Showing posts with label Travel Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel Related. Show all posts

26 March 2018

London's O2 Chosen for World Premiere of the Heart of Hollywood Tour

The Heart of Hollywood World Tour The Heart of Hollywood World Tour is coming to London...
The Heart of Hollywood World Tour is coming to London...
London is set to welcome a major piece of Hollywood history this summer, giving film fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to soak up the glamour of the 'Golden Age' of movies.
The Heart of Hollywood World Tour premieres at The O2 in June where it will spend four weeks before visiting 60 cities over the next five years.
The centrepiece of the exhibition is the 'H' from the original Hollywood sign, which stands at the height of four double decker buses. There will also be an important collection of Hollywood memorabilia, including pieces that were owned by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, alongside costumes and other props from films, such as Gone with the Wind, Hello Dolly and The Wizard of Oz.
The man behind the tour is revered American artist Bill Mack who bought the original Hollywood sign in 2007. He painstakingly restored the 'H' and used the other panels as canvases for paintings of icons of the age, which will also be on display at the exhibition.

Bill Mack
Bill Mack said: "We are really looking forward to launching the show in LondonLondon is a fantastic first stop for us and we are excited to share this piece of history with those keen to soak up a little glamour of that unforgettable Golden Age.

The Hollywood sign is among the most famous structures in the world. This is a unique opportunity to see it, alongside the most iconic artefacts from the timeless movies we all hold close to our hearts."
Much of the memorabilia on display belongs to Mack, an avid Hollywood fan, with the rest being on loan from the likes of the Hollywood Museum.
This year marks the 40th anniversary since the original sign was replaced, with the tour culminating in 2023 and returning to a permanent home in Los Angeles, exactly 100 years since it first stood tall on the Hollywood Hills.
The event's partners include the Los Angeles Tourist Board and The Savoy. It is partnering up with the 'No Predators' campaign launched by London-based Boudica films in the wake of the #MeToo movement to support access to legal advice, advocate for equality in the industry, as well as mentor and provide employment opportunities for women in film. 
⏩ Tickets on sale from 21st June - 17th July.

The Videos:

23 March 2018

Wild Animal Sanctuary Adds 9,004 Acres To Its Colorado Operation

The Wild Animal Sanctuary (images via The Wild Animal Sanctuary's site)
The Wild Animal Sanctuary has completed the purchase of a 9,004-acre ranch located in southeastern Colorado near the agricultural community of Springfield.
With more than 460 lions, tigers, bears, wolves and other rescued animals currently residing at the non-profit organization's facility near Keenesburg, Colorado, the need for additional space drove the organization to seek additional land to continue fulfilling its mission.  
Working with law enforcement agencies and other animal welfare groups within the United States and around the world, the organization had reached capacity at its 789-acre Sanctuary located just thirty miles northeast of Denver, CO.
Already considered the largest carnivore sanctuary in the world, the organization chose to purchase the large contiguous parcel near Springfield due to its size and abundant natural amenities. Consisting primarily of hills, canyons and rocky bluffs blanketed in various species of pine trees, as well as valleys and pastures flowing with native grasses, Sanctuary management says the property is well suited for hosting wildlife.
The additional land will allow The Wild Animal Sanctuary to continue rescuing and rehabilitating captive wildlife for many years to come. The organization says it has no plans to close its Keenesburg facility, since it continues to educate more than 150,000 visitors annually. The site also features a unique 1.5-mile long elevated walkway that holds the Guinness World Records award for Longest Footbridge.
According to The Humane Society of The United States (1), tigers, lions, and other big cat species have exploded in popularity in the exotic pet trade. There are an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 tigers in the United States, but fewer than 400 of them are in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Foreign Policy Group (2), and World Wildlife Fund (3), also recognize the Captive Wildlife problems within the United States that lead to so many tigers and other exotic animals needing sanctuary.
Last year marked the 38th year of rescuing exotic and endangered animals for the wildlife sanctuary. The 789-acre facility outside of Denver, Colorado had functioned as the primary facility for the organization, but now the larger and more natural tract near Springfield will become the main receiving facility for new rescues. 
The Sanctuary specializes in rehabilitating captive wildlife and releasing them to live and roam freely within large natural habitats. 
To learn more about The Wild Animal Sanctuary, visit

a lion
A lion  (image via The Wild Animal Sanctuary's site

6 November 2017

Terracotta Warrior Flashmob Event Held at World Travel Market London

Terracotta Warriors-Themed Pop-Up Event Held at World Travel Market London

On November 6, 2017 at 10:00 a.m., a Terracotta Warrior Flashmob event organized by the Shaanxi Provincial Tourism Development Commission was held at the World Travel Market London. 50 professional performers dressed up as the Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang, imperial concubines and terracotta warriors performed terracotta warrior flashmob at ExCel London

