Venice and James Bond

Just saw "Casino Royale" last night. Very interesting idea of James Bond as an anti-hero.

Upon searching for a bit more information on the film, I found out from trivia on the Internet Movie Database that...
  • "The barrel roll stunt in the Aston Martin DBS broke the world record for the most barrel rolls assisted by a cannon. Originally, the racing specifications of the DBS meant that a standard ramp would not be sufficient to get the car to roll, so the special effects team were called in to install a air-powered cannon behind the drivers seat. This allowed the car to complete seven full rolls."
  • Surprised like I was about the Ford? "The 2007 Ford Mondeo sport model used in the beginning of the film is a special, one-off hand-built prototype vehicle, constructed by hand at Ford of Europe's Design Studio in Cologne, Germany, in January, 2006 and shipped to the Bahamas in secrecy for shooting. Actual production is not due to start until the second quarter of 2007.
  • Authorities in Venice granted producers permission to sail James Bond's yacht, called Spirit 54, along the Grand Canal between the Accademia and Rialto bridges. No-one can remember exactly the last time a pleasure yacht sailed in the Grand Canal, but it's believed to have been several centuries ago.
  • The set interior of the sinking house in Venice measured 45 ft by 40 ft and was 45 ft high. It was built around the existing indoor tank at Pinewood Studios which was increased to 20 ft so the whole set could sink 16 ft."

My good friend Tom's been monitoring the creation of "Casino Royale" for a while now, including the Venice set's destruction by fire!

"The Day After Tomorrow" in Venice?

Just saw "An Inconvenient Truth" a couple of nights ago. It certainly gives one pause... especially if you just happen to live sometimes in Venice, Italy!

What kind of catastrophe awaits the island city if some of the worse global warming threats come true? Take a look (you can even zoom in!) at Alex Tingle's flood map of Venice... (My neighborhood seems to keep its head above water until sea levels rise 4 meters, although I've seen my own alleyway flood if a high tide runs even just 40 centimeters above normal, so I really wouldn't hold my breath! On second thought, maybe I'd better practice doing just that unless we do what little things we can to help stop global warming!!)

You don't have to believe everything you see in "An Inconvenient Truth," but you owe it to yourself (and your descendents!) to watch it with an open mind and make whatever changes to your lifestyle you deem for the best!!

Newsflash: "Precious Tintorettos leaving Venice for Madrid's Prado for rare exhibit"

My initial reaction to Tintoretto was, sad to say, along the lines of a Black Velvet Elvis... He plays so much with light (and the lack thereof!) that he can seem kind of dowdy next to the great Venetian colorists. But I've since developed a soft spot for Tintoretto and his vast work. As they say in this article, you can't beat Venice to get the full breath and depth of his work, but if a trip to Venice or Madrid isn't in your immediate future, maybe one of these museums is in your neighborhood instead... Enjoy!!

Precious Tintorettos leaving Venice for Madrid's Prado for rare exhibit

By Frances D'Emilio, Canadian Press
Saturday, December 02, 2006

VENICE, Italy (AP) - With some apprehension, Venice is letting several of its precious Tintorettos travel to Madrid for a rare retrospective of one of its most prolific painters, celebrated for his virtuosity in brush stroke and inventive use of perspective.

Three churches and the Academy painting gallery, which holds the most important collection of Venetian painting, have agreed to loan a total of six works of the 16th Century artist to be key pieces in an ambitious exhibit at the Madrid's Prado museum Jan. 29-May 13.

Venice's show in 1937 was the last major exhibit of works by Jacopo Tintoretto, whose long life - 76 years - allowed him leave a large handprint on Venetian painting.

The generally enormous physical dimensions of the artist's works - many are more than four metres wide - and where he painted them - often on ceilings or walls of palaces or chapels - can be intimidating for those dreaming of a retrospective.

"There was almost considered to be a curse" of Tintoretto for those wanting to do a major show of his work, said Gabriele Finaldi, deputy director at the Prado for collections and research.

Finaldi and other Prado officials felt first hand some of the anxiety and reluctance of Venetian art caretakers as they toured some of the churches lending paintings.

The pastor of San Marcuola church, where Tintorettos cover two side walls in the altar area, said he decided he would only let the "Last Supper" leave on loan if the Prado would pitch in financially toward the upkeep of the church.

"The parishioners agree with me because they have to shell out of their pockets" to help pay for a US$250,000 roof repair, said the Rev. Federico Niero.
"We didn't put a price on the loan, but we want some help" the priest said. If the Prado was going to show off the church's star Tintoretto, the museum should contribute toward protecting the church's artistic treasures from dampness, said the priest, who worried that the painting might be damaged when removed.

The show's curator, Miguel Falomir, told journalists last week at another church that the Prado would make a contribution "as a way to show our gratitude." He didn't cite a figure.

The San Trovaso Church's "Last Supper," one of the more striking examples of how Tintoretto dramatically experimented with perspective, is also going to the Prado. In the painting, the table comes at the viewer diagonally. The arm of a diner, one of the apostles, seems to almost reach out of the painting as he grabs for a jug.

Both churches now hold copies of other Tintoretto masterpieces which left Venice centuries ago and made their way through various monarchs' collections before ending up in foreign museums.

San Trovaso's "Last Supper" is paired with a copy of the "Washing of the Feet" scene. The original is in London's National Gallery.

"If we lose this one, too," said the church's pastor, Rev. Silvano Brusamento, his voice trailing off anxiously as Falomir lectured to a group of Spanish journalists about the ingenious perspective in the "Last Supper."

"I wasn't in agreement" about the loan, said Brusamento. "There is always a risk . . . I'm worried."

The National Gallery's "Washing of the Feet" won't be travelling to Madrid for the show but another Tintoretto depiction of the Holy Thursday scene of Jesus and his apostles, originally in San Marcuola church, will be displayed because the Prado owns it, Finaldi said.

Among others loaning some of the 50 paintings and 20 drawings for the Prado show are the British Museum, the Chicago Art Institute, New York's Metropolitan and the Edinburgh National Gallery.

