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Buzz Poole
10/11/2011 - 00:00

This week, I thought to try something new and share some travel-related news items, ranging from the strange to the sublime:

How much to insure a butt?: Premier Inn is the UK’s largest budget hotel chain. It sounds as if the chain is doing well, and Natalie Thomas, the chain’s Director of Bed Bouncing (DOBB), might very well be part of the company’s success. Thomas spends her days keeping tabs on all 46,000 mattresses in the company’s hotel rooms, making sure every mattress gets checked every six months. As the Premier website explains it: “Natalie was appointed as DOBB due to her unique ability to feel even the smallest lump or bump in a mattress. With Natalie spending up to eight hours a day bouncing her botty on beds she has to take extra special care of her derriere, with regular moisturizing and being careful not to wear any hard wearing materials, like denim.” Apparently, Premier has taken the initial steps for insuring Thomas’s botty.

Cue the jokes about hand sanitizing stations: Popular Science magazine reports on the user experience of the Travel Station, New York City’s first touch-screen subway map, located in lower Manhattan at the Bowling Green station. Sounds like it works well, provided people are made aware about the machine’s purpose.

Weighed down with gold: If you are shopping along Beijing’s Wangfujing Street and can’t decide how to spend your hard-earned money, visit China’s first gold vending machine. It accepts cash and credit cards, and will dispense as much as 2.5 kilograms of the metal, which is about $157,000 worth. I guess the gold will last longer than a bunch of sweaters. Happy 80th Birthday Gerhard Richter: On the occasion of his birthday and five decades of boundary-pushing artwork, London’s Tate Modern has just launched “Panorama,” a career retrospective, ranging from realist portraits to wild abstractions, sure to entice fans of twentieth century art inspired by historical events.

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