Cool Happenings in London Now

In my bottomless inbox of travel news, I’ve come across a few articles about London and why you might be interested in taking a trip there before the end of summer.

Putpockets We’ve all heard of pickpockets and how we should be wary of them at home and while we’re abroad. However, 20 former pickpockets who have changed from their former wicked ways have been hired by a broadband company, TalkTalk, to discreetly drop anything from 5 to 20 pound notes in the unguarded pockets, purses, and bags in Trafalgar Square, Covent Gardens, and other busy spots. This initiative to brighten the lives of people in unusual ways runs until the end of August which will see at least 100,000 pounds given away.

Free Bottled Water To provide abit of relief during the summer heat, Soak Media, is providing free bottled water to London commuters. The UK media company sells on-bottle advertising. Their staff distribute the 330ml bottles from ice-filled carts. Their research show that the bottles are held in the hands of the recipients for an average of 50 minutes. What makes Soak Media unique is that they distribute all their profits to charitable causes.

Writer in Residence It’s not unusual unless you consider where it will be. Heathrow Airport has appointed Alain de Botton as the writer-in-residence for 1 week starting August 19, 2009. His desk is located in the new Terminal 5 where his writings appear on a screen behind him for all to read. During the week he will interview passengers and airport staff before returning home to write a short book titled, A Week At The Airport: A Heathrow Diary. The book will include photographs by Richard Baker. On September 21, 2009, ten thousand copies will be distributed for free to Heathrow travellers and then be available for sale through Amazon’s British website and traditional brick and mortar stores.

If you have time for a trip to London in the next few months, you may get a chance to experience the new personal rapid transit (PRT) system that will be launching in Q4 at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. The PRT vehicles will transport 4 passengers at a time from Terminal 5 to various parking lots. It cost the British Airport Authority (BAA) $41 million for these 18 battery powered pods which travel at a maximum of 25 mph.

I’ve received a few e-mails about cruises from my previous blog posts.  To respond to these, my next couple of posts will hopefully answer them, firstly beginning with the types of cruises available.

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