With Venice virtually a permanent exhibition of Tintoretto's talents, the question arises: why bother to group so many of them in a retrospective when visitors to the lagoon city can make their own leisurely exploration of the artist?
"It is true, to see Tintoretto properly, you have to go to Venice," said a Venetian painting school specialist, David Rosand, a Columbia University art history professor now on leave.

But exhibits let visitors study artworks close up and often in better lighting than in museums or churches. That is particularly vital with Tintoretto, whose works "you need binoculars to get close to," said Rosand in a telephone interview from his home in New York.

With Tintoretto, "the brush work is so much a part of the painting," said the professor, and close-up viewing helps this appreciation.

Curator Falomir said it long has been difficult to identify all the works done by Tintoretto and those done by his children - three of them became painters - or by his "bottega" or workshop.

"The sheer variety of hands" that worked on the paintings is daunting for scholars, said Rosand. Tintoretto, Titian, Veronese and Rubens had "industrial" production sized workshops, said the professor.

But while Tintoretto's workshop helped in executing works commissioned for palaces of the rich and noble, the artist was believed to have mainly executed his paintings in churches himself.

Newsflash: "Prehistoric Venice" Uncovered Near Pompeii

Retired Facebook Favorite Quotes

Just reading some Leonardo da Vinci, and thought I'd change my "Favorite Quotes" on Facebook...

Here are the retirees, some of which have already appeared previously on "MMC":

  • "Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." -Will Rogers, humorist
  • "We can do no great things, only small things with great love." -Mother Teresa
  • "In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught." -Baba Dioum, Senegalese environmentalist
  • "Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life." - Dr. David M. Burns
  • "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.... Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings -- that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide." - Buddha
  • "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." -Philo of Alexandria, ancient philosopher
  • "I feel the vacuum, the loneliness, the silence, the dehydration of the soul as people who desperately want to save our constitution, our country and planet still wander the street without knowing how to say hi to one another." -Sam Smith
  • "The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of bigger ideas, never returns to its original size." -Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • "A book ought to be the ax to break the frozen sea within us." -Anton Chekhov
  • "Being a graduate student is like becoming all of the Seven Dwarves. In the beginning you're Dopey and Bashful. In the middle, you are usually sick (Sneezy), tired (Sleepy), and irritable (Grumpy). But at the end, they call you Doc, and then you're Happy." -Ronald T. Azuma, CS Engineer
  • "The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again." - George Miller

Previously retired Facebook quotes:

  • "Sacred cows make the best hamburger." - Mark Twain
  • "Get not your friends by bare compliments, but by giving them sensible tokens of your love." -Socrates
  • "Indifference to the wonder of being is the root of all sin." -Abraham Heschel, Rabbi, Professor, Holocaust survivor
  • "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
  • "Either that wallpaper goes or I do." - Oscar Wilde, last words.

Return of the Fun Quizzes of Questionable Utility!

"To most Americans, an accent is something that only other people have, those other people usually being in New York, Boston, and the South. And of those other people, half of the ones you meet will swear they 'don't have an accent.' Well, strictly speaking, the only way to not have an accent is to not speak. If you're from anywhere in the USA you have an accent (which may or may not be the accent of the place you're from). Go through this short quiz and you'll find out just which accent that is..."

My results? Southern?? Apparently, not so much!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Different ways for bloggers to say "Sorry, I haven't posted in a while..."

Oh, BTW, "sorry I haven't posted in a while..."

(My brain must not have been overflowing with "mental clutter"!)


Quote of the Day...

"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; in practice, there is."

- Chuck Reid

(Anybody know who this guy is???)

Newsflash: "Is Nothing Sacred? Paris Mayor Auctions Fine Wines"

Haven't posted in a long while, frankly because not much has inspired me to do so... Until this!

Get lit thanks to the "City of Lights"! Paris is auctioning off the finer wines in the municipal wine cellar!! Bottles of wine originally bought for about $60 are expected to fetch over $1200 retail today!!!


Well, we've already established that "Casanova: The Movie" wasn't exactly historically accurate... which is too bad, since the life of the real Casanova was often stranger than fiction (or maybe even was fiction, considering that he wrote his own life story himself!!) Wanna know more? Check out the Casanova Research Page. Enjoy!!

Scientists saving the Renaissance!

"Physicists in Italy are developing a new device for assessing the condition of some of the country's most valuable fresco paintings. The tool can reveal information about the condition of a wall painting without ever touching its surface, making the device a potentially valuable aid to restoration and preservation efforts...."

Weird Science in Sidebar Video: Sound & Salt

It's been a while since I ran into such a thoroughly cool (and trippy!) science link on the web... Watch how changing sound waves create increasingly intricate patterns in table salt! Enjoy!!

BTW, wanna know why? Try reading "Formative Power of Sound" for starters! Too cool!! :-)

"Hey Ya"? Today's Sidebar Video!

Thanks to Hotlinks for bringing this great cover to my attention!

Although only three years old, Outkast's "Hey Ya!" has already been listed as #180 of Rolling Stone's "Greatest 500 Songs of All Time." But it's not just a great song... The video's fantastic, too, and was listed as Stylus Magazine's 72nd top music video of all time!

Here, Mat Weddle from Phoenix-based band Obadiah Parker does his own improbably-entertaining acoustic "Hey Ya" version! Enjoy!!

More fun with "Pat & Stanley"!

Can't get enough of "Pat & Stanley" in the sidebar video??

Luckily, we can continue to follow their adventures through a whole series of animated shorts available on YouTube, like...

Mystery ship discovered in Italian waters!

"Ride, capitano, ride... upon your mystery ship!!"

After Maine's "Mystery Beast," we've got Italy's very own "mystery ship"...

Linkfilter cites Ghost ship discovered in the Italian waters from Pravda.Ru!

Now, the Pravda version includes a photo looking like it's straight outta "Pirates of the Caribbean." Seems a little large to have gone unnoticed before... So, I looked the story up in Italy's La Repubblica.

And now, behold... the "Italian Ghost Ship"!

In addition to the details given in English by Pravda, Italians first reported on August 22nd other essential information like the ship also contained "badly-made clothing." What's more, the next day the newspaper recounted that another police station had received an anonymous note saying, "In the Mediterranean, a sailboat will appear with a bomb on board." Even though continued searches of the vessel have so far uncovered no explosives, investgators have determined that any information regarding route and heading were wiped clean from the navigation equipment.

