- David Miller at dotWorld2 days ago
When bats began migrating to Austin, Texas in the early 1980s, locals were afraid that the bats would be a rabies spreading menace. But in the three decades that they’ve been coming to Austin they’ve become a part of the city’s identity and an unofficial mascot.
Every summer evening at sunset, boats fill the water of Lady Bird Lake and people line the railings of the Congress Avenue Bridge to watch the bats fly from underneath the bridge to feed on bugs for the evening.
At the peak of summer there are more than 1.5 million bats that leave their home under the bridge all at once, filling the nights sky with a dark cloud of bats.
Around 750,000 mostly pregnant female bats migrate from Mexico every spring and colonize under the bridge to give birth in the summer. Once the bats have their pups, the number grows to more than 1.5 million.
The city of Austin never intended to become the summer home of the Mexican free-tailed bats. Without realizing it, a chance expansion to the Congress Avenue Bridge and the addition of expansion joints created the perfect home for the bats.
- Genevieve Shaw Brown at dotWorld3 days ago
There are a million things to do in New York City, but chances are if you’re coming with kids, a visit to the American Museum of Natural History is at the top of your list. And sure, you could learn about dinosaurs and our solar system during regular visiting hours, but you might not know you can actually spend the night at the museum and do things they’d never let you do during the light of day.
But at $150 per person, it’s not a cheap adventure. Think about it: A family of four could easily spend the night in a five-star hotel for the same money. Here, you’re sleeping on cots and bringing your own sleeping bag. Director of Visitor Services Brad Harris said it’s roughly the same price as a Broadway show. True. And you get about six hours of nonstop activity included in the fun.
Actually, it turns out you can’t even squeeze all the activities on the schedule into the night. When a museum is the size of four city blocks, there’s plenty to see and do.
But I sure did try. I took my niece, 8, and nephew, 6, to the Night at the Museum. After we found our cots and dropped off our bags, we began our adventure at about 6 p.m.
- David Miller at dotWorld9 days ago
It’s an 80-degree day in Homestead, Florida and we’re on an air-boat in the Florida Everglades looking for alligators. Moving slowly over the shallow and murky water, our guide Luke is confident that wild alligators don’t attack, but fears have a tendency to blur reality.
“These wild gators don’t know what we are and we’re too big,” he says. That’s comforting except that there are only a few inches of fiberglass preventing us from becoming the exception to a gator's jaws. These guys have a 2,000 pound per square inch bite, that's the weight of a small car.
We’re at the Everglades Alligator Farm, south Florida’s oldest alligator farm. It’s 250 acres of wetlands that butts up to the Everglades National Forest where visitors come to see alligators, snakes and birds in their natural habitat.
It was our first time on an air-boat and flying smoothly over the tall grass at high speeds was thrilling as we braced for bumps and chops that never came. Without warning, Luke would make sweeping turns, sloshing up old brown water into our shoes (Note: don’t wear leather).
- Alexander Marquardt at dotWorld13 days ago
Forget Big Ben, red double-decker buses, even the royal family at Buckingham Palace. If you really want a quintessential English experience head to an English pub and order a pint of beer.
Pubs like the Mawson Arms, located in London are much more than just a place to grab a drink; many of them are practically social institutions. Some even consider their local pub, or public house, as their home away from home.
Used by people of all ages, classes, and occupations, pubs are among the few places in Britain where it’s acceptable to strike up a conversation with a stranger.
The main attraction, however, is the beer.
Every pub has a long line of beer levers with names, which most Americans would have a hard time recognizing. If you are expecting to be served a nice cold and refreshing pint of beer, you might be a little disappointed. Brits prefer their beer warm since it brings out more of the beer’s flavor.
And while most pubs are bringing food into the mix, there is no waiter service in English pubs. So don’t sit at an open table and wait to place your order or the only thing you’ll end up getting is funny looks.
- Gloria Riviera at dotWorld16 days ago
BEIJING – If you have an insatiable appetite for authentic Chinese cuisine and people watching, ditch your guidebook and join the locals on “Ghost Street.”
Formerly a vegetable and fruit market lit by kerosene lamps that gave off an eerie glow, “Ghost Street” is now illuminated underneath hundreds of glowing red lanterns, and home to more than 200 restaurants and shops. It’s also the prime destination for hungry Beijingers looking to satisfy their cravings at all hours of the day or night.
Tucked away off the bustling street, in a quiet courtyard is Hua Restaurant, where people come to taste and see a part of China’s past. Each day, Chef Li Chen Hui and kitchen serve up Peking-style dishes to more than 1,000 patrons a night.
Hua’s specialty is the Peking duck, which is roasted in stone ovens until the skin is crispy sweet, and the meat, juicy perfection. Those unfamiliar with Peking-style food might find it a little more salty, a little less spicy than Sichuan or Hunan fare, but it still has plenty of kick.
