United Passengers Terrified After Pilot Warns They’ll Be Flying Through “Horrific” Storms And Tornadoes

Some passengers on a United Airlines flight this week heading for Newark were more worried they’d end up in Oz instead of New Jersey after they say the pilot warned them before takeoff that they’d be heading through some particularly nasty weather.

In an announcement over the plane’s speakers on Tuesday night, the pilot “seemed angry” while telling passengers that they’d be flying through “horrific storms including tornadoes” on the flight from Chicago to New Jersey, one traveler told NJ.com.

According to her, he also told passengers to “get to know your neighbors” as the flight would be “very turbulent,” before walking into the cockpit and shutting the door.

That didn’t sit well with passengers, as the flight was already delayed by two hours.

We have just been told that were heading straight for tornadoes and will likely be in the air an extra hour

— Elizabeth Svokos (@miss_svokos) August 23, 2017

The passenger who spoke with NJ.com said flight attendants attempted to soothe worried passengers by saying that it wasn’t unsafe to fly, but that the pilot just wanted them to know there’d be additional delays.

However, as the plane was preparing to taxi to the runway, the pilot announced that they’d have to return to the gate to address a maintenance issue.

Some passengers had had enough by that point, and told the crew they wanted to get off the plane. By that time, the pilot and flight attendants had already worked their allotted hours, so a new crew had to be swapped in for the trip to Chicago.

About 50 passengers decided to make alternate plans and deplaned. The flight eventually took off at 1:14 a.m., about 7 hours after it was originally scheduled.

United says it’s looking into the incident.

“We would never put our crew or our passengers in a situation where it was unsafe to fly,” a United Airlines spokesperson said in a statement. “The safety of the passengers and the crew is always our No. 1 priority.”

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NASA Is Hiring A Planetary Protection Officer And No This Is Not A Joke

Look, guys. I don’t know for sure whether or not aliens exist. But I do know that if they come after us, I want someone in charge of protecting the planet from harm. NASA wants that too, so they’re hiring a Planetary Protection Officer tasked with keeping us safe from outerspace threats.

Specifically, whoever is hired for the position of Planetary Protection Officer will work in the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance for Planetary Protection, which is concerned with “the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration.”

Simply put: NASA doesn’t want anyone — human or robot — on a space mission bringing back something they shouldn’t, intentionally or unintentionally, or spreading that stuff around elsewhere in the solar system.

NASA’s policies regarding planetary protection are applicable to all space flight missions that are “intended to return to Earth and its biosphere with samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration.”

To that end, the PPO is responsible for things like leading NASA’s planetary protection capability, maintenance of planetary protection policies, and oversight of their implementation by NASA’s space flight missions.

While the listing notes that “Frequent travel may be required,” it does not indicate whether that travel will be at lightspeed.

Study: Happy People Buy Time Instead Of Stuff

They say money can’t buy you love — but can it buy happiness? That’s up for debate, but a new study says that using your funds to purchase time — something we all wish we had more of — can lead to increased happiness.

Despite the fact that incomes are rising these days, people can get stressed out when they feel like they don’t have enough time, notes a team of researcher from the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, but they found that people who spend their money on time-saving services report “greater life satisfaction.”

For example, paying someone else to do household chores like cleaning and cooking, or pick up your dry-cleaning.

While one may think that having a lot of money could offer a way out of the “time famine” of modern life, as researchers put it, some evidence suggests that the wealthy folk often spend time engaging in stressful activities, like shopping or commuting.

“Feelings of time stress are in turn linked to lower well-being, including reduced happiness, increased anxiety, and insomnia,” researchers note, adding that time stress is also a factor in underlying rising rates of obesity: People who don’t have time say that’s the reason they don’t eat healthy foods or exercise regularly.

Survey Says

Researchers surveyed more than 6,000 people from the United States, Denmark, Canada, and the Netherlands. In all samples, respondents completed two questions about whether — and how much — money they spent each month to increase their free time by paying someone else to complete unenjoyable daily tasks.

Respondents also rated their satisfaction with life, and reported their annual household income, the number of hours they work each week, age, marital status, and the number of children living at home.

Across several samples — including adults from the U.S., Canada, Denmark, and a bunch of Dutch millionaires — buying time was linked to greater life satisfaction.

The results held for a wide range of demographics, as well as for the amount that respondents spent on groceries and material and experiential purchases each month.

“These results were not moderated by income, suggesting that people from various socioeconomic backgrounds benefit from making time-saving purchases,” researchers find.

Researchers also conducted a field study in which 60 adults were randomly assigned to spend $40 on a time saving purchase on one weekend, and $40 on a material purchase on another weekend. Results showed that people felt happier when they spent money on a time saving purchase than on a material purchase.

