World's longest flight cancelled

If you were hoping to catch up on your Tolstoy -- or maybe two seasons of your favorite HBO series-- with an 18-hour plane flight, you're out of luck, reports the Christian Science Monitor reports

Singapore Airlines announced Wednesday that it will end its nonstop flight between Singapore and Newark, a distance of about 9,500 miles (15,300 kilometers). A slightly shorter route between Singapore and Los Angeles will also end. The two routes were flown on gas-guzzling Airbus A340-500s.

The airline found the only way to make the routes profitable was by configuring the plane with 98 business class seats that sell for about $8,000 roundtrip. Other airlines operate the same plane with about 250 seats in first, business and economy classes.

Qantas' Dallas to Sydney is now the longest flight distance-wise at 8,500 miles with Delta's Atlanta-Johannesburg service taking the time title at 17 hours. 

Of course, even a domestic flight can turn into 19-hour ordeal under the right circumstances.



Icelanders approve crowdsourced constituion

Iceland seems to have proved the haters wrong, with voters overwhelmingly approving a new constitution which is partially based on suggestions drawn from Twitter and Facebook. The International Herald Tribute reports: 

Enthusiasts of open government say the initiative could be a model for people power in other parts of the world where politicians monopolize policy decisions in the face of mounting crises.

Two-thirds of voters in the referendum, which took place last weekend, backed a proposed constitution put together by a 25-member Constitutional Council who took into account comments they received via social media.

Around half of Iceland’s 235,000-strong electorate participated. Citizens also backed specific measures that included greater national control over the island’s natural resources.

Although the vote is not binding on Iceland’s Parliament, the Althing, supporters of change believe it will be difficult for politicians to ignore the outcome.

The new constitution, whose drafting was prompted by the 2008 financial crisis,  is here. According to Reuters, new features include a clause decarling all non-privately owned natural resources "national property," provisions allowing citiens to call their own referendums, and a three-term limit for the presidency. It's not quite clear from the coverage which of these ideas were drawn from social media, but judging from the referendum, people seem satisfied one way or another.

Prime Minister Joanna Sigurdardottir, who was elected in the wake of the crisis as the country's first female pm and the world's first openly gay head of government, recently announced that she will step down next year.