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Forget crocodiles and snakes, the real animal threat in Australia is wild pigs. At least if you're camping.
At a campground in Western Australia over the weekend, a feral pig guzzled down 18 beers that had been left out improperly secured. And just like anyone 18 beers in at a rural dive bar, the pig got big-headed and decided to start a fight with a cow, resulting in the cow chasing the pig around a car.
"In the middle of the night these people camping opposite us heard a noise, so they got their torch out and shone it on the pig and there he was, scrunching away at their cans," said a visitor.
The pig was later reported sleeping his hangover (and shame of trying to take down a cow?) off under a tree.
While feral pigs are considered an invasive pest in many parts of the country, it's also a reminder to keep food and drink secured when camping. Just imagine if it had been a drunk kangaroo.
You know the adrenaline rush that comes from snagging a last-minute travel deal.
The internal dialogue goes a little something like this:
"A 3-day weekend in [insert awesome place] for only [insert low price]? Leave tomorrow? I would have to cut out of work early to get to the airport in time? I'm in!"
And while Palm Springs, Vegas and Miami are fun and all, thanks to a recent acquisition by Groupon you might just be adding last-minute European adventures to your travel list. The daily deals company, which expanded to Europe in 2010, just acquired last-minute hotel booking app Blink, which offers deals at more than 2,000 hotels in Europe.
While Groupon isn't new to the European market, it hasn't necessarily done well, but adding European travel to Groupon Getaways might be the boost the company needs. The app will be rebranded as "Blink by Groupon," adding same-day booking to the array of travel deals that Groupon already offers.
While booking a hotel in Europe for the same day when you're currently in New York might make getting to your night's stay a little difficult, it could be a great opportunity for travelers in Europe looking to live a little more spontaneously and see where they end up instead of planning far in advance. A night in Paris anyone?
Now that food trucks are a staple in pretty much every metropolis, people have to get really creative to think about how to serve food in an edgy manner. But from fries in a vending machine to sparkling water in a public fountain, there are plenty of places around the world that will make sure that you have an unforgettable eating experience.
1. Coin-operated Belgian Fries
If you want a cornet of classic Belgian fries, look no further than a vending machine. A coin-operated machine in Brussels has been specifically developed to produce fries made with beef fat. And yes they do come with an option of ketchup or mayonnaise.
2. Ice cream from a monster truck
You've seen food trucks, but have you ever seen a monster food truck? Czech carmaker Skoda turned a 5.5 ton van into an ice cream truck, deeming it the "world's largest ice cream truck." It has five-foot tall tires after all. You'll find it touring around the UK.
Social media, in particular Twitter, has completely changed how airlines do customer service. Whereas once you would have to type an official complaint letter and send it to corporate headquarters, or give call the customer service hotline, nowadays you can simply post your feelings to the wide world of the internet, in the hopes that the company will pay attention. But while applications like Twitter may have been effective early on when fewer people were using them, today the platforms are saturated, and to be heard, you have to make some noise. Which is exactly what British Airways passenger Hasan Syed did.
In response to his father's lost luggage, Syed (who uses the Twitter handle @HSVN) did more than just tweet his frustration, he purchased a promoted tweet in the New York and UK markets on Monday night, hoping that it would catch the attention of the airline. The tweet was simple, yet inflammatory: "Don't fly @BritishAirways. Their customer service is horrendous."
Travel warnings are issued for a variety of reasons, be it social and political unrest, the threat of terrorism or even health. But Russia has now found a new reason to warn people against travel: the fear of their citizens not being allowed to return home.
As reported by the New York Times, the Russian Foreign Ministry bulletin state: "Warning for Russian citizens traveling internationally ... Recently, detentions of Russian citizens in various countries, at the request of American law enforcement, have become more frequent -- with the goal of extradition and legal prosecution in the United States."
In the last year, travel and Instagram have grown to go hand in hand. Seriously, how many photos did you post during your last trip?
Banking on our selfie and hashtagging obsessions, the new boutique 1888 Hotel in Sydney, Australia has made Instagram a key part of its visitors' experience. The lobby features a digital mural of Instagram shots, the front desk has a map of top picture taking spots that you should be sure to put on your to-do list, it offers a free night's stay to anyone with more than 10,000 Instagram followers and there's a specific booth for taking selfies when you check in, ensuring that you can make your friends jealous immediately.
