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Home » Archive for March 2009

Chicago River Goes Green

Posted on March 14th 2009 by Arthur in Chicago, Events, Illinois

Today we traveled to Chicago by Metra train for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the dying of the Chicago River! We arrived at Union Station at 8:30 and walked around Millennium Park a bit before heading to the river, which was scheduled to be greenified at 10:45. The riverside east of Michigan Avenue Bridge was packed with thousands of people in green hats, green wigs, green t-shirts and green everything.

Chicago St Pat Day 2009 054 (14-Mar)
Chicago Riverwalk

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Foto Friday: Sears Tower

Posted on March 13th 2009 by Arthur in Chicago, Foto Friday, Illinois

I saw on the news yesterday that the Sears Tower here in Chicago is being renamed to Willis Tower. A global insurance broker, Willis Group Holdings, has announced that it will place its name on the 110-story skyscraper and lease 140,000 square feet of office space in the building. Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world when it was built in 1973 and it still is the tallest building in the western hemisphere.

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Happy Holi!

Posted on March 12th 2009 by Amy in Events, Travel

Today marks the day when India plays Holi. Holi is the festival of colors and we had a lot of fun when we were in India during Holi in 2006. This Bollywood music video gives you an idea of the chaos that is Holi.

Good Ol’ Fashioned Adventure Games

Posted on March 11th 2009 by Arthur in Pop culture

LucasArts is expected to release Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings this spring. The trailer looks very cool and I would love to play this game, but unfortunately it is not coming out on the PlayStation 3, which is the only gaming console I have. The game has been in the making for years but apparently LucasArts recently dropped Xbox 360 and PS3 from this title’s release because it would be too expensive to make. I’m so surprised that new games like this would come out for PS2 and not PS3 … I’m very disappointed.

Anyway, seeing the trailer reminded me of some of my most favorite adventures games of 20 years ago. I was too young to really get into the text-based computer games but starting in the late 1980s I was a huge fan of graphic adventure games like the Space Quest series by Sierra On-line and classics like Monkey Island by Lucasfilm.

Here is a list of my favorite classic adventure games:

 

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Frying pan foul-up

Posted on March 7th 2009 by Amy in Shopping & Stuff

We used to like to make fries at home. In Holland we had a very nice large black pot with a wire fry basket insert and a glass lid. It was perfect to use for stove-top frying, and we loved it. So why the heck didn’t we bring it with us?! Because it was big, bulky, and breakable, and we thought it would be easily replaced. Ha!

We looked for frying pans with baskets at all our local shops (Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sears, Walmart, Target, etc) but they only sell electric fryers. So I had a look online. Plenty of shops sell minuscule pots of 4 quarts or less. I figured we need at least 7 quarts, but even bigger would be better (I guess our beloved old one was 9 or 10). I found one restaurant specialty shop that sold baskets and fryers separately at reasonable prices, but shipping was crazy (about the same price as the implements themselves). Then I found out that Farberware makes a 7Q fryer with a basket, and that I could purchase it from Target.com with reasonable shipping costs. Yay! I placed my order.

7Q Fryer

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Pluto is a Planet Again … in Illinois

Posted on March 7th 2009 by Arthur in Illinois, Space

Despite the State of Illinois’ deficit of nearly $9 Billion and a recession with record unemployment, the Illinois Senate has apparently plenty of spare time to vote on trivial issues such as whether or not to make Pluto a full planet again. A bill that was unanimously-approved by the ninety-sixth general assembly of the state of Illinois declares that as Pluto passes overhead through Illinois’ night skies (whatever that means?!), it be reestablished with full planetary status.

Uh, shouldn’t they leave this sort of astronomy stuff to the astronomers? Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet in 2006 after the International Astronomical Union defined the term “planet” for the first time and reclassified Pluto as a member of the new category of dwarf planets along with Eris and Ceres.

Solar System
Source: IAU

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Do you Twitter?

Posted on March 6th 2009 by Amy in Websites & Tools

Twitter has been in the news a lot lately. From stranded mountaineers using Twitter to audience members tweeting from the floor during President Obama’s address to Congress, the media seems caught up in a Twitter frenzy. I first remember hearing about Twitter in the media when a student in Egypt tweeted his way out of jail. Twitter also came up during the Mumbai terrorist attacks and eye-witness photos from the Miracle on the Hudson flashed through Twitter like lightening.
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Colbert Wags Finger at God for being Dutch

Posted on March 6th 2009 by Arthur in Funny, Television

Last night on The Colbert Report, Stephen wagged his finger at God for being Dutch! Apparently, a Dutch artist named Johan van der Dong set up a phone line in Holland that you can use to leave messages to God. The number of God’s Hotline is +31644244901 and will be up for the next half year for people to call and leave a message. Stephen believes that the number is for atheists who do not have the nerve to break up with God in person.

Fast foward to 3:05 in the following video to see the segment:

Craziest Thing I’ve Ever Seen: DIY Bacon

Posted on March 6th 2009 by Arthur in Craziest Things I've Ever Seen, Food

In this video from ScienCentral, chef Elliot Prag of the Natural Gourmet Institute shows how easy it is to make your own vegetarian bacon. Just add some salt and olive oil to shitake mushrooms, put them in the oven and voilĂ : pig-friendly bacon! Great to toss in a salad for some extra taste. We recently tried the Veggie Bacon Strips from Morningstar in a BLT and were pleasantly surprised by its strong bacon taste. I am going to have to try these mushrooms too, it looks so simple.

Foto Friday: Chott el Djerid

Posted on March 6th 2009 by Arthur in Foto Friday, Travel

Today’s photo is from our visit to the largest salt lake in the Sahara, the Chott el Djerid in Tunisia. A road of 60 km crosses this 7,000 km2 salt pan. We were passed by hundreds of white Land Rovers racing south to take tourists on desert safaris when we drove this road from Tozeur to Kebili. There were some rest stops with refreshments along the way and at one of these places they had left this row boat.

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