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Nothing earth-shattering. Just things I thought I’d pass along in case they’re useful:

1. Big name commercial airlines still use propeller planes.
Of course, they don’t tell you this in advance – nor do they park the plane where it might be seen from the boarding gate. You only find out once you have forfeited your boarding pass and are walking – as a herd – across the tarmac to a high wing, twin engine, twelve bladed machine of death.

2. I no longer need to worry about fountain pens and air travel.
On the ground, even pens believed to be empty that are in your glovebox can somehow manage to leak with only a slight change in elevation – such as having your car lifted for an oil change. In the air, I’ve never had a problem with fountain pen leakage regardless of the pen’s ink level during travel. I’m just not going to worry about flying with pens anymore.

3. Artists in Mexico can pay their taxes with artwork.
This Pago en Especia (Payment in Kind) program has been going on since 1957 and is apparently one-of-a-kind throughout the world. Of course, this offer is only extended to bone fide artists, so my stick figures won’t help me even though they’re drawn with fountain pens. For the artists and for the government and for culture in general, this is a win-win-win situation.

4. I’ve been wasting money on yoga classes.
The very same workout is available (with or without a donation) seven days a week at Catholic Masses throughout the world. Standing Pose – Hold for Two Minutes. Kneeling Pose – Hold for Two Minutes. Seated Pose – Hold for Thirty Seconds. Repeat the cycle ten times. There’s even meditation, group chanting, and if you’re on the right list – you can get in line for the buffet!

5. There’s a new World’s Most Expensive Coffee – and I still don’t want any.
With the for-good-reasons fall from grace of kopi luwak, the Most Expensive title now goes to Black Ivory Coffee – made with beans that have been “naturally refined by rescued elephants.” Refined, that is, by having passed through the elephant’s entire digestive tract. Crappuccino, anyone?


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