The graceful performances of Chinese court dances, most notably the lead performer's Dance of Qin Wang Dian Bing (Review of the Troops by Emperor Qin Shi Huang), attracted a large number of visitors, many of whom cheered enthusiastically and waited until the end of the performance to take selfies with the dancers.

An event, a cultural feast
The Terracotta Warriors Flashmob event is an innovative approach to raising the awareness around the world to the many unique aspects of Chinese culture and history. The successful hosting of the event helped further promote the profound cultural history that is identified with Shaanxi province and the unique tourism resources that are made available as a result of the province's rich history. 

  • The event is an important step in transforming the province into a world-renowned tourism destination.
"It is amazing!" said David, a British tourist. "This is the first time I have watched traditional Chinese performances. I found the event highly interesting, as it not only offered us a chance to get a better understanding of the Terracotta Warriors, but also let us feel the depth and sophistication of Chinese culture. Now that I have seen the performance, I plan to visit the real Terracotta Army in Shaanxi province with my family."
Terracotta Warriors-Themed Pop-Up Event Held at World Travel Market London - Poster
Terracotta Warriors-Themed Pop-Up Event Held at World Travel Market London
A series of follow-up flashmob events
The commission has planned several more Terracotta Warriors Flashmob events on November 7 at and near many of London's famous tourist attractions, with scheduled performance at a Square near Big Ben and the London Eye, two of the city's most renowned tourist attractions. 

  • On the same day, the cosers will also stop at several other landmark destinations including Big Ben, China Town, St Paul's Cathedral, and the Tower of London for staged photography sessions.
  • For more information about the tourism industry in Shaanxi, follow the Shaanxi Provincial Tourism Development Commission on Facebook and Twitter or visit the official website.

SOURCE: Shaanxi Provincial Tourism Development Commission

The Videos:

14 October 2017

As Halloween Creeps Up, 60-Foot Spider Arrives On Orlando's Biggest Web

The invasion of the 60-foot arachnid - Orlando
The invasion of the 60-foot arachnid (Denise Spiegel/Visit Orlando)
Disclaimer: The following might not be suitable for anyone suffering from acute arachnophobia....
Friday the 13th brought the arrival of the newest addition to Orlando's Halloween scene: An invasion of spider-centric social media opportunities, including a 60-foot arachnid and 400-foot web (the largest on the East Coast), tailor made for sharing on the "Web."

As the world's Halloween Vacation Capital, Orlando features an unparalleled 10 weeks of highly-themed holiday experiences including seasonal attractions, special events, hotel packages, and even the largest horror convention in the nation.

"Orlando does Halloween on a scale like nowhere else," said George Aguel, president and CEO of Visit Orlando, the official tourism association for the region. "And we know that social sharing is a big part of Halloween, it's even the most Instagrammed day of the year, so we are showcasing that our themed vacation experiences create both unforgettable memories and the world's coolest photo opportunities."
The newest additions launched this week include:

Giant Spider Selfies and Light Show
Giant spidey selfie time! - Orlando
Giant Spidey Selfie time! (Denise Spiegel/Visit Orlando)
Photo opportunities with a 60-foot spider that overran the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, turning the 400-foot observation wheel into a massive spider web. The lair gets even spookier at night with a 10-minute kaleidoscopic light show synchronized to an iconic Halloween soundtrack. 

Limited-time Custom Snapchat Filter
Sharing the Spidey Selfie on Snapchat (Denise Spiegel/Visit Orlando)
Now through Halloween, a new custom Orlando Halloween snapchat filter frames the unforgettable photo opportunities for visitors to share their own Spider Selfie with friends and family. 

Social media video starring Orlando's "Spider Dog" 
Adding a "trick" to these treats is a social media video of Orlando's "Spider Dog," a prankster pup who scurried about in spider costume, scaring unsuspecting guests in the dark of night.
  • For a full list of Halloween events and attractions throughout Orlando, visitors wanting to plan a ghoulish getaway can visit the destination's new web page, and follow #OrlandoHalloween on Visit Orlando's social media channels.
Dead Waters Haunted House (Denise Spiegel/Visit Orlando)
Orlando: Halloween Vacation Capital℠
AAA recently named Orlando the top destination for fall travel, based on AAA travel bookings.