Ah, but little did Pravda realize that the very day they broke the news, the mystery surrounding the ghost ship would be apparently resolved! Turns out that the ship was owned by a Luxembourger, who had left it exactly where it was found because he had an urgent call to return to his home country. Still, questions remain... Why leave the boat so utterly abandoned? Why were all identifying marks erased? The owner claims that he knows only that he had originally left everything in legal order.

I'll post any further updates as I find 'em... but so far, this story has seemingly begun to dry up!

The end (?)

Oddities by Photographer Arthur Grace

This photo, "Boy with Gun, Venice, 1979" by photographer Arthur Grace appeared on today's Unusual Children Links at grow-a-brain.

The boy could have just as well have been my future husband, since it turns out that the photo is not actually from the historic center of Venice, but rather from the Lido, the barrier island just off of Venice that's the local beach hotspot!

My Venetian hubby was born on the Lido, and spent his childhood going to the beach at the Excelsior Hotel (the terribly posh resort that hosts the Venice Film Festival every year), which just so happens to be the one depicted in the photograph from 27 years ago (and which hasn't changed a bit since!!)

Che mondo piccolo!

Starring "Volare" & "Pat & Stanley" in Sidebar Video!

The sidebar video for the last couple of days has been the superhip "Nel blu dipinto di blu" with Domenico Modugno for Italy at the the Eurovision Song Contest in 1958. Also known as "Volare," the song has also been listed in September 2006's Conde Nast Traveller as one of the world's greatest "50 tunes that unforgettably evoke their culture." Personally, since the Italian national anthem has always technically been just "temporary," I always thought they should use "Volare" instead! :-)

Today, meet "Pat" & "Stanley"! Pat is a rather sophisticated hippopotamus, and Stanley his sillier dog friend, and together they advertise the Kinder "Happy Hippo" chocolate bar. The ad is French, but it also appeared on TV in Italy over the summer, and - I have to admit - they just cracked me up! Enjoy!!

Aroo! More Werewolves of Maine!!

The story of the dead "Mystery Beast of Maine" refuses to die! See the Portland Press Herald's 'Scary' creature is a monster story for Maine.

Can't get enough of those werewolf hybrids? How about an mp3 musical mashup of Boston vs. Lynyrd Skynyrd vs. Warren Zevon by AudioDile called "More Werewolves of Alabama"??

Like the mystery beast itself, it's cute, clever and - as a mix of "bootlegs" - maybe even looks just a little bit "evil"! :-)


Science isn't made in a day!

Do you have patience? How about continuing to wait after 166 years for your results?! See what I mean at Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society's "Longest Running Scientific Experiments".

What's more... you can enjoy some of the excitement of these experiments moving at break-neck glacial speed for yourself! When the webcam's on, check out a recreation of the "Pitchdrop Experiment".. . Enjoy!!

Quiz: What's your "brain sex"?

This Sex ID quiz apparently comes from a recent tv program on the BBC (which I got via Monkeyfilter).

Personally, I'm always very skeptical about anything which claims that certain behavoral traits are biologically hardwired to men and others to women, but see what you think! Enjoy!!

Church Sign!

Saw this motto on a church sign here in Maine the other day, and decided that it may well be the worst one - in a funny gone-kinda-wrong way - that I've ever seen.

(What can I say? It must be jam-making season!)

So I recreated the effect here using the handy-dandy "Church Sign Generator"... Enjoy!

UPDATED: Newsflash - "Maine Mystery Beast Possibly Killed by Car" - Maine Mystery Beast Possibly Killed by Car

UPDATE: The comments between me and Tom have been fun...

"planet-tom said...
Weird, at first glance it looked like some kind of wolf. But now it looks like that guy from those old DR. PEPPER commercials! Arooo, werewolves of Maine...
Thu Aug 17, 02:49:50 AM EDT

Michelle said...
I liked the post and comments on Metafilter: "Yuh! The Friggin' Chupacabra: A coyote raised on Moxie and Allen's... and whoopie pies and a pack of Camels. Probably had an '82 Firebird up on blocks in his yard and hung out at Marden's, too... Finally done in [probably] by a bondo covered El Camino SS."
Thu Aug 17, 08:23:36 AM EDT

planet-tom said...
Arooo, werewolves of Wisconsin.
Thu Aug 17, 09:39:45 AM EDT

Michelle said...
Aroo, werewolves of northern Manitoba!
Thu Aug 17, 11:57:03 AM EDT"

Podcasts "all' italiana"!

Lately, I've started discovering free mp3 podcasts... and while a lot of 'em seem highly self-indulgent, the best use I've seen of them so far is as audio travelguides and for teaching languages!

Whet your podcast appetite with introductory audio travelguides to Venice! They're great on site, or else are the next best thing to being there!!

Want more? DOZENS of travelguides are available for sites throughout Italy (but - unfortunately - only in Italian at this point) at

No problem if you don't understand Italian... Podcasts can teach you! The one getting probably the most press at the moment is (although you can also find others listed - for starters - on the index at Podcast Pickle, like Let's Speak Italian and Inside Italian)!

Enjoy, and "buon podcast"!

No liquids on a plane!

We just got back from Europe yesterday. Yes, yesterday! When I recover a bit more from jet-lag, maybe I'll blog about it, but - needless to say - we were extremely tired but extremely fortunate in many ways. (This morning my husband said that something like another 600 flights wound up being cancelled on Thursday!)

In the meantime, Bloggers' Blog is cataloging a lot of interesting content about the foiled plot and coping with complicated new travel regulations.

And, lastly, even after a long day of travel (or maybe precisely because of it, since I've clearly gotten punchy) I found this Boing Boing mashup of the soon-to-be released, much-internet-hyped (and, not to mention, rated "R" for - at least in part- language) Samuel L. Jackson movie "Snakes on a Plane" pretty funny.

What can I say? When life gives you lemons, you've got to make lemonade.

