Thursday, October 31, 2013

Forum Shops at Caesars

Postcard US-1940143 to Taiwan has expired for 365 days and is about to fall off the face of the PostCrossing Universe. The recipient sent five postcards and failed to register any. So there are at least four other cards got lost alongside of mine.

The postcard shows the Forum Shops at Caesars, a 636,000-square-foot or 59,100 square-meter luxury mall in Las Vegas, Nevada. Connected to Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino and built as an extension wing of the hotel, the mall now fronts on The Las Vegas Strip as shown on the postcard. The mall has more than 160 stores that line up simulated ancient Roman streets dotted with replicas of the Trevi and Triton fountains, statues and facades. It is also noted for its majestic spiral escalators by the massive reflecting pool at its entrance.

The photo on the card was taken on September 30, 2012.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sur la route des baleines au Québec

Postcard CA-381370 from Canada shows a North Atlantic minke whale from a whale-watching cruise near the mouth of the Saguenay River in Québec, Canada. Minke whale, or petiti rorqual, can be classified into two species: Common minke whale or northern minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) that includes the North Atlantic minke whale subspecies, the North Pacific minke whale subspecies and dwarf minke whale subspecies; and Antarctic minke whale or southern minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis). Minke whales, measured 7 meters and weighted 4-5 tons in average, are not in danger of extinction.

The postcard has a 63-cent Montreal Canadiens® stamp, from the NHL Canadian seven-team commemorative stamp series, depicting a current team jersey as well as one from 1946; and a permanent Superman stamp, one of the five from the set issued on September 10, 2013 to honor the superhero’s 75th birthday and his Canadian roots.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

House of the Rising Sun

Postcard BY-1046781 from Belarus shows a photo titled the House of the Rising Sun by Vlad Sokolovsky, featuring a beautiful morning scene at the Minsk Sea in Fall 2011.  You can visit the photographer's other works at Foto.BY. He also has a blog on landscape photography at LiveJournal.

Monday, October 28, 2013

20 Million Postcards

Postcard TW-1044841 from Taiwan arrived today and was registered at 10:50 pm PDT around the time when the postcard number 20 million from the PostCrossing was registered. It's a remarkable number by all means since the project opened to the public in July 14th, 2005. Congratulations!

It is also my 2nd anniversary of joining the PostCrossing, although it took another 2 or 3 months before I sent off my first official card.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Perm, Russia

Postcard RU-2041729 from Russia shows the city streets after rain in Perm. the administrative center of Perm Krai, Russia. It is located on the banks of the Kama River in the European part of Russia near the Ural Mountains. According to the 2010 Census, its population is just a little under 1 million.

Perm's history can be traced back as far as the village of Yegoshikha in 1647. The current city was found in 1723. During the Soviet period, it grew as a major industrial city. Almost 80% of people in the city are employed in manufacturing. Currently the city is a major administrative, industrial, scientific, and cultural center.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Think Outside the Box

Postcard CN-1091064 from China is an advertising card for a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Household Appliances. I like its tag line in Chinese that says "No great invention without thinking outside the box."

Friday, October 25, 2013

Nevada Day

Postcard US-2399736 to Germany shows a Mountain Bluebird, which is the Nevada State Bird. 

Nevada Day commemorates the admission of the state of Nevada into the Union on October 31, 1864. In 1933 the Nevada state legislature designated October 31 as Nevada Day and a state holiday. Since 2000, it is observed on the last Friday in October.

Therefore, we are celebrating the 149th anniversary of the Statehood over a three-day weekend starting October 15, 2013. In Carson City, the capitol of the state, there will be an annual Nevada Day Parade from 10am to 1pm on October 16, 2013.  In 2014, Nevada Day will fall on October 31, the actual day of admission to the Union.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

United Nations Day

President Barack Obama, as every President of the United States has done each year since 1946, proclaimed October 24, 2013 as United Nations Day to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the 1945 Charter of the United Nations. 
Postcard US-2373503 to Russia, shows the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, arrived in 62 days. It was sent to the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) in New York City for mailing with the United Nations stamps on August 20, 2013. For procedures on how to send mails through UNPA, see my previous blog.

Some other postcards sent under a separated envelop on the same day, survived a mail catastrophe and arrived their destinations without any postmarks.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stereoscope : Ascending and Descending

I received a stereoscope card NL-2125293 from the Netherlands today. It shows Ascending and Descending, a lithograph print by the Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher that was first printed in March 1960.

