Weird but True

Cutbacks with Limes, Really?

LimesCutbacks are commonly talked about these days with people and companies being so price conscious. But we have to face it because it is true. With rising costs, demands are going up, supplies are going down and there seems to never be way out.

From traditional cutbacks in the office, to people spending less at the store, airlines are now cutback as well. If you ever flown before, you know that there is a variety of snacks and beverages available. However, for those that like limes in their vodka tonic, will notice that the lime is no longer there on Alaska Airlines. The reason for this is because of a shortage and a price hike with the fruits. Because of the frigid winter, Mexican and India lime prices have soared; for Mexico, the biggest impact was in Jalisco.

United Airlines is making do with offering lemons and Alaska Airlines are expected to have a normal supply of limes back in late May. This pattern is not new and started in the 1980s with American Airlines. Here the CEO decided to remove one olive from every salad offered and saved $40,000 a year.

Note though, that not all airlines have changed their drink service, it is just a small annoying setback that is only temporary.

Tips Can Go a Long Way

tipsDo you tip? Many people and those that do, think that everyone should do it. Tipping should be a personal choice and for not tipping, you should not be looked down upon. Whether you tip or not, is not really the matter, it is the aftermath, like this story.

People take the waitress, the bartender, or pizza delivery job to put themselves through school or to help pay the bills. In Oregon, a pizza delivery driver received a 33 cent tip on an order that was $22.67. Now, most people would react, argue and think that the .33 cents was absolutely nothing. But the man turned a negative into a positive.

He did this by appreciating the tip and being grateful that it would help him get through school because 2/3 of his paycheck is relying on tip money. The next day when the man went into work, he was given a note that was left by the couple that gave him the .33 cent tip. The note simply stated, “To the driver who delivered our pizza last night around 9 p.m. – A thank you note.” Inside was the remainder of what they should have originally left for him.

Like most people, the couple did feel bad about forgetting the tip and were able to make the situation right to the best of their knowledge. It is people like this, that we need to thank for having in the world to remind that times are tough for everyone. However, doing the right thing in the end is truly worth it and a simple thank you note is something that is very appreciative.

Lizards, Mice, and Rats, Oh My!!

unwelcome1It is called fast food for a reason. You go in, order your food and leave, right? Well, it is not natural to go in and see animals or their nests and then realize that your favorite food place is now infested with their unwelcoming and it has to shut down for a few days. This seems to be a new hype in New York City at two places; Dominique Ansel Bakery on Spring Street and a Dunkin Donuts in the Garment District.

Dominique Ansel Bakery

The bakery was closed down due to a mice infestation found when health inspectors were inspecting the building on April 3rd. Since opening in 2011, the bakery received a health grade of an “A”. This means that they have kept up with all of the safety standards that every other bakery and food place has to follow. It includes anywhere from ovens being calibrated to the right temperature to items being dated and labeled in proper containers.

The employees did take part in a deep clean of the store for several hours. With several tasty treats, the bakery is most known for Cronuts which are a croissant and donut filled with crème. For those that enjoy the bakery, it is scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 7th.

Dunkin Donuts

For this bake shop, rats were the unwelcomed visitors that left customers unhappy. Here, as employees reloaded the bake goods overnight to beat the morning rush crowd and rats had appeared.

Dunkin Donuts did mention that it takes pride in the quality of its food and beverage offerings. A certified operations manager did ensure that all appropriate standards are being followed and took immediate action upon learning about the situation.

First there are lizards, then mice, and now rats. There are too many unwelcomed animals being found in food. Customers except quality service and those who frequent certain places, have high expectations on the food and to not suffer quality for quantity. At least, the appropriate people are being told the concern and taking action immediately.

State Facts That You May Not Already Know

Map of United StatesEvery state is so unique by having its own identity and lingo to it, only the people from that state may understand it. Since we have readers all over the country, it is only fitting that we give you one fact of many that are weird but true to that state. Did you know about the fact from your state?