(Just don't take it on the plane with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Newsflash: "Tourists Pay More in Roman Restaurants"

Wow, this is apparently "hot" off the presses... : Turisti pay more in Roman restaurants

Remind me to tell you my many Venice stories of the same thing, old and new!! :-)

UPDATED: Hate Tourists? Remove 'Em!

It's a worn old saw that tourists are ruining Venice. (I don't quite agree, but I'll save that for another post!)

Venetians typically can't stand tourists, although I've never seen them so overt about it as in the above advert for a new bookshop in town!! (More below...)

Look, don't like tourists? Now, there's no reason to just bellyache about it... YOU CAN REMOVE THEM, using Snapmania's amazing new "Tourist Remover"!

By utilizing this FREE handy-dandy, easy-to-use online service, the "Tourist Remover" figures out what you'd really wanted to take a picture of, and what's extraneous, like tourists, and tries to get rid of them!

The results? See for yourself the "before" and "after" of the Porta della Carta entrance to the Ducal Palace in Saint Mark's Square...

As you can see, since I didn't use a tripod, the results are not so good.

However, the new photo is far more surreal than the original and strangely satisfying!

Maybe you'll have better luck removing your tourists... Enjoy!!

UPDATED 8/7: The abovementioned bookstore even has a website, So, what's worse... making money hand-over-fist from rampant, consumeristic tourism, or making money from tourists by being ostensibly against rampant, consumeristic tourism??? Hmmm...

Newsflash: Kitten Saved in Venice!

Now, this was a spectacle!

The other day, as I was out and about, I stopped off at the relatively new "Acqua Alta" bookstore just off of the Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa, which bills itself as "the most beautiful bookshop in the world."

I don't know about that, but it is unique. It rests under a pretty little fig tree in a small courtyard. Then, by Venetian standards particularly, it's huge! It takes up what at one time would have been the entire water entrance to a palace. (In fact, if you prefer, you can still arrive by boat!)

There, the owner or libraio is not only a bibliophile, but he's a felinophile too! And he has a number of adorable little kittens roaming around the premises. Of course, as kittens will do, they can also get themselves into trouble...

One of them had managed to scramble up the front of an adjoining building to a high window sill, but then got too scared to come down. The whole neighborhood mobilized to help him, as you can see here!

First, they had to get a super-tall ladder... but even that wouldn't reach all the way, so the would-be rescuer also had to climb up the cast iron grating of one of the second-story windows. (Note the large net at the ready!)

But then the kitten didn't want to be rescued! The rescuer managed to pull the little cat halfway out of the window grating, but the kitten continued to hold on hard with his back toes!! (I can't tell you how much I wish I'd gotten that photo... It was one of the most peculiar things I've ever seen a cat do!)

Then, finally, after several tugs, the kitten came free and - to the collective gasp of the gathered crowd - fell about a story into the waiting net!

After all the racket that little creature had made mere seconds earlier, I expected him to be thoroughly tramatized.

Instead, they pet him, set him down, and he promptly just trotted back into the bookshop with his libraio, apparently none the worse for his little misadventure! All's well that end's well!!

Not Long For This World?

When I first moved to Maine, there were seven remaining Shakers at their last surviving settlement in nearby Sabbathday Lake. Now, there are only four. What will be their legacy, asks the Boston Globe, in The Last Ones Standing?

(Previously on MMC... "Apple Saturday".)

Scenes from an Italian Diet: Recipes from the "Sorcerer's Apprentice"

My mother-in-law chuckles and calls me "the Sorcerer's Apprentice." And she's right. In 12 years, I think I've seen her cook following a recipe maybe a half-dozen times...

She comes over to my place however and my glasses are on my nose while my nose is buried in a cookbook perched on my trusty cookbook stand. Beakers, measuring cups, scales and ingredients are everywhere! I'm just missing Mickey Mouse and his broom (which might actually have come in handy at cleanup!)

In all those years, my poor boyfriend-then-husband has rarely had the same dish twice. After all, I've got dozens of cookbooks with hundreds of recipes!! (Not even counting the cooking magazines...) And I practically never cook without one. That is... until now.

On this year's trip to Italy, I embarked upon a diet. This, needless to say, has not been easy! A person whom I at least consider a dear friend queried, "Why would anyone go to Italy and start a diet?!"

Good question. But here the lifestyle is less sedentary, the junk food less obiquitous, and frankly the fruit and veggies are so much fresher tasting here that it's easier to be sated with a good dish that's not too caloric.

Of course, it's also far, far easier to be tempted to keep eating just because it's really, really good. And so far it seems that my diet's been harder on my mother-in-law than me! She's an absolutely wonderful cook (see above!) and loves feeding her loved ones utterly fantastic food. After baby asparagus risotto and sauteed eggplant on the side...

La Suocera: "Would you like some cheese?" (Tantalizingly holds out a platter of only about 5 different kinds...)

Me: "Um... no thanks. I'd better not have any cheese at this point..."

La Suocera: "Okay... (silence) Then how about salami? (pause) Gelato??"

Then there was the day last week when I skipped lunch at their place in order to visit the new Ikea in Padua, and she said, "Darn! And I'd fried you some fresh fish..."

Needless to say, I can't even begin to count calories when I'm there. Not that I'm complaining!! I eat wonderfully at my in-law's house... I just have to limit my courses to, say, the first three or so!! :-)

But at home I have to be more virtuous to compensate. No stockpiling of groceries from the supermarket. (And certainly no Nutella!) I cook with the limited ingredients I either have on hand or I can get fresh that day. Cooking based on the ingredients you have on hand rather than buying lots of ingredients according to a complicated recipe... What a concept!

So, here's my first foray into making my own recipes! Yes, it's pretty simplistic, but - hey - you gotta start somewhere!!

Michelle's Pasta Salad Caprese (serves two)

First of all, you should be sure to have eaten a real insalata caprese (like this one, for example!) in order to get an idea of the tastes we're going for here!

  • 150 grams fusilli (spiral) pasta, cooked al dente and cooled
  • 250 grams (or about 1/2 cup) cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (Note: you can go way heavier on these... they're calorically "cheap"!)
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella, cubed (usually about 100 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

    Whisk pesto, olive oil and vinegar into a vinegarette that still tastes more "basilly" than anything else. Toss with remaining ingredients. Serve cold. Enjoy!!

