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California Man Fined $9K for Woodrow Wilson Monument Built Unwittingly on Federal Land

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/19/2016, 4:00 AM

In 2012, Southern California resident Din Kossova, working alone, completed the construction of a 20-foot stone and concrete tower he intended as a monument to his favorite U.S. president, Woodrow Wilson (an Albanian immigrant, Kossova reveres Wilson for arguing for Albania's independence at the end of World War I). Standing amid the desert of the Coachella Valley, the tower is a touchingl...

In the Works: Robot Airplane Pilots

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/19/2016, 4:00 AM

We all know that self-driving cars are well on their way to moving into the mainstream. Now there's an equivalent in aviation.  The Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System, otherwise known as ALIAS, is a program being developed by the government and a private contractor to replace airplane pilots with robots.  At the moment, ALIAS requires a human copilot in the cockpit to punch in ...

Delta Considering Adding Bare-Bones Fares to International Flights

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/19/2016, 4:00 AM

Delta Air Lines may be considering adding supercheap, no-frills airfares to international flights.  In an earnings call with reporters last week, executives from the country's second-largest carrier said that revenue from transatlantic flights had declined of late, partly due to competition from low-cost international airlines such as Norwegian Air International. When asked how Delta p...

How Thailand's Mourning Period Will Affect Travelers

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/18/2016, 4:00 AM

After Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej died at age 88 on Thursday, the government declared a full year of mourning. That could affect your travel plans in the country, especially if your visit coincides with the first 30 days of the mourning period, when residents have been asked to wear black and avoid "festivities." Consequently, some entertainment venues, restaurants, and bars may be ...

Airlines' On-Time Performance Worsens in Latest Figures

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/18/2016, 4:00 AM

The U.S. Department of Transportation has released the scorecard for airlines' on-time performance in August, and it turns out they did a pokier job of it than in the same month of the previous year.  Nearly one in four domestic flights were late in August, while 77.6% of them arrived on time, down from 80.3% in 2015.  Hawaiian Airlines had the best on-time rate (nice weather helped). ...

Report: Airbnb Not Hurting Hotels Much After All

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/18/2016, 4:00 AM

The thinking in the hotel industry is that Airbnb and other home-sharing companies like it are to be feared, because they take away customers who might otherwise stay at a Marriott, Hilton, or what have you. According to a study by data research firm STR, hotel companies can relax (though we doubt they will).  Comparing Airbnb and hotel data from the world's largest chains in 13 U.S. a...

Doug the Pug Does London

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/17/2016, 4:00 AM

(Photo: Instagram/@itsdougthepug) We mentioned last week that the weak pound resulting from Britain's decision in June to leave the European Union has caused UK tourism to surge, as international visitors pour in to take advantage of comparatively low prices.  Among the influx of recent visitors: social media star Doug The Pug, who recently took the world's most adorable trip to L...

Doug the Pug Does London

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/17/2016, 4:00 AM

(Photo: Instagram/@itsdougthepug) We mentioned last week that the weak pound resulting from Britain's decision in June to leave the European Union has caused UK tourism to surge, as international visitors pour in to take advantage of comparatively low prices.  Among the influx of recent visitors: social media star Doug The Pug, who recently took the world's most adorable trip to L...

Fountain Dispensing Free Wine Unveiled in Italy

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/17/2016, 4:00 AM

There's a new contender for the title of Best Fountain in Italy.  It's located in the town of Ortona in the Abruzzo region, and it will dispense free wine 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Dora Sarchese is the name of the generous winery that has set up this marvel—a stone basin situated under button-operated taps housed in a giant wine barrel. It's situated along the Cammino di San ...

Father and Daughter Find 2.03-Carat Diamond in Arkansas State Park

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/17/2016, 4:00 AM

Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas is the only diamond-producing site in the world where anyone who pays the price of admission ($16) can look for gems and keep whatever they find. That's easier said than done, however. The park's diamonds are sprinkled across 37.5 acres, and visitors have been picking over the land for decades with only sporadic success. Some show up ...

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