Travel




Rolling up on a dark, quiet, residential 463 Eureka, I witness what looks like the soft glow of a taxi top-light, slowly coming into focus… It is a taxi top-light. And it’s attached to another taxi. One that’s waiting right in front of my order.


Well, 2016 has been playing out weird, still. True to form, it’s been all grey skies and El Niño in San Francisco. It’s pouring rain out this Monday morning. (Yeah, Monday morning.)






Hey disinfonauts, have you experienced “Recliner Rage”? Would you use a Knee Defender? And what would you do if the person sitting behind you used one on your seat? For those of you…


This month we remember the late, great Terence McKenna. The author, lecturer, scientist and philosopher was the heir apparent to Timothy Leary, bringing more lucidity, humor and insight to spreading the gospel…





The remarkable thing, to me anyway, is that Mr. Musk has really thought the Hyperloop concept through and come up with a plan that while seemingly fanciful, could actually work. The only snag is, now that he’s announced it we’ll probably see it copied and linking Shanghai and Beijing rather than Los Angeles and San Francisco. Elon outlines his ideas at his SpaceX site:

When the California “high speed” rail was approved, I was quite disappointed, as I know many others were too. How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL – doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars – would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world? Note, I am hedging my statement slightly by saying “one of”. The head of the California high speed rail project called me to complain that it wasn’t the very slowest bullet train nor the very most expensive per mile.

hyperloop

The underlying motive for a statewide mass transit system is a good one. It would be great to have an alternative to flying or driving, but obviously only if it is actually better than flying or driving…




Cannabis CafeVia BBC News:

A judge in the Netherlands has upheld a new law to ban foreign tourists from entering cannabis cafes.

While soft drugs are tolerated, there is growing concern at tourists visiting just for drugs, and foreign dealers selling illegally at home.

The ban is due to start in three southern provinces next month, and go nationwide by the end of the year.

A group of cafe owners argued at The Hague district court that the ban was discriminatory against foreigners. Under the new law, Dutch residents will still be allowed into the cafes, as long as they have valid identification, or possibly hold a new “weed pass”, which is also being debated. There are about 700 coffee shops, as they are called, in the Netherlands. The cultivation and sale of soft drugs through them is decriminalised, although not legal; police generally tolerate possession of up to five grams of cannabis.



TSA PrecheckBecause rich people sure do hate being inconvenienced. Via the WSJ:

Hate the full-body scans, pat-downs and slow going at TSA airport security screening checkpoints? For $100, you can now bypass the hassle.

The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out expedited screening at big airports called “Precheck.” It has special lanes for background-checked travelers, who can keep their shoes, belt and jacket on, leave laptops and liquids in carry-on bags and walk through a metal detector rather than a full-body scan. The process, now at two airlines and nine airports, is much like how screenings worked before the Sept. 11 attacks.

To qualify, frequent fliers must meet undisclosed TSA criteria and get invited in by the airlines. There is also a backdoor in. Approved travelers who are in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s “Global Entry” program can transfer into Precheck using their Global Entry number.




TowlieDamn you, Big Travel! Discovery News reports:

Plush terrycloth bathrobes, 800-thread-count sheets and fluffy, freshly laundered towels can tempt even the most law-abiding hotel guest to take up a life of suitcase-stuffing crime.

Irresistible as they may be, petty theft of these luxurious (and free!) linens are gouging the hotel industry to the rude wake-up call of approximately $100 million a year.

Sticky-fingers everywhere, consider this a warning! Some hotels are reinforcing their defences against pilfering patrons like yourself and they’re using radio frequency identification (RFID) to catch you in the act.

Three hotels in Honolulu, Miami and New York City have begun using towels, sheets and bathrobes equipped with washable RFID tags to keep guests from snagging the coveted items. Just to keep you guessing, the hotels have chosen to remain anonymous.



Oddity Central examines one of the planet’s most disturbing “museums,” The Hair Museum in Avanos, Turkey. Every inch of every surface is covered in human hair, culled from tens of thousands of…