Archive for June 4th, 2012

Own a Submarine Base

June 4, 2012

Since I am not going on vacation to exotic North Korea anytime soon, maybe I should spend some of my extra money on a new supervillain secret lair. I see here in Yahoo Real Estate that I can acquire a Norwegian submarine base for only $17.3 million.

The Royal Norwegian Navy has put up a secret, mountainside submarine base for sale… and judging by what it looks like, it would work both as a superhero hideout and as a supervillain lair.

The full above-ground space measures 13,500 square meters, including the opening at the side of the mountain. It’s the 25,000-square meter space within the mountain that makes it oh-so-interesting, though. While you’ll find mundane rooms like ordinary offices inside the property, it also has a dry dock for submarines and boats as well as a tunnel system, because no hideout or lair is ever complete without them.

 

 

I had better go ahead and buy it before someone snaps it up.

I can’t wait to move into my new secret lair.

Exotic Vacations

June 4, 2012

If you want to go on vacation somewhere away from all those tourists, Yahoo travel may have just the destination for you. In this article, they present ten exciting locations where you can really get away from it all, maybe permanently.I actually would like to visit a few of these places like Iran and Iraq. Both countries have wonderful historic and archeological sites to visit. Iraq is still somewhat unstable but I think it would be safe enough with some obvious precautions, such as staying with a group and not wandering around Baghdad alone. Iran is also a bit unsettled but the population is not as hostile toward Americans as one might think. President Obama missed a huge chance when he didn’t openly support the protests in 2009.

Antarctica is almost completely unspoiled by human contact and unlike many of these destinations is completely safe, at least from war and terrorism. Still, I think it might be a little too cold for my liking. Cuba and Myanmar have fantastic natural scenery and Cuba was a popular vacation spot before Castro took over. I think, though I would prefer to wait until after the Castro brothers die or are overthrown. The same sentiment goes for the military junta in Myanmar. I would also prefer to avoid actual war zones like Libya and Afghanistan. I really wouldn’t want to get in the way of our troops in Afghanistan. They have a hard enough job without having to mess with stupid war tourists.

Chernobyl would be interesting. The population was evacuated after the disaster in 1986 and the town has remained untouched ever since. It would almost be like visiting a time capsule or a contemporary version of Pompeii. There is still a danger of radioactive contamination but I think if you followed the rules, the risk should be minimal.

Then there are the destinations that I have to wonder about. Places that no sane person would want to go to, like North Korea or Saudi Arabia. Why would anyone want to go to North Korea?

Nick Bonner of Koryo Group (which has been running North Korea tours for almost 20 years) says, “By visiting North Korea and interacting as much as you can, you have a positive impact on engagement. You are bringing civilians into contact with Westerners and providing job opportunities.”

No you’re not. They don’t let you talk to anyone.

Tourists in the country must stay with government minders at all times, and there are strict rules about what they can photograph and see.

Security personnel may also view any unauthorized attempt you make to talk to a North Korean citizen as espionage. North Korean authorities may fine or arrest you for unauthorized currency transactions, for taking unauthorized photographs, or for shopping at stores not designated for foreigners. It is a criminal act in North Korea to show disrespect to the country’s current and former leaders, [Kim Jong-un], Kim Jong-il, and Kim Il-sung. Hotel rooms, telephones, and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms may be searched. …Persons violating the laws of North Korea, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.”

And Saudi Arabia?

Strict conduct rules govern visitors and locals alike. For example, women visitors must be met by a sponsor upon arrival into the country, can be arrested by the mutawain (religious police) for improper dress, and are not allowed to drive. Tourists are required to abide by local laws, as violations (including homosexual activity and adultery) may be punished with lashings or the death penalty.

There is nothing to see there except sand. Well, there is Mecca and Medina, but they don’t let you in there unless you are a Moslem, and I am not sure if I could fake it.

I think I will just stay in the US for now.

 


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