Uber Air announces first international city to trial flying taxis

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Uber has announced the first international city its flying taxis one day might be buzzing over. 

The Australian city of Melbourne will join Los Angeles and Dallas as the third official pilot city for Uber Air, the rideshare company’s ambitious project to transport people in short distances via the skies. 

Test flights are expected in 2020, with commercial operations aimed for as soon as 2023. Uber claims trips will be priced the same as an UberX ride over the same distance, but we’ll see about that. 

“Australian governments have adopted a forward-looking approach to ridesharing and future transport technology,” Uber Australia, New Zealand and North Asia general manager Susan Anderson said in a statement. Read more…

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Hydrogen-powered flying vehicle touted as Southern California traffic tonic

Developers of a multi-rotor hover craft billed as the first flying vehicle to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells unveiled a full-scale model on Wednesday in Southern California, in a show-and-tell that raised some eyebrows but never left the ground.


Reuters: Science News

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What are the differences between flying economy and first class?


Some may have had the luxury of experiencing the grandeur of first class, but for others, it remains a great mystery. If you have already been fortunate enough to turn left into the exclusive cabin then you know how wonderful the experience can be, but if you are yet to fly first class, then the encounter is still just a little sneak-peek behind the red curtain before you’re told to return to your economy seat. Peasants!

However saying all this, the golden ticket to first class does come with a considerably costlier price tag, so we want to put it up for debate as to whether it is actually worth it. Let’s discuss the differences between flying economy and first class.

Photo: Unsplash.com

Do you get the star-treatment?

As a first-class traveler, you’ll be offered access to a first class lounge, where you will have a space to grab a pre-flight drink, relax, and unwind before boarding. Here you’ll enjoy the time away from the busy and overcrowded areas from economy class queuing. You’ll also board the plane as a priority before the economy-class passengers.

Depending on the airline and the type of ticket you hold, you might be offered other premiums like your own private lounge space, concierge service, meals and snacks, and even showering amenities. If the hustle and bustle of pre-flight organization causes you stress, then getting a first-class ticket just for the quiet calm of a lounge might be worth it. On top of all this, the beverages are usually free too…

What food and drink is on offer?

Offers vary across different airlines, but if you are flying long-haul, then you will be offered unlimited meals and drinks at no charge. A special high-quality menu is provided to first-class passengers, with the food tasting significantly better than most meals provided in economy-class. Some services even offer formal tableware for that extra luxury experience.

Do you get extra comfort?

A lengthier long-haul flight usually means you’ll more than likely be having a nap at some point, so are the first class seats really that much comfier for you to feel cozily at home? Well, it all depends. Airplane models vary with the design of the cabin, but all first-class tickets will offer a seat with more legroom and a bigger, wider, and comfier chair.

If you want to pay that little bit extra, there are also first-class private suites available with luxury features such as a sliding privatized door, a large touch screen TV, storage space, and even a chair that reclines into a bed.

Photo: Unsplash.com

Is it worth the price?

The answer to that question depends on several factors – the length of the flight, the airline you are flying with, the benefits on offer, and most importantly, the price you are paying. If you are able and willing to pay the extra cost, then perhaps the perks and privileges may well be worth it.

However, always remember that there may be opportunities for you to fly first class without having to pay the price. Sometimes an airline may offer a discounted upgrade, and frequent flyers can use their miles to upgrade too. It’s always a good decision to take your chances and ask about the upgrade options at the check-in desk. You never know what they might have up their sleeves for you…

The post What are the differences between flying economy and first class? appeared first on Worldation.

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Diana Ross Had A ‘Flying While Black’ Moment

Diana Ross had a not-so-pleasant experience at the airport over the weekend. The legendary singer revealed in a series of tweets Sunday that she felt “violated” by a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer while she was flying out of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Ross, who performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Saturday, said the experience was so bad that it made her “want to cry.”



In another tweet, the 75-year-old icon wrote, “on one hand I’m treated like royalty in New Orleans and at the airport I was treated like s—t.”

