Food Buzz Each year, Coca-Cola makes Coke with sugar for observant US Jews to drink during Passover. And the rest of us get to go along for the ride. This is a boon for those who don't like Coke with high fructose corn syrup and who have to seek out the superior sugared Coke in small Mexican restaurants and grocery stores.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
One of my favorite things about traveling is seeing how English is used, or misused. Apparently I'm not alone. Most of these seem to be from Asian countries, however there are a few from other parts of the world that are just as hilarious. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
There are 3 full pages of these pics, crazy stuff!!
read more | digg story
Posted by gjblass at 3:44 PM
Everyone loves a good Mad Magazine Fold-in:
Well NY Times, has an interactive guide to all of the Fold-ins from 1960's to the Present
These were created by Al Jaffee
These are great!
Posted by gjblass at 2:36 PM
It creeps up on you slowly... and the next thing you know, you can't see your shoes. It's the dreaded beer belly. You'd love to be able to tuck your shirt in again, but skipping happy hour and steering clear of your local watering hole are just not going to happen. Here's a list of your favorite cold ones and their alcohol contents per calorie.
read more | digg story
Posted by gjblass at 2:16 PM
Lamborghini offers the ability to select which cows become your seats- just don't stand behind them!
"Don't stand too close to the cow," they told us, "or else you're going to get shit on like you won't believe." The guy next to me wasn't listening. He was standing immediately next to number 726, a 30-month-old female Holstein that had, minutes earlier, been escorted into the abattoir. A perennially cheerful Italian man pressed a stunbolt pistol to the cattle's head and squeezed its trigger. With a pneumatic kwa-thoonk, the device launched a stainless steel piston into the cow's brainpan at speeds approaching the supersonic. The animal let out a protesting howl and then, half death throe and half being scared — literally — shitless, it let loose a jet of liquid excrement that exploded off the back wall, peppering the inattentive journal's slacks with brown leopard spots. Like a high-rise that defies gravity for a second after its demolition charges have lit off, the cow stood bolt upright in dead silence, then twisted and crumpled to the ground.
What 726 didn't — couldn't — have known was that she was destined for bigger things than Fendi bags or Gucci loafers. Lamborghini made a big splash when it announced its Ad Personam program at this year's Detroit auto show, which allowed buyers of Murciélagos and Gallardos to spec out the minutiae of their cars, from colors and materials to the type of thread used — some buyers shun synthetics — in its stitching. But what Lamborghini had kept quiet up until last month was a similar program already in place for buyers of its million-dollar Reventón supercar. According to Lamborghini spokespeople, who talked to us at a dinner the evening before we visited the cattle farm, it was "respecting the ultimate connection between man and machine." To everyone else, it meant that Reventón buyers were given a book full of cattle mugshots, and could handpick the animals that would be turned into their steering wheel, armrest, and parking brake boot. Standing there, watching the process unfold, there was a palpable vibe running through us assembled journalists, even shit-britches at the front of the pack: You've got to be fucking kidding me.
We weren't alone in that sentiment. Last month, after the FedEx truck rumbled away and my editor poked at the envelope's pull strip, he stood in the doorway to my office with a swatch of leather and an invitation from Lamborghini to visit Al-Pella SpA, a boutique cattle farm located in the heel of Il Mezzogiorno. He hadn't read off the first paragraph on the page before I blurted out, "You've got to be fucking kidding me!" I got the same reaction from senior editor Fowle when I told him about the trip. Even my mother, who had just recently been thunderstruck by the opulence of valet parking at the mall — At the mall! Doesn't that just take all! — let slip that, "People have gone off the deep end!" Which is as close as her crushing Irish Catholic guilt would let her get to saying, "You've got to be fucking kidding me!"
"Most buyers' first reaction was, in fact, disbelief," said Lamborghini spokesman Pietro Ventimiglia, as farmhands wrapped a chain around 726's hind legs. An overhead motor hummed in increasing protest as it pulled the cow's half-ton body erect. "But this is just the next logical progression of truly letting us build your dream for you."
