SkyMall Monday: T-Rex Dinosaur Trophy Frieze

I don’t know much about hunting (and what I do know I learned from Zach Everson) but I’ve always wanted an animal trophy on my wall. However, I don’t want to kill something just for sport (unless it’s the most dangerous game) and finding an animal that I can track, kill and eat near the SkyMall Monday New York City headquarters is tough (the Parks Department frowns on the use of rifles in Central Park). So, what’s a man with a healthy bloodlust and empty wall space to do? Well, if SkyMall has anything to say about it, we’ll all decorate our walls with a suitable kill while also not removing a single creature from a delicate ecosystem. Rather than covering yourself in deer urine and spending your day in the trees, simply pick up our favorite catalog and order yourself the T-Rex Dinosaur Trophy Frieze.

Since dinosaurs have long been extinct (or living in the Land of the Lost), this T-Rex is clearly not real. However, it displays that you have the ability to take down a beast much greater than you, which will give your guests pause when they consider stealing something from your home or seducing your daughter. As such, it’s a handsome home decoration and an advertisement for your masculinity.

Think that you should only display trophies that you actually killed? Believe that showing off any kill – even fictitious ones – is crude? Well, while you select a puppy statue, we’ll be reading the product description:

Our…wall trophy celebrates one of history’s largest known land predators, the fabled T-Rex! This amazingly detailed sculpture releases nearly a foot-and-a-half from the wall to boast details cast in quality designer resin and hand-painted with realistic color and texture. Mount our prehistoric, treasured artifact on home or garden wall for Jurassic-sized impact in your own museum!

Now all you need is a garden, a garden wall (which is what, exactly?) and your own museum. Seems reasonable.

So leave your orange hunting vest and animal calls at home. There’s no need for bloodshed when you’re decorating your home (unless you’re reckless with the power drill). Sit back, relax and enjoy having an extinct animal follow you with its eyes.

Check out all of the previous “SkyMall Monday” posts HERE.

Airline Madness: The Final Four

Airline Madness is Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances. You can catch up on all of the previous tournament action here.

After two weeks of voting – along with intense debate in the comments – we have reached the Final Four of Airline Madness. The second round continued the drama that has become the trademark of this tournament, as #13 seed Obese people who take up two seats pulled off another upset by crushing those crying babies (and their inattentive parents). Meanwhile, when it comes to your money, #6 seed Change fees/no free standby won an upset of its own, proving to be way more annoying than the lack of free food. Annoying passengers and Legroom showed why they’re the top two seeds of the tournament by advancing in dominant fashion. Now it’s time for you to vote on the Final Four to see who advances to the championship. We’re not wasting any time, so read on to cast your votes!

#1 Annoying passengers vs. #13 Obese people who take up two seats

The tournament’s two most impressive performers finally battle. Annoying passengers come in all shapes, sizes and aromas. No matter which type you encounter (be it the chatty neighbor, the loud talker or the smelly traveler), they’re sure to ruin your flight. Meanwhile, obese people who take up two seats try to steal what you paid for. That’s your seat and no one should be able to annex part of your space.

Only one of these on-board menaces can advance to compete for the championship.
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#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #2 Legroom

In our other Final Four match-up, two classic airline pet peeves square off. Switching flights at the airport used to be a breeze. Now? Get ready to pony up $100. And standby? Yeah, that will cost you as well. Once you get on the plane, however, that’s when legroom becomes an issue. Legroom isn’t just a problem for tall people. Virtually everyone feels cramped – if not completely claustrophobic – in planes because that seat in front of you is way too close for comfort (and your knees are practically in your chest).

Which classic annoyance will move on to the championship match?
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Final Four voting ends at 11:59PM EDT on Wednesday, March 28.

More Airline Madness:
Second round match-ups:
#1 Annoying Passengers vs. #9 People who get mad at people who recline their seats
#12 Inattentive parents of crying babies vs. #13 Obese people who take up two seats
#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #3 Lack of free food/prices for food
#7 Rude airline staff vs. #2 Legroom
First round match-ups
#1 Annoying passengers vs. #16 Disgusting bathrooms
#2 Legroom vs. #15 Inefficient boarding procedures
#3 Lack of free food/prices for food vs. #14 Cold cabin/no blankets
#4 Baggage Fees vs. #13 Obese people who take up two seats
#5 Lack of overhead space vs. Inattentive parents of crying babies
#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #11 Lack of personal entertainment/charging for entertainment
#7 Rude airline staff vs. #10 Having to turn off electronic devices during takeoff & landing
#8 People who recline their seats vs. #9 People who get mad at people who recline their seats
Hotel Madness: Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances

Catch up on all the Airline Madness here.

From the Gadling Archives: Travel smarter in 1982

The following post was uncovered while we were researching our Travel Smarter 2012 series. Deep in our archives, we discovered this article, titled “Travel smarter in 1982,” which was published in the spring 1982 edition of “The Illustrated Gadling Quarterly.” We are republishing it here as a reminder that, though a great deal has changed in 30 years, travel is still pretty tubular. We have updated the post to include links and video when appropriate.

Travel Smarter 1982

After last year’s air traffic controllers’ strike, this year can only see improvements in the world of travel (unless, of course, stewardesses decided to start pouring less whiskey in our drinks). While the FAA is still hiring and training new air traffic controllers, Americans are returning to the road, now that gas prices are finally normalizing. And, we’re seeing some bitchin’ technology that will make life away from home more comfortable than ever before. It’s 1982 and time to travel smarter!Air Travel

Flying was a total nightmare last year. Flight schedules were dramatically affected by the air traffic controllers’ strike and the industry is still recovering. That said, there’s no need to avoid flying and it’s still a luxurious way to travel.

