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August 07, 2009

Ikea Airways, Animals with Guns, and a Dream of Happiness

Os-Gemeos-Brazilian-artists-New-York-mural
A mural by Os Gêmeos on view until March at the corner of Houston Street and the Bowery in Manhattan.
Photo: Daydreampilot on Flickr using Creative Commons

by Sara Tucker

It's not exactly news that air travel sucks, so hats off to The New York Times readers who've come up with some ways to improve it. A sample: (1) Let Ikea run the airlines ("You'd have to assemble your seat yourself"), and (2) "charge a reasonable fare" for a coast-to-coast round-trip of "at least $2,600." For more suggestions, click here.

Here's a fresh idea to bear in mind as you walk the trails of Yosemite this summer; we stumbled upon it at Babelgum: guns for animals. Why we like it: A long, hard effort by the gun lobby ended in victory last May with an amendment quietly tacked onto the credit card reform bill. In case you missed it, the new law will allow pistol-packing tourists in the national parks, but it doesn't go into effect until next year. Meanwhile, folks who care about such things as personal safety and wildlife poaching have exchanged some harsh words. "Guns tend to bring out a black-or-white, yes-or-no stridency in American policy debate," observed an article (the Times, again) soon after the legislation passed, while the national parks "evoke equally deep emotional feelings." Cool heads are always welcome when tempers flare, and the Sklar Brothers' proposal to furnish animals with firearms strikes us as a fair-minded attempt to even the playing field. Check out their video.

Finally this week, 'tis the season when street art comes into full flower. The mural by Os Gêmeos, twin brothers from Brazil, on view until March at the corner of Houston Street and the Bowery in Manhattan, has been described by one critic as a dream of happiness with an underlying current of melancholy (review and slide show here). For a world tour of ephemeral art, check out the Wooster Collective and World Graffiti Urban Art (here are some gems from Mali). And if your summer travels land you in Berlin, "graffiti mecca of the urban art world," EuroCheapo has some advice for you.

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