MSNBC launches Overhead Bin travel blog

A new competitor enters the market! The good folks over at MSNBC launched a new travel blog this month called Overhead Bin, where “’s travel reporters and editors look at news, destinations, deals and, of course, the joy and hassle of traveling.”

With some serious flagship writers such as Harriet Baskas from Stuckattheairport and Rob Lovitt blogging for the team, the site has some impressive firepower, and we’re expecting some really great travel content to emerge from the group. Already they’ve covered all of the recent travel buzz including At Sea with Kiss, Dr. Ruth and Dan Rather, Memorial Day topics such as Is it cheaper to Fly or Drive and even viral videos where photogs swim with jellyfish — there’s no doubt that their editorial strategy is right on point.

Currently, the site seems to be sticking to relevant, recent news and vacation related content, while on-the-ground destination and first person coverage seem to be either still in development or taking the back seat. Either way, at the rate at which they’re churning stories we’re sure that there’s much more good content to come. Welcome to the fray, team MSNBC.

[flickr image via Fields of View]

Woman calls in fake bomb threat to keep boyfriend from leaving

fake bomb threatIn a time when everyone’s on heightened alert against terrorist attacks, a woman in Chile called in a fake bomb threat to keep her boyfriend from flying off to a new job. MSNBC has reported that Grace Guajardo phoned in the threat to keep Rodrigo Gomez from departing on his Iberia flight bound for Madrid.

The couple, who’ve been in a relationship for over eight years and have three children together, were to be separated for several months while Gomez worked as a cruise ship waiter. Guajardo first tried to get authorities to tell Gomez his father was gravely ill. When that ploy failed, she did what any other reasonable and distraught girlfriend would do — she phoned in a bomb threat.

Ironically, Gomez stayed behind in Santiago, but Guajardo now faces up to 61 days in jail if convicted of making the false bomb threat. Had she pulled this stunt in the U.S., she’d likely be facing terrorism charges and they’d be separated for years — not a few months.

MSNBC currently has a poll going — love story or crazy girlfriend? An overwhelming majority have declared her “the crazy girlfriend”. What’s your vote — is this a story of true love or is she just plain crazy?

TSA pees on Tom Sawyer

Start with three key ingredients: Detroit, a bag of urine, and the TSA.

Add an agressive pat-down at security and what do you get? A disgruntled man on a plane, soaked in his own warm pee and a national news headline!

On Nov. 7th, a male passenger flying from DTW to Orlando, Florida was selected for additional security screening. A bladder cancer survivor, the passenger carried an urostomy bag under his clothes–a plastic bag attached to his abdomen for collecting urine. Despite repeated requests to exercise caution in their search, the agents broke the seal on the bag, spilling the passenger’s urine all over him.

Adding insult to injury of the American psyche, the poor guy’s name was Tom Sawyer (not making this up), a Michigan special education teacher who is currently learning the true power of the internet. Obviously, this guy is pissed–he’s already taken the issue to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.

An official response is still unknown, but the current threat advisory level is yellow.

Into the Grand Canyon with MSNBC’s David Horsey

Writer, cartoonist and good-guy-all around David Horsey’s most recent installment from his Escape into America series is up at MSNBC. This week, Horsey visits the Grand Canyon, not as a tourist telling stories about his vapid, two dimensional travels but rather as a visitor profiling the characters and the landscapes around one of the nation’s proudest national parks. The resulting slide show and audio is a warming look into America’s heartland. Take a look at the excellent piece below.

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Take the kids to Austria

I did not know that crystal is measured in carats. I didn’t need this bit of insight for the notion of a 300,000 crystal to be impressive. Apparently, this is one of the many unique items on display at Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, Austria. According to MSNBC, this is the second most visited tourist attraction in the country – after Vienna‘s Schonbrunn Palace. Swarovski also has the smallest, which measures a mere 0.8 millimeters.

The art workshops, sculpture garden and playground also make Swarovski Crystal Worlds a great destination for kids, proving that Europe isn’t just for adults.

Eileen Ogintz asks: “Who says kids will be bored in Europe?”

In Austria, there is plenty (even beyond Swarovski). Childrens can dress up as royals at Schonbrunn Palace and later stop by the Imperial Zoo. In Innsbruck, they can traverse a bridge that dates back to 1080 and marvel at the fact that The Goldener Adler hotel has more than six centuries of history.

Perhaps the favorite for kids is Aqua Dome in Langenfeld. It’s less than an hour from Innsbruck and boasts thermal mountain waters. For the youthful – at least at heart – there is a waterslide, climbing wall … and plenty of supervision. Let the kids go nuts while you soak in the warm mountain water in a futuristic hot tub or relax on the ice grotto.