Originally measured 14" × 11¼”, the lithograph illustrates a large building with a never-ending staircase on the top. While most two-dimensional artists use relative proportions to create an illusion of depth, Escher uses conflicting proportions to create a visual paradox, showing one line of people ascending while the other descending all one the same staircase.

In addition to the print in front of the card, the card has a pair of stereoscopic lenses that, when unfolded, allows parallel-viewing two offset images separately to the left and right eye of the viewer; these two-dimensional images are then combined in the viewer's brain to form the perception of 3D depth of the building.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Parachute Jump

I made this postcard today to commemorate the first parachute jump by André-Jacques Garnerin on October 22, 1797. Google made an interactive Doodle to celebrate the 216th anniversary of the jump. André-Jacques Garnerin was a balloonist and the inventor of the frame-less parachute.

The jump demonstration shown on the card was performed on November 14, 2010 at the Aviation Nation, an annual public open house at the Nellis Air Force Base. However, the Aviation Nation scheduled for November 9 and 10, 2013 has been canceled due to the budget cut.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tongli, China

Postcard CN-1076001 from China shows Tongli (同里), a historical town in Wujiang county, Jiangsu Province, China. It has been given the nickname "Venice of the East" for a system of canals. The town, on the outskirts of Suzhou, retains many of the features of an ancient Wu region town.

One of most notable attractions in Tongli is the Retreat and Reflection Garden (退思园). It is a private garden built in 1885-1887 by designer Yuan Long. The concept of design was adopted from a famous quote "Step forward to do your job loyally; step back to think about how to make up your mistakes (進思盡忠,退思補過)" in Zuo Zhuan (左傳) or sometimes translated as the Chronicle of Zuo that is among the earliest Chinese works of narrative history, covering the period from 722 B.C. to 468 B.C.

Through an extension in 2000, the Retreat and Reflection Garden,  along with the Canglang Pavilion, the Lion Forest Garden, the Garden of Cultivation, the Couple's Garden Retreat, was included in the property of the Classical Gardens of Suzhou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was originally recognized in 1997.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

International Day of the Air Traffic Controllers

Postcard NL-2033913 from the Netherlands shows the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), and its air traffic control tower where the air traffic controllers work. The 101 m or 331 ft tower was the tallest in the world when it was built in 1991.

October 20th is the International Day of the Air Traffic Controllers. Air Traffic Controllers are professionals who maintain the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic in the global air traffic control system. They use separation rules to keep aircraft at a safe distance from each other and move all aircraft safely and efficiently through their assigned sector of airspace, as well as on the ground. The position can be notoriously stressful but also very rewarding. The following graph seems to summarize the job function well.

Air Traffic Controller. Source:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Postcard DE-2541857 from Germany shows a photo taken by the sender Lisa136 at the Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia. The national park, founded in 1949,  is the oldest national park in Southeast Europe. It is located in the mountainous karst area of central Croatia, at the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The important north-south road connecting the Croatian inland with the Adriatic coastal region, runs through the national park area. The protected area covers over 296.85 square kms  or 73,350 acres,  which makes it the largest national park in Croatia. In 1979, Plitvice Lakes National Park was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Everything about Alaska is BIG

Today it is the 146th anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States on October 18, 1867. Alaska Day, observed on October 18, was declared a state holiday in 1917.

The Treaty for the Alaska Purchase was signed earlier that year on March 30. It was commemorated as Seward's Day, the last Monday in March.

Alaska was officially proclaimed a state on January 3, 1959, becoming the next to the most recent State (Hawaii) to join the Union.
Everything about Alaska is BIG is one of my Alaska collections in ASPRS 2003.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Outgoing postcard US-2461326 to Finland celebrates the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty which occurs on October 17 every year. It was first commemorated in Paris, France in 1987 with 100,000 people gathering on the Human Rights and Liberties Plaza at the Trocadéro, site of the Palais de Chaillot, to honor victims of poverty, hunger, violence and fear. The organizer for that event was Joseph Wresinski, founder of the International Movement ATD (All Together for Dignity) Fourth World, a nonprofit organization which aims towards the eradication of chronic poverty through a human-rights based approach.