    Calorie count (the best I can figure...)
  • Pasta (about 262 calories per serving)
  • Cherry tomatoes (about 17 calories per 100 grams... total about 43)
  • Lowfat fresh mozzarella (about 79 per serving)
  • Pesto (about 160 calories per serving)
  • Olive Oil (about 119 calories per serving)

Total: about 663 calories per serving!

Wow!... I thought it tasted skinnier than that! Drat!!

Time for the Sorcerer's Apprentice to go back into the kitchen to whip up a new, more dietetic version! (Let's see if we can't get those calories down by half!!)

Oh well... In the meantime, buon appetito!! :-)

"Monopoly replaces play-money with fake credit-cards"?! Just say no! Print your own *official* Monopoly cash here!!


I'm not usually a luddite, but there are a good half dozen reasons why this just ain't right: Boing Boing - "Monopoly replaces play-money with fake credit-cards"!

Say no to rising toy credit card debt and go cash only (without even having to play-hock your little tin car!) Print your own free, real Monopoly money here at!!

As the official website says, "The more money you have, the easier it is to own it all - so print your own! Just click on the image of the money you want to find a whole page-full."

Then you too can enjoy all the fun & games associated with rampant inflation!! Yay!! Enjoy!!!

"A journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very, very badly..."

"Dewd! You just gotta love this sushi on demand!!"

It's that time of year again... When, in the great circle of life, Alaskan salmon brave innumerable obstacles to return to the waters where they hatched in order to spawn... while sometimes as many as fifty hungry grizzly bears enjoy a day at the spa, with catering!

Catch the action (so to speak!) live on National Geographic's GrizzlyCam from McNeil River Falls in Alaska!!

Webcam's active between 5 am and 11 pm, Alaskan Standard Time and manned between 1 & 5 pm AST for the best viewing! Enjoy!!

Blogthings - What's Your Learning Style?

You Are a Visual Learner

You tend to remember what you see, and you have a good eye for aesthetics.

You excel at art, design, and computer programming.

You would be an excellent film director - or the next Bill Gates!

Newsflash: Python gulps queen-size electric blanket!

"Ugh... I can't believe I ate the whole thing!" *burp*

Python gulps queen-size electric blanket - Yahoo! News

Blogthings - What's Your Personality Type?

Not a very complex quiz, but fun... I'm apparently "Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging," according to Jung Type Descriptions. I think I'll go become an alternative medicine guru now! :-)

You Are An INFJ

The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.

Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.

You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.

You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

Italian National Team Comes Home to Good Ol' Fashioned Roman Triumph Fit for an Emperor!

Rome's Tribute to Team Italia!

Tom writes as a comment to my posts on the post-game celebrations of Italy's hard-earned World Cup victory,

"What was the reaction in Venice to the joyous news? Overturned gondolas? Watertaxis burning off the shoulder of Orion?"

Nothing quite so spectacular, other than dancing (and "carousels," wherever possible) in the streets.

But... when the Azzurri landed at the airport outside Rome yesterday, they would first be welcomed with the trademark flyby of the Italian national aeronautics' team, the "Tri-Color Arrows," and then led on a triumphal march into Rome that would have surely made some ancient Roman Emperors insanely jealous!!

Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people lined the entire route back into the city, cheering their pride to be Italian. Once in the city, a double-decker bus took the team on a route not unlike what the returning victorious ancient Roman generals themselves would have used...

And then the grand procession finally arrived at the Circus Maximus, what had been ancient Rome's greatest racetrack! (Remember Ben Hur?) There, over a million people greeted and celebrated the victors!!

For more details and photos, you can read the Repubblica's coverage of the festivities! (Including more video here and here!)

And now, without further ado... the sound of one million people singing "We Are the Champions"!

Viva Italia!!

UPDATED Newsflash: 'Vaporetto 13' to Be Adapted into Movie!

Robert Girardis' 'Vaporetto 13' To Get Adapted

According to the buzz from "Killer Movies" so far, the "storyline revolves around an American industrial diver who has a strange premonition that comes true when he discovers a submerged church in Venice that no one knows about. Church holds a dangerous secret that brings him into contact with an otherworldly woman."

UPDATED: I personally like the line that "the film's style is described as 'a kind of 'Trainspotting' meets Fellini set in decaying Venice," says Liman (the film's producer).

The "Trainspotting" bit might be interesting, but the Felliniesque treatment of a decaying Venice, well, isn't - shall we say - much of a stretch. (I mean, you could set up a webcam in an alley here and automatically get that already, for free!)

Oh, and there wouldn't be the influence of any little movie called the "Da Vinci Code" anywhere in the mix, would there?? Hmm?? (Although, I have to admit, I can't really imagine Langdon in a wetsuit...)

Anyway, best of luck to the producers and director trying to make a film in Venice that's not cliched but still commercial!!

Champions of the World!!!

Italy won! At penalty kicks, no less!!

There's a lot of truth to the fact that a good soccer match - unlike American football and baseball- makes its fans suffer each and every second. Just like last night, until the very last goal!!

But victory is sweet! Check out videos of the grand reaction in Lecco and Treviso, nearby Venice.

But the classic Italian celebration - called a carousel or "carosella" - involves getting whatever motor vehicle is available, and driving giant circles around town, yelling, honking and flag-waving! All night, Italians and their descendants drove carousels all over the globe... You can see a sample on YouTube, but probably the best video I've seen so far was this one in Milan! It's the next best thing to being there... Enjoy!!


Will history be made tonight? It's estimated that over a BILLION people will be watching the finals of the World Cup all over the globe.

Inquiring minds want to know...

These mysteries and others will be answered only at 8 pm, Central European Time (or 1:30 pm Eastern US Time)! Don't miss it!!!!!!!!!!!

Ode to the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Those who scanned my "muses" that I once had at the bottom of my sidebar know I have a soft spot in my heart for T.S. Eliot...

I haven't listened to the (original) poem with such rapt attention for just shy of two decades, at nearly the same age that Eliot was himself when he composed this masterpiece. And now I appreciate it even more as a lovely, bittersweet ode to middle age (as, I suppose, can ironically only be written by a 22 year-old.)

