America’s Favorite (and Least Favorite) Cities

October 10, 2007

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Travel and Leisure conducted a poll of travelers and residents of the things they like and dislike about 25 major urban destinations.  The results are interesting, check them out: Results.  Philly did well in some very predictable categories, such as, cheap eats, historical sites, good pizza, museums, antiques and farmer’s markets.  Philly did awful in things like style, vacation spot for adventures, cleanliness, and safety.  Why isn’t there a category for murals?  Here are a few categories.

Museum and galleries (I think the list would be different if Pittsburgh was one of the cities evaluated)

1. Washington

2. New York

3. Chicago, Illinois

Home design (I don’t really know what houses look like in charleston, but they must be pretty nice)

1. Chicago

2. Charleston, South Carolina

3. San Francisco, California

Intelligent (I was surprised Chicago, which thinks so highly of itself was notably absent in the top 3)

1. Seattle

2. Minneapolis/St. Paul

3. Boston

Farmers’ markets (Philly’s Italian market alone should have made it number 1 )

1. Seattle

2. Portland, Oregon

3. Philadelphia

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Bad Start for the Phillies

October 3, 2007

I put off pharmaceutics for watching the Phillies game with my dad, big mistake. The boys lost 2 to 4. Utley and Howard were incredibly disappointing; out of 8 at bats they racked up 7 strikeouts. After an early Colorado lead of 3 runs, the game seemed already decided. But in the 5th inning they came back and the score was 2-3. There were several times where they seemed set up to at least tie up the game, but in the 8th Colorado solidified their lead with another home run. Its not just that they lose, it is that they get you excited. I didn’t expect them to win today (how could I after going to a game earlier this season and watching them get crushed by Colorado 12 to nothing), but then as they seemed to be coming back you just get into it.

They could still come back in this best of 5 series. The upside is that Utley and Howard played so poorly that they could only be better in the rest of the series. The downside is Colorado beat them with their premier pitcher, Hamels, starting.

No one in Philly do anything stupid tonight.


Odds and Ends

September 24, 2007

Odd things happen every day; the only difference is these just made the news. I present the 5 random stories I came across, in no particular order.

  1. Employees at a German butcher’s shop were surprised to discover a customer had hidden two sex toys in their sausages for transport to Dubai.
  2. An Australian burglar broke into a neighbor’s house and played sex games in the bathroom with a bottle of toilet detergent and a vacuum cleaner. He was sentence to 12 months community service.
  3. A lonely baboon in a private Lithuanian zoo has adopted a chicken he saved from certain death last month and the two have formed a fast friendship, the zoo’s director said Friday. The chicken was meant to be food for another animal, but escaped. This is the cute story of the day.
  4. A Venezuelan man who had been declared dead woke up in the morgue in excruciating pain after medical examiners began their autopsy. Carlos Camejo, 33, was declared dead after a highway accident and taken to the morgue, where examiners began an autopsy only to realize something was amiss when he started bleeding. They quickly sought to stitch up the incision on his face. The person who started the autopsy is the tool bag of the day.
  5. 16,000 words have lost their hyphens in a new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Some became two words and some were shortened to one. Ice cream, test tube, and hobby horse all lost a hyphen and are now sets of two words. Bumblebee, chickpea, and crybaby are now each officially one word.

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Gays on a Plane?

September 17, 2007

“Air New Zealand is delving into the gay and lesbian market with a special themed flight that will feature drag queens, pink cocktails and a cabaret performed by the flight crew.

The destination for the airline’s one-time “Pink Flight,” scheduled to depart San Francisco International Airport on Feb. 26, is the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia, one of the world’s most well-attended gay events, said Jodi Williams, an Air New Zealand marketing director.

“We are looking at tailoring the inseat entertainment and having gay-friendly movies and contests and different music and things like that,” Williams said. The airline also plans to throw a “Get-Onboard-Girlfriend” going away party for its passengers, who will pay an average of $1,000 roundtrip.

The flight will be modeled after an Auckland-to-Sydney trip Air New Zealand made this year for the gay Mardi Gras, according to Williams. Before that full flight, the crew put on pink feather boas and sang for its couple hundreds passengers, she said.

“Even the pilot was wearing fairy wings and got into it,” Williams said.

Michael Wilke, executive director of a New York-based advertising advocacy group called the Commercial Closet Association, said that while American, Air Canada and other airline companies have become visible sponsors of gay pride events, none had so far used campy programming to appeal to gay and lesbian travelers.

“They could probably do very well with it,” Wilke said. “It really sounds like someone put together the idea of what a gay cruise is and just applied that to the air. And even gay cruises don’t feature employees in particular outfits or gay-themed movies.”

Air New Zealand’s Williams said the airline still is working out some details of the flight plan, such as what will go inside the goodie bags passengers will get. Since it takes 14 hours to get from San Francisco to Sydney, the airline also plans to schedule in some down time during the overnight flight.

“We had to think about keeping people entertained while knowing they will want their beauty sleep,” she said.”

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