Tag Archives: Travel

Neil Armstrong, First Man on the Moon, Dies at 82

Neil Armstrong, First Man on the Moon, Dies at 82 – Neil Armstrong, the first man to ever walk on the surface of the moon, has died at the age of 82-year old.

After getting his flight certificate at the age of 15, before he could drive a car, there was little doubt that Armstrong would make his career as a pilot. Following a distinguished career with the US Navy, during which he saw action in the Korean War and also worked as a test pilot, he worked full-time as an experimental research test pilot.

Working from Edwards Air Force Base, Armstrong flew a number of aircraft including the B-29 Superfortress, the Bell X-!B, the T-33 Shooting Star and the North American X-15. It is estimated that throughout his career Armstrong flew over 200 different models of aircraft, many of them experimental.

In 1958 he was selected for the US Air Force Man in Space Soonest program. After many different selection procedures and gruelling training Armstrong was appointed as the command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission which launched on 16 March 1966.

It is for his role in the Apollo 11 mission that Armstrong has made his place in history. Armstrong piloted the lunar module Eagle and made the first ever moon landing on 20 July 1969. For those that like to know the full details the exact time of the Eagle’s landing on the lunar surface was 20:17:39 UTC (this is the scientific standard that has replaced Greenwich Mean Time).

Armstrong’s words as he touched the moon’s surface are among the most famous of all-time. That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”  The ‘a’ is in brackets as Armstrong did not actually say the word at the time although he had intended to. NASA later said that it was due to static that the word was not heard.

It is estimated that as he spoke the words some 450 million people heard him live (out of a total world population of 3.63 billion). The worldwide television audience for the Apollo 11 moon landing is still easily the biggest of all-time.

Following the return to Earth of the crew of the Apollo they were treated like heroes but this did not sit well with Armstrong. He particularly go tired of constantly being asked what it was like to be the first man on the moon and he stopped giving interviews, becoming something of a recluse.

Neil Armstrong died on 25 August 2012 at a hospital in Columbus, Ohio, from complications following surgery to relieve his blocked coronary arteries.

As you would expect for such a major figure in our history there have been many tributes paid to Armstrong including one from President Barack Obama who said that Armstrong: “was among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time. …

“Today, Neil’s spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown – including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space. That legacy will endure – sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step.”

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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Trending now


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Madonna Flashes Boob, Town Mayor is a Cat

Madonna Flashes Left Breast– following her recent concert in Istanbul where she flashed the audience her right breast the singer has now got out her left boob at a concert in Paris.

We wonder if the 53-year old is on too high a dose of HRT as she has had trouble keeping her clothes on in public in recent weeks.

At this latest Paris concert on her MDNA tour she followed up her boob flashing moment by turning round dropping her trousers and showing her backside naked apart from a tiny black g-string.

To add to our “Madonna midlife crisis theory” the concert also featured the singer performing a striptease to the capacity crowd at the Stade de France. The striptease and corset removal were obviously of high quality as the world’s top striptease artist was in the audience and tweated her approval after the show.

Burlesque star Dita Von Teese said: “Excellent striptease and corset-lacing moment in the Madonna show.”

Dita was not the only celebrity to catch the Queen of Pop’s Paris show as also in the audience were Dannii Minogue, Anderson Cooper, William Orbit, Nicki Minaj, Martin Solveig and Jean Paul Gaultier, the designer of Madonna’s iconic conical bra.

There was further controversy later in the concert when Madonna showed a video of the President of the far right French National party with a swastika superimposed on her face. To add to the insult the image was of Marine Le Pen was shown just before a picture of Hitler.

A spokesperson for Le Pen said that a lawsuit for  public insult would be lodged with the French courts in the next few days.

Alaskan Town Mayor is a Cat – the small Alaskan town of Talkeetna has had a cat as its mayor for the last 15 years.

In 1997 the usual dull selection of mayoral candidates left residents of the small town underwhelmed so a campaign was started to get the then kitten Stubbs elected as mayor.

Enough of the 900 or so residents were impressed by the high moral standing of the mayoral candidate not to mention that he licked himself clean and it was also believed that he had been neutered.

Stubbs has impressed the residents enough over the last 15 years that nobody has felt able to challenge the feline for the job of town mayor. Also unlike the normal holders if office Stubbs has proved to be an excellent draw for tourists.

