JODY VICTOR®

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Don’t Be a Square!


Posted By on May 11, 2016

When one travels enough it is inevitable that one will pick up some strange stories along the way. This quite unusual mystery is one worthy of noting.

A British Airways Airbus A380 set off from Hong Kong on May 5 with 22 round wheels, but apparently touched down at London Heathrow with a square-shaped tire. See the photo that was uncovered by aviation news site The Aviation Herald. They reported that the British Airways crew received a tire pressure warning immediately after takeoff. The crew continued with the flight. They requested that a tow be available at the London airport in case the aircraft was not able to taxi itself to the gate.

Thirteen hours later, the plane landed safely and, surprisingly, was able to taxi to the gate with no assistance. It was then discovered that the right outboard tire had deflated both top and bottom, creating a curious squarish shape.

Kumar Mysore, from the Royal Aeronautical Society, told the Daily Mail that the square shape might be due to how the weight of the Airbus A380 distributes itself on a deflated tire. “You can see that the wheel is not damaged at all, as it is designed to take this weight. The effect is the same as when you squeeze a rubber ring toy with different intensity, it can turn into a different shape. In an A380, for this particular situation, it happens to be squarish.”

Mysore assured the Daily Mail that while there were a number of possible reasons for the deflation, “pilots are well trained to handle the situation safely.”
A spokesperson for British Airways also confirmed that the flight was not in danger.

“The A380, in common with other large commercial aircraft, is designed to be perfectly safe when landing with a deflated tire.”

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Artist Carsten Höller is the main designer behind London’s newest attraction which will appeal to kids of all ages and thrill seekers alike.

Höller — developing on an initial proposal by Bblur Architecture — has designed the 178 m-long (584 ft) helter skelter, set to open on 24 June. The slide is the latest intervention to the 115 meter-tall (377 ft) Orbit, conceived by Anish Kapoor for the 2012 Olympics, following an abseiling attraction completed last year.

One of the most striking and enduring visual legacies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games that united London in 2012 the ArcelorMittal Orbit was designed by sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor and engineer Cecil Balmond. Its extraordinary looping structure has become a byword for design innovation and playful invention.

Made of 35,000 bolts and enough steel to make 265 double-decker buses, the ArcelorMittal Orbit offers extraordinary 20-mile views over Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the London skyline. Steel was partly chosen as a building material for its infinite recyclability – 60% of the ArcelorMittal Orbit is made from recycled steel, including washing machines and used cars.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit stands tall as Britain’s largest sculpture, part of the Olympic legacy that transformed East London, and a landmark in its own right, transfixing and delighting visitors with its offer of a unique view of a city.

The Orbit Tower slide will be made up of 30 sections — 12 of which are now complete — and feature 12 turns, including a tight corkscrew twist. It starts at a height of 74 meters and has a top speed of 15 miles per hour, taking 40 seconds to go down. Tickets for the attraction cost £15 ($22) and include access to the Orbit’s viewing platform.

This helter skelter slide is likely to become a must-see attraction for international adrenaline junkies and oddity seekers. London isn’t the only city expecting a helter skelter either, with plans afoot for a glass slide 1,000 ft up Downtown LA’s US Bank Tower.

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The coming week may be the prefect chance to take a day trip to that national park that is a little further than “just around the corner”. The National Park Service will waive fees starting Saturday for National Park Week (April 16 to April 24).

The park service also turns 100 this year, and lots of celebratory events are scheduled. Children can earn a junior ranger badge and take part in kids’ programs on Saturday, National Junior Ranger Day. Volunteers are welcome to help out in the parks on Earth Day, April 22.

Only a third of the 411 national park sites charge entrance fees, but they’re the biggies: places like Denali in Alaska, the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Zion in Utah. But even if your near-by national parks don’t charge to get in, taking advantage of the special programming will make the trip worth it.

The National Park Service’s online map lists the parks in every state, find one near you, load up the family truckster and get started planning your adventure!

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Raden Smart Luggage


Posted By on Mar 30, 2016

Overweight luggage fees – which can cost up to $100 – might be a thing of the past for travelers willing to invest in a new piece of Raden Smart Luggage. By simply lifting the luggage, the Raiden suitcase reports its own weight.

This just one of many utilities that’s built into a new smart luggage brand called Raden, which launches Tuesday. Raden charges your phone, gives you details about TSA wait lines, and alerts you via Bluetooth when your bag is coming down the carousel.

The bag is made out of durable Makrolon polycarbonate and weighs just 7.5 lbs. Inside is a removable compact battery with two ports that are accessible from the outside of the case. The battery averages about five full phone charges. It will even let you order an Uber.

They’ve also designed a sleek companion app to access all of Raden’s features from your cellphone.

Raden isn’t the first to launch a smart luggage startup: Competitor Bluesmart launched as an Indiegogo campaign in 2014 and shipped out 10,000 presold carry-ons in August 2015.

It has many of the same features as Raden, but only one model for now. Raden, on the other hand, comes in a 28″ check-in size and is available in seven colors. And it’s cheaper (Bluesmart’s bag costs $399).

Gimmick or genius? Only time and travelers will tell.

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Singapore is still the world’s most expensive city. It’s just topped the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2016 Worldwide Cost of Living survey, making that the third year in a row.

The gap is closing between Singapore and the next two cities in the rankings, however.

Zurich, Switzerland, and Hong Kong are hot on its heels in joint second place, with Hong Kong leaping seven places up the ranking in the last twelve months.

The annual report, which ranks 133 cities based on a twice-yearly survey, notes Singapore’s high transport and utility costs.

It is the most expensive place in the world to buy and run a car, thanks to Singapore’s complex Certificate of Entitlement system.

Transportation costs in Singapore are 2.7 times higher than in New York. However, for basic groceries, Singapore is cheaper than its Asian neighbors Seoul (33% more expensive), Hong Kong (28%) and Tokyo (26%).

World’s 10 most expensive cities in which to live in 2016
1. Singapore
2. Zurich, Switzerland
2. Hong Kong
4. Geneva, Switzerland
5. Paris
6. London
7. New York
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
8. Seoul, South Korea
8. Los Angeles

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