New “Cannonball Run” Record

Record_breaking_Cannonball_Run_128579444_thumbnailThe record for a coast to coast journey (Los Angelis to New York) was shattered on 19-20 October. Ed Bolian – Atlanta Lamborghini dealer – went through the transcontinental trip in 28 hours 50 minutes. The previous record, made by Alex Roy in 2006; he completed the run in 31 hours 4 minutes. Bolian said: “Honestly, I was so shocked at how much we had beat our target and previous record… It was just unbelievable. It was cathartic and amazing. But mostly, I was just shocked.” The origins of the Cannonball Run aren’t entirely clear, but the death defying and hugely illegal race from New York City to Los Angeles is named after Edwin ‘Cannonball’ Baker. In 1933 he went from coast to coast in 53 hours 30 minutes. In the 1970s the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash was created by the Car and Driver editor Brock Yates. Later called the Cannonball Run, the race challenged daring drivers from all over the country to test their limits. A 1981 comedy starring Burt Reynolds and Farrah Fawcett immortalized the name. The run was last completed by Dave Heinz and Dave Yarborough in 32 hours 51 minutes behind the wheel of a Jaguar and his time wasn’t bested untill 2006.

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The next hero on the list is Ed Bolian. He is a 28 years old Lamborghini dealership sales director. He put a lot of work and money in his Mercedes CL55 AMG to make it ready for the journey. The preparations took him 18 month, but Bolian dreamed of breaking this record since he was in highschool. When he was 18, he had to interview Brock Yates, who organized and won the first Cannonball Run. “I told him, ‘One day I’d like to beat your record,’ ” Bolian recalled. He also says he doesn’t know exactly how much money he invested in his dream. The car was equipped with two additional 22-gallon gas tanks, which add hundreds of pounds of fuel but allow the car to travel 800 miles between stops. To ensure a clear run, free from traffic jams and, perhaps more importantly, traffic cops Bolian, also invested in a police scanner, two GPS units that relay traffic information and iPhone apps such as Trapster. The car was also fitted with two laser jammers and had a truck mounted antenna. Friends were enlisted to travel along the route, about 150 miles ahead of the Mercedes, and check for any potential obstacles. Great organization and technologies did their job and the record was not just broken by a few minutes, but shattered – the time was more than two hours better then Toy’s time. “We were unfathomably fortunate… We had no accidents, no traffic, no weather, no major construction. We wanted this to be a benign use of highway. We didn’t want to hurt anyone, we didn’t want to get hurt and we didn’t want to get arrested.”

Black box in cars to count miles?

Lawmakers are proposing black boxes to be installed in future car models to track mileage. America’s road planners are currently struggling to find cash to mend a crumbling highway system and some are proposing a „tax per mile” as a solution. The device would fit on the dashboard and would track a driver’s mileage, and then the mileage would be tallied up before a tax bill was sent to the driver at the end of the year.

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This technology comes to replace the current „gas tax” which has proved to be non-effective. It has not been raised more than 20 years; plus each car could go different miles with the same amount of gas – those are some of the arguments supporting the idea. “This works out as the most logical alternative over the long term” says Lee Munnich, a transportation policy expert at the University of Minnesota. But many are concerned that a device like that would give the government another way of tracking citizens.  “Concerns about Big Brother and those sorts of things are a major problem,” said Alauddin Khan, who directs strategic and performance management at the Nevada Department of Transportation. “It was not something people wanted.” There might be a solution. A small California company, called True Mileage has a device that could go in the place of a black box but does show the car’s location. It was originally designed as a way of paying car insurance “per mile”. This technology doesn’t use GPS and only uploads limited amount of information using a modem. “People will be more willing to do this if you do not track their speed and you do not track their location,” said Ryan Morrison, chief executive of True Mileage. The U.S. Senate approved a $90 million pilot project last year that would have involved some 10,000 cars. But the House leadership killed the proposal. Several states are going ahead anyway – Nevada, New York, Oregon and Illinois developed different strategies for testing the technology. The I-95 Coalition, which includes 17 state transportation departments along the Eastern Seaboard (including Florida), is studying how they could go about implementing the change.

