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Beyond Rocket Science: The 8 Incredible Details You Never Knew About Virgin Galactic

October 30, 2014 at 11:12 AM | by | Comments (0)

How about Paris for the weekend, or a two-week trip around Southeast Asia? Forget it—that's so 2014, so terrestrial. Should Virgin Galactic have their way, 2015 will be the year you book a vacation of suborbital space travel, or perhaps a supersonic 45-minute flight from California to London.

This month SpaceShipTwo completed her 54th test flight, improving the odds that next year will indeed be the one to finally kick off space tourism. In fact, Virgin Galactic has already begun the big move from Mojave, CA to Las Cruces, NM, the latter being home to Spaceport America and, hopefully soon, flights to space full of paying passengers (6, to be specific, plus 2 pilots).

Seeing as the US treats spaceship technology with something of the same intense secrecy as defense technology, much of what Virgin Galactic's been up to out in their hangar in the California desert is hush-hush top secret. The 10th Anniversary of their Ansari X Prize win however opened up a small window for us to peek behind those massive doors. Here's what we can tell (and show!) you:

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These Special Airplanes Offer Halloween Costume Inspiration Straight Off the Tarmac

October 30, 2014 at 9:43 AM | by | Comments (0)

Just one more day until the little (and not so little) ghosts and goblins come out to play for Halloween and, if you haven't gotten your costume ready to roll this year, you'd better get on it.

Obviously it takes a little more than a trip to Target and some wacky makeup to dress up an airplane, so special airplane paint jobs tooling around tarmacs really make a big splash at this time of the year:

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5 Public Parks Around the World Where Some Laws…Just Don’t Seem to Exist

October 30, 2014 at 8:45 AM | by | Comments (0)

Law and order’s great and all—especially SVU—but, sometimes, it’s nice to experience a bit of free-living, unbound by society’s dictations. Often, it’s in the red light districts where you can revel in the wild west atmosphere of a bit of lawlessness.

Still, who wants to wrap themselves in the sketchiness of a red light district, where witnessing a man inject heroin on a street corner isn’t necessarily an “uncommon” sight. That’s why we’ve decided to share some free-spirited parks found across the globe. So what if you wanna smoke a little grass in a park or sell some homemade ginger juice that hasn’t been approved by the FDA. Here’s where you don’t need to worry about the consequences.

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Where and When to Join in the SF Giants World Series Victory Celebration

October 30, 2014 at 8:29 AM | by | Comments (0)

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants, as last night in Kansas City they defeated the Royals 3 to 2—and took home their third World Series title in the last five years.

Now it’s time to celebrate over in San Francisco, as the city is getting ready to welcome home the champions. With all these victories in the last few years they know how to throw a party, and it sounds like the celebration and parade is scheduled for this Friday, October 31. That just happens to be Halloween, which is perfect, as the Giants love both orange and black.

We’re sure more and more details will trickle out during the day, but here’s what you need to know to start planning things. The parade is going to star right at noon—local time—over at Market and Steuart streets, and then things will travel down Market Street. The shindig will end at Civic Center Plaza, and we can only expect lots of ticker tape, cheering, celebrating, and general merriment.

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Runway Worries for VegasChatter and WiFi Surprises for HotelChatter

October 29, 2014 at 5:05 PM | by | Comments (0)


Our sis site HotelChatter does a bang-up job of covering the latest news and trends in the hotel world. We're also including a few links from VegasChatter, the newest member to the family. So check in and stay awhile.

VegasChatter:
· Umm, what's happening to the runways at McCarran Airport?
· Uber starts Ubering all over Sin City
· Would you pay for fancy ice?
· Where to eat Southern Fried Quail in Vegas

HotelChatter:
· Free WiFi at Marriotts in 2015! But there's a catch...
· Meet The Paul, NYC's next newest hotel
· Is Ibis Styles secretly the best "millennial" hotel brand?
· Necessary: Hello Kitty-theme hotels

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'Me To We' is Looking for a Few Good Canadians for Volunteer Trips

Where: Canada
October 29, 2014 at 4:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

The volunteer travel group Me to We is bringing their life-changing trips and experiences on tour through Canada this fall.

Me to We works with various organizations, including Free The Children and We Day, to empower a generation to shift their thinking from "me" to "we" through the choices they make when deciding what to buy, what to wear, and where to go.