The Commemorative Stone. source:
A commemorative stone placed on that date reads: "Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty." – Joseph Wresinski

In the Hierarchy of Needs proposed by Abraham Maslow, Maslow described the pattern that human motivations generally move through under the Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, Self-Actualization and Self-Transcendence needs. It is obvious that Poverty is the most crucial limiting factor of the creativity for the people who could not meet their basic needs. To eradicate poverty is the first step to help those people to realize their full potential.  
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

World Food Day

Today is the 68th anniversary of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1945. Many organizations such as the World Food Program have observed October 16 as the World Food Day since 1981. The World Food Day theme is "Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition" in 2013.

Postcard PL-496296 from Poland shows a variety of traditional food in Poland. It reminds us the food security and agricultural development is a global concern. Collaborative actions are needed in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

For more information, visit World Food Day USA.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

First Bridge of the Yangtze, Wuhan, China

Postcard US-2293208 to Belarus shows the Wuhan Yangtze Great Bridge ( 武汉长江大桥) in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China with a photo taken on October 1, 2007. The double-deck road and rail bridge was the first bridge across the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world. It opened to public traffic fifty six years ago on October 15, 1957.

The Wuhan metropolis is an amalgamation of three cities located at the confluence of the Yangtze River and one of its branches: the Han River: Wuchang is located on the southern bank of the Yangtze; Hanyang is on the northern bank of the Yangtze and the west bank of the Han; and Hankou sits on the northern bank of the Yangtze and the eastern bank of the Han. Wuhan lies in the heart of Central China and has been a transportation hub between Beijing, the political and culture center in the north and the trading ports of Guangzhou and Hong Kong in the south. The Beijing-Wuhan railway line went into full service in 1906, followed in 1936 by the Wuhan-Guangzhou railway line. Before the bridge was built, train cars travelling between northern and southern China had to be ferried on barges over the Yangtze River, a laborious and time-consuming practice. Plans for the bridge's construction were first made in 1910; and four exploratory surveys were made between 1913 and 1948 for site selection. However, the construction did not start until 1955 due to economic constrains and the combination of World War II and the Chinese Civil War. The construction lasted for two years and was assisted by a 28-person delegation of engineers from the then Soviet Union.

The bridge extends 1.6 kilometers or 1 mile from Turtle Hill in Hanyang, on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, to Snake Hill in Wuchang, on the southern bank of the Yangtze River. The upper level of the bridge has four lanes for two-way automobile traffic while the lower level is a double-track railway on the Beijing-Guangzhou railway line.

Since then, there have been 60 bridges and 3 tunnels built by September 2013 over the 2,884 km or1,792 m main stretch of the Yangtze River, representing a broad array of bridge designs and significant achievements in modern bridge design and engineering.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Restoration of Zwolle Station

Postcard NL-2104782 from the Netherlands shows restoration of the Zwolle Station with bus and train services, circa. 1954. Zwolle is the capital of the province of Overijssel, the Netherlands. More recently, the station underwent a major renovation in 2000, which resulted in an increased capacity among the effort to overhaul the entire public transportation systems in the city to serve the bus and train passengers better.

Zwolle was built on a hill overlooking four rivers: the IJssel, Vecht, Aa and Zwarte Water. It has a long history dated back to the Bronze Age period while the city as it is now known was founded around 800 A.D. The compact old city was surrounded by a star-shaped moat traversed by the Zwarte Water which means black water.
Map of Zwolle by Joan Blaeu in Blaeu's "Toonneel der Steden", 1652, from Wikipedia 
Zwolle residents were known as Blauwvingers (Bluefingers) from a folk story dated back to 1682 when the St.Michael's church tower collapsed. The city government was short on cash and had to sell the church bells to neighbouring city Kampen. However, Kampen residents found out the bells were too damaged to be played, after agreeing a high price. In revenge, Kampen residents paid in copper coins of four duiten (the equivalent of 2.5 cents). Distrusting Zwolle people went through a rigorous counting to make sure that they got paid in full. As a result, their fingers had turned blue from the copper after counting this vast amount of coins.

The following video on YouTube shows that Zwolle is really a charming city.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

International Day for Disaster Reduction

The United Nations General Assembly designated the 1990s as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction on December 22, 1989. As part of its proclamation, it also designated the second Wednesday of October as the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction. The objective was to promote the awareness in order to decrease the loss of life, property destruction and social and economic disruption caused by natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, droughts, locust infestations, and other disasters of natural origin.

