Rubber Ducky Flotilla Nearing Britain

In 1992, a cargo of 29,000 plastic (not rubber) ducks, turtles, and frogs was swept overboard from a container ship. The ship was bound for Seattle, carrying a cargo of toys manufactured in China. When the toys' containers fell overboard, they broke open, releasing the toys to the ocean currents. Since their voyage began in 1992, the ducks have been floating around the world's oceans, turning up on beaches across the globe.

Retired Oceanographer Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer has been tracking the toys on their journey and predicting their future path using ocean current models. (Ebbesmeyer studies all sorts of floating stuff, calling his science "flotsametrics.") According to Ebbesmeyer's predictions, the toys will start washing up on British beaches soon. If you find one of these ducks on the beach, check for two identifying characteristics: it should be bleached white by the sun, and it will bear the manufacturer's name: "The First Years." There are many references online to a $100 reward for returned ducks, but links to the reward page no longer work.

You can read more about the toys' journey in recent U.K. coverage: The Daily Mail, BBC News, and The Times Online. Also of interest: a list of resources related to the duckies, Ebbesmeyer's page on the duckies, and a 2003 NPR interview with Ebbesmeyer.

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Courtesy of Airpod
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New Nap Pods—Complete with Alarm Clocks and Netflix—Set for A Trial Run at Airports This Summer
Courtesy of Airpod
Courtesy of Airpod

Sleepy travelers in Europe can soon be on the lookout for Airpods, self-contained capsules designed to help passengers relax in privacy.

For 15 euros per hour (roughly $18), travelers can charge their phones, store their luggage, and, yes, nap on a chair that reclines into a bed. The Airpods are also equipped with television screens and free streaming on Netflix, Travel + Leisure reports.

To keep things clean between uses, each Airpod uses LED lights to disinfect the space and a scent machine to manage any unfortunate odors.

The company's two Slovenian founders, Mihael Meolic and Grega Mrgole, expect to conduct a trial run of the service by placing 10 pods in EU airports late this summer. By early 2019, they expect to have 100 Airpods installed in airports around the world, though the company hasn't yet announced which EU airports will receive the first Airpods.

The company eventually plans to introduce an element of cryptocurrency to its service. Once 1000 Airpods are installed (which the company expects to happen by late 2019), customers can opt in to a "Partnership Program." With this program, participants can become sponsors of one specific Airpod unit and earn up to 80 percent of the profits it generates each month. The company's cryptocurrency—called an APOD token—is already on sale through the Airpod website.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Afternoon Map
8 City Maps Rendered in the Styles of Famous Artists
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iStock

Vincent van Gogh once famously said, "I dream my painting and I paint my dream." If at some point in his career he had dreamed up a map of Amsterdam, where he lived and derived much of his inspiration from, it may have looked something like the one below.

In a blog post from March, Credit Card Compare selected eight cities around the world and illustrated what their maps might look like if they had been created by the famous artists who have roots there.

The Andy Warhol-inspired map of New York City, for instance, is awash with primary colors, and the icons representing notable landmarks are rendered in his famous Pop Art style. Although Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh, he spent much of his career working in the Big Apple at his studio, dubbed "The Factory."

Another iconic and irreverent artist, Banksy, is the inspiration behind London's map. Considering that the public doesn't know Banksy's true identity, he remains something of an enigma. His street art, however, is recognizable around the world and commands exorbitant prices at auction. In an ode to urban art, clouds of spray paint and icons that are a bit rough around the edges adorn this map of England's capital.

For more art-inspired city maps, scroll through the photos below.

[h/t Credit Card Compare]

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