King of the hill
Humans have long reigned supreme in the Animal Kingdom, often citing the ability to walk on two feet, use opposable thumbs and the size of our brains as characteristics that separate us from other animal species, even our closest chimpanzee cousins. But for some humans, that’s just not enough. We also have to be the stronger and faster species, or even strongest and fastest.
Following in the footsteps of Jesse Owens who could out-sprint horses, Olympic idol and deltoidian god Michael Phelps is training for his biggest race yet: the 100 meters in the open ocean off the coast of South Africa against his opponent, a Great White Shark. As if 23 gold medals, millions of dollars in endorsement deals and out-right sports-hero fame weren’t enough for the humble Marylander. Now he has to prove he can actually out-swim one of the fiercest predators on the planet (albeit with a “monofin” contraption attached to his feet and flanked by 15 other swimmers throughout the course to fend off the shark in case it decides to attack).
Thanks to Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, we’ll all be able to tune in and see if once and for all Phelps loses the title of supreme natator or if the white death is the ultimate victor. We’re holding our breath.
Next up: Who can groom faster: Two baboons? Or Donald Trump with the help of Vladamir Putin?
Race to the bottom
This week, Frontier Airlines announced it would add 20 destinations from its Denver International Airport hub. To this, United Airlines president Scott Kirby told investors that the battle is on for DIA supremacy.
What remains to be seen is just who will benefit from this battle. Does this mean in an effort to appeal to consumers, United will allow you to carry-off your baggage when you’re bloodied and dragged through the aisle?
Does this mean in an effort to save money, Frontier will turn to budget mascots like Vanessa the Vole, Gary the Grub, and the actor who played Family Matters patriarch Carl Winslow, Reginald VelJohnson?
And is it moral to profit off of sending people to the likes of Little Rock, Calgary and Reno? If anything, Frontier and United are being enablers.
In a move that might indicate future involvement in the DIA war, JetBlue made headlines this week after a couple flying the airline alleged that they were removed from a flight when their one-year-old kicked the back of a passenger’s chair. But anyone who’s crammed themselves and a one-year-old (who are known to sit still for hours at a time) into the one-foot of room airlines give you, surely looks at the JetBlue situation and says a big old, “Fuuuuudge that.”
JetBlue claims, however, that it removed the family after “a verbal altercation that included physical threats and profanity.” But as the United Airlines motto goes, “If you’re not cursing and threatening people when you’re flying, then you ain’t really flying.”