How else can you travel the globe in comfort while eating delicious meals and watching some of Hollywood’s brightest stars on shared screens? And, as if air travel wasn’t already convenient enough, we’re hearing rumors that a new company, Airfone Inc., is testing out air-to-ground telephone service that could become available on commercial flights as early as this year! Can you imagine calling your friends and family to tell them that you’re a mile above them? No longer will time on a plane be lost time for your business.

For those of you who aren’t fans of all of those cigarette smokers in the backs of airplanes, Muse Air, the first non-smoking airline in the United States, plans to launch this year after being delayed by last year’s strike. It will only operate in Texas (between Dallas and Houston), but its focus on comfort has us believing that it will soon be a major player in the industry.

Road Trips

With the oil embargo (and its effects on gas prices) behind us, and some people still squeamish about flying because of the strike, America is ready to reignite its love affair with road trips. 1982 should see more Americans hitting the road as gas prices hold steady rather than spiking dramatically, as they have since 1978.

If you’re looking to replace your old gas-guzzler, Chrysler has recently introduced two new “compact cars” that get much better gas mileage than most older models on the road. The Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant are both affordable, fuel-efficient and, of course, sleek. For under $6,000, you and your family can hit the road with money left over for a motel room that has HBO!

Still, with gas prices at over $1 per gallon, people are choosing their road trips wisely. One place that we’re certain will attract visitors is…

Florida

Why will Florida be so popular? Because in 1982, the future is now in the Sunshine State! This year will see the opening of Disney’s EPCOT Center and the third launch of NASA’s new space shuttle program.

EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) is a tourist attraction unlike anything that we’ve ever seen. It’s the 21st century…today!

Guests will be able to enjoy Future World, a look into, well, the future, and the World Showcase, which allows visitors to travel the globe without ever having to leave central Florida! Future World features exhibits such as the Universe of Energy sponsored by Exxon and The Land, brought to you by Kraft. Both attractions look at our environment and how humans, along with massive multinational corporations, keep the planet clean.

The World Showcase features pavilions from nine countries representing such exotic and hard-to-reach locales as Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom. One of the nine pavilions is dedicated to the “American Adventure,” which you can experience right here in America! We’re hearing whispers that they will add more countries in the future. Hopefully we’ll be done exploring the Canadian pavilion by then!

Meanwhile, not too far from Orlando, NASA has begun launching their new space shuttles from Kennedy Space Center. Just last year, the Space Shuttle Columbia completed the first two missions of the program. This March, it will launch again with two astronauts on board. Tourists from around the world are expected to converge at Cape Canaveral to watch as the shuttle leaves Earth to explore the great unknown. It’s quite a sight and should be on everyone’s must-see list. It’s your chance to see the beginnings of a space program that could have us colonizing Mars in 20 years!

Technology

One of the advantages of road trips has always been the ability to listen to music along the way. With the radio and cassettes, we have music, news and entertainment everywhere our cars can take us. But what happens when we choose to fly? While in-flight movies can help pass the time, sometimes we just want to listen to our rad tunes. That’s why we’re so excited about the Sony Walkman. The portable cassette player has been around for a few years, but thanks to some competition, the price is finally right for almost any traveler.

You can now find a Walkman for around $25 or $30 and are limited only by the number of cassettes that you want to carry in your luggage. That means that you can afford one for everyone in your family, which should finally put an end to all of that whining from the kids about how bored they are on the plane or in the backseat of the car.

Get going!

There’s a bodacious year of travel ahead of us and hopefully you can take advantage of our tips and suggestions. Head over to your local travel agent, have her find you the best fares and hotels and get out there! Or, load the family into your new car and get down to Florida for a look at the future.

Oh, and if you’re looking for a hot new destination, trust us on this bonus tip: the Falkland Islands are the place to be in 1982!

Top photo of TWA Boeing 767-200 via Flickr user Deanster1983.
Second photo of 1981 Dodge Aries via Flickr user aldenjewell.

Cockpit view of night landing in Los Angeles

Landing in any major city at night can be a thrill. The lights down below are enticing and the energy of a city after dark gets your pulse racing. Or, you know, maybe you’re just exhausted and ready to collapse. This video of a plane coming in for a landing at LAX offers amazing views of the many neighborhoods of Los Angeles and the surrounding area (all labeled for our benefit). It’s a view we don’t often get to see (directly from the cockpit of the plane) of a city that’s incredibly spread out.

Check out the World’s Most Outrageous Vacation Rentals!
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Check out Albuquerque’s Breaking Bad Tour!
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Don’t forget to vote in Airline Madness

Airline Madness is Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances. You can catch up on all of the previous tournament action here.

Polls are still open in the second round of Airline Madness. Don’t forget to vote to see who will advance to the Final Four of our tournament of airline annoyances. Go ahead and share your thoughts on the match-ups in the comments, share with your friends and voice your opinions to us on Twitter and Facebook. Polls close on Friday at 11:59PM EDT.You can easily jump to any of the second round match-ups be clicking the links below.

More Airline Madness:
First round match-ups
#1 Annoying passengers vs. #16 Disgusting bathrooms
#2 Legroom vs. #15 Inefficient boarding procedures
#3 Lack of free food/prices for food vs. #14 Cold cabin/no blankets
#4 Baggage Fees vs. #13 Obese people who take up two seats
#5 Lack of overhead space vs. Inattentive parents of crying babies
#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #11 Lack of personal entertainment/charging for entertainment
#7 Rude airline staff vs. #10 Having to turn off electronic devices during takeoff & landing
#8 People who recline their seats vs. #9 People who get mad at people who recline their seats
Hotel Madness: Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances

Catch up on all the Airline Madness here.