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October Getaways

October is a wonderful month for just about anything, including travel. The temperatures are pleasant, the rates are off-peak, roads are less crowded, and there are lots of special events happening. In addition to the regular harvest festivals, Columbus Day parades, and Halloween events, here are some nice travel ideas for October.

The US Forest Service has a set of links where you can check on the peak fall colors for different parts of the country. Scroll down for your state. The default rule of thumb is to visit New England or the Great Lake states in early October, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the Mid-Atlantic in mid-October, and Kentucky, Virgina, and Missouri in late October. You can still find great colors in November in the Deep South. Pre-packaged bus tours are offered in all these areas, but if you have more than one driver (and/or children), a private road trip off the main highways can be a getaway you'll always remember.
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The 2007 World Series will start Wednesday, October 24th. If seven games are neccessary, it will end on Thursday, November first. This gives you two locations for a baseball getaway, but we don't know yet where they will be. The first two games will be either in New York, Cleveland, Los Angeles, or Boston, and the games three and four will be in either Denver, San Diego, Philadelphia, Chicago, or Phoenix. All are nice places to visit!
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Oktoberfest in Munich actually takes place more in September than in October! It runs only through this Sunday. But if you are the jet-setter type, you can still catch the last few days. The smaller Oktoberfest celebration in Berlin continues through the 14th. And there are plenty more beer festivals all over.

More October destinations, after the jump.

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Autumn is Aurora Borealis season in areas near the North Pole. The village of Porjus in Swedish Lapland is especially accomodating to tourists who want to see the Northern Lights. The town has a small population, few artificial lights, guides, and activities for visitors. Ursi's Blog has more links on the Aurora.
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The Melbourne International Arts Festival runs October 11th-27th in Australia, featuring theater, dance, painting, photography, sculpture, music, poetry, film, and even circus performance! There will also be seminars, classes, and parties where you can meet the artists. See a schedule of events at the official site.
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The Chicago International Film Festival is October 4th through the 17th. 160 movies are entered representing 44 countries, from Argentina to Vietnam.
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The Karate World Championships take place in Marina di Carrara, Italy, October 17th through the 21st. Over 2500 competitors from 65 nations are expected to compete in several martial arts disciplines. When you're not watching the action, you could be tasting wine and drinking in the atmosphere of autumn in Tuscany.
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The Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans, October 26th through the 28th features an amazing lineup of concerts. While you're in NOLA, you might check out some Haunted New Orleans events in time for Halloween.
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OK, how about one completely Halloween-related getaway, to Salem, Massachusetts. The many witch-trial related museums, home tours, cemeteries, and haunted attractions are all open in October. You can also take a ride on a sailing ship, visit the pirate museum, and enjoy the fall colors.

Now, if we could only do something about those annoying school and work schedules...

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Why You Should Never Take Your Shoes Off On an Airplane
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What should be worn during takeoff?

Tony Luna:

If you are a frequent flyer, you may often notice that some passengers like to kick off their shoes the moment they've settled down into their seats.

As an ex-flight attendant, I'm here to tell you that it is a dangerous thing to do. Why?

Besides stinking up the whole cabin, footwear is essential during an airplane emergency, even though it is not part of the flight safety information.

During an emergency, all sorts of debris and unpleasant ground surfaces will block your way toward the exit, as well as outside the aircraft. If your feet aren't properly covered, you'll have a hard time making your way to safety.

Imagine destroying your bare feet as you run down the aisle covered with broken glass, fires, and metal shards. Kind of like John McClane in Die Hard, but worse. Ouch!

Bruce Willis stars in 'Die Hard' (1988)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

A mere couple of seconds delay during an emergency evacuation can be a matter of life and death, especially in an enclosed environment. Not to mention the entire aircraft will likely be engulfed in panic and chaos.

So, the next time you go on a plane trip, please keep your shoes on during takeoff, even if it is uncomfortable.

You can slip on a pair of bathroom slippers if you really need to let your toes breathe. They're pretty useless in a real emergency evacuation, but at least they're better than going barefoot.

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

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How to Escape from Quicksand
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Thinkstock

Despite what every corny '70s adventure flick may have led you to believe, you’re unlikely to run into quicksand in your day-to-day life. However, quicksand is still somewhat common near rivers, estuaries, and marshes, so it’s worth knowing how to get out. If you’re hiking alone and get that sinking feeling, don’t panic. Unless the tide rolls in while you’re stuck, you should be able to escape to safety.

1) Calm Down!

Forget what you’ve seen in movies - you’re not going to be sucked into a bottomless pit. Even in the deepest quicksand, you won’t sink far past your midsection. The human body is just too buoyant. So take deep breaths. The more air you have in your lungs, the better you’ll float like a human cork.

2) Toss Your Gear

All that extra weight will make you sink faster. Ditch your backpack and try wriggling out of your shoes. They will make escaping more difficult (boots in particular become stubborn suction cups when in mud).

3) Don’t Move

Resist the urge to wiggle your legs. Quicksand is what’s known as a non-Newtonian fluid, so it liquefies whenever there’s movement. As you sink, your weight pushes water from the sand. With the water gone, the sand thickens, creating a vacuum that tugs you down.

4) Okay, Now Move

You’re sinking because the sand around your legs has lost water. But if that water can return, the sand’s grip should loosen. That’s your route to escape—and the only way to do that is to move.

5) Put Your Back Into It

Time to redistribute your weight. If you’re ankle or knee deep, slowly sit down. If you’re waist deep, lean on your back. Don’t panic about sinking—a pit of quicksand is like a swimming pool. You’ll sink if you stand, but you’ll float if you spread out on your back.

6) Time to Shake a Leg

With your upper body now serving as a counterweight, you can start pulling your legs out. Wiggle one leg in small circles and pull. Water will slowly flood the sand around you, weakening the quicksand.

7) Perfect Your Forward Crawl

Removing your leg in one fell swoop would require as much force as it does to lift a mid-sized car, so take your time. It may take a while to remove your leg, but you’ll get it out eventually. Once both limbs are free, gently flip onto your belly and crawl to solid safety.

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