Friday, 16 December 2016

Pokemon No-Go: Moscow GPS foils taxis, Uber, runners

We love this story, but of course are not amused about those actually getting lost. It's truly an "only in Russia thing":
Russians seek answers to central Moscow GPS anomaly
From the marathoners who magically run at a higher rate to Uber drivers thrown 30 kilometres off-course, Putin's GPS shield is bringing cloaking devices into modern un-reality.

"Isn't this the Kremlin?"
"No, you idiot, it's Vnukovo Airport!"
"Where's Pikachu then?"
"How the hell am I supposed to know?"
"It was your turn to handle directions!"
"I followed them!"
"Then where the hell is the Kremlin?"
"It's supposed to be right here!"
"Then why does the GPS on my phone keep telling me this is the airport?"
"Where are the planes?"
"I don't know!"
"It doesn't look like any airport I've ever seen..."
"They probably stopped air traffic because Putin is arriving."
"That's stupid."
"No, it's not."

"Pikachu's in a helicopter?!?"
"No, you idiot, it's Putin's helicopter!! Can't you hear it?"
"Yes, but..."
"Look, there it is! It IS Putin!"
"Holy shit."
"No shit! I told you!"
"Then where's [inaudible]?"
"I said, where [inaudible] then?"
"I can't hear you!!!"
"No shit chickenshit".
"Wow, that thing's loud..."
"Did you see Putin waving?"
"No, of course not!"
"I swear I saw him!"
"Can't be."
"Why's that?"
"Because it's his double, you idiot!!!"
"His what?!?!"
"You think they'd let Putin wave?! It's his DOUBLE, dufus!"
"He has a double?"
"Of couse he does, numbskull."
"I wonder when the planes will start again."

"So where's Pikachu then?"
"Cloaked. You know, stealth technology."
"You think Pikachu has a cloaking device?!?"
"Sure, why not?"
"You watch too much Star Trek!"
"No I don't!"
"So where's Pikachu then?"
"I don't know!"
"Why don't you ask William Shatner then?!?"
"Kirk?!? Where? What...?"
"I just keep feeling like he's going to magically turn up..."
"Ha. True."
"I'm ready for vodka."
"Me too."
"Maybe Pikachu is in the bar."
"With Shatner".
"Ha. No shit."
"Well, let's go then."
"Keep your eyes open for him."
"Who? Pikachu? Or Shatner?"
"Ha. Do you hear planes?"
"It's an airport, remember?"
"No, it's the Kremlin."
"Oh, geez... Let's get that vodka..."
"Roger that!"

Monday, 12 December 2016

Layover Ideas: Zurich

Have a layover coming up in Zurich?

Wondering what you could do with your time? Here's a little inspiration. We've gathered the following stories from those who have experienced a layover in Zurich. Learn what they did, if it was worth it, and their tips... [read more].

Want more layover ideas?
• Read more stories on the LayoverIdeas Blog
• Explore cities worldwide on

Related resources
Mugging: are you a target? 10 resources
Spot the deadly fake taxi on your international travels!
Dealing with taxi drivers
Dealing with touts
Airport arrival advice

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Death by selfie

Lamapicchu selfie
Think that selfie is fun? Harmless?

Aside of the downsides of "missing" the experience of where you are, because you're so busy capturing your selfie, you may be surprised to to learn that taking selfies is actually dangerous.

What starts as playful fun can cross the line when selfies become an obsession, in which you become less aware of your surroundings and take ever-increasing risks.

Especially for men. The truth is that while women take more selfies than men, 75% of selfie death victims are MEN.

Selfie deaths?!? Really? You bet.

