Monday, February 29, 2016

Fighting The Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat


Graham Roumieu



Can plane seats get any smaller?
Those of us who prefer not to find out were cheered when a bill that would set minimum seat size standards for commercial airlines was proposed in early February by Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee. More recently, the issue received attention when Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said that he also wanted to set seat size standards.
“People have gotten larger since seats were shrunk,” Mr. Cohen said during a February debate about his proposed amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act.
Seats were 18 inches wide before airline deregulation in the 1970s and have since been whittled to 16 and a half inches, he said, while seat pitch used to be 35 inches and has decreased to about 31 inches. At the same time, the average man is 30 pounds heavier today than he was in 1960 (196 pounds compared with 166 pounds) and the average woman is 26 pounds heavier (166 pounds, up from 140 pounds), Mr. Cohen said, citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smaller seats and larger passengers mean planes may not be capable of rapid evacuation in the event of an emergency, he said. “This affects safety and health.”
Representative Janice Hahn of California, a co-sponsor of the bill, added that passengers on cramped planes are getting in fights over products like the Knee Defender (about $22), the controversial clamps designed to attach to the arms of your tray table and prevent the person in front of you from reclining (possibly inciting a confrontation, though you can always hand your fellow passenger a Knee Defender Courtesy Card, which notes that you “realize that this may be an inconvenience”).
During the debate, Representative Rick Nolan of Minnesota, among those who voted yes for the amendment, recalled seeing a man trying to squeeze into his seat and inadvertently pull the hair of the woman sitting in front of him. “And she’s screaming at him ’cause he pulled her hair, and he’s screaming at her for screaming at him and, I mean, it’s getting out of line.”
Alas, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted down Mr. Cohen’s Seat Egress in Air Travel Act of 2016, 33 to 26, on Feb. 11. But I’m still holding out hope. Mr. Cohen introduced the act as a stand-alone bill on Feb. 8 and plans to introduce it again as an amendment if or when the F.A.A. Reauthorization comes to the House floor for consideration, according to a spokesman for Mr. Cohen. On Feb. 28, Senator Schumer of New York announced that he would offer an amendment to the F.A.A. Reauthorization bill that would require seat-size standards. “The average passenger feels like they’re being treated as a sardine,” he said during a news conference. “Squeezed and squeezed and squeezed.”
Photo
Senator Charles E. Schumer, an advocate of regulating airline seat size.CreditAlex Brandon/Associated Press
Whatever happens, Mr. Cohen’s bill raises important questions. Smaller seats are doubtless uncomfortable and unfair to travelers who are especially tall or heavy. But are they also unsafe?
There are two main concerns addressed by the Seat Egress in Air Travel Act: “economy class syndrome” (the condition experienced by travelers who develop deep vein thrombosis, the formation of a blood clot or clots, after long-distance flights) and the ability for passengers to safely evacuate a plane when they can barely get into their seats in the best of circumstances.
The risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism — a potentially life-threatening condition when a clot or part of a clot travels to the lungs — as a result of flying long distances appears to be real, though small. An average of one passenger in 6,000 will suffer from deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism after a long-haul flight, according to a study by the World Health Organization.
The American College of Chest Physicians said in its most recent guidelines on the topic that developing deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism as a result of long-distance travel is unlikely for most travelers but that certain factors may increase the risk. They include having already had the conditions, having cancer, recent surgery or trauma, immobility, advanced age, using estrogen, being pregnant, being obese, and sitting in a window seat (because it can limit mobility). That said, when the American College of Chest Physicians issues guidelines it also grades them based on the quality of the evidence used to generate its recommendations. The group’s guidelines on this particular topic are graded 2C, which acknowledges that the evidence is of low quality.
It’s worth noting that deep vein thrombosis is not confined to air travel. “Anyone traveling more than four hours, whether by air, car, bus, or train, can be at risk for blood clots,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To help prevent clots, the C.D.C. suggests moving your legs frequently and exercising your calf muscles. More information is available at Cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/travel.html (from there you can learn more about evidence and risk factors by clicking the Yellow Book chapter on DVT and travel link).
The other major safety concern Mr. Cohen raised is the ability of passengers to exit a plane in the event of an emergency.
“The F.A.A. requires that planes be capable of rapid evacuation in case of emergency,” he said in a statement when the bill was voted down, “yet they haven’t conducted emergency evacuation tests on all of today’s smaller seats. That’s unacceptable.”
At issue, Mr. Cohen said, is that the Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t conducted emergency evacuation tests on airlines with a distance between rows of less than 29 inches. And the House sets no safety standards for seat width or pitch. The consumer rights group FlyersRights.org said in late February that “it has been years since airlines have been required to conduct these tests, and back then, they used young, fit employees to conduct the tests. Any aircraft that has subsequently reduced seat width or pitch, or has added seats per row, should be required to recertify to the 90-second evacuation standard for that configuration, using volunteers from the general population, conforming to demographic standards, without prior training in aircraft evacuation, and with those tests supervised by the F.A.A.”
Since the introduction of Mr. Cohen’s bill, it has garnered a few more supporters, including Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York and Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia.
Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a Republican, also signed on to the bill as a co-sponsor, joining several Democrats.
“I hope to see this go through the House with bipartisan support,” he said in a statement.
So do thousands of fliers on both sides of the aisle.
 

