From the category archives:

Special Interest

Looking For The Ultimate In Relaxation? Try An Isolation Tank Experience

by Alan Rider
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Honking car horns, ringing telephones, screaming children.  When the sensory overload that is modern life has pushed the needle on your stress-ometer into the red, you may want to try what many believe to be the ultimate relaxation experience by literally getting away from it all in the peaceful confines of an isolation tank.
Once the exclusive playground of experimental psychologists, the isolation tank experience has gone mainstream.  Dozens of spas now offer hour-long relaxation sessions in custom-designed floatation chambers filled with roughly 10 inches of water containing as much as 800 pounds of epsom salts.
The result is a fluid environment in which the human body is extremely buoyant.  This allows [...]

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A Dancer’s Dream-Come True: Radio City Rockettes Experiences Are A Real Kick

by Alan Rider
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Many moons ago, I knew a young woman who—despite being, ahem, somewhat vertically-challenged—dreamed of becoming a member of New York City’s famed Radio City Rockettes.  If you’re an equally passionate amateur dancer with some training in jazz and tap and a curiosity about what life is like for members of the world’s best-known dance troupe, I’m betting you’ll dig these two once-in-a-lifetime Rockettes adventures.
The Rockette Summer Intensive is designed to give aspiring professional dancers a taste of what it takes to join this famous kick-line.  The week-long dance education program includes six hours of daily instruction from current Rockettes dancers and choreographers, a seminar with inside info on the Rockettes [...]

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Birdwatching Bonanza: How To Add 800 Species To Your Life List In One Trip

by Alan Rider
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If you’re one of the millions of serious birders in North America, sooner or later you’ll find yourself running out of new indigenous species to add to your life list. When you reach that point, you’ll want to check out the mind-boggling array of global birdwatching expeditions put on by the nice folks at Birdquest.
This 30-year-old British operation offers tours to just about any exotic birdwatching destination you can imagine, and a few you probably can’t (seriously, how many people do you know who’ve been birding in Djibouti?). They bill their outings as “The Ultimate In Bird Tours” and, with regularly scheduled expeditions to all seven continents, it’s [...]

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Extraordinary Event: RoboGames Gives You The Chance To Say “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto”

by Alan Rider
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For those of us who grew up on sci-fi movies and television shows like Forbidden Planet and Lost In Space, the idea of a world full of robots seems like some far-off fantasy. Which is precisely why this weekend’s RoboGames—a three-day event certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the planet’s largest open robotics competition—seems like such an extraordinary experience.
This six-year-old San Francisco-area geek-fest features the highly imaginative creations of individuals and teams from more than 20 countries, competing in dozens of events ranging from soccer to sumo. The stars of the show, of course, are the battling bots that come in sizes from 5.3 [...]

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Adventures In Aviation: Zeppelin Flights

by Alan Rider
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In a world where many people have come to view flying as an ordeal to be endured, there are still lots of us for whom the act of leaving terra firma behind remains an adventure to be savored. If you’re one of us, you owe it to yourself to book a seat on the first zeppelin to take to the skies above the U.S. in more than 70 years.
The company responsible for the zeppelin’s return to America, Airship Ventures, offers one- and two-hour flight-seeing tours around San Francisco Bay in the 246-foot helium-filled Eureka, as well as occasional cross-country flights as they reposition the zeppelin for tours in [...]

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Cool Camps (Part 2): Why Let Kids Have All The Fun?

by Alan Rider
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If you read Part 1 of this series, which featured seven way-cool summer camps for kids, you may have come away wishing there were a way us grown-ups could get in on the fun. At least I know I did.

Which lead me to put together this list of adult-only “camps” that’ll give the tweens and teens in your life just as many reasons to be jealous:
Hollywood TV Star Fantasy Camp
Get ready for your close-up as you play your part in this “made-for-TV” crime drama.
Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camp
Five days of jamming in laid back settings ranging from small combos to big bands.
Camp Winnarainbow
Run away to join the [...]

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Cool Camps (Part 1): 7 Summer Camps So Fun They’ll Make You Wish You Were A Kid Again

by Alan Rider
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There are more than 12,000 summer camp programs in the U.S.  Most of which are designed to fill their campers’ days with activities that haven’t changed much in decades.
The seven summer camp programs featured below are another story altogether.  While their themes run the gamut from filmmaking to fine cuisine, the one thing they all have in common—other than the fact that a lot of adults will wish they could sign up—is the fact that they offer kids a chance to actually live out the kind of extraordinary experiences they thought were only possible in movies, TV, and video games:
Feel The Force
This three-day Jedi Experience, held in conjunction with [...]

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