Every day dozens of tourists turn up at the town’s general store to see the famous feline. The town of Taljeetna us at the base of Mount Mackinley in Alaska and previously had very few tourists stopping off there.

Let’s hope that the shrewd action of the Talkeetna residents gives other towns paws for thought!

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Posted by on July 15, 2012 in Trending now


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Husband’s Heart-Shaped Tribute, Bible Swapped for Mummy Porn in Hotel

Heart-Shaped Tribute to Wife – a man in a hot air balloon has spotted a farmer’s touching tribute to his late wife.

When Winston Howes’ wife died suddenly 17 years ago, he immediately began planning a remarkable tribute to their 33 years of marriage. The farmer, who is now 70-years old, began planting young trees in a six-acre field on his property but kept a perfect, heart-shaped meadow in the center that pointed toward their childhood home in Wotton Hill.

The meadow, which is surrounded by thousands of oak trees, is hidden from ground-level view, but Howes’ design was spotted when a hot air balloon travelled over the farm and a passenger took some photos of the beautiful memorial.

Howes said he regularly goes into the meadow just to sit and think, and added, “It is a lovely and lasting tribute to her which will be here for years.”

There are several thousand trees in Howes’ heart-shaped tribute to his wife. He plants daffodils in the centre of the heart which come out in the spring and says this is a wonderful sight.

He has seen the acre sized tribute to his wife from above when a friend flew him over the field 5 years ago.

You can look at the tribute from above yourself if you flying or ballooning near Wickwar in South Gloucestershire where Mr Howes 112 acre is located.

We can’t think of a better tribute from a husband to his late wife since Shah Jahan built The Taj Mahal in Agra in lasting memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Porn again not born again – a hotel in the Lake District has replaced its bedside copies of the bible with copies of mummy porn bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey.

The manager of the Damson Dene Hotel, near Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria, decided that he would spice up the contents of his guests bedside drawers.

Wayne Bartholomew said that he was influenced in his decision by the many comments he had read about the book from friends on Facebook.

He said: “I thought it would be a special treat for our guests to find it in their bedside cabinets, and that includes the men.

The cynical amongst us may well think the bible for porn swap is just a good bit of free publicity for the hotel. Although it gets very good reviews on Trip Advisor it still only ranks as 9th amongst the 20 hotels in the area. The hotel is quoted as having a gym and swimming pool but as yet there is no mention of an s&m dungeon.

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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in Trending now


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27 Places to See Before You Die, American Idol Judges Quit

27 Places You Must See Before You Die – CNN has just released an updated list with the 27 places around the world you must see before you die.

There are 3 entries in the list for the UK with the huge murmuration of starlings flying around the ruined West Pier in Brighton coming in at Number 2 on the list. In case you wondered a murmuration is the collective noun for a group of starlings. As this is local to us at What’s Hot you can guess we are pretty pleased about its inclusion on the list. We can also confirm that when the starlings take flight on a beautiful summer’s evening it is an awesome sight. On many evenings it is estimated that there are over 1 million starlings meeting over the West Pier in Brighton.

At Number 24 on the list is the Lake District with the ruined tin mines in Cornwall coming in at 27th spot. CNN said of the Cornish tin mines: ‘The tin mines may be closed, but the ruins of the structures which once housed them near St Just make a thrillingly dramatic counterpoint to the rugged rocks and wild seas of Cornwall’s north coast.’

Coming in at Number 1 on the list of places you must see before you die is Borobudur in Java, Indonesia at sunrise. CNN said of their top must see place: “Watching the sun rise over the hundreds of stupas and Buddhas at Borobudur before the public descends in droves to disturb the peace is one of the world’s most rarefied experiences.”

