The LG Weekly News Roundup: 11.5.10

Weekly Travel News — By on November 5, 2010 at 6:00 am

By Candace Rardon
LG Intern, Travel News

Missed the big travel stories of the week? And the weird, wacky and insignificant ones? We’ve got your roundup right here….

Remote Alaskan town hopes a grant will keep them connected
Even in this age of jet-setting and globe-hopping from one corner of the  world to another, getting around still isn’t that easy for some. In one  of the most remote places in the US, residents of Diomede, Alaska  (population: 117) have applied for a $1.25 million grant to get a weekly helicopter service to (relatively) nearby Nome. It seems life on an  island 25 miles off the coast of Alaska in the Bering Strait comes with  its disadvantages. But listen to this, Sarah Palin: those who live in  Diomede can actually see Russia from their backyard — it’s just two miles away. Source: Cranky Flier

Four vans take a hands-off approach on a roadtrip through Asia
Is this the future of the Great American Roadtrip? Four electric, driver-less vans made it safely from Italy to China (the same 8,000 mile trek made by Marco Polo himself!) via remote sensors and video cameras. The steering wheels were controlled by PCs, and an artificial vision system called GOLD, short for Generic Obstacle and Lane Detector, seems to have been the secret to this trip’s success. Indeed, the only human intervention came during traffic jams and toll booths. So what’s the catch to this hands-off approach to a roadtrip? The maximum speed of the vans was a mere 38 miles per hour — talk about slow-going. Source: Yahoo

A new cocktail in London takes a walk on the wild side
For those looking to spice up their next cocktail, London’s Langham Hotel is serving up a new drink that’s guaranteed to send shivers up your spine: a Scorpion and Oven-Baked Tarantula Tea Punch. This vamped-up cognac won first prize at this year’s Courvoisier Spirit of Punch Masters competition, and the drink’s creators, Francesco Orefici and Alex Kratena, claim that the baked tarantula is a “traditional and delicious snack, which if infused in spirits gives nice smoky, woody and tobacco notes.” Top off those creepy crawlies with a dash of lemon juice and allspice, and it’ll be a night to remember. Source: Gadling

Cell phone service on Mount Everest becomes a reality
“Can you hear me now?” It’s a familiar question from a series of Verizon commercials in which the “Verizon guy” tests cell phone service in out-of-the-way locations. With the recent announcement that Nepali telecom company Ncell has installed high-speed 3G services near the Everest base camp (just over 17,000 feet above sea level), Verizon might soon be sending its test guy somewhere new: up the slopes of the world’s highest peak. Although this could make expensive satellite phones obsolete, it also raises the question of how far is too far. Like the debates currently taking place in Yellowstone and Olympic National Parks, it begs the question, should Everest be off-limits when it comes to going online? Source: USA Today


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Travel News Bits


BBC tool brings world events and places closer to home
When news reports state that flooding has covered a “fifth of Pakistan,” it  can be hard to understand the full extent of the disaster, simply  because we’re unfamiliar with another country’s geography. But thanks to a new tool and website designed by BBC called “Dimensions” (http://howbigreally.com/), you can now view the size of famous sights, world events, and even
historic places like the Great Wall of China superimposed over a Google Maps view of your own postcode. Source:
Gadling

New iPhone app hopes to uncover bed bugs
Ever had a trip ruined by a case of bed bugs in your hostel? A new iPhone app called “Bed Bug Alert” has been designed for this very reason, hoping to prevent any unwanted roommates tagging along for the ride. Users can both search locations for any reported outbreaks as well as report them to the app (this being the worst case scenario, of course!). Source: NY Times