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Digital Avatars to Guide Travelers at New York Airports

CNN |  First Tupac. Now this.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey announced this week that digital projections of "virtual customer care representatives" will appear this summer in three New York-area airports, guiding flyers to their gates and providing other logistical info.

The 2-D projections can't respond to travelers who ask them questions, said Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the authority. But that kind of technology may be added if the 6-month pilot project goes well, he said in a phone interview. "We’ll see if it works, you know," he said. "If people keep walkin' by it, then we wouldn’t renew (the contract for the avatars)."

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Close Your Eyes and Think of England: Royal-Themed B&B in London

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A nice lady in the northwest London suburb of Wembley has created a guestroom for a very particular traveler: one who cannot get enough of the royal family, even in this Windsor-giddy period between Kate and Will's wedding and the Queen's Jubilee.

The Sandringham Suite, a visual explosion of Union Jacks and Diana portraits, is available to rent for rates from $121 per night from rental site Wimdu.com. If sleeping amidst more than 10,000 artifacts is not enough, you can supplement the experience by renting a corgi for the day.

Via the Daily Mail.

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.

Image courtesy of Wimdu.

 

It's Real: Richard Branson Ice Cubes

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We couldn't believe until we saw it. But it's real: Virgin Atlantic molded the likeness of the company's president, Richard Branson, into its ice cubes. Passengers in the airline's new upper-class cabin can look forward to "drinking with" Sir Richard starting later this month.

Lyndsey MatthewsLyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure.


Photo courtesy of Virgin Atlantic

Australian Billionaire to Build Titanic Replica

CNN  |  An Australian mining magnate has commissioned a Chinese shipyard to build a replica of the ill-fated Titanic, complete in every detail but equipped with modern technology to prevent a repeat of the original's fateful maiden voyage 100 years ago.

Clive Palmer, a Queensland mining billionaire with strong links to China, told Australian media that he had signed a memorandum of understanding with CSC Jinling Shipyard to build the ship.

He said construction of the luxury cruise ship would begin next year and the ship would be ready to sail in 2016.

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Child-Free Flying? Canadian Airline Pulls April Fool's Prank

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

TODAY Show  |  Feeling exhausted at just the thought of flying with children? Canadian airline WestJet proposed a humorous alternative in this April Fool's commercial. Instead of worrying about tantrums that might get you thrown off the plane, WestJet jokingly offered child-free cabins.


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GloboMaestro Uncovers the Ultimate Shop of Oddities

Exclusive GloboMaestro Video: Downtown New York's got a thing for taxidermy these days. From Freemans, the hipster restaurant tucked at the end of a Lower East Side alleyway, to Bedlam, the Alphabet City bar done up like a Victorian-style mental hospital, it's hard to escape a moose head.

But the "urban jungle" look has also crossed over to private homes. Stars like Anderson Cooper and Amy Sedaris turn to artist and collector Sean Scherer—and evidently you can, too. Sean and his business partner Rick Gilbert just celebrated the first birthday of Kabinett & Kammer, a one-of-a-kind shop that's set up like a small museum full of mint-condition taxidermy (everything from zebras to flamingos) to vintage medical equipment and zoological diagrams.

In this new GloboMaestro video, a downtown insider from The Bowery Hotel takes us inside this unique East Village treasure trove.

Video courtesy of GloboMaestro

"Cosmic Opera" Opens in New York

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As a Kabuki-dressed opera singer was convoyed atop a platform through the crowd wailing in an ear-piercing pitch, a packed Hammerstein Ballroom wrestled in anticipation. The mezzo-soprano’s Italian lyrics serenaded the audience over an original Stephan Moore composition before slipping into a familiar tune.

In my mind, in my head, this is where we all came from
The dreams we had, the love we shared, this is what we’re waiting for

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Find Your Inner Commando at Machine Guns Vegas

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MSNBC.com Travel
  |  Blam-blam-blam! Pa-pow-pow! Ber-t-t-t-t-t-t, ber-t-t-t-t-t-t!

If that sounds like a good time, you may want to set your sights on Las Vegas’ newest attraction, Machine Guns Vegas (MGV), which opened its doors Monday. Part gun range, part ultra-lounge, MGV invites visitors to grab the automatic weapon of their choice — Uzis, AK-47s and more — and get in touch with their inner gangster or SEAL Team Six commando.

“You’d be amazed at the number of people who come to Vegas and want to shoot a machine gun,” said co-owner Genghis Cohen. “It’s an experience you can’t have in a lot of places in the world.”

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Guess Where? Roadside Attraction

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Living in New York, I never get to drive. Because of that I love a good road trip, especially for the amusing roadside attractions you happen upon along the way. Here's a favorite spot I spotted on my way to Memphis a few years back. Can you guess where it is? 

Log in and leave your guesses below and check back on Monday for the answer.

UPDATE 2/27/12: Dinosaur Land is located at the intersection of interstates 277, 522 and 340 in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. It's hard to miss.

Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Lyndsey Matthews

New Vegas Museum Highlights Mob Bosses, Tommy Guns

Associated Press  |  In one room, a ghastly photo wall of bloody, uncensored images showcases the mob's greatest hits.

In another, visitors are taught to load a revolver. And for when a gun just won't do, an oddball collection of household items — a shovel, a hammer, a baseball bat and an icepick — show the creative side of some of America's most notorious killers.

On the 83rd anniversary of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Sin City honored one of its earliest relationships with the grand opening of a museum dedicated to the mobsters that made this desert town. There are tommy guns, money stacks and a bullet-riddled brick wall from the 1929 massacre that saw Al Capone seize control of the Chicago mob.


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