When Britain switched over to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, abandoning the more inexact Julian calendar, not everyone in the country was quick to follow. The new calendar made a slight mess of things, requiring that the world be set back in time—on the calendar—by about fortnight. Eventually, folks leapt into the calendar with fewer Leap Years. Some of the British, however, are still holding out. Meet the Welshmen of the Gwaun Valley. Read more
On my first day in Wales, I spent the afternoon wandering around the second city of Swansea. Dylan Thomas, who had been born there a century ago, famously called the place “an ugly, lovely town.” In the movie Twin Town, when the character comes across a plaque at the train station with Thomas’s clever quote, he dubs Swansea “a pretty shitty city.” Read more
We have long held that there is both outer and inner beauty. Usually these terms are reserved for describing humans; but it’s worth extending this quality to certain buildings, especially those at the forefront of the green movement. Read more
One of my more popular posts on this site is about the Tiger Kingdom in Thailand. Guests to the Kingdom pay good money to stand in a cage with these incredible beasts. But controversy surrounds the experience. Some argue that the tigers are drugged; others believe the claims of the Tiger Kingdom, which states that drugs are never used on these animals. (You can read that post’s comment section to get a sense of the conflict.) After swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas, I realized that the comment section of this post might fill up with similar feedback from those who dream of swimming with these majestic creatures to those who consider the experience exploitive of mammals that belong in the wild. (If you do have an opinion, I implore you to leave your comments.) Read more
“Oh, we must see the restaurant where Gwinny uncoupled,” said the writer who covers celebrities. He was one of my travel companions on my recent trip to the Bahamas. “I must eat exactly what she had and I want to take pictures of the table.” He was quite excited about this Gwinny and this restaurant and this meal and this uncoupling, which was a term I had never heard applied to the kitchen.
Was Gwinny just another celebrity chef? I wondered. Had she discovered a new technique for the uncoupling of oyster shells, perhaps, assuaging the stress on the little body inside, keeping the meat even more delicious? But, no, he had said that Gwinny ordered a meal. I was confused and tired of trying to figure this out. Read more