CES to Open Its Doors Sunday: Expect Giant TVs, Futuristic Sex Toys, and Gadgets of all Shapes and Sizes

by Paul Riegler

The Consumer Electronics Show, which prefers to be known as the CES, will open its doors Sunday, unleashing an avalanche of giant TVs, robots, sex toys from the future, and all kinds of gadgets, many with Alexa built in.
What the CES is not is a platform for some of the world’s largest tech companies including Apple, Amazon, and Google, to launch new products as they tend to prefer their own …

Please Don’t Abbreviate the Year ‘2020’ on Checks and Legal Documents

by Anna Breuer

You may think of paper checks as quaint or passé but if you plan to write a check to someone this year, experts on consumer fraud suggest not abbreviating the date.
Unscrupulous individuals could add an extra two digits to a contract or other document to change the start date of a contract or to a stale check that the recipient could otherwise not deposit.
The handwritten date “1/5/20” can easily be …

Review: Vienna Philharmonic’s 2020 New Year’s Day Concert Confronts Link to National Socialist Era

by Jonathan Spira

While the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day concert is replete with tradition, “the same tradition as last year” as Miss Sophie would be wont to say, those who were paying close attention may have noticed something slightly different.
While I last attended the New Year’s Day concert in person ten years ago, which was conducted by Daniel Barenboim, I grew up watching the broadcasts of the concert with my parents and …

Review and Test Drive: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Premium

by Paul Riegler

The all-new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is the latest generation in the Wolfsburg automaker’s 40-year run with the seemingly unbeatable compact. It’s also the most premium Jetta ever.
The Jetta – which depending on year and market has been branded as Atlantic, Vento, Bora, City Jetta,Jetta City, GLI, Clasico, and Sagiar – gets its name from the Atlantic jet stream (conveniently der Jetstream in German), a name bestowed upon it during a …

Great Moments in Travel History – January 2020

by Jesse Sokolow

Although many believe that January is named after Janus, the god of beginnings and time, scholars believe that January is named after janua, the Latin word for door, given that January is the start of the year and hence an opening to new things.
The month of January was created around 450 B.C.E. when the original ten-month Roman calendar was replaced by a 12-month calendar with January at the start.
January is …

New Laws That Come Into Effect in the U.S. in 2020

by Anna Breuer

While the year 2020 will bring with it multiple resolutions as well as somewhat premature attempts to name the decade the Roaring Twenties, it is also bringing with it numerous new laws, some which will be of interest to and will possibly impact travelers.
Here’s a survey of what’s changing in 2020.
Nationwide, anyone under 21 will not be permitted to purchase tobacco products including electronic cigarettes and vaping products that contain …

Review and Test Drive: 2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport

by Jonathan Spira

Executive Sedan.  If you weren’t paying attention, that’s what the “ES” in Lexus ES stands for.  Lexus first introduced the ES series in its earliest days back in 1989 a mere seven generations ago.  The ES started as a compact executive sedan and over the years became a mid-sized luxury vehicle.
The seventh generation ES made its debut at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show and was introduced in the United States …