As the Halloween Vacation Capital, Orlando brings the season to life through 10 weeks of highly themed activities including theme park events, attractions, the largest horror convention in the nation, spooky hotel packages and much more. 

The world famous theme parks also bring a unique level of cinematic-level sophistication to these entertainment experiences, whether it is the spine-chilling terror of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, or the family-friendly fun of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World and Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando.

Halloween Spooktacular - Orlando
Halloween Spooktacular (Denise Spiegel/Visit Orlando)
  • October kicks off the height of the Halloween season in Orlando, although some of the festivities started as early as August 25 and extend as late as November 4.

SOURCE: Visit Orlando

Bonus Video

11 October 2017

Universal Studios Hollywood Adds NBC's "Will & Grace" Set Visits to its Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes VIP Experience

NBC’s “Will & Grace” Set
Universal Studios Hollywood Adds NBC’s “Will & Grace” Set Visits to its Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes VIP Experience
As the fab four make their primetime return to NBC in the highly-anticipated return of "Will & Grace," Universal Studios Hollywood guests visiting the theme park as part of its exclusive VIP Experience will have the unique opportunity to step onto Soundstage 22 on the Universal backlot to see first-hand where the sitcom revival is making history for a second time.

Universal Studios Hollywood—renowned for putting the illustrious world of movie-making magic within arm's reach of guests visiting from across the globe—elevates the behind-the-scenes access with its coveted VIP Experience by exposing guests to areas of the production lot typically reserved for working professionals.

"The 'Will & Grace' set visits are an exciting addition to the VIP Experience and speaks to exactly the one-of-a-kind opportunities that offer our guests an insider's peek at Hollywood in action," said Karen Irwin, President and COO, Universal Studios Hollywood.

  • "Will & Grace," starring Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally, is one of television's landmark comedies with 16 Emmy Awards and 83 nominations. NBC has ordered 16 episodes for its first season and 13 episodes for season two.
In addition to such set visits, the VIP Experience also features an expert Studio Tour Guide, trolley, unlimited front-of-line privileges to all theme park rides and attractions, entry to a reserved VIP Lounge, and a VIP gourmet lunch prepared by the theme park's award-winning executive chef. Complimentary continental breakfast in a private VIP Lounge and valet parking is also included. The tour is specifically designed to accommodate smaller groups of up to 24 for a more personal experience.

The VIP Experience invites guests to disembark the trolley and walk through working soundstages used in current productions. The tour also takes guests, both on foot and via trolley, through the Studio's historic backlot sets made famous in over 8,000 movies and television shows.

Along the backlot's realistic New York Street, guests will be able to stand at the site where such blockbusters as "Transformers" and "The Sting" were filmed. At the famed Courthouse Square, time might stand still as guests take in the locale made famous in "Back to the Future" and "To Kill A Mockingbird." 

For a jaunt across the Atlantic Ocean without ever leaving the West Coast, guests can stroll along the cobblestone streets of Little Europe, the filming site of such favorites as "The Pink Panther" and "Pirates of the Caribbean," while a turn on Brownstone Street will place guests at the doorsteps of memorable scenes from the comedy, "Bruce Almighty."

  • Equipped with LED monitors, the trolley also features clips from movies and television shows filmed on the lot to add context to corresponding set visits. 
An elaborate gourmet lunch, prepared exclusively for VIP Experience guests by Universal Studios Hollywood's award-winning executive chef adds to a full day of indulgence. Served in a private restaurant with an attentive wait staff in the theme park's picturesque Parisian quarters, the experience features a choice of indoor dining, complete with tables draped in fine linen and cloth napkins, as well as al fresco dining amid a relaxing setting with a spectacular view overlooking the studio backlot and the mountains of San Fernando Valley.

With an ever-changing menu, sample lunch fare includes such items as penne pasta with garlic Alfredo sauce, shrimp scampi, beef sirloin with demi-glace, Portobello mushrooms with barley, soft shell crab with lemon butter and Ahi and yellowtail sashimi. Specialty, gluten-free and healthy, child-friendly menu items are also available. Tempting, freshly prepared desserts and an ornate self-serve coffee and beverage bar round out the dining experience.

