"Shake it!" your headset blares as you push on the jet's throttle. Your nose tips, the ground becomes a wall, and you're diving in a last-ditch effort to lose the fighter behind you. Its shots go wide and it swoops overhead, leaving you to level out just as the radio tower ends the dogfight: "Knock it off, knock it off." With your wheels back on the ground, you step out of the simulator's cockpit and catch your friend?s eye: Missed me.
At Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center, aerial battles between friends take place on the ground. The screens of nine authentic military fighter-jet simulators broadcast the same views a pilot might see while soaring at 600 knots. Though the simulators remain on the ground, all the controls, radio orders, and UFO weigh stations mirror those encountered on an actual flight. People may come in with a friend or with a party, where guests and friends target one another during virtual missions, from the introductory Fox-1 experience to the three-hour Viper-1 course, which covers advanced topics such as missile avoidance. After team-building events, participants can even receive personalized dog tags as souvenirs.
Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center also has an exact replica of a Boeing 737-700 cockpit. Inside, a 180-degree wraparound screen transports pilots to airport runways from around the world. Commercial-flight drills present common challenges such as piloting through turbulence and wiping spilled coffee off the controls, testing visitors between their takeoff and landing.
Spiced Bamboo's personal chef guides groups through two-hour cooking classes that demonstrate how to prepare two customized courses step-by-step. Clients contact the epicurean educator to schedule a class and discuss the desired cuisine, which can include dishes from the chef's specialty menu or more personalized fare, such as a turducken filled with peanut butter. Foursomes can learn to sear scallops for a spinach salad drizzled with pomegranate vinaigrette and peppered with jicama, dried blueberries, and macadamia nuts, or explore meaty entrees such as the Vietnamese caramel pork with coconut-infused jasmine rice and spicy asparagus. Vegetarian-friendly options are also available, and, for an additional fee, culinary companions can transform gourmet menu items such as lobster into plates of creamy ravioli with sea-urchin sauce.
Southern California's warm temperatures draw in thousands of visitors every year. Unfortunately, they also attract unwanted guests?pests such as cockroaches, ants, and earwigs. That's where Scout Pest Management technicians come in. Here, they
prowl the premises to track down and eradicate common household pests. Scout's techs also free homes from the onslaught of a variety of other animals, such as rabbits and birds, using humane traps that ensnare the wildlife without harming it.
In addition to abolishing pests from residential premises, the Scout Pest Management team has a long stand tradition of aerating and fertilizing lawns. Back when the company started in the home-services industry, lawn care remained their top priority; today skilled crews continue to enhance lustrous lawns through simple, no-fuss programs. Though all the chemicals used are safe, the techs also offer lawn care services in which they use low-impact and organic chemicals.
TermiGone Exterminators’ team of seasoned exterminators travels to households throughout town in trucks loaded with advanced pest-control equipment and environmentally friendly products. Exterminators expertly remove termites from soil and wood and chase off common household pests such as rodents, ticks, and wasps.
SolarCity has found that when you make a solar power system as free as the sunshine that fuels it, people notice. By removing the biggest roadblock for most people?installation of the panels is free, so you only pay for the power they generate?SolarCity estimates that it converts a new person to solar energy every three minutes. Walmart, eBay, and Intel have also taken notice; they're a few of SolarCity's business clients. Fortune recently ranked SolarCity's founders No. 3 on its list of The World's Top 25 Eco-Innovators (its chairman, Elon Musk, was No. 1), and the Stevie Awards presented the company with a gold award for its customer service.
The SolarCity team fields everything from customizing the design of each energy system to securing permits to jingling their keys until the sun looks their way. All its customers need to do is provide a roof (typically the one that came with their home) and flip the switch. The ease of use extends through the lifetime of the contract. Energy rates are predictable and immune to volatile market rates. SolarCity continuously monitors your system to ensure that it's online. All repairs are covered at no added cost if anything goes wrong.
Besides lowering energy bills, solar power has a major positive impact on the environment. The average solar-powered three-bedroom home offsets the carbon dioxide equivalent of driving a car 125,000 miles, according to data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.