While Ventimiglia talked, a worker was following the next logical progression of turning 726 into couture, massaging the cow's neck until he felt the edge of the jawbone, then plunging a knife between it and the first vertebra. Pulling the blade across in one swift motion, he severed both the jugular vein and carotid artery. There are 13 gallons of blood coursing through the average cow, and with both vessels severed it began issuing forth in great, chugging pressure waves, like a two-liter bottle turned on its end, draining down the bottom of the trough. The woman next to me began shifting uneasily.
A part of you expects that a slaughterhouse is going to smell rank. But what nobody tells you is that the smell has a temperature. A consistency. A viscosity. The blood gives the air a sticky, alkaline bitterness that coats your lungs and makes you feel as though you're breathing with a wet pillowcase on your head. Three years ago, Al-Pella was the target of a Greenpeace campaign designed to show that cow fart was damaging to upper atmospheric ozone. Which may be true, but outgassing from the rest of the animal ain't exactly a bed of roses, either. I had always been convinced that my constitution was made of sterner stuff than this, but after fighting back the urge to gag — twice — my confidence in my steel stomach was certainly breached.
Once the body has bled out (the industry refers to it using the clinically sterile terminology exsanguination) it's time for Vittorio Saldati to shine. Blessed with the Italian enthusiasm for life that gives his countrymen a reputation for their halogen smiles, Saldati is the third generation of hideworkers to ply his trade in the farms around the Gulf of Salerno. Never married, and with no children, Saldati is the end of his bloodline. His name, and his family's tradition of leathermen, will die with him.
It is Saldati's job to ensure that as much usable hide is kept as possible: There are only about fifty square feet of reclaimable skin on each animal, and the molds for the Reventón's interior accents require at least thirty-five. Each hide is also heinously expensive: Al-Pella maintains only 200 cattle on its 300-acre plot, and the yield from each animal is so important that the company installed plastic fencing to prevent nicks and scars that can be caused by barbed wire.
Wheeling a stainless cart over to the carcass, Saldati cheerfully explained the history of Al-Pella's leatherworks as he began making incisions with a bitagli, a tiny, curved metal tool that looks like a scythe rendered in 1/24th scale.
"The fascisti run Alfa Romeo in 1932," he told me, referring to the government takeover of the company following the departure of Nicola Romeo. Saldati dragged the blade through the cow's flank with a wet schlock. "And the, ah..."
He paused before muttering to the translator, who looked at me and said, "Heads of state."
"Heads of state," Saldati continued, "They need beautiful cars." He looked at me before gesturing with his right hand, fingers pinched together and pointed upwards. "Meraviglioso!" He paused to look for my approval and I nodded it.
So the Ufficio di Acquisizione gave Al-Pella its first commission — the interior fitments for a 6C Spider that was the official state car of Benito Mussolini. No expense was spared to make the dictator's car perfect. It took nearly fifteen cattle to produce enough flawless hide for the two-seat Alfa, which recently failed to sell at auction for $894,000.
With the incisions made, Saldati clasped the tail in a clip and began fleshing the hide from the body. Working from the tail downwards, he gingerly peeled the skin back along the incisions, tugging it with little fingertip pulses while using the outer curve of the bitagli to sever the fat and muscle where it stuck. Modern methods skin the entire carcass mechanically, pulling and stretching until the skin is forcibly rent from its backing. The problem, said Saldati, is that this causes stretch marks and stresses that destroy the grain of the hide.
"Is fine," he grinned, "for cheap shoes."
A cowhide, I'd been told, weighs up to 200 pounds when soaked with blood and fat — even after the exsanguination and fleshing — and requires some time to cool out. But cooling the hides is a perverse race against rapacious and hungry bacteria, which begin devouring the flesh as soon as the cow is headbutted by the stunbolt. It may take four hours for the moist center of a hide to reach room temperature, but by that time bacteria will have dissolved the fibrous material retaining the outer skin, which makes it slough off the hide like a burn victim.
