No Safari Is Complete Without the Proper Equipment

Like any respectable holiday, a luxury safari requires proper gear. No one wants to stumble upon mating lions, for instance, without the right camera. Advanced point-and-shoot digital cameras are compact and convenient, but the most important factor is zoom capability. The 12.1-megapixel Nikon Coolpix P90 has a powerful 24x wide-angle optical zoom and vibration reduction. The Canon PowerShot SX1 IS features 20x zoom capability. However, DSLR cameras tend to work better in low light, with higher image quality and faster response time. Be prepared to spend more and carry a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens with at least 250mm of zoom. Among the best options: the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera with 21.1 megapixels and Sony's 24.6-megapixel Alpha A900.Binoculars are also a must. The Nikon Monarch ATB 8x42 is waterproof, fogproof and comes with precision-aligned optics for extended viewing. The Zeiss Victory T FL 8x42 is lightweight, with a large field of view.Clothing should be neutral...

Hong Kong Offers Greenery Amidst the Gliltz

Most visitors to Hong Kong imagine high-end shopping and fine dining in a concrete jungle. But the city is home to a vast wilderness filled with palm and banyan trees, purple bauhinia flowers, butterflies, monkeys and wild boar. Indeed, nearly half of Hong Kong is protected parkland, and now the Peninsula Hotel offers a luxury tour of this territory. A private helicopter whisks guests from the rooftop helipad to exclusive beaches accessible only by air, sea or foot. They zoom past gleaming skyscrapers before being dropped at Po Toi Island to hike rugged or paved trails, climb over rocks, watch for migratory birds and visit an old fishing village and temple. At dusk, a private yacht ferries guests back to the pier, where a custom-made Rolls-Royce awaits. Arriving back at the hotel, guests can indulge in a progressive six-course culinary journey through four of the Peninsula's restaurants, in honor of its 80th anniversary (hongkong.peninsula.com).

Is Morgellons a Real Disease?

After years of debate and controversy, the CDC is finally looking into the mysteries of Morgellons, an unexplained and debilitating skin condition that many doctors don't believe exists.

Diagnosing Britney Spears

A leading psychiatrist warns against believing any of the diagnoses reported for Britney Spears, and why it can be difficult for any family to help an adult relative in trouble.

Romantic Getaways

The weather may be cool, but there's nothing like a romantic getaway to heat things up again. Plenty of resorts cater to lovebirds or honeymooners with special settings and services. These spots should help rekindle any flagging flame:Las Ventanas al Paraíso, on the Sea of Cortez in Los Cabos, is a favorite hideaway of celebrity honeymooners. Try a secluded torchlit dinner on the beach, or a six-course tasting menu featuring chocolate in every dish. Then retire to your terrace Jacuzzi ($450-$5,000 per night; lasventanas.com ).Take a dip in your private plunge pool and shower outdoors at the new Wailea Beach Villas in Maui. Hire a private chef and pamper yourself and your beloved with in-room lomi lomi massages. Then sail on the Alii Nui catamaran to a hidden spot teeming with sea turtles ($1,100-$3,000, with a five-night minimum; waileabeachvillas.com ). Le Saint Géran in Mauritius is so remote that you'd never expect to find an Alain Ducasse restaurant or Givenchy spa on site....

A Convention For Dummies: Experts on Everything

The Dummies are coming to San Francisco! Alan L. Rubin, who organized the conference, wants to share his pride: as author of "Diabetes for Dummies," he knows how hard it is for Dummies to get respect. The 50 authors gathering this weekend are ready to swap knowledge on subjects as disparate as Chinese, algebra and estate planning. Four San Francisco bookstores will be holding panel discussions, Q&A sessions and book signings with groups of "Dummies" authors. The variety of "Dummies" subjects makes for some un-usual panel pairings. The author of "Acne for Dummies" is joining authors of "Sushi for Dummies," "Living With Hepatitis C for Dummies" and "Lowfat Cooking for Dummies" on one Book Passage panel. Others pair experts on Windows XP and Napoleon, smart homes and calculus. (There weren't enough of the same kinds of books, so the organizers decided to embrace the randomness.) The author of "Dreamweaver for Dummies" created a Web site (authorsunconference.com); the writer of ...