Alabama Audemus jura nostra defendere is the official state motto; translated it means “we dare defend our rights”.
Alaska The state of Rhode Island could fit into Alaska 425 times.
ArizonaThe original London Bridge was shipped stone-by-stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City.
Arkansas Pine Bluff is known as the world center of archery bow production.
California Alpine County is the eighth smallest of California’s 58 counties. It has no high school, ATMs, dentists, banks, or traffic lights.
ColoradoThe 13th step of the state capital building in Denver is exactly one mile high above sea level.
Connecticut PEZ® Candy is made in the city of Orange.
Delaware The 87-foot Fenwick Island Lighthouse was painted in 1880 for a total cost of about $5.00.
Florida The Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art in Coral Gables, is the first and only museum in the United States dedicated to the preservation, diffusion, and promotion of Hispanic and Latin American Art.
Georgia is the nation’s number one producer of the three Ps–peanuts, pecans, and peaches.
Hawaii There are only 12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet. The vowels: A, E, I, O, U and the consonants: H, K, L, M, N, P, W.
Idaho The Lewis & Clark Highway (United State Highway 12), is the shortest route from the Midwest to the Pacific Coast and the longest highway within a national forest in the nation.
Illinois’ state dance is square dancing.
Indiana’s shoreline with Lake Michigan is only 40 miles long, but Indiana is still considered a Great Lakes State.
Iowa is the only state name that starts with two vowels.
Kansas won the award for most beautiful license plate for the wheat plate design issued in 1981.
Kentucky’s Chevrolet Corvettes are manufactured in Bowling Green.
Louisiana is the only state in the union that does not have counties; its political subdivisions are called parishes.
Maine is the only state that shares its border with only one other state.
Maryland 16 of the 23 Maryland counties border on tidal water. The combined length of tidal shoreline, including islands, is 4,431 miles.
Massachusetts The first U.S. Postal zip code in Massachusetts is 01001 at Agawam.
Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world.
Minnesota The Mall of America in Bloomington is the size of 78 football fields — 9.5 million square feet.
Mississippi Root beer was invented in Biloxi in 1898 by Edward Adolf Barq, Sr.
Missouri Kansas City has more miles of boulevards than Paris and more fountains than any city except Rome.
Montana In Montana, the elk, deer and antelope populations outnumber the humans.
Nebraska The largest porch swing in the world is located in Hebron, Nebraska and it can seat 25 adults.
Nevada The state’s Highway 50, known as the Loneliest Highway in America, received its name from “Life” magazine in 1986. There are a few road stops in the 287 mile stretch between Ely and Fernley.
New Hampshire It takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make approximately one gallon of maple syrup.
New Mexico has far more sheep and cattle than people. There are only about 12 people per square mile.
New YorkNew York City has 722 miles of subway track.
New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the diner capital of the world.
North Carolina The State Motto is Esse quam videri (To be rather than to seem).
North Dakota When Dakota Territory was created in 1861 it was named for the Dakota Indian tribe. Dakota is a Sioux word meaning friends or allies.
Ohio Some well-known personalities were born in Ohio including Steven Spielberg, Paul Newman, Annie Oakley, Arsenio Hall and Clark Gable.
Oklahoma is one of only two states whose capital cities name includes the state name. The other is Indianapolis, Indiana.
Oregon’s state birthday is on February 14th, Valentine’s Day.
Pennsylvania Hershey is considered the Chocolate Capital of the United States.
Rhode Island shares a state water border with New York.
South Carolina The Upper Whitewater Falls is the highest cascade in eastern America; it descends for nearly 411 feet.
South Dakota The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are sculpted into Mount Rushmore the world’s greatest mountain carving.
Tennessee The name “Tennessee” originated from the old Yuchi Indian word, “Tana-see,” meaning “The Meeting Place.”
Texas Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. The Dublin Dr Pepper, 85 miles west of Waco, still uses pure imperial cane sugar in its product. There is no period after the Dr in Dr Pepper.
Utah is the only state whose capital’s name is made of three words. All three words in Salt Lake City have four letters each.
Vermont Montpelier, Vermont is the only U.S. state capital without a McDonalds.
VirginiaThe state motto is “Sic Semper Tyrannis”. (Thus always to tyrants)
Washington Popular games Pictionary, Pickle-ball, and Cranium were all invented in Washington.
West Virginia has the oldest population of any state. The median age is 40.
Wisconsin The falls in Niagara has the same geological feature as Niagara Falls, New York.
Wyoming has the lowest population of all 50 United States.

