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Blog - foXnoMad

Devine Photos Of Lisbon, Portugal From Almada

almada portugal

These might be some of the most perfect photos I’ve ever taken though I didn’t have much to do with it. From rain to rainbows at sunset with a background of racing clouds in strong winds, all the photons seemed to line up perfectly around Almada’s Christ the King.

It didn’t begin like this – the half hour ride from Lisbon‘s city center was under downpours from dark clouds bellowing the force of the air pressures colliding above.

christ the king monument

Time was scarce, the days were short, opportunities to reach this vantage point might not come for a while, or perhaps at all. In such cases, seizing the moment is like trying to grasp a waterfall with your hands for a perfect drink. Sometimes, you are lucky but rarely are you left without anything.

lisbon portugal rainbow

The skies showed so many various faces, it was a buffet of photographic opportunities and angles of Portugal‘s capital city as well as the Christ the King monument.

lisbon from almada

Running from one scenic shot to the other I didn’t make time for camera adjustments, trusting the auto settings would do some justice to what I was witnessing.

christ the king monument

Plus of course, I had to remember to witness what I was seeing with my own eyes.

portugal double rainbow

And it was a perfect moment as nature, architecture, along with the rotation of Earth came together at the exact spot I happened to be standing at.

New foXnoMad Merch Shop With May Profits Going To Yemen’s Children

You can now show everyone how you travel smarter with foXnoMad gear including t-shirts, hoodies, and more in a brand new online shop! For a long time most of the things I’ve created have been digital products but now you can wear a few limited collections of foXnoMad designed merch while helping a good cause. All of the profits from the new foXnoMad Shop through this May will go to Save The Children‘s relief efforts in Yemen, more on that below.

foxnomad merch

What’s In The Shop

There are a few limited collections of foXnoMad, WiFox, and DroneMate apparel, plus two special editions of travel smarter and inspiration addict designs. You can check out all the merch in the shop here which includes clothing plus gadget accessories as well. The shop will be updated with new collections throughout the year.

foxnomad merch

Save The Children Campaign

One of the most memorable experiences during my 2013 visit to Yemen were all of the children who ran up to me asking to take a picture. That lead to a popular post, The Faces of Yemen. Not too long after my trip, Yemen’s civil war began and since then, whenever someone comments on that post, I wonder what has happened to all of the people there I met. In Yemen now, more than 12 million kids are in need of humanitarian assistance and 2 million don’t have access to education, in a critical time in life.

So came the idea to combine the launch of the foXnoMad Shop with Save The Children’s efforts in Yemen which provide health, education, and access to child-friendly spaces in a war zones. Hopefully this can be the beginning of other collective efforts we can do to help worthy causes in the future.

100% of the profits from now through May will go to Save The Children besides browsing is free – take a look and let me know what you like, don’t, and tag me with your merch on Twitter or Instagram all around the world! There’s also a 15% coupon code available for the next 3 days; be sure to use: welcome-100590388 at checkout.

travel smarter (and look good doing it!),
-Anil

TipFox Tells You How Much To Tip At Restaurants, Bars And More Worldwide On Your Phone

tipfox app

One of the most satisfying moments of an international trip is sitting down at a restaurant for your first meal. A moment that’s often followed by a confusing calculation of how much tip to leave for your server? Do you need to leave a tip when paying with credit card? Do you even tip at all?

TipFox is an app I developed for Android and iOS to answer those questions for you,at restaurants, bars, and for other common services.

wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
Covered By Country

From the map view TipFox shows you whether or not tips are generally expected, rounded up, not common, or just used in certain circumstances, all at a quick glance. From there, you can tap to get more information about a country’s tipping practices at restaurants, bars, for specific services (e.g. tour guides), taxis, plus descriptions on tipping etiquette as well on the details page.

There’s also a comment section to ask questions, add information, and connect with other travelers.

Other TipFox Features

TipFox is designed to be straightforward so you can spend more time enjoying your meal, guided tour, or haircut, without the pressure of worrying about not leaving an adequate tip. As a traveler you want to be polite and not under-tip staff who may rely on those wages. At the same time, it’s important to not be taken advantage of by a taxi driver who’s counting on the fact you might not know that tipping is an uncommon practice locally.

tipfox app

Within the app, information is included for services like hairdressers, guided tours, hotel staff, and more. TipFox is also continuously updated when you have an Internet connection, works completely offline, and can find where you are if you allow location services.

wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
Available On Android And iOS

TipFox is available for download for iOS on the App Store and on Android on Google Play for $1.99. Access to the information within the TipFox and all updates are free for life. (iOS users there are also discounts available if you’ve already using any of my other apps). I want to help make the mechanics of traveling easier for you, so you can focus on traveling. You can let TipFox worry about of how much to leave on a check – giving you more time to do everything else.

travel smarter,
-Anil

Can You See The Curvature Of The Earth From A Plane?

airplane window sunset

One of the most common rebuttals to people who believe the Earth is flat (aside from the countless experiments, equations of gravitation, camera and satellite footage, Enstein’s theory of relativity and time dilation, insert pretty much endless evidence here) is that one can observe the curvature of the planet from a passenger airplane at cruising altitude. But is that true?

