If you prefer your vacations to be on palatial boats crammed with like-minded tourists and you have an obsession with 1980s boy band heartthrobs, then you’re in luck! The New Kids on the Block just announced that they’re hitting the stage cruise-style with a four-day vacation from Miami to the Bahamas, packed with NKOTB performances. Tickets start at a mere $700 per person, which is like, totally worth it to see Donnie Wahlberg walk past your cabin. But the NKOTB cruise is merely one in a long line of increasingly specialized cruises. There are now cruises for Star Trek enthusiasts, Twihards, and Elvis believers. Click through to see our compendium of pop culture cruises. … Read More
It would have been easy enough to write an essay of ridicule. That’s what state fairs, with their abundance of fried food and the overfed, carnies and hucksters, freak shows and 4-H-raised llamas lend themselves to most easily. But the heart of this assignment – to write an homage to David Foster Wallace, who in 1994 published his iconic “Ticket to the Fair” in Harper’s, and who hanged himself two years ago this month – poses a task weightier than merely satirizing the 12 days of New York State Fair that recently wrapped just outside of Syracuse.
As in any comedic tradition, we promise to make you smile before we make you sad. A tour-de-force of emotion, after the jump. … Read More
Airship Ventures’ Eureka passenger airship is longer than a blimp, bigger than a 747, and has a cabin that holds a mere 12 passengers. Yet already, over 5,000 people (including us!) have had the rare opportunity to take a fancy sky ride in one of the world’s three operating Zeppelins. Berthed in San Francisco, the Eureka occasionally makes its way south for Los Angeles-themed flight adventures, offering “flightseers” an opportunity to check off “ride in a Zeppelin” from their bucket lists. … Read More
The Shanghai World Expo has been conducting a trial run this week in advance of the opening on May 1. What is a World Expo? you may wonder. Well from what we can tell it involves a gigantic baby, a hefty helping of LCD lights, a pavilion or two, and interpretative dance.* Boston Globe’s Big Picture site has some most excellent pictures of the preparations at hand. Click through for a world vision that will knock your American socks off.
*Technically it’s a World’s Fair-type event that lasts six months, expects to host 100 million visitors, and costs more to throw than the Beijing Olympics. Way to show ‘em,… Read More
Holy time lapse sequence, Batman. Iceland’s most rupture-prone and least pronounceable volcano has spurred yet another cool fact-based internet visualization. This video neatly depicts flight patterns in European airspace before and after Eyjafjallajokull spewed ash across the sky; despite the air travel disruption, patterns resume apace, with some routes open on April 18 and business as usual by the 20th. Video after the… Read More
As the summer melts into fall in Buenos Aires, the design culture in the so-called Paris of South America is just heating up. Declared the first City of Design by UNESCO for “its capacity to inspire others” (others include Berlin and Montreal), Buenos Aires has the most design students in the world, with 35,000 design students at the Universidad de Buenos Aires alone. With such a huge pool of talent to pull from, Texas native and world-wanderer Grant C. Dull — pronounced “Duel” — has concocted a platform for local artists to work with global clients on a fresh and inspirational scale, a creative image and sound agency called… Read More
Previously in ain’t-it-cool news, we told you about Obscura Day, where people across the globe were invited to join the “international celebration of curious places” sponsored by Atlas Obscura, a guide to the world’s wonders, curiosities, and esoterica. On March 20, participants tagged pictures uploaded to Flickr with #obscuraday to aggregate their discoveries. The pictures are plentiful and the time-wasting possibilities limitless. We’ve rounded up a few key picks for your viewing pleasure, after the… Read More
In 1958, real estate developer and sociology professor Nat Mendelsohn purchased 320 square kilometers of Mojave desert paradise with the aim of turning it into the so-called California City, and urban paradise whose size would rival that of Los Angeles. The idealized city would be centered around a lush park — stocked with flora non-indigenous to the desert and watered up the wazoo, naturally — complete with a gigantic artificial lake. As you may have interpreted from the ghostly grid pictured above, Mendelsohn’s utopian vision fell flat, and California City is left as a “mirage of suburbia in the middle of nowhere,” a novel relic to delight aerial… Read More
Last week, we attended the LA Auto Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where our participation in the Ford Fiesta Movement enabled us to take part in the official unveiling of the brand new North American Ford Fiesta, set to hit US streets this summer.
In addition to pulling the silks off the cars, we also had the chance to check out the rest of the cars on display, which range from the sleek to the functional to the flat-out futuristic (courtesy of the numerous concept cars). From the mini-London display framing the MINI itself to the submarine-like controls of the elaborate (and costly) Spykers, we found plenty to ogle at — and to covet. … Read More
The streets of Cairo are mad with cabs and cars and trucks packed to the gills with livestock. They jockey for position along wide avenues, sans lanes. Old Fiats belch diesel. Pedestrians dart between vehicles. Policemen direct traffic at intersections. And a constant chorus of honking runs through it all. But directly off main thoroughfares are coffeehouses or ahwas where patrons drink Turkish coffee, play backgammon, and smoke shisha, escaping the din. Ahwas are everywhere, if sometimes hidden, an integral part of the city’s… Read More