Friday, December 31, 2010

Mile High flights too distracting for pilots...

Mile high club flights branded 'too distracting' for pilots

Love is no longer in the air for Mile High Flights, after aviation authorities refused to renew its licence because hearing lovemaking may be distracting for pilots.

The saucy air charter company had offered passengers the ultimate pleasure flight, by giving amorous couples - and on one occasion a threesome - the chance to book a plane ride specifically to join the mile high club.
Lovers have been grounded by a 'prudish' ruling (Thinkstock)Lovers have been grounded by a 'prudish' ruling (Thinkstock)
It had operated the flights in a Cessna light aircraft, complete with a bedroom area curtained off from the cockpit, from Gloucestershire Airport for the past two years, charging £640 a time for the experience - and even providing customers with a 'certificate of initiation'.
Mile High Flights has now had to halt the service after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) withdrew it licence on safety grounds.
Mike Crisp, the company's founder, claimed the real reason the flights had been grounded is that someone in the CAA disapproves of people joining the mile high club.
'I am getting emails every week from couples who want to go up in the plane. It's a shame we've had to stop because of some prudish snobbery on the part of the CAA,' he complained.
The CAA insisted it 'cast no moral judgements' and that safety fears were the reason for Mile High Flights' licence not being renewed.

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New Year's Eve survival Guide..

New Year's Eve: a survival guide

It could be the biggest party of the year, a night to remember where you party till dawn. Or it could all go horribly wrong. Here are 20 tips to help you avoid a New Year's Eve to forget
New Year's Eve revellers: don't go out of your way to dress like a fool.
New Year's Eve revellers: don't go out of your way to dress like a fool. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell
New Year's Eve is the most problematic night out in the calendar. While the pressure to have a good time is immense, the end result is often underwhelming, if not downright depressing. Worse still, it's one of the few holidays that doesn't reward personal effort. The more you put into New Year's Eve, the less you seem to get out of it, and the most ambitious plans are also the most easily thwarted. The best New Year's Eves, by contrast, seem to come about largely by accident. There is no guaranteed way to make it a success – but here are a few tips to help you make it through the night . . .

1. Approach the evening with the lowest possible expectations 

New Year's Eve is never really that much fun, and it has the potential to be absolutely disastrous, so it's important that your hopes never rise. If you imagine the evening ahead being the equivalent of an endless night spent negotiating your way through a post-Apocalyptic landscape full of zombies in search of the world's last taxi, then your attitude on the night should be roughly in line with the likely outcomes.

2. Remember – it doesn't mean anything 

New Year's Eve is a holiday of very little significance; you're basically celebrating the obsolescence of last year's wall calendar. There's not much in the way of ritual apart from getting ritually wasted. In fact, most of the older rites associated with new year date from when it was celebrated on 25 March, a day when there was a lot more to be happy about. Yes, people around the world have many interesting traditions associated with new year, some of which sound lovely, but for most of us New Year's Eve is just the night before a day off work, a night whose sole aim is to produce a hangover worth nursing. And this year it falls on a Friday, so it's basically just a Friday.

3. Don't drink too much . . . 

This may be obvious advice – and among the least likely to be heeded on New Year's Eve – but it's worth pointing out that tonight is absolutely the worst night of the year to end up at A&E. It will be completely overcrowded, jammed full of well-dressed but shamefully disheveled people, all of them groaning, shouting and talking gibberish. In fact, A&E will probably look a lot like the party you've just just left, but with harsher overhead lighting.

4. . . . but be sure to drink enough 

New Year's Day is usually characterised by bouts of guilt, shame, regret and self-reproach. Frankly, the less you remember about the previous evening, the better. New Year's Eve is also a night when virtually all of your fellow revellers will be too drunk to notice how drunk you are. Seize this once-a-year opportunity to be loud, indiscreet, incomprehensible and moronic, and then forget all about it in the morning. The proper alcohol-to-silliness ratio is notoriously difficult to get right, but the state you should be aiming for is what the police might term "drunk but not incapable". If they put you in the back of their van, you've gone too far.

5. Resist the temptation to take stock 

This is not a good time to be moaning about all you have failed to achieve in life, any more than it is a good time to fall down some stairs. Neither is desirable, even if both are traditional. It's a mistake to look back on your life and take a measure at any time – what are the odds you'll be pleased? – but if you feel you must, wait a few days, or at least until your headache is gone.

