The Future of the Cruise Industry

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Designing cruise ships today to meet the
wants, needs, and desires of future generation
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Futurist Thomas Frey:  Having just returned from a holiday cruise on the Mexican Riviera, I became intrigued with the prospects for this behemoth industry, and the long-term implications of designing ships today that mesh well with the changing attitudes and fickle interests of traveling consumers many years in the future. (Photos)

 

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WAM-V: A Flexible and Adapatable Spider Ship

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WAM-V

The odd but very “G” new thinking behind this odd styled water craft called the WAM-V or Wave Adaptive Modular Vessels. This spider looking vessel has many “G” features, some of the coolest ones we think are that the entire thing packs into a shipping container, uses very little fuel, runs shallow, and can be configured for many different uses. This isn’t your one function vessel, it can reconfigured in a very short time to take on a new mission. To use re-thinking tech to be smart is what “G” is all about. (pics)

 

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The Plastiki, A Ship Made from Plastic Bottles, Crosses the Pacific

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 Plastic bottles in boat form

The Plastiki is a ship made from plastic bottles. It was built from this frequently wasted product in order to promote recycling. Last March it left California, heading for Australia. Today, it docked in Sydney, completing a 8,000-mile voyage. The captain, David de Rothschild, described the journey:

De Rothschild, 31, said the idea for the journey came to him after he read a United Nations report in 2006 that said pollution — and particularly plastic waste — was seriously threatening the world’s oceans…

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Stephen Hawking: Avoid Contact With Aliens

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Are close encounters worth having?

Genius physicist Stephen Hawking thinks that it’s likely that there’s intelligent life in the universe beyond our solar system. And he advises that we should avoid contact with aliens:

Such scenes are speculative, but Hawking uses them to lead on to a serious point: that a few life forms could be intelligent and pose a threat. Hawking believes that contact with such a species could be devastating for humanity.

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Dubai Making Plans to Sell the Queen Elizabeth 2

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The Queen Elizabeth 2 was supposed to become a floating hotel in Dubai.

Dubai is reportedly preparing to sell a host of assets, including one of the world’s best known cruise ships, as the emirate’s investment arm looks to restructure a mountain of debt.
The Queen Elizabeth II, or QE2, is rumored to be one of the assets that Dubai’s state-run private equity firm, Istithmar World, is planning to sell. An Istithmar spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
However, a company spokesman told Arabian Business that “there are a number of options being considered for QE2. IW is considering which option will best maximise value of the vessel.”
Istithmar bought the QE2, once the largest passenger ship in existence, in 2007 for an estimated $100 million. The firm had planned to turn the ship into a floating hotel attached to a man-made, palm-shaped island in the Persian Gulf.
Also in the firm’s portfolio is a 20% stake in Canadian circus group Cirque du Soleil. But a Cirque du Soleil spokeswoman said the group has had no indication from Istithmar that a sale is pending.
Any proceeds from the asset sales would probably be used to pay down the $22 billion in debts that Dubai World, the parent company of Istithmar, took on during a multiyear, global property binge.
Dubai was one of the first sovereign nations to run into serious debt problems as a result of the global economic downturn. The fallout has now spread to Europe, where Greece and other countries are struggling to slash budget deficits and repay mountains of debt.
Dubai World, the investment arm of Dubai, rattled financial markets late last year when it signaled that it couldn’t make payments on its debts. The company received a $10 billion bailout in November from fellow emirate Abu Dhabi and is working with creditors to restructure its debt load.
As a result, Istithmar has already been forced to sell some assets at a loss. In December, the firm sold the W Hotel in New York for only $2 million in a foreclosure auction. It reportedly paid more than $200 million for the boutique hotel in 2006.
Last week, Istithmar sold its stake in Indian budget airline SpiceJet for $37 million. It also recently announced plans to sell port and shipping agent Inchcape Shipping Services for $700 million.
Despite the recent asset sales, Istithmar still has a large portfolio of investments and properties, including a large stake in book publishing giants Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt Education. It also has interests in U.K.-based Pension Insurance Corporation Holdings and Perella Weinberg Partners, a New York-based investment firm.

Dubai is reportedly preparing to sell a host of assets, including one of the world’s best known cruise ships, as the emirate’s investment arm looks to restructure a mountain of debt.

The Queen Elizabeth II, or QE2, is rumored to be one of the assets that Dubai’s state-run private equity firm, Istithmar World, is planning to sell. An Istithmar spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.

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A Ferry Powered Completely by Rechargeable Batteries

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A fresh ferry concept.

A Japanese shipbuilding company named IHI Marine United is developing a ship that can be powered entirely by rechargeable lithium batteries. It will be able to travel 80 km while carrying 800 passengers:

Its Zero Emission Electric Propulsion Ship will use batteries that can be recharged at charging stations in ports it visits. The plug-in ship powered by lithium-ion batteries would run without a diesel engine, thus cutting its carbon dioxide or nitrogen oxide emissions to zero.

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250,000 Recycled Floating Bottles Used To (Re)Build Mexican Island Paradise

250,000 Recycled Floating Bottles Used To Build Mexican Island Paradise 

If you can’t afford to buy your own tropical island paradise, why not build your own? That is exactly what Richie Sowa did back in 1998, from over a quarter-million plastic bottles. His Spiral Island, destroyed years later by a hurricane, sported a two-story house, solar oven, self-composting toilet and multiple beaches. Better yet, he has started building another one! His ultimate goal? To build the island bigger and bigger and finally float out to sea, traveling the world from the comfort of his own private paradise. (Pics) (Video)

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Pirates Attack NATO Ship

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Pure genius or lack of you make the call

Pirates who attacked a ship off the coast of Somalia got more than they bargained for when it turned out to be a naval vessel – from an international force against piracy, Nato said. The pirates apparently mistook the FGS Spessart for a commercial merchant ship when they targeted it in the Gulf of Aden, between Somalia and Yemen. Continue reading… “Pirates Attack NATO Ship”

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NASA Research Prize Inspires Team To Develop New Carbon Ribbon Making Space Elevator Possible

New NASA Carbon Ribbon Could Make Space Elevator Possible

A new form of carbon ribbon that’s ultra-flexible and super-strong could become the infrastructure for the first working space elevator. Such a structure would usher in a new era in easy space travel.

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Volitan: A Solar/Wind Powered Concept Boat

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Might the Volitan presage a new generation of lightweight, fully sustainable boats? It certainly sounds good on paper: the futuristic vessel would use solid sails – equipped with double layer solar cell panels – to harness both wind and solar energy and would have an incredibly light, stiff body structure, courtesy of its carbon fiber and epoxy resin composite-made shell and carbon-foam core lamination. Its body would also have an epoxy primer coat and ultraviolet resistant coating.

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