Expert Travel Reviews

The Divine Emperor of Japan

June 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This article was written by Phineas Upham

In Japan, as with Egypt, the emperor is believed to have a divine right to rule. This concept begins in mythology, with the goddess of the sun Amaterasu. She sent her grandson to live on Earth, along with gifts he could use to summon her and a sword. The boy was immediately accepted as the ruler of Japan, and his gifts became imperial treasures that represented his divine right to rule.

The grandson married the goddess of Mt. Fuji, who bore him three sons. One of those sons was the historical first emperor of Japan.

It became customary for royal families to claim some lineage to the gods. They used genealogy to prove that their ancestors were favored by the gods, and thus their right to rule was ensured. This practice later extended to nobility, excluding the head of the household.

The Meiji period changed many of these beliefs, and turned Japan into a secular state. Emperor Hirohito, emperor of Japan during World War II, was one of the first emperors to disregard the belief that he was a god who became human.

Japan is the longest continuous hereditary monarch in the world, with a ruling class that extends to 660 B.C. Thus, the current emperor inherited his kingdom from Hirohito, and will pass the duties onto one of his kin. The emperor of Japan is a largely ceremonial office, and is not often directly involved with politics or war. The emperor was once considered the embodiment of sovereign rule, but today is little more than a figure head.


Phineas Upham

About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phineas on his Twitter page.

Surviving on a middle seat on a long flight

June 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Many think the middle seat is the worst in flying especially long distance. It is worse than getting stuck in traffic on a highway and worse than going to the dentist to do a root canal. Well, you get the picture. But, there are some helpful surviving tips.

  • Avoidance: Plan ahead and book your seat when you make a reservation for your flight. Some time you can contact the airline few days before the flight and see whether they have other seats available other than a middle seat. Also, you can upgrade to a higher class with additional payment or surrendering your frequent flyer miles. These are good ways to avoid the middle seat.
  • Many can’t avoid middle seats in large planes especially those are flying long distances. One way to survive the uncomfortable middle seat is to get ready by going to bathroom before sitting down and immerse yourself on some activity such as listening to music, watching a movie or working on your laptop.
  • Take advantage of every opportunity to get up. Your best chance is when a person sitting next to you on either side gets up and goes. This minimizes discomfort for you and the others.

Alaskan Adventure

June 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Article written by Gear Up 4 Nature

Experience all the best that Alaska has to offer when you go on Alaska boat rentals. When people visit the state, people will realize that they have so much beauty and greatness and they will know for yourself why it is such a grand American vacation destination. Explore and experience some of the favourite activities, adventures, museums, restaurants, cafes and all the hidden gems that Alaska is known for. Planning is very important also so making sure that reading up on all the places worth going is important to maximize the time spent there.

The most important thing to remember is to take beautiful pictures as one looks at some of the most gorgeous views and beautiful landscapes of the great wonders that surround Alaska. Get the taste of Alaska’s diversity of life, from the North to the Southwest, from expansive inlands to the coastal communities; everywhere you look Alaska is a treat for the eyes for both locals and tourists.

There are many beautiful and crumbling glaciers that surround Alaska, which is also one of the things that they are famous for. One of which is the LeConte Glacier, which flows southwest to the head of LeConte Bay. It’s interesting to note that the glacier has already retreated nearly 2.5 miles since its discovery but today it is considered to be in a stable position. This glacier is know for its shooter icebergs which calves off underneath the water and then shoots out of the water due to its ability to float in water. It’s a popular tourist destination and everyday, hundreds or thousands flock to see its beauty.

Discover The Beauty of Cayman

June 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by: Rem Services

There are many residential property management in Cayman that is reputable for attending to customers’ needs and wants. Tenants and landlords that are responsible for some board and lodging in the area surely treat their customers with respect and courtesy, which is because they cherish all their customers very much and they only want them to feel satisfied and happy. There are also experts in cayman residential property management, which help people acquire property that they will want to buy or rent out for a specific period of time. The houses on their listings are all beautiful and you will surely be in awe of the view that is readily accessible just by your home. You will surely be boasting about your cayman stay as you tell people about your home and the experiences that came along with it. Create memories with your families and friends as you embark on a great adventure and experience the true beauty of the islands. There are also many services that pertain with cayman islands residential leasing that allow people to lease property. There are many different options in considering when you are thinking about the properties in cayman. Location, price and even the type of property—you can decide on your preference and people will soon find the house that is perfect basing on critera and standards created. Always wanted the perfect island getaway? Then this is the perfect island for you and your loved one. Make cayman island your home away from home and you will definitely make a trip that you will never forget.

There are also many grand cayman condo rentals which is perfect for everyone. Enjoy the many services, facilities and amenities in the island as you look for the many options that is available.

The Story of Hong Kong Legends

June 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Phineas Upham

Every martial arts movie connoisseur knows the Once Upon a Time in China series. The trilogy, starring Jet Li as the Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung, is just one of many Chinese films released by the UK distribution house, Hong Kong Legends.

