US to require air travelers to show 'gold star' at airports in order to fly

Starting next year you won't be able to board a plane without REAL ID.

Kickstarting a clever, tiny wireless mouse/presentation controller designed for tight spaces

I am addicted to Thinkpads in large part because of the trackpoint (AKA "The Nipple") -- the little wiggly joystickbetween the G, H and B keys that allows me to control fine mouse-movements without bending my hand into the RSI-inducing trackpad position; between that and the amazing, best-in-class warranties, I am a committed Thinkpad user, to the point that I actually bought and returned three different systems this year because (between the new Intel chipset and the new Nvidia cards), I couldn't get any flavor of GNU/Linux to run on them (many thanks to Canonical for eventually getting me running on a Thinkpad extreme). Read the rest

My Life on the Road — Staying Still

I've been back in Canada since May and I am certain I am losing my mind. It's a certainty that takes hold of me, every year.

We come home because we have to. As Canadians, we can only stay in the Untied States for a maximum of six months at a time. This past year, we stayed just shy of five months in the United States and, another two, down in Mexico. We drove back across the Canadian border with a few days left to spare. This dates-in-da-States wiggle room is important as I sometimes have to head south for work. I'd rather not get into dutch with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Being back in Canada for half the year is , a must if we want to hold on to our sweet-ass socialized medical care (which we totally do.) and for my wife to return to work. While she's a certified dive instructor, she also loves the land-locked gig she works for half of the year. We also come home because we want to. I have few friends and work remotely. Disappointment and distrust have left me happy in the small company of my partner, our pooch and a few well-chosen friends that I seldom see. My missus? Not so much. Community is important to her. Her sister's family—now my family—means the world to her. Reacquainting herself with her people, each year, brings her a happiness that I try hard to understand. I love to see her light up around her friends. Read the rest

Tank vs Car

Here's what happens when a tank T-bones a car at speed. SPOILER: it is what you likely expect to happen. Read the rest

"Mass brawl" erupts on British liner after "patriotic party" ends in clown encounter

Buffet area sealed off as booze cruise ends in, wait, what?

The RV of my dreams is only $500,000 away

We've been living, full-time in a 40-foot motorhome for a few years now! It's been great! But we're thinking seriously about downsizing. Read the rest

Here's something you don't want to see happening to your plane's engine when you look out the window

A plane made an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport earlier this week after "mechanical issues arose," according to reports.

“The flight crew of Delta flight 1425 from Atlanta to Baltimore elected to divert to Raleigh, N.C., out of an abundance of caution after receiving an indication of a possible issue with one of the aircraft’s engines,” a Delta spokesperson said in an email. “The flight landed without incident.”

A video of the incident posted to social media shows the engine's spinner loose and rattling around whatever is left of the turbofan. It's really quite alarming!

Read the rest

Airport provides slide to help passengers make their flight on time

Running for your gate, carry-on in hand to make your flight on-time is the worst. Sliding to your flight's gate? That's the best.

This four floor-high slide located in Singapore's Changi Airport is designed to get you to your departure gate with the smallest number of steps possible. The only catch is that you have to spend S$10 at one of the airport's many restaurants or businesses. Seems like a reasonable price to me.

Image via Changi Airport Read the rest

British Airways to buy 200 Boeing 737 MAX jets

Roll up! Roll up! Who dares be first to board the BREXIT DEATHLINERS?

Boeing Co. announced its first deal for 737 Max jets since a March grounding that followed two deadly crashes, landing a $24 billion agreement with British Airways owner IAG SA.

The airline group signed a letter of intent for 200 of the single-aisle planes, Boeing said in a statement Tuesday. IAG, led by a former 737 pilot, would take delivery of the planes between 2023 and 2027 assuming the deal is formalized.

“I wouldn’t ask anybody to do something I wouldn’t do myself,” IAG Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh, who flew 737 jets for about 18 years, told reporters at the Paris Air Show. “If you ask me, I would get on board a Max tomorrow.”

Quite a tall order.

