It's election time again

Voters have chance to choose the new seven wonders of the world

The Smart Traveler

November 26, 2006

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND // A global competition to name the new seven wonders of the world is attracting widespread interest, with more than 20 million people voting so far, organizers say.

CODE GREEN: EXPERIENCES OF A LIFETIME

Lonely Planet / $19.99

Lonely Planet defines responsible tourism as travel that takes into consideration three crucial issues: the environment, social and cultural traditions and economic benefits to the host community. Consequently, Code Green travels around the world to find responsible travel experiences. Those described range from trekking with the Bedouin in Egypt to sharing township life with residents in Cape Town, South Africa, and from rebuilding temples in Mongolia and Nepal to low-impact camping among the Anasazi Ruins in the American Southwest.

JUNE SAWYERS

CRUISES

O'Donnell 'godmother' to ship

Talk show host Rosie O'Donnell, whose R Family Vacations company charters cruises for gay and lesbian travelers and their families, just expanded her own family. O'Donnell will take on the role of "godmother" to Norwegian Cruise Line's newest vessel, the 2,400-passenger Norwegian Pearl. The ship will be christened during ceremonies Dec. 16. As well as being O'Donnell's godchild, Norwegian Pearl is distinguished as the first cruise ship to have a regulation-size, four-lane bowling alley onboard.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

GEAR & GADGETS

Aero pioneered quick inflatable beds with built-in pumps that connected to an AC outlet. Then came camping versions that could be inflated without electricity via rechargeable pumps. Now comes the most comfortable and versatile inflatable bed of all -- the Aero Sport All-Terrain Raised Bed with Dual Power Pump. Made of heavy-gauge puncture-resistant vinyl, the bed is 19 inches high, placing the user nicely above the floor of a tent or guest room. The soft sueded sleep surface is a welcome buffer from the vinyl, and the bed fits standard-size sheets and inflates in less than three minutes. Includes a duffle bag and patch kit. Sport All-Terrain Raised Bed with Dual Power Pump is about $130 in twin size, $150 in full and $170 in queen from thinkaero.com; 888-462-4468.

JUDI DASH

AIRLINES

Web site offers online report card

Ever wonder what the service is like on airlines you have never heard of but might fly, or those you know well but have not flown for a while? Check out www.airlinequality.com, where people send in flight reviews on every airline from Aeroflot to Vueling Airlines. Not every airline gets slammed, but several do get harsh reviews. A recent customer on a United Airlines flight between New York and London informs would-be travelers: "The whole crew were ratty and in my opinion should not be let near people." Airlinequality.com also provides a forum for readers to rate airport lounges.

NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

SKIING

Device keeps track of miles skied

Ever wonder how far you skied after a hard day on the slopes? Now you can find out with a new global positioning system tracker device, called a SUMiT Tracker. Worn on the arm, it monitors the miles you covered and the vertical meters you skied. The device, available at some resorts in France, is proving popular. After wearing it, skiers receive a four-color printout charting their routes as well as statistics from the highest speeds they attained to the time they spent eating lunch. A list of resorts where it is available can be found at sumit ski.com.

NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

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