Stirred or Shaken? How to Make a Perfect Vodka Martini The Maserati Quattroporte: Luxury You Can Sort of Almost Imagine Affording Reyka Vodka May Have the Coolest Distiller on the Planet Tasc Performance Crafts Sustainable Fabrics Without Sacrificing Style The 100% Biodegradable Vollebak T-Shirt Is Made From Plants and Algae Editors’ Recommendations Well, so it happened… the “future” as predicted by the venerable film BACK TO THE FUTURE II has not quite arrived despite the date depicted in the film having come and gone. (Marty, Doc, and Jennifer popped into the future on October 15th, 2015, FYI. Instead of time travelers arriving from the 80s on 10/15/15, instead we announced the halt of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan that day, which does in fact have some correlation to the 80s, so hey!)Related: Should your self-driving car kill you to save a school bus full of kids?We have no self-drying jackets, no flying cars, and of course… no hover boards. But while those matters sartorial and automotive may be still far in the offing, on that latter front, technology has made some rather impressive strides. None of the three devices discussed today are going to zip you around like Marty McFly on a wild ride, but they’re all pretty damn cool, and at least they prove that some brilliant designers and engineers out there are doing their damnedest. So, maybe we’ll check back in 2045? For now, here is the finest stand-on transportation 2015’s technology has to offer:The AirWheel Q5This unique self-balancing electric unicycle lets you stand still while zipping across town at the pace of a fast jog. The AirWheel Q5 has a top speed of a little over 11 miles an hour, and a range of about 12 to 14 miles depending on the terrain. And as the AirWheel weighs just 25 pounds but can support riders of up to 260 pounds, it’s a viable method of transportation around a city or to/from a train or subway: unfold the pedals, ride your electric unicycle to the station, pop it into a backpack or duffel, and then be on your way. At about $450 before taxes and shipping, the AirWheel isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s both enjoyable and useful enough to be worth consideration.The Hendo HoverboardSo guess what? There is a real, honest-to-goodness hover board that already exists! The only catch? You need a massive flat metal floor upon which to operate it. The Hendo Hoverboard works by using the repellent power of magnetism: its dual disc “hover engines” create a powerful magnetic field that lifts the board off the metal flooring beneath it, creating a true hover effect and thrilling the rider who does not immediately fall down. While not a practical toy for most of us at present, given the need for that huge metal surface, the Hendo company does have some promising ideas for more industrial applications. Can’t you picture a fleet of robots hovering around a factory floor, sorting your order of books/garden hoses/textiles/beef jerky with the greatest of ease? We’re going to guess Jeff Bezos can…HoverBoost HoverBoardOK, right out of the gate we have to take some issue here: this company calls itself HoverBoost and calls their flagship product a HoverBoard despite the fact that there is nothing at all hovering here. In fact the HoverBoost HoverBoard sits squarely on the ground atop its two parallel wheels. That said, it’s remarkably easy to use with simple, natural body movements, and it has a range of as much as 18 miles on a full charge.If you want to get about as close to a Marty McFly-style hoverboard as possible without breaking the bank and installing a massive metal floor in your home, this, for now, is the way to do it. Again, how about it, 2045?
A new approach to tourist accommodations will help ensure a quality experience for visitors and reduce the regulatory burden for operators. Bill Dooks, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, introduced a bill today, May 2, to repeal the Tourist Accommodations Act, which requires accommodation properties to be licensed. Instead of licensing, operators who want to be promoted by the province must participate in a recognized quality program. “Visitors to Nova Scotia will be assured that the properties we promote meet industry standards for quality and cleanliness,” said Mr. Dooks. “Operators will face less red tape and enjoy the freedom to choose the type of quality program that best suits their business needs.” To be eligible for provincial marketing programs – such as novascotia.com, Doers’ and Dreamers’, or the Check In Nova Scotia Reservation Service – operators must choose one of several quality programs. They can participate in any of the recognized rating programs such as Canada Select or the Canadian Automobile Association’s diamond rating program. More than 60 per cent of accommodations operators are rated through a recognized rating program. They will automatically be eligible for provincial marketing programs, and will save anywhere between $80 and $800 previously spent on licensing fees. The other option for operators who want to be included in provincial marketing programs, but who do not want their property rated, is to participate in the new accommodation quality program led by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. The association is working with the industry to develop and lead the new program, which will include a set of quality standards for accommodations properties. “We are pleased with the move toward less regulation and the concept of promoting only those businesses that meet quality standards as part of the Nova Scotia brand,” said Susan Tilley-Russell, chair of the association. “Moving forward, we are confident that this industry-led approach will enable us to improve the quality tourist accommodation throughout Nova Scotia.” While quality will be industry led, safety issues will continue to be dealt with through other legislation. Accommodations operators who chose not to participate in a quality program must still comply with all federal, provincial and municipal legislation such as those related to public safety and the operation of a business, but they will not be promoted by the province. This new approach also aligns with the province’s Better Regulation Initiative – reducing red tape and helping to create a business climate that allows Nova Scotia tourism businesses to grow and prosper. Until the act is repealed, the department is granting short-term tourist accommodation licences to operators. Once the bill is proclaimed, accommodation licensing will end. Government made the decision to repeal the act after a thorough review that began in July 2006. The review included industry consultation, consumer research, a review of best practices in other areas and consultation with other government departments. More information is available on the department’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/dtc . Province Repeals Tourist Accommodations Act