Mysterious group carrying suitcases spotted at UK reservoir

Police in West Sussex, England responded last week to reports that around 50 people carrying suitcases were spotted walking towards Ardingly Reservoir. Part of the reservoir is a nature reserve popular for organized watersports, fishing, and birding.

"“An area search carried out and the team could not locate anyone with suitcases…most bizarre," tweeted Inspector Darren Taylor.

I wonder if anyone saw Wilford Brimley in the area.

(Evening Express via Anomalist)

image: Antiquary (CC BY 4.0) Read the rest

Americans are getting fined for goofing off in Canada

The border between Canada and the United States has been closed to everything but essential travel, for some time now. This means that Canadians and Americans can't enter each other's nations in the name of entertainment, tourism or recreation: doing what everyone can to stem the spread of COVID-19 is the right way to go if any of us want to get out of this plague alive. On the Canadian side of things, our border service lets Americans into the country, provided they're traveling for an essential purpose (bringing produce into the country, for example), have no COVID-19 symptoms, and, if they are required to stay in Canada as part of their visit, have a plan to quarantine themselves for 14 days before carrying on their merry way.

Recently, I learned that Americans are also allowed to travel on through to their home or business in Alaska, so long as they take the most direct route to the state and, in an effort to keep COVID-19 from spreading, stay the hell away from everyone else at rest stops and eateries. The majority of those headed north to Alaska have been honoring these conditions. Apparently, there are a few that are not. This past week, a few dickheads who didn't feel that the laws designed to keep us all safe apply to them, got caught.

From The CBC:

Alberta RCMP issued seven tickets to Americans who stopped in Banff National Park to see the sights last week despite rules observed by the Canada Border Services Agency...at

Read the rest

Google Maps will show COVID-19 travel alerts, crowdedness predictions

• “New transit alerts show you when your trip is likely to be affected by COVID-19 restrictions” • “Safely avoid crowds on public transit”

“In our latest release of Google Maps on Android and iOS, we’re introducing features to help you easily find important information if you need to venture out, whether it’s by car or public transportation,” says Google Maps Product Management Director Ramesh Nagarajan in a blog post announcing some new COVID-19 features for the navigation app. Read the rest

American Airlines & Delta join JetBlue in requiring facial masks on U.S. flights

Two of the largest U.S. airlines, American Airlines and Delta, said Thursday they will require travelers to wear face masks on U.S. flights, joining JetBlue to address coronavirus. Read the rest

Where the planes are parked

Bryan Keith took a flight over the airport in Victorville, California, which has become a storage site for jumbo jets grounded for spring and likely summer too.

[Victorville is] currently one of the largest airplane parking lots in the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In this video, in coordination with air traffic control (ATC), I fly a dramatic low approach in my Grumman Tiger over the closed runway that is currently home for over 400 unused jets. After that, we fly over the peak bloom of the Antelope Vall

He flies over the runways four minutes in. Read the rest

U.S. State Department to tell Americans abroad: Return immediately, or shelter in place

Americans abroad must return to US or prepare to shelter in place

Airlines want $50 Billion federal bailout for coronavirus

Major U.S. passenger and cargo airlines say they need more than $50 billion in federal bailout money as the coronavirus pandemic closes businesses and dramatically slows down air travel.

A lobbying group that represents 10 U.S. passenger and cargo airlines said Monday that in a worst-case scenario, the airlines will “run out of money completely sometime between June 30 and the end of the year.”

More from CNBC:

The aid, if received, would be the industry’s first broad bailout since the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. It is also the clearest sign yet of the financial damage coronavirus and the draconian measures governments are taking to stop it are having on American businesses.

Airlines for America, which represents carriers including Delta, United, American, and Southwest, recommended passenger carriers immediately receive up to $25 billion in grants to compensate for reduced liquidity and in the medium-term $25 billion in low- or zero-interest loans.

More: US airlines seek more than $50 billion in government assistance as coronavirus roils business Read the rest

CDC may ground flights if airlines fail to collect data on coronavirus-prone flyers

Penalties include fines as high as $500,000 as well as jail time of up to a year.

My life on the road: Marrakesh

In my experience, the beds in Morocco are generally hard. Bounce a coin on one and you’ll lose a fucking eye. They are also cool and pleasant to sleep on. It was still dark when I first heard it: a single voice assuring observant Muslims that prayer is better than sleep. Other men soon joined the call to the first prayers of the day. I felt a smile fall on my face as I strained to make out individual voices. In under a minute, so many mu’azzin had joined the call that what once could be made out became a melodic din.

It was not a message meant for me. I drifted back into the black as the undulating prompt to pray continued.