If Traveling To Brazil You Should Consider Personal Bodyguard Protection

Brazil Bodyguard Protection 

 Brazil Bodyguard Protection is offering top level, intelligence driven personal security for those wanting to travel with confidence.

All plans are customized to fit the unique needs of each individual client. This concierge style structure ensures that every client receives the same watertight security strategy, whether they’re die-hard sports fans, holidaying families or corporate executives. With the majority of Executive Security personnel trained by and recruited from military and police forces, Brazil Bodyguard Protection offers clients corps standard security. All operate under a strict code of conduct, and are part of a small demographic who may legally possess, carry and use firearms in Brazil.

While Latin America boasts some of the most beautiful scenery and cultures on the planet, it is also notorious as one of the world’s most dangerous destinations. The latest survey from Mexico City’s Citizen Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice revealed that 43 of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world are in Latin America, including 19 in Brazil. This reputation was reinforced during Brazil’s 2014 World Cup, which was marred by violence and petty crime. For those wanting to enjoy the Olympic Games with the total peace of mind that their back is covered at every corner, a personal bodyguard is a must.



As a holistic consultancy group, Brazil Bodyguard Protection offers clients a comprehensive range of services. As well as private bodyguards, the company also offers ground and air transportation, interpreters and guides. Guards are multilingual English and Portuguese speakers, which gives clients the ability to overcome any language barriers. It’s the convenience of a translator and the safety of private protection, rolled into one. For travelers wanting to immerse themselves in the local culture without having to worry about safety concerns, Brazil Bodyguard Protection is ideal. 

Silva adds, “Brazil and its neighboring Latin American countries are incredible places, but it would be naïve to romanticize the region as a destination that’s just as safe as its Western counterparts. Our service exists to help both private and corporate travelers experience everything the region has to offer, without the lingering shadow of safety concerns.”

For more information about Brazil Bodyguard Protection, and to request a quote go to: http://www.brazilbodyguardprotection.com/

About
Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil Bodyguard Protection is a privately owned personal security consultancy operating across Brazil, and wider Latin America. The company offers its services to both private and corporate clients. As well as bodyguard protection, the company also offers interpretation, transportation and security-centric tour guide services. Clients and partners include media companies, business VIPs, celebrities and several close protection firms in UK and USA.

The Top 25 Timeshare Rental Resorts For 2016



RedWeek.com, the leading timeshare rental and resale
 by-owner marketplace, has released its list of Top 25 Timeshare Rental Resorts for the ninth straight
 year. The Top 25 ranking is calculated using rental demand statistics from the site's more than 2.2
 million subscribers.

Marriott resorts typically dominate the list, and this year is no exception -- the brand claimed 11 of the
 25 total spots.  Disney is the second most sought-after brand – with their timeshare resorts claiming
 4 spots on the list, including the top position.  When it comes to top locations, the most sought-after
 resorts are in Florida, Hawaii, and the Caribbean -- primarily Aruba.
Surprises this year include the first-ever appearance of Wyndham's Bonnet Creek Resort in Lake
 Buena Vista, Florida.  That appearance, along with the resurgence in popularity at The Galleon
 Resort in Key West, Florida, bumped two popular resorts off the list altogether: Kaanapali Beach
 Club and Orange Lake Resort's West Village.

"The top 25 resorts offer fabulous rental vacation experiences for families that are difficult to match,"
 said Gary Prado, vice president of business development for RedWeek.com.  "It's the ultimate
 win-win: travelers get these amazing by-owner deals at top resorts, and timeshare owners get
 to rent their villas on RedWeek.com to cover their fees when they're unable to use them."
 The complete list of top 25 timeshare rental resorts below can also be found on RedWeek.com.

