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Lawyer Visits Every NYC Subway Station in Record-Breaking Speed

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Matthew Ahn had a lot riding on a recent summer commute. The 25-year-old lawyer set out to break his own Guinness World Record for the fastest time spent traveling to every single subway stop on 24 train lines in New York City’s sprawling 469-station system throughout five boroughs. In July, he succeeded with a total time of 21 hours, 28 minutes, and 14 seconds—and he recently received official confirmation as the record holder, according to The New York Times.

Armed with a GoPro strapped to his chest, an iPhone, five granola bars for an energy boost, and numerous bottles of water, the aspiring cartographer created a detailed spreadsheet and itinerary of subway timetables and routes (which he’s keeping to himself as a secret) to help him break the record. His journey started at 2:02 a.m. at Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue on the A train and ended more than 21 hours later at Flushing-Main Street on the 7 train, both in Queens.

Ahn tried to adhere to Guinness’s strict rules—which include witness signatures, time-stamped photos, and a detailed log of the opening and closing of each subway door—all while trying to complete the world-breaking journey on one of the hottest days of the summer, with temperatures reaching a scorching 93 degrees. He also had to run a total of eight miles between stations to get the most out of his time, instead of waiting for out-of-the-way transfers.

Ahn was in a race against himself. His previous world record, totaling 21 hours, 49 minutes, and 35 seconds, was nullified when the 34th Street-Hudson Yards subway stop in Manhattan was opened in September 2015. This time he managed to shave 21 minutes and 21 seconds off his previous total time.

“I would like all the food, and then I would like to sleep,” Ahn said as soon as he completed his trip. “That would be great!” Watch Matthew Ahn in action in the video below.

[h/t Travel+Leisure]

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Hate Waiting at Baggage Claim? Here's How to Make Sure Your Suitcase Arrives First
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Air travel involves plenty of waiting, from standing in long security lines to preparing for takeoff. And even after you land, your trip is stalled until you locate your luggage on the carousel. Luckily for impatient fliers, there are several ways to game the system and ensure a speedy suitcase delivery once you step off the plane, according to Travel + Leisure.

To score true VIP luggage treatment, ask the representative behind the check-in counter if they can attach a “fragile” sticker to your bag. Suitcases with these kinds of labels are often loaded last and unloaded first. (Plus, they receive the type of kid-glove treatment that ultimately helps them last longer.)

Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need a new tag each time you fly. If it looks old, or was issued by a different airline, the crew might not pay attention to it, according to Condé Nast Traveler. Also, consider upping your suitcase game, as quality, hard-shell bags look like they contain delicate or important items. Their appearance—along with the fragile sticker—will inspire baggage handlers to give them special treatment.

Another trick that can shave a few minutes off your wait time is making sure you're the last person to check in, instead of rushing to be first. If you can't resist getting to the airport early, try asking if you can check it at the gate. This could make your bag one of the last on the plane, and thus one of the first taken out. This method isn't surefire, however, as loading and unloading systems vary among flights.

And if all else fails, Thrillist advises that you try upgrading your flight. Some airlines give priority to bags that belong to elite travelers and business class, meaning they’ll be stored separately from other luggage and come out first. Good luck! No matter what happens, at least you can't have it worse than the lady who had to wait 20 years for her bag to show up.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Google Maps Is Getting a Makeover With More Icons and Colors
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Prepare to get used to some big changes to your Google Maps app. The tech giant announced in a blog post that it’s changing the tool’s design to better highlight information that’s relevant to your journey.

The first update can be seen when switching between modes of transportation. If you’re driving from your home to work, for example, Maps will show you gas stations along your route, but switch to public transit and train stations will pop up instead.

The app’s color scheme has also been given a makeover. All points of interest (POI) that appear on the map are now color-coded. Looking for the nearest restaurant? Food and drink POI are orange. Need some retail therapy? Shopping icons are blue. Hospitals (pink), churches (gray), outdoor spaces (green), and more are included in the new system.

Within the larger categories, Google has introduced dozens of specialized icons to indicate subcategories. Banks are marked with a dollar sign, cafes with a coffee cup, etc.

“The world is an ever-evolving place,” Google Maps product manager Liz Hunt wrote in the blog post. “Now, we’re updating Google Maps with a new look that better reflects your world, right now.”

This overhaul is the latest way Google Maps is evolving to make life more convenient for its users. In the past year, the app has rolled out features that allow you to locate your parked car and to check how crowded attractions are at certain times. The new design changes will start appearing over the next few weeks.

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