Pat & Mike trip out
TuneUp Boys Thanks to some last-minute travel opportunities on the Net, we're taking our next vacation to Jupiter.

Just don't tell our agent.

By Pat Dane and Mike Walter

Thanks to the Web, our next trip is to outer space.

To Jupiter, to be precise; the fifth planet. And we're leaving today.

Just don't tell our agent.

No, we're not wearing Nike's and purple shrouds. Well, Mike might, but he's always been a bit of a fashion-don't.

And no, you don't need to eat pudding or applesauce. All you need is a Web browser and a decent modem.

After all, why take an ordinary vacation to Bermuda or the Catskills when the Web offers such a dazzling array of places to go where you don't need to wonder if the water's safe or whether they take American Express?

TuneUp Tip

If you're using online travel resources for real-world travel, there's a trick to getting the best bang for your buck.

Instead of using online agents that aggregate flight, hotel, and car rental reservations across carriers, forge relationships with a single airline, hotel, and car rental outfit. This allows you to take advantage of special promotions, frequent travel points, and other great benefits that you won't find by resource-hopping. Besides, these companies keep databases on valued customers, and will work hard to keep you happy -- especially if you save them money through cyber-booking.

With a simple click of the mouse, we're joining the NASA team on Project Galileo: an unmanned space mission to outer space. The trip features close-up images of Jupiter; photos of our spacecraft; and details about how it works and what it does; plus fly-by animations and a whole bunch of other cool stuff that gives you the feeling of being on board Galileo as it rockets across the solar system to its historic interstellar rendezvous. You can come along, too. And we've got your ticket: http://www.jpl.

But that's just for starters.

The Men From Atlantis
After we're done on Jupiter, we're off to the Internet's version of Space Camp, where we'll become astronauts on the upcoming Shuttle Atlantis mission to the Mir orbiting space station just 15 weeks away.

At this very moment, we're reviewing the payload -- which just got heavier thanks to Pat's central fuselage.

Or is it just his keg of Tang?

Next we'll go through training, which could resemble a workout with beached sea lions, and then we'll learn what it takes to live in outer space (Mike's guess: sensible shoes). You think you could have this much fun at Disneyland's Space Mountain? Fat chance.

See for yourself at

Hong Kong Phewy
For a more terrestrial -- and more serious -- outing, we're off to Hong Kong. And it's not just because they've got great Chinese Food.

No, this is a trip for nourishment of another kind.

This month, Hong Kong falls under the communist rule of the mainland Chinese government for the first time in over 100 years. To chronicle the event, fifteen residents of this great city are reporting their observations, fears, exultations, and intimate thoughts about this amazing -- if potentially lamentable -- transition.

Some who travel to Hong Kong try, in a few short days, to absorb enough of the city to be able to say that they understand it even a little. Here's a chance to travel to the heart of a great city at a pivotal moment in its history. It's easy to get there, and you don't need a passport:

Though if you're anything like Pat, you might want to pack some Maalox.

To hear Pat & Mike's weekly radio show, visit AudioNet. The show is broadcast live every Saturday and features The Last Word by our very own E Business editor.