  1. Disney's Beach Club Villas - Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  2. Marriott's Aruba Surf Club - Palm Beach, Aruba
  3. Harborside Resort at Atlantis - Paradise Island, Bahamas
  4. Disney's BoardWalk Villas - Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  5. Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Lahaina, Hawaii
  6. Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club - Palm Beach, Aruba
  7. Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club - Kapolei, Hawaii
  8. Marriott's Newport Coast Villas - Newport Coast, California
  9. The Manhattan Club - New York City, New York
  10. Costa Linda Beach Resort - Oranjestad, Aruba
  11. Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge - Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  12. Marriott's Grande Ocean - Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  13. The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas - Lahaina, Hawaii
  14. Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Lahaina Villas - Lahaina, Hawaii
  15. Playa Linda Beach Resort - Palm Beach, Aruba 
  16. Disney's Old Key West Resort - Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  17. Marriott's Ocean Pointe - Palm Beach Shores, Florida
  18. Marriott's OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  19. Hilton Grand Vacations Club (HGVC) at Hawaiian Village - Honolulu, Hawaii
  20. The Royal Sands - Cancun, Mexico   
  21. Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club - Koloa, Hawaii
  22. Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Napili Villas - Lahaina, Hawaii
  23. The Westin St. John - Virgin Grand Villas - St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
  24. Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort - Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  25. The Galleon Resort - Key West, Florida

These rankings reflect the preferences of RedWeek.com users; individual experiences with these
 resorts may differ from those reflected in these results. None of the resorts listed above are
 affiliated with RedWeek.com. All traveler ratings and reviews are available onRedWeek.com.

About RedWeek.com:
RedWeek.com is the largest online community and marketplace for timeshare rentals and resales,
 boasting more than 2.2 million subscribers and an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. At
 RedWeek.com, you can find reviews, ratings, prices, availability, and complete resort description
 for all timeshare resorts worldwide, making vacation selection easier. Timeshare owners can make
 use of a variety of easy online tools to rent or sell their timeshare, and participate in forums to 
discuss important owner issues.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Top 10 London Art Exhibitions In 2016



National Gallery London
© National Gallery, London
With the New Year come new resolutions, promises, plans – and best of all – new art exhibitions in London! From the Impressionists to the Modernists, sculpture to fashion, London honors all forms of art, and this year’s upcoming exhibitions are guaranteed to impress. Here are a few that we can’t wait to put in our calendars for 2016.

Otherworlds: Visions of our Solar System at the Natural History Museum

22 January-15 May 2016
Come see art and silence collide in this photographic exhibit by Michael Benson celebrating the past six decades of space exploration. The exhibit features original music by Brian Eno and NASA and ESA have provided raw data for the exhibit. So if you’ve ever wanted to see outer space for yourself, now’s your chance. Visit theOtherworlds exhibition website for more information.

Museum of Innocence at Somerset House

27 January – 3 April 2016
The Museum of Innocence Somerset House
The Somerset House has collaborated with Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk to create a physical representation of his novel The Museum of Innocence. The objects aim to tell the story of socialite Kemal Bay’s love affair with Füsun in 1970s Istanbul. Sounds like a truly original exhibit! Find out more here.

Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse at the Royal Academy of Arts

30 January-20 April 2016
Painting the Modern Garden Monet to Matisse Royal Academy of Arts
Some of the most beautiful and important paintings from the Impressionists, Post-Impressionists and Avant-Garde artists come together in this exhibition examining the role of the garden. From Monet to Renoir, Klimt to Van Gogh, this exhibit won’t disappoint. Booking tickets in advance is highly recommended for this show since it will surely be a popular event. Find out more and book tickets in advance on the Royal Academy of Arts website. 

Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Genius at Science Museum

10 February-4 September 2016
Da Vince Science Museum London
You know Leonardo da Vinci as a painter – but how well do you know him as an engineer? In 2016, the Science Museum will showcase his incredible talent through historical models of Leonardo’s inventions, large-scale reproductions of his famous drawings and sketches, interactive games, bio-inspired robotics and more. Find out all the exhibition details here.

Vogue 100: A Century of Style at National Portrait Gallery

11 February-22 May 2016
Ahh, Vogue. The illustrious fashion magazine turns a century old this year, so you can expect a range of photographs celebrating iconic looks and trends since 1916 on display at the equally stylish National Portrait Gallery. Find out more here.

Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art at National Gallery

17 February-22 May 2016 
Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art National Gallery
Eugène Delacroix is considered one of the most, if not the most, influential artist of his era. This exhibition, the first of its kind in over 50 years in the UK, celebrates Delacroix, as well as examines his influence on contemporaries including Courbet and Géricault, who would later go on to influence the likes of Manet and Van Gogh. Read more about this exhibition here.

