Today’s Top Headlines: May 10, 2012


The Olympic torch has been lit, and thus the countdown to the Olympic Games begins; expect to make new friends on this summer’s fully packed flights; Queen Elizabeth II’s uniquely sweet portrait; Harry Potter’s wizarding turn in Japan; and untested ‘naked’ scanners hit Canadian airports making passengers angry and uneasy. Here’s what we’re reading now.

Olympic torch lit in Greece for London Games.

The iconic flame that will make its way to the opening ceremony of the summer’s Olympic Games was lit today in Greece. Actress Ino Menegaki dressed in classic Greek costume and used a mirror to focus the sun’s rays to light the torch before handing it to the first bearer, swimmer and silver medalist Spyros Gianniotis. After being carried by a handful of Greek Olympic athletes, it will move to Britain for a 70-day relay covering 8,000 miles until landing at July 27’s opening ceremony. {Associated Press}

Summer flights expected to be full.

Don’t expect too many empty flights or easy upgrades on flights this summer. According to Airlines for America, this summer’s flights are expected to be fuller with more than "206 million passengers expected to travel globally on U.S. airlines." The number of passengers will be comparable to last year, but with shift in flights, the actual load of airplanes will be higher than last year. The group also noted that prices have steadily inclined (including fees and extra charges) from "$317 to $364 since 2000." {CNN}

Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait made of cupcakes.

In time to celebrate the queen’s diamond jubilee, Dr. Oetker (a German baking company) concocted the "Cupcake Queen," a portrait of the queen made entirely of cupcakes. It took 2,012 cupcakes, 10 cans of gold and silver shimmer spray, 140 white wafer daisies, 110 pounds of icing, 44 pounds of marzipan, 44 pounds of chocolate chips, and more than 300 hours to put the whole thing together. {ABC News}

Hotel food is getting healthier, even hamburgers.

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts will unveil this week their new healthy food policy, which will give customers more upscale menus describing organic ingredients from produce to seafood to meat, as well as smaller portions and lower calorie counts. Classic room service foods are often guiltier pleasures like the hamburger, which they say will still be on the menu just with a healthier spin—the "Meyer Natural Angus Burger" will have 7 oz of beef (instead of 8 oz.) and will weigh in at 817 calories, where the old version was a whopping 1,176 calories. {USA Today}

Harry Potter Wizading World headed to Japan.

As expected, the "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" will be making its next debut at the Universal Studios theme park in Osaka. Wait, no we did not expect that at all. Following its success at Universal Studios Orlando and the high attendance at the movie’s set tour outside of London, there are plans to bring Harry’s Wizarding World to Osaka and then Los Angeles. According to MSNBC, "Japan’s ‘Wizarding World’ will include a reconstruction of Hogwarts, the school of "witchcraft and wizardry," as well as Hogsmeade, rides, and themed food." {MSNBC}

‘Naked’ scanners pushed on travelers in Canadian airports.

Security officers at airports in Canada are forcing travelers, including pregnant women and children, to use ‘naked’ scanners that have not yet been independently tested. There are cases now being tied to these untested scanners of "severe headaches and at least one unexplained radiation burn." The Huffington Post published a full slideshow of passenger complaints, while health and safety issues from feeling dizzy to extreme nausea continue to be revealed by travelers. {Huffington Post}

Photo credits: Room service via Shutterstock; London Olympics via Shutterstock