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How Much Does In-Flight and On-Track WiFi Cost These Days?

October 29, 2014 at 1:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

Did you know that today, October 29, is National Cat Day? Well it's also International Internet Day, which is a perfect coincidence if we don't say so ourselves. On this day in 1969, the first electronic message was sent over ARPANET. It's this network that developed into the internet we know and use today, no matter where we are traveling in the world.

It was Gogo who reminded us of this fact via an Instagram, and it got us thinking. What are today's prices for the miracle of WiFi connectivity, when we aren't sitting on the couch but on the move?

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You Won't Believe What Denmark Once Allowed Tourists to Do

Where: Denmark
October 29, 2014 at 12:52 PM | by | Comments (0)

Everyone knows of the red-light districts of De Wallen in Amsterdam and Reeperbahn in Hamburg, but what about the shadier side of Denmark's tourism?

Well, up until recently, bestiality was a legal practice in the Scandinavian country, and, as if that’s not odd enough, it seems certain sects invited tourists to horse around with, well, the horses. According to Danish animal rights groups, Denmark sort of became a center for bestiality-based tourism, and a 2007 report by two journalists from 24timer claim to have obtained access to an animal brothel, which existed so tourists could enjoy the company of a terrier or even a German shepherd.

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Trade Your Pina Colada for Push-Ups in the 'Fitness Garden' Onboard Crystal Cruises

October 29, 2014 at 12:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

Just in time for the busy cruise season, Crystal Cruises is making it a whole lot easier to balance out buffet time with some huffy-puffy in a fully renovated fitness center. Working with Italian fitness equipment manufacturer, Technogym, the cruise line redesigned their onboard gyms and added an outdoor fitness garden to tempt cruisers into more exercises than lifting fork to mouth.

Within the next few weeks, the overhauled gym of Crystal Symphony will feature Technogym’s fitness equipment and customized circuit training program for all levels of fitness. If you're in for sweating on the high seas, the cardio section will sport the newest equipment line called ARTIS, a high-design (obviously Italian), super-techy (iPhone connectivity) range of treadmills and cross-trainers.

If showing off by the pool is your goal, the resistance training offering will be an expanded Kinesis line of equipment to allow for better range of movement and more versatility.

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New Details of the American and US Airways Frequent Flyer Program Merger

October 29, 2014 at 12:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've known for a long time that American and US Airways were planning on merging their frequent flier programs. This week, new details were released regarding how the programs will be integrated. Here's what AAdvantage and US Dividend Miles members need to know going forward:


· The two frequent flier programs will merge in the second quarter of 2015. You can see a full timeline here.

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Watch the Antares Rocket Explosion, as Seen from a Small Plane

October 29, 2014 at 9:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

Footage and photos of yesterday's Antares rocket explosion during launch from Wallops Island, VA are making their way around the internet, but all have been from a pedestrian perspective. This morning, however, a video emerged of the incident as seen from 3,000' up, which actually shows the immensity of the "pow."

It's obvious the pilot had taken the plane up with the express purpose of watching the launch of Antares, a 14-story unmanned Orbital Sciences supply rocket destined for the International Space Station. Flying in a plane during a space launch used to be a popular way to get a new perspective on the events, and the last Endeavour launch was captured this way, as was a Discovery launch.

Here's what the pilot/cameraman had to say about this video:

I took this video of the very unfortunate Orbital Sciences rocket explosion on my iPad Mini. Video was taken in our Cessna 177 Cardinal from an altitude of 3000ft.

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Golden Gate Bridge Tolls Would Hurt SF Tourism

October 29, 2014 at 9:36 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you’ve been to San Francisco there’s little doubt that the Golden Gate Bridge was on your travel to-do list, and rightfully so—it’s pretty darn snazzy. Taking things to the next level involves actually getting out of the car and walking or biking across the bridge, but it sounds like there are plans to monetize that experience.

Nothing is official as of yet, but city officials are kicking around the idea of charging tolls to both pedestrians and cyclists making their way across the bridge. We don’t want to get political—nor would we know what we’re talking about—but it was a close vote. So now what they’re going to do is study things to see what kind of impact the tolls would have, and also likely how much cash they could raise. We’d imagine that bridge is pretty expensive to maintain.

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