VR may yet be a savior

You might have read our past posts on Virtual Reality (here and here). But this article gives hope that VR may yet be a true saviour for what seemed likely to be lost heritage and treasures of human civilization.

Recently, we read an article on NatGeo featuring how many UNESCO heritage sites are at risk – from a variety of factors. And while we agree that the overburden on the sites from too high a volume of visitor traffic is one factor, what is also not frequently discussed is how some of these sites are in danger of totally disappearing.

Take Syria for example in the article link we cited.

As recent as earlier this year the conflict waged around the city of Palmrya brought not only suffering to people living around the city, but also upon the city itself. Much of the ancient city ruins (yep they already were) were further damaged, intentionally it seems reducing quite some of it literally into rubble. As if being ruins were not bad enough… And then there are sites where there had been so much stress from having too many visitors that damage is all but apparent. Rialto bridge….for example.

So here’s the thought.

Would it be better for the heritage sites to be preserved barred from human visitorship? And that the sites would be documented in such a way that one can purchase a virtual tour of the site, even remotely in the comfort of your own living room. That way, the site continues to receive funding from virtual visitors to maintain the site. Folks too may experience the joys of “being at” the sites without the travails of air travel (read here).

Would you become a virtual tourist? Do you think Virtual reality travel will be the savior when it comes to preserving memories of human civilization and heritage?

A Floating cruise Gym

Yeah you read that right. The new things that people come up with. All of you fit bods out there take notice. You can be a passenger aboard a boat and power it. No, not rowing it but you can literally be using the cross trainers or spinning bikes and move a boat along the Seine river.

Talk about enjoying a view while you work out!

If this concept gets beyond the designers’ table, you and 44 other passengers could soon be spinning wheels in a gym fitted onto a leisure boat cruising along Paris’s old dame of a river. Or any river where enterprising business folks detect sufficient demand. They say that an order for the boat can be ready in 18 months!

Ok, not all the power for the boat will come from you. For there are also solar panels in case you need to take a break…besides, not everyone will pedal at the same speed…

Heheh, we are sure many of you who use gyms will experience this. When one runs on a threadmill or cycles on a spin bike in a gym, one’s stationary. Perhaps you will have earphones plugged into your ears to listen to music and/or watch the TV screen while you work out. But imagine the feeling of getting somewhere as you work out.

This is one of the latest ideas that is being bandied about. Will you pay for a river cruise while working out?

A beery good drink at 35,000ft

You might recall that we mentioned briefly in our post on gorgeous airline food (read here) that one’s sense of taste appears to be ‘dumbed’ down from the altitude (and perhaps attitude) and also the high decibel sound in the cabin.

And you might also have read that, when flying try to avoid drinking alcholic beverages.

What if the airline you were flying with tells you they have brewed a fine draft that has been crafted to taste its best at 35,000 feet in the air? The daily mail’s article tells that this is being served to first and business class passengers for selected flights between March and April. So by now, this offer is over…

But today the point of our post is not how to have a beery good drink 10km up in the atmosphere.

There is much debate about the affects of alcohol on the health of passengers when flying. Some cited research suggests that with low air pressure from the altitude, our blood is effectived thinned. This is said to accentuate the affects of alcohol. Others disagreeing, believe that the air with lower oxygen level leaves less of this vital element in your brain leading to intoxication. Either way, perhaps this might explain why people get inebriated and exhibit anti social behavior when flying?

A spate of incidents on planes in the last 12 months had prompted some airports to even consider banning alcohol not just on planes but also in the terminal itself! We had wrote previously about badly behaved passengers.

We have a tipple or two when we fly. Is a drink while flying ok? What do you think?

Wearing your carry-on luggage?

Do you have a peeve about the limited amount of carry-on luggage you are allowed to bring onboard the aircraft? What if someone tell you that the jacket you wear can hold up to 15kg worth of stuff?

