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Hail to the King Midget

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There's really nothing like a humiliating incident that has oxidized into a funny story. I learned this early on from my father, whose timing and delivery is largely influenced by mid-80s John Candy. During car trips or any other kind of captive audience scenario, we'd beg him to burst into a rendition of "the King Midget story."

The short version is that his father had a brief infatuation with this very special kind of vehicle (the King Midget!), and mortified his children by insisting on driving them to school in the thing (you can see why Uncle Buck was a healing movie for my father). Of course, upon seeing actual pictures of the car, my sister and I were obsessed with somehow recreating this moment. We had to be driven to school in a King Midget! This was a car that came in a kit! You could assemble it in your garage just like a Big Wheel!

Unfortunately, Midget Motor Corporation stopped making them in 1970, so we never got our wish; however, The International King Midget Car Club, Inc. keeps the dream alive, offering--could it be true?--vendors who will still peddle Midgets: "King Midgets bought, sold, restored. No King Midget too rusty!!" and urging members to: "Relive the Memories." First of all: anyone who has a King Midget experience, please share. Secondly: were any of you embarrassed to be driven to school in something your parents drove?

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iStock
Air New Zealand's London Pop-Up Restaurant Only Sells Airplane Food
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iStock

Bad airplane food is a cliché for a reason, but Air New Zealand is bucking the trend, Food & Wine reports. The airline's new in-flight menus feature culinary creations by New Zealand chef Michael Meredith and Peter Gordon, the Kiwi-born executive chef of London’s popular The Providores and Tapa Room. To promote their revamped meal options, Air New Zealand launched a free, two-day pop-up restaurant in London that serves nothing but airplane food.

The temporary outpost, called This is How We Fly, is running out of the Unit London gallery in Soho, but it's only sticking around for two days—April 25 and April 26 (which is today, which means you've only got a few hours left to give it a try). Patrons sit in airplane chairs and dine on options including “lamb with minted peas, braised lettuce with bacon lardons, and salt roasted crushed new potatoes with mint jelly" and a "yoghurt marinated chicken tikka with saffron pilaf jewelled rice, and aloo ghobi with spicy raita dressing,” according to Food & Wine.

Vegetarians were able to indulge, too, as the airline’s meatless dishes included “soy marinated tofu brown rice seaweed with sesame miso dressing and a chunky vegetable” and “tofu coconut curry with spinach and coriander green rice.” New Zealand wines and desserts like apple rhubarb and treacle tarts were also on the menu.

Air New Zealand didn’t simply wine and dine prospective flyers—they also surveyed them on their attitudes about airline food. The company questioned 1000 adults, and found that 25 percent of respondents preferred hospital menu options to airline cuisine. Meanwhile, half of respondents said they disliked airplane food. Still, customers were willing to reconsider their relationship with sky grub if it were made from fresher ingredients, or if menus featured a wider array of options.

Air New Zealand isn’t the only company in the South Pacific that's rethinking its approach to airplane food: Airlines flying out of the state of Queensland, Australia, have teamed up with a charity called OzHarvest Brisbane to collect uneaten sandwiches and snacks, which are then donated to more than 800 charities.

[h/t Food & Wine]

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AeroMobil
AeroMobil's Flying Car Could Land This Year
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AeroMobil

The flying cars of science fiction have always been a bit of a logistical nightmare: Vehicles in sky lanes zipping around, narrowly avoiding head-on collisions, and rarely meeting the ground. In other words, George Jetson probably would have needed some quality auto insurance.

The reality is still impressive, but a little more practical. This week, AeroMobil announced that their plainly named AeroMobil Flying Car—a small passenger plane that doubles as a street-legal vehicle—will be available for pre-orders beginning this year.

The four-wheeled plane (or winged car) has gone through several prototypes to get to a stage that AeroMobil says is in total compliance with current regulations for both aircraft and automobiles. A previous iteration used regular gas, could take off with 650 feet of airstrip, land on just 164 feet of strip, and reached speeds of up to 124 miles per hour. It also crashed during a 2015 test run in Slovakia. (The pilot, who deployed his parachute, survived.)

AeroMobil is keeping specs for their new, commercial version under wraps until April 20, when it plans on debuting the vehicle at the Top Marques Monaco industry trade show. The price is also TBD, but chief technical officer Doug MacAndrew told Business Insider last year that “it's not going to be cheap.”

[h/t Mashable]

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