Where Leonard Nimoy’s Famous Vulcan Salute Came From

This post is a part of Geek Takeover Week 2016.

chisinau jewish cemetary

This above is a photo from Chisinau, Moldova’s Jewish Cemetery, the largest in Europe. But you may be noticing something familiar about the hand gestures on this tombstone – especially if you’re a Star Trek fan. Yes, this is the famous Vulcan salute, created by Leonard Nimoy, during the show’s second season.

It was a gesture he made spontaneously but has described its origin from his childhood. Nimoy, whose parents were Jewish immigrants from Ukraine, took him to services at a local synagogue in Boston. He recalled as a child being told not to look at the kohen (priests) during one particular part of prayers each service – but of course his curious Vulcan mind took a peek.

spock live long and prosper

This gesture of the two hands is what he saw and it’s the inspiration for the now famous Vulcan salute.

So, to you my friends and fellow travelers, live long and prosper. To which the appropriately Vulcan response is, peace and long life.

This post originally appeared on foXnoMad Tales.

WiFox App Is A Continuously Updated Map Of Wireless Passwords From Airports And Lounges Worldwide

wifox app

Available on iOS, WiFox is a continuously updated map of airport and lounge passwords from around the world available to travelers offline, so you can use it without an Internet connection. WiFox is based on my popular map of wireless passwords from around the world, letting users around the world add password information from airports as they travel. Passwords are then verified and added to the map, which is updated in real-time when you have an Internet connection.

Continually Updated From Multiple Sources

WiFox is updated with information travelers, pilots, and other users send through the WiFox app, foXnoMad website, and foXnoMad Facebook and Twitter accounts. WiFox currently has wireless Internet information for over 70 airports.

WiFox also tells you if any wireless access points have time restrictions – if they do, WiFox shows you how to get around them!

The map is updated automatically upon opening the app (when you have Internet access), by clicking the ‘Update’ button on the map, or the refresh icon on the List View.

wifox app store

Other WiFox Features

  • Copy Passwords Directly – Wifi icons on the worldwide map indicate if password information is available. You can find the lounge or terminal where wireless is available and copy the password directly from WiFox into your phone’s settings.
  • Unlock Time Restrictions – Access points with time limits are also shown but WiFox shows you how to get around time-based restrictions.
  • Updated In Real-Time – Travelers can rate password information, letting me know if it might need a update or send an updated password for verification directly through WiFox.
  • Rating System Keeps Password Information Current – WiFox’s wifi icons are color coded to let you know how fresh and reliable a given access point’s password information is.

Available For iOS Now, Android Version Coming Very Soon

WiFox is available on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod) for $1.99 on the App Store. An Android version is in the works (I didn’t forget about you!) and I’ll make an announcement when it’s ready for release in a few weeks. Know that your feedback is an important part of WiFox, I would love to hear any feedback or feature requests you have for future updates.

Ratings on the App Store are also important, so if you’re happy with WiFox, I would appreciate your 5-star ratings! I’m excited to announce foXnoMad’s first app, which I hope will help you travel smarter and get online for free in airports you might not be able to otherwise.

Download WiFox, Available on the App Store Here

A Super-Fan Shows You How To Plan Your Very Own Harry Potter Tour In London

This post is a part of Geek Takeover Week 2016.

This is a guest post by 15 year old writer and #1 Potterhead Brian Selcik, a student at the Metropolitan School of the Arts as well as Hogwarts. Brian has dedicated his life to J.K. Rowling’s beautiful Wizarding World – not only has he been to Universal Orlando three times, he has traveled to London specifically because of Harry Potter. He runs an Etsy shop with his best friend, Skye, selling Potter woodburns, which you can find here.

brian potter

Harry Potter’s story has become known to everyone around the world, and there are many people that cherish it as one of the most, if not the most (like me) important things in their life. Although there are many places in the United Kingdom that relate to Harry Potter, there are a few that are directly a part of the story. The very first stop in Harry’s magical journey is Diagon Alley. Full of wizarding shops and Gringotts bank, the entrance to Daigon Alley being the Leaky Cauldron which in the stories, is located on Charing Cross road in the West End of London. Although the Leaky Cauldron isn’t actually there, it is still a very iconic and enjoyable place to visit for any Harry Potter fan.