  • The VIP Experience features unlimited front-of-line privileges and reserved seating at Universal Studios rides and attractions, including "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" at "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter."

  • Reservations are available online at or by calling 818-622-5120. Private VIP Experience tours and gift certificates are also available.

Universal Studios Hollywood:
Universal Studios Hollywood is The Entertainment Capital of L.A. and includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour. As a leading global entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood delivers highly themed immersive lands that translate to real-life interpretations of iconic movie and television shows. 

Recent additions include "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" which features a bustling Hogsmeade village and such critically-acclaimed rides as "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" and "Flight of the Hippogriff," Universal Studios Hollywood's first outdoor rollercoaster. 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Other immersive lands include "Despicable Me Minion Mayhem" and "Super Silly Fun Land" as well as "Springfield," hometown of America's favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning "The Simpsons Ride" and the "The Walking Dead" daytime attraction. 

The Walking Dead - A Walk Through Attraction
The Walking Dead - A Walk Through Attraction
The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood's signature attraction, inviting guests behind-the-scenes of the world's biggest and busiest movie and television studio where they can also experience such authentic and immersive thrill rides as "Fast & Furious—Supercharged." 

Fast & Furious—Supercharged
Fast & Furious—Supercharged
The adjacent Universal CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex also includes the all-new multi-million dollar, redesigned Universal CityWalk Cinema, featuring deluxe recliner seating in screening room quality theatres, and the "5 Towers" state-of-the-art outdoor concert stage.

SOURCE: Universal Studios Hollywood

Bonus Video-Clips:

3 October 2017

Iconic Wild Animals In Amazon Suffering For Selfies

Local sloths are taken from the wild and used for harmful selfies with tourists, in Manaus, Brazil.
Local sloths are taken from the wild and used for harmful selfies with tourists, in Manaus, Brazil. (C) World Animal Protection / Nando Machado
Demand for selfies has changed the lives of wild animals forever: the explosive trend on social media is driving the suffering and exploitation of some of the world's most iconic animals in the Amazon, says international charity World Animal Protection.
Focusing on two gateway cities of the Amazon – Manaus, Brazil and Puerto AlegriaPeru – World Animal Protection's investigators reveal in a new report that animals are snatched from the wild, often illegally, and used by irresponsible tour operators who cruelly exploit and injure wildlife to entertain and provide harmful photo opportunities for tourists.

In public view and behind the scenes, investigators uncovered evidence of cruelty being inflicted on wild animals, including:
  • Sloths captured from the wild, tied to trees with rope, not surviving longer than six months
  • Birds such as toucans with severe abscesses on their feet
  • Green anacondas wounded and dehydrated
  • Caiman crocodiles restrained with rubber bands around their jaws
  • An ocelot (a type of wild cat) kept in a small barren cage
  • A manatee held in a tiny tank in the forecourt of a local hotel
  • A giant anteater, manhandled and beaten by its owner

Steve McIvor, CEO at World Animal Protection, says: 
"The wildlife selfie craze is a worldwide phenomenon fueled by tourists, many of whom are unaware of the abhorrent conditions and terrible treatment wild animals may endure to provide that special souvenir photo.

Behind the scenes, wild animals are being taken from their mothers as babies and secretly kept in filthy, cramped conditions or repeatedly baited with food, causing severe psychological trauma."

Cutting-edge research commissioned by World Animal Protection for insights into the worldwide trend on social media of wildlife selfies shows:
  • The number of wildlife selfies posted on Instagram has increased 292% between 2014 to present
  • 27% of wildlife selfies were posted within the U.S. or by U.S. users. 
  • Over 40% of wildlife selfies show 'bad' or harmful wildlife selfies – i.e. someone hugging, holding or inappropriately interacting with a wild animal
  • People will most likely upload a 'good' or humane wildlife selfie when they have been educated or exposed to the cruelty behind the scenes.

Dr. Neil D'Cruze, Global Wildlife Advisor at World Animal Protection, says:
"It's extremely distressing to see animals being stolen from the wild and used as photo props for posting on social media. The reality is these unfortunate animals are suffering terribly, both in front of and behind the camera.

The growing demand for harmful wildlife selfies is not only a serious animal welfare concern but also a conservation concern. Our online review of this kind of practice in Latin America found that over 20% of the species involved are threatened by extinction and over 60% are protected by international law."

