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Showing posts from December, 2019

When in the Course of Human Events...

Friends, Now that I’m back in the U.S., I’ve been prompted to ponder the nature of nations. Beyond the roughly 200 recognized countries, I was fascinated to learn about the large number of micronations out there. Google maps even has a layer dedicated to these wannabe states ! Apparently, anybody can declare independence, set-up a constitution, issue passports, stamps and currency. As for getting recognized by other non-micro nations, well, that’s tricky. Anyway, seeing as I’m currently unemployed, I thought, why not start my own state? –I can think of worse career moves than philosopher king. First off, I’d need a territory (apparently not a prerequisite, but nice to have). Fortuitously, the donut-shaped Nakacha Huraa Lagoon in the Maldives is for sale –must be a sign! Granted, there’s the minor detail of the $11,000,000 asking price; I wonder if they would consider payment in my national bank’s new crypto currency: dough –about 100 million dough feels like a fair exchange rate.

Trademark, schrademark

Friends, There’s something amusing about the contempt some Ecuadorian businesses names seem to hold for global trademarks, English grammar and business common sense. Names ranging from the benign GoogleNet cafĂ© (which, I’m pretty sure holds no affiliation with the search giant) to the meticulously recreated Moe’s tavern from the Simpsons to the eerily macabre SkyNet video service (One wonders whether this would make customers say “I’ll be back” or “hasta la vista baby”). Payless Shoes are alive and well; Circuit City has been resurrected (albeit in a lesser form) and, while I couldn’t find a Best Buy, I thought Best Cell was a rather clever play on the name. There are also unintentionally funny names. How would you feel about buying bread at the Bony Pan or the Coffee & Pan? (The Spanish word for Bread when combined with an English sounding word makes for cool constructions). How about eating some “brooster” chicken (don’t recognize the word? It’ supposed to be English!). A

I Did It Maguey

Friends, Maguey (aka Agave) plants live somewhere between 10 to 25 years –unless, that is, they’re harvested for tequila, or its cousins, mezcal, sotol and pulque (a worthy topic for another blog J ). These spiny plants are arguably one of the most useful known to man. They can be planted atop fences for protection, dried-up for rope or used as needle and thread in a pinch. There are recipes for desserts made with its flesh and, as we mentioned, strong drink can be brewed from its juice. It’s a versatile construction material –the leaves can be used as roof tiles and the flower stalk as a house beam. It also serves as a billboard to carve your loved one’s initials. There are quite a few varieties. Blue we all know. There is also the green agave and in the Andean highlands above 9,500 feet grows a variety we call Achupilla, among many others. When the end is near, a thirty-foot-tall flower stalk shoots-up from the center of the plant. This glorious reproductive display becom