Category: Travel

Keep Your Feet Off The Car Dashboard To Avoid Gruesome Airbag Injuries

dashboard airbag

It’s a fairly common sight, particularly on highways to see someone in the passenger seat of a car have their feet up on the dashboard. Few worry about the consequences of being involved in one of the 3,400 car accidents that happen daily, but it’s actually the device designed to keep you safe that can (literally) destroy your legs.

Here’s why you should never put your feet up on the car’s dashboard, if you’re not entirely convinced already.

Airbags Faster Than You

Car airbags are designed to deploy in accidents as slow as 12kph (8mph) into a solid barrier. The average car airbag inflates completely within 1/20th of a second, about twice the speed of an average eye blink. An airbag needs to get in place (and even begin partially deflating) before your head collides with the windshield or dashboard. Airbags are faster than a human blinks, let alone physical reactions.

So it’s impossible to move your legs out of the way in time during an accident.

romania car drone

Achieving these speeds requires a lot of force (roughly 3.33×104 Newtons) – one good reason you should never put your phone or any other object over the airbag ever. When your airbag deploys it can turn an air freshener or your legs into a powerful projectile.

Knees Coming At You

Overestimating how fast you can react to move your legs out of the way is something many passengers do, as is underestimating what an airbag does to your legs. Numbers and Newtons are hard to grasp but the Mythbusters video below does a good job of showing you how bad things can look.

Part of the issue might be the name “air” bag. We tend to associate air with something soft. Bags are those fluffy things that hold our groceries but Audra Tatum’s story might change your mind on both counts.

Adding Injury To Injury

Make no mistake about it – when an airbag deploys if your legs are in the way they’ll be forcibly displaced. Some people have their faces damaged or eyes lost because your knees come hurdling back under the strong force of the airbag. Others, like Tatum, suffer severe compound leg breaks, as you can read below (or click on the link to see a photo which should be warning enough).

“The airbag went off, throwing my foot up and breaking my nose,” Tatum, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, told CBS. “I was looking at the bottom of my foot facing up at me.” Besides her nose, Tatum broke her ankle, femur and arm, telling CBS she still walks with a limp and can’t stand more than 4 hours at a time.

Another thing to note is airbags don’t always deploy due to a collision, millions are recalled each year due to malfunctions like activating when they’re not supposed to. I won’t bother telling you stories of people who had their legs out the window before an accident. Needless (I hope) now to say, don’t put your feet up on the car dashboard, they’re hardly as safe as planes, and rather let airbags do what they’re good at. For those of you who travel with pets, don’t let them hang out in the front seat or better yet, make sure they’re secured in a proper car harness in the back.

GrassFox App Helps You Navigate The Confusing World Of Marijuana Laws

grassfox app

Marijuana laws around the world are rarely cut and dry between legal and illegal, with a large grey area in between. On top of that much of the information online is inaccurate, potentially putting a lot of travelers in trouble. GrassFox (Android/iOS) is an app I created to put all of the recreational marijuana laws for countries, provinces, states, and cities all on your phone.

wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
Why GrassFox?

A lot of the information regarding marijuana legality, even on Wikipedia, is based on hearsay. As a visitor to a new country it’s especially important you don’t violate any laws or rules – even if you see people smoking on the streets – as a foreigner being arrested for a drug offense can have serious consequences.

So much of the confusion comes from the fact that many countries have a loose patchwork of rules, including decriminalization (a somewhat vague term), although where there are legal grey areas residents try to use the rules to their advantage. In some countries, like Spain, marijuana is illegal but there are cannabis clubs, and in Cambodia there’s “happy” pizza.

How GrassFox Works

The official information in GrassFox comes from legal contacts, sources, and governing bodies I’ve developed in most countries around the world. There’s also an active forum within GrassFox, with traveler input on experiences, updates, and other advice you might want to give others. GrassFox works offline, is updated continuously, and there’s also the web version you can check out here.

Other Features

  • Active Comments – GrassFox’s comment system isn’t one way, users can ask questions anonymously to the administrators (including myself) or discuss anything with other travelers as well. GrassFox is designed to show you how you can enjoy recreational marijuana legally, what those laws are, plus give you information on how those laws are put into practice.

 

grassfox app

  • Updated Automatically – GrassFox updates itself when there are any changes to the laws worldwide. Legal changes are monitored every day so you don’t have to worry about having outdated or inaccurate information.
  • World Map Of Rules – You can quickly glance at the map to see if recreational marijuana use is legal, decriminalized, or illegal.
  • Details And Grams – Each entry in GrassFox (by country or locality) will give you a list of the laws. Where applicable, GrassFox will show you the maximum possession limits, as well as any other applicable restrictions.