In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly decided to designate October 13 as the official date and changed the name to the International Day for Disaster Reduction. The 2013 Theme is Living with Disability and Disasters.

Postcard US-2217252 to Portugal shows a postcard I bought in Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia when I was there to volunteer for tsunami relief effort in February, 2005.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Peking at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City

Outgoing postcard US-2452506 to Germany shows Peking, a steel-hulled four-masted barque which is a type of sailing vessel with three or more masts, at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City.

Built in Hamburg, Germany in 1911, Peking is one of the famous "Flying P Liners" of F. Laeisz Lines. Used in the nitrate trade and wheat trade, Peking made voyages from Europe to the west coast of South America around the often treacherous Cape Horn with general cargo and returned filled with guano for use in the making of fertilizer and explosives. Peking was made famous by the Irving Johnson film Around Cape Horn which documented her 1929 passage around the southern tip of South America in hurricane conditions.

The Peking was retired in 1975 and sold to Jack Aron, for the South Street Seaport Museum. However, the Museum does not have the Peking included in their long-term operational plan. In 2012, an offer was made to Hamburg, to return the ship to its port of building as a gift. The plan was not successful as the effort to raise an endowment in Germany to ensure the preservation of the vessel fell short.

The photo on the postcard was taken on November 20, 2011 when I traveled to New York City with a JetBlue unlimited BluePass. The ship, still moored at the South Street Seaport as of 2013, is in need of extensive repairs. The museum is opening Peking to the public every Saturday 12:00 - 4:00 pm from September 7 to October 19, 2013 with $5 suggested donation. With its future uncertain, today (October 12) and next Saturday (October 19) may be your last chances to visit the ship on board.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Grand Cascade, Peterhof, Russia

I received Postcard RU-1237795 last year on October 11, 2012, showing the Grand Cascade in front of the Grand Peterhof Palace near Saint Petersburg, Russia. This imperial summer residence in Peterhof is also known as Russian Versailles, which is part of the Historic Center of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments that was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990.

Peterhof is perhaps most famous for its remarkable array of decorative fountains -- 173 fountains, 4 cascades, numerous sculptures and charming pavilions -- including the unmistakable and incredibly impressive ensemble of the Grand Cascade. The Grand Cascade runs from the northern facade of the Grand Palace to the Marine Canal, comprising 64 different fountains, and over 200 bronze statues, bas-reliefs, and other decorations. The first sight for visitors arriving in Peterhof by sea will be the vista of the Grand Cascade with the Grand Palace behind it, which is truly breathtaking.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Double Ten Day

October 10 is the Double Ten Day that celebrates outbreak of the Wuchang Uprising in Hubei Province, China in 1911. It began with the local dissatisfaction about the nationalization of railway lines, and soon became a crisis and escalated to an uprising that ended the Qing Dynasty and ushered in the Republic of China (ROC) in 1912. Following the Chinese Civil War, the Communist Party of China took full control of mainland China and founded the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. The ROC relocated its government to Taiwan and continued to recognize the Double Ten Day as the National Day of ROC,

The island of Taiwan, formerly known as "Formosa", was mainly inhabited by Taiwanese aborigines until the Dutch settlement during the Age of Discovery in the 17th century, when ethnic Chinese began immigrating to the island. The shaped postcard, showing a historical map of Taiwan around that time, was one of my earliest postcard collections. It was acquired when I was in Taipei to attend a joint conference GIS AM/FM Asia'97 & GeoInformatics'97: Mapping the Future of Asia Pacific. held from May 26 to May 29 in 1997. It was mailed back to the US and had a postmark dated on June 3, 1997.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Neptune and His Horses, Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri is known as the City of Fountains. Among all cities in the world, only Rome, Italy has more fountains. Postcard US-2441790 shows its Neptune Fountain, a 3629 kg or 8000 pound cast lead fountain in an oval pond. It depicts Neptune, the God of the Sea (and father of fictional character Perseus "Percy" Jackson), in his chariot pulled by three mythological attributes, the trident, dolphin and sea horse.