Listen to the poet himself reading the "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock". If you're in your 20s or younger, marvel at the words. If you're in your late 30s or older, marvel at the truth in the words.

And how I wish I'd half the talent to produce such a loving satire of the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock like The Love Song Of J. Edgar Goldstein!

Shakespeare on Elm Street!

"To die, to sleep... To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil must give us pause!"


(BTW, the font, music and graininess are priceless!)

Blogthings - How Indie Are You?

You Are 69% Indie

You're a very indie person, and admit it, you look down a little on people who strive to be normal.

You'll indulge in a little mainstream pop culture every now and then. But for you, anything not indie is a guilty pleasure!

Newsflash: "Venice battles seaweed invasion"

"Scientists are warning that if left to its own devices it could clog up the city's famous canals. " (more from BBC News- Venice battles seaweed invasion)

Blogthings - Inside the Room of Your Soul

What Your Soul Really Looks Like

You are a warm hearted and open minded person. It's easy for you to forgive and forget.

You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. You feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds.

You believe that people see you as larger than life and important. While this is true, they also think you're a bit full of yourself.

Your near future is all about change, but in very small steps. The end of the journey looks far, but it's much closer than you realize.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

Meals in Beantown for under 30 bucks?

Great list of meals in Boston for under $30! (via megnut)

Big Tastes, Small Bills!

World's Most Translated Authors

Index Translationum Statistics from the UN assert that Walt Disney is the world's most translated author... At this point, I find olympic-sized swimming pools filled with Phoenixites' sweat less disturbing!

From today's "I did not need to know this" department...

"Phoenix adult residents sweat so much that the city's perspiration could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in less than three hours." (more at The Sweatiest Cities in America - Yahoo! News)

"Recipes conjure visions of Venice"

"Spend two weeks in Venice and you will cross approximately 113 bridges with an equivalent elevation gain of a stroll up Mount Si. You will jump on and off 48 floating buses known as Vaporetti. Somebody possibly will try to pick your pocket and he (she?) might even be masquerading as a nun, in St. Mark's Basilica. You will lose your way up dead-end streets and winding canals more often than a myopic mouse in a house of mirrors.

But I immediately acquired a sense of security. Because I discovered a wine shop, just two blocks from our apartment, where they would refill a plastic bottle with a drinkable merlot for less than $3 a liter..."

Ah, Venice! Enjoy a taste with these two recipes for spaghetti with clams and the ever-famous risi e bisi!!

The Shakespearean Book of Lists

"The old joke goes something like this: A guys walks out of the theater after seeing Hamlet for the first time. 'I don’t know why everybody thinks Hamlet is such a well-written play,' he says. 'It is full of clichés.'

Here is the whole list of clichés, along with the plays where they originated! Enjoy!!

Peekaboo in Venetian Renaissance Paintings!

Interesting article on the paintings in the National Gallery of Art's current exhibition, Bellini, Giorgione, Titian and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting!

Saltmine Cathedrals

Okay, they're not really cathedrals, but I once saw a documentary on these incredible saltmines of Poland, where they not only mined the salt, but they turned the resulting chambers into chapels, ballrooms (with amazing acoustics, apparently!), etc. Enjoy!!

Blogthings - Your Rising Sign is Virgo

Well, I always thought my ascendant was Libra, and now this quiz says it's Scorpio. But I'm going to go with's decision that somehow I've got Virgo rising instead. (I don't know... they just seem so much more "professional"!)

In that case... (I'm not so sure about it though!)

Your Rising Sign is Virgo
Well put-together and elegant, you sometimes seem standoffish.

And truth be told, sometimes you do feel superior to those around you.

A bit shy and introverted, you tend to stay quiet - even if you're feeling social.

At parties, you can seem like you're very serious while you're having fun.

You're clever and ingenious, with an alert and active mind.

Good at facts and figures, you excel at logical and mathematical tasks.

Blogthings - How Do You Communicate?

You Communicate With Your Ears

You love conversations, both as a listener and a talker.

What people say is important to you, and you're often most affected by words, not actions.

You love to hear complements from others. And when you're upset, you often talk to yourself.

Music is very important to you. It's difficult to find you without your iPod.


Extortr: online blackmail for the masses

(Announcement: this is a joke... this is only a joke!!)

(via Hot Links)

Astrology when Uranus is backward...

Yes, you heard right! According to an email I received from today, "On June 19, Uranus turns retrograde, bringing his flair for the unusual to a planet near you. Until the ruler of rebellion returns to direct motion on November 20, you may notice an increase in personality transformations or oddball news reports; indeed, the conventional wisdom for the next few months is 'Expect the unexpected.'"

So, I was offered a free "Revelations Reading" to reveal what might be hidden aspects of my personality (or at least that's what I hoped it was, and nothing having to do with four horsemen or anything!) Likely useless, but, hey, it's free!! The results...

Your Free Sample "Revelations Reading":
"Chapter 1: Planets in Signs

Sun in Gemini:
Your humorous outlook on life and your entertaining ability to paint a picture with words make you a delight to be with...

Mercury in Gemini:
You use humor in your self-expression and make each story an anecdote...

Venus in Cancer:
Your love nature is nurturing and protective. You are happiest when creating a cozy nest...

Mars in Libra:
Partnership comes first to you, and you give 100% to your meaningful relationships... "

Nothing earth-shattering, you say? For twelve bucks, I could have learned more. But I figure that ignorance is bliss... and certainly more cost-effective! :-)

Today's Sidebar Feature: Take Five!

Composed way back in 1959, "Take Five" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet may well be the best American instrumental in the entire second half of the twentieth century!

Today in the sidebar is a clip from 1961, when Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Joe Morello and Gene Wright performed on jazz columnist Ralph J. Gleason's Jazz Casual public television series. It totally swings!

(Fear not if you get a message saying that the video's content has been flagged as potentially inappropriate. There's nothing troublesome here... unless you're easily disturbed by guys in black suits and hornrimmed glasses looking so inexplicably cool!)

Newsflash: Testdriving a Ferrari in *Venice*??

How about taking a Ferrari for a float around Venice?

