Cryptozoology Break: The Unicorn

unicorn-245642_640Who knows exactly how the unicorn was gradually ascribed its girly connotation… Possibly it started in medieval times when it was believed that the unicorn could be tamed by only the purest of maidens. Regardless, the legend of the unicorn goes waaaaay back, much much further than She-Ra and My Little Pony. Archeologists have discovered depictions of a one-horned-horsey-creature on cave walls dating back to the Paleolithic era, around 14,000 BC. In many forms, the unicorn pops up in folklore across nearly every ancient region you can think of, often as a creature to be feared. From the Nordics to the Middle East to Africa to the Far East, the unicorn has donned many names and a variety of manifestations: Dragon-like, larger than an elephant, glowing red eyes,  glowing blue eyes, with the body of a bull, the hooves of a deer, the tail of a lion, the beard of a goat; faster than a wildebeest, more ferocious than a tiger, and more elusive than Cleopatra on roller skates; while its trademark horn runs the gamut from short and black to long, sharp and super-sparkly. Famed writers throughout history have avowed the unicorns existence, from Aristotle to Pliny the Elder to Confucius to Genghis Khan to Julius Caesar to the dudes who wrote the Bible! Even Marco Polo swears he saw one while traveling the Silk Road, though we’re pretty sure it was just a Rhinoceros. (Don’t tell him we said that.) So what do you think? Could they have possibly existed? Or are we just beating a dead unicorn. HA HA HA! In any event, we think it’s time to bring the unicorn back to a place of gender-neutral allurement…

THIS JUST IN: Unicorn poop is apparently rainbow colored and tastes delicious…

Culture Buzz: The baguettes come out at midnight…

If you have ever been to France you know that the French love their baguettes. You see them everywhere. If you spent a day counting all the baguettes you see in France you would be left with some unfathomable number. The French will eat just about everything on a baguette, but many believe the best thing to have on a baguette is, more baguette. They also tend to be very serious about their baguettes, by law you can only make them a certain way. That’s soooo French! The rural French have been known to travel for miles into town for a fresh baguette, while on the busy streets baguettes are more abundant than Starbucks coffee. Sit at a corner cafe, hopefully not a Starbucks, and you’re likely to see more baguettes passing by than people! The baguettes just might be plotting some sort of hostile takeover. (They do happen to make a surprisingly reliable weapon when backed into a corner…)

baguette-678113_640

Anyhoo, since bakers are only human, they can’t stay up all hours to fulfill every fresh baguette emergency. So, it’s about time somebody came up with a way to get your baguette fix at any hour of the night. Enter Jean-Louis Hecht, baker extraordinaire, who built a special vending machine/oven that warms up and serves you a baguette on the spot. Brilliant!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpWZk3ucWrw]
Now the hungry masses can be served at Jean-Louis’ bakery through the night while, presumably, he relaxes at home with a baguette :)

Speaking of Dreamers… And Travelers!

Did you know Martin Luther King traveled over 6 million miles in his short lifetime? Marco can’t hold a candle to that! Here’s some more interesting facts about today’s celebrated American icon:

History Comedy at its British-y-est!

Do you stream the Netflix? Well, we just want you to know that they have all 4 seasons of history’s greatest historical comedy series, Blackadder, available now! Marco is partial to season 3, featuring Dr. House himself, Hugh Laurie, as the bumbling Prince of Wales. Give it a try!

 

 

 

 

GO THERE! “Would you like some water with that?”

 

Kashif Pathan, Waterfall Restaurant At Villa Escudero, Philippines,  August 11th 2014 via flick, creative commons contribution

Kashif Pathan, Waterfall Restaurant At Villa Escudero, Philippines, August 11th 2014 via flick, creative commons contribution

 

 

Not only is Villa Escudero a great place to experience Philippine culture, it’s also the only place we know with a restaurant in the plunge basin of a waterfall!! Why not kick off your shoes and enjoy some Philippine cuisine while you wade!

Are You For Real?

By riNux [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By riNux [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 The Modern Toilet in Taiwan, is a toilet themed restaurant that makes you wonder… …What do you think the restrooms look like?

GO THERE! And you thought the holidays were over!

Grab your broomstick and pointy hat and fly out to Italy this Monday, the best place to be for the Epiphany

 

Cross_being_thrown_at_Theophany

Maggas at en.wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Did you put your shoes out? Now that’s change you can believe in!

A New and Improved Thanksgiving from Marco Polo!