The full list of the 27 places you must see before you die is:

1. Borobudur at sunrise, Java, Indonesia
2. Starling murmuration, Brighton Pier, England
3. Northern Lights, Scandinavia
4. The great migration, East Africa
5. Star-filled sky, Mackenzie Basin, New Zealand
6. Torres del Paine, Chile
7. Djmaa el Fna, Marrakech, Morocco
8. Yosemite peaks, California, United States
9. Santa Maria Salute, Venice, Italy
10. Jungle pyramids, Palenque, Mexico
11. Electrical storm, Tornado Alley, United States
12. Sydney Harbour, Australia
13. Inside the Thrihnukagigur volcano, Iceland
14. Monument Valley, United States
15. Taj Mahal, India
16. Kasanka bat migration, Zambia
17. Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico, United States
18. Lunar rainbow, Victoria Falls, Zambia
19. Shubenacadie tidal bore, Canada
20. Cape Tribulation, Australia
21. Rock face city of Petra, Jordan
22. Enrosadira, Dolomites, Italy
23. Fairy chimneys, Cappadocia, Turkey
24. Lake District lakes, England
25. Sardine run, South Africa
26. Pristine beaches of Islas Cies, Spain
27. Cornwall’s ruined mines, England

American Idol Judges Quit – Jennifer Lopez has just announced that she will not be returning to the tv talent series next time.

She becomes the second judge to quit the show in just 2 days, following Steven Tyler’s departure yesterday.

J-Lo was speaking to Ryan Seacrest on his US radio show this morning when she told him in a tearful voice that she like Tyler would also not be returning to the show next series. She said to Seacrest: “I didn’t know I would be so moved emotionally from working on the show … It was such a lovely surprise in my life.”

Although Lopez also said that she had found the decision “super-tough” it is quite likely that both she and Tyler had been given the nod that the judging panel was in for a shake-up after some poor viewing figures. In the US, American Idol now ranks behind The Voice in the credibility stakes and it is thought that the show’s producers were looking for a major change in the show to improve ratings.

In fact rumours are rife that the only remaining judge left on the panel, Randy Jackson will also be leaving the show. Jackson’s agent declined comment when asked today whether his client would be leaving the show.

Jackson is the least well-known of the American Idol judges here in the UK. He started off as a bass player with Santana and Jerry Garcia as well as also playing with many other different artists such as Journey, Aretha Franklin, Tracy Chapman, Blue Oyster Cult, Madonna and Mariah Carey.

Interestingly the last of those mentioned may well be joining the American Idol judging panel for the next series. Mariah Carey has been hotly tipped to become the newest member of the American Idol team.

American Idol seems as though it is trying to appeal to a younger audience as it has attracted criticism for the age of its judging panel with many calling it “middle-aged”. Hardly an image that will help increase viewing figures amongst a younger section of America.

Although American Idol is still the tv talent show with the highest ratings the viewing figures are well down on those it was getting when it first came on the scene. In fact the ratings for the last series were down 30% on the previous 2010 series of the show. Even the final only managed to draw an audience of 21.2 million viewers which is a long way down from the figures of over 30 million the show was getting for ordinary episodes a few series ago.

Fox will be keen to ensure that the show remains a success as it is believed to be the most profitable show on US television. Forbes has estimated the revenue coming in from advertising bought in over $13m an hour for the network during the 2011 season.

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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Trending now


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The Shard Is Europe’s Tallest Building, Body Surfing With Coco Austin Photo

The Shard – Europe’s tallest building was inaugurated in London yesterday.

The skyscraper is 1016 ft (309.6m) high and the structure has 11k glass panels to ensure that there is a great view from above the capital.

There is a visitor viewing area between floors 68 and 72 and this gives an opportunity to look across London from 800 ft (244m) above the pavement. The visitor attraction is called the View From The Shard and is accessed by 2 high-speed kaleidoscopic lifts which go from ground level to 800ft in just 30 seconds.

On a clear day it is anticipated that there will be a 40 mile view across London from the triple height windows on the 69th floor. When you go up to the 72nd floor you are then able to look straight up and see the remaining floors of The Shard point up towards the sky.

The View From The Shard will give people a vantage point twice as high as any other in London. As such it is sure to be a hit with tourists when the attraction is open to visitors from 01 February 2013. Unfortunately it is not just the views that are sky-high as the price for a family of 4 to visit the View From The Shard will be almost £90. An adult ticket is priced at £24.95 with children costing £18.95.

In case you were wondering what was on the other floors there is a combination of retail shopping, luxury accommodation,office space and an international luxury hotel and spa as well as a public seating area with plants on the ground floor.

Although we can be pleased to now have the tallest building in Europe it still only ranks a lowly 59th in the World. The tallest building in the World is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is 828m high making it 2.7 times higher than The Shard.