To tackle the issue, World Animal Protection is calling on relevant governments to enforce laws protecting wild animals, and ensure that travel companies and individuals who are exploiting wild animals for tourism in the Amazon abide by the existing laws.
The organization is also launching a Wildlife Selfie Code for tourists to learn how to take a photo with wild animals without fueling the cruel wildlife entertainment industry.
Tourists can join the movement to end this cruel industry by signing World Animal Protection's Wildlife Selfie Code and commit to keeping wild animals in the wild, where they belong.
World Animal Protection - logo
World Animal Protection (PRNewsFoto/World Animal Protection)

Case study info:
Manaus, Brazil:
  • Manaus is the capital of the Amazonas state, the largest state in Brazil, with a land mass of 1.6 million square kilometers. 77% of the state's rain forest remains intact.
  • 10% of the planet's biodiversity can be found in the Amazon region. It is home to over 18,000 species of plants, more than 400 species of mammals and over 200 species of reptiles, many of which are only found here.
  • Tourism accounts for around 1% of the GDP of the Brazilian Amazon region
  • Direct contact with wild animals for photo opportunities was offered on 94% of excursions offered by tour companies in Manaus, at six different locations.  Official tour guides actively encouraged this type of activity during 77% of excursions.
Puerto AlegriaPeru:
  • A total of at least 40 individual animals, representing 24 different species (7 birds, 12 mammals, 5 reptiles) were identified being used in wildlife excursions for selfies.
  • Five of these species are considered to have "threatened" status according to the IUCN, and 75% are listed by CITES.
The Wildlife Selfie Code
The Wildlife Selfie Code

SOURCE: World Animal Protection

1 October 2017

Dear Elon Musk: Your Dazzling Mars Plan Overlooks Some Big Nontechnical Hurdles


File 20171001 13542 15sjp1f
Will it be only a few decades before Mars tourism is a reality? (SpaceX, CC BY)
By Andrew Maynard, Arizona State University

Elon Musk has a plan, and it’s about as audacious as they come. Not content with living on our pale blue dot, Musk and his company SpaceX want to colonize Mars, fast. They say they’ll send a duo of supply ships to the red planet within five years. By 2024, they’re aiming to send the first humans. From there they have visions of building a space port, a city and, ultimately, a planet they’d like to “geoengineer” to be as welcoming as a second Earth.

If he succeeds, Musk could thoroughly transform our relationship with our solar system, inspiring a new generation of scientists and engineers along the way. But between here and success, Musk and SpaceX will need to traverse an unbelievably complex risk landscape.

Many will be technical. The rocket that’s going to take Musk’s colonizers to Mars (code named the “BFR” – no prizes for guessing what that stands for) hasn’t even been built yet. No one knows what hidden hurdles will emerge as testing begins. Musk does have a habit of successfully solving complex engineering problems though; and despite the mountainous technical challenges SpaceX faces, there’s a fair chance they’ll succeed.

As a scholar of risk innovation, what I’m not sure about is how SpaceX will handle some of the less obvious social and political hurdles they face. To give Elon Musk a bit of a head start, here are some of the obstacles I think he should have on his mission-to-Mars checklist.

Musk typically drives hard toward his goals – in this case, Mars. (AP Photo/Refugio Ruiz)

Planetary protection
Imagine there was once life on Mars, but in our haste to set up shop there, we obliterate any trace of its existence. Or imagine that harmful organisms exist on Mars and spacecraft inadvertently bring them back to Earth.

These are scenarios that keep astrobiologists and planetary protection specialists awake at night. They’ve led to unbelievably stringent international policies around what can and cannot be done on government-sponsored space missions.

Yet Musk’s plans threaten to throw the rule book on planetary protection out the window. As a private company SpaceX isn’t directly bound by international planetary protection policies. And while some governments could wrap the company up in space bureaucracy, they’ll find it hard to impose the same levels of hoop-jumping that NASA missions, for instance, currently need to navigate.

It’s conceivable (but extremely unlikely) that a laissez-faire attitude toward interplanetary contamination could lead to Martian bugs invading Earth. The bigger risk is stymying our chances of ever discovering whether life existed on Mars before human beings and their grubby microbiomes get there. And the last thing Musk needs is a whole community of disgruntled astrobiologists baying for his blood as he tramples over their turf and robs them of their dreams.

Musk’s long-term vision is to terraform Mars – reengineer our neighboring planet as “a nice place to be” – and allow humans to become a multi-planetary species. Sounds awesome – but not to everyone. I’d wager there will be some people sufficiently appalled by the idea that they decide to take illegal action to interfere with it.