A TSA spokesperson released a statement in response to the incident, saying they have reviewed surveillance footage of Ross’ pat-down search and found that the agents involved “followed all protocols,” reports Entertainment Tonight.

“TSA is committed to ensuring all travelers are treated with respect and courtesy. TSA is aware of concerns presented by Diana Ross about her screening experience at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport this morning. Initial review of CCTV indicates that the officers involved with Ms. Ross’s screening correctly followed all protocols, however, TSA will continue to investigate the matter further. We encourage Ms. Ross to reach out to TSA so we can further explain our procedures, designed to protect travelers from a persistent threat.”

Ross is one of several famed black women who has called out the TSA in recent years. In December 2016, political commentator and media personality Angela Rye shared a video on Twitter of TSA giving her a pat-down. Rye, who appeared to get emotional in the video, said she was humiliated by the procedure. Likewise, Solange Knowles tweeted back in 2012 about enduring a TSA hair search through her curly mane. The “Don’t Touch My Hair” singer quipped that the search was an example of “Discrim-FRO-nation.”

TSA Hair Bias

Earlier this year, a report by ProPublica revealed that many black women who have been subjected to hair pat-downs have felt singled out. A survey conducted in March by the publication found that a majority of travelers who’ve experienced hair searches were women of color. Many described the searches as intrusive and disrespectful.

Some TSA agents, however, insist that they’re not racially-profiling women of color for additional security searches. Rather, the TSA full-body machines may be biased against black women’s hair textures and styles. “With black females, the scanner alarms more because they have thicker hair; many times they have braids or dreadlocks,” an unnamed TSA officer who works at a Texas airport told ProPublica. “Maybe, down the line, they will be redesigning the technology, so it can tell apart what’s a real threat and what is not. But, for now, we officers have to do what the machine can’t.”

TSA said in a statement that they are “reviewing additional options for the screening of hair.”

The post Diana Ross Had A ‘Flying While Black’ Moment appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Here’s Why There Was A Flying Tortilla During the National Championship

Leave it to a piece of food to crash the national championship game.

Someone flung a tortilla onto the court during the national championship in Minneapolis on Monday night, and apparently it’s not the first time an incident like this has gone down.

As the Virginia Cavaliers faced off against the Red Raiders on the hardwood during the first half, a tortilla landed in the Texas Tech section to be picked up by Virginia’s Kyle Guy who gave it to a referee. The game even had to be paused.

People were – it may not surprise – surprised to see the tortilla enter the arena.

Who throws a tortilla? And why?

Here’s why tortilla throwing at Texas Tech is a thing.

The genesis of the obscure tortilla toss fan “sport” began when Texas Tech football students started flinging the plastic tops to their sodas on the field back in 1989, according to Viva the Matadors.

Tortilla throwing at Texas Tech endures

Then the tradition morphed into tortillas for a

“in a little bit of cheeky fun, tortillas were thrown before the game. The Red Raiders went on to upset the Aggies, and we just kind of kept on doing it before games after that.”

Evidently, the flat tortillas were “cheap, and fairly easy to hide on your person.”

But the disruptive tortilla wasn’t the only flatbread in the house. And multiple tortilla-holding fans had their traditional tokens confiscated.

The Virginia Cavaliers defeated the Red Raiders 85 to 77. But shout out to the tortilla, a real most valuable player shaking up the night.

Sports – TIME

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Russian spy plane reportedly seen flying over Area 51

A Russian surveillance plane recently flew over several American military bases, including Area 51, perhaps America’s most secretive military site. The plane, a Tupolev 154, was first spotted in Northern California last week, according to CBS Sacramento. News of the flight mission, which occurred under the Treaty on Open Skies and took place on March…
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Ways to avoid overweight bags while flying

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We’ve all been there – it’s the night before the vacation and you’re picking up the suitcase to see how heavy it feels, believing your arm can somehow transform itself into a human weighing machine – or even balancing it on your dodgy bathroom scales hoping it’s not over the maximum.

