Weekend what we’re reading: San Francisco fog, TripAdvisor’s list of top sights, flying backwards

by Charlie Leocha on July 21, 2013

This weekend we get to see beauty in the San Francisco fog and learn about TripAdvisor’s list of top sights. And, finally, we look at flying while sitting backwards — does it provide more safety?

Watchin’ the fog roll in and then away again

This beautiful video of the San Francisco fog rolling in captures phenomenal natural beauty that most of us never get to appreciate.

Oakland, Calif.-based photographer Simon Christen said in the “Adrift” Vimeo video description that he spent two years capturing this footage from the Marin Headlands, which is just north of San Francisco.

Christen called this four-and-a-half-minute project “a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area” and said he hopes the short film conveys “the feeling of happiness I felt while I experienced those stunning scenes.” He previously shot similar time-lapse video around the Bay Area.

TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Attractions

The Travelers’ Choice Attractions awards were determined based on the quality and quantity of traveler reviews of attractions, featured on TripAdvisor, in each of the categories.

Top 10 U.S. Landmarks
1. Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas, Nevada
2. Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
3. USS Arizona Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
4. Top of the Rock Observation Deck, New York City, New York
5. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
6. Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Savannah, Georgia
7. Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C.
8. Broadway, New York City, New York
9. Cloud Gate, Chicago, Illinois
10. Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool, Washington, D.C.

Top 10 World Landmarks
1. Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu, Peru
2. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
3. Taj Mahal, Agra, India
4. Petra World Heritage Site, Wadi Musa, Jordan
5. Bayon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia
6. Great Cathedral and Mosque, Cordoba, Spain
7. Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia
8. St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Italy
9. Ancient City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia
10. Main Market Square (Rynek Glowny), Krakow, Poland

For the complete list of 2013 Travelers’ Choice Attractions winners, go to http://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Attractions.

Rear-facing aircraft seats ‘safer’

Would this be true? Would rear-facing seats really save lives. Some experts think so. Those seats combined with three-point seatbelts would save lives according to doctors who treated casualties of the Asian crash in San Francisco.

David Learmount, operations and safety editor at the aviation news website FlightGlobal.com and a former RAF pilot and flight instructor, agreed that in the event of a crash rear-facing seats were safer, but he warned that airlines would be unlikely to support such changes due to costs and customer preference

“Lots of research has been done into it and the RAF has rear-facing seats on its transport aircraft because it is proven to be safer,” he said.

“The costs would be prohibitive to airlines, however. During an impact, the passenger’s centre of gravity would be higher and the seat would be taking more of the strain – therefore the seat itself, the fittings and the floor of the aircraft would need to be strengthened. That would increase the weight of the aircraft, which would increase fuel consumption.”

Would you like to be flying backwards? Or, would it make any difference to you?

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  • Carchar

    I have trouble with motion sickness when riding backwards on a train or in a van. I imagine I would also be uncomfortable riding backwards in a plane.

  • James Milne

    I rode a MATS transport with rear facing seats from McGuire AFB to Keflavik Iceland in 1960. I thought that was the future. I don’t know how well the seat was secured to the deck and fortunately it was never tested during the flight.
    Incidentally, the seats and accommodations on a Military Air Transport plane in the 60′s were infinitely better than a thousand dollar coach seat today.

  • bodega3

    Southwest has had seats that faced backwards, usually at the bulkhead. I sat in one, once. Fortunately a family member was sitting across from me, facing forward and I had to place one foot on the edge of their seat to keep me from sliding out of mine. Never picked one of those seats again. Riding backwards on a train doesn’t bother me and I get motion sickness. I prefer seeing where we are going than where we have been so I try to get a face forwarding seat on trains.

  • AKFLyer

    You were sliding out of your seat because passenger jets cruise at a slight nose up angle to reduce drag. That’s one of the reasons those “lie flat” seats don’t have to be perfectly parallel to the floor in order to feel flat — they can be angled up a bit at their seat end, or back, but because the rear of the fluselage is downhill, the result is more or less horizontal with respect to gravity.

    If rear-facing seats were implemented, they would have to be angled back a bit to feel level in flight, which might feel a bit strange on the ground.

  • Ton

    flew with BA in a backwardsfacing seat, you notice during take off but after that not really

    in an airplane there is a lot less sence of motion than in a car or a train, shaking etc does not feel different.

    1 thing though is that i saw no difference with the forward looking ones so prob the same design, not sure if it would have helped in a crash.

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