charing cross road

Next up is King’s Cross Station, specifically Platform 9¾. This is where the Hogwarts Express leaves from to head to Hogwarts, and by Platforms 9 & 10, there is a Harry Potter “exhibit” where you can snap a photograph of yourself running through the wall and shop at a Platform 9¾ shop.

brian potter 9 3/4

Before any of his magical journey, and before Harry knew that he was a wizard, he visited the Reptile House at the London Zoo where he unknowingly found out that he was a Parstlemouth (he could speak to and understand snakes). This section of the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone movie was actually filmed here, and there is a little blurb about that in the Reptile House at London Zoo.

Potter Play

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II is the official 8th Harry Potter story, and it is presented as a play in the West End. If you get lucky enough to get tickets, it is at the Palace Theatre. It is the most exciting thing that has happened to the Harry Potter story since the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007!

harry potter book collectionHarry Potter (8 Book Series)

amazon buy now

Last but most certainly not least, Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. This is a full tour of the set that the Harry Potter movies were filmed at. From props to full size sets, and miniature models to costume, this tour is a must see for any Potterhead. That about sums up the Harry Potter UK “scavenger hunt,” although there are many other places that you can visit including Piccadilly Circus, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and more. I hope you enjoyed this article and get a chance to visit these places sometime!

Thank you very much for this magical guest post Brian! If you have any Potter-travel related questions for Brian, you can leave them in the comments below and be sure to check out his Etsy page for handmade Potter decor here.

How To Stream The Olympics Online From Anywhere

This post is a part of Geek Takeover Week 2016.

usain bolt smile meme

It has been widely reported that NBC’s coverage of the Olympics has been terrible, sexist, and tape-delayed, but even if you’re not in the United States, getting good coverage of the sports you want shouldn’t be left up to your TV. Fortunately, getting set up takes only a few minutes and I’ve gone through many of the options to show you how to access the best feed for little more than a VPN fee.

Download TunnelBear

One of the best VPN for travelers, TunnelBear does the best job of getting around regional blocks for our Olympiad purposes. TunnelBear offers 500MB free, but streaming video will eat that up quickly. Purchase a month of unlimited data from TunnelBear for $7.99 (no contract needed), download it on your desktop, now we’re good to go.

tunnelbear canada

  • Mobile Issues – Although TunnelBear works on mobile devices, the streaming service we’ll be using doesn’t play nicely with it. You can give it a try, but iOS users might find some issues connecting to the Olympic coverage.

Once you’ve installed TunnelBear, activate it, then set it to Canada. Next, set your browser window to privacy mode. Here’s how on Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

Oh, Canada

Yes, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporate (CBC) has excellent Olympics coverage. You can sort by sport, time of day, plus see what sports are currently happening and for how long. Additionally you can multi-screen in a single window – now if you could just search by countries competing (and be shown only those events for the times given) it would be perfect. But still, CBC has excellent coverage.

There, now you should be able to watch all of the Olympics you want while traveling or as any time your boss isn’t looking over your shoulder. Let me know if you have any questions or come across any issues, in the comments below. Let the games continue!

[Top photo: Cameron Spencer via Getty Images]

Geek Takeover Week 2016 Is Here

The annual week of the nerdiest posts – that may or may not be travel related – I, and your fellow readers could come up with, begins right now. For this week only, each day will feature a new Geek Takeover Week post, breaking from the regular Tuesday/Thursday post schedule.

Monday: Geek Takeover Week 2016 Is Here
Tuesday: How To Stream The Olympics Online From Anywhere
Wednesday: A Super-Fan Shows You How To Plan Your Very Own Harry Potter Tour In London
Thursday: WiFox App Is A Continuously Updated Map Of Wireless Passwords From Airports And Lounges Worldwide
Friday: Where Leonard Nimoy’s Famous Vulcan Salute Came From

To let you digest it all, there won’t be any posts next week but right now foXnoMad, the Facebook page, and Twitter feed are infected with Borg nanoprobes so may the Force be with us all.