That's where the salthouse comes in. If you grew up in the north, you've seen highway salt repositories with a roof like an inverted acorn. Al-Pella's salthouse is exactly that, its architecture seemingly removed from some stretch of Michigan interstate and deposited by the Mediterranean shore. It couldn't look like any more a conspicuously American transplant if it were wearing flip-flops and burping in public.
Freed from its body, the hide is flopped onto a gurney and sent on the 100-foot trip from the abattoir to the salthouse, steaming in the cool morning air. Once there, the skin is laid out on piles of Mediterranean sea salt — the same stuff that we pay $10 a pound for is so common that it gets used to soak up cattle viscera. The salt desiccates the hides so thoroughly that microorganisms can't breed on it.
From the salthouse, the hides go to the tannery. At least, I'm told that's the case, because it's at this point that three gregarious Al-Pella employees cut our tour short. They were a tag team of upturned palms and pleasant apologies that we couldn't, in fact, see the next step of the process. A trade secret, you see. At least, I'll assume that's what they were saying, because even with my diligent study of the winsome Italian tongue, I couldn't pick out a single damned word. It sounded like Pig-Latin Spanish.
"Non Importa," I told them, trying out the little language I could remember.
Which, if you're slow to pick up the context, means "I don't care," or in this case, "it's no big deal." Although to judge from their reactions, I think they took it to mean, "apologize all you want, I don't care, and I hope you go to hell for the inconvenience." They frowned and turned their palms over, making little flicking motions with their fingers. I didn't need a translator to figure that one out.
The conductor shouted more words I didn't understand, and the train from Tuturano to Bologna began rolling out. From Bologna, it's a 40-minute ride east on the A14 to Lamborghini's headquarters in Sant'Agata. And from there, it's a five minute walk across the factory floor to the saddlery, past the parallel Gallardo and Murciélago assembly lines. Each car in the queue progresses through assembly stations, versus a continually moving line, and a klaxon sounds every 54 minutes when the line scoots forward one vehicle. Once clear of the assembly area, you reach the point at which Al-Pella's hides are transformed into interior appointments. The saddlery occupies a low-roofed back corner of the factory, and its red brick flooring is luminous under the pulsing white from overhead fluorescents.
Unlike mass-produced leather trim from other automakers, which is stamped out on computer-controlled mills using sharp steel molds that resemble cookie cutters, Lamborghini insists on crafting its interiors using traditional methods that have been popular since Watt's steam engine arrived on the scene. Chalk that up as to why beautiful interiors, like wearing white sweaters and overthrowing government for the hell of it, are one of those things Italians just do better than others.
Of the twelve women that comprise Lamborghini's interior shop — "It's woman's job," I'm told by a Gallardo line worker who reads my surprise correctly — only two are allowed to work on the Reventón. Annalisa Dante has been handcrafting leather in Sant'Agata since the Countach LP400s were rolling down the line in the early '70s. The head of the Reventón's upholstery program, she is sprawled across an orange hide that's spread across a cork-topped workbench, where she deftly maneuvers stiff cardboard guides and a scalpel, carefully planning each shape from leather that's free of scratches and insect bites.
I asked her how she felt about knowing that specific animals were chosen to be the skins she's working with. Silence. Too hardball, I guessed, so I tried for conversational. Was it interesting during the five owners that Lamborghini's been through since she'd started working here? Nothing. With one hand holding the template and another tracing its outline through the hide, she didn't look up but grumbled, "Non Importa."
Dante's counterpart is Mariangela Gervasi, who visibly bristled when one of the journalists behind me let slip the word "seamstress." Gervasi has been responsible for piecing together interiors on nearly 6000 different Lamborghinis over the past 25 years, and during the last 15 she's kept a notecard — what color stitching, what color leather, what dye lot the hides came from — for each in case the car needs repair. Surrounded at her workstation by bobbins of thread dyed in vibrant fun-house colors, Gervasi was hand-stitching the outer wrap of a steering wheel when our tour stopped by.