- Muhammad Lila at dotWorld17 days ago
KABUL, Afghanistan – In many ways, driving into Kabul for the first time is exactly what you’d expect: A maze of checkpoints, rolling convoys of military vehicles, and the general craziness and mayhem of driving in a city where car bombs go off even in the most secure neighborhoods.
But there’s one thing that I wasn’t prepared for: crappy roads.
Despite the hundreds of billions of dollars that’s been pumped into Afghanistan to help the country rebuild, the roads in the capital are a mess.
Crumbling, dilapidated, and unkempt, in some areas, the potholes are so big they turn into tiny ponds after a rainfall. I swear I saw a duck swimming in one once.
To its credit, the municipality of Kabul has deployed hundreds of traffic police throughout the city. In bright, neon yellow jackets, they stand on guard at intersections and roundabouts, braving the rain and snow, desperately waving handheld signs that resemble ping-pong racquets, ordering driving to stop and go. Sadly, few drivers pay attention.
“Afghanistan’s a new country” one told me, explaining that it will, naturally, take time for people to learn to obey traffic rules.
- Joohee Cho at dotWorld18 days ago
The longest running and most successful show in Asia, "Nanta" is any child's kitchen fantasy. Performers on stage chop, slice, flip, and dice all sorts of vegetables in sync with a drum beat for an hour and forty minutes. Cucumbers are sliced in the perfect shape of a flower in the blink of an eye and pieces of carrots are flung in the air so beautifully that one would think it's fireworks on stage.
The performance premiered in 1997 produced by a South Korean actor, Song Seung-hwan. It is non-verbal which is a convenience for foreigners who don't understand the Korean language.
The story of four cooks hurriedly preparing for a wedding banquet is expressed without a single instrument; only percussive rhythms relayed through drumming with knives, dancing, and voices. Everything found in a kitchen makes a creative sound and beat beyond imagination. To list a few: spoons, sticks, knives, ladles, pots and pans, chopping boards, and buckets.
The genre is a mixture of comedy, romance, martial arts, and even stage magic reflecting the meaning of its name "Nanta" which translates to "a messy beat."
- Dan Kloeffler at dotWorld23 days ago
I didn’t exactly put up a fight when I was told to do a story on a pool in South Florida. After all, New Yorkers have been living under thirty-feet of snow this winter and my complexion was a little translucent. So, before my interview with NASCAR great, Jimmie Johnson in Daytona Beach, I packed my trunks, ditched my salt-stained boots and tried to convince coworkers that I was on this tough assignment at the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, Florida.
Here’s what I heard; it’s the largest freshwater pool in the country, which means that the Venetian is essentially a big bathtub. There’s no filter system, so someone has to constantly empty, clean and fill the pool to keep it fresh. Exhausting, right? It’s actually just the flip of a switch, and connecting a few firehouses, but it does take more than six hours because the thing is huge.
It holds 820,000 gallons of water, on four acres of land, right in the middle of a pastel-toned neighborhood. I can tell they serve their fair share of cheesecake on the lanai in this part of town, or at least they should.
- Hamish Macdonald at dotWorld24 days ago
During the long, cold and dark days of winter in Russia, not everyone is concerned with staying warm. In fact, we found one group that takes advantage of the icy, bone-chilling winter. And why not?
Every weekend, they practically bare it all to take a refreshing, cool dip in a frozen lake. That’s right - so frozen, that they have to cut out a huge block of ice just to make the pool. The weekend devotees claim that the cool dip improves circulation, detoxes the body and increases energy and vitality.
This weekend ritual isn’t for the faint of heart. Irene, a regular ice-swimmer credits Russia’s power to the extreme activity. “That’s why we’re powerful,” she says with a laugh, “because we’re crazy.”
It took some coaxing for ABC’s Hamish Macdonald to bare his swim trunks and take the plunge. A few seconds later, he turns into Michael Phelps - doing the butterfly, showing off for his new Russian friends. But a second dip? Not so fast…
ABC News' Stefan Doyno and Maurice Abbate contributed to this episode.
- ABC News at dotWorld1 mth ago
There are a lot of ways to see the frozen tundra of Churchill, Manitoba – helicopter, four-wheeler, even something called a ‘tundra buggy.’ But if you’re looking for that natural experience to experience nature, there is a pack of huskies just waiting to whisk you around the polar bear capital of the world.
Harnessed to a 50-pound sled, a team of eight dogs run in tandem, along some of the snowy trails of this remote part of Canada. Up here, the average winter day barely reaches -10 degrees, Fahrenheit, creating ice covered landscapes that need to be enjoyed at ground-level, at an 8-mile an hour clip.
As visitors watch the frosty landscape whiz by bundled in a blanket, a musher shouts commands to keep the pack on the path. No engine exhaust, just the hot exhales from a determined team of dogs. It takes the group about ten minutes to reach a mile, which is nothing compared to the distance these animals can race.