Romantic Getaways

The weather may be cool, but there's nothing like a romantic getaway to heat things up again. Plenty of resorts cater to lovebirds or honeymooners with special settings and services. These spots should help rekindle any flagging flame:Las Ventanas al Paraíso, on the Sea of Cortez in Los Cabos, is a favorite hideaway of celebrity honeymooners. Try a secluded torchlit dinner on the beach, or a six-course tasting menu featuring chocolate in every dish. Then retire to your terrace Jacuzzi ($450-$5,000 per night; lasventanas.com ).Take a dip in your private plunge pool and shower outdoors at the new Wailea Beach Villas in Maui. Hire a private chef and pamper yourself and your beloved with in-room lomi lomi massages. Then sail on the Alii Nui catamaran to a hidden spot teeming with sea turtles ($1,100-$3,000, with a five-night minimum; waileabeachvillas.com ). Le Saint Géran in Mauritius is so remote that you'd never expect to find an Alain Ducasse restaurant or Givenchy spa on site....

Webisodes: A Battle Against The Empire

Listen up, "Battlestar Galactica" fans. A war is brewing, fiercer than anything involving Cylon robots. The battlefield: the Internet, where fans can get their "Battlestar" fix with three-minute mini-episodes created especially for the Sci Fi Chan-nel's Web site, SciFi.com. NBC Universal, the studio behind "Battlestar," refused to pay residuals or credit the writers of these "Webisodes," claiming they're promotional materials. So "Battlestar" executive producer Ron Moore said he wouldn't deliver any more of them, including the 10 that were already in the can. In response, NBC Universal seized the Webisodes and filed charges of unfair labor practices against the Writers Guild of America, which advised Moore and producers of three other NBC Universal shows not to deliver any new Web content until they had a deal over residuals. "The guild unlawfully pressured producers not to perform," says Marc Graboff, West Coast president of NBC Universal TV.The "Battlestar" skirmish is only the...

Friendlier Footprints

It's not easy to provide five-star luxury in the midst of a treasured wilderness without damaging the environment. But the King Pacific Lodge in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest manages that difficult feat. For one thing, the lodge doesn't even take up permanent space. Its 17 rooms sit on a floating barge, which is towed from May to September into a cove teeming with humpback whales and rare white Kermode "spirit" bears. Accessible only by boat or floatplane, the lodge charges guests a 3 percent conservation tax, which goes toward everything from building bear platforms to youth programs for the indigenous local tribe. "My business is dependent on leaving the area untouched," says lodge president Michael Uehara. "We do not want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg."Uehara and King Pacific owner Hideo Morita are pioneers in community cooperation. Both were adopted by the indigenous Gitga'at people in 2000 after their tourist company became the first to sign a protocol...

Adventure Yee-Haw and Giddyap!

With "Brokeback Mountain" and "Walk the Line" dominating the Golden Globes, cowboys and their country vistas are cool again. A traveler's guide to the Old West: book a cowboy vacation year-round at the Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort in the Santa Ynez Valley ( alisal.com), the Santa Barbara wine country made famous by "Sideways." A cowgirl boot camp offers barrel racing and lasso lessons. For something more adventurous, reserve a spot early at the 2007 Great Australian Outback Cattle Drive ( cattledrive.com.au ), a five-day-to-five-week horseback adventure driving 500 cattle through Heath Ledger's native country. For grub that's closer to home, Red Sage in Washington, D.C., serves a mean buffalo meatloaf ( redsage.com ); Arroyo Chop House in Pasadena, Calif., is known for its 26-ounce cowboy steak ( arroyochophouse.com ), and Cowgirl (212-633-1133) in New York's West Village has Jack Daniel's pork chops. Of course, you'll need to dress the part. Designers, such as Vera Wang, are...