6. It's OK if you don't go anywhere 

Whenever they do a survey about New Year's Eve, more than half of respondents always say they plan to have a quiet night in. How many of them follow through on this promise is unclear, but it's by no means a terrible way to spend the night. Instead of dressing up and worrying about your personal safety, you can curl up in front of a log fire (only if you have one; please don't improvise) and while the night away drinking champagne and swearing at people on the television. Maybe that's what you do every night and you fancy a change, but if it appears to be your least-worst option, by all means take it.

7. New Year's Eve is dressy, not fancy-dressy 

No rabbit ears, elephant trunks, hats with lights, hats with horns, tinsel scarves, giant 2011-shaped glasses or masks of any kind. Don't, in short, go out of your way to look a fool. Imagine yourself waking up on an empty train 12 stops past home, and think about what you'd like to be wearing when you ask the guard where you are.

8. Before you do anything madcap, irrepressible, devil-may-care or similar, check for CCTV

9. Wherever you go, don't wear your new Christmas coat

Chances are you'll never see it again. New Year's Eve tends to be one of those nights when retiring party-goers are content to go home wearing the first coat they find that looks vaguely like the one they went out in – it's black, it's got buttons, it must be mine! The person who took your coat will leave one behind that looks vaguely like yours, but you'll have to wait all night to find out which one it is, and it almost certainly won't be as nice. Only by wearing the old torn coat your Christmas coat was meant to replace do you stand a chance of benefiting from the unwitting exchange.

10. Pace yourself 

This isn't just about alcohol. The problem with New Year's Eve is not that it ends so late, but that it begins too early. If you start with a glass of champagne at 4pm, you may well find your interest in the whole new year's project flagging by 11pm. The best way to kick off the evening is with a cup of tea and a nap.

11. Avoid amateurs

New Year's Eve provides a well-earned evening of transgression for people who don't really drink and hardly ever stay up past 10. Don't get stuck with a group of them. They may be very pleasant, and you may even be charmed by their heedless, headlong enthusiasm, but later on they're going to vomit and break their ankles, and you don't want to be in loco parentis for that.

12. Choose your event wisely 

Specifically: if you get invited to a cool party and a boring party, don't even think about going to the boring party first, as a warm-up for the cool one. The transport network is under a lot of strain on New Year's Eve, and the odds of you getting stuck at the boring party, unable to find any way of getting to the cool party, are high. And it's considered terribly impolite to run round someone's sitting room grabbing people by the lapels and asking them if they know a minicab number.

13. Canapes aren't supper 

Even if you have no ambitions beyond going out and getting bladdered, remember this: nothing will improve the chances of your evening being a success as much as eating an actual meal at some point between 5 and 10pm. If this sounds like spoilsport advice from a bad-tempered old man, it is.

14. If you are hosting a party, try to centre the evening on an activity other than the consumption of alcohol 

This can be anything that takes your fancy – an end-of-year quiz, an impromptu skit, a talent competition, an awards ceremony, or some other form of planned entertainment. Try to engage guests in the sort of game for which being drunk is an impediment – it might make people drink a bit less, and even if it doesn't, people performing simple tasks badly because they are drunk is in itself inherently funny.

15. Make a written list of people not to cop off with 

Let's face it Рat 2am, a mental list isn't going to be any help at all. Note down the names in descending order of appropriateness: boss's wife; boss; ex-boyfriend; ex-girlfriend's mum; person you only know from Twitter; person you copped off with last year; troubled woman from accounts; doorman; acquaintance whose sexual orientation is only compatible with yours after six-and-a-half bottles of sparkling ros̩. Put little boxes next to their names that you can tick after entanglement has been avoided, and stick it in your pocket. It won't be much of a deterrent, but you might want to know your score tomorrow.

16. Whatever you do, don't suddenly decide to go skating 

You'll thank me for this.

17. Make no resolutions until tomorrow, or possibly the next day 

A lot of people regard tonight as the final deadline for new year's resolutions. Don't be cajoled into making any hasty announcements about quitting smoking, taking guitar lessons or being more socially committed, especially if it's just for the sake of joining in. Last-minute resolutions are often impractical and undesirable. And besides – you don't want to find yourself committed to any statements you made while lying face down in a pile of dirty snow.

