One town doesn’t want tourists for Memorial Day

If you’re a tourist, Ithaca, in the Finger Lakes region of New York, doesn’t want you–at least not for Memorial Day. It’s not a snob thing. It’s not that the town wants people who live there to enjoy backyard barbeque’s and parades in peace without strangers–you know, outsider types–from stopping them to ask for directions or take up their parking spots.

Actually, parking spots have something to do with it. The town is not that big for a lot of extra folks for a mega weekend like Memorial Day. Between Cornell’s graduation ceremonies and every day traffic, there isn’t enough room for every Tom, Dick, and Harry (and Mary) who has a hankering to head through this pristine town for a holiday.

Think about having a party at your house for example. Don’t you count silverware, place settings, number of chairs and the condition of your grass and plumbing to decide just how many people you can have tromping through? Ithaca, realizing they are ill equipped to be the best hosts at this time is basically saying, don’t bother.

Don’t think that just because you’re not welcome for one of the biggest pre-summer weekends that you’re not welcome forever. Don’t get your feelings hurt. They did want you for Mother’s Day and offered specials as Karen pointed out. And the town definitely wants you the last weekend in May for the Ithaca Festival, the quirky event that celebrates the town’s creativity. Then you’ll have fun. They promise. Mike, our Sky Mall Monday guru, lived here once and vouches for the friendly attitudes of the town’s people and the charm of the place. I believe him. In my opinion, a guy that dons a hazmat suit to test out the Hotel Carter, the dirtiest hotel in the U.S. can be trusted. [I Love New York]

Six weird plane emergency landing stories

One couldn’t argue that the US Airways emergency crash landing on the Hudson River due to birds flying into the engines is probably one of the most spectacular emergency landing stories.

There are, however, other stories that give one pause. They are not as splashy, but they sure are interesting, odd, and even downright weird. I went on an emergency landing hunt and this is what I found so far.

1. Back in December 2006, one American Airlines pilot had to divert a plane because of flatulence. One passenger who was passing gas, not the crop dusting, odorless kind that flight attendants sometimes do (ask Heather), but that foul kind you can’t quite get away from. The passenger who was passing gas lit matches to cover up the smell. When other passengers complained of a burnt sulfur smell, the pilot diverted the plane to Nashville where all passengers and all luggage was searched until the unnamed woman fessed-up. [Dallas/Ft. Worth Local News]

What about the plane VS the cow?

2. In August 2008, a Ryanair plane going from Budapest to Dublin had to land in Frankfurt after a man’s neck started to swell from an allergic reaction. Nope, it wasn’t peanuts. Turns out that a passenger had put a jar of mushrooms in the over head bin. The mushrooms leaked and got into the plane’s air conditioner system, thus out into the cabin which caused the medical woe. []

3. In December 2008, a Cirrus plane landed on the northbound lane of Highway 61 after there was engine trouble. The pilot and his passenger were able to push the plane to the side of the road out of the way until it was loaded onto a flatbed truck and removed. Can you imagine what it would have been like driving down the highway minding your own business when that baby came closer and closer to where you were driving? [10/13 ABC]

4. This odd story didn’t cause the emergency landing, but it is something that happened as a result. In December 2008, a World War II-era Tiger Moth in Britain hit a cow when it was making an emergency landing because of engine trouble. The cow had wandered out onto the runway. The cow was knocked down, but OK. My uncle hit a cow with his car. It wasn’t pleasant. Last summer while driving through North Dakota, we hit a few pheasants with our car. That wasn’t pleasant either. []

5. Here’s what one hopes would never, ever, ever, happen when flying. The plane door flies off. That’s what happened in March of 2008 when the door fell off a Bombardier Challenger CL-60 in Grand Junction, Colorado. No one was hurt, and the pilot was able to land the plane safely. A bit windy and startling, I would guess. I was riding in the passenger seat of a car once when the hood flew up and cracked the windshield. That was startling. []

6. Here is a joke about an incident that almost ended up in an emergency landing. The story is thought to be true and was posted in The Australian. One plane almost made an emergency landing due to extreme vibrations. When the pilot put on the fasten the seat belt sign, the vibrations stopped. A person came out of the bathroom and said that he had been jogging in place. The story sounds a bit bogus to me, but I’ll believe about anything. []

Woman snagged at airport for packing banana plants in her underwear

I suppose if you’re flying domestically in the U.S. and had three banana plants in your underwear while going through a security check, particularly if you’re female, you’d attract attention. But, after discovering you were packing banana plants and not a pistol, you might be allowed to walk on your merry way.

Although, just how well one could walk is another issue. Seriously, if you had three banana plants in your underwear, could you walk?

In the airport in Sydney, Australia, according to this story published in the Sydney Morning Herald, if you have even one banana plant in your underwear, you’d be in a whole mess of trouble. A whole world of trouble. More trouble than you probably ever imagined.

You’d be in trouble even if the plant was not in your underwear but tucked under your arm like a rolled up newspaper–Or if you were wearing it like a hat.

It’s illegal to bring banana plants into Australia no matter how you are carrying them. Banana plants carry nasty ailments that sound as if they could be sexually transmitted diseases.

“Better not, I have black sigatoka disease,” one might say. Or how about “fusarium wilt?”– or “moko disease?”

The woman apprehended by customs officials at the airport in Australia was trying to smuggle the plants in from Samoa. Although she doesn’t have any funky sounding diseases, she could be looking at 10 years in jail and a $66,000 Australian dollar fine for threating Australia’s banana industry.

The cheapest gas ever. How about less than 50 cents a gallon?

The gas station sign might have touted $3.43 a gallon for premium, but the pump had other ideas.

According to this msnbc article, customers at a Citgo station in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin hit pay dirt when they put the nozzle in place and depressed the lever to let the gas flow.

Instead of the pricey amount they were expecting, customers were treated to a $.349 cents a gallon. That’s right. Less than one quarter and one dime.

One customer, who usually spends $100 to fill her gas tank, drove away after only spending $8.85 for 25.36 gallons.

At first, the gas station attendant had no idea why there was the sudden interest in the gas station. The party ended after 90 minutes of a pumping flurry.

At least the economy worked in some people’s favor this week, although, I’m sure the gas station owner is not too happy. I’m wondering, though, why no one told the attendant that something was amiss–or is it that people became confused and thought that gas prices were behaving just like the Dow Jones?

Airport workers push plane off of runway

In a demonstration of physical prowess and the power of team work–slightly reminiscent of the Chinese display of can-do power at the Beijing Olympics, 30 airport workers pushed a CRG7 airplane off to a side lane at the Zhengzou Airport in China.

Whew! As one pusher said, “Thank God, it was only a 20 tonne medium-sized airplane. If it had been a big plane, it would have knocked us out.”

The reason for this particular great leap forward was because of the plane’s mechanical failure that began while it was landing. No one was hurt, but once on the ground, the plane was through working. It’s hydraulic system was toast. According to airport officials, a tow truck wouldn’t work without the hydraulic system. The plane is where the workers left it since technicians have yet to fix it.

How long does it take to move a medium-sized plane a little less than half a mile off a runway if you have 30 able-bodied people? About two hours.

According to the Ananova article, there were 69 passengers and 7 crew on board. I’m wondering why were they allowed to stay on the airplane?

Thanks to Gadling reader Bob for sending along the link to this story.