A Clown on Staten Island?

clown25n-2-webThere are but only a few holidays out of the year where people get dressed up and celebrate. But someone had thought to pull a stunt early and if the goal was to get people talking and questioning, it sure did.

Living in Staten Island just got weird, not to mention that it already feels a little secluded from the rest of New York. It is not every day you hear about a clown just roaming the streets on Richmond Avenue.

The person that wore the clown costume is unknown, but resembles Stephen King’s terrifying character Pennywise from “It”. The clown wore a yellow outfit, red shoes, and a mask. Being that the island is small, everyone knows almost everyone and the stunt may be linked to Fuzz on the Lens Productions, a Staten Island film company. The stunt started out as a prank and then turned into a project, but was by no means meant for a promotional stunt. That would be hard to believe since the video that was made went viral and people were talking about it.

Whether you are creep out or think it is wrong, the clown was not disturbing anybody, so the police were not involved; the clown was just creating attention.

The clown may just be part of a marketing stunt and the video that was made by Vic Dibitetto and went viral soon after it was made through the social networks of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Alcohol Can Help You Lose Weight?

tequilaWhat really helps us lose weight? There may be one scientific definite answer, but everyone knows that what works for one person, may not work for another. No two bodies are alike and there is always something that prevents us from getting the body we really want. With so many diets out there, some people are so overwhelmed by information; they unfortunately give up and just refuse to lose the weight. The common weight loss diets include proportioned meals and exercising. But there are even more restricting diets like eating only lettuce or cereal or in this case, drinking tequila.

Alcoholic beverages are probably the last thing you think of when losing weight because, well, it sounds impossible. New studies have found that tequila could now be a benefit for people who want to lose weight and it is because of the sugars in it. The natural sugar that is in tequila is called agavins that comes from the agave plant. This sugar does not raise blood sugar and is not the same as the more commonly known agave syrup.

Artificial sweeteners like agave syrup and aspartame add ingredients to hide essential nutrients for your health that give a quick energy fix, but then later, make you ten times more tired. The agavins, keep the stomach full longer, which is what the body craves to get through the day as well as produces insulin, another key benefit for people with diabetes and weight issues.

When it comes to weight loss, it is hard to find the right diet program that works for your body. With all of these new finds and studies that are being discovered, it is easy to get discouraged, but that is why friends, family, even doctors, encourage to try different things to help you lose the weight and be active in life again. The last thing anybody wants is to be trapped in a body that they are not happy with and it let it define who they are for the rest of their lives.

Not Your Typical Art Work Display

the_arts_right_bannerNew York City is known for seeing anything and everything no matter where you look. Anytime during the day, there can be something out of the ordinary happening, and one way or another, word gets out to the public and people are intrigued.

Arts program are being emphasized in many schools these days in order for kids to think creatively. Artists have a way of interpreting people, places, and things that draws the person into the piece of artwork. These two artists, Hector Orellana and Andy Scott, are among the amazing talent that is popping up around New York City and beyond. Some related artists include Lieutenant Colonel Robert Sanábria and Fernando Botero.

Artist Hector Orellana created a 13.5 foot long by 5.5 foot tall pink elephant. This elephant can be found in the Dumbo area of Brooklyn on a platform near Peal and Water Streets. It was featured in the Figment Festival which celebrates creativity and passion. It also challenges the artists and the community to find new ways to create, share, think and dream. Creatively structured, it is bound together by wood and screws, but weighs enormously and could be given away to anyone who could somehow move it from its structure. If not, it would be destroyed. Yet whatever happens, if anything, to this elephant, the artist made a sculpture for people to talk about and that is one of the goals of being an artist.

