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An Icon of Modernist Architecture Turns 50: Happy Birthday to St. Louis’ Gateway Arch

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/02/2015, 10:00 PM

St. Louis’ Gateway Arch may well be the most bittersweet of the world’s iconic monuments. The planned focal point of a park built in the 1930’s to celebrate Thomas Jefferson, and the expansion of the United States westward, spurred by the “Louisiana Purchase” (the land buy that the President made from the French, doubling the size of the United States), its creation required the destructi...

#1 in #2: Japan Opens First Toilet Museum

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/02/2015, 4:00 AM

I don't know if you've ever sat on one of those futuristic Japanese toilets, but they will change your life. In North America and Europe, toilets plug into the plumbing, but in Asia, most of them are also plugged into the electric supply. The things have more buttons than the remote control than your television, and boy do they make you feel happier—between the seat warmers, odor neut...

Hilton Yanks Adult Movies

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/28/2015, 5:00 PM

Not like you ever rented one, but porn movies are being eliminated from all Hilton hotels' in-demand movie selection. Said Hilton in a statement, as if it was something you might have purchased, "While the vast majority of our properties already do not offer this content today, this content will be phased out of all other hotels subject to the terms of their contracts." Advocacy group ...

Entrancing Video Follows Luggage After It's Checked

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/24/2015, 8:00 PM

Amsterdam's Schiphol airport wants to show you that it has put a lot of cash into building the ultimate baggage delivery system. So it produced this astonishing video by attaching a camera to a piece of luggage and sending it through the airport's elaborate system of automated conveyor belts, slides, and sensors. This version is enough to put stars in your eyes, but the versio...

Airline Complaints Soar! Whose Fault Is It?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/24/2015, 7:30 PM

It's not your imagination: Airfares may be down (as we reported last week), but complaints about U.S. airlines soared more than 20 percent during the first half of this year. Between January and June this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation logged 9,542 consumer complaints, which was up 20.3 percent from the first half of 2014. In June, complaints shot up 50 percent over last year....

All National Parks are Free (On These Days)

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/19/2015, 8:30 PM

The National Park System is extending another gift to the American people in the form of fee-free days. And lucky us—there are two in a month, right when the weather is warmest. The 133 National Park units that charge entrance fees will cost nothing to enter on Tuesday, August 25, the birthday of the National Park Service, and then again on Saturday, September 26, National Public Lands...

Snapchat Becomes More Traveler-Friendly

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/13/2015, 8:45 PM

"You and your selfies!" I kidded to my teenage daughter as she struck a pose for what seemed like the tenth time in an hour and then clicked away on her smartphone. "Mom I'm not taking selfies," was the exasperated response. "These are Snapchats which are totally different. You make yourself sound really old not knowing the difference." Ouch. Not that any of Frommer's readers are "real...

Pieces of Lost Space Shuttles Go On Display

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/11/2015, 8:15 AM

The $100 million home of the space shuttle Atlantis, which opened last year, has put Florida's Kennedy Space Center back on the tourism maps. Without giving too much away, the way in which the orbiter is revealed to arriving guests is perhaps the most spine-tingling moment in all of Orlando, a city known for goosebumps. Hanging 26 feet off the ground at an angle of 43.21 degrees (like the numb...

Q-tips: The Weirdest Flat Stanley Ever

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/11/2015, 8:00 AM

Among product promotions, this is one of the strangest. Q-tip—yes, that thing you're not supposed to stick deep in your ears, but you do—has launched a campaign featuring the swabby stick in front of the world's most exotic locales. It's like a hygienic version of Flat Stanley. Says the press release, as if it's an sentient object and not a toiletry product: "To date, Q-tips has [sic] ...

Hurry! Everything in Canada is 25% Off!

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/05/2015, 6:00 AM

On Tuesday, August 4, the Canadian dollar cratered, suffering its lowest value in 11 years. The loonie, which a few years ago had parity with the U.S. dollar, is now worth only 76¢. (It's not doing so well against the British pound, either.) That's right: Things haven't been cheaper in Canada since 2004. That means that this summer—right this very minute—is the best time to visit ...

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