Ecoterrorists claimed responsibility in 1998 for burning part of a Colorado ski resort they said threatened animal habitats. (Vail Fire Department)

The mythology surrounding ecoterrorism makes it hard to pin down how much of it actually happens. But there certainly are individuals and groups like the Earth Liberation Front willing to flout the law in their quest to preserve pristine wildernesses. It’s a fair bet there will be people similarly willing to take extreme action to stop the pristine wilderness of Mars being desecrated by humans.

How this might play out is anyone’s guess, although science fiction novels like Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Mars Trilogy” give an interesting glimpse into what could transpire once we get there. More likely, SpaceX will need to be on the lookout for saboteurs crippling their operations before leaving Earth.

Space politics
Back in the days before private companies were allowed to send rockets into space, international agreements were signed that set out who could do what outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Under the United Nations Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, for instance, states agreed to explore space for the benefit of all humankind, not place weapons of mass destruction on celestial bodies and avoid harmful contamination.

That was back in 1967, four years before Elon Musk was born. With the emergence of ambitious private space companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin and others, though, who’s allowed to do what in the solar system is less clear. It’s good news for companies like SpaceX – at least in the short term. But this uncertainty is eventually going to crystallize into enforceable space policies, laws and regulations that apply to everyone. And when it does, Musk needs to make sure he’s not left out in the cold.

This is of course policy, not politics. But there are powerful players in the global space policy arena. If they’re rubbed the wrong way, it’ll be politics that determines how resulting policies affect SpaceX.

Climate change
Perhaps the biggest danger is that Musk’s vision of colonizing Mars looks too much like a disposable Earth philosophy – we’ve messed up this planet, so time to move on to the next. Of course, this idea may not factor into Musk’s motivation, but in the world of climate change mitigation and adaptation, perceptions matter. The optics of moving to a new planet to escape the mess we’ve made here is not a scenario that’s likely to win too many friends amongst those trying to ensure Earth remains habitable. And these factions wield considerable social and economic power – enough to cause problems for SpaceX if they decide to mobilize over this.

There is another risk here too, thanks to a proposed terrestrial use of SpaceX’s BFR as a hyperfast transport between cities on Earth. Musk has recently titillated tech watchers with plans to use commercial rocket flights to make any city on Earth less than an hour’s travel from any other. This is part of a larger plan to make the BFR profitable, and help cover the costs of planetary exploration. It’s a crazy idea – that just might work. But what about the environmental impact?

Even though the BFR will spew out tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, the impacts may not be much greater than current global air travel (depending how many flights end up happening). And there’s always the dream of creating the fuel – methane and oxygen – using solar power and atmospheric gases. The BFR could even conceivably be carbon-neutral one day.

But at a time when humanity should be doing everything in our power to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the optics aren’t great. And this could well lead to a damaging backlash before rocket-commuting even gets off the ground.

When the USSR launched Sputnik on Oct. 4, 1957, it also launched the space race.( AP Photo)

Inspiring – or infuriating?
Sixty years ago, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite – and changed the world. It was the dawn of the space age, forcing nations to rethink their technical education programs and inspiring a generation of scientists and engineers.

We may well be standing at a similar technological tipping point as researchers develop the vision and technologies that could launch humanity into the solar system. But for this to be a new generation’s Sputnik moment, we’ll need to be smart in navigating the many social and political hurdles between where we are now and where we could be.

Imagine the possibilities…. (SpaceX, CC BY)

These nontechnical hurdles come down to whether society writ large grants SpaceX and Elon Musk the freedom to boldly go where no one has gone before. It’s tempting to think of planetary entrepreneurialism as simply getting the technology right and finding a way to pay for it. But if enough people feel SpaceX is threatening what they value (such as the environment – here or there), or disadvantaging them in some way (for example, by allowing rich people to move to another planet and abandoning the rest of us here), they’ll make life difficult for the company.

The ConversationThis is where Musk and SpaceX need to be as socially adept as they are technically talented. Discounting these hidden hurdles could spell disaster for Elon Musk’s Mars in the long run. Engaging with them up front could lead to the first people living and thriving on another planet in my lifetime.

About Today's Contributor:
Andrew Maynard, Director, Risk Innovation Lab, Arizona State University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. 