Botticelli and Treasures from the Hamilton Collection at The Courtauld Gallery

18 February – 15 May 2016
Botticelli and Treasures from the Hamilton Collection
Two major exhibitions are paying homage to Botticelli this year. This one focuses on the stunning drawings Botticelli created for Dante’s Divine Comedy, as well as a collection of exquisite Renaissance illuminated manuscripts. Find out more at theCourtauld Gallery website.

Botticelli Reimagined at V&A

 5 March-3 July 2016
Botticelli Reimagined
Florentine artist Sandro Botticelli gifted the world with his exquisite painting, the Birth of Venus. But he also greatly influenced artists who would follow in his footsteps – an impact that will be on display come March. Find out all the exhibition information here.

Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds at British Museum

19 May-27 November 2016 
How much do you know about ancient Egypt? What about ancient Greece? This groundbreaking exhibition will shed light on new discoveries found lurking at the bottom of the sea. Two cities that have been lost to time are about to see daylight once more. Book your tickets online here.

Georgia O’Keeffe at Tate Modern

6 July – 30 October 2016 
Georgia O’Keeffe Tate Modern
Georgia O’Keeffe Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie’s II 1930 Oil on canvas mounted on board Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Gift of The Burnett Foundation © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
From her paintings of New Mexico to erotic flowers, Georgia O’Keeffe helped define American modernism. The landscape painter and feminist artist’s work will grace the Tate this July, a century after her New York debut. Find out more information and book your tickets online in advance by visiting the Tate Modern website.

Contributed by , www.Londonperfect.Com

6 Things No One Tells You About The Blue Lagoon In Iceland

Iceland: Lagoon Mountains (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)
In the country of fire and frost, geothermal hot springs are one of the best ways to warm up, and the Blue Lagoon is the king of them all. Though it is an undeniable attraction, there are a lot of things that could come as a surprise to first-time visitors. If floating in the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon is high on your bucket list, read on for the six most important things you should know about Iceland's Blue Lagoon—that no one tells you.

This is Not a Local Hangout

The Blue Lagoon is one of country's most popular attractions, and roughly 80 percent of tourists to Icelandmake their way here at some point. I knew this going in, but I was still surprised at what a total production it is. This is tourism's ground zero, my friends. You'll be outfitted with a special electronic bracelet upon arrival that allows you to purchase food and drinks, and you'll pay it off when you leave. If you lose this bracelet, you'll be charged a penalty fee. If you need a towel or robe or slippers, you'll have to pay to rent them.

It's Not in Reykjavik

It's in Keflavik, which is about an hour away from the main center of Reykjavik, near the airport. If your plane arrives during the day, you can book a bus from the airport (through Gray Line) that will take you to the lagoon, and then on to the main city. You can also do this in reverse, stopping at the Blue Lagoon on your way to the airport.

You Shower Naked Before You Enter

Most public pools make you shower before you enter the water, and the Blue Lagoon is no exception. The notable difference? Here, you shower sans bathing suit. It's a little strange at first, but there are several closed stalls you can choose to shower in, so you don't have to bare it all to the world. On my visit, there was a Blue Lagoon employee in the shower area to enforce this rule.

It Is a Full Blown Spa

Somehow in my head I thought the Blue Lagoon was going to be a small, intimate affair, but the structure itself is absolutely massive. The property houses a hotel, restaurants, and banquet facilities, and also offers spa treatments that are done in-water, as you float on a rubber mat. A full hour-long massage in the water costs 95 euros and a silica salt scrub, which uses Blue Lagoon minerals, is 80 euros for 30 minutes.

You Can Have Your Hotel Concierge Book Your Visit

Since a visit to the Blue Lagoon is one of the most iconic Iceland experiences, it's important to plan your visit in advance to make sure you're able to get in -- the Lagoon does fill to capacity from time to time, and you may be turned away. Reserve your spot when you book a bus to the Blue Lagoon, which staff at any hotel, like CenterHotel Thingholt, can book for you.

It's Not Cheap

First, there's the cost of entrance, which is 40 euros if you book online, and 45 euros if you just walk in. If you want to rent a towel, that's another five euros; a bathrobe, another 10, and cocktails are seven euros each. Without eating anything, you've spent at least 55 euros, which at the moment is roughly 60 USD. The Blue Lagoon sells itself as a luxury experience, and to enjoy it, you're going to be paying a luxury price.
Looking for a less expensive alternative? Try the Myvatn Nature Baths in Northern Iceland, which are also blue ($27 admission), the Secret Lagoon ($18 admission), or the Fontana Baths (an hour from Reykjavik, with $25 admission), or Laugardalslaug, Reykjavik's public pools, which will only set you back $7 for admission.
Have you been to the Blue Lagoon? What was your experience like?
—Kelly Lewis
This article was originally published by Oyster.com under the headline 6 Things No One Tells You About the Blue Lagoon in Iceland (That You Definitely Should Know).

