Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ITALY TRIP PART VIII: SAY CHEESE

This is the appropriate cheese-to-sauce ratio.
Please make a note of it.
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

ITALY TRIP PART VII: DOVE È LA MIA VESPA?

Italians love their Vespas.


There are only two things they love more — and I have combined them to create a product that would be a million-dollar best-seller in Italy: a cell phone you can smoke.
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ITALY TRIP PART VI: WAKE ME UP BEFORE YOU DUOMO

a.k.a Piazza del Duomo


Plans for the catherdral buildings were approved in 1296 and completed in 1436.
(And I thought the Santa Monica city council permit process was slow.)


Hard to take a bad picture in Florence.

View of the Duomo from the roof of the Uffizi Gallery

Italy's architectural roots run deep, but the future is relentless.

In the Piazza della Signoria: Michelangelo's David
(from this angle, you can't see his "Goliath")

Monday, April 4, 2011

ITALY TRIP PART V: CAVEAT EMPTOR

There are bldgs in Rome that pre-date Christ. In fact, there are some establishments here that are so old, they still accept Diners Club.

ITALY TRIP PART IV: PETERED OUT

VATICAN CITY
The dome of St. Peter's Basilica and the dome of my head
"Great news — you got the cleaning/restoring St. Peter's gig!
Um... how do you feel about heights?"
Cleanliness is next to godliness

ITALY TRIP PART III: HOLY SEE, HOLY DO

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
Luckily, the day I took the tour, the Lord made a cameo appearance.
God is watching us from a distance… of about 452 feet.

Here's the official tablet that lists all the pontiffs.
It's the Stanley Cup of Popes.




I'm not fluent in Latin, but I believe this translates into "TV is Christ."


The Pope is protected by a security team comprised of the most elite Renaissance Faire jugglers.
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Sunday, April 3, 2011

ITALY TRIP PART II: ROME IF YOU WANT TO

The Coloseum
(shot from below to give it that sense of, you know, grandeur)


The Amphitheatrum Flavium was completed in 80 AD. People still go to it even though it doesn't even have luxury boxes or cup holders.

The Spanish Steps (minus the steps)

ITALY TRIP PART I: I CAME, I SAW, I FLEW COACH

The flight to Rome on US Airways features an in-seat monitor with a real-time GPS map.


I noticed something very odd listed on it: "Titanic: 1912."

That's right — in addition to dots representing the cities over which you are flying, US Airways also helpfully shows passengers the precise location of the world's most famous maritime disaster (1,517 deaths).

But it's no anomaly — the airline also has points on its map for "Hollandia: 1743" and "Egypt: 1922."

276 passengers died when the Dutch East India Company's ship the Hollandia wrecked off the Isles of Scilly. After being torpedoed by a U-230, the SS Egypt sank off Ushant, Brittany. 86 perished.

Why does US Airways include shipwrecks on their airline GPS maps? Do they think the message Hey, you could just as easily die on a boat too! somehow soothes skittish airplane passengers?
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Friday, April 1, 2011

WHÅTEVËR

Jeez, it's like the product-namers at IKEA have totally given up.