· We went searching for cross-country luxury bus trips, and what we found instead was the Green Tortoise. Luxury, it’s definitely not, since those who have ridden the tourist trail described sleeping on the bus each night, or the ground, if you have a sleeping bag. The feel of it was definitely “young people.” But it sounded like fun, and it was fairly cheap. The Tortoise has several trips that cover different parts of scenic America.

· And as long as we’re on the no-frills travel tour here, has suggestions for eco-tourists. There’s a wind-powered Hobbit Hole in Ireland, an Icelandic hostel with geothermal swimming, a working farm in England that runs on bio-fuel and wind power, and a state-of-the-art tree house hostel in the Philippines. They have others, and the hostel scene is no longer just for young people.

· The Daily Flog is a new blog put together by a lightning boltformer photo editor at the New Yorker magazine. There are some awesome photos of thick lightning bolts in Australia.

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