Photo: Shutterstock; Illustration: Beschizza Read the rest

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was probably pilot suicide/murder

At The Atlantic, William Langewiesche meticulously catalogs and narrates the flight and dissapearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Though the investigation continues to focus on the water--where did it go down? where are its remains?--the truth is found on land, in the results of a police investigation that one of Asia's most plainly corrupt and insecure governments does not want made too public. The pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was known to friends to be lonely and depressed, and had played out the bizzare flight to nowhere on Microsoft Flight Simulator. He is surely a mass-murderer and a suicide. Read the rest

Enjoy this video of a dangerous mountain road in the Himalayas

There are, occasionally, some concrete barriers on the road to Munsiyari, Uttarakhand. Wonderful views, too! Born Idiots writes:

In June, we went to Munsiyari, Uttarakhand, which is a narrow and dangerous Himalayan road. As we climb up the kumaon ranges, roads get narrow and dangerous, many times without any barriers. There is a steep fall down the mountain and driving on it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Special mention of the brave HRTC bus and truck drivers who drive on these roads on a daily basis.

Read the rest

Fodor's picks the worst airport in the world: LAX

According to Fodor's Travel the best US airport is Burbank (BUR). I couldn't agree more. It's 7  miles from my house and takes 2o minutes to get there. "Burbank is an airport free of most of the hassles that take the fun out of travel plans," writes Fodor's. "It’s an agreeable airport in a perfect location, which is why it’s at the top of our list of airports to love."

I'll pay a premium to fly from and to BUR, because my alternative is LAX, which Fodor's rates as the worst airport in the entire world. It's 26 miles from my house and it often takes 2 hours to get there in heavy 405 traffic. And once you get there, you'll get stuck in the "horseshoe." for another 30 minutes. From Fodor's: "Thanks to the improbably stupid design of its catastrophic horseshoe motor-loop, it regularly requires 30 minutes to travel the short mile from the outskirts of the airport to most of its terminals. And because Los Angeles was built as a city beholden to the automobile, there is no other way to arrive or depart from this maddening complex of suffering but through the interminable traffic."

Image: Photo of LAX by Mark Frauenfelder

 

  Read the rest

After sexual assault reports, TripAdvisor adds 'safety' filters for hotel bookings

Online travel and restaurant booking site TripAdvisor will introduce new safety filters after people who used the site raised concerns over sexual assaults. TripAdvisor says it found 1,100 reviews that referenced sexual assault in just the last year alone. Read the rest

Nifty universal travel adapter has AC, 3 USB, and 1 USB-C outlets

Use code 3SULMIMO to get this universal travel adapter at a good discount. I just ordered one because I do quite a bit of international traveling and this adapter works almost everywhere, and in addition to an AC outlet, it has 3 USB outlets and 1 USC-C outlet.

Read the rest

Man, 71, successfully floated across the Atlantic in a motorless metal capsule

In December last year, Jean-Jacques Savin, 71, floated away from the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa in an orange capsule he'd built. Last week, he landed at the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius. Read the rest

TSA admits that its pornoscanners flag Black women and others with curly hair for humiliating, invasive searches

Black women have long complained that they get flagged for secondary screening at TSA checkpoints after passing through a full-body scanner; after years of complaints, the TSA has admitted that its scanners struggle to with curled hair, and are prone to flagging anyone wearing an afro, twists, locks, braids, or other hairstyles predominantly found among Black travelers (though white travelers with long curly hair have also reported being flagged for secondary screening). Read the rest

Airline pilots have been complaining for months about Boeing's deathliner

With the European Union grounding the 737 MAX, North America is one of the last places on Earth you can get a ride on Boeing's deathliner. Despite the brand-new jet's disturbingly similar crashes and hundreds of dead travelers, the FAA and U.S.-based carriers insist it's safe to fly. Several airline pilots disagree.

Pilots repeatedly voiced safety concerns about the Boeing 737 Max 8 to federal authorities, with one captain calling the flight manual "inadequate and almost criminally insufficient" several months before Sunday's Ethiopian Air crash that killed 157 people, an investigation by The Dallas Morning News found. ... The disclosures found by The News reference problems with an autopilot system, and they all occurred during the ascent after takeoff. Many mentioned the plane suddenly nosing down. While records show these flights occurred in October and November, the airlines the pilots were flying for is redacted from the database.

Will another one go down before the problem is fixed? Capitalism is all about risk and inertia, and American businesses love taking risks and doing nothing. Read the rest

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