When all is said and done, it is best just to be safe and take all the vital steps to ensure you don’t go over the limit. Ultimately, no one wants to be paying the extra hefty fees. Here’s how to avoid it!

Put the heavy items in your hand luggage

Usually, you don’t need to put too much stuff in your on-flight hand luggage – be it the essentials like your passport, wallet, etc. – so why not make the most of the extra space and put some of your heavier items in there. But beware of forbidden items like liquids…Always check the small print and legal regulations to be sure.

Buy souvenirs at the airport

Even though the cost of airport shopping does vary, often tax and duty-free shops can provide some fantastic deals on some great souvenirs. If you’re the type to go a bit overboard on buying loved ones vacation gifts – and then wonder “How has my suitcase doubled in weight in two weeks?” – then maybe give this one a try.

Buy essentials at location

Toiletries are the notorious culprit for adding on the unwanted weight to your luggage. Sure there are travel size bottles to squeeze your best conditioner into, but generally it’s hard to know what you really need. One way to get around this is to buy some of the essentials when you’ve arrived at at your location to free up some well-needed space in your luggage beforehand.

Choose the right suitcase

Having the right suitcase can make a massive difference. It may well be worth it to invest in a new one. The most cost-efficient ones to buy are hard shell material suitcases, usually made of a lightweight plastic that is easy and light to carry but does not compromise on impact protection. With the suitcase itself light, then you have the extra weight of more important stuff to add.

Wear the bulky sweater

Really think about what clothing items you can take. If you don’t need it, don’t take it. Basically, if you’re going on a week-long beach trip to the sweltering south pacific, then chances are you’re not going to need two weeks worth of socks…flip flops will do! And if you’re really struggling to compromise, you can always wear the biggest and heaviest items you plan to take (sweaters, cardigans)….airplanes are always cold anyway.

First class anyone?

Bit of a last option this one, and probably one very few of you may be able to choose, but going first class usually means having a minimum to no restriction on how much luggage can be taken on board. If it is a special occasion and you’re willing to pay for the privilege, why not upgrade yourself.

Flying should be an enjoyable experience and not a stressful one. If you are the type of person who tends to over-pack, take these few tips on board and hopefully next time you’re at the check-in, they may save you from having to reach into your wallet once again.

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The post Ways to avoid overweight bags while flying appeared first on Worldation.

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Must-Reads Of The Week (Some Flying Below The Radar)

Your wonderfully entertaining compiler of “The Friday Breeze,” Brianna Labuskes, is off today, so I’m jumping in to keep you abreast of this week’s vital health care news. Here’s what I found most fascinating, some of it far away from the headlines.

Let’s dive into my “Department of Health Studies,” where I found several worthy of your time.

First, the scourge of fentanyl drug overdoses is rising most sharply among African-Americans. The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, which did the study, said the synthetic opioid is also a factor in the rise of death rates across other demographic groups.

The Washington Post: Fentanyl Drug Overdose Deaths Rising Most Sharply Among African Americans

A group of academics studying anti-vaccination posts on Facebook found that it’s not just the unfounded fear of autism driving the sentiment. While 86 percent of the posters were women, their motivation varied from conspiracy — as in poliovirus does not exist and pesticides caused the clinical symptoms of polio — to a belief in alternative medicine — eating yogurt cures human papillomavirus.

Science Direct: It’s Not All About Autism: The Emerging Landscape of Anti-Vaccination Sentiment on Facebook

Many news outlets reported on a study on the Apple Watch and its heavily promoted ability to detect an irregular heartbeat. The Apple-funded study, which has not been published or peer-reviewed, concluded the watch works.

CNN: Apple Watch App Could Detect Life-Threatening Irregular Heartbeat, Study Says


Moving on to data, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation issued its county health rankings this week. It’s a user-friendly display of a matrix of health indicators that lets you spot the country’s trouble spots. This year’s report, the foundation explains, tried to get at the relationship of the cost of housing to health. “The research reveals that in the most segregated counties nearly one in four black households spends more than half their income on housing, compared with one in 10 white households.”

