August 2012

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Can unmanned vehicles help speed up archaeological digs? That is the hope of Vanderbilt archaeologist Steven Werne and engineering professor Julie A. Adams. They have developed a product called SUAVe - for Semi-autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Pronounced "SWAH-vey," this revolutionary product aims to greatly reduce the time it takes to create a three-dimensional model of a site versus using current technology. As in 10-15 minutes compared to two to three entire field seasons faster!

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The animals found in Africa are often unlike any other creatures in the world, and this goes for birds as well as mammals. The grey crowned crane is a shining example of distinct African birds, as its unusual features make it stand out in the African wetlands and the minds of travelers who see and hear the bird in action.

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August 16 marks “National Rum Day,” and to celebrate we’re sharing the history and recipe for the popular Cuba Libre.

The Cuba Libre (Spanish for "Free Cuba") originated around 1900 in Havana during the Spanish-American War. Patriots aiding Cuba often toasted the West Indian Island and its freedom with this rum, cola and lime cocktail. Of course, there are variations calling for cherry cola, dashes of Caribbean hot sauce or even adding higher-proof rum – called a Cuban Missile Crisis.

The recipe is easy.

Cuba Libre Drink Recipe:

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Everyone knows that Cuban cigars are hailed as the best in the world. But what is it about them that sets them apart from smokes that originate from other countries? The answer lies within the long and fascinating history of Cuban cigars, which visitors partaking in people-to-people Cuba travel can experience firsthand.

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Travelers on International Expeditions’ Kenya and Tanzania safaris should keep one eye on the ground to catch a glimpse of the dwarf mongoose. This species of mongoose is the smallest in Africa, and one of the few types that travel in groups. Each group is led by a matriarch, and this female is the only member of the family allowed to breed.

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The Galapagos Islands are so isolated that many animals living there have evolved into entirely new species from their mainland counterparts, and the sea lions that make their home on the islands are no different. They are a subspecies of the California sea lion and can often be seen sunning themselves on the island shores in large groups. Nature travel enthusiasts on International Expeditions’ Galapagos Islands cruises will spend seven days in the constant company of these marine mammals as they sunbathe and splash in the cool Pacific waters.

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Not far from colonial Trinidad lies the Sierra de Escambray, one of the most mountainous regions in all of Cuba. Housed within this area is the Topes de Collantes National Park, which offers travelers one of the best spots to take in some of Cuba’s endemic wildlife and landscapes. The park offers a little bit of everything, which is perfect when traveling with International Expeditions’ small-groups of both causal nature enthusiasts and avid birders.

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Mother nature and South America just seem to go hand in hand. South America is home to some of the greatest natural wonders in the world, and waterfalls are no exception. Some of the world’s greatest waterfalls can be found in South America and there’s many unique ways to see them, from hiking to flying over in a helicopter or airplane.