Well, sort of. Here’s what that means.

Starting On The Ground

One of the ways the ancient Greeks concluded the Earth is spherical was by observing ships on a horizon. Boats moving away from an observer on the beach disappear – with the appearance that they are sinking into the sea. This illusion happens because the ship is moving further along the curve of the Earth. (Tape a box of matches to a beach ball, put it close to your face, then rotate it for a miniature version.)

tulum beach

We have several components of an equation, courtesy astrophysicist David Lynch, that can be used to calculate the curvature of the Earth. By measuring how much of the boat falls below the horizon based on the distance from the observer at sea level, the radius of our planet can be calculated. Alternatively, if we take the radius of Earth for granted (and trust what’s already been proven) we can also determine the Earth’s radius.

In short, the higher in altitude you are, the further you can see – a direct result of you moving up and the horizon of the Earth being lower in relation to you.

As DrGC describes the following image:

radius

“Cartoon defining the variables used above. d is the distance of visibility, h is the elevation of the observer O above the sea level.”

Plug in the numbers and at 10,000 meters (~35,000 feet) the horizon of the Earth will appear 3 degrees lower than at sea level (remember the ship falling below the horizon above).

Seeing any observable curvature from a plane is difficult for several reasons:

  1. Airplane windows distort light coming into the plane, in other words, they add a curvature effect not too unlike a wide-angle lens.
  2. Using the formulas above, you would need a roughly 60 degree field of view to see any curvature –  a standard passenger window doesn’t isn’t enough.
  3. A clear sky over the ocean is a must. The figure below illustrates why a plane just isn’t high enough for a clear curved view.

curvature of earth

Relative to the Earth’s size, you’re not really all that high up. Fortunately there are lots of experiments you can do from the ground to prove the Earth is round shown in the video below.

Or just send up a camera on a weather balloon.

power of math

Finally, if you want to do more aerial mathematics, here’s how to calculate the angle at which your plane turns on its side or the angle up during takeoff.

The Aer Travel Pack 2 Is Nearly Tech Backpack Perfection

Backpacks, especially the larger kind, tend to be made either for cloths or computers but rarely both. There are plenty of smaller backpacks like the Swissgear Scansmart 1900 (my full review) that have plenty of pockets but good luck trying to fit an extra sweater in there. (Planes are COLD and airplane blankets never washed.)

Aer’s Travel Pack 2 though is very close to perfection for digital nomads who carry an office on their back and has become the main carry-on bag I use. You can watch my full review in the video above or read on for some brief highlights.

Right Size

Versatile backpacks have a large, empty front pocket. Electronics bags similar to Dell’s Premier (full review here) try to guess the most common slots and pockets you’ll use. For travelers with a lot of electronics though, cameras, drones, and other bulky items are inefficiently stored unless you can do the organizing.

aer travel pack 2

The Travel Pack 2 has a good combination of large pocket with organization… almost. First, the main compartment is spacious at 34L but front-loading unlike the Thule Subterra’s open-top design. It’s nearly an ideal big compartment, except Aer has put in a shoe compartment common to other bags this size.

  • Dear Aer, look, this is clearly a tech bag, the shoe compartment isn’t needed and the pocket eats into space many need for camera lenses, microphones, that sort of thing. We can still put shoes in a bag and jam them into the Travel Pack 2 if needed.
  • And as Mr. Robot as those compression straps look (I’ll admit they come in handy on occasion) they make opening the main compartment cumbersome. Maybe placing them at an angle would solve this problem.

Otherwise, the build quality, intuitive front organizational pocket, and slim design make this a very enticing bag for travelers with a DSLR or drone, or some combination or large electronics. Plus those who want to be able to pack an extra shirt or two as well. Brrr.

These $50 Blitzwolf BW-FYE4 Are Everywhere On Amazon And They’re Not Too Bad

Blitzwolf is clearly dumping their advertising budget into the BW-FYE4 wireless earbuds because they’re all over Amazon right now. I picked up a pair and as you can see in the video above, they’re surprisingly good for $50 – ideal for travelers who want very, very, small headphones but don’t want to advertise “I’ve got Apple Airpods” everywhere in the world.

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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