"It is excess," she told me, when pressed for her thoughts on buyers meeting the meat. "But Lamborghini is made to be excess. Nobody buys Lamborghinis for need. Lamborghinis... are desire." Does she own a Lamborghini? "No," she said, producing a filthy, rubber-headed Fiat key with the logo worn down to dull nubs. "But I desire."
On our way out, it was Pietro Ventimiglia, who had caught a late train to Bologna and was just meeting up with our group, that led us through Lamborghini's new heritage museum and delivery center. A completed Reventón sat in the corner, where it would be cocooned inside a felt-lined shipping bag before being dispatched to its new owner. Ventimiglia shuffled from one thousand-dollar loafer to the other when pressed for details on the Reventón's new owner, telling us only that it was headed for the Emirate of Dubai.
I was peering through the car's window when I saw them, and my jaw dropped through forces I could neither control, command, or compel. The gang of ignition keys in a bag on the passenger seat, lashed together with a woven steel lanyard that was clasped at both ends to a polished Lamborghini medallion. And two plastic yellow ear tags, bearing imprints of a stock number and the name Al-Pella SpA, were clipped onto the same loop, ready for delivery to the car's new owner.
It's at this point that our lawyers want me to tell you that none of the above actually happened. Everything you have just read is, pardon the Lamborghini pun, bullshit. Not existing in the city of Tuturano, Al-Pella SpA doesn't produce fine cowhides from 200 cattle and 300 acres that the nonexistent company doesn't own. There is, indeed, a Lamborghini factory in Sant'Agata, and there are twelve women who are responsible for stitching interiors employed there, but "Annalisa Dante" and "Mariangela Gervasi" are not among them. Likewise, "Vittorio Saldati" can't uphold his family's long and storied tradition of leatherwork, as he exists only in the space between my graying temples. All of them are borne from the imagination. Chimeras blessed with names from "The Sopranos." My mother, however, still can't get over valet parking at the mall. It really does take all.
Posted by Chismillionaire at 12:17 PM
2009 Nissan GT-R - Road Test
Big, Heavy, and Incredible: Nissan's big gun punches high-caliber holes in our expectations.
BY AARON ROBINSON, PHOTOGRAPHY BY MORGAN SEGAL
At first glance, the Nissan GT-R seems a totem for everything wrong with modern sports cars. It’s much too big, way too heavy, far too complex, and damnably too expensive for mere wage earners, especially after inevitable gouging precipitated by a global struggle for the annual production run of just 12,000. Were Colin Chapman alive, he’d be on YouTube maniacally machine-gunning a GT-R to “add lightness.”
Now that we’re on our third or fourth glance, and we’ve been able to slap on testing gear and hit the track, the GT-R is earning our awe. In seeking to uphold all that is Godzilla, chief engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno and his crew have built a simply astonishing vehicle. It’s still big, heavy, complex, and expensive, but it’s also a holy spitfire at the drag strip and a joy to drive in every way that a big, heavy, and complex car has no right to be unless it’s way more expensive than the GT-R’s advertised base price of $70,475.
This GT-R story is about performance numbers, so we won’t dillydally: 60 mph is barbecued in 3.3 seconds, the quarter-mile in 11.5 seconds at 124 mph. Braking from 70 mph takes 145 feet, and skidpad runs are 0.99 g. Those are Olympic-qualifying stats. Indeed, with those results, the GT-R would have nuked our last $123,760 Porsche 911 Turbo and felled our last $404,410 Lamborghini LP640 roadster. Still think the GT-R is too expensive? We don’t.
If all production cars run like our 3529-mile engineering-mule tester, with its husky midrange torque and smooth ramp-ups to on-boost thrust, buyers will be getting way more than 480 horsepower for their dollars. The GT-R must have more to be haul-assing its 3908 pounds to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. That’s what the $321,956 611-hp Ferrari 599GTB Fiorano runs on game day. Unconfirmed reports out of Japan say production GT-Rs are cremating dynos with 480 horsepower at the wheels, which means the twin-turbo, twin-intercooler, twin-intake 3.8-liter V-6 is churning out well over 500 fillies.
