Now Is a Great Time to Go to Europe

This article was originally posted on RealClearWorld.

My wife and I travel to Europe about every eight months. (Photographs? I thought you’d never ask!) In order to minimize costs, we closely monitor exchange rates, preferring to book trips when the rate is favorable.

Currently, 1 U.S. dollar purchases 0.89 euros. The exchange rate hasn’t been this good for American travelers since September 2003. (See chart.)

It’s raining euros, hallelujah! (Credit: European Central Bank)

The good news (for Americans travelers and European exporters, but not necessarily anybody else) is that the euro is expected to keep falling. In fact, The Economist predicts that the U.S. dollar may reach parity with the euro sometime this year. That hasn’t happened since November 2002.

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How the Polish Buried Their Vampires

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Belief in vampires was a global phenomenon. Cultures all over the world once believed that certain humans wander the Earth after their death, engaging in acts of decidedly anti-social behavior. Though most sophisticated scholars know that wooden stakes and sunlight work best, each culture had invented various methods of dispatching those vampires permanently into the afterlife. Continue reading

Europeans & Their Highfalutin, Pollutin’ Scooters

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

This coming summer, I will be making my 13th trip to Europe. I thoroughly enjoy the various cultures with which I come into contact, despite the sometimes thinly veiled sense of superiority that lurks beneath the surface of many Europeans. Because of that, as well as Europe’s tendency to lecture Americans on how to be good global citizens (while simultaneously destroying the Baltic Sea), I can’t resist occasionally poking back when given the opportunity.

And that opportunity is now. Continue reading

How Europe Is Destroying the Baltic Sea

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Europeans are rather proud of how environmentally superior they believe themselves to be. For instance, Europeans were indignant when the U.S. decided to not ratify the Kyoto Protocol. In Germany, environmentalism is trendy, and the Green Party is actually a viable political organization, holding 10% of the seats in Parliament. Europeans also unscientifically (and ironically) reject nuclear power and GMOs, all over supposed concern for the environment. Continue reading