When it comes to autumn we envision  cooler days, leaves taking on colorful hues, and ferocious beasts cutely playing with melons like they were severed heads. 

It's Fall and once more the Bronx Zoo gives us their newest adorable clip of brown bears doing what comes natural. Of course, this is all in spite of the fact that there is a PUMPKIN SHORTAGE this year due to Hurricane Irene!

Bon Appétit cute furry creatures!


This colorful photo comes from last weekend's San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival via danishdynamite's (Brian Sørensen's) FLICKR posting. 

Oars By (danishdynamite) Brian Sørensen

Let us know about the good stuff in San Francisco.


WOW! Actually, London Wow, is a You Tube channel working  the blahness out of blah travel videos. 

London Wow's ever cavalier, devil-may-care, easygoing, happy-go-lucky, insouciant, lighthearted, unconcerned, jolly, jovial, merry, and mirthful Joel Slack-Smith currently hosts subtly satirical factoids about the city of London in six short features.

Since we are prone to appreciate the upbeat, offbeat, and zany -- we could easily develop a man crush for Slack-Smith. Of course we would have to be prone to bromance, and since we aren't -- we do like the insights into the city with a twist of humor.

That, at least, keeps us engaged and offsets the ADHD problems.

Tell us about the ADHD or man crush thing.

Too bad -- this would have made a great April Fool's joke.

We especially like the Branded Partnership bit. We're assuming that one would have to be a absolute loser,  really needing some money, to actually list your facilities -- but then we know too many who really like to show off. This would really be great for them.

We have a feeling this also might appeal to some that are very lonely, or perverse. And -- watch out for the hidden cams!

What do you think? Tell us all the smelly details. 

Movie trailers are common place, but museums using trailers? Now that's different. At least that voice never said, "In a world of impressionist art .  .  . ".
Courtesy Tate Britain

The trailer is Tate Britain's promo for their John Martin exhibition of hellish visions. Visions that could scare the Bejesus  out of art gawkers. (Eat more Bejesus prior to visiting for extra fun.)

The epic landscapes go on exhibit beginning today, and will be hung until January 15, 2012. Since Martin specialised in scenes of devastation (great moments in Bible mayhem), this should coincide with the Mayan-end-of-the-world predictions of a scheduled destruction due later in the year. (That's going to mess up travel plans.)

Guests of Tate Britain and lovers of all-mighty smoting  will be treated to abundant depictions of fury, doom and damnation that have influenced the likes of   Alan Moore, HP Lovecraft, George Lucas, and Metallica.


If you're currently touring in China, the answer to our question today could be, "Quite possibly."

WARNING: If you are eating right now, especially in China, you might delay reading further.

It seems that black-market swill oil, or gutter oil, (illegally reprocessed cooking oil)  is a fairly lucrative business in parts of China. So lucrative in fact, producers of the rank product may be willing to kill to protect their interest.

Li Xiang, a reporter investigating the swill oil market in Henan for Luoyang TV,  was found dead early Monday morning. Li had been stabbed 10 times on his way home from an evening of karaoke with his friends. Bloggers said they suspected Li's death was related to his reporting.

Police are treating the case as a robbery-murder. Li's laptop is missing. The last post on Li's micro-blog on September 15 said web users had complained that Luanchuan county (in Henan) has gangs manufacturing gutter cooking oil. However, the food safety commission replied that they didn't find any manufacturing in the area. Because of Li's reports, he had been embroiled in recent disputes with the food safety commission itself. 

Recently, Kunming law enforcement busted a swill oil factory reported to have been processing up to 1 ton of swill oil per day. The swill oil was sold for $0.52 (fifty-two cents) per pound, and from records recovered, this factory sold close to 50 tons of the crap between June and August. That's $52,000 revenue for that period, or an estimated $300,000 to $400,000 per year! And that's just one processor!

At that rate Chinese experts agree that out of every ten times you eat out in China, one meal will probably have been prepared from swill oil. Just do the math. How much swill oil will you consume during your stay in China?

More concerning, with the drive to cut operating costs, would any of this swill get past the FDA in the US? Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Tinsel Town -- we hope not!

Your comments and concerns are appreciated.

This time lapse of Shanghai, submitted to Vimeo by hugociss, caught our attention. Well worth the watch.

 1 Galveston
 2 South Padre Island
 3 Lake Travis
 4 Corpus Christi
 5 San Antonio
 6 Port Aransas
 7 Kemah
 8 Austin
 9 Rockport
10 Canyon Lake

We found this ad, to the left, while searching for info on the future of the world economy. 

Maybe we're just sensitive. Maybe not.

Seems like there's a better way to get a point across. 

Cast of 'Jersey Shore' -- Courtesy MTV

If you're into off-beat travel, and will be in Chitown on October 28, you're in for a treat. 

The UChicago will be hosting a Conference on Jersey Shore Studies. 

Organized by David Showalter, a U of C student, the Conference is Tweeting and registration is free (?) and open to the public. Email David  if you want more info on registering, or tell him how lame this is.

Three sessions will feature numerous panels and presentations, all analyzing one of America's most mystifyingly popular (and stupid) reality shows.

Topics of discussion include "The Construction of Guido Identity," “GTL (Gym,Tan,Labor): Reproducing Labor-Power on the Shore,” “Foucault’s Going to the Jersey Shore, Bitch!”, and  “‘SHOTS!’ An Analysis of Italian, American, and Italian-American Beverage Consumption in Jersey Shore."

The conference venue slated is The Cloister Club. That's the largest space in Ida Noyes Hall at the University of Chicago. It will accommodate 250 desperately bored people. 

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