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How I Was Able to Sleep for 5 Hours on a Transatlantic Flight: Product Review

Bose QuietComfort 35 Review
For several years I had seen noise-canceling headphones at our local Best Buy, who had several headphones on a testing display. While Denise was looking at the movie selection, I played with the noise-canceling headphones, fascinated like a child. I have always bought headphones in the $35 to $50 range, because I could never justify the tenfold price for the Bose headphones with noise-canceling technology for flying only a few times a year. However, I kept looking at the weekly ads every now and then, hoping that the price would drop or they would announce a special doorbuster sale. Anyone who has already purchased Bose products knows that Bose has solid pricing and special offers are unfortunately extremely rare.

How I was able to sleep for 5 hours on a transatlantic flight in economy seating

My Best Sleep on a Transatlantic Flight Ever
When Bose announced that their new wireless headphones with noise-canceling technology would be released in June 2016, I was thrilled and kept watching early Youtube review videos. In 2016 we also happened to fly to Germany on my birthday and Denise surprised me with the headphones right before the flight. You can imagine my excitement, even though I had to tame myself not to bounce up and down the plane aisle. This was also the first flight where I slept 5 hours just listening to an audiobook. I rarely get more than 2 hours of sleep on the nighttime flight across the Atlantic, so I can definitely tell you that the technology works. As soon as I put on the headphones and paired them with my phone, the cabin noise was muffled down to a whisper. Even during the flight, the constant drone of the engines was only about 15% audible. Several times Denise tried to talk to me and had to repeat herself, because I simply could not hear her the first time around.

After testing the headphones for several months now I am still impressed by the sound quality, noise cancellation and fit, which is why I wanted to share my thoughts.
How does noise-canceling work?
How Does Noise-canceling Work?
Noise-canceling technology tries to reduce the surrounding ambient noise to a minimum. Behind small openings on the outer side of the headphones, the QC 35 contains small microphones, which record the frequencies of the environment. The speakers inside send a compensation signal in the direction of the ear. The ambient frequency and the compensation signal resemble each other and can almost completely eradicate ambient noise, which is no longer perceived as a disturbance by the brain. The noise-canceling function is clearly the highlight of these headphones. It tunes out the constant drone of an airplane and most noise around you, with the exception of high, shrill voices and sounds.

First Impression
I loved the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones immediately after unpacking. The main components are made of plastic, reinforced with stainless steel elements and covered with Alcantara, a manmade, suede-like material. The headphones feel high quality and provide great wearing comfort. They are so-called over-ear headphones that surround the ear completely, which I had to get used to a little bit. My former headphones were in-ear headphone plugs, that also helped to suppress . surrounding noise, but never had a noise-cancellation feature. To my surprise, these new Bose headphones are designed in such a way that they do not cause headaches from pressing on your head too much or "hot" ears from wearing them too long.
Bose QuietComfort 35 Product Review | Travel Case Included
What’s in the Box?
In addition to the headphones, a travel case, an aircraft adapter, a micro USB cable for charging, as well as an audio cable are included. Here as well, a high quality of production is seen in all parts.

Technical Things to Know
The QC 35 are Bose’s first noise canceling headphones, which can also be connected wirelessly. This is possible via Bluetooth as well as via NFC (Near-field communication). Wirelessly, you can easily switch between two permanently connected devices, which is great when you listen to music on the laptop and then take a call on the smartphone. The music playback will pause until you hang up the call, then continue afterwards. Up to six connections can be stored and, to better organize all your connections, Bose provides an app for iOS and Android.

The built-in Li-Ion battery holds 20 hours in cordless operation according to Bose. Tied to a cable, the battery lasts for 40 hours - all while providing noise canceling.

The sound quality of the QuietComfort 35 headphones is at least as good as the noise reduction. The sound characteristics come with powerful bass, which was never overpowering. I caught myself several times hearing many small subtleties on my favorite albums, which my in-ear headphones never picked up. Bose has also incorporated a sound correction that slightly increases the bass and treble at low volume to create a more balanced listening experience. Even when the noise canceling is switched off, the headphones display excellent sound quality.

Control Panel
The three buttons on the back of the right headphone are for controlling the volume and interact with the connected devices. They are mounted in a good position and can be operated intuitively. The built-in microphones offer a very good voice reproduction during telephone calls. All the people I’ve called with the headphones could understand me perfectly well.

What's Not to Like?
With all the praise for these headphones, there are very few critiques that come to mind. One of them being that the battery of the QC 35 is permanently installed and can not be replaced by the customer. If I want to use the headphones for many years, I doubt that the battery will last for as many hours as it did when first bought. The second point of criticism has to do with the battery again. While charging the headphones, the noise-cancelling technology is switched off.