Body Surfing – the latest craze for celebrities taking to Twitter involves them taking photos looking down at their own barley clothed bodies on the beach.

Celebrity body surfing seems to be a reaction to obvious shots of celebrities in the mirror showing their face and often wearing just lingerie. It seems that they would like to keep us guessing a little about exactly whose toned body we are looking at.

In the last few weeks a large range of celebs have taken to Twitter to post their “body surfing” shots. The list so far includes Kim Kardashian, MIley Cyrus, Adrianne Curry, CoCo Austin, Sam Faiers, LeAnn Rimes, Kelly Brook and Rihanna.

The latest celeb to share their impossibly toned body with all their Twitter followers is model and Seal’s ex, Heidi Klum who showed off a view looking down her toned stomach and very trim legs.

The award for the rudest “celebrity surfing” shot so far goes to Rihanna who amongst several surfing shots posted one of her lower body showing a person with their head between her thighs!

We suppose that at least the craze gets you to realise what it would be like to look down at the various body shapes while you lounge around on the beach. Some are obviously the products of very hard work at the gym whereas the most bizarre shot is most definitely not the result of working out.  Coco Austin has posted a couple of body surfing shots with the result being that we now know what it would be like to lie on the beach and look down between two huge silicon breasts. We have to say that they do rather block the view even when she is lying down!

One surprisingly modest body surfing shot comes from Kelly Brook who is on holiday in Brazil. She posted a shot that rather disappointingly just showed her legs and feet and those of a friend lying down next to her. An opportunity missed we feel.


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Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2012, Jennifer Aniston On Holiday In Europe

Queen’s Birthday Honours List – there have been a number people from the world of entertainment who have picked up a gong in the latest honours list.

Kenneth Branagh will be known as Sir Kenneth in future after picking up a knighthood for his services to drama and the community of Northern Ireland, where he was born. 51-year old Branagh was clearly delighted with the knighthood saying that he was “humble, elated and incredibly lucky.”

“When I was a kid I dreamed of pulling on a shirt for the Northern Ireland football team. I could only imagine how proud you might feel. Today it feels like they just gave me the shirt, and my heart’s fit to burst.”

Oscar-winner and star of Titanic, Kate Winslett has received a CBE for her services to drama and said that the award made her “very proud to be a Brit.”

Other showbiz figures to be honoured include Amanda Redman from tv programme New Tricks who is recognised with an MBE for her work as founder and principal of the Ealing-based Artists Theatre School.

Actress Jenny Agutter, who depending on your age and viewing habits will be known to you from Call The Midwife, The Railway Children, Walkabout or Blade Runner, receives an OBE for her charity work. Agutter has supported a number of different charities over the years including Action For Children, Ovacome and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Take That and X Factor’s Gary Barlow receives an OBE for his services to entertainment and charity. He famously was the man behind the recent Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace. Barlow said: ‘I enjoy every minute of the work I do, with a lot of it being a reward in itself, so for somebody to decide I should get recognised for that is just amazing,’

From the world of fashion Sarah Burton, designer and creative director of the Alexander McQueen fashion house, gets an OBE. Burton came to a much wider audience last year when she was chosen by Kate Middleton to design her dress for the Royal Wedding.

Jennifer Aniston – the actress and boyfriend Justin Theroux have been having a tour around the romantic sights of Europe.

They started off with a trip to Paris, staying at the Ritz Hotel and having a romantic meal at one of Jen’s favourite restaurants, La Stresa in Rue Chambiges in the city’s 8th arrondissement. Jen is obviously a fan of the restaurant and Italian cuisine as she has been seen at the restaurant before on previous trips to Paris in 2009 and 2011.

After some more leisure time and some Parisian shopping, where Jen bought herself some vintage Hermes belts, the couple moved on to Rome where they had a trip round the sights including a controversial look around the Vatican. There is a strict dress code here which is normally rigorously enforced ensuring that there is not a lot of flesh on show when visitors look round the Holy City. It appears that they made an exception for Jen as she certainly wasn’t covering up much as can be seen from the photo shown here.

As the couple walked around St Peter’s Basilica 43-year old Jen was seen wearing a very short grey dress with a low top that showed her white bra. They were accompanied by their own private security as well as a Vatican guard as they looked around the Vatican sights.

