by Eva Holland | 02.24.10 | 1:17 PM ET
Yes, as the folks over at Very Short List noted when they linked to this fascinating Flickr gallery, even literary geniuses and Hollywood celebrities get saddled with unflattering passport photos. Everyone from Ernest Hemingway to Cecil B. DeMille and Frank Lloyd Wright is represented.
by Eva Holland | 09.17.09 | 3:58 PM ET
A group of Swedish writers have published a manifesto for Swedish literature in the 2010s. “We want to write books which are read, thumbed, torn out of the hands of angry taxpayers, borrowed and distributed to the max, quoted, imitated and translated,” they wrote. “The Swedish novel has brown eyes and black hair, it’s bald, green-eyed, blind and hook-nosed. It carries a collection of poetry in its breast pocket, a passport in its back pocket, and wears high heels.” (Via The Book Bench)
by Eva Holland | 07.31.09 | 12:38 PM ET
By his old passport, that is. Like other writers before him, Lonely Planet’s Leif Pettersen says goodbye to his traveling companion of five years: “It ended so suddenly. One minute we’re jet-setting along as ever, the next she had simply run out of pages ... Oh sure, I’ll get another passport. She’ll be new, thin, have perfect skin and, ideally, will have never been with another guy, but it just won’t be the same.”
by Eva Holland | 06.19.09 | 1:50 PM ET
Over at Jaunted, blogger JetSetCD has opened up a conversation on those oh-so-tempting, oh-so-corny souvenir passport stamps.
You know, the ones from places like Checkpoint Charlie, Machu Picchu and so on. And then, beyond the stamps from major tourist sites, there are the just-so-I-can-say-I-was-here countries—Liechtenstein, San Marino and the like—that charge for their entry stamps, too. So, Jaunted asks, are novelty passport stamps worth their price? Or are they just as bad as “buying those horrific gift spoons”?
I have to admit, I’ve never actually been faced with the question before. But I love my passport stamps, and I can’t see putting a set of fake East/West Berlin markers into the mix. On the other hand, though it would irk me to pay, I’d probably want proof that I crossed Liechtenstein’s borders. What about you?
by Jeffrey Tanenhaus | 05.19.09 | 10:50 AM ET
Jeffrey Tanenhaus says goodbye to his little blue book with a travel poem
by Michael Yessis | 09.16.08 | 9:03 AM ET
And he didn’t stop there. According to the Justice Department, former State Department contractor Lawrence C. Yontz also looked at the files of “athletes, actors ... musicians, game show contestants, members of the media corps, prominent business professionals, colleagues, associates, neighbors, and individuals identified in the press.”
by Jim Benning | 02.01.08 | 12:48 PM ET
We’ve written before about the over-the-top patriotic design of the new U.S. passport. Reviews are still trickling in, and I like Karrie Jacobs’s take. “When I travel, I try to be the Complex American—a citizen of the fascinating, nuanced, multicultural, messy and basically decent place I know this country to be,” she remarked yesterday in a short essay on public radio’s Marketplace. “But I feel like this passport blows my cover. It’s like suddenly, against my will, I’m wearing ugly khaki shorts and talking way too loud.” That’s right, Karrie. You might as well be wearing these at every customs checkpoint.
by Michael Yessis | 08.01.07 | 11:17 AM ET
Lukas Grunwald, “an e-passport consultant to the German parliament” according to a story in Wired, says the new U.S. passports have security flaws that could “allow someone to seize and clone the fingerprint image stored on the biometric e-passport, and to create a specially coded chip that attacks e-passport readers that attempt to scan it.” Grunwald is scheduled to elaborate on his findings at the DefCon conference in Las Vegas later this week. He’s one of many who have sounded alarms about the RFID chips in the new passports.
The New U.S. Passport: ‘It Is Like Being Given A Coloring Book That Your Brother Already Colored In’
by Michael Yessis | 05.01.07 | 9:41 AM ET
Reviews of the new U.S. passport are rolling in and we can all agree on one thing: It’s really, really patriotic. Should we expect anything less from a document called “American Icon”? “The short, 28-page version of the passport comes with 13 inspirational quotes, including six from United States presidents and one from a Mohawk Thanksgiving speech,” writes Neil MacFarquhar in the New York Times. “The pages, done in a pink-grey-blue palate, are rife with portraits of Americana ranging from a clipper ship to Mount Rushmore to a long-horn cattle drive.”
by Michael Yessis | 04.03.07 | 7:03 AM ET
That’s a record for a seven-day period. Good news for those worried about long waits for their little blue books, and perhaps for those who’d like to see Americans get out of the country more. According to the AP, about 74 million Americans have U.S. passports.
by Terry Ward | 01.16.07 | 2:59 PM ET
When my passport expired late last year, I shelled out nearly $150 in expedited fees and overnight shipping envelopes to have a new one rushed my way. If Morocco hadn’t been calling, however, perhaps I would have waited for the Bahamas to pick up the tab. Nassau Paradise Island is spending big bucks on newspaper ads—I saw one in the Orlando Sentinel—touting a new gimmick to keep passport-shy Americans coming: 19 member hotels are offering to reimburse the cost of passports in exchange for a minimum two-night stay.
by Michael Yessis | 08.31.06 | 8:08 AM ET
A Norweigan man is arguing that he needs two passports because “traveling as a woman leads to considerable problems when one’s passport photo depicts a man,” according to Aftenposten. We’ll give the guy credit for at least one thing: Unlike many Americans, at least he wants a passport.
by Jim Benning | 06.09.06 | 1:01 PM ET
Last summer, we wrote about Lonely Planet’s effort to promote international travel by urging Congress to declare September National Passport Month. A resolution was written that apparently had bipartisan support. Then September 2005 came and went and nothing happened. Well, this week—finally - the House of Representatives passed the resolution without a single “no” vote. (It’s hard to imagine opposition to such a thing.) Apparently it doesn’t require Senate approval, so now all it needs is President Bush’s signature. To ensure that happens by September of this year, Lonely Planet plans to launch a letter-writing campaign, among other efforts. What will come of it all, we don’t know, but we think it’s a grand gesture. Less than 23 percent of Americans hold a passport. Any effort to get passports into more Americans’ hands, and inspire a few more trips abroad, is one worth supporting, isn’t it?
by World Hum | 12.20.01 | 12:52 AM ET
Get your autographed Geraldo Rivera Signature Travel Pistol while supplies last. Hurry!
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