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: How Healthy Is Your Community?

Doctors will like this one: a study comparing hospital CEO salaries — nonprofit hospital CEOs, mind you — with physician salaries. CEO salaries are five times higher than surgeons’ salaries, up from a ratio of 3-to-1 only 10 years earlier.

Healthcare Dive: CEO Salaries at Nonprofit Hospitals Up 93% Since 2005


Drug prices remain the hot topic this week in health care news. The BBC looked at the high drug prices in the U.S. compared with the prices in Great Britain and chortled a bit.

BBC News: The Human Cost of Insulin in America

Elisabeth Rosenthal, the editor-in-chief of KHN, wrote an analysis in The New York Times of Eli Lilly’s baffling public relations move to cut insulin prices in the U.S. with an “authorized generic.” She writes, “It is, perhaps, a sign of how desperate Americans are for something — anything — to counteract the escalating price of drugs that Lilly’s move was greeted with praise rather than a collective ‘Huh?’”

The New York Times: Why Should Americans Be Grateful for $ 137 Insulin? Germans Get It for $ 55


While we are on the topic of the high cost of health care, the federal government’s General Accountability Office issued a report on air ambulances and the sky-high bills the companies send patients. (KHN featured the problem in its “Bill of the Month” series and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch did some excellent pieces on the problem last year.) Bob Herman of Axios noted that the report found that the median price of medical helicopter transport in 2017 was $ 36,400.

Government Accountability Office: Air Ambulance: Available Data Show Privately-Insured Patients Are at Financial Risk


I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a fabulous article by another KHN staffer, Fred Schulte, who with Erika Fry of Fortune magazine wrote about the mess that electronic health records have become. It’s long, but so good at illuminating a problem that is largely invisible to patients.

Fortune: Death by a Thousand Clicks: Where Electronic Health Records Went Wrong

The Baltimore Sun produced a great graphic, a live map of sewage pollution in the city. The accompanying article says: “More than 14 million gallons of sewage-tainted water has washed into Baltimore streams over the past two months, but city officials haven’t alerted the public of the contamination.”

The Baltimore Sun: Baltimore Launches Live Map of Sewage Pollution — and Temporarily Stops Alerting the Public to Contamination

Enjoy the weekend with this selection of things to read.

Kaiser Health News

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‘Dumbo’ Director Tim Burton on Flying Elephants, Fear and Fables

'Dumbo' Director Tim Burton on Flying Elephants, Fear and Fables

Tim Burton has made a career out of stories about the loveable oddities and misfits. His films set in the “real world”, such as Ed Wood and Big Eyes, remind adults that things and people are not always what they seem. His fantasy classics, such as Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and Batman, resonate with children and adults alike. Burton’s affinity for those so-called monsters and the misbegotten has always been a touchstone of his directing…

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Europe’s satellites flying blind as space junk spreads: ESA adviser

Europe needs its own technology to guard against a growing threat to its satellites from space junk ranging from dead satellites to tiny particles, according to a top adviser to the European Space Agency (ESA).


Reuters: Science News

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How Netflix’s High Flying Bird Upends the Conventions of the Sports Movie

There’s no game-winning miracle dunk in High Flying Bird, a new basketball film from Steven Soderbergh that arrived on Netflix on Friday. There’s no training montage, rousing halftime speech or pint-sized surprise hero, either.

Instead, the film is driven by backroom machinations, Sorkin-esque walk-and-talks and tense face-offs over cups of tea.

But while the film mostly lacks basketball, it is more true to the state of modern professional basketball than most other films about the sport—and it strikingly captures the current power struggle of black athletes as they battle with owners for player autonomy, free speech and billions of dollars in revenue.

The film follows the fictional agent Ray Burke (André Holland) in the midst of the contentious 2011 NBA lockout. He works to outmaneuver a cutthroat team owner (Kyle MacLachlan) in lockout negotiations, expand the mindset of a downtrodden, debt-ridden rookie (Melvin Gregg) and team up with a steely player’s union executive (Sonja Sohn) to alter the economic structure of the league.