23 September 2017

007 ELEMENTS: A new James Bond Cinematic Installation

007 ELEMENTS - Solden Exterior Render
007 ELEMENTS - Solden Exterior Render (PRNewsfoto/007 ELEMENTS)
007 ELEMENTS is a new James Bond cinematic installation opening this winter, built inside the summit of the Gaislachkogl Mountain in Sölden.
The name 007 ELEMENTS reflects the visitor's journey through a series of galleries, each distilling the craft of the signature elements that define a James Bond film. The installation will focus on Spectre , which was shot in Sölden and will feature other titles in the long-running 24 film Bond franchise.
The collaboration between the project's Creative Director, Neal Callow (Art Director on Casino RoyaleQuantum of SolaceSkyfall and Spectre) and Optimist Inc. Head of Design, Tino Schaedler and his team has resulted in an immersive, interactive and educational experience that places visitors inside the world of 007 while revealing how that world is made.
"Our aim with 007 ELEMENTS is to tell the story of the making of 007 films in an ultra-modern, emotive and engaging way," Callow explains. "We want to use this incredible location to place our guests into Bond's environment, and bring the stories to life in a unique and unforgettable way."
Located 3,050 meters above sea level, the 1,300 square meter building has been constructed within the mountain and is arranged over two levels. Blending seamlessly with its surroundings, the impressive structure reveals itself through a tunnel and unfolds into two main areas offering spectacular views of the Tyrolean valleys.
Combining state-of-the-art technology with stark contemporary architecture, 007 ELEMENTS creates a captivating experience with a dramatic cinematic soundscape set in nature's awe-inspiring surroundings.
The bespoke new building to house the installation was designed and is currently being constructed by Obermoser Architects. Tyrolean architect, Johann Obermoser and his team have been planning and realising award-winning commercial and residential buildings since 1983 including the spectacular ice Q restaurant on the summit of the Gaislachkogl and the Gaislachkogelbahn and Giggijochbahn cable car stations in Sölden.
007 ELEMENTS is a partnership between EON Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) who jointly own the rights to the James Bond films, and Cable Car Companies Sölden.
Architect Johann Obermoser’s concept drawing of the building located 3,050 meters above sea level in Sölden, Austria to house the new James Bond cinematic installation.
Architect Johann Obermoser’s concept drawing of the building located 3,050 meters above sea level in Sölden, Austria to house the new James Bond cinematic installation.
About EON Productions
EON Productions Limited and Danjaq LLC are wholly owned and controlled by the Wilson/Broccoli family. Danjaq is the US based company that co-owns, with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, the copyright in the existing James Bond films and controls the right to produce future James Bond films. EON Productions, an affiliate of Danjaq, is the UK based production company that makes the James Bond films and together with Danjaq controls all worldwide merchandising. The 007 franchise has produced twenty-four films since 1962.

About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms. The company owns one of the world's deepest libraries of premium film and television content as well as the premium pay television network EPIX, which is available throughout the U.S. via cable, satellite, telco and digital distributors. In addition, MGM has investments in numerous other television channels, digital platforms and interactive ventures and is producing premium short-form content for distribution.

About Cable Car Companies Sölden
Cable Car Companies Sölden stands for innovation, excellence and state-of-the-art technology. One of the leading ski lift companies in the Alps, the company is proud of its architectural masterpieces in the Sölden ski resort. These include the BIG 3 (viewing platforms on three different 3000-meter-high mountains), the two most powerful cable cars in Europe, the Gaislachkogelbahn and the new Giggijochbahn, and the spectacular ICE Q restaurant on the summit of the Gaislachkogl. Sölden enjoys the second highest number of guest nights in Austria - second only to the capital city of Vienna.

About Obermoser Architects
Leading Austrian architect, Obermoser arch-omo zt gmbh has been creating and constructing award winning commercial and residential buildings since 1983. Tyrolean architect Johann Obermoser and his team are responsible for the Gaislachkoglbahn, ice Q restaurant and the impressive Giggijochbahn in Sölden.

About Optimist Inc.
Optimist Inc. is a creative agency that thrives on innovation and true firsts. They're founded on the simple belief that authenticity and passion reign supreme. Driven by the desire to create something truly unique, they seamlessly blend creative, strategy, design, content, and production talent to deliver one-of-a-kind solutions that are both real and socially viable.

007 Elements Solden Plaza Render - Featuring James Bond’s Family Crest
007 Elements Solden Plaza Render - Featuring James Bond’s Family Crest (PRNewsfoto/007 ELEMENTS)


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