“In this male-dominated world, in that famously openly chauvinistic culture, these women were really taking the reins and running their lives in a way most women didn’t,” Christina Ricci said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about her upcoming television show, Pan Am, a night time soap opera revolving around the lives of flight attendants and pilots in the 1960’s. Think Mad Men at 30,000 feet.
Christina Ricci has been cast to play Maggie, a head stewardess. What’s funny about this is Ricci wouldn’t have been hired to be a stewardess back in the day. At five foot one, Christina is too short. Pan Am required its stewardesses to be at least five foot two and weigh no more than 130 pounds. They also couldn’t be married or have children. On top of that the mandatory retirement age for flight attendants was 32. So even if Ricci had managed to squeak by Pan Am’s minimum height requirement, she wouldn’t have flown for long. The actress, born in February, is already 31 years old. With Pan Am scheduled to air in September, Christina only has five months to travel the world before being forced to hang up the uniform and retire. That’s not enough time to establish oneself as a head stewardess for a major airline. At my airline it takes six months just to get off probation! But back in the 60’s stewardesses averaged eighteen months on the job. A year and a half. By those standards, Christina Ricci would already be three-quarters of the way through with her career. Sad, but true.
Thankfully a lot has changed since 1960…
HEIGHT: Today US airlines have height requirements for safety reasons only. Flight attendants must be tall enough to reach overhead safety equipment. Typically flight attendants range between five foot three to six foot one. There may be a lower height restriction at some regional airlines where the aircraft type operated has a maximum height allowance of 5’10”.
WEIGHT: In 1990 all US airlines dropped weight requirements for flight attendants. The only requirement today is that weight must be in proportion to height. If a flight attendant can not sit in the jump seat without an extended seat belt or fit through the emergency exit window, they can not fly.
AGE: Most airlines have a minimum age requirement, usually between 18 and 21 years old. There is no maximum age limit. As long as a flight attendant can pass their yearly recurrent training, and does not have any health or physical problems that would prevent them from flying, they can continue to work for as long as they like.
NOTE: Foreign carriers still follow strict height, weight, and age requirements.
There’s been a shocking archaeological discovery in Israel. Nails from the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ have been found!
Well, no, probably not.
The claim comes from Israeli Canadian documentary filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici, the Washington Post reports. Jacobovici has done several documentaries on Christian subjects and came across an archaeological report from 1990 mentioning the discovery of nails in the tomb of a man named Caiaphas. For those who know their Bible, this is the same name as the Jewish high priest who plotted to arrest Jesus and then gave him to the Romans. The name is right, the date of the tomb is right, so the nails must be those from the Crucifixion, right?
The Post quotes Jacobovici as saying, “There’s a general scholarly consensus that the tomb where the nails were found likely belonged to Caiaphas. Nails at that time were a dime a dozen, but finding one in a tomb is exceedingly rare.”
Actually neither of these statements is true. The Post quotes an Israeli archaeologist as saying that the inscriptions in the tomb aren’t clear as to the occupant’s identity, and I myself have seen Roman nails turn up in tombs. They were pretty common objects, after all.
The timing of this announcement just before Easter and just before Jacobovici’s next documentary comes out (titled “Nails of the Cross” to air Wednesday on the History Channel), adds to the suspicion that Jacobovici is fooling either himself or us.
There’s also the question of why a Jewish high priest would take the nails of someone who he thought was a false prophet to the grave with him, or even how he got them in the first place since it was Jesus’ family and followers who removed Jesus from the Cross.
In the view of this former archaeologist, this story is more of the usual sensationalism masking as science that fills so much of the media. A bit like the spurious discovery of Caligula’s tomb.
Never fear. There are plenty are saints’ relics in Rome, including enough nails for a dozen Crucifixions. Gadling’s own David Farley has even written a book about the Holy Foreskin, which you can also visit in Italy. Actually there’s more than one relic claiming to be the Holy Foreskin, but that’s another story. . .
[Image of Roman nails courtesy user Takkk via Wikimedia Commons. These are not the same nails that came from the tomb mentioned in this article.]
Our last day was a blur of packing, dashing around Bangkok’s street markets for souvenirs, and a spectacular goodbye dinner overlooking the entire city. If there’s a better way to leave Bangkok than with a night up on the Dome/ Sky Bar at Lebua, we’re not sure what it is. Early the next morning we said goodbye to new friends, stocked up on M-150, emptied a few last bahts from our pockets and prepared for the long ride home.
If you have the itch to embark on an adventure like ours, check out Trikaya Tours and ask for Joom (our incredibly hospitable tour guide). Thailand, we thank you for your hospitality and can’t wait to return in the future.
If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.
Travel Talk took Thailand by storm on invitation from the Tourism Authority of Thailand. No editorial content was guaranteed and Aaron & Stephen were free to openly share all adventures that they embarked upon.
Whether it’s nature, wild animals, extreme heights, theme park rides or a foot race with his wife on his back, comedian Bert Kreischer will try to conquer almost anything on the Travel Channel’s Bert the Conqueror. While not always triumphant, Kreischer is certainly an entertaining host and the show does an excellent job of showcasing interesting and unique thrills found at everything from popular amusement parks to someone’s backyard in Utah.
A new season of Bert the Conqueror debuts Sunday, April 3rd at 8 PM E/P. Recently, I had the chance to speak with the host about what I could expect from the new episodes. As I interviewed him he shared some of his most terrifying and most fun experiences.