What are the main reasons people travel? To see the world, gain new perspective, learn about other cultures, get a photo of themselves in front of a famous destination. Let's be honest, in the world of social media, the latter is of the utmost importance, so important that some people will take a fake background rather than the real thing.
Five places you can snap a fake tourist shot:
1. Hong Kong with a bright blue sky
When it's too smoggy in Hong Kong for a blue sky (and most of the time it is) you can still get your photo taken in front of the city's skyline, thanks to a fabric backdrop. Because nothing says "I've been there" than taking your photo in front of a colored sheet.
2. Paris... in China
Can't make it to the real Paris? There's always Vegas. Or in China, where a remade version of Paris outside of Hangzhou isn't the City of Light, it's more of a creepy deserted ghost town. There's even a 108-meter replica of the Eiffel Tower, which is perfect for when newlyweds want a romantic backdrop without traveling to Europe.
3. Afghanistan... in California
Given the US military's presence in the Middle East, it's no surprise that they would work hard to train soldiers on the ins and outs of where they will be based. And what better way than with a mock Afghan village? Actors on the Fort Irwin base in California create a fake Afghan village, selling plastic loaves of bread and fake meat to provide some sort of cultural context for military personnel soon to deploy. Even civilians can visit, checking out the village and chatting with soldiers afterwards. Obviously much more less complicated than traveling to Afghanistan.
4. The Taj Mahal... in Bangladesh
Local wealthy Bangladeshi filmmaker Asanullah Moni was apparently tired of traveling to India to see one of the new seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, so he built one himself. The structure cost $58 million to construct, and took only five years to build; lightspeed compared to the original building's construction, which was built over two decades in the 17th century. So thanks to Moni, Bangladeshis can snap their picture in front of the iconic architecture without ever leaving their home country.
5. The Titanic... in the Southern United States
Just because the real boat sank, doesn't mean you can't get your photo taken in front of it. Just plan a trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee or Branson, Missouri where you'll find 30,000-square-foot replicas of the ship that sank in 1912. Welcome aboard.
While public transportation can be a godsend while traveling, losing your public transportation pass or ticket is not. We've all misplaced our bus or metro pass at least a few times in life, and no matter where you are in the world the feeling is always the same.
That changes now.
Thanks to some very intelligent engineering students at MIT, there's a new device that may forever solve the problem of misplaced transit cards: the Sesame Ring. Built with an embedded RFID tag, it allows you to simply tap to an RFID-based fare reader and get on board. Genius.
If you have ever crossed the Brooklyn Bridge you know that it's a stunning piece of architecture. But if artist Di Mainstone has her way, it will be more than just that. It will be a musical instrument.
Mainstone's Human Harp project, documented beautifully by the Creators Project, aims to transform bridges around the world into instruments, allowing people to interact with architecture in a new way and "play" them, which means that come next year, hopefully you'll be able to pretend the Brooklyn Bridge is a harp.
In fact, when the Brooklyn Bridge re-opens in 2014, you will be able to strap on a harness - developed by Mainstone - that connects retractable strings to the bridge itself, making music as you move.
If all goes well, the Human Harp may soon be coming to a bridge near you.
In the privacy of a hotel room, you can pretty much do whatever you want. Order room service, spend the entire day in a robe, engage in a casual affair, watch porn. Well, not in Scandinavia.
Scandinavian hotel chain Nordic Choice owner Petter Stordalen has decided to get rid of all pay-TV porn channels and replace them with contemporary art instead. That is of course the complete opposite move of other Scandinavian moguls, who went as far as to propose sex themed hotels.
Why the move to ban porn? It's for humanitarian reasons.
Stordalen is making a statement against human trafficking and sexual exploitation, which has victimized 1.2 million children around the world. "The porn industry contributes to trafficking, so I see it as a natural part of having a social responsibility to send out a clear signal that Nordic Hotels doesn't support or condone this," Stordalen told The Guardian. Nordic Choice has been collaborating with UNICEF to improve the lives of children since 2008.
So instead of porn on demand, there will be art on demand, which makes sense for Stordalen who is a big art collector. He's also Norway's sixth richest man, so his move could make waves. He compares his own porn ban to a smoking ban. "It may sound shocking or unusual [to remove pay-TV porn], but everyone said that about the ban on smoking. We were the first hotel chain in the world to ban smoking and people thought we were crazy. Now it's totally normal for public spaces to be smoke-free."
The Nordic Choice's flagship hotel in Oslo was first on the list for the porn-art switch out, but other hotels are soon to join.