Blog Posts by Mike Krumboltz

  • The making of Space Mountain

    Space Mountain workers in 1974. (Photo: ImagineeringDisney.com)

    It's one of Disneyland's and the Magic Kingdom's most iconic thrill rides: Space Mountain. The rollercoaster, built in Florida in 1974 and in California a few years later, is not for the faint of heart or anyone afraid of the dark.

    The good folks at ImagineeringDisney.com have tracked down a collection of photos that were taken during the rollercoaster's construction at the Magic Kingdom in 1974. The photos, shot inside and out of the structure, show hardworking folks building what would become one of the most exhilarating coasters ever made.

    Sit down, buckle up, and hold on tight.

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  • Royal Princess cruise ship getting royal christening

    (Photo: Courtesy of Princess Cruises)

    Yes, the cruise industry has taken a few black eyes of late. But Princess hopes that its newly built 1,082-foot long luxury ship will help people forget about the bad times that plagued rival Carnival.

    The Royal Princess is set to be christened by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, on Thursday. Following that ceremony, the ship will make its maiden voyage from Southampton to Barcelona (with a few stops along the way).

    The ship wasn't named for the duchess, but it appears suitable for royalty. Among the many amenities: 10 restaurants, a casino, and 1,780 staterooms. The ship weighs a staggering 141,000 tons and can accommodate up to 3,600 passengers.

    How does that compare with the most famous passenger ship of all time? The ill-fated Titanic weighed a relatively petite 52,310 tons and stretched 883 feet in length, according to Titanic Facts. It had 840 staterooms, less than half the number on the Princess.

    Following the ship's maiden voyage, the Princess will embark on a voyage

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  • Virgin America promotes in-flight flirting

    (Photo: maka / Flickr)

    Hey, cutie. Fly this route often?

    If you're taking a Virgin America flight and have a "single-and-looking-to-mingle" vibe, a free drink may be coming your way. Sir Richard Branson, chairman and founder of Virgin Group, recently announced that passengers will be able to buy each other drinks and snacks via the in-flight entertainment system.

    Here's how it works. You spy a hottie in 22B. Is he or she with anyone? Doesn't look like it. You order the object of your affection a Funkin Margarita Mixer and some Chex Mix (large bag), because you know a thing or two about the art of seduction. Then you include a note: "Maybe this is the recycled air talking, but I'd love to browse SkyMall with you."

    Or something. In a video explaining the new feature for flirting with other passengers (whether they're interested or not), Branson says, "I'm not a betting man, but I'd say your chance of deplaning with a plus-one are at least 50 percent."

    We'd say that's a tad optimistic. Comments on the clip's

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  • ‘Vertical forest’ skyscrapers coming to Milan

    An artist rendering of the finished skyscrapers. (Photo: Courtesy of Boeri Studio)

    In Milan, a new kind of skyscraper is under construction. Once complete later this year, the two-building project will be covered in greenery, an effect that gives the buildings their name: Bosco Verticale, or Vertical Forest.

    A plan for one of the apartments. (Courtesy of Boeri Studio)Yahoo! News spoke with Boeri Studio, the architectural firm behind the buildings' design. Construction on the residential skyscrapers began in 2008 and is set to be complete sometime this year when people can move in. But people aren't the only residents. Also moving in: a heckuva lot of trees, plants, and shrubs.

    The two buildings (26 stories and 18 stories) will be quite literally covered in green: 480 big and medium-size trees, 250 small trees, and roughly 11,000 groundcover plants, according to the firm. It's the equivalent of a hectare (almost 2.5 acres) of forest on the sides of the buildings, the firm says.

    But the trees and bushes and plants aren't just for show. The designers explain that they will also help to filter out air pollution, a major problem

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