And it all goes to ground so effortlessly. The GT-R’s launch control requires the dual-clutch auto-manual transmission and the shock absorbers be set to the max-performance “R” setting, the stability control to be off, and feet on both the brake and gas. Do that, and the V-6 leaps to 4500 rpm and dumps the clutch when you lift the brake. There’s a brief chirp from the rear rolling pins as they deposit barely an inch of rubber, and the GT-R is gone.
Upshifts with the leather-fringed paddles are rifle-round quick but free of shock. Nissan has sweated its first dual-clutch six-speed, and it shows in the seamless ratio changes and lurch-free clutching. We conducted 15 brutal launches, and the GT-R endured them with grace, sometimes posting 60-mph sprints just 0.01 second apart.
Having established that the GT-R is preposterously and reliably fast, we shall now recite what else we noticed in this brief visit with the car. Even at full war cry the engine is muted, just a mellow warble even under full throttle. The car is also comfortable, at least for those in front. As mentioned, the GT-R has expansive dimensions. Our tape measure revealed front-seat space that totals 54 cubic feet within the lavish 109.5-inch wheelbase. Rear seaters get woeful head- and legroom but at least enjoy more torso space than in a 911.
Nissan fits U.S.-market GT-Rs with extra-wide front buckets of perforated leather and anti-slip fabric that support and comfort. Elsewhere in the cockpit, Italian-looking finery is present in taut, top-stitched dash upholstery and a leather-swathed hand brake fit for a Ferrari. The dash design actually seems to be one of no design, characterized by basic rectangles, circles, and squares. The dials, the air vents, the buttons (11 on the steering wheel alone), and the multicolor nav-and-info screen stack haphazardly up a hillside like shanties in a Brazilian favela. But they prove easy to use and will appeal to those who prefer a simple functionality over art-house flourish.
Many of the “gauges” on the 11 driver-selectable info screens are inane if not suicidal to watch while in motion, such as a lateral-g meter and a front-to-rear torque-split enumerator. However, esoteric displays such as graphs showing brake-and-accelerator-pedal movements would be useful to those who in-car-video their lapping sessions.
Lapping? The GT-R’s specs describe a luxury grand tourer, and it is one, especially with its shock selector set on comfort and the pavement cracks rolling sedately underneath the huge tires. But turned loose on a track or mountain macaroni, the GT-R flouts its size and mass handicaps.
It cements itself to corner apexes and scribes perfect lines on exit with none of the steering numbness or front-end washout we’re trained to expect from all-wheel-drive supercars. The obvious rear torque bias pays its dividends, as does a lightning-quick 15.1:1 rack ratio when it comes time to reel in the fat derrière from the inevitable, entertaining, easily controlled power slides.
Larger, heavier, and less costly than its competition, the GT-R also charges harder and dances with lighter soles. At least so says our experience so far. Comparison tests and dyno pulls to follow. Meanwhile, if you’re beginning to think the GT-R defies easy classification—a new-age Mitsubishi 3000GT was our first dismissive thought—we’re beginning to agree with you.
Posted by Chismillionaire at 12:10 PM
Paleontologists from the University of Rennes (France) and the ESRF have found the presence of 356 animal inclusions in completely opaque amber from mid-Cretaceous. The team used the X-rays of the European light source to image two kilogrammes of the fossil tree resin with a technique that allows rapid survey of large amounts of opaque amber.
read more | digg story
Posted by gjblass at 10:29 AM
Really nice stuff, by adventure-wildlife photog, Skip Brown. Some pics are gorgeous, including serious action (e.g., kayak navigating steep mtn rapids); pretty amazing wildlife scenes (e.g., Tanzania wildebeest migration). Pics from all over world. A few aren't extraordinary; but overall a great mix of shots.
read more | digg story
Posted by gjblass at 9:57 AM
Behold the Colossus Of Analog/Digital Convergence!