18. By the way, if your resolution for 2010 was to learn to play the guitar, tonight is not the night to demonstrate to everyone how far you've come in a year

19. Bear in mind that nothing you can subsequently be proud of will happen after midnight

I'm not saying you need to end your evening at 12 on the dot, as long as you remember it's all downhill from there.

20. It's OK to cry 

Bursting into tears at a normal dinner party is generally taken as a sign that you're having either personal problems or a bad reaction to your medication, but on New Year's Eve it's considered perfectly normal, so feel free. You may still find it a little embarrassing to cry in public, especially if you're a man, but in many cases it's the least objectionable response to the circumstances. Crying in a taxi, for example, is much better than throwing up in a taxi. They don't even charge you extra for it.
Happy New Year.

Top 10 drunkest US cities....

The fearsome news Voltron that is the Daily News Beastweek has compiled a list of the 40 Drunkest Cities in the US, using the average number of drinks consumed per person in a month. So how did your city fare?
Well, the results are somewhat surprising! Here are the top ten:
1. Milwaukee, WI
2. Fargo, ND
3. San Francisco, CA
4. Austin, TX
5. Reno, NV
6. Burlington, VT
7. Omaha, NE
8. Boston, MA
9. Anchorage, AK
10. San Diego, CA
So most of those make sense. Boston, obviously. The Midwest, clearly. But San Francisco? That seems odd. I guess you have to factor in all the fancy wine and fruity cocktails consumed at summer garden parties. (Everyone in San Francisco is gay, you see). Otherwise America's gay lagoon doesn't strike me as a very drinky-drinky city.
Further down the list there are more surprises. New Orleans comes in at a surprisingly low 25. Maybe it's only tourists who drink so much down there? Similarly, booze-filledLas Vegas barely made the list at 35. And New York isn't even on there! That I cannot believe. I alone am doing more than my part to buoy this city's drinking statistics.
In fact, I'm going to go do that right now. Here's the full list for your perusal. Where did your backwater burg end up? (I'm speaking specifically to the Springfield-Holyoke residents among us. You sewer rats placed 31st.)

Chocolate milk goes alcoholic.....

Retail giant Costco stocks shelves with alcoholic chocolate milk

Last updated at 2:17 PM on 31st December 2010
First there was alcoholic whipped cream, then the controversial Four Loko caffeinated strong drink - and now retail giant Costco has put its considerable weight behind a new brand of alcoholic chocolate milk.
Adult Chocolate Milk, which comes in a distinctive 250ml bottle with a swing-top cap, is being sold in a high-profile spot in Costco stores in California.
According to Edwin Goei, a blogger on the OC Weekly website, the 40 proof alcoholic milk was being displayed just inside the entrance to the Tustin store. 
Adult Chocolate Milk
On sale at Costco: The 40 proof Afult Chocolate Milk is being sold at retail giant Costco for around $15
He said: 'It wasn't hidden in some back corner of the warehouse, where the rest of the booze is stored. It was displayed right smack in the front of the store, at the entrance, the first thing you see as you flash your membership card.' 
The drink has gone on sale relatively recently, but is likely to draw the same criticism as its alcoholic friends Cream - the alcoholic whipped cream - and Four Loco. 
Adult Chocolate Milk was developed by Newport Beach mother Tracy Reinhardt, who claims she mixed up the liquor in her kitchen after putting her kids to bed one night.
After enjoying the results and spotting the marketing potential, she teamed up with Nikki Halbur, a former classmate from Santa Ana's Mater Dei High School. 

Together they refined the formula, then started selling and marketing it. 
The high-profile spot in Costco is a major coup for the fledgling company.
In December the Food and Drug Administration removed Four Loko off the shelves after outcry over the damaging aspects of the drink. 
The agency said the combination of caffeine and alcohol in the drinks can lead to a 'wide-awake drunk' and have led to alcohol poisoning, car accidents and assaults.
Four Loko drinks, nicknamed by students as 'blackout in a can', have been banned from two universities already this month
Banned: Four Loko - a caffeinated alcoholic drink - was removed from sale
The agency said Phusion Projects, maker of Four Loko, and United Brands Co., maker of Joose, were ordered to remove their products from retail.
Charge Beverages and New Century Brewing said they no longer are producing their alcoholic energy drinks.
The controversial drinks drew national attention after a girl nearly died and nearly a dozen students from Central Washington University were rushed to hospital.

