By the time a Hawaiian monitoring center detected the earthquake 30 km off Papua New Guinea's far northwest coast on July 17, 1998, three 10-m-high waves had obliterated several villages and swept away thousands of people. Three years on, an exhibition commemorating the Aitape-area tsunami-the worst natural disaster to befall P.N.G. last century-has opened at the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port Moresby. Photographs and stories of life in West Sepik province feature alongside documentation of the rescue effort, accounts of how survivors are rebuilding their lives, and information on tsunamis.
Nicolae Ceausescu was nicknamed "Vampirescu" for iron-fisted policies that sucked Romania dry. Eleven years after the communist dictator's execution, his countrymen are hoping a theme park dedicated to the original vampire-Count Dracula-will help boost their struggling economy. Sighisoara, a central Romanian town that claims to be the birthplace of Prince Vlad "The Impaler"-a bloodthirsty 15th century prince who served as the model for English novelist Bram Stoker's fictional count-was selected this month as the location for "Dracula Land." It's hoped that a million people a year will visit the theme park, which will include a Gothic-style castle, a "Dracula institute," and a golf course.
Fights, boredom and fatigue can make family road trips stressful-and dangerous. But a host of free activities on offer at rest areas beside French motorways this summer will make it hard for families to stay angry-or in the car-for long. Autoroutes du Sud de la France, which covers the road network leading to the Mediterranean coast, and the Paris-Rhine-Rhône autoroute network are the unlikely venues for fencing, golf, archery, yoga, kayaking, birdwatching, Basque pelota, mountain biking, rugby, baroque concerts, conjuring shows, pony rides and bouncing castles. For program details (in French), see www.saprr.fr and www.asf.fr.
Growing up in poverty on the streets of New Orleans, Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) danced for pennies, raided garbage cans for food and got his first cornet in the city's Colored Waifs' Home for young troublemakers. Now, Satchmo's birthplace wants to celebrate the jazz great's centenary by changing the name of its airport to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International. The African-American trumpeter joins an elite club, including John F. Kennedy (New York), Charles de Gaulle (Paris), Leonardo da Vinci (Rome) and former Beatle John Lennon, after whom his home town, Liverpool, will name its new air terminus, due to open in 2002.