Here at ThinkGeek, we fully grok that digital convergence is all the rage. We've been stocking cassette and vinyl and other analog to digital media converters for years now. And for some reason you keep buying. But we felt like we were leaving out some folks. Specifically, many folks that recorded home movies between the year 1975 and about 1984. Think Air Supply, Pat Benatar, and 'Who Shot JR?' and you'll get the idea. So we took a trip to Awesome Town and picked up this nifty Betamax to HD-DVD converter - at a price that shouts "Totally Tubular". Betamax and HD-DVD are like a match literally made in heaven (you know, that place you go when you die?), and now you can get a slice for yourself. Featuring simple one-touch record between either format, your media has never felt less obsolete.
Did you know that with the introduction of Beta hi-fi audio, the Betamax lost its slim luminance horizontal resolution advantage to VHS? And did you also know that a dual-layer HD DVD holds a maximum of 30 GB of data and a comparable Blu-ray Disc holds a maximum of 50 GB? Mere coincidence? We think not!
Posted by gjblass at 9:43 AM
Coach USA-backed unit plans to begin service on May 30
By Nicole C. Wong, Globe Staff | March 20, 2008
If you can't snag one of BoltBus's scarce $1 bus tickets between Boston and New York, you may soon have another option - MegaBus.
A subsidiary of Coach USA Inc., MegaBus said yesterday that it, too, will launch low-cost daily service on the super-competitive route, a week after BoltBus said it would roll out bargain-priced service between the two cities.
MegaBus said it will offer at least one seat for $1 per bus, and perhaps more on trips departing on certain days and at certain times. Prices for the remaining seats will rise as the departure date gets closer and seats get snapped up, but won't go above $14. Tickets are to go on sale Tuesday at megabus.com for service scheduled to begin May 30.
BoltBus, a Greyhound Lines Inc. operation, will start selling tickets at boltbus.com within the next two weeks for service starting next month. BoltBus also said it will offer at least one seat per bus for $1, but hasn't revealed the rest of the pricing yet. If the pricing mirrors its New York-to-Washington, D.C., route, it won't charge more than $25 a seat.
The two new contenders are scrambling to profit from this Northeast passageway that is popular among business people, students, and tourists. The bus operators are trying to distinguish themselves with pricing and amenities.
BoltBus last week said it will not only offer buck-bargains but also that its motor coaches will be outfitted with wireless Internet access and electrical outlets - aiding the productivity or easing the boredom of passengers who want to use laptops and iPods.
"We believe we're putting a different, new product on the market that has a lot to offer," said Greyhound spokesman Dustin Clark. "As far as how successful it will be, we'll see when the service starts. At that point, we'll do consumer research."
MegaBus also will offer free Wi-Fi but not electrical outlets, said chief operating officer Dale Moser. Passengers on its 22 daily buses between Boston and New York also will be able to watch a movie shown on eight video screens in each bus.
Technological amenities are offered on LimoLiner's motor coaches, which seat half as many passengers in leather chairs sporting seat-back entertainment systems playing a movie and two satellite-TV news channels. Travelers pay $89 a seat and enjoy a meal, beverages, and snacks served by an on-board attendant.
BoltBus and MegaBus could lure some LimoLiner passengers away with their cheaper opportunity to plug in, but Peter Pescatore, chief executive of LimoLiner, said, "We don't think it's going to affect us to a great degree. We have a solid repeat-customer foundation that likes being treated civilly."
Both MegaBus and BoltBus will stop at the South Station bus terminal, where Fung Wah Bus Transportation Inc., Lucky River Transportation Inc., and Peter Pan Bus Lines - which is operated in conjunction with Greyhound - offer a bare-bones trip for $15 to $30 a seat. Fung Wah's name is widely recognized in this fierce battle of the buses because it both pioneered this low-priced route and ran into safety problems in the past few years. Competitors have been eager to step in, but new ones recently have been blocked because none of the 29 gates in the South Station bus terminal is available to lease.
