A virtual roller coaster for a 2 year old

Nice warmup, dad. How about putting her through this:

Now, that would require a change of Pampers.

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Beyond clouds: Meet the Milky Way

Here’s a timelapse flight from Europe to South America and the view a pilot has at night.

Now I know it’s beautiful, but I can’t help thinking “wouldn’t it be great to get from Europe to South America in less than three minutes?”

According to the pilot:

Our flight is packed and some 340 passengers are settling in for a long night flight. Its my turn to be at the flightdeck for the first part of the journey, as my other co-pilot gets the chance to rest in the crew bunk above the passenger cabin. We are heading our westbound, along the clearly visible Alps to our left. Just before reaching Geneva and the western tip of Switzerland we are making a shallow left turn to join the Rhone valley leading us to Marseille and onward onto the Mediterranean Sea. Our routing will bring us towards Algeria and on across the northwestern part of the vast Sahara. We will be flying past Dakar in Senegal where we will be heading out onto the Atlantic Ocean. Our south-westerly course will get us across the wide blue – in fact it was pitch-black during the night – to the north eastern shore of Brazil. Landfall is expected just north of Rio de Janeiro and the remaining few hundred miles will get us straight towards Sao Paolo. Our landing is expected around 6am local time, still before the sun will rise.

Kicking a competitor while it’s down

Actually, my headline is unfair. Because United kicks passengers while they’re down.

And it’s really not a Southwest ad. It’s just a mockup by a jokester. Kind of like this one:

And this one:

But this is all deserved, because the United CEO started the day in pure douchebag mode:

And as we all know, this message to the staff was bullshit, because we’ve all seen the video. Wall Street thought so, too:

And in a capitalist society, what Wall Street say carries a lot more weight than what paying passengers say. Here’s the second attempt at a United apology:

Statement from United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz on United Express Flight 3411

April 11, 2017

The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.  

I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.  

It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th. 

I promise you we will do better. 

Sincerely,

Oscar 

Too late, buddy. This is what you should have said before the plane left Chicago.

Never fly United Airlines. It beats up passengers.

This is how United Airlines gets passengers to “volunteer” to leave an overbooked plane:

That’s a movie. This is what happened in real life (from the Louisville Courier Journal):

Social media was on fire Monday after a video showed the type of hair-raising drama that you’d only expect to see in a horror film.

There was blood, screaming and gasps of disbelief. But this wasn’t fiction — this was a man being dragged off of a United plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport before the flight took off for Louisville.

As the Courier-Journal originally reported, a 31-second video posted on Facebook by Audra D. Bridges on Sunday night shows three men wearing radio equipment and security jackets speaking with a passenger seated on the plane. After a few seconds, one of the men grabs the passenger, who screams, and drags him by his arms toward the front of the plane.

And what exactly did the passenger do?

“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked,” the {United} spokesperson said. “After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate.

Excuse me, but do these fuckers know what “volunteer” means? Let me help them:

Definition of volunteer

  1. 1:  a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service: such as

    a :  one who enters into military service voluntarily

    b (1) :  one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest (2) :  one who receives a conveyance or transfer of property without giving valuable consideration

Just to be clear, this is the video of the incident:

Why do I feel like this is what you should expect in a country led by a dwarf-digited dipshit? Corporations take your money, then throw you off a flight after you’ve taken your seat, because they “volunteered” you to deplane. And let’s be honest. The passenger is Asian. Do you honestly think these stormtroopers would have done this to a white guy?

Here’s the response from United’s CEO:

Let me catch my breath:

  1. United is upset? How do you thing the passenger your goons beat up feels?
  2. Re-accommodate? Is that the new euphemism for “kick the shit out of”?
  3. Our own detailed review of what happened? Look at the video!
  4. Reaching out to this passenger? Why? So you can slap him around again?
  5. Resolve this situation? Just give him a couple of million dollars right now, because you’re going to lose a hell of a lot more when he sues your ass.

If you want passengers to leave a plane, offer them vouchers. If no one takes it, offer more vouchers. If no one takes that, OFFER MORE VOUCHERS, AND A MEAL, AND A FREE HOTEL STAY!

Think what would have happened even if you had to offer as much as $3,000 in vouchers. Lots of people would have waited for the next flight, and it would have cost you a hell of a lot less than the lawsuit you’re going to lose and the bad publicity you’ve already gotten.

Because, as a regular flying passenger, as a result of this, I’m never again going to get on a United Airlines plane.

There’s bigotry and xenophobia in the air

From Harper’s magazine:

Travel Clearances

From descriptions of incidents in which U.S. and U.K. airlines removed Muslims or passengers who were perceived to be Muslim from their flights.

Asked for a glass of water

Asked for a second Diet Coke

Saved seats for friends

Requested a strap for a child’s booster seat

Upgraded to business class

Read a book

Read an article titled “What ISIS Really Wants”

Looked at a flight attendant

Looked at an Arabic text message

Appeared scary to another passenger

Watched the news

Solved an algebraic equation

Sweated

Prayed for a safe flight