The fountain was cast in 1911 by the Bromsgove Guild of Applied Arts, a group of artists and designers that operated from 1898 to 1966. from Worcestershire, England.  Google books has an ebook on Walter Gilbert who founded the group associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. The fountain was for the Pennsylvania estate of Alba B. Johnson, then president of Baldwin Locomotive Co., who passed away in 1946. Miller Nichols, a local real estate professional who was inducted to the Greater Kansas City Business Hall of Fame in 2011, bought the piece as scrap metal after workmen at a salvage company found it in a railroad car. The JC Nichols Co. installed it on the Country Club Plaza in 1953.

I was in Kansas City for the URISA's 43rd Annual Conference from October 9 to October 12, 2005. However, I missed this fountain. One of the city's most spectacular water displays was the Crown Center Fountains near the conference site Hyatt Regency Kansas City (now Sheraton Kansas City Hotel) at Crown Center, an office, retail, and entertainment complex housing the international headquarters of Hallmark Cards, Inc. I look forward to visiting more fountains when I am in Kansas City next time.

You can find a list of fountains in Kansas City at Wikipedia. ExperienceKC.COM has an article "City of Fountains: tour the stunning structures that gave Kansas City its claim to fame." 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Spicy & Bold

I received this Starbucks advertising card from a friend today. The card shows a colorful new look for the Starbucks Anniversary Blend: Spicy & Bold.  What unique about this blend is that it contains aged coffee beans from Indonesia.

According to their online store, "Long, long ago, coffee traveling from Indonesia to Europe was exposed to fluctuating temperatures in the wooden hulls of sailing ships. The unroasted beans took on intriguing flavors, much like the rare Aged Sumatra in this blend. Carefully aged for three to five years, these beans' cedary spice notes and full body combine beautifully with other Asia / Pacific coffees - a celebration of the passage of time."
The Original Starbucks Store at Pike Place Market
The first Starbucks store operated at 2000 Western Avenue in Seattle from 1971–1976. This store was later moved to 1912 Pike Place Market. I visited the Pike Place Market location around this time in 2010 during my Seattle stop of the JetBlue AYCJ trip. The store had retained its original feel through the hardwoods, furniture, lighting and store front.

You can read more about the Starbucks® Anniversary Blend online. StarbucksMelody blog also had a post Anniversary Blend 2013: A Colorful New Look!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pink Elephant Car Wash

I was in Seattle, Washington today three years ago in my last lag of JetBlue AYCJ trip. I had featured a postcard of Space Needle, the landmark of the city before. However, the most photographed attraction in Seattle goes to the rotating pink Elephant Car Wash sign, as shown on the postcard US-2283455 to Germany. The business Elepant Super Car Wash started in 1951 with locations in Washington, Arkansas and California. This particular location at the intersection of Battery Street and Denny Way opened in 1956. There is a nice photo that shows both the Space Needle and the pink Elephant Car Wash sign in the Most Photographed Attraction in Seattle blog. Gabriel Campanario also has a cool sketch of the sign.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Druzhba Sanatorium, Yalta, Ukraine

Postcard RU-1999185, arrived yesterday from Russia, was titled Yalta: The Students' Hostel "Druzhba". I had immediate suspicion that it was a little more than a hostel just from its appearance. With some research, it turns out to be one of the strangest buildings in the world.

Druzhba is a Slavic word for friendship. Druzhba Sanatorium (Friendship Spa), or Druzhba Holiday Center, was a joint venture between the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia in the 1980s, overlooking a popular Black Sea beach 8 km from the then exclusive Soviet resort town of Yalta. The cylindrical shaped complex supported by giant cement legs, was built between 1983 to 1985 by Ukrainian architect Igor Vasilevsky and engineer Yurij Stefanchuk. It was space themed to commemorate the first cosmonaut Vladimír Remek from Czech on board the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 28, launched on March 2, 1978, and the first Czechoslovak satellite Magion 1, launched as a Soviet scientific S/C hitchhiker on October 24, 1978. Not surprisingly as in the Cold War, its odd shaped, earthquake-resistant construction draw attentions from Turkey across the Black Sea as well as the United States, who suspected that the structure could be some sort of rocket launcher or missile silo. 