East End Market finally opens in Orlando

east end marketYou could say that East End Market is just an indoor farmers market. But for developer John Rife III it is far more than this. It will represent a newstyle of shopping, a new way to get the costumers to the food. The place will show the growing importance of artistic side of culinary. “The food is more serious, better, fresher and interesting — and pricey. Perfect for today’s customers seeking choice, variety and products they believe they can trust.” said Michael Whiteman of Baum+Whiteman, an international food and restaurant consulting company. The Market is placed in a former two-story, 15,000-square-foot abandoned commercial building in Orlando’s Audubon Park neighborhood. It will be home of several local businesses including Casselberry-based Olde Hearth Bread Co. and Winter Park-based Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine & Events, as well as new businesses. The East End Market was set to open earlier this year but there were paperwork and tchnical problems; and it kept growing to become the place it is on its opening day October 25th. “We had no model for this in Central Florida,” John Rife III said “It has become this organic living thing that had to evolve on its own timeline.”

Allegiant Air adds traffic to Orlando Sanford International Airport

Allegiant_Air_-_McDonnell_Douglas_MD-83_-_AAY4743As there are some questions on whether Allegiant Air will be able to launch their Portsmouth to Florida service, scheduled for the 25th November, the low cost carrier announced on Wednesday a new, non-stop jet service from Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport to Orlando Sanford International Airport starting Feb. 12, 2014. The new flights to Orlando are on sale for $100 roundtrip including taxes and fees and will operate twice a week – on Wednesday and Saturday. This announcement marks the 100th U.S. city served by Allegiant. This achievement will be celebrated with Cincinnati service with roundtrip fares as low as $100. “We are pleased to add Orlando and Southwest Florida as affordable, convenient destination options for Cincinnati residents,” said Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President. “We are confident the community will appreciate the convenience of flying nonstop to these Florida destinations and the value of bundling their air, hotel and car rental reservation together.” Allegiant is known as an ultra-low-cost carrier, operating at airports in small cities and flying mainly to warm-weather vacation destinations, mostly across Florida, California and Hawaii. “We are pleased to add Orlando and Southwest Florida as affordable, convenient destination options for Cincinnati residents,” said Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President. In addition the company spokeswoman Jessica Wheeler said they were optimistic that launch of passenger service from Portsmouth International Airport at Pease will take place as planned despite administrative delays related to the recent federal government shutdown.

Orlando airport $1.1 Billion expansion plan approved

pg7-Orlando-airport-south-terminal-rendering-304The Orlando airport authority has approved an expansion of Orlando International Airport (MCO) so that it can accommodate 45 million passengers a year. The $1.1 billion plan was approved on Wednesday and will allow the airport to grow its capacity almost twice beyond its original design. The current airport facility, originally designed to accommodate 24 million passengers annually, opened in phases beginning in 1981, a decade after the arrival of Walt Disney Co. turned Orlando into a worldwide tourist destination. Previous expansions occurred in 1991 and 2009, according to a GOAA timeline. Airport officials say they are confident a growing number of passengers are on the way because the economy is improving and theme parks are constantly upgrading, including Walt Disney World’s planned “Avatar” land at Animal Kingdom, set to open in 2017. “We hope to grow with our region and attract business,” OIA Chairman Frank Kruppenbacher said. The project includes four additional international gates, an automated people mover, improvements to the ticket hall and baggage screening areas, and a rail terminal to support All Aboard Florida, a train service between Orlando and Miami that is being backed by private investors. As for the possible second terminal, final design and planning for that wouldn’t start until the airport’s passenger counts hit certain benchmarks that would equate to about 40 million passengers a year. “We don’t want to build it before it’s time,” Orlando International director Phil Brown said for the Orlando Sentinel.

Universal: What’s where at Halloween Horror Nights

os-halloween-horror-nights-23-map-20130919The guide map for Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights helps guide guests to the eight haunted-house mazes and other attractions of the event, which kicks off Friday and runs 27 select nights through Nov. 2. Going up the main drag of Universal Studios, straight through turnstiles, are queues for four houses: The Cabin in the Woods; Resident Evil: Escape From Raccoon City; An American Werewolf in London; and Evil Dead. Havoc2: Derailed is in the San Francisco section of the park, sometimes referred to in HHNspeak as the Disaster Queue Extended house. Three houses are backstage. The entrance to Afterlife: Death’s Vengeance is near the Men in Black attraction, and Urban Legends: La Llorona queues up near the Barnie attraction. The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven is in a building that usually houses Universal‘s floats. “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure” is in its customary spot at Fear Factor Live. The new “Rocky Horror Picture Show – A Tribute” is on the stage for Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue.

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