BoltBus will use some of Greyhound's gates. MegaBus is subcontracting with Dattco, which already leases Gate 12. MegaBus will pay Dattco employees to drive Dattco buses to and from New York - although it hasn't received the proper approval to do so, South Station's property manager, Michael Brennan, said late yesterday.
"They do nothing," he said, "until they come through us."
Paul Makishima of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Nicole C. Wong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by gjblass at 9:39 AM
Doors to Hell: Real and Imagined by Ransom - April 1, 2008 - 10:25 AM
If you believe urban legends and folklore, the Earth is littered with portals, doors, gates and other forms of ingress to that fiery supernatural underworld commonly known as Hell. There was even one on my undergraduate college campus: Kenyon College’s “Gates of Hell” are nothing more than twin stone edifices that demark North Campus from South Campus, but it’s said that if you touch the phallic post in the middle of them at midnight, it’s straight to Hell for you:
Somewhat more famously, there’s also one in New Jersey (a system of drainage tunnels), though films like Roman Polanski’s The Ninth Gate and video games like Doom 3 portray such portals in more classical form; ie, complete with demons, licking flames, creepy music, etc.
But Door to Hell enthusiasts don’t have to settle for a lousy stone post or make-believe movies anymore — because the world-at-large recently found out about a real Door to Hell. But don’t start packing an overnight bag yet, intrepid traveler; located deep in the remote desert of Darvaza in Turkmenistan, in a region difficult to obtain permission to visit, hundreds of meters from a road and ringed by dunes and rises that shield it from view, is this:
Yep, that’s a big fiery hole. And it’s been burning for more than 35 years, thanks to some Russian prospectors who knocked it open, noticed it was full of poison gas and decided it would be a good idea to light a match, so that the gas could “burn off.” (As you can see, that didn’t work so well.)
Measuring about 50 meters by 20 meters, it generates enough heat that you can only stand near its lip for a few minutes. Locals claim that animals are mesmerized by it, and it attracts countless moths and other insects to its flame at night, the only time it’s visible from far away. Website English Russia tells the story of its discovery (somewhat charmingly) this way:
Once the geologists were drilling for gas. Then suddenly during the drilling they have found an underground cavern, it was so big that all the drilling site with all the equipment and camps got deep deep under the ground. None dared to go down there because the cavern was filled with gas. So they ignited it so that no poisonous gas could come out of the hole, and since then, it’s burning, already for 35 years without any pause. Nobody knows how many tons of excellent gas has been burned for all those years but it just seems to be infinite there.
And there’s even a video! Watch and be amazed:
In case you’re feeling Hella intrepid, here’s a Google Map of the DtH.
View Larger Map
Photos by John H Bradley.
Posted by gjblass at 9:17 AM
For the record, the guy to the left should have been cast in the role of Link. Even he could have added more masculinity than was on display in that train wreck.
How old is Link supposed to be? I suppose you could have gotten away with some of the hokey impish-ness had you actually gone out and recruited a young lad for the role, but he looks to be at least 30 and the effect is that of a creepy pedophile. Why does a guy with a chiseled chin and five o'clock shadow need his dad telling him "not to touch anything"? Was he afraid they'd run into some little boys on the trip to town?
Utter crap. Since when did Link have to do battle against the Evil Dr. Teeth? Is that supposed to be Gannon?
At least you could blame the sexual ambiguousness of the game graphics on the Japanese programmers, as we all know they have weird taste in animation (see: Hentai), but this is an American production!
BAH! WORST MOVIE EVER. You read it here.
(BTW, if you are intrigued by that trailer at all, you'd probably also be interested in learning more about our friend on the left there. Good luck for you, he has his own website here.)
(UPDATE: It seems, from reading here, that the trailer might have been an elaborate April Fools Day Joke. In that case, a heart round of applause is due to its creators. BRAVO!)
Posted by Gary at 8:56 AM
I've come to the conclusion that this site is a fake, but who am I to keep the rest of you from saving your souls should you buy into its premise?
Details on the ravaging of your soul done by Satan's minions through that deceptive device "the Star Wars" here.
Posted by Gary at 8:53 AM