One did yesterday, in preparation for the opening of the world's 12th Ferrari store in this *roadless* city! (???!)

Want more surreal images of cars in Venice? Try here (oops!), here, here, here... and - kind of - here!

Men... 80% slashed off!

Ah, the things one finds when looking for bedding sales on the internet! Like,, save up to 80% every day!

Now, even if he is only $20, I cannot help but wonder what happened to the other 80% of this guy!

I can't quite decide if this is thoroughly macabre or just plain sad. (Bedding fashion tip: if you must, go for a teddy bear instead, which exudes cutesy and adorableness rather than, say, "this was the only part I could fit in my trunk..." Yikes!!)

I guess clients however really appreciate that more complicated male parts are not actually included, and some folks actually seem to like it better that way. (Either that, or they're shopping in the way wrong catalog!)

Really. Don't miss the customer reviews. With accolades like these, I wonder how they're actually able to keep these dismembered torsos from flying off the warehouse shelves!

Aiiieee.... sounds like a movie! "Freddy does Overstock.Com", or maybe just "Scary Movie 5"... What do you think?? Why, the DVD sales alone could keep me up to my neck in these disembodied arms! (On second thought, AIIEEEEE!)

Newsflash: "Venice under a cloud as Rome predicts rain, whatever the weather"!

"Venice and Rome have squabbled for centuries over taxes, trade routes and artistic supremacy. Now the two former rival city states, have discovered a new issue to divide them: Italy's national weather forecast..." (more from Telegraph News Venice under a cloud as Rome predicts rain, whatever the weather)

No joke! Now, if they could only predict the weather accurately in Maine (although these days, "rain," "rain," "rain" is rather a no-brainer... *sigh*)

Newsflash: "Venice for Venetians"

Venice for Venetians: How to Save Houses Glimpsed in Canalettos

The Wit & Wisdom of Stephen Colbert, redux

How I wish that a comic would someday address our college's graduates! (That would rock!)

2006 Knox College Commencement Address

UPDATED - Today's Sidebar Feature: Soda Fountains!

Ah, the internet was made for this!

Most folks know that I'm easily entertained, but - truth be told - there's nothing easy about these diet coke and mentos experiments, bringing a sticky version of the Bellagio fountains directly to your own computer (without all the mess!)

(Surely, our civilization - such as it is - will go down in history as having developed the most intricate yet mindless forms of entertainment ever known to man! Oh well... In the meantime, enjoy!!)

UPDATED: If you didn't already, go ahead and "refresh" this page, and then click "ok" to running an "ActiveX" control. It will then begin to load the video, which you can start by just clicking the small "play" button at the bottom of the mini-screen! Enjoy!!

Top 500 Songs?

Ever try to figure out something simply and entirely just for the hell of it?

After a long day of house packing, I was in the mood for some mental work, but it was going to have to be pretty darn mechanical at this hour of the night...

So, as a lark, I went to see how many of the top 500 songs ranked by listeners of our local radio station were also included in the Rolling Stone ranking of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Not that this discovery is going to change the course of human history or anything, but the results are nevertheless in and the answer is... (ta da!)

Less than 20%. Now, of course, the RS list isn't limited by genre, but even so, only one of the songs in the local version of the top ten even show up in the Stone's top 100, and three don't even make the list at all.

On the heels of others' detailed analysis of the RS 500 greatest, here is the local top ten (with its Rolling Stone rankings)...
1. "Sweet Home Alabama" (198)
2. "Dream On" (172)
3. "More than a Feeling" (500)
4. "Taking Care of Business" (not ranked)
5. "Freebird" (191)
6. "Satisfaction" (#2!)
7. "We Will Rock You" (330)
8. "Go Your Own Way" (119)
9. "Don't Bring Me Down" (not ranked)
10. "The Joker" (not ranked)

For some inexplicable reason, I find it interesting that eight other songs besides "Satisfaction" are - despite all these differences - ranked within ten spots on both charts. Heaven knows I'm no math whiz, and that may well be completely statistically probable, but still it would seem that layfolks' tastes in these few, rare occasions coincide more or less with those of music industry cognoscenti!

They are:
11. "Born to Run" (21)
21. "Layla" (27)
87. "Every Breath You Take" (84)
96. "You Can't Always Get What You Want" (100)
121. "Honky Tonk Woman" (116)
137. "Maggie May" (130)
222. "Fire and Rain" (227)
268. "Something" (273)

What is this all supposed to mean? In the immortal words of Pee Wee Herman,

"Supposed to mean? Supposed to mean?! I think everyone here knows what this is supposed to mean. When you've gone over something again and again and again and again, like I have, certain questions get answered.Others spring up! The mind plays tricks on you. You play tricks back! It's like you're unraveling a cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting..."

UPDATED: And at least four of these songs have intelligible backmasking. (Coincidence?!) Enjoy!

The Perils (and Pleasures) of Venice

"Venice enchanting, despite surly servers" recounts the standard complaint about Venice, where a city absolutely shell-shocked by tourism tends to treat foreigners with distrust at best and distain at worst.

But the splendid photo accompanying the article says it all about why it pays for visitors to be intrepidly patient (or patiently intrepid) in order to see the breathtaking beauty of this rare city!!

Blogthings - What Bumper Sticker Should Be On Your Car?

Your Bumper Sticker Should Be

Anything worth taking seriously - is worth making fun of

Blogthings - "Which of the X-Men Are You?"

I was aiming for Jean Grey (the comic book version!), but I guess I'll accept this... :-)

You Are Shadowcat

You're like a little sister to some, but others see you as a sex kitten.

You are well trained in martial arts, a bit of a computer geek, and can totally kick butt.

Powers: the ability to 'phase' through walls and other physical objects

Me and Gandhi sitting in a tree??

More astrological fun and nonsense...

The Relationship Analyst by Top Synergy lets you test your compatibility with tons of famous people. Since there were practically no hotties I appreciate (except maybe Ewan McGregor or Johnny Depp... purely for their acting abilities, mind you!) I decided to check out quirky combos instead. At first, I was really tempted to look up myself and Padre Pio, but - since there's already a lot we can agree on - in the end I chose me and Gandhi.

