Virgin, Google and Munchkin get silly
Virgin Volcanic. (HO)
The Virgin experience just got hotter.
First there was Virgin Atlantic, then came Virgin Galactic, and now Sir Richard Branson is launching Virgin Volcanic.
"Using patented carbon-carbon materials pioneered for deep space exploration, Virgin is proud to announce a revolutionary new vehicle, VVS1, which will be capable of plunging three people into the molten lava core of an active volcano," Branson's company said in a statement issued on Sunday.
Branson will be accompanied on the first expedition with Tom Hanks, Black Eyed Peas singer Will.i.am, Seth Green and Academy award-winning documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple.
"I have long held a fascination with volcanoes, having read Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth as a young boy," Branson said in the statement. "I decided that one day I would go there, too. Alongside our adventures with Virgin Galactic and Virgin Oceanic, volcanoes are the next great unexplored terrain. What can I say, I lava challenge!"
Kopple will make a documentary about the project using groundbreaking 3-D technology called VD, and Will.i.am plans to "record the first volcanic soundtrack for the film, recorded entirely inside a live active volcano."
The first Virgin Volcanic trips are scheduled for 2015. Go to virginvolcanic.com to find out more.
Meanwhile, on top of the Earth, Google announced improvements to its popular Google Maps "in order to take advantage of better hardware and web standards.
"In our pursuit of new digital frontiers, we realized that we may have left behind a large number of users who couldn't access Google Maps on their classic hardware. Surprisingly, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was unsupported, despite its tremendous popularity with over 60 million units sold worldwide," the company said in a press release on Sunday.
Armed with the power of its "immense data centres and support from Nintendo and Square Enix, we were able to overcome the technical and design hurdles of developing 8-bit maps. Today, we’re excited to announce the result: a version of Google Maps for NES, with beautiful low-res graphics, simple and intuitive controls, and a timeless soundtrack."
For those eager to try Google Maps 8-bit, click the "Quest" box in the top right corner of Google Maps to get started.
And U.S.-based Munchkin Inc, which describes itself as a leading designer and manufacturer of clever infant and toddler products, brought good news for parents everywhere with the launch of its signature Click Lock™ GPS, a first-of-its-kind sippy cup designed with a built-in GPS transmitter.
"Munchkin Inc. understands that wasting precious time looking for missing sippy cups, or worse, accidentally locating a forgotten cup by its smell, can be frustrating," Steven Dunn, the company's chairman, said in a spoof statement. "To solve this problem, we have enhanced our Click Lock™ cups' already advanced leak-proof technology with GPS functionality. Parents will save money and time now that they can track the location of their children's lost sippy cup online."