There have been many rumours about the couple’s future over recent weeks with one publication saying that Justin is getting cold feet but after the pictures of their romantic European break we think they might change their mind. More likely is the other rumour that suggests the couple are likely to get married in the next month or so. It is thought that a possible location is one of the Greek islands which are known to be favourites of Jennifer.

The spiteful amongst you might also wonder if she would like to get married before her ex-husband Brad Pitt ties the knot with Angelina?


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Cheapest Night Out in the World, Most Expensive Night Out in the World, Kate Moss

Cheapest and most expensive nights out in the world – in a cost comparison London currently comes out as the most expensive city in the world for a night out.

The TripAdvisor TripIndex, which is based on the UK currency, shows the total cost of a night out for 2 people including cocktails, 2-course evening meal with a bottle of wine, taxi fares and a night in a 4* hotel. In a top 10 of the most expensive cities on the world which is dominated by European capitals London comes out top for expense with a total cost for 2 people of £330.45 for the evening.

At the other end of the scale the cheapest night out in one of the world’s major cities comes courtesy of Hanoi in Vietnam. For your Vietnamese night out you would be paying an equivalent price of just £89.93 which explains why so many of us here in the UK have been travelling East for the last few years for our holidays.

As you might expect the single biggest expense in your night out is likely to be your 4 star hotel room which would cost you just £54.08 in Hanoi whilst an equivalent room in London comes out at a cost of £230.39. While London’s is the most expensive city for hotels of all those surveyed Hanoi is not actually the cheapest as a night in an average 4* hotel in Bangkok, Thailand is even cheaper at £51.68.

The cost of a London night out does not seem to be putting travellers of visiting as a survey from Mastercard has just been published showing London is the world’s top city destination for the 2nd year running. This is no great surprise with the 2012 Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations both taking place this year. The survey estimates that London will see a total of 16.9 million foreign visitors this year with Paris approximately 1 million travellers less in 2nd place and New York coming in at a distant 13th place.

In case you were wondering where all those London visitors come from the Mastercard survey tells us the cities providing the biggest number of visitors are Dublin, New York, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

Here are the Top !0 Most Expensive Cities for a Night Out with their total cost for the evening:

  1. London – £330.45
  2. Oslo, Norway – £319.62
  3. Zurich, Switzerland – £310.06
  4. Paris, France – £306.76
  5. Stockholm, Sweden – £302.46
  6. New York City, USA – £290.89
  7. Moscow, Russia – £274.17
  8. Copenhagen, Denmark – £272.51
  9. Sydney, Australia – £250.04
  10. Singapore – £238.96

The Top Cheapest Cities for a Night Out are:

  1. Hanoi, Vietnam – £89.93
  2. Beijing, China – £101.37
  3. Bangkok, Thailand – £103.38
  4. Budapest, Hungary – £123.32
  5. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – £123.86
  6. Warsaw. Poland – £127.30
  7. Taipei, Taiwan – £129.70
  8. Sofia, Bulgaria – £132.38
  9. Jakarta, Indonesia – £136.02
  10. Tunis, Tunisia – £138.19

Kate Moss – the supermodel has been making herself unpopular as she talks about how she feels British women show too much flesh in the summer.

In an interview with Grazia magazine Kate said: “When you’re driving down the road in the summer, the English people … it’s not our natural thing, no. So it’s ‘put it awaaaaaay!.”

This fashion advice from Ms Moss seems particularly badly timed as it comes in a week when we are suffering from downpours and floods in the UK and more importantly Kate herself has been spotted going out for the night at the Mayfair Club in London wearing a see through blouse and no bra. It does a little bit like a case of double standards that Kate can show her nipples in public but doesn’t think anyone else in the country is allowed to show a bit of flesh?

It is not however her cover up advice that has most riled UK women as she also said that her husband Jamie Hince would “go mental if I started dressing like a wife.” This has prompted much online debate today with most married women coming to the conclusion that they don’t believe they do dress differently now they are married.

Kate’s one admission on dressing less stylishly than she used to is apparently down to the family dog, a Staffordshire cross named Archie. The dog has had such a big impact on her wardrobe that she says she has had to rethink everything. In Kate’s own words: “So, I’ve got a dog, and the dog’s making me (dress) more Day. It’s a nightmare. You can’t do a dog in a heel.”

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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Trending now


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