Yes, that Gandhi. Highlights of the report include:
  • Surprise! Not a whole lot in the "sensual attraction" range. Oh well, I like to think that's just because he preferred celibacy! (Then again, under those circumstances, I probably would too...)
  • Another surprise! Apparently Gandhi wouldn't make a great employee for me... (Must be that non-violent non-cooperation thing.)
  • All in all, while longterm friendship and romance could be in our future, the report recommends that maybe we should just be penpals.
Why not? I already have another philosopher "penpal" who never writes back...

(Maybe I'd have better luck with Nikola Tesla?)

Today's Sidebar Feature: Creative Clutter!

Ah, art in motion! I wonder if I could use a leaf-blower to blow my clutter out of the house and down the street in such an artistic fashion... (Ah, dream on!)

The mini-movie in today's sidebar is a lovely parody of a by-now famous, absolutely visually splendid Sony Bravia commercial (that you simply must see in as high a definition as possible to truly appreciate it). In it (the original, that is), they actually and truly released 250,000 super bouncy balls down a San Francisco street.

How? See the How-To documentary!

Music's nice, though, eh? Enjoy!


Adventures in spring cleaning here at Casa Michelle...

The entire right quadrant of my bedroom by my bedside reading table had become a solid mass of paper. Memos, recipes, health articles, mailings, magazines - still unopened, books, etc. etc. I've been trying to scramble up the face of it all day... (The sherpas spooked midway and turned back without me.)

Excavations have been difficult... complicated by dense strata of detritus. Through hard work, several trash bags, and - not to mention - the force of will (such as it is) not to read every single little thing that I've managed to collect thus far before I throw it out, I believe however that I may have finally reached the level of the late Pleistocene period!

Flotsam and jetsam from my life, as from so many past civilizations. Meaningless now... like linear A.

But the excavations have nevertheless yielded the rare valuable (or funny, or both) artifact. About halfway down the midden, for example, I found the following, and couldn't help but laugh. How appropriate, and yet, how so clearly utterly futile... Enjoy!

Computer gaming by Robin Williams

A hoot! Enjoy!!

planettom: SPORE as played by Robin Williams

Today's Sidebar Feature...

"This video shows a pair of extraordinary gifted swing dancers... set to modern hip-hop with a lot of eerily serendipitous synch-ups between the music and the video. The dancing is nothing short of amazing and set to the contemporary music, it's even nicer. Link "

The dance has been variously identified as the Lindy Hop, the Big Apple, and the Charleston, while the two dancers are Al Minns and Leon James. Enjoy!!

"Terry sez, Contemporary swing dancers sometimes dance 20's Charleston and Balboa to hip hop. Those styles also go great with bhangra. If you're interested in swing dance footage, there's over 30GB of vintage and contemporary swing dancing clips at"

Blogthings - What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Veddy Intterrestingg! (I would never have guessed that I'm more Yankee than Dixie by now...)

Your Linguistic Profile::
60% General American English
25% Yankee
10% Dixie
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

This week's "Science in the News": Lying and the Irrational Fear of Loss

More along the lines of the recent "neuroeconomic" studies of dread and "temporal myopia"... Fascinating! - Why We Lie: "Many animals engage in deception, or deliberately misleading another, but only humans are wired to deceive both themselves and others, researchers say. People are so engaged in managing how others perceive them that they are often unable to separate truth from fiction in their own minds..." (more)

Seed: Monkeys and Humans Are Both Irrational: "A group of Yale researchers studying the origin of irrational decision-making found that choosing impractically isn't a behavior exhibited only by humans. Our evolutionary cousins, capuchin monkeys, exhibit the same tendency with respect to loss aversion, or the tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses rather than acquiring gains..." (more)

First signs of summer at Land's End

After New England Sees Worst Floods in 70 Years, we finally had a day of sun for the first time in what seems like weeks. To celebrate, we went on our annual pilgrimage to the Maine coast to commemorate the incipient onset of summer.

It's a beautiful drive to Bailey Island. From Brunswick, Maine, take Route 24 south about 13 miles. Just 2.4 miles long, barely a half-mile wide at its widest point, and with only about 500 year-round residents, Bailey Island is the epitome of the rugged beauty of the Maine coast.

No real tourist attractions to see... just stacked lobster traps, piled up lobster buoys, and scattered lobster boats. But it's the prettiest scenery I've seen in this state, and since there's no shortage of that here - trust me - that's really saying something!

Still, this humble finger of land jutting out into Casco Bay, composed really of a chain of three smaller islands - Great Island, Orr's and Bailey - actually boasts more than one claim to fame.

Turns out that Harriet Beecher Stowe, of Uncle Tom's Cabin fame, wrote The Pearl of Orr's Island: A Story of the Coast of Maine in 1862, apparently one of the earliest examples of Maine "local color" fiction. According to the Orr's Island Campground official site,

"Orr's Island is named for two brothers--Joseph and Clement Orr--who came from Ireland... Joseph Orr built his homestead in 1756 on the land that is now occupied by Orr's Island Campground. The home is said to be the oldest on the island. His home, which still stands, was made famous in a book... by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Mrs. Stowe visited the area while her husband was a professor at Bowdoin College in nearby Brunswick, Maine. She created a tale of the islands using fictional characters living in real homes."

In addition, the islands also feature an important architectural landmark! Built in 1927-28, the Cribstone Bridge between Orr's and Bailey Islands features a "cob pile" form of construction and - as the tablet at the bridge claims - "this 1,150 foot bridge is an exceptional engineering solution to meet unusual conditions and is the only one of its type in the world. Open split Maine granite cribwork permits free flow of swift tidal currents, boat traffic, withstands saltwater exposure and ice floes." What's more, the bridge is composed of thousands of tons of 12-foot granite slabs, held together by the sheer force of gravity! It is rightfully counted in the National Registry of Historic Places, as an official National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and is even featured in Structurae, an international database of significant structures, a testament to Mainers' classic and seemingly paradoxical "intricate simplicity"!

It's such a lovely drive that we'll likely wind up returning a couple more times to "Land's End" on Bailey Island whenever the good weather finally manages to take hold. Maybe we'll see you there...