Tickets for 2012 London Olympics now on sale

Tickets for the 2012 Olympics in London officially went on sale today. With only 499 days remaining until the opening ceremony, it seems that now is a reasonable time to start jockeying for seats. According to CNN, the public will have six weeks (until April 26) to place bids on the full portfolio of events. A total of 6.6 million seats are available.

Accessibility and a level playing field are the common themes of the ticket distribution scheme. 90% of the available tickets will cost less than £100, with the range being from a paltry £20 to an arbitrarily cheeky sounding £2012. Each individual is entitled to apply for up to 20 sessions or events.

The balloting system does now reward those that register early or punish those that procrastinate until the final days of ticket registration. In the likely event that a surplus of tickets are sold, a ballot will determine ticket distribution. Here is a great primer on all of the details.

The chairman of the 2012 Olympics called this ticket scheme, “the daddy of all ticketing strategies.” I totally agree. I rest easy knowing that those that pounced on the opportunity like pack of Harar Hyenas have no measurable advantage over casual dawdlers that will quietly register on April 24. All tickets can be purchased on the official website of the 2012 Olympics.

flickr image via Ariaski

Cable cars to cross the Thames

London has been preparing for the 2012 Olympics by going on a huge building boom. Sports facilities have been sprouting up like mushrooms, and the organizers have just announced the latest planned addition–cable car rides over the Thames.

The cable cars will run from the Greenwich peninsula to the Royal Docks, connecting the O2 Arena (formerly the Millennium Dome) and the ExCel Exhibition Centre, both of which will host numerous Olympic events. Trips will take five minutes and the system can accommodate 2,500 people per hour in each direction. This will ease the burden on London’s transport system, which is already overburdened on regular days and which is scrambling to find ways to deal with the invasion of sports fans in 2012.

The route is too far from central London for passengers to clearly see famous sights such as Tower Bridge and Big Ben, but they’ll get fine views of the green hills of Greenwich Park and the impressive O2 arena, plus the high-rise business center of Canary Wharf. After the crowds and noise of the big city, soaring 50 meters over the Thames sounds pretty relaxing.

If you’re headed to Europe and you want to go for a ride right now, try the cable cars in Madrid.

Concorde may once again fly – thanks to $22 million and a lot of hard work

October 23rd 2003 is a date many aviation nuts will remember as the end of the era of supersonic passenger transportation.

It was the day the final Concorde flight took place, ferrying celebrities into London Heathrow airport.

Of course, her fate had already been sealed when Air France flight 4590 crashed just outside of Charles De Gaulle airport in July 2000 killing 113 people.

Her retirement may soon come to an end, if a team of engineers get their way. The engineers are part of two groups – the British Save Concorde Group, and the French group Olympus 593 (named after the amazing Concorde engines).

The purpose of the collaboration is to get a Concorde back in the air – on time for the 2012 London Olympics opening celebration. The Concorde in question is currently parked at the Le Bourget Air and Space Museum. With $22 million in available funding, the first step is to determine whether the engines on the plane can be started, and whether the plane can be taxied.

After that, there will still be a long way to go, especially if the plane is to receive a certificate of airworthiness. Still – as someone who was lucky enough to fly her several times, the prospect of seeing her take to the skies makes me very, very happy.