Scottish artist Andy Scott is also creative in his own way by using creative narratives and places within urban developments, as inspiration. His latest piece is about horse heads and will be displayed at Bryant Park from March 21 to April 22. The inspiration from creating these 15 foot tall sculptors is to represent the history of working horses. At some point, they will be the way to get around Scotland. The horses face two different ways in order to create tension with one being passive and at rest, while the other one is livelier.

Some Health Foods Are Not All That Healthy

Healthy EatingEating healthy is no easy task with the many temptations that surround us every day. For some people, it is hard to stay on track and need a good support system to help them through the process. Yet in the news, there are always new discoveries of a “eat this, not that” that are hard to believe. The fact is that, people will always “eat this item” or “this works all the time and you lose weight”. Below are some health foods that are not all that healthy and some ideas on what to eat instead. Remember to consult a dietitian before stating any plans and cut out certain foods because every person is different.

Nutrition Bars

Energy bars are a quick fix to fight hunger and boost energy, but you may be eating just a candy bar. How? Notice all those ingredients that half of them you cannot pronounce? These ingredients really aim to add flavor. Some ideas to replace the nutrition bars is by eating hard-boiled eggs or an apple with nut butter that give both a natural protein and fiber boost.

Low-Fat Salad Dressing

Some people may opt to have no dressing on their salad while others want the low-fat version and feel that they are taking in fewer calories. But fewer calories really mean that you are more hungry and not getting enough energy to get through the day. Further, choosing low-fat salad dressing, the calories are being swapped for sodium and sugar, which are not all that good. Homemade salad dressings provide as a great substitute and you are aware of what you are putting directly into your body.

Energy Drinks

These drinks are tempting to grab when you are dehydrated. However, they are loaded with lots of sugars and artificial sweeteners and dyes instead of natural ingredients. So try drinking water or having a piece of fruit to get your energy up.

100 Calorie Snack Packs

Yes, those snacks that sit in the grocery isle next to the cookies are actually not healthy for you. This is so because it is better to think of quality foods rather than quantity foods; what you are putting into your body as opposed to how much is going into your body. Swap this snack for a mix of nuts and fruits.

One final thought for you—Your body is your temple and you are the only one that can take care of it the way you want to.

A Lizard Found in a Salad?

LizardWhen you are hungry, the goal is to prepare the food, sit down and eat it. Most of the time this works, but other times, which does not happen often, a small creature gets into your food. It is unfortunate, not to mention disgusting, but it is true.

Ordering lunch in Manhattan is pretty common and at a restaurant food chain, a woman found a lizard in her kale salad that she ordered. She noticed it was a reptile of some sort because of the eyes that she saw when she turned it over.

The woman called up the restaurant and asked for a refund as the manager wanted to just replace the salad. Yet, when the delivery person came back to where the delivery was made and retrieved the salad, but the lizard was not there. The customer said the delivery person did not check the salad.

The company’s policy for this kind of matter is to issue refunds when they are requested from customers. They did, however, receive high marks in the most recent health inspection last year. It is unfortunate that this had to happen, but these things do. A similar situation with a lizard also happened and can be found here.

Carnivals That Use Mud Instead of Costumes

Bloco da Lama ParatyWhen you think of carnivals, extravagant costumes, music, and crowds of people cheering are among a few of the first things that came to mind. Mud may not be one of the things associated with carnivals, but some cultures do take part in it.

In Paraty, Brazil, the ‘Bloco da Lama’ carnival party prefers to have participants use mud over costumes for the celebration. Yes, the actual black mud is used and layered on thick from head to toe with the participant’s bikinis and shorts hidden underneath it.

Everyone got involved with rolling in the mud and tried taking pictures with their camera phones, but got dirtier by the minute for obvious reasons.

The name ‘Bloco da Lama’ literally translates to “mud street party” and was founded in 1986 by two local teens. The teens appeared in the city’s downtown covered in mud and thus, ‘Bloco da Lama’ was created.

Mixed reactions about this kind of carnival are natural, but here are traditional carnivals that do happen, such as the Rio Carnival and at El Museo in New York.