Getting to SFO airport
That was just her luggage.

And combined that with a reall carry-on bag, you could almost double the weight of things you can bring with you? Especially in the throes of winter when you already have lots to carry with you…

Look no further. Here’s the ‘airport jacket‘.

If you read the article in the link, you will know that this is yet another ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. With lots of carry-on stemming from traveling with a small child, the inventors tried stuffing all of their things in their pockets to avoid paying extra.

So with 14 deep pockets, this product is said to provide you with the option of stuffing enough things and avoid checking in luggage altogether. Though in our opinion there will be certain things you simply cannot bring with you…such as scissors or shampoo bottles  that exceeds the customary 100ml limit. And so we note that this is probably a product more adept for folks who are on short travel stints.

One practical thing though is that you do not sit with this on throughout the flight. Sure you can, but it will be very very uncomfortable we think. You will still fold it away like any clothing into a “bag” and tuck it beneath your seat in the overhead compartment. Unless you bought a ‘basic economy’ ticket (read here), which would bar you from the privilege of using the overhead storage…

This unfortunately is only at the conceptual phase of development, so cannot run out there and buy one. Venture capital support is required to get this off the ground. Do you think this is a commercial viable product? Would you buy one?

This would be a fine hotel to “book”

When you check into the Literary Man hotel in the town of Obidos, Portugal you might not sleep a wink they tell you. Why you ask? Because the hotel has a library stocked with approximately 50,000 titles. They range for fiction to cookbooks to vintage collectibles. It is said to be an affordable night’s stay too.

You might recall that Mel’s fascinated with books. As an antiquities’ buff, Mel has accumulated a healthy collection of history books. Some during the days when we lived in Holland, and yet other more recent purchases off Amazon. So this resonates well with him.

However this is by no means the only hotel that is book themed.

Back in 2013, CNN listed a bevy of 14 hotels (read here) around the world. Check out the Nines in Portland. They have a deal with Powell books, one of the sources that Mel pursues for his book fix. Or the Heathman hotel, also in Portland (why ah?). For the Hobbits fans out there, decor at the Hobbit motel in New Zealand revolves around the book(s). But none of them matches the Literary Man hotel’s phantasmagorical setting for book buffs.

So why not consider Obidos? A reasonably exotic locale (depending on your point of view), affordable nights’ stay, a warmer climate (for those in the throes of winter). All good reasons to kick back, relax and enjoy a read!

Will you book a reading holiday?

An adult’s Disney fantasy

Heheh. Not some wet dream… but believe this has caught your attention!

In our travels, the epicurean side of the journeys figure pretty strongly in our planned or unplanned soujorns. Take our journey to Bangkok. We had to try our Greyhounds cafe in Bangkok so that we can compare it against the one in Singapore. Nothing beats verification that we’re getting the real stuff right? Just like the shrimps in the featured image…don’t ask why we used that…

Or our more recent journey to Japan. It was Valentine’s and there was such a kaleidescope of confectionery to sample and purchase. And this was excluding the fantastic seafood meals we had while out on the coast of Toyama!

Now imagine dining as if you are a princess in the magical castle. Disney has apparently taken the experience in the happiest place on earth a notch higher. For about US$15,000 one can bring 11 other guests to enjoy drinks an a seven course dinner at 21 Royal. It’s good to know this price comes with park admission and valet parking.

What’s good is that the gratuity is already included, so you don’t need to search the wallet for an appropriate amount to tip 15% off the cost of the event! Do you even carry that much cash around? Might be branded a terrorist or money launderer…LOL. Or worse, it could be confiscated or rendered useless…(re India scrapping currency)…ok we digress again.

One of the experential sides of our journeys is all about the food in the places we travel to. Would that be yours too?

There appears to be lots of foodies out there with a lot of spare change. In any case, better make that booking quick because it seems this dining location is pretty hot. Start saving the pennies now!

Will you dine at 21 Royal?