher Reynolds of the University of Maryland. But if they could, they'd probably be even more efficient, based on indirect...
ALICE SPRINGS, Australia - The Ghan is a 970-mile stretch of railroad tracks between Adelaide in southern Australia and Alice Springs, smack-dab in the middle of the country. By the time I finished my trip, a comfortable way to see the notoriously harsh interior of the continent, and inspected my destination, I'd made two life decisions in the 19 hours of the ride.
ABOARD THE SPIRIT OF ENDEAVOUR -- Sometimes the best introduction to an immense place is a small ship.
SYDNEY, Australia -- Before the gunfire rang out, the harbor lay pretty as a picture on a Sunday afternoon, boat sails snapping in the wind, ferries chugging under the tall harbor bridge and looping around the great white opera house. A few children lingered at the Double Bay wharf, scanning the watery horizon. Then ``bang, bang, bang.'' The staccato sound carried far and fast across the water. I'd just arrived in Australia a few hours earlier and had spent the drive from the airport hearing a grumpy cabbie complain about rising crime. Of course Sydney, a commercial powerhouse and home to 3.7 million of Australia's 18 million people, has its share of graffiti-marred blocks, racial anxieties and other big-city troubles. But the sound of gunfire I heard was not one of them.
PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- In rolled the train from Berlin, and out I stepped. Dragging my bags along a path traced by hundreds of travelers every week, I crossed the terminal floor and stepped outside to hail a cab.
CAPRI, Italy -- The world comes to Capri. For instance, on one brilliant morning recently, about three dozen American and German tourists were gathered at the Gardens of Augustus, a cliff-top park on the south coast of the island, where lush flowers give way to ancient stonework, which gives way to sheer cliffs, which give way to a sea that may be azure or cobalt, or both, depending on the sunlight and the hour.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- I recently consummated a May-to-September relationship in a Motel 6, and I don't care who knows it. No, it wasn't what you think. My wife and I (separated in age by 364 days, if you must know) thought we could stand a weekend in Santa Barbara, but we wanted to keep it cheap. And so one day back in the spring, I called Motel 6 -- not just any Motel 6, mind you, but the original Motel 6, which opened in the summer of 1962 near East Beach, prime shore-strolling and volleyball territory.
The U.S. Transportation Department, never known for coining zippy nicknames, calls them passengers denied boarding. But we know them as "bumpees." Some travelers strive to be bumped, yearning for the perks that airlines offer them. But others, about 4,800 a month, have "bumpee" status thrust upon them.
FUNCHAL, Madeira -- Here, on an odd green island off the North African coast, are flowers in riot and rare fruits in profusion. Here is a tiny hardscrabble harbor full of fishing boats in colors so fetching that amateur painter Winston Churchill once came to work them into his landscapes.
CANCUN, Mexico - Just a few yards from the deep blue sea, the sparkling white sand and the sleek architecture of the luxury hotels, a husband and wife board a bus. They are American tourists bound for the downtown flea market, and they take seats up front.