Thumbing A Ride

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Alaska Airlines is developing a system which will allow passengers to use fingerprint scans to replace paper documents and identification. The first step in the project, which has already been tested in Seattle, is using print readers to replace boarding passes to speed the loading process. Eventually, Alaska Airlines hopes to use the digit scans for in-flight purchases, lounge entry, bag drop-off and ticketing.

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Vienna Waits For You

Trans Form Hauptbahnhof Wien, Fotoprojekt Die Veraenderung eines Stadtteiles 2008-2014

The last time that I visited Vienna I was disappointed (and a bit disoriented) to be deposited at the Wien Meidling station in the far southwest of the city. So I was pleased to hear that the new Wiener Hauptbahnhof was officially opened this past weekend. Looking a bit like a regional airport, the $1.3 billion station replaces the down at the heels old Südbahnhof. When the new central station, which faces Südtiroler Platz, is at full capacity it will be visited by 1,100 trains a day and more than 100,000 passengers will pass through the concourses and shopping mall.

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Still, I have some fond memories of arriving at the old Südbahnhof many years ago on my first visit to Vienna. Just minutes after arriving, I was dutifully studying a city map only to look up and find myself facing a line of black-clad, jack-booted police all cradling submachine guns and walking slowly down the stairway in lockstep. The theme from the Third Man played in my head and I knew that I had arrived.

Trans Form Hauptbahnhof Wien, Fotoprojekt Die Veraenderung eines Stadtteiles 2008-2014

Trans Form Hauptbahnhof Wien, Fotoprojekt Die Veraenderung eines Stadtteiles 2008-2014

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E Pluribus Unum

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Inspired by the motto of the United States—E Pluribus Unum or Out of Many, One—Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada has created a monumental landscape portrait on the National Mall in Washington DC. The portrait image is a composite highlighting the diversity of America. The enormous portrait, visible from space, is composed of 2,000 tons of sand, 800 tons of soil and 10,000 wooden pegs.

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The first of Rodriguez-Gerada’s TERRESTRIAL series to be created in the U.S., “Out of One, Many” will be in place until November 1st, when it will be tilled into the grounds of the National Mall.

 

 

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#NYC

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Polish filmmaker Piotr Wancerz created the wonderful time-lapse video below that celebrates America’s greatest city. Simply titled “#NYC”, the action follows model Roza Puzynowska as she displays a large hashtag sign at some of New York’s most famous locations.

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Almost as good as a Tardis

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Mobile phones have rendered most of London’s thousands of iconic, red telephone boxes redundant. Fortunately, art and technology are coming to the rescue for these beautiful 20th century architectural works and saving some from obsolescence.

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A group of four artists, Aura Satz, Holly Pester, Lawrence Hamdan and Dan Scott, have launched a project to repurpose phone boxes as art sites. The first of the works is a sound installation housed in an authentic 1924 Giles Gilbert Scott designed booth, which has been set-up in the entrance way of Burlington House in London’s Piccadilly.

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In another project, a tech start-up company, called appropriately Solarbox , has been transforming disused telephone booths into solar powered charging stations for mobile devices. The first of the free green Solarbox stations was installed outside of the Tottenham court Road tube station.

If you’re concerned that London’s famously cloudy weather is less than conducive to solar power, each of the boxes will have a 150 watt roof-top solar panel and batteries to store the energy. The Solarboxes will be open daily from 5:30am to 11:30pm and will be funded entirely by advertising revenue.

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Book Selling Is A Dirty Business

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These days authors and booksellers have to dig deep to find new ways to garner attention for new releases. To promote the new children’s title Sam and Dave Dig a Hole creators Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen enlisted the help of south London’s Tales on Moon Lane children’s bookshop. Their little video below explains it all.

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Canary Islands: Latitude of Life

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The Canary Islands Tourist Board, which represents the Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa, recently commissioned seven artists from seven different countries to create original artwork based on the distinctive architecture, culture and landscape of each island.

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The artists, Ekaterina Koroleva, Malika Favre, Mads Berg, Ben Heine, Paula Bonet, Steve Thompson and Jens Magnusson, each visited a different island and put their individual stamp on Latitude of Life: Canary Islands. You see more about the creation of the project and all of the illustrations here.

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Never Too Old For A Room Mate

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These days when I’m visiting a city for more than four or five days, I prefer to rent an apartment over a hotel stay. I usually choose a local rental agency over Airbnb for the more reliable service in case of problems. But now there’s another option from the owners of the Room Mate Hotels chain.

Their new service BeMate.com, which is currently available in ten cities, offers apartments within a ten-minute walk of a Room Mate Hotel or affiliate. Guests have access to all of the hotel’s facilities and services. They can pick-up keys, store luggage, use concierge services, rent bikes, and get help with apartment issues immediately.

BeMate has more than 2,000 apartments in cites like Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Granada, Salamanca, Amsterdam, Florence, Miami, New York and Mexico City, with plans for hundreds more by the end of next year. In most location, nightly rates begin at about $200 US.

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Yes, You Can Really Go There

h/t to Just The Flightchart

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Just Norway

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Norway: a time-lapse adventure is the result of a five month, 15,000 kilometer road trip across Norway from the southern fjords to the Russian border in the Finnmark. This extraordinary video is the work of the gifted young photographer Morten Rustad, who managed to do the impossible and capture the grandeur of Norway that mere photos usually cannot convey.

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