Canada can’t handle the The Beaver

Okay, so Canada finally got the joke. The country’s second-oldest magazine, The Beaver (yes, it is SFW), is changing its name. Apparently, according to Reuters, the name has an “unintended sexual connotation.” It’s more than just the jokes, though. Internet filters have blocked access to the history journal because the vast majority of people associate The Beaver with … well, you know.

The Beaver first came to Canada in 1920, published by the Hudson’s Bay Company, which was a fur trader at the time (now it’s a department store chain). Since then, The Beaver has found broader appeal by stretching to include other issues. To reflect this new focus — and get people to stop snickering — the publication’s name will be Canada’s History. This will commence with the April issue of the magazine.

The name change could also come with an increase in circulation. According to Mark Reid, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, “Market research showed us that younger Canadians and women were very very unlikely to ever buy a magazine called The Beaver no matter what it’s about.”

Duh, Mark. Of course they won’t buy a magazine called The Beaver. They’d read it online.

[Photo by stevehdc via Flickr]%Gallery-73517%


New travel inspiration: AFAR magazine

Greg Sullivan and Joseph Diaz, the founders of AFAR magazine, saw a need for a magazine that focused on “experiential travel that helps people experience every destination as local residents do.” So they started their new travel magazine to fill that niche.

When major glossies are closing down at an alarming rate, starting up a new magazine – with an online community, tv partnerships, and books in the works – is a bold move. But, if the first issue of AFAR is any indication of what’s to come, it’s one that will enrich the travel community as the company grows.

The goal of AFAR is to encourage authentic travel that avoids superficial, mass-consumed, beaten path tourism and digs deeper into a local cuture in all aspects of the trip, from where you stay to what you eat to how you can make a difference in a local community. AFAR hits that middle ground between offering details that you can use (a calendar section lists events around the world and each feature has the typical “if you go” logistical info), facts that educate (a piece on the culture of maid cafes in Japan was fascinating) and stories that inspire (a feature on Berber culture in Morocco only fueled my desire to go there).

The premier issue also contained an interview with a long-term traveler, information on ocean-cleanup vacations, a profile of the rock music scene in China, and a closing essay by Tim Cahill. The editors also promise to continue this issue’s “Spin the Globe” section, in which they send one writer on a spontaneous journey. This issue’s destination was Caracas, and while the article didn’t offer much in the way of “where to stay, what to do” information, it did offer a very intriguing, honest portrait of the city. For foodies, there was also a feature detailing how one writer learned to make bread from a French master baker.

The writing is solid, the photos are beautiful, and in keeping with the editors’ statement that “life is about more than how much we consume”, the magazine isn’t cluttered with ads (though, ironically, many of the ads are for luxury products). At $19.95 for 6 issues (the magazine will be published bi-monthly), I recommend subscribing. You can get a taste of what you’re in for if you do, or just satiate your thirst for travel inspiration in between issues, on the AFAR blog.

Indie Travel Podcast launches new magazine

Craig and Linda Martin have been traveling the world together since 2006. In that time, they’ve launched the Indie Travel Podcast and turned it into a successful website (they were named Best Podcast in Lonely Planet’s 2009 Travel Blog Awards) and an excellent source of information for the independent traveler. Now, in a time when major glossies seem to be folding right and left, they’ve launched a magazine. You’ve got to admire that kind of moxie.

The Indie Travel Podcast website combines inspiring destination features with practical advice, like how to use Skype and other internet phone services or what to look for when booking a hostel. There are also entertaining and informative podcasts, videos and hotel reviews. The newly launched magazine combines the best features of the website with the same Indie Travel focus – it’s geared towards independent, adventurous travelers, and budget and long-term travelers.

The Indie Travel Podcast Magazine launches September 1. There will be four issues per year, available at NZ$40 (around US$27) including postage. I had a chance to take a sneak peak and was quite impressed with the quality of the production and the writers (familiar names in the blogosphere) attached to the project.

The feature articles are fresh and interesting – Tim Patterson’s article on the Kachin Independence Army in Burma put a human face on war, and Lola Akinmade’s photos of Lagos were stunning – and the regular columns promise to be informative and helpful – Kim Mance will offer practical advice for woman traveling solo and Christine Gilbert will show us how to be “location independent” so we can earn a living while traveling the world. In the premier issue, there are also blog reviews, an interview with round-the-world traveler Gary Arndt, a guide to tapas in Seville, book reviews, and profiles of Tonga, Egypt, Alaska, Angor Wat and the Baltic capitals of Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius.

If you’ve ever felt out of touch with the Travel + Leisure set (you know, those who file a $200 per night hotel under “budget options”) or if you’re just looking for more inspiration and practical information to feed your wanderlust, check out the Indie Travel Podcast Magazine. I think as the mag continues to grow, the quality will get even better. Plus, I’m a sucker for moxie, and I like the idea of supporting two “indie” travelers with the courage to follow their dreams.