After being awake for close to 24 hours the day before, we slept in until 10am, our internal clocks synced, through misadventure, with Moroccan time. As we stumbled downstairs, our host made us breakfast. The features of the meal were ones that we’d come to know well over the next three weeks: A single scrambled egg, served with fresh-squeezed orange juice, an an assortment local breads and a pastry. Using my questionable Canadian French, our host Basal’s Belgian-accented French, and a smattering of assistance from Google Translate, we hash out some pleasant conversation about the surrounding area. When asked where we could find a local SIM card and where the nearest bank could be had, Basal threw on his shoes and offered to show us the way himself. Read the rest

Screener at Los Angeles airport tests positive for coronavirus, federal officials say

Federal officials say a medical screener at Los Angeles International Airport has tested positive for coronavirus. Read the rest

My life on the road: Morocco

This past September, I discovered that I had a heart condition that could have dropped me dead at any time. An 80% blockage of some fairly important plumbing and, as an added bonus, heart disease caused by shitty genetics and aggravated by the anxiety and frequent panic attacks I get down with thanks to my PTSD. My cardiologists told me that I was lucky: normally, this was the sort of thing that folks typically don’t find out about until after they’ve suffered a heart attack. My medical team got invasive. They plopped a stent in me.

Finally, a piece of metal in my body that I actually want there.

I was awake and hopped up on fentanyl during the procedure. During the course of the angioplasty, the surgeon bumped up against the inside of my heart: it caused the first angina pain that I had ever experienced. I was filled with fear of not having more time with my partner; that I hadn’t finished my novel; I had not traveled far enough to understand the world in a satisfactory manner. I had always wanted to step foot in the Sahara. Angina pain removed from the equation, I found my heart absolutely aching for it. After they got me settled into the hospital’s CCU for the night and leaned on my groin for 30 minutes to stop an arterial bleed that was definitely trying to kill me, I told my wife that I wanted to go to Morocco.

“Why?” She asked.

“The desert. Read the rest

Korean Air crew member who flew to Los Angeles has coronavirus: Reports

A Korean Air flight attendant has tested positive for coronavirus, and they worked on flights between Seoul and Los Angeles, South Korean media outlets reported on Wednesday afternoon U.S. time. Read the rest

Iran says the official who mocked coronavirus fears while coughing and sweating is now infected with coronavirus

The head of Iran's coronavirus government task force who urged the public not to freak out about the epidemic while coughing and sweating profusely has tested positive for the illness himself, authorities said Tuesday. New cases of COVID-19 originating in Iran are now rapidly popping up across the Middle East.

The coughing and heavily sweating Iraj Harirchi told journalists at a televised news conference in Tehran only one day ago that “the situation is almost stable in the country.” Read the rest

Switzerland confirms first case of coronavirus

In Switzerland today, a 70-year old man tested positive for the coronavirus in the southern canton of Ticino, right next to the border with Italy, say Swiss health authorities. This is the first case of COVID-19 in Switzerland, and authorities say the man was likely exposed in Italy. Read the rest

Woman drunkenly threatened to ‘stab everyone’ on flight to D.C., say prosecutors

A woman who was heavily intoxicated was arrested on a Saturday flight from Frankfurt to Washington, D.C., after she tried to smoke a cigarette in the plane bathroom, and blurted out that her whole family was recently killed in a car accident, none of which was true, say federal prosecutors. Read the rest

TripAdvisor reviews for a hole in a wall

Thanks to TripAdvisor reviews for a hole in a wall, the architectural feature has become the fourth-most popular tourist destination in Ilkeston, a town in Derbyshire, England.

The hole reassures users of a nearby NatWest bank ATM that no-one is hiding behind the wall to rob them, but its absurdity and questionable utility resulted in dozens of spoof write-ups on the site, which has temporarily suspended reviews for what one visitor described as a 'national treasure.'

Tongue-in-cheek comments for the "NatWest hole" first started appearing in December 2018. By awarding the wall top marks, users were able to propel it above well-known locations in and around Ilkeston, including Bennerley Viaduct. Among 40 new comments added this weekend, one said: "Made my sixth visit to this attraction last week, always worth the nine-hour drive, every time has felt like the first."

Read the rest

MGM Resorts data breach exposes 10.6M+ guests' info, Jack Dorsey included, home addresses and birthdates

Personal information for more than 10 million former guests of MGM resorts has been posted on a hacking forum. Among the notable data breach victims: Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey. The leaked data includes home addresses, and is said to only affect guests who stayed at the hotel chain's properties before 2018. Read the rest

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