Homer Simpson knows how to get to the Kwik-E Mart in Springfield — and anywhere you want to go in North America or Europe. Dan Castellaneta, the original voice of Homer, has lent his talents to TomTom navigational devices. TomTom users can go to tomtom.com/simpsons and download the voice for $12.95. On the road, Homer adds his own words of wisdom like, "Take the third right. We might find an ice cream truck! Mmm, ice cream."
75 years for Farmers Market
Los Angeles' famous Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax is marking its 75th year with a weeklong celebration this month. Events include a July 14 "Taste of Farmers Market" from 5 to 9 p.m. (tickets are $20 or with drinks, $25); a karaoke contest July 15; and a "Big Birthday Bash" beginning at 8 a.m. July 16, including free cupcakes and a huge cake shaped like the market's clock tower. Live music will be offered July 16-19 and programs for kids will be available July 18-19. Details at farmersmarketla.com.
Walking tours of the market are offered by Melting Pot Tours at meltingpottours.com. And if you miss the July birthday bash, the market's 75th annual fall festival takes place Oct. 16-18 with music, petting zoo, and arts and crafts.
Where to go, what to see
If you're looking for inspiration for your next road trip, check out nextstop.com, a new site where users offer up ideas for interesting places and activities, from obscure cafes to major landmarks. Some Nextstop members recommend things they encounter in their travels, while others are locals suggesting their favorite places. Many users create miniguides with evocative titles such as "Man Up Texas BBQ: Eating our way through Texas' BBQ joints" and "Miami for Foodies." You can browse recommendations on a map, by city, by topic or keyword, or by following a member of the Web site whose posts you enjoy.
Museum two-fer in Atlanta
The Atlanta Botanical Garden and the High Museum of Art are teaming up to offer a joint discounted-admission ticket to two of their biggest temporary exhibitions. The "Moore & Monet" ticket will allow entrance to "Moore in America: The Monumental Sculpture of Henry Moore" at the garden and "Monet Water Lilies" at the High. It also gives access to other special exhibitions and collections at both places. Ticket prices are: adults, $25; seniors 65 and over, $21; and children ages 6 to 17, $17. The offer runs through the end of the "Monet Water Lilies" exhibition on Aug. 23. Visit high.org and atlantabotanicalgarden.org.
Events by hundreds in Reno
The 14th annual Artown festival in Reno, Nev., will feature 400 events in July — more than 300 of which are free. Concerts, cultural celebrations, theatrical performances, dance, art exhibits, outdoor movies and children's workshops are all part of the celebration. "With so many things to offer, averaging eight free events every day, we can be the vacation for anybody's pocketbook," said Beth Macmillan, executive director of the festival. Cultural celebrations include a Gospel Fest (July 19), Pacific Island Festival (July 24-25) and the 30th annual North American Basque Festival (July 25-26). Learn more about Artown at RenoIsArtown.com or contact the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority at visitrenotahoe.com or toll-free 1-800-367-7366.
Design your own headphones
EarPollution offers a funky take on folding headphones: NervePipes, which you design on the Internet from an array of colors and designs. As travel headphones, they work well, because the earpieces are hinged to fold up toward the headset. As fashion pieces, they work even better, with one reviewer's choice of zebra ear cushions and a lime-green frame getting a lot of attention. The cost of that custom look ($35) is a bit pricey, especially considering that they are not noise-canceling headphones. One reviewer also found the bass was a tad anemic (a problem he solved interestingly enough by wearing earplugs: "Not only did I not hear any sound beyond the beautiful tunes from my MP3 player, but the plugs also enhanced the bass, making it surprisingly rich where before it wasn't so impressive."). Find NervePipes at ifrogz.com/earpollution.
Compiled from Times wires