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6 Ways to Celebrate Halloween From Behind the Wheel

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From “Christine” to “Crash!,” the killer car movie is a hallowed horror subgenre. Pick your vehicle — bulldozer, hearse, big rig — and there’s a scary movie about it.

But this Halloween, cars are here to save, not destroy. Coronavirus restrictions like masks and social distancing have forced attractions to reimagine in-person frights. The demons and ghouls who usually stalk narrow corridors of a spooky mansion will lurk at outdoor drive-through experiences, delivering gotcha scares at windshields and in rearview mirrors. At drive-in movie theaters, which are experiencing a golden age this year, people can scream from the safety of their own vehicles, with little worry about virus exposure from other viewers. And car-based activities are good news for people with disabilities, who are often shut out from traditional haunted houses.

Here are six places around the country to get your Halloween scares from behind the wheel.

FILM SCREENINGS

Lehighton, Pa.

(Ongoing)

Open since 1949, this single-screen drive-in theater outside Allentown, Pa. — lovingly profiled in the 2019 documentary “At the Drive-In” — is for students and fans of old-school moviemaking. The venue uses 1940s-era Simplex E-7 twin projectors, manned by an actual projectionist, to show movies on a massive screen. According to Virgil Cardamone, who curates the films, the Mahoning is the country’s only remaining exclusively 35 mm drive-in movie theater, where scratchy prints are prized.

This year, highlights of the packed October schedule include a double feature of “The Thing From Another World” (1951) and “The Thing” (1982) and a screening of “Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master” with cast members making an appearance, including Lisa Wilcox, who played the final girl and the Freddy Krueger opponent Alice Johnson. The lot is limited to 500 cars, down from its normal capacity of about 1,000 to accommodate social distancing. Don’t worry about being too tired to drive home — overnight passes are available for guests who want to extend their stay on the grounds.

Chicago

(Through Oct. 31)

Running for 31 straight nights, this drive-in movie series has real cinema bona fides: It’s presented by the horror-streaming platform Shudder and the Music Box Theater, a grand Depression-era movie palace that normally hosts a horror-movie marathon. Horror geeks will enjoy theme nights like Grindhouse Fridays (“Evilspeak” and “Black Christmas”) and Sequel Sundays (“Psycho 3,” “Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2”). A notable special guest is Karyn Kusama, who will appear in a pretaped Q. and A. on Oct. 19 after a showing of her darkly comic feminist cult film, “Jennifer’s Body.”

The films are shown at the Chi-Town Movies Drive-In, a former parking lot that’s been transformed into a now-permanent and intimate drive-in theater. It’s located in Pilsen, a historically Mexican neighborhood on the city’s west side; besides popcorn and hot dogs, concessions include tacos, frozen mango and Jarritos sodas delivered to your car.

OUTDOOR EXPERIENCES

Splendora, Texas

(Through Nov. 1)

For families watching their wallets, this drive-through is a bargain: It charges a modest $20 per car no matter how many people squeeze inside. Located in a rural town northeast of Houston, the Haunted Drive has increased its path from two to three acres this year. Taking it slow at two to three miles an hour, cars will encounter costumed actors and vivid animatronics at 10 installations, including a haunted carnival and a killer gas station.

“Make sure the bravest person in the car is driving,” joked Gary Rymer, a co-owner.

Costa Mesa, Calif.

(Through Nov. 1)

“People here have high expectations when it comes to Halloween,” said Mark Entner, the chief executive of Stardust Entertainment Group, the owner and producer of a new high-tech immersive drive-through at the OC Fair & Event Center.

On the drive, cars take paths to four outdoor spaces featuring elaborately designed, creepy set pieces where stories based on Southern California urban legends come to life. Expect to see supernatural cave dwellers inspired by the nearby Blackstar Canyon and a “warehouse rave disco queen” update of the Bloody Mary myth, as the creative director Josh Randall put it. V.I.P. tickets include a designated traffic lane with extra immersive experiences.

“Californians are dealing with Covid and fires and the election, and we want people to escape for 45 minutes,” Mr. Randall said.

Los Angeles

(Through Nov. 1)

Killer food is also on the menu at this new experience from Justin and Melissa Meyer, husband-and-wife event producers. This open-air drive winds along Legg Lake, a popular loop trail located in the Whittier Narrows recreation area. The first leg features a “creature safari,” where visitors use flashlights from their cars to spot costumed monsters among the trees. That’s followed by stops at eight haunted tableaus, where masked characters deliver pre-packed bites, including cinnamon-sugar doughnut churros, and fall-inspired drinks like hot apple cider. (Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available.)