Available Now On Android And (In Bundle) For iOS

GrassFox is available for download on Android on Google Play and on iOS at the App Store for $2.99. Additionally, for iOS users, you can purchase GrassFox as a bundle with my other travel apps WiFox, DroneMate, and FaucetSafe for a discount as part of the foXnoMad Green Travel Pack. (Those of you under 17, there’s the less herbal regular foXnoMad Travel Pack.)

wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
Maintaining the information within GrassFox and the time it takes to keep developing the code (plus my desire to keep it free from ads) is why there’s a small $2.99 price that gets you updates for life. I look forward to your feedback, feature requests, and let me know if you have any issues with GrassFox in the comments below. Finally, if you’re happy with GrassFox, I would appreciate your 5-star reviews on the App Store and Google Play, your feedback is an important part of improving GrassFox and sharing it with travelers around the world.

Travel Sports Headphones That Actually Stay In Your Ears: RHA MA390 Review

The most important test of any sports headphones is whether or not they stay in your ears when running. Earphones that fall out or continuously need to be adjusted when you’re working out won’t be used very often, no matter how good the sound quality is. Manufacturers have come up with a few inventions to get around this problem, from over-ear hooks to weighted neckbands – the latter often being more trouble than its worth.

rha ma390 headphonesRHA MA390 Wireless Earbuds

buy from amazon

The RHA MA390 do a good job of pulling off what most competing earphones fail but lacks in other areas for more sedentary travelers. Here’s my full review of the RHA MA390 earphones in the video above or read on.

The Basic Basics

RHA’s MA390 earphones have slick packaging, marketed directly to travelers; you’ve probably seen some in an airports electronics shop. Don’t be fooled though, these are earphones that don’t sound as good as they look. Not that the RHA MA390 are bad, they’re just solidly average from audio to built-in microphone. But if you’re running or otherwise working out, premium sound quality isn’t necessarily critical (and completely irrelevant if the buds keep falling from your ears).

RHA MA390 earbuds

There’s no accompanying RHA app to adjust sound levels so they play it safe by keeping the MA390 to a generic bell curve, with a preference for mid-tones. Those of you who like strong bass in your music won’t find a good thump in the MA390.

Neck Stability

No bass thump but probably no finger-constantly-tapping-earphones thump either, even as you get sweaty. IPX4 rated means the MA390 can survive a solid splash of water or constant barrage of sweat throughout it’s roughly 8 hours of battery life. To help balance in your ears, RHA use a slightly thick, weightier band that rests around the back of your neck. The neckband, which attaches the two ear buds offsets any motion, distributing it from your body and head to the band.

rha ma390 headphones

What results are earbuds that stay in your ears when running. Unlike the NuForce BE Sport3 headphones [full review here] whose weight is unevenly distributed, RHA’s MA390 don’t start to slip when they get wet with sweat.

Portable Price Point

The neckband is inconspicuous while running – RHA has also made it flexible enough to be awkwardly stuffed into the small case they come with. Average sound quality, the MA390 aren’t going to come close to the premium Bose 20i [full review here] though to be fair, RHA aren’t trying to. Competition is more in the $50-75 range, like the previously mentioned BE Sport3.

Between the two, advantage goes to the RHA MA390 with the caveat that you’ll use them while running or working out. For travelers who, despite their best intentions, know they won’t be exercising a lot but want inexpensive, light earbuds, the BE Sport3 might be all you need. Everyone else who (like me) have struggled to find earphones that can handle a solid run outdoors or inside on a treadmill, the RHA MA390 are an affordable, reasonable purchase.

Powerstick’s Solar Chargers Hold Up Well Against The Sun, Not The Competition Over 5 Years

When I first received the PowerStick+ and its larger, solar-enabled cousin the PowerTrip, they were at the time impressive. Large capacity batteries able to charge anemic mobiles like the iPhone 5s, with 8GB of storage, and the ability to be topped off by the sun courtesy the PowerTrip’s embedded solar panel.

Two years later, in 2015, I reviewed the PowerStick+ and PowerTrip, whose standby time of 1 year (ability to hold a charge), was still resilient. Fast charging wasn’t as prominent then but 8 hours was becoming a long time to wait for a full battery. Recently I went back to do a Road Tested! review of the PowerTrip 5 years after I first opened the box. It’s held up well, along with the PowerStick, though its price and form-factor seem stuck in the past, when compared to rivals like the under $35 Anker Powercore 13000.

You can watch the full Road Tested! review of the PowerStick chargers in the video above but in short, unless you spend a lot of time in the desert or by the beach, without making use of the solar panels, time might have passed these batteries by for most travelers.

Map Of Recreational Marijuana Laws Around The World (Updated Regularly) So You Can Enjoy Weed Legally

washington monument

This map is now available in app form! GrassFox is available on the App Store and Google Play.

wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
Have you ever visited a new city, caught a strong whiff of something familiar, then thought: I wonder if marijuana is legal here? This is a question I had in Uruguay most recently, since cannabis was being smoked everywhere. At the time Uruguay was the only country to have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. (Hello Canada!) Since then, other countries, cities, states, and various jurisdictions have developed a highly patchwork set of rules that can be confusing for travelers.