Saturday, February 27, 2016

C.D.C. Urges Pregnant Women To Avoid Travel To Olympics Over Zika Fears


Divers practiced this week in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games. An estimated 500,000 people are expected to visit Brazil for the Games from Aug. 5 to Aug. 21, raising concerns about the spread of the Zika virus.CreditRicardo Moraes/Reuters

Health officials in the United States have advised pregnant women who are scheduled to attend the Olympic Games in Brazil to reconsider their plans because of the Zika virus epidemic.
In a travel advisory released on Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said women who are pregnant in any trimester should “consider not going to the Olympics.”
The agency also recommended, “If you have a male partner who goes to the Olympics, either use condoms or abstain from sex for the duration of your pregnancy.”
The C.D.C. issued special precautions for pregnant women who do decide to go to Brazil, as well as for women trying to become pregnant and men with pregnant partners. The C.D.C. said the precautions were necessary “because Zika virus infection in a pregnant woman is linked to a seriousbirth defect of the brain called microcephaly and miscarriage.”
“The Zika outbreak in Brazil is dynamic,” the C.D.C. said.
The agency said that pregnant women who choose to go to Brazil for the Olympic Games in August should first talk with their physician and then follow precautions to prevent mosquito bites, such as the use of specific insect repellent, covering exposed skin and staying in screened or air-conditioned rooms.
As many as 1.5 million people are believed to have contracted the Zika virus in Brazil, part of a larger outbreak that the World Health Organizationthis month declared an international public health emergency. Though Zika is not known to be fatal, it has been linked to microcephaly, a condition in which infants are born with small heads and brain damage.
More than 580 babies with microcephaly have been confirmed in Brazil, with an additional 4,100 cases under investigation, according to Reuters.
An estimated 500,000 people are expected to visit Brazil for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro from Aug. 5 to Aug. 21. That potential influx hasraised concerns about Zika’s potential spread around the world. Some researchers believe that the virus arrived in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup.
On Friday, the C.D.C. reported that nine pregnant women in the United States had tested positive for Zika, one of whom gave birth to a baby with microcephaly. Dr. Thomas Frieden, the agency’s director, said that scientists were still studying the connection between Zika and the birth defect. The agency’s website showed a total of 107 travel-related Zika cases reported in the United States, minus its territories, but as yet no locally acquired cases.
In the latest advisory, the C.D.C. also recommended that men who travel to the Olympics use condoms or abstain from sex with pregnant partners, advice it has already given to those traveling to areas affected by Zika because of reports that the virus can be sexually transmitted.
By 

Disney Parks Adopt Seasonal Pricing On 1-Day Ticket


by , Disney Parks
As regular readers know, it’s an exciting time to visit Disney Parks as new fan favorites come to life at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.
New Star Wars experiences have already opened at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. And, this year, several new experiences are expected to open on both coasts, such as the new Soarin’ Around the World at Disney California Adventure park and Epcot, a “Frozen”-inspired musical at Disney California Adventure park, new nighttime experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Frozen Ever After attraction at Epcot and a new stage show at Magic Kingdom Park.
As you may have read in the news, the demand for Disney Parks continues to grow, particularly during peak periods. At the same time, we have an unwavering commitment to exceeding the expectations of all our guests. That is why we continue to expand our parks with new attractions like those noted above, as well as entire new themed lands based on AVATARStar Wars and “Toy Story.”
It is also why we continue to look for ways to help spread out visitation. So, beginning tomorrow, we are shifting to seasonal pricing for 1-Day tickets. It’s an approach that you are probably familiar with from many other areas, including sports, entertainment and travel.
How does it work? Each month is divided into value, regular and peak days with an 8-11 month calendar available for viewing online. Here’s an example, if guests plan their visit for September, they’ll have a variety of options, including many days in the value period, which will give them the opportunity to pay less for a 1-Day ticket. If they plan to visit during a peak period, like the winter holidays, they will pay more. Purchasing a 1-Day ticket in a non-peak period, or choosing multi-day tickets and annual passes, will provide additional flexibility and value.
Seasonal pricing for a 1-Day ticket and price increases for multi-day tickets go into effect at Disney Parks on Sunday, Feb. 28. You can check out our Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resortpages for more details.