You can find out more from an article at with a gallery of 14 photos and drawings. Sebastian Waack from also wrote a fascinating story about it. For current availability and pricing, you can visit their reservation web site online.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sustainable Style: Fashion and Photography

It is the Museums on Us by Bank of America weekend again on October 5 and 6 in 2013. You can get a free admission to one of more than 150 participating museums, science centers, or botanic gardens by presenting your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch debit/credit card. The traveling postcard US-2437271 to Massachusetts shows a photo of the exhibition: "Sustainable Style: Fashion and Photography" at the Springs Preserve from an early Museum on Us event on June 2, 2013.

"Sustainable Style" highlights fashion items made out of sustainable or environment-friendly materials. The collection on the card was designed by Elizabeth Calderon, an Mexican designer based in Las Vegas since 1996, using renewable fiber, recycled polyester and organic cotton.

According to the event web site: "Sustainable fashion is part of the growing design trend of sustainability, the goal being to create a system that can be supported indefinitely. Fashion designers are now re-introducing eco-conscious methods at the source through the use of environmentally friendly materials and socially responsible methods of production."

Organized in association with Fashion for a Cause, the exhibition ran from March 22 to June 16, 2013.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Open Happiness

I sent out Postcard US-2436388, titled "Open Happiness", to Austria today. It shows a specialty store "Everything Coca-Cola" on the Las Vegas Boulevard South near the MGM Hotel and Casino. There is a giant glass coke bottle built in the front of the building. It has a lot of Coca-cola branded merchandise, including postcards. You can also have your picture taken with their 7 ft or 2.1 m tall Coca-Cola polar bear in front of a green screen. Photos are available for purchase with various polar landscapes added during the post-processing. On the second floor, there are soda fountains where you can order the "Tastes of the World" trays that offer 16 international coke flavors.

Originally a Coke museum called "World of Coca-Cola West" in 1997, mirroring many of the extensive exhibits popular in Atlanta's World of Coca-Cola attraction. However, the museum was closed in 2000 and replaced by a full scale specialty store.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sirens of TI will Go Silent for a While

Postcard US-2230025, sent to Taiwan on May 16, 2013, has since expired. It shows an aerial view of the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino (top left); its "TI" sign at the entrance (bottom left); and the Sirens' ship "the Song" in the nightly "the Sirens of TI" show.

In the show, a group of sensual and tempting Sirens battles with a band of renegade pirates.The Sirens first captures an overboard pirate, Eros, and lures his captain and crew into Sirens' Cove. However, the Sirens quickly find themselves under cannon fires from the pirate's ship "the Bull". Not for long, the Sirens overpower the pirates and sink "the Bull" to the bottom of the ocean. Nonetheless, as the pirates climb aboard "the Song" and a second battle ensues. In the end, the pirates realize that they are no match for the Sirens and decide to surrender. Then as the fireworks shoot from the hotel roof, it turns into a big party.

The show will be temporarily closed from October 21, 2013 to December 25, 2013 as a three-story shopping mall is added to the resort site to host a CVS pharmacy, stores, restaurants, and an automobile showroom. The resort’s lagoon area will be reduced in size; and the pirate ship "the Bull", while not going away, will run on the shortened track.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Alachua

JetBlue's AYCJ trip took me back to my Alma mater, University of Florida, on October 2, 2010. I flew in to Orlando (MCO) and rented a car driving up to Gainesville, Florida where I met some old friends and professors. Postcard US-1919616 to Finland shows the Marston Science Library on the right, where I spent many hours on campus, and the Computer Sciences and Engineering (CSE) building on the right. The bright-yellow sculpture "The Alachua." by artist John Raymond Henry was to highlight the relationship between the school and the host county Alachua. However, the $104,000 artwork was dubbed "French Fries From Hell" upon its debut in the late 1980s. Today, the controversy subsided and people simply referred it as the French Fries.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Giant Panda Cams Off During the US Government Shutdown

The Smithsonian National Zoological Park at Washington D.C. is home to 2,000 animals of nearly 400 different species. It is best known residents for the giant pandas, along with great apes, big cats, Asian elephants, and many others in residency.

Postcard US-2413118 to Czech Republic shows a pair of beloved pandas at the National Zoo. However, the visitors to the zoo today was greeted with a sign that read: "All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are closed today due to the government shutdown." In addition, its AnimalCams, including the Giant Panda Cam 1 and Cam 2, were also shutdown.
According to the Huffington Post, many people were surprised that the zoo was affected by the government shutdown. To find out how it affects you, visit NPR's blog "a Guide to What would and wouldn't Close".