The Map Of Recreational Marijuana Laws

Information in the map below shows you where recreational marijuana use is legal, decriminalized, illegal, and all of the restrictions, conditions, plus grey areas from the legal jargon; developed using official sources and updated as the laws change. And although there is a lot of red on the map indicating “illegal”, if you click on any of the icons there are often more details indicating things aren’t quite so cut and dry (check out Spain, for example). Disclaimer time: remember, the map is intended to be used as a guide only, remember you’re responsible for knowing, following, and obey all local laws.

  • Last update: December 10, 2018

Unlike alcohol, which is typically either legal or not, cannabis is most often decriminalized rather than legalized in places with more liberal drug laws. I developed this resource because a lot of places where you might assume cannabis is legal or decriminalized isn’t, much of the information online is simply wrong, or the details from the law poorly interpreted on other websites.

Updates And More Information

Please feel free to leave a comment below or email me if you believe any of the information requires an update or clarification. By making this a collaborative effort the map can help more travelers (often hesitant to ask or relying on local hearsay) understand and obey local cannabis laws.

marijuana graffiti

Be sure to read the details on the entries of the map, including U.S. states, for details. Always assume entries with no data mean cannabis is illegal and don’t equate decriminalization to mean legal. Red entries indicate cannabis is illegal, yellow represents decriminalized, and the green leaf, you guessed it, legal. All of the data is regarding recreational marijuana use, not medical, or other circumstances.

I have also developed an associated app, GrassFox for iOS and Android, that has user experiences travelers can share with each other as well as details on what some grey legal areas look like in practice.

Before You Get High

There are a few things to keep in mind before you go attempt to obtain marijuana anywhere, especially when traveling, that didn’t fit on the map. (More grey areas.) Several countries where marijuana is illegal forbid visitors, citizens, and residents from having used cannabis abroad, even in places it was legal. Additionally, many companies have restrictions on their employees using cannabis. Also, don’t travel with cannabis.

Lastly, in many places shown above where marijuana has been decriminalized, possession may be permitted but purchasing or selling are not. Clearly, never do the latter, and be reasonable. In case all of this has thrown you off, there’s a more widely accepted psychoactive drug that’s a lot easier to find in much of the world.

One Of The Best Bars In The World Is Fun Fun In Montevideo, Uruguay

bar fun fun montevideo

The perfect bar is barely lit and a bit too crowded. Where all practical concerns for the sober mind dissolve with one drink after another causing live melancholic music to become the emotional equivalent of nuclear fusion for human joy. A place where time gets lost. You might have a place like that in your own life, and if so, you’ll love Bar Fun Fun.

From the outside Bar Fun Fun in Montevideo, Uruguay, is an unassuming brick hole with tightly packed tables – some come for the evening, others stay for the night – serving a variety of appetizers and its signature drink made on site, uvita. Fermented grapes, sugar, and other undisclosed ingredients it tastes something of a toxic fruit punch. There’s a number of snacks as well, heavy bar foods to prepare you for one uvita too many.

Reserve Your Spot

Weekends are busy so you’ll need to reserve a spot to make sure you’re not in the unofficial standing room of anywhere there’s space. Plenty of tourists have found out about Bar Fun Fun but there aren’t too many in Montevideo to begin with, so you don’t feel like you’re in alcoholic Disneyland.

At the entrance there are the local regulars catching a smoke. Around the tiny stage several seniors whose wrinkles are lit up in red or purple reflections of the neon lights. Shows usually start at Fun Fun with some music and comedy, with enough breaks in between acts for everyone to continue their conversations.

Tango The Night Away

Bar Fun Fun opens at 9pm and once the lighter music has concluded, it’s time to tango. The tango at Fun Fun is intense, precise and calculated, with plenty of emotion to spare for the crowd. The schedule of these shows vary throughout the week, Thursdays are particularly nice since it’s not as packed a house as the weekend. (Bar Fun Fun is closed on Sunday and Mondays).

uvita montevideo bar fun fun

The magic in the dance is how captivate the audience is, well on to their third, fourth, and fifth rounds of wine, beer, or uvita. The waitstaff also seem more relaxed at this point, as food service ends and they can slow down a bit to focus on just serving drinks. Did I mention the staff are warmly edgy? All adding to the ambiance of familiarity you’ve immediately fallen into.

Fun Fun Not For Everyone

Bar Fun Fun will feel an uninspiring experience for those who dip their toes in what’s a pretty popular recommendation on TripAdvisor. Travelers who don’t like late nights and aren’t willing to stay into the later hours of tango, will miss the best part afterward: the voice of Ricardo Olivera.

By this time in the night, the crowd at Bar Fun Fun has become a collective consciousness, being lead where the music takes them. Much like in Turkey, where the best accompaniment to raki is good conversation, friends sing and cheers, embracing the fact the next morning will be a bit rougher than normal. Chances are if you’ve read this far or your fondness for such places has been peaked, Bar Fun Fun in Montevideo will endear itself to you as well. Salud.

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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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GrassFox App Helps You Navigate The Confusing World Of Marijuana Laws

Travel Sports Headphones That Actually Stay In Your Ears: RHA MA390 Review

Powerstick’s Solar Chargers Hold Up Well Against The Sun, Not The Competition Over 5 Years




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