Much of the story begins in 2004, when Contender Entertainment Group bought Medusa Communications, a company that included the Hong Kong Legends brand. Legends was started with the goal of reviving classic Chinese cinema.

Legends had some of the biggest names in Hong Kong cinema working beneath it. The famous film critic Bey Logan worked with Legends, contributing important commentary to releases. Brian White was acting as brand manager, developing intriguing extras along with memorable DVD packaging. The two had the goal of restoring film, not just the genre. They bought up the most iconic films of Chinese cinema, scouring the vaults of companies like Golden Harvest for the best prints they could find.

The DVD distributor had films by Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Chow Yun-Fat, John Woo, and Michelle Yeoh in its collection. Unfortunately, when Bey and White left they took the soul of the company with them. Hong Kong Legends had to cancel many releases due to the loss of Logan’s popular commentary, and the lack of extras brought by White.

The label was discontinued in 2007, after Bey and White went to work for the Weinstein company “Dragon Dynasty.” Though Hong Kong film lives on in reproductions of popular films, there are only a handful of companies like Hong Kong Legends willing to restore the classics.


Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phineas on his Phineas Upham website

Top Places to Watch the World Cup in Los Angeles

June 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Soccer Garage

At Soccer Garage, we’re passionate about our favorite sport – soccer! So when the World Cup comes around, we can’t help but get excited about the best places to watch the games. Fortunately, Pinterest has made it easy for us by publishing a list of the best places around the world to watch the World Cup. The site has partnered with TripAdvisor, ESPN, and Conde Nast Traveler for a comprehensive guide that features bars, restaurants, and establishments around the world. It’s worth checking out, especially if you will be travelling during the games.

But if you live in L.A., we’ve got something special for you. Here, in no particular order, are three of our favorite places to watch the World Cup in Los Angeles.

Red Lion Tavern, Los Angeles

The oldest German bar and restaurant in L.A., Red Lion Tavern is a unique establishment featuring three levels of cozy rooms to eat, drink, and watch the World Cup, including a large outdoor patio with a bar. Serving authentic German good and beer, this great bar is one of our favorite places to dine and watch live soccer. Meals are hardy and the décor is dark, a fantastic place to get lost and enjoy the game. One of our favorite meals is the Red Lion Gehacktes Steak, ground beef patties topped with gravy and served with sweet red cabbage and smooth mashed potatoes.

The Montalban Nike Soccer HQ, Los Angeles

Ready to visit the cinema? Not a bar or a restaurant, the Montalban Theater in L.A. has been turned into Nike’s LA Soccer headquarters just in time for the World Cup. This cozy theater will be showing many live games during the World Cup – in high definition of course! Watch the games and don’t forget to visit the new retail shop upstairs, which carries everything from soccer apparel to memorabilia.

The Village Idiot, Los Angeles

A gastropub located in a trendy L.A. neighborhood on Melrose, the Village Idiot is a great place for soccer fans to enjoy the World Cup and chow down some comfort foods. This casual spot is usually frequented by a young crowd and is the perfect spot for a guy’s night out, couples, and singles. The restaurant promises to serve Brunch every day of the tournament, perfect for those early morning games. But late nights are also welcome here; the bar is open till 2am.
———————————————————————————————————————
Soccer Garage is an online retailer of soccer gear and apparel including soccer t-shirts, shorts, soccer replicas, and goalkeeper gloves.

Ernest Shackleton: Arctic Explorer

June 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Samuel Phineas Upham

Ernest Shackleton was part of an exciting time in the world of exploration. Known as “The Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration,” Shackleton was one of many brave men who attempted to cross the frigid arctic tundra in the name of exploration. He was part of Robert Falcon Scott’s “Discovery” expedition, but failed to complete it due to health setbacks.

He was sent home, and vowed to make up for what he perceived to be a personal failure. He made a return to Antarctica in 1907, where he became the leader of the expedition Nimrod. The 97 mile expedition took Shackleton and his team deep into Southern Arctic territory.

Roald Amundsen’s expedition had erased the prize of the South Pole, so Shackleton focused his attention instead on crossing from one side to the other. He made preparations and attempted the expedition in 1914.

But tragedy would strike Shackleton’s group, as the harsh arctic often did. His ship, The Endurance, was caught in a patch of ice and crushed before full preparations could be made to evacuate the crew. The explorers made a daring escape and managed to keep everyone alive.

Shackleton was headed for heroics, but he never let it get to his head. He returned to the Arctic once more in 1921, with the purpose of leading a scientific expedition and survey the land. Unfortunately, he would die of a heart attack before he ever got the chance to leave base camp. Though he died with heavy debt, and his personal life is largely viewed as a mess, Shackleton stands as a shining example of a true leader.


Samuel Phineas Upham

Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his LinkedIn page.