Similar Quality, A Third Less Expensive: A Review Of The Sony a5000 Mirrorless Camera

This is a guest post by Damian Irimescu, a Romanian techie and blogger who loves to write about life experiences. In his own words, “whenever I have the chance to discover a new place, I don’t think twice.” Damian recently began focusing on photography, learning baby steps, sharing those moments captured with a Sony α5000 and Xperia Z3 on his blog, Facebook and Instagram.

sony a5000

When I wanted to buy a new camera I found myself researching online, reading countless reviews of DSLRs, but leaning especially toward mirrorless cameras. Mostly because DSLR cameras are bulky, not ideal if you travel a lot and aren’t completely focused on photography when you do. I wanted a lightweight camera I can use in one hand without scarfing the ability to change lenses yet maintaining high image quality. (So bye bye mirror.)

Since I had been using the Sony Xperia Z3 smartphone’s remarkable camera as my primary shooter up until then, I gravitated toward Sony’s mirrorless camera lineup with high hopes.

Feature Full

The Sony Alpha 5000 is a small 6.2 x 3.6 x 1.7 centimeter (2.48 x 1.42 x 4.33 inch) mirrorless camera that can fit in a single hand. In its half-pound (270 gram) body is a 20 million pixel APS-C sensor, 7.6 cm (3 inch) 460K-dot LCD screen, Wi-Fi functionality, plus BIONZ-X image processor. BIONX-Z, which is used to enhance texture in photographs, is also a feature on the high-end Sony Alpha A7 and RX10. These specs, including the all-important battery life are nearly on par with the newer Sony a6000, but a third cheaper.

Sony Alpha a5000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm OSS Lens (Black)

amazon buy now

I bought the Sony a5000 for its low price and spectacular photo quality. The a5000 feels solid in your hand and the default wide-angle 16-50 millimeter lens is nice range to get you started. Sony’s a5000 has dozens of shooting modes plus offers a lot of control with rich manual mode settings. You can see some examples of both in the photos I took below.

housecat up close

Compatible with Sony’s E-Mount lenses, digitally the a5000 has free-to-download tools like Photo Retouch as well as the $10 Time-lapse app, that will make even the first timer amateur photo-enthusiast feel like a pro. (Although admittedly, time-lapse should just be a feature of the a5000, but more on its video shortcomings later.)

baby photo sony a5000

The LCD screen is flexible for selfies and above-the-crowd shots; all of which can be posted to your smartphone, laptop, or social media accounts instantly using the Sony a5000’s wireless/NFC capability.

Video Weaknesses

Even though the a5000 has optical stabilization, it has difficultly keeping faster moving objects in focus. Not to mention because of its placement, the microphone catches the sound of the lens zooming, annoyingly so. (Unless you like rocket-ship sound effects in the background of your travel videos.) Continuous auto-focus is also sluggish, so the a5000 might not be your first choice if you plan to capture a lot of action or sports video. Video is shot in full 1080p with stereo sound.

sony a5000 example photo

A Good DSLR And a6000 Alternative

Despite its video shortcomings the a5000 is a much less expensive alternative to the a6000, which hasn’t made much strides in terms of resolving those video concerns. The photo quality however is excellent for a camera that will easily fit into most jacket pockets, taking up to 400 shots per battery charge.

If you like to capture a family occasions, holiday moments, points of interest while you travel, but want better than average image quality, the a5000 is a great low cost alternative to the newer a6000.

Thanks Damian for sharing your thoughts on the Sony a5000 with us. You can find Damian on his blog, Facebook and Instagram. If you have any questions about the camera, feel free to ask Damian in the comments below!

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More

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Recent Articles

Where Leonard Nimoy’s Famous Vulcan Salute Came From

WiFox App Is A Continuously Updated Map Of Wireless Passwords From Airports And Lounges Worldwide

A Super-Fan Shows You How To Plan Your Very Own Harry Potter Tour In London