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Strange Travel News: Week of Oct. 27, 2008

Chefs to Make Largest Ostrich Sandwich, Eaten Before Measured

Tehran, Iran—With the hope of promoting healthy eating and an emerging ostrich-farming business, some 1,500 cooks prepared a 4,920-foot-long sandwich using 2,200 lbs. of ostrich meat—ostensibly a world-record-length ostrich sandwich. Crowds were so excited that they prematurely ate the would-be historic dish before it could be measured. Promotion accomplished. Read full story.

City of Houston Offers Cash for Ike Debris Ideas

Houston, TX—On October 17, 2008, the city of Houston announced a nationwide contest for the best way to recycle 5.6 million cubic yards of tree waste from Hurricane Ike currently stored in various open holding locations around the city. Grand prizes of $10,000, $5,000, and $2,500 will be awarded to the best three ideas, as judged by a panel of environmental experts, a representative from the mayor’s office, and a venture capitalist. If only everyone could get some green for being green. Read full story.

Birdhouses Mimic Dictators’ Palaces

Kent, England—Artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson have created a series of birdhouses based on the palaces of international dictators. The project, displayed in King’s Wood park near Ashford in Kent, will include a film about the birdhouses’ less despotic inhabitants. Guess installation art really is for the birds.
Read full story.

Public Affection More than a Crime of Bad Taste in Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates—Under law that all public displays of affection are illegal, a judge in Dubai sentenced a British couple to three months in jail following accusations that the two had sex on the beach. They met at a champagne brunch prior to the incident and were inebriated at the time. Next time, just order the drink. Read full story.

World’s Largest Jack in the Box Revealed

Middletown, CT—William "Wild Bill" Ziegler has a new addition to his Nostalgia Center—a giant Jack in the Box constructed from an old silo and an iconic clown head rescued from disrepair. The head weighs a whopping 600 lbs. and once belonged to Bob Keeshan, better known as Claribel the Clown and Captain Kangaroo. That’s one heck of a facelift. Read full story.

Fake Boarding Pass, No ID, Bin Laden Shirt Boards Plane

Minneapolis, MN—As part of a Transportation Security Administration critique piece, author Jeffrey Goldberg attempted to go through security with a fake Northwest Airlines boarding pass and no photo identification while wearing an Osama bin Laden t-shirt—and succeeded. The stunt is documented in a forthcoming issue of Atlantic Magazine; smuggle it through security if you dare. Read full story.

Sir Paul’s Wax Head Missing, Found

Berkshire, England—A wax likeness of Paul McCartney’s head, to be sold at auction for $8000–$16,000, went missing when owner Joby Carter left it on a train platform in Berkshire. Homeless man Anthony Silva recovered the doppelganger in a garbage can, earning the reward of $3,200, and making this the first time anyone’s been pleased to find a severed head in the garbage. Read full story.

Alternative Fuel Race to Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV—Owners of a vegetable oil–fueled Lotus won the grand prize of $5,000 in the Escape From Berkeley alternative-fuel race. The contest rules require participants to drive the 800 miles from Berkeley, CA, to Las Vegas without any petroleum and to use only scavenged fuel en-route. Next year?A car that runs on road rage. Read full story.

Israeli Snake Massage

Talmei Elazar, Israel—At Ada Barak’s snake spa, clients pay $70 to have a plethora of snakes do the work once saved for licensed masseurs. Larger California and Florida king snakes work out deep tissue tension, while the lithe corn and milk snakes are used for surface sensation. Venom facials are sure to follow.
Read full story.

Denver Loses Right to Be on Map

Rocky Mountains, CO—Vail Resorts, the group that owns Colorado’s popular Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Beaver Creek ski mountains, had a falling out with tourism promotion group Ski Country, which resulted in the four properties being removed from the Colorado Ski Country USA map. Now if only all the maps in New York could omit Boston. Read full story.

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