Selfie-takers have been killed by:
    StockbridgeUltimate "Selfie"Picos SelfieGeyser selfie!SelfiemaniaThe extreme selfie Up in the Air Waterfall SelfieSP 81/365 - March 22, 2010 - Giving it all to the River - 365 X 3
  • Falling off cliffs while taking selfies
  • Falling over viewpoint barriers
  • Falling into a volcano crater
  • Falling down stairs
  • Falling down stairs while taking a selfie at the Taj Majal
  • Falling off bridges
  • Falling off dams
  • Falling into ponds, springs, irrigation canals and water reservoirs
  • Falling into a geyser while taking a selfie
  • Falling into a quarry filled with rainwater
  • Falling into a well, while leaning over to take a selfie showing the depth
  • In a melt hole at the front edge of a receding glacier
  • Standing in a rivers
  • Taking selfies with waterfalls
  • By waves, when taking selfies on the beach
  • Standing in the surf, in a storm, taking selfies
  • Taking selfies on train tracks (several)
  • Taking selfies with trains
  • Falling off moving trains
  • Climbing on top of moving trains
  • Climbing on top of stationary trains (electrocution)
  • Taking driving selfies
  • Crashing cars uploading selfies while driving
  • Being hit by cars, while taking selfies
  • Standing up in a boat to take selfies (drownings)
  • Climbing on a fountain to take selfies
  • Climbing onto a glass dome and falling through
  • Falling off high buildings and ledges
  • Climbing on girders in a construction site
  • Leaping to take a "flying selfie" (at Machu Picchu)
  • Posing with guns (many in the USA and Russia)
  • Posing with grenades
  • Posing with a rattlesnake
  • Posing with tigers at the zoo
  • Taking selfies with a walrus at the zoo
  • Posing with a bison in a national park (gored)
  • Posing with an elephant near their tent on a safari
  • Getting out of a vehicle to take selfies with a herd of elephants blocking a road

Places where selfies have banned, due to deaths:
  • In Pamplona, Spain, during the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona
  • At New York State zoos (tigers)
  • Anywhere in Mumbai (India has very high selfie deaths)
  • In Japan, selfies and selfie-sticks on train station platforms are banned

Selfie bans have been proposed, due to high selfie deaths:
  • In Paris, at the Eiffel Tower
  • In Rome, at Trevi Fountain
  • In Rome, on the Spanish Steps

Does it get worse?

#selfie Yes, the most risk of selfies are being called "killfies". These selfies aren't just careless, the are planned death-defying selfies by adrenaline junkies. And a shocking number die trying.  

Is there hope?

Yes. A group of computer science students at Carnegie Mellon University, in partnership with the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, are tackling the issue of educating people on dangerous photo ops. The strategies include an anti-death-by-selfie app that would provide a warning if the user is about to attempt a high-risk selfie - or even better: shut down the camera [read more].

It's an intriguing concept. While we're not sure it would dissuade those inclined towards death defying killfies, it does sound like a great solution for those simply caught up in the moment and at risk of accidental death. 

Is there an alternative?

Flytographer has a new approach
Yes, there is a new option available for travellers.

Flytographer is a network of professional photographers worldwide, many in popular tourist destinations. In larger cities, there may be multiple photographers to choose from, and Flytographer makes this easy, as you can check out samples of each photographer's work online. The best part? You get GREAT photos of your memorable trips and travel moments, including electronic files. We say, Flytographer is brilliant!

Note: the photos in this article are NOT those of people who died taking a selfie (though you will find such photos in the results below).

Related resources
Capturing Travel Memories by Flytographer - cruisetravelbug
Researchers Seek Solution to Selfie-Related Deaths - Carnegie Mellon University
The Newest Trend Has People Dying For The Perfect ‘Killfies’- Social News Daily
Extreme Selfie Attempts Which Resulted In Horrifying Deaths - Daily Leaks
Selfie Obsession kills over 60 people Worldwide - Phone Radar
Mumbai sets no-selfie zones as deaths linked to selfies rise - Big Story
13 Landmarks That Have Banned Selfies or Selfie-Sticks - Conde Nast Traveler
Driving Selfies On The Rise And Having Deadly Consequences - Social News Daily