“People who hire a housecleaner or pay the kid next door to mow the lawn might feel like they’re being lazy,” said study lead author Ashley Whillans, assistant professor at Harvard Business School. “But our results suggest that buying time has similar benefits for happiness as having more money.”

There Are Only 32 Retail Gas Stations Left In Manhattan

Every day, new people arrive in New York City, and those people need housing. In response to that demand, developers in Manhattan have been busy knocking down old buildings and putting up new ones. One casualty of that real estate boom? Gas stations, which have become increasingly rare in recent years.

An Endangered Species

The New York Times noted in 2016 that the pace of development had accelerated, wiping 30 gas stations off the map since 2008. At that time, only 50 were open to the public on the island of Manhattan.

Their numbers continue to dwindle: According to data from the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs, there are now only 32 retail gas stations open as of last year.

Here are the stations that were inspected by the department last year — some of those may no longer be open if they were sold before the end of 2016:

Business Name Address
10TH AVENUE PETROLEUM LLC 466 10TH AVE
117 MORNINGSIDE INC. 355 W. 124TH ST
145TH STREET AUTO CENTER INC. 150 W. 145TH ST
155TH STREET AUTO CENTER INC 3740 BROADWAY
174 UPTOWN INC 4116 BROADWAY
1ST & 96TH MANAGEMENT INC. 1855 1ST AVE
30TH STREET SERVICE STATION INC. 309 11TH AVE
ACCEDE INC. 255 E 125TH ST
ATLAS GARAGE INC. 303 W 96TH ST
BEST SERVICE STATION INC. 2157 AMSTERDAM AVE
BISMA MOBIL SERVICE STATION INC. 718 11TH AVE
BROADWAY S/S INC 4275 BROADWAY
CITY FUELS LLC 4353 BROADWAY
CITY PETRO SERVICE CENTER INC. 232 W. 145TH ST
EAST SIDE AUTO SERVICES INC. 348 E 106TH ST
EASTSIDE GASOLINE CORP 1890 PARK AVE
FIRST AVE & 117TH ST INC. 2276 1ST AVE
FUTURE SERVICE STATION INC 1599 LEXINGTON AVE
GOALS SERVICE STATION INC 3260 BROADWAY
HOUSTON SERVICE STATION LLC 21 E HOUSTON ST
INWOOD AUTO SERVICE CORP 4880 BROADWAY
JR AUTO SERVICE CORP 89 SAINT NICHOLAS PL
JTE SERVICE STATION, INC. 242 DYCKMAN ST
KALISH & KERNER PETROLEUM LLC 2420 FDR DR
NAGLE FUEL CORP 265 NAGLE AVE
RIVERDEAL OPERATING CORP. 5080 BROADWAY
SPEEDWAY LLC 401 W 207TH ST
SPEEDWAY LLC 120 W. 145TH ST
SRM FUEL CORP. 3936 10TH AVE
STATION 800 LLC 800 SAINT NICHOLAS AVE
UPTOWN SERVICE STATION CORP. 2326 1ST AVE
WEST MOBIL ON 8TH INC 63 8TH AVE

What’s There Instead?

So where have all the gas stations gone? Curbed has a great interactive map showing what each former fuel location has been turned into, from developments that mostly include apartment complexes, condominiums, shopping centers, and office buildings.

To that end, if you need a place to live, this map might be helpful in finding an apartment.

Some simply sit empty and unused, waiting to be turned into a tall glass building filled with people who probably don’t have cars. And if they do, they may have a tough time finding a gas station to fuel it up.

For more on the ghosts of gas stations in NYC, head on over to Curbed.

Here’s How To Get Your $5 Drone Registration Fee Refund From The FAA

Did you pay $5 to register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration? Now that an appeals court has overturned the agency’s rule requiring hobbyist drone operators to register their aircraft, you can get your money back and remove your name from the federal database.

If you registered a model aircraft that you fly for fun and not to make money, you can fill out a request form [PDF] and mail it to the FAA at the address designated on the form.

You can expunge your name from the database and get your $5 back, or you can have it removed and let the FAA keep the money, though it’s unclear why anyone would do that.

In May, the FAA said that since drone registration first started in Dec. 2015, more than 820,000 people have registered. Multiply that by $5 per submission, and the agency could have raked in at least $4 million in fees, which includes commercial drone. Some of that money, however, is from commercial drone registrations, which are still required.

The agency is still encouraging folks to voluntarily register their unmanned aircraft. Once the law that the appeals court says the FAA violated — Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) [PDF] — expires in September, you may find yourself forking over that $5 again if Congress decides to allow the agency to require registration again.