The stakes may initially appear lower than other Soderbergh films—like drug trade in Traffic or corporate corruption in Erin Brockovich. But the heart of the movie’s conflict lies in the control and commodification of black bodies. One character compares the NBA draft to a slave auction; another recounts the NBA’s white-only origins, describing the league’s integration in 1950 as a “game on top of a game”: a system used by wealthy white owners used to control players’ movements, image rights and earnings.

The fierce and dense screenplay was written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who won an Oscar in 2016 for co-writing Moonlight. Like that film, High Flying Bird champions characters who search for radical ways to survive and transcend unjust systems. McCraney explained a driving factor behind both films in an interview with GQ this month: “On one hand, the American dream is being carroted in front of us, but on the other, the stick of oppression is beating us.”

McCraney, Soderbergh and Holland (who co-produced the film) situate the film within a lineage of black protest. It takes its name from the Richie Havens version of a folk song that poignantly calls for freedom. And Ray treats the sociologist Harry Edwards’ 1969 book The Revolt of the Black Athlete as a sacred text. In that book, Edwards outlines the systematic discrimination faced by black athletes and recounts his efforts to create a black boycott of the 1968 Olympics, which led to a Black Power salute in Mexico City. “They tell the world that the Games are free of discrimination, a wonderful example of fair play to everyone,” he writes. “Meanwhile, neglect kills off your people faster than you can sprint.”

Edwards himself appears in High Flying Bird, forging a direct link between a time when black superstars like Bill Russell had to sleep in separate hotels and a new era of protest. Edwards now serves as Colin Kaepernick’s advisor and works with many sports teams; he remains vocal about what he terms the “social, physiological and cultural scaffolding that allows individual bias and prejudice to find affirmation in discriminatory actions.”

In the same way that Edwards worked to debunk the rosy vision of sports presented by the Olympics, McCraney and Soderbergh use High Flying Bird to rebel against the utopian construct of sports movies. Films like White Men Can’t Jump, Glory Road and The Blind Side propagate the idea that sports can drive equality; that class and race tensions vanish while on the hardwood or gridiron through a shared determination and perseverance.

High Flying Bird, in contrast, is far more cynical. “The league is a business,” Ray reprimands Erick. “Business. We are in business.” While Michael Jordan won his freedom through a buzzer beater in Space Jam, High Flying Bird quashes the notion that on-court victory even matters. The film’s NBA isn’t a conduit for greatness but rather a cold, unfeeling corporation in which MacLachlan’s snot-rocketing executive profits off of black men scraping against each other in a zero-sum game. High Flying Bird could be called an anti-Sports Movie: its goal is not to uplift, but rather to provoke, mobilize and envision a future in which the players themselves own the league. And in contrast to the sweeping cinematography of other sports films, High Flying Bird was shot on an iPhone.

In real life, the 2011 lockout ended in relative defeat for the players’ union, as NBA owners forced players to accept a reduction in their share of revenue. But since then, players have taken steps to increase both their income and agency, drastically changing the landscape of the league.

LeBron James, in particular, has been revolutionary in how he wields power over his own career. He has encouraged other players to follow his lead in claiming autonomy, and he condemned a double standard that shackles devoted superstars to teams while allowing owners to trade them when it suits their business strategy. (On Wednesday, he took to Instagram to criticize the way in which Harrison Barnes was unceremoniously shipped off for a trade during a game.) This season has seen several stars—including Jimmy Butler and Anthony Davis—use their leverage to forge their own career paths rather than stay beholden to team owners.

These efforts have been aided by the rise of social media and other online outlets that allow players to control their own public image and speak out on political and social causes. James famously tangled with Donald Trump on Twitter, while Kevin Love opened a dialogue about mental health issues on The Players’ Tribune, a media platform founded by Derek Jeter.

