Imagine if you could taste-test of a city before taking the plunge and buying your airline ticket. You could watch a performance, grab a cup of coffee or visit a market in the destination –- all from the comfort of your home. Well that’s the idea behind a tourism campaign that’s aiming to lure visitors to the Australian state of Victoria. The state’s tourism board has chosen four people who they’ve dubbed “Remote Control Tourists” because you and I can tell them exactly what we’d like them to do -– and they’ll go out and do it.The four tourists are outfitted with cameras and microphones mounted to a helmet, and all the footage captured is streamed live online. The two male and two female tourists have been exploring the Victorian capital, Melbourne, based on viewer requests sent via social media. So far, they’ve visited popular tourist attractions such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Federation Square, but they’ve also taken part in activities like busking and hugging random strangers, following the wishes of audience members.
The campaign is designed to encourage young, tech-savvy travelers to visit Melbourne, which is known for its hip restaurants and shops and its vibrant culture. The remote controlled tourists have already acted upon thousands of tweets and messages and will continue to do so until the campaign ends on Sunday.
Earlier this week, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) fired up their Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft in a successful test to prepare for launch to the International Space Station, set for Friday, March 1, at 10:10 a.m. EST. Space travel fans can follow along during the event via LiveStream starting at 9:30 a.m.
Monday, SpaceX teams ran through all the countdown processes as if it were launch day. All nine engines on the Falcon rocket were successfully fired for nearly two seconds, clearing the way for the historic launch.
Friday’s launch will be the fourth flight for SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft and the fifth and final flight for the company’s two-stage Falcon launch vehicle. It it the second SpaceX operational mission contracted to NASA under a Commercial Resupply Services contract.
Did you ever wonder what they send to the International Space Station on resupply missions?
In addition to what we might expect; food, clothing and gear needed for survival in space, the 1493-pound mission manifest includes experiments sent from a variety of nations.
Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency, for example, is sending stem cells. The Canadian and European Space Agencies have experiments going up also. NASA and the Russians are sending various supplies, computer resources and replacement parts.
With favorable weather expected, coverage of the launch from NASA’s Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida will begin at 8:30am on NASA TV.
Here is a short clip of that test-fire earlier this week-
“Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2″ opens worldwide on November 16 and fans of the series have some unique options for getting excited about the final installment. Fan clubs, cinemas and tour operators from around the world are offering special events, viewings and even a chance to be on the red carpet with the stars of the film.
Across the country and around the world, theaters have different versions of a Twilight Saga Marathon, showing all five films. In Seattle, not far from Forks, Washington, where the story originates, Regal Cinemas has a special deal: a $15 marathon package that gets loyalty club members the entire saga from the first episode, ending with the 10 p.m. showing of “Breaking Dawn Part 2.”
Starting with a pre-reception with the film’s director Bill Condon along with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and other actors from the film, the winner and three guests then go to the Nokia Theatre where VIP seats await for the world premiere, followed by an after party with the cast.
Fans can bid on the package between now and November 7, 2012. At last look, the bid stood at $6000.
Remote but personal-
Can’t make it to the premiere anyway? Yahoo! will exclusively Livestream the world premiere on Monday, November 12, starting at 8:30 Eastern time. That streaming video will no doubt be the backdrop for “Breaking Dawn” premiere parties held around the world.
Coming from around the planet-
Interest in the “Twilight Saga” is worldwide and the vacation planners at Tour America in Dublin have suggestions for fans of the series that visit the places where the movie was filmed.
One idea is to fly into Seattle for a three-night stay in the Warwick Seattle Hotel, in the heart of the city. Pick up a car and head west towards Port Angeles, a coastal town with access to “Twilight” locations including Bella Italia, the restaurant where Edward and Bella had their first date.
Another idea puts visitors at The Quality Inn Uptown, which has views both of Port Angeles harbor and Olympic National Park where the National Park Service cares for mountain vistas, meadows of wildflowers, colorful ocean tide pools and some of the largest remnants of ancient forests left in the country, not far from the town of Forks.
Win a trip to Italy-
To celebrate the conclusion of the “Twilight” series, our friends at AOL’s Moviefone and Summit Entertainment are giving away an all-expenses-paid trip to Italy, one of the locations on the Cullen’s global quest.
To date, the Twilight franchise has grossed over $2.5 billion in worldwide box office. Since the 2005 release of the first novel in the series, Twilight, the books have sold over 100 million copies worldwide with translations into over 30 different languages.