And lastly, these headphones are pricey and not something that most of us just grab at a store and take home. If you want to test them out and hear the difference for yourself, check out an electronics store around you and look for the Bose display in the headphone section.

Verdict
At the high price level, I expect perfection from headphones. The noted criticisms are minor, and can be easily overlooked, since the overall product is perfect. I am sure you will enjoy a pair of Bose QuietComfort 35, especially when traveling. They will make you feel like you have the whole plane to yourself and hopefully give you many hours of sleep on your flight.


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Podcast Episodes That Will Free You From Tourist-Filled Tour Groups Vol. 2

Podcast Episodes That Will Free You From Tourist-Filled Tour Groups Vol. 2

Stuff You Missed in History Class Podcast
This podcast was actually my gate-way drug into the world of podcasts. At first I was overwhelmed with the vast library of episodes they've created since 2008, but the more I listened, the more I was just relieved I wouldn't run out any time soon.

Through many of these episodes, you'll be asking yourself, why DIDN'T they teach this in history class? People would have paid attention!

Personally, and I've mentioned it before, it was always a running-gag ever year that, "Bet you we won't get past World War II in History Class." No one would take that bet. We'd never, ever, get past World War II! There was never enough time in the school year. Come summer-time, I'd be disappointed again, and peruse the untouched chapters in the back of the history textbook. This podcast was all of my dreams come true, and more. Not only does it go past World War II, but it goes all over the world. Histories I didn't know, that I didn't know.

What amazing podcast hosts! I'm not ashamed to admit that I really wish Holly Frey and Tracy V. Wilson were my best friends in real life. They're REAL, and personable, and I find when they laugh in an episode, I'm already laughing too. Thank you Holly and Tracey, and thank you Stuff You Missed in History Class past hosts!

Here's an iTunes banner to help you find it quickly:


Stuff You Missed in History Class Podcast: German History Episodes
This is a podcast series that is still producing content, and on a bi-weekly schedule. There are hundreds of episodes from years of content creation, and I made a valiant effort to grab every one that covered Germany. That being said, I'll add more to this list as I find them, or as they're created. New episodes are around 30-40 minutes, while some of the earliest episodes run around 5 minutes.

Each episode title is a link that will take you to that episode's page on the Stuff You Missed in History Class website. There, you can choose to either download the episode or follow links to Google Play or iTunes to download the episode.

**Content Housekeeping**
All of the amazing and witty episode synopses you'll read below are written by the Stuff You Missed in History Class team and Copyright © 2016 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings LLC. The original source can be found by clicking the respective episode title link.

German Fairy Tales
A Grim Tale: The Brothers Grimm "Fairy tales weren't always safe fodder for the latest Disney film. In fact, some were downright macabre. Learn more about the original versions of fairy tales -- and the eccentric brothers responsible for popularizing them -- in this podcast."
Was There Really a Pied Piper of Hamelin? "Everyone knows the story of the Pied Piper -- but how much of this legend is factual? Learn more about the fact and fiction behind the story of the Pied Piper in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com."

German Royal Intrigues
Charlemagne's Coronation "On Christmas Day in 800 AD, Charlemagne became the emperor of Rome in a coronation headed by none other than Pope Leo III. Learn more about the growth of the Holy Roman Empire in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com."
Mad King Ludwig Dines Alone "From his opulent, solitary dinners to the amazing Neuschwanstein Castle, it's no surprise that King Ludwig II was known as an eccentric. In fact, people thought he was mad. But why?"
The Princess Who Swallowed A Glass Piano "Princess Alexandra Amelie of Bavaria was part of the House of Wittelsbach. The princess was frail, and she exhibited unusual behavior. She told her parents that she had swallowed a glass piano as a child, and was afraid that she would shatter."
The Prisoner Princess: Sophia Dorothea of Celle "Sophia Dorothea of Celle (Lower Saxony, Germany) married her cousin, George I of Great Britain. Sophia had an affair with a Swedish count, and her in-laws decided to stop the couple from running away together. The ensuing events became known as the Königsmarck Affair."

German Women Making History
Caroline Herschel: Astronomy's Cinderella "Herschel managed to break the barrier of women in scientific fields far earlier than you might suspect, in part because of her association with her brother, and in equal measure due to her steadfast dedication to her work.
Emmy Noether, Mathematics Trailblazer "In the early 20th century in Germany, Emmy Noether pursued a career in mathematics, despite many obstacles in her path. She became one of the most respected members of her field, and developed mathematical theory that's still important today."
Hildegard von Bingen "Hildegard was a Christian mystic of medieval Europe who was way, way ahead of her time. If she had lived a few hundred years later, and been male, people probably would have called her a renaissance man."
The Women of Bauhaus "While the Bauhaus school is well known, and its original manifesto proclaimed an environment of equality, most of the women who went to the school were ushered into specific courses, rather than given their choice of studies."

