Thursday, February 26, 2009

Philly versus Key West? Yeah, right.

Philadepia Daily news writer Patty-Pat Kozlowski recently published an opinion column titled "10 reasons Philly tops Key West".

While the writer is obviously a fan of Key West, mentioning she visits twice a year, she managed to amusingly list ten reasons Philadelphia is better then Key West.

In response, here are 10 reasons that Key West actually tops Philly:

1) Its 72 degrees in Key West today. Philadelphia is 33 degrees. Where would you rather get a tan? (I should just end the list there, but I promised nine more reasons).

2) Yellowtail snapper, grouper, stone crab claws, lobster, and other fresh seafood are on the menu in Key West. Hey Philly: you sure about that pork roll?

3) In 2005, Philadelphia was ranked as the sixth-most dangerous among 32 American cities with populations over 500,000. The murder rate in Philadelphia is 1 per day. Key West, on the other hand, is quite safe. Most crimes involve a bottle of booze, two bleary-eyed men, and a woman that should only dance with her insane husband.

4) Key West has free cats! Well, not really. But in Key West, if you want a pet, you only have to put a bowl of water on your porch. A cat, is bound to show up at your door looking for a better deal out of life. (just don't consider yourself its owner).

5) Ever notice that everything tastes better when eaten outdoors? Its easy in Key West. That's probably why we don't mind lousy soft-pretzels.

6) Key Westers don't worry too much about the price of gasoline. I, for one, only fill up the car once a month. Key West is 2 miles by 4 miles - many locals get around on bicycles. Or walking (imagine that Philly!).

7) Key West is always ready for a party - every night of the week. Heck, Key West is so party ready, it even celebrates the sun setting each day.

8) Warm beaches are the norm in Key West. And with water temperatures typically between 70-80 degrees, you can leave that woolen bathing suit in Pennsylvania.

9) Traffic jams, a daily occurrence in Philly, are non-existent in Key West. However, you may have to wait a few minutes for that daiquiri during happy hour.

10) In Key West, you can go to work with a big hangover and no one thinks you have a drinking problem.

Agree? Don't agree? Feel free to add your reasons why one is better than the other.
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Friday, February 20, 2009

The Opposite of Key West...on Earth

What is the opposite of Key West? Turns out it isn't China - at least not geographically.

When I was a kid, for whatever the reason, I thought that you'd reach China if you dug far enough into the ground.

Turns out I was wrong. Instead, my digging would have led me to the Indian Ocean. 

I'm disappointed. I was hoping for land - a place where people lived.  And as a result of their geography, were similar or the opposite of Key Westers.  Then again - water is the opposite of land.

Here is a mapping tool showing where on the other side of the planet you'll end up if you dig straight through the earth's center.  Happy traveling:
View Larger Map
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Freedom to Travel To Cuba Act in Congress!

Less than two weeks after my prediction that the Cuba Embargo Ends This Year a bill was introduced by Rep. William Delahunt [D-MA] into Congress calling for the end of travel restrictions to or from Cuba.

Titled "Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act", H.R. 874 will allow US Citizens and legal residents to travel to and from Cuba.

Here is a copy of the current text of the bill:

This Act may be cited as the ‘Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act’.

On and after the date of the enactment of this Act, and subject to section 3-- (1) the President may not regulate or prohibit, directly or indirectly, travel to or from Cuba by United States citizens or legal residents, or any of the transactions incident to such
travel; and(2) any regulation in effect on such date of enactment that regulates or prohibits travel to or from Cuba by United States citizens or legal residents or transactions incident to such travel shall cease to ave any force or effect.

Section 2 shall not apply in a case in which the United States is at war with Cuba, armed hostilities between the two countries are in progress, or there is imminent danger to the public health or the physical safety of United States travelers.

This Act applies to actions taken by the President before the date of the enactment of
this Act that are in effect on such date of enactment, and to actions taken on or after such date.

The provisions of this Act apply notwithstanding section 102(h) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C. 6032(h)) and section
910(b) of the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7210(b)).

Currently H.R. 874 has been referred to the House Foriegn Affairs committee.

Meanwhile, another bill currently in the House Agriculture committee, H.R. 188, introduced by Rep. José Serrano [D-NY] and titled the "Cuba Reconciliation Act", goes much further than lifting travel restrictions. The Cuba Reconciliation Act:

- Removes restrictions of trade and other relations with Cuba, including the repeal the embargo act of 1961, ending the Trading With the Enemy Act with respect to Cuba, allowing for exports to Cuba, repeals the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, and the removal of other acts and provisions that restricted trade and relations with Cuba.

-Allows telecommunications carriers to install, maintain, and repair telecommunications equipment in Cuba, and provide telecommunications services between the United States and Cuba.

-Removes travel restrictions to and from Cuba - including allowing transactions incidental to travel.

-Instructs the US Postal Service to begin direct mail service to and from Cuba.

Similar bills have been introduced to Congress during the past 5 years - all of them "died" in committee.

The Cuba embargo has been an injustice to the citizens of Cuba and the United States. It is time for this counter-productive policy to end. Call, write, or email your Congressional representitive and let them know you support this bill. (Click here to find your representitive)

To keep track of the progress of this bill in Congress, below is the bill's status (which will be automatically updated):

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Langerado Cancelled: Blame the Venue and Lineup

The Langerado Music Festival, the largest music festival in South Florida, has been cancelled.

The promoters have blamed poor ticket sales due to the sluggish economy. But in reality, it was the abandoning of the majority of its audience that caused the festival's demise.

I went to last year's festival, held in the Big Cypress Reserve and had a great time - along with 25,000 other people. Headliners included Phil Lesh & Friends, The Meters, and many other top-notch jam bands.

But when I saw this years lineup, I knew I'd skip the festival. No offense Snoop Dogg - but I wasn't about to shell out $75 per day for a lame lineup.

On top of the poor lineup, the promoters made another bad decision - moving the festival from the camping-friendly Big Cypress Reserve to a definitely-not-camper-friendly Downtown Miami.

On the Rolling Stone website , people are commenting on the cancelled event. Feller sums it up with:

It’s not the economy - this was a piss poor excuse for a show attempting to draw the masses. Look at last year’s lineup - REM, Beastie Boys, The Roots, Phil Lesh… - does it even compare? I mean, I’m a fan of a lot of the bands that were supposed to play this year, but they keep moving the show every year and, well, is Death Cab really headliner worthy? Snoop is still awesome but, uh, seriously?
A sluggish economy means people won’t spend money on something they’re lukewarm on. Sometimes a mediocre (or at least disappointing) product is the reason people won’t pay.

For those looking for satisfy their jammy festival inner soul, Bonnaroo has put together an amazing lineup. This festival, despite the economy, will sell out quickly - proving that Langerado's main problem wasn't the economy, it was a poorly put together festival.
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