Meanwhile, a massive $ 24-billion TV deal, combined with a favorable 2017 bargaining agreement negotiated by Michele Roberts, the leader of the N.B.A.’s players union, landed huge payday opportunities for young stars, 45 percent raises for players on minimum contracts and higher minimum salaries for veterans.

In High Flying Bird, Ray aims even higher, dreaming of a radical player-owned league in which games are streamed straight to YouTube or Netflix. Such a drastic shift seems unlikely any time soon. Until then, activists, filmmakers, and the players will continue to work to challenge power structures and shake the perception that athletes are not looked at as “super animals,” as Edwards wrote in 1969, but treated with full humanity.

Sports – TIME

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Scientists discover that flying squirrels glow bright pink under UV light

flying squirrel glow

If you’ve ever seen a flying squirrel in the wild you know that they’re neat little critters. They’re not particularly bothersome, and aside from mastering the age-old art of raiding bird feeders they’re rather pleasant creatures. Pleasant creatures that, as it turns out, glow bright pink when hit with ultraviolet light.

In an incredibly interesting study that was born out of mere happenstance, researchers in Wisconsin discovered that the furry little fliers are imbued something that makes them glow, but they’re not entirely certain what it is.

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Scientists discover that flying squirrels glow bright pink under UV light originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 6 Feb 2019 at 23:07:16 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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‘Dumbo’ Set Visit: Grounding a Flying Elephant Movie

‘Dumbo’ Set Visit: Grounding a Flying Elephant Movie

This March, when you see an elephant fly, you will believe it. Disney’s re-imagination of their 1941 classic Dumbo is a magical movie, for sure, but there’s also a certain reality to what Tim Burton’s achieved this time around.  While his Wonderland was the stuff of dreams, this is a story of the American Dream, and therefore had to be more relatable.

During a visit to the London set of Dumbo in 2017, we talked to a few of the human cast members, namely Colin Farrell,…

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Oh great, Russian fighter pilots are going to start flying with scary AI wingmen

Russian military

Well, it seems Russian military officials don’t want to just stop with that fearsome new hypersonic intercontinental ballistic missile that was tested last month, which we told you about and which Russia claims there’s no defense against. It would appear the country’s military forces have also been testing the feasibility of having AI-powered wingmen fly alongside Russian fighter pilots, executing commands issued by the human pilot an inaugurating a scary new chapter in aerial military combat.

News accounts of Russia’s efforts here are the result of images spotted on social media of a drone called Hunter, an unmanned combat vehicle, along with images of a jet called the Sukhoi Su-57. Of particular interest is that fighter jet’s tail. As you can see below, on the tail you can see the shape of a jet as well as an image that seems to be the “Hunter” drone, along with the image of a lighting bolt.

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Oh great, Russian fighter pilots are going to start flying with scary AI wingmen originally appeared on BGR.com on Sun, 27 Jan 2019 at 14:51:10 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Felicity Jones Talks Flying High at Dior’s Circus

ROLL UP, ROLL UP: One of the guests at the circus tent setting for the Christian Dior show Monday afternoon felt right at home. “Rogue One” actress Felicity Jones had just a week ago wrapped filming “The Aeronauts,” in which she plays a circus performer and hot air balloon pilot.
“It’s a real magical adventure story, so this is totally fitting,” she said. Even the acrobatics seen during the show were nothing to scare the rising performer — the role saw her shooting in a hot air balloon.
“It’s pretty amazing, actually, because you go up so gently it’s not quite as scary as you think it’s going to be because it’s a slow incline, but then suddenly you’re 2,000 feet up looking out of the balloon and thinking, ‘Wow, it is actually quite high up here.’”
Maria Grazia Chiuri had called on acrobatic troupe Mimbre to perform as part of the circus-inspired show, framing the models as they walked the runway. “She wanted Mimbre to come with a team of all-female acrobats,” Lina Johansson, artistic director and cofounder of the London-based company, who began work choreographing the project with 18 performers in November, explained backstage before the show.
“Maria Grazia is so inspiring

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Wondrous extinct flying reptiles boasted rudimentary feathers

A microscopic examination of fossils from China has revealed that the fur-like body covering of pterosaurs, the remarkable flying reptiles that lived alongside dinosaurs, was actually made up of rudimentary feathers.


