Friday, April 28, 2006

If ignorance is bliss, don't subscribe to National Geographic

I received the May issue yesterday and I was a little depressed after having read some of the factoids about marriage and pregnancy:

- “Pregnancy is the #1 cause of death among girls 15-19.”
- “In Nepal, 7% of girls are wed before they turn 10.”

Is it just me, or does knowing stuff about the real world really stink? I think from now on I’ll just look at the shiny pics in NG.
I love NG for its candidness. Everyone should get it. Although, I do wish they’d stop calling me about their latest video and free world map.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Antarctica Firefighters

I’m happiest in wide open-spaces and spaces just don’t get any more wide-open than Antarctica. Don’t believe me? Check out this video – it is one of the coolest things I’ve seen on the web in awhile.

The link to the video was sent to me by a couple that I used to work with in Key West who are currently living and working on Earth’s driest and flattest continent. He is a firefighter and she is a dispatcher. Antarctica is known more for its -40 degree temperatures than its blazing infernos, so I’m not exactly sure how the whole firefighting business works out, but I have a feeling it goes like this:

Caller: Oh my! My couch is on fire!

Vanessa (the dispatcher): Don’t panic and whatever you do, do not sit on the couch. I’ll send somebody right there.

Scott (the firefighter) rolls up on his snowmobile: Where’s the fire?

Caller: There! On the couch!

Scott opens up a window and maybe a door. After the flames freeze in place, Scott picks them up off the couch and transports them back to the firehouse's frozen flame pile. During the summer the flames unfreeze and there is a big weenie roast.

Antarctica: Come for the wide-open spaces, stay for the weenie roast!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Internet Worm Holes

Internet cafes are like strange little worm holes.

In Kathmandu I spent the day eating rice with my hands, spinning prayer wheels, trying not to step in donkey poop on the streets, only to find myself in an internet cafe typing in my Yahoo! password next to a saphron clad monk doing the same thing.
In Bucharest there are gypsies that roam the steets, but the internet cafes are packed full with Coke guzzling, cigarette smoking adolescents that probably should be in school. They spend all day playing HALO and the latest Grand Theft Auto.
San Pedro Sula is the AIDS capital of Central America and I had the displeasure to sit next to a perverted American who was bragging about his conquests with young girls.
The atmosphere of internet cafes almost varies as much as the price for an hour of computer time. This months Wired magazine lists prices/hour around the globe. Here's the highlights:
Least Costly- $0.38 in Lima, Peru and La Paz Bolivia
Most Costly- $12.80 !!!! NYC, NY
I can't believe the cost in NYC. In London a city with an overall higher cost of living, one hour online costs only $1.78. What the heck is that about? New Yorkers must be bunch of suckers.
In the Congo, one hour will set you back $1.50, which doesn't seem that bad, but from a local's perspective that is about 70% of their daily income.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Man is planning, God is laughing

I attended a writing conference this weekend. One of the keynote speakers was a fella who started his own publishing company a few years ago. He approached writing purely from a business perspective. He suggested that each of us lay out a business plan and he provided us with an outline to do so.

I was really taking it all to heart, “Yeah, I’ll go home and lay out this list of plans, goals, and expectations. I’ll really give my career the direction it needs.” That’s about when he dropped the name of the first two books he published: Pornucopia and The Magic Fart.

This further proves the Jewish saying, “Man is planning, and God is laughing.” I’m sure when God heard that Pornucopia was a title of a new book he nearly dropped his own Magic Fart.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I scream. You scream. We all scream for Touron Ice Cream!

2 scoops of Touron please.

Get the recipe for Touron ice cream HERE.

From the recipe: “Touron is a nougat of Arabic origin made with almonds and honey or sugar, without which it would just not be Christmas in Spain.”

Now that’s one multi-cultural dessert!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Air UP There

The average homo sapien sapien flatulates a half-liter of gas per day, dispersed over 14 individual periods of relief.

A flight to Hawaii takes approximately half a day.

A 747 seats around 400 passengers.

As pressure decreases, say, as when a plane ascends, gas expands.

Do you see where I’m going with this?
Learn more about the Air Up There and my grand plan to patent the revolutionary F.A.R.T device in my latest column in The Hub Weekly.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

From the Words to Hate File

Octogenarian (adj.)- Someone between eighty and ninety years of age.

Where I read it - I’ve seen it used regularly but most recently in Honeymoon with My Brother by Franz Wisner. A fairly good travel read so far, although, if octogenarian is used one more time, I’m done.

Why I hate it - It’s 6 syllables! It takes the same amount of letters and syllables to say, “An 80-year-old man.” Plus, every time I come across the word I picture a person who adheres to an all-octopus diet and that kinda grosses me out.

When it’s used – When a writer is feeling his/her word selection is too simple and in need of some over-syllabazationaling. Also, used by sadistic writers who get a kick out of terrorizing stutterers that may be forced to read the word aloud in a public place.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

For Sale: 10 Bed/15 Bath Castle

Price - $12 million and worth every penny.
Who hasn’t always wanted to own a castle with “a powerful entrance tower . . . curved walls with a rhythmic sequence of battlement towers and bastions . . . an 18th century sundial,” and “a monumental fireplace”? Heck, I'm not even sure what a bastion is, but now I just gotta have one.

I know what you are asking yourself, “But Kelsey, does it have a stable?”

Why yes it does, and if you don’t like horses it can easily be converted into an entertainment room. Although, the stone walls and high ceiling may provide less than optimal surround sound conditions.

There is even a bedroom in the tower where you can lock away any of your crazy relatives or perhaps a fair maiden if you happen to have one that keeps running off after frogs.

To learn more about Italy’s Castello Scotti go HERE.

To make an offer you’ll need to go HERE first.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Giggling Grandma

I always wondered why my Grandma Wilt giggled so much, now I know why... Joint Juice! She has cases of the feel-good juice in her garage. I saw some of her neigbors giggling at a blade of grass. I'm afraid she may be dealing.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tax Cigarettes. Tax alcohol. But tax chopstick...???

The forests in China are vanishing at an alarming rate so a 5% tax was enacted to encourage the use of non-disposable chopstick. China uses about 45 billion disposable chopstick/year, which equals about 70 million cubic feet of timber/year. Read the full story HERE.
Many of the disposed of chopstick were used to make This SCULPTURE .
I love trees. I also love utensils. I fear that similar utensil's taxes will spread across the globe. Pretty soon, even the most beloved of our disposable utensils may be in jeopardy of being taxed. What then? Will we be forced to eat fast food with our hands?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Best Seafood in Town

You know you live in the boonies when you don’t associate yourself with a city, but a county. I was born, raised, and am currently living in one of Ohio’s largest farming counties – Darke County.

Darke County is a meat and potatoes kind of place. We have simple palettes. I think this is because of our extremely limited casual dining choices. Sure we get the occasional entrepreneur trying to expand our gastronomic horizons, such as Stephanie the former proprietor of Casa de Stephanie, but, for the most part, these ventures fail.

Recently, the local newspaper ran its annual Reader’s Choice Awards. The winner of the Best Seafood in the County is. . . (drum roll). . . Captain D’s.

I’ve lived in Key West, home of some amazing seafood. On occasion I would spend the day spear-fishing with a friend. When we got to shore we would grill up our catch. Often the meat would still be twitching. The best fish I ever had, but it was missing something…


Captain D’s has hushpuppies. Darke County has hushpuppies. Key West doesn’t. It almost makes me feel sorry for all of those hushpuppy deprived Key Westers.