Salzburg is surrounded by the Alpine mountains and the country’s highest peaks are along its border. Hiking and skiing are popular activities enjoyed by both locals and tourists and cable-car rides that give patrons a birds-eye view of the valleys below is also a very popular activity. Salzburg is home to variety of tourist eye-candy—Salzburg…

The Mamanuca Islands of Fiji are an archipelago of about 20 islands. Although maybe Chuck Noland and Wilson the volleyball might disagree (the movie Castaway was filmed on one of the islands), the islands are, quite literally, heaven on earth. Similar to Hawai’i, the volcanic islands are home to pristine waters, unique flora and fauna…

The first season of Live Free or Die comes to an end tonight, and with it concludes the cast’s bizarre DIY crafts and interesting diets. And though the show’s producers dedicated plenty of screen time to the beliefs and ideological motivations of each “back-to-nature” subject, the show really shone when the cast members put their…

Everyone knows the distinctive seashell-like structure of the Sydney Opera House as the icon of Australia’s capital. Since it’s opening in 1973, the Sydney Opera House is one of Australia’s greatest tourist attractions and a celebrated hub of music and culture. Overlooking the Sydney harbor, this architectural masterpiece took 16 years to build, with 4 years alone dedicated…

Working hard. Playing hard. So many of us, especially adolescents are “Sleepless in America”, exhausted before the alarm even rings. And guess what? There is a hot debate brewing over whether or not something can be done about it, starting with our school systems. Read on for thoughts on the ongoing debate from from health,…

The Batu Caves of Kuala Lumpur are a popular destination for both tourists and worshipers alike. Outside of the caves stands a 140-ft statue of Lord Murugan, the Hindu God of War, who is said to vanquish demons with his lance. The annual Thaipusam Festival, which brings thousands of Hindu worshipers who pierce their bodies…

Though the cast of Live Free Or Die are positioned as back-to-nature technophobes, they’re also children of modern society who know precisely when to take ethical shortcuts that don’t compromise their values too much. Put another way, they’ll use technology if there is no reliable workaround. Colbert occasionally drives a truck; he also has a hunting rife in…

Written by Alex Mazzarisi Located in the heart of Prague, Old Town Prague or Staroměstské náměstí as the locals call it, is an ancient settlement, founded in the 12th century. Once the hub of medieval market activity, the square is now home to  historical monuments and tourist attractions including Old Town Hall Tower & Astronomical Clock,…

It takes a level of fearlessness to get up off the couch and voluntarily forfeit the comforts of modern life for a semi-primitive existence. Naturally, the cast of Live Free Or Die are an adventuresome, thick-skinned bunch. Whether out of nature or necessity, the show’s subjects haven’t shied away from the disgusting and the dangerous,…

Leave it to other shows for titular metaphor and wit: Live Free Or Die is meant to be taken literally. Sure, the show is a window into expert DIY craft-making and life with minimal bathing, but there’s one primarily occupation that takes up the majority of the show’s run-time: finding food. Other interesting pursuits (like tool and…

You, along with 100 percent of the other people who clicked on this article, are currently using an electronic device. So its safe to say that a life without modern technological luxuries would be quite a shock to most of my readers here, as well as those who watch Live Free Or Die, Nat Geo’s…

As we pointed out last week, Life Free or Die is more or less a show about the cool crafts, structures and appliances you can build without the need for such modern luxuries as electronic power tools and handymen. Tonight’s episode delivers on the promise of household appliances reborn sans-tech: in the opening sequence, outdoorsman Gabe…

Beyond it’s status as platform for the strange diets, habits and lifestyles of a select few back-to-nature Americans, Live Free or Die is also inadvertently one of the most interesting craft-making shows on television. Each week, virtually every cast member demonstrates a new way of replacing modern structures and tools with primitive and recycled alternatives –…

The ginseng hunters on Smoky Mountain Money are on a tight schedule – ‘senging season is short – and probably aren’t always sensitive to the environment around them (save threats and signs of ginseng). But even with that nose-to-the-ground work ethic, it can be difficult to ignore the sheer volume of wildlife crowded onto the…

Here’s the good thing about ginseng – it’s worth a ton of money and it’s in the ground, fresh for the taking in 19 states. You know what I’m going to say next, right? Yeah, harvesting wild ginseng is really difficult. Forget about the whole scaling a mountain through the rain looking for a few…

Americans today constantly have their eyes locked on screens — their phones, tablets and televisions. Workweeks are getting longer and the retirement age is getting older. There’s an obsession with money and material goods. But a handful of people are rejecting these ways of life. They’re moving away from cities, living off the land and…

A Quick History of Moonshine

There are few better ways to immortalize one’s name than to put it on alcohol. John Jameson knew this. So did the brewers and propagators of tequila and cognac. Moonshine, of course, is not named for a place, but it may as well be. The vast majority of Americas moonshine is and has always been…

Our Curiosity

You may know that the 2nd anniversary of the Curiosity rover reaching Mars occurred a little over a month ago.  In fact, for those of us who work here at NGC, we’re treated to a full scale model of the Curiosity rover each day upon entering the building (though recently our new friend Spinosaurus is…

It’s in energy drinks and dietary supplements. People take it to stimulate their immune system, lose weight and even cure erectile dysfunction. And while it is cultivated en masse on large, specialized farms, most harvesters would rather scour a mountaintop to find increasingly scarce quantities of it. Ginseng is a strange crop. Widely sought-after for…

As the War on Drugs rages on with no end in sight, a catalyst for the conflict’s beginning has reemerged: heroin. National trends clearly indicate that heroin use is on the rise once again. And while heroin’s popularity today hasn’t triggered usage levels akin to the drug’s ‘70s heyday,  if upward trends continue, there’s a…

Love at first sight. A “sixth sense.” That feeling in the pit of your stomach that something’s not quite right. Our brains guide our actions, but as it turns out, you make a lot of decisions that you’re not even aware of making. That split-second feeling in your gut that overrules your logical thinking skills…

Passing through security in the airport or subjecting your luggage to screening at the border is a notoriously serious affair in the U.S. And while this has only increased since 9/11, these transit hubs and points of entry (POEs) remain highly important in the federal government’s war on drugs, as law enforcement attempts to make…

Robbing Drug Dealers

In ghosts of political scandals past, President Obama once remarked in an interview that his favorite character from the critically-acclaimed drama The Wire was easily the shotgun-wielding outlaw Omar Little. This was a somewhat shocking claim to many who didn’t watch the show – Omar was not only a part-time drug dealer, he was a part-time…

Why do we get angry? On some levels, it’s a primal instinct, one of our oldest and most primitive emotions, hard-wired into our brains by evolution. Anger is also societal, with American culture more accepting of hostile displays in public (to which anyone who’s ever been stuck in rush hour can attest). As it turns out,…

It’s not easy to generalize about why people choose certain drugs, particularly over an extended period of time. The popularity of different drugs tends to rise and fall, based partially on availability and economics and partially on taste. I’ve written about PCP’s resurgence in parts of the mid-Atlantic and how pharmaceutical painkiller abuse primed suburban…