Baghdad counts on a giant Ferris wheel to attract tourists

As a way to boost tourism in Baghdad, a giant Ferris wheel is being planned. Not just any Ferris wheel either, but one that is taller than the London Eye. Certainly, a huge wheel that brings people high up in the sky for all to see will give the message that Baghdad is a safe place to come for a holiday by the time it opens.

Considering that a company to build it is still being scouted out, and the funds still need to be raised, the Ferris wheel won’t be opening any time soon.

The idea of sending people to great heights to promote the idea of safety is nothing new. This technique was also used by the Wright brothers in Pau, France in 1909 as a way to show that airplane travel was safe for everyone. Katharine, their sister, flew with Wilbur over the French countryside (see photo) to illustrate air travel safety, a necessary feat after a plane crashed killed someone.

In the Brisbane Times article that covers Baghdad’s upcoming Ferris wheel venture are several other ways that Baghdad is currently offering its residence and people who visit there fun and relaxation.

Want more “weird”? Check out these weird hotels:

3 of the 5 dying cities are in Ohio: Could tourism help?

Canton, Youngstown and Dayton are on the list of the five fastest dying cities. Dying sounds terribly grim. How about shrinking? I can’t imagine that no one will ever live in these places one day. They are all on highways for one thing. Still, as industries have become smaller and have all but disappeared in these cities, the economy is not holding people in large numbers or attracting more.

Each place does have decent offerings and worth a shout out. I’ve been to Canton and Dayton and driven through Youngstown. I went to Canton specifically for the Pro-Football Hall of Fame. A Japanese teacher who stayed with us a few years ago wanted to go there so we obliged. It’s a lovely drive through Ohio’s rural countryside. Our teacher friend was quite the football fan so this was a thrill for him. I enjoyed myself as well, and I am most certainly not into football. I don’t dislike it. I’m just not a fan.

I went to Dayton twice. Once to take in Wright brothers and Katharine Wright historic sites for an article I was writing, and the other time to do a restaurant review of Jay’s Seafood in the historic Oregon District. I found it to be a lovely small city and can’t imagine that entrepreneurial types won’t find solutions to the shrinkage problem. I have plans to head to Dorthy Lane Market in the near future.

Youngstown has been on the radar as a struggling city for awhile. The town has been doing some work to revitalize itself. Before BloggingOhio ended there were several Youngstown related posts, mostly by Chris Barzak, a writer, and now professor who lives in Youngstown that highlighted these efforts, as well as the interesting things to do there.

As people are looking for places to go closer to home for a quick get-a-way, maybe tourism could help–at least a tad.

WHS new “Tentative List”: Places to Love–Dayton Aviation Sites

For the Gadling series “World Heritage Site new “Tentative List”: Places to Love” we are covering the 14 sites that have been submitted for possible inclusion as an official World Heritage Site in the United States. The sites will not be posted in order of importance or in the order they appear on the list.

Number 2

Name of Site: Dayton Aviation Sites

Location: All over Dayton, in Southwest Ohio

Reason for importance in a nutshell: In short: Dayton is the birthplace of aviation. The Wright Brothers, pioneers and innovators in aircraft construction and control based their operation out of the back of their bicycle shop in West Dayton, Ohio. Landmarks such as their workshop, Wright and Wright printing and Huffman Prairie Flying field highlight their involvement in the industry, while other aviation tidbits such as America’s first Air Force Base are included in the heritage site.

Grant’s Take: It doesn’t take much to impress this airplane nerd. While I’m generally hesitant to set foot in the great state of Ohio (being from Michigan and all), the Dayton Aviation Sites have my interest in the Buckeye State emphatically piqued. If you do find yourself in the Midwest and are hankering for a bit of history, consider stopping in for a tour; you can check out a lot of information here. Alternatively, if you’re on a long Skybus layover, cancellation, or are visiting Jamie Rhein, consider taking the trip over from Columbus — it’s only fifty miles away!

Early Footage of the Wright Brothers Flying

Orville and Wilbur — despite some goofy names — sure knew how to push the limits of travel. Not content with simply walking, biking or driving, on December 17, 1903, Wilbur managed to get aloft — for 12 seconds. Those 12 seconds changed travel forever. Though there is no film of the event, it must’ve looked something like this. By 1908, the brothers were traveling the globe showing off their invention. Though still quite a rocky ride, the experience was far more civilized: pilots sat upright and catapults were no longer used to get the planes going.

Learn more:

France’s Mighty Fast Train

If you have the urge to get from Point A to Point B very fast, France has an option. Yesterday, Train V150 went 357.2 miles per hour. (547.8 kph) This particular speedy ride was to prove that a French train can go that fast. The hope is that China and Japan may want to buy France’s technology for their own trains.

Going that fast does not seem that pleasant. If you’ve ever seen a cartoon where the character’s cheeks are flapping and eyelids are almost turning inside out, that’s what writer Ingrid Rousseau’s experience of riding on this train’s demo journey sounds like. Her ears ached even. Then there was the “green blur” of the scenery as the train sped through. The train did slow down to 194 mph at its cruising pace. Upon arrival at the Champagne-Ardennes train station, passengers were given champagne.

The AP article includes specifics about how a train is made to go that fast and details about China’s plan to build miles of railroad. It’s interesting that the Wright brothers made demo flights in France more than 100 years ago to show just how safe airplane travel is in order to get people to buy their technology. One of the demo flights in Pau, France was when their sister Katharine was the 2nd female passenger to ride in an airplane just to show the safety of air travel for females.