This Road Trip Puts You in Blissful 70°F Weather for a Full Year

Brian Brettschneider
Brian Brettschneider

Humans love it when the temperature hovers around 70℉. We’re more productive at work, babies sleep better at night, and tourists worldwide think [PDF] it’s the ideal temperature for a visit (except for beach vacations). When the mercury rises above 70℉, our unhappiness shoots up too.

But you don’t have to stay in the climate-controlled indoors to maintain this optimum temperature. Climatologist Brian Brettschneider created a 13,235-mile road trip through North America that keeps you in 70℉ weather every day for a full year.

Using weather data from the National Center for Environmental Information and Environment Canada, Brettschneider plotted a route through places that have a daily high average of 70℉. (It will likely get cooler at night.)

The trip begins on January 1 in southernmost Texas. Get comfortable, because you’ll be in the Lone Star State for three months. On April 1, head east, arriving in Washington D.C. a month later. Now head northwest through Chicago, Wisconsin, and much of Canada; you’ll log a whopping 3873 miles in June on your way to Alaska. Return south as far as Portland, Oregon, then head back east through the Plains as far as Missouri. You’ll be there in late October. Spend the fall crossing west again. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in San Diego.

In all, you’ll pass through 31 states and three Canadian provinces.

If you want a shorter trip, Brettschneider also created a 9125-mile route that still begins in Texas and ends in California but omits Canada and Alaska.

9949-mile road trip map through 70-degree weather

And for those of you who like it hotter, he also plotted a 9949-mile trip that follows average daily high temperatures of 80℉. That map includes the 70℉ route in case you want to cool down.

9125-mile road trip map through 80-degree weather

It’s unlikely that you’ll see Brettschneider, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska, along the route—at least anywhere in the Lower 48. "I love the snow," he told CityLab.

Sydney Airport's New 'Quiet' Terminal Helps You Relax Before a Flight

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iStock

Picture this: You’re at the airport at 6 a.m., waiting in a too-long line for coffee, and announcements are blaring over the intercom. They’re loud, they’re annoying, and they won’t stop coming.

Fortunately for travelers Down Under, one airport is putting an end to the insanity. As Lonely Planet reports, Sydney Airport is the latest transportation hub to introduce a “quiet terminal” concept. Airport officials promise to broadcast only the most important announcements throughout the T1 international terminal.

“Passenger announcements have been significantly reduced, with boarding call and final call announcements confined to gate areas only,” the airport states on its website.

While this is good news for people who resent the constant reminders, travelers who have a habit of dawdling around in airport shops and losing track of the time will need to be more vigilant. In lieu of announcements, flight information will be provided on screens stationed throughout the terminal.

Airports in Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Helsinki have undertaken similar measures to cut down on noise and promote relaxation. After all, vacation starts at the airport.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

What Would Happen If a Plane Flew Too High?

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iStock

Tom Farrier:

People have done this, and they have died doing it. For example, in October 2004, the crew of Pinnacle Airlines 3701 [PDF]  was taking their aircraft from one airport to another without passengers—a so-called "repositioning" flight.

They were supposed to fly at 33,000 feet, but instead requested and climbed to 41,000 feet, which was the maximum altitude at which the aircraft was supposed to be able to be flown. Both engines failed, the crew couldn't get them restarted, and the aircraft crashed and was destroyed.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable causes of this accident were: (1) the pilots’ unprofessional behavior, deviation from standard operating procedures, and poor airmanship, which resulted in an in-flight emergency from which they were unable to recover, in part because of the pilots’ inadequate training; (2) the pilots’ failure to prepare for an emergency landing in a timely manner, including communicating with air traffic controllers immediately after the emergency about the loss of both engines and the availability of landing sites; and (3) the pilots’ improper management of the double engine failure checklist, which allowed the engine cores to stop rotating and resulted in the core lock engine condition.

Contributing to this accident were: (1) the core lock engine condition, which prevented at least one engine from being restarted, and (2) the airplane flight manuals that did not communicate to pilots the importance of maintaining a minimum airspeed to keep the engine cores rotating.

Accidents also happen when the "density altitude"—a combination of the temperature and atmospheric pressure at a given location—is too high. At high altitude on a hot day, some types of aircraft simply can't climb. They might get off the ground after attempting a takeoff, but then they can't gain altitude and they crash because they run out of room in front of them or because they try to turn back to the airport and stall the aircraft in doing so. An example of this scenario is described in WPR12LA283.

There's a helicopter version of this problem as well. Helicopter crews calculate the "power available" at a given pressure altitude and temperature, and then compare that to the "power required" under those same conditions. The latter are different for hovering "in ground effect" (IGE, with the benefit of a level surface against which their rotor system can push) and "out of ground effect" (OGE, where the rotor system supports the full weight of the aircraft).

It's kind of unnerving to take off from, say, a helipad on top of a building and go from hovering in ground effect and moving forward to suddenly find yourself in an OGE situation, not having enough power to keep hovering as you slide out over the edge of the roof. This is why helicopter pilots always will establish a positive rate of climb from such environments as quickly as possible—when you get moving forward at around 15 to 20 knots, the movement of air through the rotor system provides some extra ("translational") lift.

It also feels ugly to drop below that translational lift airspeed too high above the surface and abruptly be in a power deficit situation—maybe you have IGE power, but you don't have OGE power. In such cases, you may not have enough power to cushion your landing as you don't so much fly as plummet. (Any Monty Python fans?)

Finally, for some insight into the pure aerodynamics at play when airplanes fly too high, I'd recommend reading the responses to "What happens to aircraft that depart controlled flight at the coffin corner?"

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

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