Strictly Speaking, It Wasn’t a Coup… So What Was It?

by Jonathan Spira

A good part of my Wednesday afternoon this week, in between doses of live coverage from the U.S. Capitol, bursts of work, and time spent wondering if the world was coming to an end, was spent explaining to people why what was transpiring in the nation’s capital wasn’t a coup.
My responses read something like this:
“No. It was not an attempted coup.  It might, however, in some banana republics have been …

Dear Agony Aunt: Your Advice and Etiquette Questions Answered

by Aunt Agatha

Many American and British magazines and newspapers run advice and etiquette columns ranging from Miss Manners to Dear Abby to Savage Love. The columns are not there, as you might have hoped, to offer solutions for everyday living.  More frequently, the questions range from “How can I get my annoying seatmate on this flight to shut up and let me watch my movie?” to “Where should I seat my ex-husband’s illegitimate …

World Leaders Express Shock at Storming of Capitol by Supporters of President Trump

by Kurt Stolz

Seeing echoes of their own fascist past in some cases, world leaders reacted in horror to televised scenes of supporters of President Trump storming the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop a joint session of Congress from certifying the election of Joseph Biden as president.
From Europe to Asia to Latin America, politicians and citizens alike watched the events of January 6 unfold in horror.
The action temporarily halted the certification …

Review and Test Drive: 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line

by Jonathan Spira

Despite long being a symbol of the open road, Americans are falling out of love with the sedan and have focused their affections on behemoth SUVs, which now dominate the market.  General Motors, whose models for the majority of the automaker’s existence were the epitome of the genre, recently killed six sedans including the Buick LaCrosse, the Cadillac CT6, the Cadillac XTS, the Chevrolet Cruze, the Chevrolet Impala, and the …

Here Are the New Laws That Go Into Effect in 2021 That Could Impact Travelers

by Kurt Stolz

A slew of new laws went into effect in various states on January 1.  Here’s a summary of what might affect travelers as well as local residents in various parts of the United States.
Ninety years after Prohibition ended in almost all parts of the United States, the state of Mississippi eliminated all remaining laws making the possession of alcohol illegal.
If you want to buy cigarettes, other tobacco products, vaping devices, …

Review: New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic’s 2021 in the Musikverein, Vienna

by Jonathan Spira

Watching the annual Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day concert is an event steeped in tradition.  It’s the only televised event I can recall from growing up for which attendance was mandatory, regardless of the turn of events over the previous year.
Indeed, my father had never attended but he and I entered the lottery (which then gives the winners the right to purchase the, rather expensive but once-in-a-lifetime, tickets), and I …

Great Moments in Travel History – January 2021

by Jesse Sokolow

January, the first month of the year in most of the world’s calendars, is the coldest month of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.  The origin of its name is disputed: some scholars believe that January is named after Janus, the god of beginnings and time, while others believe that January is named after janua, the Latin word for door, given that January is the start of the year and …