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Apple Music v. Spotify

I’ve used both Apple Music and Spotify and for me nothing beats the playlists Spotify creates for me. I can listen for hours on Spotify without skipping a song. The ability of Spotify to predict music I will like is impressive. Apple Music is beautiful and has improved but in the end when I want to listen to music I love turn to Spotify.

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A Sobering Norwegian Cruise Line Travel Alert

From a February 12, 2019 Norwegian Cruise Line travel alert:

Any guest that holds a Chinese, Hong Kong, or Macau passport, will be unable to board any of our ships, regardless of residency. (Except U.S. Alien Residents holding an Alien Resident Card (ARC), also known as a “Green Card” traveling on itineraries that sail from a US port and end in a US port.)

Any crew members joining our ships that hold a Chinese, Hong Kong or Macau passport will not be allowed to board our ships. In addition, any crew members who have traveled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau within 30 days will not be allowed to board our ships. 

Guests who have traveled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, within 30 days of their voyage embarkation, regardless of nationality, will not be allowed to board any of our vessels. The standard incubation period recognized by the WHO and U.S. CDC for this virus is 14 days. Guests who are denied boarding will be issued a refund when they provide proof of travel.

Norwegian Cruise Line serves 2.4 million passengers a year.

Not a great time to book a cruise.

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The cruise industry will take a hit from coronavirus. How bad will it be? – The Washington Post

“Alex Sharpe, president and chief executive of Signature Travel Network, a cooperative of travel agencies that includes more than 7,000 advisers, said in a statement that demand for cruises overall was down 10 to 15 percent year-over-year so far in February.”

Source: The cruise industry will take a hit from coronavirus. How bad will it be? – The Washington Post

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Bing Crosby Sings About Paris

Bing Crosby (1903-1977) sings mainly in French about Paris in this wonderful album. Crosby recorded the album in Paris on May 16, 1953. The orchestrations were by Paul Durand (1907-1977) who wrote Je suis seule ce soir which is in the soundtrack of Midnight in Paris. Crosby’s accent isn’t great but it really doesn’t matter. The love comes through.

As best I can tell, this album is available on Spotify but not on Apple Music.

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Everything You Need to Know If You're Traveling During the Coronavirus Outbreak | Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure offers a good summary of the impact of the Coronavirus on travel:

  • More than 60,000 people have been infected and over 1,300 people have died around the world.
  • The first symptoms of Coronavirus feel a lot like the flu. 
  • Protect yourself from catching Coronavirus by washing your hands regularly and covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Avoid close contact with people you see coughing or sneezing.
  • Wuhan is quarantined.
  • Macau has completely shut down for two weeks and none of its famous casinos will be open.
  • United, American and Delta have all suspended their service to China, citing low demand. The longest of these cancellations is with Delta, who have suspended mainland China service until April 30.

This is a helpful video from the World Health Organization:

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How to Beat Jet Lag – View from the Wing

View from the Wing offers tips for combatting jet lag:

Adjust to the local time of your destination as soon as possible, generally as soon as you board your flight. That means eating on your new local time, and sleeping on your new local time.

Stay up until bedtime at your destination the day you arrive. If you go to sleep at noon, you’re going to be off for days. You need to force yourself to power through.

I regularly stay up until bedtime at my destination when I arrive even if I have to force myself to stay awake. Typically, I walk and drink coffee. It helps a lot.

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American Airlines to Add Seattle to India Service

AirlineGeeks reports that American Airlines will have new nonstop service between Seattle and Bangalore, India in October. American will become the first airline to offer nonstop flights between Bangalore and the United States. American Airlines has not flown to India since 2012.

The service will connect the city that is home to Amazon and Microsoft with the city sometimes called the “Silicon Valley of India.”

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German man leaves €7 million to far-right AfD | DW

An engineer who died in 2018 has donated his entire estate of gold, property and patents to the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The endowment is one of the largest ever given to a German political party.

Source: DW

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TV Series: 'Arctic Circle'

I just finished watching a Finnish-German TV series entitled Arctic Circle. Most of the series takes place in Lapland, the largest, northernmost and least densely populated region of Finland. Less than 4% of Finland’s 5.6 million people live in Lapland.

The crux of the story is the hunt for a deadly virus that has the potential to spread and kill many people. The heroine of the story is Lapland police officer Nina Kautsalo who is ably portrayed by the beautiful Iina Kuustonen. The hunt for the virus involves international crime figures and Finland’s neighbor Russia. There subplots include a love story, parental love and the complexities of modern marriage. It’s hard to describe more without spoilers. The dialogue is in Finnish, English, German and Russian. The subtitles are good and easy to follow.

The scenery is gorgeous. I really now want to visit Lapland, one of the best places to see the Northern Lights.

By Čeština: Petr Vodička, WikipedieEnglish: Petr Vodička, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46453801

You can read more about this fine series on The Euro TV Place, which is my primary source for great European television worth watching. The series is available exclusively on a new streaming service called Topic. Topic is also available as an Amazon channel, which is how I watched it.

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France and Germany to Build New Jet Fighter

Seventy-five years after the end of German occupation of Paris, France and Germany have agreed to work together to build a new jet fighter to protect Europe. France and Germany are each expected to contribute €77 million ($83 million) to the project.

It’s nice to see two former enemies now work together militarily. Where would Europe be without the EU?

Source: DW