The trip finishes with a virtual campfire consisting of 3-D projections of flickering flames and “ghost stories that come to life,” Mr. Meyer said.

Roseville, Minn.

(Through Oct. 31)

There’s something very queer about this new theatrical experience. It’s created by Chad Kampe and his husband, Matthew Felt, the organizers of a drag-tastic “Golden Girls” fan cruise. There’s a mostly queer cast and crew. And it’s as camp as it is creepy.

The show takes place at a parking lot at the Rosedale Center mall outside Minneapolis. Attendees check in and use their phones to watch a short film about a crazed mall murderer on the loose. Then they pull into a tent and hand over their car keys (to be returned later) in exchange for a (sanitized) radio and — let’s just say drivers will appreciate the spray bottles on hand to clean off the blood and guts (i.e., laundry soap and food coloring) that coat each car at the end of the mayhem.

The show’s macabre tagline? “No one can hear you scream from inside your car.”

By: Erik Piepenburg
Title: 6 Ways to Celebrate Halloween From Behind the Wheel
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/10/03/at-home/celebrate-halloween-from-your-car.html
Published Date: Sun, 04 Oct 2020 03:22:09 +0000

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What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?

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People have always liked to drink on board flights, especially people from Australia. Therefore, it should be no surprise to anyone that there was an inflight bar offering in the 1970s.

Ansett Airlines were a major player in the Australian domestic market up until their demise in September 2001. For many years, there were two domestic airlines, Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA) and Ansett.

Ansett’s Inflight Bar

At the time, Ansett operated Boeing 727s, Douglas DC-9s and Fokker F27 Friendships on domestic routes in the country. Airline tickets were quite expensive, with tariffs agreed upon by both airlines thanks to Australia’s weird two-airline policy at the time.

While tickets were expensive and food complimentary, you still had to pay for a drink at the bar. Here is an inflight bar menu from the era, showing the drinks available and their prices.

Clearly the pricing is astounding by today’s standards – 30 cents for a beer? I’ll have thirty-three please! I like how Australian gin is 35c while the imported gin is just 5c more. Which would you choose?

You can tell it is from another era as you can buy cigarettes on board. These price up at 45c, a far cry from the extortionate prices people in the west pay these days for a smoke!

Overall Thoughts

The on board offering is pretty comprehensive for internal flights, and I imagine you’d be hard pressed not to find something you might like. In those times, all payments would have been by cash as well, which would have meant a lot of coinage being handled on board.

Of course, things haven’t changed too much over the years. On many airlines you pay for your drinks just as they did back in the 1970s. Shame the prices aren’t the same of course!

Did you ever buy drinks on board flights from the inflight bar back in the day? Do you still? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Daniel Tanner on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.
Menu image by Ikara on Australian Frequent Flyer.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/ansett-airlines-inflight-bar-menu/
Published Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2020 15:03:14 +0000

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These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?

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The shrimp stop swimming at dusk and gather near the river’s edge. After sunset, they begin to climb out of the water. Then they march. All night long, the inch-long crustaceans parade along the rocks.

The parading shrimp of northeastern Thailand have inspired legends, dances and even a statue. (Locals also eat them.) During the rainy season, between late August and early October, tourists crowd the riverbanks with flashlights to watch the shrimp walk.

Watcharapong Hongjamrassilp first learned about the parading shrimp, and the hundred thousand or more tourists who come each year to see them, about 20 years ago. When he started studying biology, he returned to the topic. “I realized that we know nothing about this,” he said: What species are they? Why and how do they leave the safety of the water to walk upstream on dry land? Where are they going?

Mr. Hongjamrassilp, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, decided to answer those questions himself. His findings appeared this month in the Journal of Zoology.

Working with wildlife center staff members, Mr. Hongjamrassilp staked out nine sites along a river in Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province. They found shrimp parading at two of the sites — a stretch of rapids, and a low dam.

The videos they recorded revealed that the shrimp paraded from sundown to sunup. They traveled up to 65 feet upstream. Some individual shrimp stayed out of the water for 10 minutes or more.

“I was so surprised,” Mr. Hongjamrassilp said, “because I never thought that a shrimp can walk that long.” Staying in the river’s splash zone may help them keep their gills wet, so they can keep taking in oxygen. He also observed that the shells of the shrimp seem to trap a little water around their gills, like a reverse dive helmet.