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Toilet goes on sale as a holiday home.

Loo with a view: The disused public toilet perched on a cliff which is set to fetch £100,000 as a seaside getaway

Last updated at 2:27 PM on 31st December 2010
A former public toilet is going on the market in a seaside town - so it can be converted into a holiday home.
The Victorian toilet block boasts spectacular sea views from its raised position at the base of a cliff beside the promenade in Sheringham near Cromer, Norfolk.
But potential buyers will need to be 'flush' with cash to buy the two-storey building as it has been priced at £100,000 by North Norfolk District Council.
The council estimates that it will cost another £50,000 to convert it to residential use.
Clifftop cubicles: This former public lavatory is going on sale as an unusual holiday home for £100,000
Clifftop cubicles: This former public lavatory is going on sale as an unusual holiday home for £100,000
Any buyer will have to be able-bodied as the toilet block can only be accessed by steps down from the top of the cliff or a small flight of steps from the promenade. Proceeds from the sale of the 110-year-old lavatories will be used to fund the building of a new toilet block around 300 yards away down the beach.
The sale has been welcomed by the Sheringham Enhancement Group which has been campaigning for improved public toilets in the town.
Spokeswoman Avril Duke-Millar said: 'I am sure it will make a lovely home for somebody. It is absolutely beautiful.
'There is no garden or land to go with it and there are steps to climb to reach it - but it is not impossible. The sea views are just wonderful.'
Mrs Duke-Millar is campaigning for the council to put a reserve price of £95,000 on the toilets to ensure there is enough cash made to build the new block.
The pebble-dashed toilet block with separate ladies and gents facilities was built in 1900 on the eastern promenade of the resort town.
Council officials were forced to shut the toilets in 2006 because they needed major improvements including electrical work.
They were faced spending £75,000 on upgrading the toilets up to modern standards. But the steps to the toilets meant the council would still have had problems complying with legislation to ensure access for the disabled.
Fancy a seaside getaway? North Norfolk District Council believe the ocean views offered by this two-storey toilet block could attract buyers
Fancy a seaside getaway? North Norfolk District Council believe the ocean views offered by this two-storey toilet block could attract buyers
Councillors are being recommended to seek planning permission to convert the block to a holiday home before selling it.
The property world was stunned two years ago when a two-storey public toilet near Fulham Broadway, London, was sold for £403,000 - four times the guide price - after it was flagged up as a great site for a club, school or cafe.
A one-storey stone-built loo in the Scottish golfing town of St Andrew's sold for £195,000 in 2007 - also more than four times the expected figure.
Another block in the run down Toxteth area of Liverpool was bought for £90,000 in 2008 - a staggering nine times the asking price.
It was snapped up, after a fierce bidding war, by a Turkish businessman as a gift for his student daughter.
He hoped to transform the block and surrounding land, already in the hands of her property-owning family, into 18 luxury apartments and eight shops.
Earlier this week a rather humbler toilet block in the tourist village of Boscastle was sold by Cornwall County Council for just £5,000.
The price at the bottom end of the £5,000-£15,000 guide price was achieved, despite auctioneers saying they hoped it would 'create a good stream of interest'.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Frozen turkey boards plane as hand luggage... strange luggage.

Frozen turkey on luggage list at Cardiff Airport

People find it hard to part with the things they love the most and are forced to take them on their flight. However, a list of items from Cardiff Airport may challenge these relationships with personal luggage.

Among the crazy discoveries at the terminal are a goldfish, a briefcase full of bricks and a frozen turkey.
A frozen turkey and goldfish were taken into Cardiff Airport (PA)A frozen turkey and goldfish were taken into Cardiff Airport (PA)
Despite wholesale improvements to security checks after the September 11th attacks in 2001, people have still felt the need to bring bizarre items along with them on their flights.
The Christmas delight of a 10lb frozen turkey was one passenger's idea of a normal item for hand luggage. What's more, his only concern was whether or not it would defrost by the time he reached his destination.
A butcher's knife was also passed off as something used for gardening, while no-one quite knows why ten bricks were needed by the briefcase owner.
The owner of the goldfish tried to take their pet on their plane as hand luggage and, failing this, tried to check it in, though they were politely told this could not happen.
One passenger even tried to check in a palm tree, while other items denied boarding rights include a bowling ball, two unpackaged armchairs and a chainsaw.

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