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Disney would like to Welcome you to these United States

Welcome to the USA, where, according to this bit of propaganda commissioned by the State Department and produced by Disney, everybody smiles. But really, what’s wrong with that?

I’ve heard more negative comments about this video than good ones.

The main issue tends to be that Horseshoe Falls of Niagara Falls, which appears for about a second, is pictured and it belongs to Canada. The shot is from the Canadian side overlooking the falls with the USA in the background. The only thing more ridiculous than owning a waterfall is owning half a waterfall.

Yes, the particular half pictured is owned by Canada, but seeing how this is Tourist propaganda and Niagara Falls is a popular destination for…

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The BBC, pirates, and climate change

The BBC is working on an extensive feature in Bangladesh. They will be traveling the country’s waterways to observe and debate climate change. Low-lying Bangladesh is seriously threatened by sea level rise.

Been there. Done that. Posted it on YouTube.

I took a similar trip aboard the “Ostrich,” a paddle boat when I was in Bangladesh. I’ve yet to write much about it, which is a reminder that I’ve got loads of material that deserves my attention. Anyhow, what most surprised me in the introduction of the feature was this passage:

The risk of attack from pirates is slight, but it is real.

I had no idea there were pirate attacks. I’m not questioning the BBC reports on this (although, I do question their…

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Website of the Week: Geoff Toons

Geoff Toons

Everybody needs cartoons in their life. Geoff Hassing the cartoonist who drew my Where am I wearing? shirt has joined the blogosphere and I’m pretty excited about it. Geoff’s work is hilarious. He’s always exploring new characters and ideas and I expect he’ll feature quite a few of them on his new blog.

For a good Geoff sampler check out his Film @ Eleven series….

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A thousand words

How exciting is this…?

Where am I wearing?

I described my individual items of clothing to Geoff Hassing and he brought them to life. He came up with the idea of doing the the circles that zoomed in on the tags.

Thanks Geoff. You rock!…

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Tourons! Win a year of National Geographic Traveler

Apparently it’s time for me to renew by subscription of National Geographic Traveler. I received an offer in the mail that if I renew I can give a free subscription to someone else.

You could be that someone else!


Give me your best you might be a “You might be a Touron if…” Go here for examples. Whoever makes me think or giggle the most gets the subscription.

Off the top of my head, here’s a few that I could use from my time in Bangladesh:

If you aren’t allowed to stay in Dhaka’s “Hotel Tourist” because you are a tourist, you might be a touron

If you’ve ever paid $1,200 for a plane ticket to visit the factory that made your underwear, you…

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Will Run for Orphans

Don’t know about you, but I would pay NOT to run a marathon. I got an email the other day from a fella that’s running the NYC marathon while collecting money for one of my favorite charities, Casa Guatemala. (Note: If donating to orphans doesn’t do it for you, support this guy for his name alone – Egbert. How cool is that? It’s as if he finally escaped Dilbert’s strip and Dogbert’s rule. Keep on running Egbert. Keep on running.)

Dear friends,

What do the New York City Marathon and Casa Guatemala have in common? Well, they’re both sponsored by ING (my employer). About 4 years ago ING granted me a sabbatical to volunteer in Casa Guatemala, an orphanage located on the banks of the…

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All Hail the Blue Jeans

I’ve talked before about how James Sullivan’s book Jeans is a little too much into the Americaness of jeans, but really it’s hard to argue with him too much. Here’s a passage:

All blue jeans, whether they are rough as sidewalk or burnished to a hand as fine as cashmere, share an “Americana” feel. They may be cut and sewn in Japan, Vietnam, or Hong Kong, using denim from mills in Mexico, India, Italy, or Turkey and synthetic indigo dye from Germany or Brazil. Yet wherever its origins, a pair of blue jeans embodies two centuries’ worth of the myths and ideals of American culture. Jeans are the surviving relic of the western frontier. The epitomize our present-day pre-occupations – celebrity and consumer culture…

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