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Boeing: Space Tourism Flights Possible by 2015

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USA Today | Boeing says it's ready to jump into the space-tourism market, announcing on Wednesday that will enter into a partnership to sell seats on rocket trips to the International Space Station.

"Now Boeing just has to build a spaceship," The Associated Press writes.

Boeing's just-announced partnership is with the space-tourism company Space Adventures. The Washington Post explains, saying the agreement is for the companies "to establish a space taxi system that will launch its passengers into low Earth orbit. Boeing has been developing a capsule and has years of experience building rockets, while Space Adventures has organized seven trips to the space station aboard the Russian spacecraft Soyuz. The obstacles remain high, but the two companies say they think they can begin their service by the end of 2015." Photo Credit: iStock

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The World's Most Dedicated Bike Commuter

With Lance Armstrong and the rest of the world's best cyclists lining up in Rotterdam this Saturday for the Tour de France's grand depart, we here at T+L have biking on the brain. But with the realities of the ol' nine-to-five standing in the way of most everyman cyclist's yellow jersey dreams, it's hard to squeeze in midweek rides. Timbuk2 CEO Mike Wallenfels found a solution to that dilemma, deciding to trade in the morning commute behind the wheel for one on top of two.

We recently caught up with Mike to talk early morning rides, city cycling culture, and the pleasures of finding those perfect European cafés when business (and the bike) takes you on the road.

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Armchair Tour de France

The annual Tour de France bolts out of the starting gate on Saturday for three grueling and beautiful weeks of bike racing.  The TV and online coverage, on a sports channel called Versus, amounts to a vivid travelogue with sweeping helicopter shots of aqueducts built by the Romans, crumbling medieval ramparts in the Pyrenees, and green, undulating countryside.

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Wild NYC: Tree Climbing

The rules of the New York Botanical Garden are very clear: Stay on paths. Deposit trash in designated receptacles. Do not climb trees. That last one makes me smile, because just recently, if you were walking through there at the right time, you would have found me 50 feet off the ground in the branches of one of their leafiest sweetgum trees.

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Get "Lost" in Waikiki: Daniel Dae Kim's Hawaiian Haunts

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Last night marked the end of an era. In living rooms around the country, fans of ABC's Lost were glued to their television sets for the epic, two hour series finale. (Some extreme fans in NYC even enjoyed Dharma Beer at the Bell House in Brooklyn, while a friend of mine's band, Previously on Lost, performed before screening the finale. Be sure to check them out; they're bound to keep performing long after the show's end.)

That being said, with the end of Lost, fans may feel somewhat, well...lost, themselves. What to do now that there's nothing new to look forward to? Pray for a feature film? A spin-off? (Unless it's about Bernard and Rose, this better not happen.)

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Could This Be Your Dream Bike Trip?

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I am like a kid in a candy store when I surf around the pages of Tour d’Afrique’s website. The eight-year-old cycling tour company has four epic trips—Tour d’Afrique, Orient Express, Silk Route, and Vuelta Sudamericana—of which you can do all or part; 26 shorter tours; and a DreamTour program in which you create your ideal, no-limits, perfect journey, and if enough people join the “Count Me In” list for your tour, TdA will add it to their roster, work out the details, and let you go on it for free.

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Just Back: Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado

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With my snowboarding skills firmly intact, I decided this season I would head west again (after three years) for some real-deal riding. Here are my highlights from my January jaunt to Vail and Beaver Creek.

Favorite runs:
Avanti and Pickeroon, Vail (lift ticket $97 a day)—often-groomed, excellent mix of intermediate and advanced slope.
Larkspur Bowl and Golden Bear, Beaver Creek (lift ticket $97 a day)—the bowl was next to empty and made me shout, WOOHOO, multiple times; I renamed Golden Bear “Honey Bear” because it was such a sweet ride.

Favorite après-ski spots:
Garfinkel’s, Lionshead (drinks for two $15)—lots of picnic tables outside, making it easy to spot your friends; I accidentally stayed après après.
Los Amigos, at Vail Village (drinks for two $15)—watch tired experts and out-of-their-league beginners make their last run down the black-diamond Pepi’s Face, and be thankful you’ve already loosened your boots.

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Your Snow Resource: SkiResorts.com + Olympic Bloggers Descend

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I sure could have used SkiResorts.com when I was trying to plan a birthday ski trip with 15 of my closest friends last month. I’m not a die-hard skier, the glut of information on the web—resorts, hotels, packages, etc.—left me completely overwhelmed, and I wound up scrapping the ski trip plan for a birthday celebration of a more indoor variety: karaoke.

So while this discovery came a little too late to help me out, hopefully SkiResorts.com can come in handy for many of you this season. The site, which bills itself as a “mecca” for everything snow-related, both on and off the slopes, helps you build packages at prime skiing attractions across the continent, tailored to your needs. Trying to find a good deal on a flight and condo for a long weekend in Jackson Hole? Done. Hungry in Stowe? Dig in. Looking for a spa to soothe sore muscles after a day on the slopes in Tahoe? Look no further.

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Celebs Climb Kilimanjaro for Clean Water

With last week's devastating earthquake in Haiti, we're reminded of the value of life's most basic necessity—water. So, efforts to raise awareness about this precious resource couldn't have come at a better time.

A group of celebrities, activists, and philanthropists—actress Jessica Biel, actor Emile Hirsch, musician Santigold, and activist Alexandra Cousteau (of Jacques Cousteau lineage), to name just a few—recently banded together to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a part of Summit on the Summit (SOTS), and shine a spotlight on the importance of clean drinking water.

The crew reached the top of Kilimanjaro—which, at 19,340 feet, is Africa's tallest peak—last Tuesday, where they stopped briefly to take a photograph (below) before beginning the (much less arduous) trek back down to the bottom. (The ascent took a grueling 6 days, while the descent took just 2.)

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Tour a Favela in Two Minutes

Did the Don Marta favela (Portugese for "slum") not make your hit list the last time you visited Rio? (Something tells us an extra hour at Ipanema and a few rounds of Caipirinhas took precedence.) Well, now you can tour the typically inaccessible neighborhood on the back of downhill mountain bike, all without leaving the safety of your very (thank god) immobile armchair.

Equipped with tricked out full suspension rigs and a helmet cam, brotherly downhill duo Dan and Gee Atherton treat us to a dizzying descent of the harrowing hood, rolling over steep staircases, wiggling through tight, meandering alleyways and even jumping off church roofs. Blink and you might miss it.

James Jung is a freelance editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure
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