Katrina Kids: The Power Of Pencils

Two weeks after Katrina, I drove a van full of supplies into Ocean Springs, Miss., a small town on the Gulf Coast where I graduated from high school. It was my first visit in nearly a decade, and as I passed my old house, I saw straight through my bedroom. The front wall was gone.A tent city now covered the grounds of St. Paul's Church, the shelter where I took air mattresses and M&M's and hung out with the kids. Before my trip I'd asked Linda Chapman, an art therapist for pediatric trauma patients, what I could do that might help. She said to pack small paper and No. 2 pencils.Given a choice of plain pencils, colored pencils and markers, kids who survive trauma often choose No. 2 pencils to keep the "affect" to a minimum. Color is just too emotional. Sitting at a table in the shelter cafeteria, the kids reached for the pencils and drew pictures of houses.Maya, 10, and her brother J.J., 8, told me wind and rain had destroyed their home. J.J. looked shellshocked. Maya said the...

Drinks: Red-Hot Cocktails

After years of sugary-sweet cosmos and appletinis, spicy cocktails are suddenly hot. Get a Sudden Headache ($10) at the hip Elm Street Liquors lounge ( elmstreetliquors. com ) on Chicago's Gold Coast. Cayenne pepper and sea salt line the rim of this tequila, Cointreau and champagne cocktail. Step off the slopes into Chair 8 ( www.chair8.com ) in Telluride, Colo., for the Spicy Bloody Mary made with horseradish-infused vodka and a skewer of olives, pepperoncini, cherry peppers, pickles and Cajun shrimp ($8.95). Or try the Cheeseburger Mary, skewered with a slider. Find more liquid heat at Chapter 8 Steakhouse & Dance Lounge ( chapter8lounge.com ) in Agoura Hills, Calif. Its Little Miss Red Hot pairs red rum and Hot Damn schnapps with a cinnamon-sugar rim ($8). The Dove Parlour bar (212-254-1435) in New York's West Village serves a $9 silver fox, a martini of tequila and spiced tomato juice. Even fancy Cyrus ( cyrusrestaurant .com ) in Healdsburg, Calif., wine country offers a...

TRAVEL: OM AWAY FROM HOME

Maintaining a regular yoga practice can be a hassle for business travelers, but several hotel chains are making it easier to strike a pose on the road. Kimpton Hotels (kimptonhotels.com) supply guests with a complimentary yoga mat and block, plus a 24-hour yoga channel. Hilton Hotels & Resorts (hilton.com) offer free Travel Fit Kits featuring a mat and other equipment to create your own in-room yoga studio. Westin hotels (starwoodhotels.com/westin) are offering a yoga- and Pilates-inspired workout channel developed by fitness expert Lisa Wheeler, which includes moves you can do right on your bed. And, starting this spring, Westin will add a $20 in-room program that includes cardio and strength equipment, plus yoga and Pilates DVDs. Now, wherever you go, you can breathe deeply before the big meeting.

HEALTH: LIQUID DIETS

Atkins adherents have spawned a new revolution: the low-carb cocktail. While hard liquors like gin and vodka come carb-free, dieters should avoid sugary mixes. Oliver, a Beverly Hills restaurant opening this week, will offer $10 Vitaminwater martinis (three grams of carbs) and wheat-grass martinis (two grams) made with Splenda, and Loews Hotels recently rolled out an extensive "No Carbtails" drink menu. If you're having friends over, look for Baja Bob's Low-Carb Mixers (bajabob.com), and log on to lowcarbparties.com to swap drink recipes. Still, every vice has its price: all alcoholic drinks can interfere with the body's ability to burn fat. So imbibe at your own risk.

Entertaining: Sushi With A Smile

Gary Arabia has organized thousands of parties--birthday bashes for Shaq, the opening reception at the 2000 Republican National Convention. But the GOP won't exactly play to its base if it gets Arabia onboard in '04. His latest party trick: "body sushi," which has guests at Hollywood dinner parties picking raw fish off the near-naked body of a supine model. Price: $700 a head. Decadent? Yes, but Arabia's in demand; caterers in New York and overseas are working their own bodily functions.After seeing body sushi in Japan, Arabia began adapting the concept three years ago. Lelani, 26, lies face up on a table for as long as three hours. Arabia is close by to replenish the supply. Flower pieces cover the essentials, and ti leaves on her thighs and sternum act as a sushi-skin barrier. "I try to pay attention to what's going on," says Lelani. "People have too much fun; you could get poked with a chopstick." It's not a normal, on-the-job hazard, but Lelani's used to tough days at the office...