Joel Bullock: Can you describe the show for anyone who hasn’t seen it?
Bert Kreischer: I am an all around tour guide for thrills in America. Be it local competitions, events, theme parks, water parks, or bungee jumps. You name it. Anything that’s thrilling in America that locals are doing, I go to that area and I do it.
JB: I looked over my episode recaps from last season. As much as I love theme parks, I feel that two of the most memorable challenges were of the local, homegrown variety. The human slingshot in Utah and catfish grabblin’ (catching catfish with your bare hands) in Tennessee stood out the most for me.
BK: Those two that you just mentioned were probably the most unregulated, unsafe things I did all last year. Hands down. When I did the catfish grabblin’ the locals were saying to me, “You could get killed doing that” and “People die doing that.”
The human slingshot was literally in someone’s backyard. Some dude made it. It’s nuts. There’s no insurance exacter that comes out and looks at it and says that it’s safe.
When we did SkyJump in Vegas, there was definitely a pencil pusher that walked through that ride and every aspect of that ride and found out safety and redundancy. With the human slingshot, they were telling me, “This harness should fit. This helmet should fit. If you’re not too heavy you’ll be fine, but if you’re too heavy you could break your back.”
JB: I think I had sweaty palms just watching you try the slingshot.
BK: I’m glad you had sweaty palms, that made it worth it. That was a really intense episode.
JB: You look anxious and genuinely scared before a lot of the challenges. Before the show, would you have considered yourself an adventurous guy?
BK: Not in the slightest. I never went bungee jumping. I never rode roller coasters, but I’d do them if a bunch of friends were doing it. I went canyoning one time in Switzerland. I surfed growing up and I waked boarded. I was a tad bit more adventurous than the average human being, but I wasn’t the guy seeking out thrills. I was just a regular guy.
When the Travel Channel started casting, they had some daredevils audition for the show. I think they were thinking, “If we have a daredevil, we’re going to have to up the ante every week or it’s going to be boring.” Like watching a guy say, “Ehh, it’s a roller coaster.”
When we did Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure I was nervous and impressed and asking a million questions. This one guy had been kidnapped by Somali pirates four weeks earlier. So, a roller coaster wouldn’t exactly send him reeling.
JB: What were some of the most fun challenges and things that you would do over and over again?
BK: We did a cenote, which is basically a sinkhole in the middle of the rainforest. It was 80 feet deep, filled with beautiful rainwater. You can jump off the cliffs and go across a zip line and jump in the water. It was just a blast! You could not get me out of that place. I rode the Scorpion’s Tail in Wisconsin Dells. I’ve never had more fun in one spot. You couldn’t get me off the ride. I rode it twenty times.
JB: Out of all the challenges that you’ve done, what were some of the things that you can say you would never do again?
BK: We did a 300 lb. concrete toboggan race this year. The team that was two groups ahead of me flipped their toboggan. The guy broke his femur. The girl broke her arm in two places and every bone in her hand.
I ended up having to do the SkyJump twice because they wanted to shoot it again. And I said I’d never do it again, but I get on the ledge and it’s so much easier to just jump than to talk to my way out of it. Bungee jumping is something that I’ll probably never do again just because it’s very uncomfortable. It was literally having all 220 lbs. of my body rush to my face. And it just hurt. I ruptured all of the blood vessels in my eyes. It was a nightmare.
JB: What are some of the highlights from this upcoming season of Bert the Conqueror?
BK: We went cliff jumping in Hawaii which was an insane experience and we did ostrich races in Arizona. One of the funniest things we shot all season was a slush pit competition where people have to go down a mountain and then get across water. We did it the first season (on skis), but this season we did it on tubes, so it could involve everybody. So there wasn’t a skill level.
It is the funniest footage I’ve ever seen in my entire life! It is people wiping out to the point where I am so shocked someone didn’t go to the hospital that day. It was absolute all-encompassing chaos from beginning to end. Once you were at the top of the mountain you couldn’t see what’s happening at the bottom of the mountain. You just saw that people were cheering.
The first people go, two guys and a girl in the middle. The person in the front loses the tube, and at 40 mph goes flying. He missed the water and just hit the snow. The girl’s clothes are ripped off of her body and she’s laying naked in between two guys trying to cover herself up. And we are like, “Oh my God! This is going to be insane.”
There’s 100 people at the top of the mountain that have no idea what just happened. All they know is that they’re next. And I’m watching all of this thinking that I have to go last. It is train wreck, after train wreck, after train wreck.
We did the wife carrying event in Newry, Maine. That’s the premier episode. My wife and I went in like champions thinking we were going to be pretty awesome. We competed, but we were not as good as we thought we were. She got dropped in the mud three times and we only beat one couple out of the 50 couples. We only beat them because the guy broke his leg and had to be taken away in an ambulance.
A new season of Bert the Conqueror premieres Sunday, April 3rd at 8 PM E/P on the Travel Channel.
We launched our Hotel Madness tournament on Monday and the entire first round is now live. If you don’t know what Hotel Madness is or you just need a refresher, check out our introductory post. First round voting is open until 11:59pm EDT this Sunday, March 20. Be sure to vote in each and every match-up listed below. Simply choose the hotel pet peeves that bother you the most. The winners will advance to the second round, which you’ll be able to vote on next week.
Make your voices heard. Vote, leave comments and let us know what you hate most about hotels.