So, I was sitting around thinking about Christmas and it occurred to me that Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened! What the? Well, hey, I am Italian after all. But there are a few things you Americans could do to dust off and spice up this uniquely American holiday. I should start by pointing out that the first Thanksgiving lasted 3 days!

Yes, when the Pilgrims celebrated their first corn harvest, they killed some fowl and invited the Indians over for some grub and revelry. An eyewitness account tells us that the celebration lasted for 3 days. For the pilgrims it was finally time to let loose and enjoy the fruits of immeasurable suffrage and labor. They were ready to party, and party they did. For 3 rollicking days of gorging and drinking and puking and dancing and singing and a whole list of other regrettable things.

These days, I know the leftovers last for 3 days, but what about the celebration? Why not extend the holiday through Saturday? Think of all the historically accurate things we could do! That being said, if you please, I offer an alternate Thanksgiving itinerary for your consideration:

Day 1: Thursday

Most of us have no idea of the hardships of a harvest in a world without industrial machinery, particularly after having survived a harrowing voyage where half of your colony succumbed to disease, and the rest fought through sickness and starvation to get through the winter alive. I’m not proposing you do all that. But maybe the least you could do is skip breakfast and do some pushups.

That’s not all that fun is it? Well your traditional Thanksgiving dinner should taste all the better! Plus there’s plenty of American football to keep your mind occupied through the anticipation.

Feel free to insert your Thanksgiving Day feast here. But, you might consider replacing turkey with duck since water fowl were much more plentiful in the Plymouth area those days. Also, there is no mention of turkey on the first Thanksgiving. So there’s that. Oh, and you can say goodbye to cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes too. Sounding less appealing? Well then, you are devoid of any true Thanksgiving spirit and shouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the holiday at all. Get back to work!

-It is essential to end this day with pumpkin pie. And begin the next with more pumpkin pie. So, at the stroke of midnight, you will eat more pumpkin pie.

Day 2: Friday

Today it’s time to put on the other shoes, or moccasins, if you will. Sure it’s great to be a pilgrim on Thanksgiving, but what about the natives? The Indians didn’t waltz into the party empty handed. In fact they didn’t waltz into the party at all because they preferred rain dancing or the like. They actually went out into the wild and killed some deer to share with the pilgrims. So maybe a morning deer hunt would be in order? Then gather the family and watch Bambi so you can truly understand what you have done. You will then be certain not to allow a scrap of Bambi’s mom go to waste.

After lunch, you’re due for a walk. The good folks who were always quick to assist the ill-equipped and ill-advised colonial expedition on countless occasions didn’t just walk around the block to join them in their celebration. So it’s only fitting that you go for a 20 mile walk somewhere, maybe to a friends house, or perhaps to a shopping district to do your precious “Black Friday” shopping. But don’t take the main routes. Try walking in a straight line, Teddy Roosevelt style, taking on every obstacle in your unwavering path. The Indians made a grueling Winter trek just to hang out with their drunk obnoxious friends, your ancestors, so you should, at least in part, experience that hardship for yourself.

Don’t forget, when you need a break, munch on some more pumpkin pie.

Day 3: Saturday

OK. You made it. Time to relax. But not for too long. At some point you should go outside and build shelter for yourself. Those TP’s aren’t going to pitch themselves. Then it’s dress up time!! Here’s where you can either spend 3 hours putting on endlessly complicated pilgrim garb, or you can do what I do: Strap on a loin cloth, put some feathers on your head and go shoot some arrows at things in the woods. (Try not to hurt anyone.) Some other games could be in order. Blind Man’s Bluff was popular with the Pilgrims. Indians also enjoyed throwing rings at pins stuck in the ground. Though, when one has the bow-and-arrow option, I don’t know why that would be a preference. Or you can just play touch Football for all I care, the point is just try to have some fun already, it’s a celebration!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Thanksgiving_1900.JPG

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Thanksgiving_1900.JPG

 

 

After an exhausting day of revelry, close things out with the most wonderfully bastardized traditional American creation; the Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich. If you haven’t tried it, shame on you. But no worries, just be creative, I’m sure you can figure it out.

4141998993_e22f323681_o

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2553/4141998993_e22f323681_o.jpg

 

Oh, and here’s where you have the rest of your pumpkin pie.

 

-So, there it is! Your brand new 3 day Thanksgiving experience! You’re welcome!

 

…Okay, fine, do whatever you want.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Marco Polo

 

 

Barcelona’s last bullfight

Much better than Bullcelona’s last barfight.

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