A Look at the World's Only Underwater Post Office

Brian Harmse, YouTube
Brian Harmse, YouTube

You’re probably familiar with the postal credo of not letting rain or snow or sleet interfere with duties. In the South Pacific Ocean nation of Vanuatu, that guarantee apparently extends to being totally submerged underwater.

As Lonely Planet notes, island postal officials debuted a deep-sea post office adjunct in 2003. Tourists to the collection of more than 80 islands can dive roughly 10 feet (about 3 meters) down near Hideaway Island to discover a staffed aquatic postal station. Waterproof postcards and stamps purchased on dry land can be mailed via the sea, with visitors alerted to the window being occupied by a flagged bob in the water. (If not, they can drop mail off in a separate slot.) Vanuatu clerks can even postmark the correspondence, substituting ink for an embossing device that proves it's in transit. The cards can then be sent internationally.

Brian Harmse, YouTube

If the idea of conducting mail transactions while snorkeling isn’t extreme enough for you, Vanuatu also offers a drop-off box situated on an active volcano on Mt. Yasur.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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United Airlines Now Has an Interactive Map to Keep Track of COVID-19 Restrictions While You Travel

It's getting easier to keep up to date on coronavirus travel restrictions.
It's getting easier to keep up to date on coronavirus travel restrictions.
andresr/iStock via Getty Images

If you’re thinking of traveling for business, leisure, or to see family over the holiday season, you’ll quickly discover that different cities and states have different guidelines for entry to help suppress the spread of COVID-19. Some may mandate quarantines for travelers, while others require a negative test result or completed health forms.

Fortunately, there’s a way to navigate this slightly dystopian travel environment. United Airlines has released an interactive map of the country that allows visitors to see what each state and region requires for guests—or if it’s even open at all.

The map also allows users to drill down and see if their destination has restaurants and other non-essential businesses open as well as any mask policies.

New York, for example, is currently requiring many visitors to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival depending on the community spread in their point of departure. Oregon has no such restrictions but face coverings are required.

The map is updated regularly and can also be found on United’s mobile app.

[h/t Lifehacker]