Galley Gossip: A question about why flight attendants are paid twice as much as teachers

Dear Heather,

Any time I go back to the rear of the plane and find flight attendants reading magazines, I am finding people off the job. You people are being paid roughly TWICE per hour what they pay the teachers who teach your children to read…How would you like to go into a classroom and find the teacher reading “Vogue”?


Dear Anonymous,

I take it you had a bad flight. Perhaps you wanted something to drink or eat and got ignored by a flight attendant reading Vogue? If so, I’m sorry for that and I do hope it never happens to you again. As with every job there are always a few bad apples in the bunch, but you don’t really mean to stereotype all crew members based on one lazy Vogue reading flight attendant, do you? I hope not.

For the record, I seriously doubt that flight attendants get paid twice as much as teachers. While I do not know how much the average teacher makes, the average flight attendant is not making as much as it may seem. Oh sure on paper it looks like we have a cush job when we’re not shocking people back to life or landing in the Hudson River. And of course there are those of us who do have it nice, like flight attendants who are employed by a major carrier who have enough seniority to fly the best trips, working to amazing destinations like Japan, Rio, and Paris. But in reality the majority of us don’t have it that good. A lot of us don’t even get a layover anymore, and if we do, they’re so short we call them lean-overs, not layovers. Seriously, most of us do struggle to make ends meet and therefore have to pick up extra trips or work a second job on our days off just to get by.


Don’t forget that flight attendants are only paid for flight time – not ground time. That means we are not making a dime until all passengers are seated, overhead bins have been closed, the aircraft door is shut and the airplane has backed away from the gate. Just last week I worked a trip from New York to Dallas and back to New York again, all in the same day, that, because of a mechanical in New York and a weather delay out of Dallas, I only got paid 6 hours and 15 minutes (flight time) for a 14 hour and 33 minute duty day. Do teachers go to work and only get paid half the time? I don’t think so. And when they are at work, are they constantly getting yelled at for situations that are beyond their control? And are they stuck in a flying tube at 35,000 feet for hours on end without a means to escape whatever could go wrong if something did go wrong? You tell me.

Now that I’ve been flying for 14 years, I make $30-something an hour, which is pretty darn good – except that due to FAA regulations I can only work so many hours in a day and so many days in a row. Not to mention when you add in the delays on the ground, the sit time between connecting flights, and the layover time at the airport hotels (per diem is less than $2), our hourly rate drastically drops. As for all those amazing layovers, they no longer exist. Mine average ten hours a night and all I usually have time to do is two of the following – eat, sleep, or shower. Keep in mind that this is unpaid time away from home, time that teachers are able to spend in the comforts of their own home with family or friends, actually getting important things done like a load of laundry, running to the grocery store, kissing their kids goodnight, those kinds of things.

Now I’m not saying that my job is more important, not at all, I’m just saying that it’s different and should not be compared to a job on the ground. Anyway, this is about flight flight attendant pay, not who has the worst job. I love my job and I’m sure teachers do, too.

And before I forget, Anonymous Writer, I do not read Vogue. Not that there’s anything wrong with Vogue, it’s just way too heavy to drag from city to city and gate to gate in my tote-bag to my layover hotel where I’d only have a few minutes to look at it before going to bed. However, what you may find me reading on the airplane is Vanity Fair. That’s because it’s the perfect magazine for a long haul flight due to the fact that it takes an entire six hours to get through, which is why I only read it when I’m commuting to work, not while I am at work – working. While I have been known to flip through a passenger’s discarded newspaper or celebrity gossip magazine while standing in the galley, I am quick to put it down if someone needs something from me.

Just because you’ve spotted a flight attendant glancing at reading material in flight does not mean you’ve found an employee “off the job.” Believe it or not, once the service is over there actually comes a time in flight where there may not be anymore more trash to pick up and passengers are settled into their seats and do not need anything else to eat or drink and have actually had all their connecting gate information sorted out. If there is a passenger who needs something that has not been provided, like a pillow or blanket (not that we always have them on board) the passenger will either stop us while we’re walking down the aisle and ask, come to the back of the aircraft and ask, or ring their call light which signals the flight attendants to put down their magazine or newspaper or lunch or liquor money they were adding up, and answer the call. Nine times out of ten that call is answered immediately.

Happy travels,

Heather Poole

If you have a question email me at

Photos courtesy of (stewardess barbie) Heather Poole, (Vanity Fair) JacquieK

Daily deal – 1 year digital subscriptions to many popular magazines

My daily deal for today is part freebie, part eco friendly deal. Through the “Read Green Initiative” you can sign up for a 1 year subscription to 100’s of different magazines.

This is perfect if you want to save some trees, or if you want to lighten the load if your carry on bag on your next trip.

The magazines can be read through the Zinio online reader in your web browser, or through their offline reader which is available for Windows and Mac machines. Best of all, Zinio also offers specially formatted access for iPhone users, which could be a great way to kill some time at the gate.

The magazine lineup includes popular titles like Elle, Penthouse and Ebony. No credit card is required to sign up, and the only personal information you need to supply is your email address.

You’ll find the magazines here, just be sure to click on the various topics on the left of the page to see more of the magazines on offer.