Catherine Hooper's Blog
40 Tourist Scams to Avoid
Friday, 25 July 2014 14:10

The travel blog Just The Flight has a great infographic of 40 common tourist scams to avoid while traveling this summer (and beyond). In addition to shedding some light on the scams and how they’re utilized, they list the countries and cities where each scam is most common.

NYC’s Best Pickpocket
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 15:48

Last week, we mentioned some of the psychological tricks that pickpockets use when robbing a victim. The New York Times recently profiled NYC’s most prolific - and perhaps successful - pickpocket, a man named Wilfred Rose. His story and technique are fascinating; he’s rarely been caught or in jail, despite being well-known by the NYPD.

Friday, 18 July 2014 15:27

Losing cell phone service on a good day can be frustrating. Losing service during an emergency situation or disaster can be dangerous. GoTenna is a new device that utilizes radio frequencies to send text messages - via your regular cell phone - when cell service is nonexistent. The idea for GoTenna was borne of the poor cell service in Manhattan post-Hurricane Sandy.

The device connects to your phone via Bluetooth, then sends a message to any other GoTenna within a 50-mile radius (they’re sold in pairs and will cost $150).

Psychology of Pickpockets
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 20:55

According to BBC Future, pickpockets frequently use psychology and mental tricks to help them relieve victims of their valuables. The technique stems from the idea that the human brain is not wired to multi-task well.  When a pickpocket sets up a series of events that harness a mark’s attention, he is able to direct that attention away from the actual theft.

L.A. Gets Aggressive on Earthquake Safety
Thursday, 03 July 2014 10:00

Los Angeles is finally addressing several earthquake safety concerns that have been ignored since the last major quake in 1994. Building code officials and safety inspectors are looking for vulnerable building, such as the one that collapsed and killed 16 in the ‘94 quake. L.A.’s mayor seems to have taken a positive stance on earthquake safety, hopefully the city will continue to address these concerns.

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Catherine Hooper
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