Germans in the American Revolution
Hessians "If you've only seen the Hessians referenced in movies or TV, you probably don't have a clear picture of who these very capable soldiers actually were. Hessian troops were skilled, disciplined armies for hire, and a huge economic boon for their homeland."

Germany in WWI
What was the Christmas Truce? "Amid the bloodshed of World War I, the Pope pled for a truce on Christmas Day. The commanding powers refused the truce, but soldiers across Europe crossed battle lines to spend Christmas with the enemy."

Germany in WWII
The Bloodiest Battles of World War II
Could Treasure Hunters Have Discovered Nazi Gold? "Several treasure hunters think they might have found Nazi gold. Learn about the history of Nazi gold, the role of Swiss banks and much more in this podcast from HowStuffWorks."
Did Any Germans Resist Hitler? "During World War II, the Nazi totalitarian party did not tolerate dissent. Despite the risks involved, some Germans did attempt to resist Hitler's government. In this episode, Katie and Sarah explore the story of the White Rose, a secret resistance group."
How Hitler's Propaganda Machine Worked "Adolph Hitler's legendary propaganda programs steered public opinion with unprecedented precision."
Improbably Effective Holocaust Rescuers "There are many amazing, heroic stories of people who risked everything to protect Jews and other people at risk before and during the holocaust. A few turned to particularly ingenious, unexpected or daring plans to save people."
Live from FanX: Nazis, the Occult and Indiana Jones "It's fairly common knowledge that the Nazis were prolific looters and that there was occult interest among the officers of the organization. How weird did things actually get, and how close are the Indiana Jones movies to what really happened?"
Sink the Bismarck! "The German battleship Bismarck was the most feared warship in the world - a powerful complement to U-boats. But when she sank the pride of the British fleet, the battle cruiser Hood, in a matter of minutes, her fate was sealed."
The Nazi Games and Jesse Owens "Most people associate the 1936 Berlin Olympics with African-American sprinter Jesse Owens. Yet the games were successful in terms of Nazi propaganda: More nations than ever participated, and the Olympic torch was used for the first time."
The Match of Death "After the Nazis invaded Kiev, a bakery owner asked some Ukrainian soccer players to form a team. Their team was pitted against occupying powers. Many say their crucial victory over the Germans led to their deaths. But how much of the story is true?"
Who Stole the Amber Room "Often hailed as "the eighth wonder of the world," the Amber Room is an opulent room adorned with gold and precious amber. History buffs would love to see the room for themselves, but there's one problem: it's missing."
Who Wore the Pink Triangle? "When Hitler came to power in Germany, gays and lesbians were continually persecuted. Soon, homosexual men also faced prison time. Thousands were eventually arrested, and many wound up in concentration camps, where they were labeled with pink triangles."

Who Would Have Been the Nazi King? "Although Edward VIII is often remembered as a British King who abdicated the throne for love, FBI files suggest that there may have been a more sinister motive. Tune in and learn more about Edward VIII's possible Nazi connections in this podcast."

Cold War Germany
How the Berlin Wall Worked "The Berlin Wall divided a country and a city, but it had a purpose. Learn more about its history and how JFK and Barack Obama fit into the picture in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com."

German Discoveries
Johann Beringer's Fossils "In 1725, Beringer was the University of Würzburg's chair of natural history and chief physician to the prince bishop. He was also unpopular, and some of his colleagues sought to discredit him. There are two versions of the story -- but which is true?
Johann Dippel and the Elixir of Life "Johann Konrad Dippel was born in 1673 at Frankenstein Castle. Originally a theology student, Dippel began dabbling in chemistry, medicine and alchemy. Today he's remembered for creating a panacea that was used on a variety of ailments. How did he do it?"
The Kaiser's Chemist: Fritz Haber "Fritz Haber has a mixed legacy. The Nobel-Prize-winning Father of Chemical Warfare was responsible for fertilizers that fed billions, as well as poisonous gasses used during World War I. Tune in to learn more about Fritz's complicated life and work."

Why Podcasts?
With my work as a product photographer (read: photographing inanimate objects that don't talk), I've dived headfirst into a love and appreciation for podcasts. It reminds me of the simpler days of being read to after recess, but where an audiobook is a big commitment financially and time-wise, podcasts are free and in short-installments. Its a lifelong learner's experience of being a kid in a candy store without any cliff-hangers to disturb your afternoon.

All the better, you can learn more about the history and culture of the country you're going to visit. The more you know beforehand, the less likely you'll feel the need for a guided tour group. One episode at a time, you're becoming a more independent traveler.

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Travel Photography: Make Processing Vacation Photos Simple

What I'm Learning Now via CreativeLive: Travel Photography the Complete Guide with Ben Willmore

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. This is at no additional cost to you.