Reuters: Science News

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5 things you didn’t know about flying first class

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Whether you’re a frequent flyer who regularly travels for business, or if you just fly once a year for your family vacation, you know that flying can be one of the most stressful and tiring experiences of your journey. When flying economy, you have little leg room, odd next door neighbors, super long queues and pretty basic commodities – Yep, the toilet will always smell! But there is another part of the plane that you barely ever see: First Class. Unless you’re really lucky, of course. Here’s what it’s like to fly in first class.

Many people use it to network

We’ve all seen the scenes in movies where the two unsuspecting victims meet next to each other on the plane, share a pleasant hello and then a cliche moment brings them together – cut to the ending and they’ve become BFF’s and set up a meeting in New York to go over a business proposal together next month. Okay, it doesn’t really work like that, but many people do use first class to network with other like-minded. Because the people who fly in First Class normally have more money and work for Fortune 500 companies, they’ll all have something in common – business. In fact, Virgin Atlantic have found that one in five of their First Class customers had done business with someone they had met during their first class flight. Some airlines are now even creating specific networking flights!

You get even more vacation time

If you’re used to flying economy, you’ve probably seen the First Class passengers stroll along past you with their fast-track boarding passes and saunter onto the airplane while you crouch on the floor in a crowded airport lounge. Yep, the first class passengers not only get to board the plane first – but they also get to depart the plane before everyone else too! This means they can get ahead of the game, and be the first in the queue for customs and baggage reclaim. Ultimately, this means they get even more vacation time because they’ll be out the airport doors and onto the beach while you’re still stuck on the plane!

It’s super comfortable

Okay, we all know the deal. Economy flights are in NO WAY comfortable. With little-to-no legroom, a next door neighbor who is sitting way too close to you and using your armrest, and absolutely no way to stretch out and have a good kip; a long-haul flight can be an absolute killer. But long-haul First Class flights? They’re a completely different story. In nearly every first class area of any airplane, the seats are a world apart. Quite literally. With individual seating, each passenger gets their own little area of the plane with a reclining chair (which makes an extremely comfortable bed), a sliding divider which shuts you off from the other passengers, and your own personal TV. The nine-hour flight will just be like your average evening at home.

You can actually get work done

If you’re traveling on a business trip and need to perfect your presentation before you reach your destination, it will be pretty impossible to do so if you sit in economy – because you two choices; have the ability to feel your legs and not get work done, or get work done and lose all circulation. The choice is yours. However, in first class, working is no issue. In fact, your plane journey will probably be more comfortable than your own office! In your First Class seat, you’ve got your own individual table with ample writing space, multiple power sockets to ensure your laptop never runs out of battery, and most now have WIFI! Who needs an office?

You don’t need to be rich to fly first class!

There’s a common misconception that you need to be super rich to afford seats in First Class. As much as it is true buying first class seats through the airline will cost you a hefty sum, there are ways to try and get a first class upgrade for a cheaper price (or even for free!). First and foremost, you need to go by the premise that ‘it doesn’t hurt to ask.’ You’ll be surprised how accommodating airlines can be when it comes to upgrading their passengers – if you just ask! The best way to do this is to always be polite and friendly to them when you go to the check-in desks, and if they have something available, they may bump you up. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Ever wondered what it’s like to fly first class? Here are a few pointers to whet your appetite, but why not try it out for yourself?

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Flying in a chopper over the water? See what it takes to escape if it goes down

In preparation for a helicopter ride out to Shell’s massive oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, CNBC first had to pass an extensive underwater drowning training course. Watch as Worldwide Exchange anchor Brian Sullivan escapes a helicopter crash simulation underwater – fully strapped in and upside down
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Fast Funding. Lower Interest. More Personal. Up to $ 4K tomorrow with OppLoans!