POSHAIR SLEEPING BAG
PRNewsFoto/poshAir, Inc.
The poshAir comes with belt loops to allow a passenger's seat belt to remain fastened and hood to keep your head warm if you're too lazy to reach up and turn off that air conditioner thingie above your seat.
By Brian Tracey Business Editor
msnbc.com
COMMENTARY

With all the hassles of airline travel these days, a mini-industry has sprung up to fight in-flight fatigue: Headphones that eliminate jet-engine drone, special pillows to prevent that dreaded neck cramp, and even JetBlue recently announced a "spa service" for its redeye flights .

And now an Arizona-based company has come up with a truly cozy concept for travelers — an airline sleeping bag. The poshAir "envelops passengers in a luxurious lightweight warmth, providing ... a preventive barrier from germs and security for valuables with a private inside pocket," says poshAir, Inc. founder and CEO Darlisa Crawford.  "Convenient, comfortable and chic, the poshAir transforms every journey into a first class travel experience."

The $99.99 poshAir — made of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton machine-washable fleece — is available in a number of sizes and colors, including a "couture service" that enables clients to design the airborne sleeping bag of their dreams.

We're sure the poshAir will be the envy of fellow passengers trying to catch some shut-eye with those flimsy/tiny airline-issued blankets, but we're also thinking zipping yourself up in this snazzy sack while seated in the emergency exit row is probably not going to fly.

Not-so bad ideas

  • We're well aware that when it comes to Dr Pepper soda, people tend to divide themselves into "love it" or "hate it" categories. But now drinks giant Cadbury Schweppes is making that simple division a little more complicated with the introduction this month of Dr Pepper Berries & Cream.
CADBURY SCHWEPPES DR PEPPER BERRIES & CREAM
PRNewsFoto/Cadbury Schweppes
Attention Dr Pepper fanatics: You have new flavor to obssess over.

The company says the creamy concoction is the second flavor in the brand's Soda Fountain Classics line after Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper, and was "created to meet consumers' desire for nostalgic flavors reminiscent of simpler times," presumably the era where people yearned for dairy-and-fruit-flavored fizzy drinks.

"Based on consumer product test results, we expect both Regular and Diet Dr Pepper Berries & Cream will have a strong and devoted following," says Jim Trebilcock, senior vice president of consumer marketing for Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages.

The company even offered some evidence of the new flavor's potential: An eBay auction of 50 twelve-packs last month brought bids topping $215 for one package, or almost $18 a bottle. (The proceeds went to charity.)

So we're hoping Cadbury Schweppes quickly follows up on its success with what we think would be another sure-fire winner: Dr Pepper Cookies & Milk.

  • If all the world's a stage, a Brazilian theater company sees Sao Paulo's filthy, stinking River Tiete as the perfect venue for a play about the bleak life of a poor working family.

The Vertigem company is putting on its a latest performance using a flotilla of boats and the riverbank as its stage. The audience tags along in its own boat.

The Tiete, which cuts through the north of the world's third-largest city, is considered an open sewer by the people who live there.

The water is an oily stretch of garbage, debris and industrial pollution. It is also on the route into Sao Paulo from the international airport, giving tourists and residents alike a glimpse of the grittier side of Brazil.

For Vertigem, it is the perfect backdrop for its play "BR-3" about the life and hard times of a poor working family.

"The city's relationship to the river is one of aversion. They want to pass fast and ignore it. But the river shows the dirt we produce," said actor Sergio Siviero. "We tell a story about an unknown Brazil in a unknown place."

"BR-3" mixes suspense, nudity and even a hallucinogenic drug trip to tell the story of a family who move from the construction of Brasilia, the modernistic capital, in the 1950s to the Sao Paulo working-class neighborhood of Brasilandia, to the jungle city of Brasileia in remote Acre state.

The audience is made up of 60 people. They follow the performance along the river for six miles in a three-deck boat, passing under five big bridges that have none of the elegance of those of London or Paris.

And the hotter the night is, the worse the smell of the water is. Over 2 1/2 hours, spectators see plastic bottles floating in the brown waters along with plastic foam and car tires.

The theater group took measures to keep the crew healthy, including as vaccinations for hepatitis, malaria and tetanus.

One cast member fell into the river at the end of the play last weekend. He went to hospital and doctors put him under observation.

"It was so disgusting", said audience member Mariana Galante, 25. "The guy stayed there, under the water, for a few seconds, and then appeared so stunned."

"But apart from that, it was an amazing experience."

We just suggest dinner after the theater.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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