This post is the second in a series of four. If you missed the first one, double-back here to get caught up. It's explains why I’m passionate about CreativeLive, and why I’m currently taking Ben Willmore’s Travel Photography: The Complete Guide class. I’m going to pick-up where I left off...

Culling Your Photos
The only way I muster the energy and enthusiasm to sort through thousands of vacation photos when I get home is knowing I have an iron-clad, efficient processing system.

If you don’t have a processing system, you really need one, and I recommend you use Ben’s verbatim until you’ve ironed out what you need. It will likely take 3-4 photo shoots before you start operating on autopilot. In the beginning, I had printouts and my notes beside my keyboard and I’d take it step by step.

If you have an efficient workflow already, look to see what features of Lightroom you could add to your existing process system to make it even more efficient. For example, I use Kevin Kubota's LightSpeed Workflow that I learned in his CreativeLive class, and it works for me really well. However, after taking this class I’m questioning my current importing process. I’m importing images directly onto my computer, then adding them to the catalog. Then renaming them. Why? Ben Imports them directly from his card with Lightroom and names them correctly right off the start. I’m going to re-watch that portion of Kevin Kubota’s video and see if I’m forgetting something. That’s a huge perk to buying the classes, is re-watching and comparing nuances between different workflows. You’d never have that opportunity in a real-life class.

Lightroom Presets
When you purchase the class, you get a gigantic set of Ben’s presets, and he included a 2-page PDF with screenshots that walks you through step-by-step how to install them.

When you purchase the class, you get a gigantic set of Ben's Lightroom presets


Willmore also included a 2-page PDF with screenshots that walks you through step-by-step how to install them.

"Lightroom on Steroids"...Truly
The title of segment 2 on day 2 of the course really made me laugh. I’ve never seen Lightroom done this way, and truly it's fascinating to see so many different uses for a single software. Again, I come from learning and using Kevin Kubota’s workflow, and I’m amazed at the differences although they’re both incredibly efficient. I’m really interested in the keywording that Ben does.

Course Material Balance and Flow
The course flows well from picture-crafting tips in Lightroom to out-in-the-field advice really well. Right when a topic starts to feel overwhelming there’s a ‘palate cleanse’ and the course switches mode. Be sure to take breaks, and let the concepts sink in. If you’re able to, pause and follow along with two internet browsers up, which is great for hands-on-learners.

Welcome Promotion Until 9/20/16
Intrigued? Being the proud owner of thousands of vacation photos, who wouldn't be? Seriously, this has helped me so much. If you're interested in learning how to improve your travel photography photos as well as make your processing simpler, try Ben Willlmore's class, Travel Photography: The Complete Guide. Currently CreativeLive has a promotion for 20% off for all new customers. The promo code is APWELCOME20 or click here 20% off all orders for new customers only.

Coming Up Next
Part 3 will review the episodes dealing with curating the content in your images, composition tips and dealing with tourists in your shots. Part 4 will explore whether or not this class improved my travel photography and come out after my return from Germany in October! As I embark on this mini-series, please feel comfortable in providing feedback through the comments section below, or through email. I’d love to hear from you. Definitely let me know if you’re interested in this type of content.


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Podcast Episodes That Will Free You From Tourist-Filled Tour Groups Vol. 1

Podcast Episodes That Will Free You From Tourist-Filled Tour Groups

I hit the jackpot with this podcast series. If you find a beginning and an end comforting, prefer an experienced narrator, and only covers German history, OH, just wait, do I have the podcast series for you!

Why Podcasts?
I have no shame in admitting its really hard to find time to read. With my work as a product photographer (read: photographing inanimate objects that don't talk), I've dived headfirst into a love and appreciation for podcasts. It reminds me of the simpler days of being read to after recess, but where an audiobook is a big commitment financially and time-wise, podcasts are free and in short-installments. Its a lifelong learner's experience of being a kid in a candy store without any cliff-hangers to disturb your afternoon.

All the better, you can learn more about the history and culture of the country you're going to visit. The more you know beforehand, the less likely you'll feel the need for a guided tour group. One episode at a time, you're becoming a more independent traveler.

Germany: Memories of a Nation BBC Radio 4
Love history? Feel like the only thing you learned about Germany in school is war, war, and more war? Following the success of Neil MacGregor's Story of the World in 100 Objects, in 2014 MacGregor returned by delving through German history through 30 objects in 30 episodes. With a total running time of 6 hours and 40 minutes spread out across 30 episodes. Download all of them. Trust me, you'll wish there were more!


400 minutes | 6 hours and 40 minutes

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Show more posts about traveling in Germany

Thank you For Reading! Denise & Sebastian | Photo by Irene Fiedler