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St Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago

Posted on March 17th 2009 by Arthur in Chicago, Events, Illinois, Life in America

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone!! Last Saturday we went to downtown Chicago to witness the Chicago River going green and after that we walked to Grant Park for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which started at noon. The parade lasted for about 3 hours, which was really too long, but it was still fun. Lots of groups gave out free stuff (like green hats, beads, candy, etc.) and it was a sport trying to get as much as you can (we didn’t get much though).

Chicago St Pat Day 2009 088 (14-Mar)

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Maple Syrup Hike at Ryerson LCFP

Posted on March 15th 2009 by Arthur in Forest Preserves, Illinois, Nature

Today we participated in one of the Maple Syrup Hikes at Ryerson Conservation Area. On the one-hour program we learned about the Sugar Maple trees that make sweet sap and how they tap them to make syrup. I love maple syrup on my pancakes and waffles and have always wanted to see this.

Ryerson Woods 038 (15-Mar)

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Top Posts

Posted on March 15th 2009 by Arthur in Personal, Websites & Tools

This is my 300th post on this blog. To commemorate today’s milestone I thought it would be fun to have a look at the stats and see what our most visited posts have been over the years. These posts are all pretty old as they have had the most accumulative hits over the years:

  1. Hidden Security Tags in Old Navy Jeans
  2. The Rat Temple of Rajasthan
  3. Pirates of the Carribean 2: a rip-off of Monkey Island?
  4. Top 10 Things to do in Tunisia
  5. Quechuas Toss and Go Seconds Tents
  6. Pop Tarts with Beef Gelatin
  7. Top 10 Budget Things to do in Chicago
  8. Scuba in Europe’s Largest Swimming Pool
  9. Top 10 Things to do in South Florida and the Keys
  10. Driverless Robot Buses Crash

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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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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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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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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 voilà: 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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