DNA analysis from captured shrimp showed that nearly all belonged to the species Macrobrachium dienbienphuense, part of a genus of shrimp that live mostly or fully in freshwater. Many Macrobrachiumspecies spend part of their lives migrating upstream to their preferred habitats.

Most parading shrimp that Mr. Hongjamrassilp captured were young. Observations and lab experiments showed that these shrimp probably leave the water when the flow becomes too strong for them. Larger adult shrimp can handle a stronger current without washing away, so they’re less likely to leave the water.

Walking on land is dangerous for the little shrimp, even under cover of darkness. Predators including frogs, snakes and large spiders lurk nearby, Mr. Hongjamrassilp says. “Literally, they wait to eat them along the river.”

And the shrimp can survive on land for only so long. If the parading crustaceans lose their way, they may dry out and die before they get back to the river. A few times, Mr. Hongjamrassilp came across groups of lost shrimp dead on the rocks, their once-translucent bodies baked pink.

Yet most navigate upstream successfully, and scientists have spotted other freshwater shrimp around the world performing similar feats, scaling dams and even climbing waterfalls.

Leaving the water when the swimming gets tough may have helped these animals spread to new habitats over their evolutionary history, Mr. Hongjamrassilp said. Today, the number of parading shrimp in Thailand seems to be declining. He thinks tourist activity may be a factor, and learning more about the shrimp might help protect them.

The study’s authors made “some really excellent observations,” said Alan Covich, an ecologist at the University of Georgia who was not involved in the research. But understanding why the Ubon Ratchathani shrimp move upstream, and how far they travel, will require more research, he said.

“The most surprising thing to me was that it attracted so many tourists,” Dr. Covich said. He doesn’t know of any other example of people gathering to appreciate a crustacean in quite the same way.

“We have crayfish festivals, we have all kinds of things,” Dr. Covich said, “but generally it’s people eating them, not watching them move.”

By: Elizabeth Preston
Title: These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/science/shrimp-parade-thailand.html
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 17:02:07 +0000

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Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?

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There are reports that Aer Lingus have applied for 1,500 slots at Manchester Airport for the Summer 2021 season. This will allow the airline to base four aircraft there and service flights to the United States.

At present, there have been no press releases from the airline stating what is going on. Even so, it probably makes sense for the Irish airline to do this in the current market.

Aer Lingus And Manchester

From what is known, there will be three Airbus A321LRs and an A330 based at Manchester. These will operate non-stop services to New York JFK, Boston, Chicago and Orlando, and the season starts on 28 March 2021.

With Thomas Cook having gone out of business, there is likely space for another competitor. New York and Orlando will see competition from Virgin Atlantic, while the other two routes have no airline flying at the moment.

Aer Lingus has been connecting passengers over Dublin very successfully from the UK regions for a while now. Due to this, they will have visibility on traffic patterns, potential yields and more, making this an informed decision.

I imagine they also hope to cream off some of the connecting traffic that routes through London Heathrow on British Airways and Amsterdam on KLM among others. It would prove to be quite successful.

Transatlantic Joint Venture Approval

The US Department of Transport has tentatively given its approval for Aer Lingus to join the oneworld transatlantic joint business. This is operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.

These airlines coordinate schedules and pricing, share revenues and expenses. For the consumer, it means more choice – those making a booking on British Airways across the Atlantic will also see options on American Airlines on the BA web site as one example.



Theoretically, it would allow people seeking flights on the British Airways web site to automatically be given options to fly non-stop with Aer Lingus, along with the Manchester-London Heathrow-US city connecting itinerary.

Whether Aer Lingus will join the oneworld alliance, even in a oneworld connect capacity remains to be seen. Frequent flyers would welcome it, especially those in Ireland.

Overall Thoughts

No doubt the boffins have been working behind the scenes to see if the business case for transatlantic flights from Manchester stack up. As things have proceeded as far as a slot application, I would guess chances are good that it will go ahead.

Either way, let’s see if this happens and if it does, whether Aer Lingus will stay for the long haul. If they can make more money elsewhere, they’ll up sticks and leave. Regardless, it is an interesting development in European aviation.

What do you think of Aer Lingus starting transatlantic services from Manchester? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by N509FZ via Wikimedia Commons.
Aer Lingus A321neo LR by Pitmanaaron via Wikimedia Commons.
Business class cabin via One Mile At A Time.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/aer-lingus-manchester/
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 18:03:48 +0000

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