Imagine settling in for your flight, gazing benignly and vacuously out of the window as the jet taxis and roars into motion, only to notice that one of the wheels is spitting sparks and disintegrating like a firework.
Air Canada Jazz Dash 8-300 #AC8684 to Saguenay lost a wheel as it departed Montreal yesterday. Sparks were seen prior to separation. The flight returned safely to Montreal. Video shows departure & wheel falling off, passengers being calm and a smooth landing.
Note how incredibly smooth the return landing was.
Last September, Jessica Lundquist passed through a body-scanner at Burbank airport and was told by a TSA screener that they wanted to conduct a "groin search" on her. Read the rest
Singapore's Changi Airport is rated the #1 airport in the world by most entities that rate airports. It has theme parks, free movies, a retro video game arcade, hiking trails, and much more. Stephanie Rosenbloom took a 27-hour vacation there with her husband and wrote about it for The New York Times. I was in Singapore in 2018 but didn't spend much time at the airport. I'm headed there again soon and this time I plan to wander around.
As with all wonderlands, though, there’s a fine line between fantasy and dystopia. Looking around, it isn’t hard to imagine a future in which everyone lives in domed cities in temperature-controlled, never-ending summers. Signs refer to “trails” that you can “hike,” as if Jewel’s smooth, clean floors are rugged arteries through the wilderness. The trees and shrubs around the waterfall have a corporate name: the Shiseido Forest Valley, after the Japanese beauty company. The waterfall is officially known as the HSBC Rain Vortex. And it’s surrounded by stores and restaurants, allowing a visitor to keep one eye on the jungle-scape and the other on the latest fashions at Calvin Klein — or the queue for Shake Shack. The result is a staggering display of artificiality and nature, with lights that can turn a waterfall crimson, or make it seem as if you’re dining al fresco under a starry sky.
I do not like to travel without my McKenzie AirBack.
The self-inflating McKenzie AirBack makes travel a lot more comfortable. This pillow allows me to move around the globe without awful backpain.
I have long felt the massive amounts of flying about the globe I did in my late-20s and 30s heavily contributed to the terrible problems I have with my lowerback. Bad seats, bad posture and absolutely no clue that the things I was doing would later hobble me. Decent lumbar support would have made the travel much less destructive.
The McKenzie AirBack is made of great materials, lasts until I lose and is the best shape I've found for a lumber travel pillow. The taper of the McKenzie's hourglass shape seems to wedge well into mosts seats. The pillow doesn't move about.
I fidget. Other pillows will squirt out of place as I move about. The AirBack stays where I need it.
Vice's Allie Conti got scammed by an Airbnb host who promised her a really nice place, then made up a story about its toilets being clogged and shifted her to a derelict, filthy wreck of a house. When she tried to get her money back, she discovered that Airbnb had no effective systems for following up on the kind of scam she'd encountered, so she began digging. Read the rest
Japan's Henn na Hotel chain, owned by the HIS Group, uses "bed-facing Tapia robots" in its rooms; these robots turn out to be incredibly insecure: you can update them by pairing with them using a NFC sensor at the backs of their heads. The robots do not check the new code for cryptographic signatures, meaning that malicious actors can install any code they want. Read the rest
Security research Ophir Harpaz was trying to book a flight using Onetravel; as she browsed available itineraries, she couldn't help but notice a prominent warning that "39 people are looking at this flight" (this is a cheap gimmick, one of the many "dark patterns" that once lured naive internet users to making rash decisions, but whose efficacy has since regressed to the mean). Read the rest
Oh, the joys of #vanlife!
I was checking up on my Vanagon yesterday and noticed the coolant was low. Missing coolant is very bad in a Vanagon for many, many reasons.
I looked for a leak.
I could not find a leak. It was possible the car had just burped an air bubble and swallowed a cup or two of coolant from the reserve. I was not in a panic.
I also knew my power steering belt was looking really ragged. I decided to call the local shop I've been working with and see if they could swap the belt and pressure test the system today.
They said bring the bus in at 7am.
I drove the 10-15 miles to my mechanic with no problems at all. I had given myself an extra hour in the event something terrible went wrong with the cooling system, or the v-belt decided to trash my day on the way to being replaced.
It is a Vanagon, these things happen.
I got to the shop uneventfully. I love my bus. I take good care of it.
See, things work out!
I decided to park about 3 blocks away and get a cup of pretty terrible coffee from a Starbucks.
Starbucks had terrible coffee.
I, and Pretzel my faithful Cavalier King Charles companion, returned to the van. I turned the key in the ignition. Read the rest
Plus a look at some of its swell merch.
Hey hey, I'm fresh back from a short two-day excursion to Disneyland. I have a bunch of stuff to share with you but I'm going to start with my visit to Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar, that little cocktail oasis behind the pool at the Disneyland Hotel. And, if you haven't been, it really is small. Read the rest
Thomas Cook is one of the oldest travel agencies in the world, operating their own flights, ships, hotels, etc, whose founders effectively invented modern tourism (listen to this excellent Stuff You Missed in History Class episode for the fascinating and fraught tale of how that happened) but a consolidation in the travel industry combined with private equity chicanery that loaded the company up with $2.1b in debt in order to pay out investors drove the company to its knees, and, last week, it finally died. Read the rest
The Singapore Police Force arrested a man at Changi airport for buying a plane ticket just to walk his wife to the gate and say goodbye. He apparently had no intention of flying anywhere. It does sound like a lovely airport to visit but I hope he purchased a fully-refundable ticket. From CNN:
Read the rest
Anyone accessing the gate-side areas at Changi without intending to fly can be prosecuted under Singapore's Infrastructure Protection Act and fined up to S$20,000 (US$14,300) or imprisoned for up to two years. Thirty three people have been arrested under the legislation in the first eight months of 2019...
When Changi's new Jewel terminal opened in April, it made headlines around the globe for its 40-meter waterfall (the world's largest indoor one), a 14,000-square-meter Canopy Park, complete with a suspension bridge, topiary and mazes, and one of Asia's largest indoor gardens with 3,000 trees and 60,000 shrubs.