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Renowned Ocean Liner Reborn as Floating Hotel in Dubai

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/19/2018, 12:00 AM

The retired Queen Elizabeth 2 ocean liner, which the Cunard Line operated from 1969 to 2008, has been transformed into a floating hotel in Dubai. Docked at the city's Port Rashid for a decade (the 2008 recession slowed down the remodeling project), the 13-deck ship has more than 200 contemporary rooms and suites, ranging from tiny cabins to opulent aeries with private verandas. The design, accor...

Coming in May: UFO Fests in Oregon and New York State

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/17/2018, 12:00 AM

The search for signs of intelligent life in the universe hasn't turned up much so far. Even here on earth intelligent life can seem awfully hard to come by.  But judging from the many UFO festivals held across the country each year, there are evidently still plenty of those who believe the truth is out there.  Among this spring's crop of events dedicated to alien abductions, government cover-ups...

D.C.’s African American Museum Tests a Change to Its Admissions Policy

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/04/2018, 4:00 AM

The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. is trying out a new admissions practice this month. Each Wednesday in April, visitors can simply walk up to to the building on Constitution Avenue, get in line, and gain entry to the museum on a first-come, first-served basis, starting at 10am, when it opens.  That might sound like standard museum-going procedure, bu...

Priceline Ends "Name Your Own Price" Car Rentals

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/03/2018, 12:00 AM

Yet another core offering of Priceline has been carved away. The website, which made itself famous beginning in 1997 as a place where travelers could place low bids for various products without knowing in advance the brand of the seller, has ended its "Name Your Own Price" feature for rental cars.  The website now only offers set prices for its brand-blind rental car inventory. Because of the sit...

Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas Getting a Virgin Hotels Makeover

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/02/2018, 3:00 PM

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is entering Virgin territory.  The hotel—located just off the Strip on Paradise Road—has been acquired by the growing Virgin Hotels chain, which is giving the property a top-to-bottom overhaul.  Virgin founder Richard Branson revealed the changeover at a press conference announcing that his company and other investors had made the purchase.  The ren...

TSA to Make You Remove Snacks from Your Carry-On—Except When It Won't

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/29/2018, 3:00 PM

The next time you go through airport security, you could be asked to remove all food from your carry-on luggage, along with all the other stuff that gets removed—your shoes, your laptop, and, should you be selected for an invasive pat-down, your dignity.  Then again, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) might let you keep that Snickers bar or bag of Cheetos in your bag as it slides al...

National Comedy Museum Opening This Summer in New York State

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/28/2018, 12:15 AM

Baseball players have Cooperstown. Rock stars have their own hall of fame in Cleveland. Even androids, when they're not dreaming of electric sheep, can visualize themselves getting inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame in Pittsburgh. But what about the age-old, joy-bringing art of comedy? Why isn't there a national museum celebrating history's most important producers of yuks?  Come August, you w...

Singapore Airport Named World's Best for Sixth Consecutive Year

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/23/2018, 2:45 PM

In its well-regarded annual ranking of the world's best airports, Skytrax has named Singapore Changi Airport number one for the sixth time in a row.  Relying on millions of customer surveys filled out by travelers around the globe, the terminal trackers found the Asian city-state's airport exceptional in its cleanliness, service, shopping, dining, security and customs processing, transit options,...

Hotel on Skis Debuts in Finland for Northern Lights Viewing

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/21/2018, 9:15 PM

A novel way of experiencing the Northern Lights has come to Finland.  The new Aurora Wilderness Camp, located near the village of Kilpisjärvi, is comprised of three mobile cabins that have been mounted on skis so that they can be dragged into the remote reaches of the country's Lapland region. And because each unit has a glass roof, guests have a good chance of spotting the Northern Lights from t...

Play the Casanova at New Museum in Venice

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/19/2018, 11:30 PM

Giacomo Casanova belongs to the rare class of historical figures whose names became common nouns. Traitorous World War II-era Norwegian leader Vidkun Quisling and France's lecherous Marquis de Sade (lop off the "e" and add an -ism or an -istic) are in the same crew. It's a curious kind of superstardom where the legend outstrips the life to such an extent that the world often forgets there was ev...

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