Tipping Etiquette, a Sombrero Galaxy & More Travel News

This is a Hipmunk guest post from Jodi Ettenberg. Her views and opinions are hers alone and do not represent Hipmunk. 

A galaxy that looks like a sombrero? Yeah, space has that. This image of the M104 galaxy highlights billions of old stars in its center, causing the diffuse glow of its “hat”:

And speaking of space, yesterday’s Endeavour shuttle launch was a wondrous thing to behold. NASA has posted the video of the launch, which will be Endeavour’s final mission.

When traveling around the world, tipping is always a question asked around the dinner table between travelers. Some countries don’t expect tipping unless you’re at a very high-end restaurant, others not only expect it but would be angry if you didn’t leave a tip before you leave. This handy infographic from Mint.com lists out the tipping etiquette in a bunch of different countries, from the USA to Argentina to China and more.

Travel + Leisure mag rounds up the best travel gadgets for 2011 so you don’t have to.

In 1909 the great-grandfather of Flickr user Cranewoods travelled to Moscow while accompanying a group of American champion trotting horses on an exhibition tour. Cranewoods has posted a beautiful set of the vintage photos from Russia, which he interited after his great-grandfathers death.

Pretty awesome: the world’s first completely digital sundial, using no electronics or electric power. Check out the post for a detailed explanation of how it works, plus the actual blueprints to build one yourself.

I absolutely loved this Octopus ballet, a high-definition deep-sea filming of one of my favourite animals, the Dumbo octopus. Surreal and graceful, its wing-like ears propel it through the dark depths of the ocean. Lovely.


And finally, Colombus Ohio had its 2011 Zombie Walk this weekend, and as this video shows they seem to have it under control in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

More to come later this week!

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