Wisteria TunnelWisteria Tunnel In Kawachi Fuji Garden In Kawachi Fuji Garden, Japan



Bolivia’s famous Salar de Uyuni: At an elevation of 3653 metres, the largest salt flat in the world (12,106 square kilometres) was formed when the prehistoric Lago Minchin evaporated.

Salt table tops


Ever want to rent a country?

You’ve heard of renting a palace, renting a mega yacht, even renting an island. How about renting a country? For $70,000 a night with a two-night minimum and a very strict cancellation policy, you can rent Liechtenstein. Yes, the entire country.  You can rent the country for a conference, a party – whatever you drum up for you and your 900 closest friends.

Now, if you’re forgetting your high school geography, Liechtenstein is a tiny Alpine country – population 35,000 – tucked between Austria and Switzerland.

So what to do with your own nation? Well, how about starting with a wine tasting at the prince’s estate while watching your own fireworks show. You want to make this a very personal experience? You can rename the city streets and town squares as you wish and even print your own temporary currency with your face on it.

Now, if you do decide Liechtenstein is the perfect place for your party, please don’t cause too much of a ruckus. The nation has only a handful of police officers and no military.

Surely, breakfast included.


Just when you thought that the Weimar Republic couldn’t do anything!

In the 1930’s, when most trains were steam-powered, German Rail experimented with an aluminum train pushed by a propeller, which ran as fast as 140 mph.

Conceived and built in 1930 by the German rail company Deutsche Reichsbahn, the Schienenzeppelin was a design alternative to the streamlined steam locomotives of its day. It was a slick and relatively lightweight at 20 tons, running on but two axles and powered by a 46-liter BMW V-12.

The same engine was later used to power the light bombers of the Luftwaffe. The engine sent 600 horsepower to a massive ash propeller, tilted seven degrees to produce downforce. It was one of those designs that would shock and delight even in these times, when aluminum is used not for Bauhaus trains but for high-revving V-8s and computers from the near future.

Originally good for 120 mph — on par with the fastest streamlined steam locomotives — the topped out at a magnificent 140 mph in the summer of 1931. It was a record that stood for 23 years and was never surpassed by a gasoline-powered locomotive.

Unfortunately, the train never made it into production. Problems with propeller safety (!) and reliability kept it from attaining mass production. The prototype that set the speed record was dismantled in 1939 on the eve of World War II.

A train like this  would have given a lot of movie train scenes a very different look.  Somehow, I can’t see Bogey waiting next to the Schienenzeppelin in Casablanca.


From a creative mother, with too much time on her hands.  I liked the last item on the flyer.

Wanted to keep the trip to Disney World a secret from the kids, so I made this flyer and told them this is why we’re driving to Florida.

Every once in awhile, those staid, proper, stiff-upper-lip Brits do something really wild:

An immigration officer tried to rid himself of his wife by adding her name to a list of terrorist suspects.

He used his access to security databases to include his wife on a watch list of people banned from boarding flights into Britain because their presence in the country is ‘not conducive to the public good’.

As a result the woman was unable for three years to return from Pakistan after travelling to the county to visit family.

The tampering went undetected until the immigration officer was selected for promotion and his wife name was found on the suspects’ list during a vetting inquiry.

Moral of the story: Don’t try to rise above your station.



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