News and notes: Remembering 9/11, protesting whale eating and Taiwan’s popularity with expats

Labour Day is behind us and summer is rapidly disappearing which means everyone’s getting back to work and the press release season is set to resume. Here are some that passed through my inbox recently that I thought were worth sharing:

Fifteen Years Later: Remember Sept. 11 with the Smithsonian  

On Sunday, Sept. 11, from 11 a.m.4 p.m. in Flag Hall, the museum will display more than 35 objects from the three sites—New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa. To create an intimate experience for visitors, the objects will be shown on tables rather than behind glass and include airplane fragments, lights from a crushed FDNY fire truck, a flight attendant’s handbook from Flight 93, clothing and equipment from first responders and objects recovered from offices at the Pentagon.

In 2001, Congress designated the museum as the official repository for Sept. 11 materials so that objects, photographs and documents would be preserved permanently in the museum’s collections to help future generations of historians and visitors comprehend the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001, their roots and their long-term consequences. The museum’s Sept. 11 collection may be viewed at

100,000 people sign record-breaking petition against whale meat consumption in Iceland

A petition signed by tourists and locals pledging not to eat whale meat in Iceland and calling on the country’s government to end the cruel practice of whaling has beaten all previous records and now passed 100,000 signatures.

It was started by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) which works to end commercial whaling in Iceland, Japan and Norway and provide lasting protection for whales.

IFAW has worked on the ground in Iceland to campaign for an end to commercial whaling since the practice was resumed in 2003, and works alongside local whale watch operators to promote responsible whale watching as a humane and profitable alternative to the cruelty of whaling.

For more information about IFAW’s work to protect whales visit or to sign the petition against whale meat consumption in Iceland visit

Taiwan is the favorite country for expats to live

That’s the word from the latest Expat Insider Survey by InterNations, the world’s largest network for people who live abroad. The survey polled 14,000 expats. Foreigners cited Taiwan’s work-life balance, affordability and friendly people as they gave Taiwan the highest ranking of 67 countries and cities.

Taiwan came in first, followed by Malta, Ecuador, Mexico, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Australia, Austria, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic.

As to Taiwan’s neighbors, China dropped 10 places to 48 with people citing pollution as a factor for leaving the country. Hong Kong has dropped quickly in the rankings over the last two years. It went from 10 in 2014 to 44 in 2016. This year, Singapore was not in the top ten and came in at number 13. This drop is mainly due to long working hours and a high cost of living. The last two countries on the bottom of the list were Kuwait and Greece.

Book your cruise on a Thursday to save money

You might want to consider what day of the week to search for cruises, says, a search engine for cruise price drops.

According to an elaborate study that took into consideration more than 600,000 data points, cruise prices drop lowest in the middle of the week with Thursday seeing most discounts.

According to the data, there were more than twice as much price drops on Thursdays than on the slowest day, Sunday.

Wednesday seems to be the day of price hikes. It is by far the single day with the most price increases for cruises. Thirty-four percent more price hikes happen on a Wednesday than any other day of the week.

Weekends, on the other hand, are generally quiet. There are significantly less price drops or price hikes happening on Saturdays and Sundays, with Sunday being the quietest day.

NodPod is the a travel pillow that prevents forward head motion

The NodPod team announced that their Kickstarter campaign has been wildly successful!

The campaign showcases the patent pending NodPod travel pillow, the first product in history to solve the worldwide problem of forward head bobbing when sleeping upright. In addition, the NodPod is also a micro thin, lightweight travel blanket with an open back design to allow the traveler the ability to put it on in a seated position while covering them from head to toe.

This has prompted the initial production order by the NodPod team to be doubled, assuring those that ordering on Kickstarter will have their own NodPod before the holiday season.

For more information, visit

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