In brief: Marilyn Monroe living large in Chicago
Marilyn Monroe is living large in Chicago, "Carmageddon" turns out to be a non-issue, a Stormtrooper treks across Australia, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
Chicago Marilyn Monroe sculpture prompts low brow humour
A 26ft sculpture immortalising movie star Marilyn Monroe in the iconic pose of her dress blowing in the air was unveiled in Chicago yesterday, and it's already caused confusion, annoyance and plenty of interesting photo opportunities. Questions have been raised as to why the sculpture was built in Chicago when the actress was born in California and the Seven Year Itch — the movie in which the famous scene took place — was filmed in New York (one reason could be that Chicago is the Windy City). But one thing is certain: people already seem to be taking joy in posing for photos under her lengthy legs.
First class passengers enjoy premium wines
As airlines continue to raise the bar regarding perks for first-class passengers, some have begun hiring sommeliers. Delta began offering complimentary fine wines to passengers in the front of the plane, as have American Airlines and United Airlines. Impressive perks have helped airlines increase year-over-year premium passenger traffic by 8.5% through the first four months this year, which can mean a significant profit increase, the Associated Press reports.
Carmageddon raises questions of alternate modes of transportation
Residents of Los Angeles panicked as "Carmageddon" approached. The closing of 10 miles of Los Angeles' Interstate 405, one of the busiest highways in the US, had residents in such a worry that Jet Blue offered $4 flights between Burbank and Long Beach to help commuters avoid traffic. But Carmageddon turned out to be mostly hype, as traffic continued to flow over the weekend. Still, the incident has raised questions about whether LA will see an increase of alternate modes of transportation, the Wall Street Journal reports. After all, a group of bicyclists raced two airline passengers from LA to Burbank, and won with plenty of time to spare. Then again, the passengers can't be too upset; they paid $4.
A Stormtrooper treks across Australia
Drivers who make the journey across sparsely-populated Australia sometimes can go long stretches without seeing another human. But throughout the next few months, some may be lucky enough to pass a storm trooper. Jacob French, started his trek across the country last week, which would be no small endeavour in itself, but the 20-year-old is dressing in 10-kilogramme Stormtrooper suit while pushing a 50-kilogramme trolley, all in the Australian heat. Leaving from Perth, he expects to arrive in Sydney by December, walking 35 to 40km per day. He also hopes to raise $50,000 for the Starlight Children's Foundation, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
"The tourists ride in an air-conditioned bus through part of the site, but it might as well be a time machine. The era feted is one of Soviet bad guys, grade-school air raid drills and warnings delivered in capital letters: Visitors are welcomed by the sign ACCESS LIMITED."
-The Los Angeles Times ran a feature about tourists visiting a Cold War bombing test site in Nevada. The 1,375-sq-mile site attracts thousands of tourists each year to what is "essentially a radioactive ghost town".