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Sunday, July 24, 2005

For Those who Want to Live in a Fantasy World....

The Love Shack, It's a Little Old Place Where...

Okay, this has been such a gonzo news week that I thought some escapism would do us all a world of good. NO, I'm not saying to go watch Fox News...just contemplate booking a room here.

I had almost forgotten that the Fantasuites Hotels even existed anymore. I first found out about them years and years ago, back in the pre-Web days, when a pal from school who was a Star Trek geek insisted that he had found a hotel with a NASA theme room. I brushed it off, until Playgirl magazine, of all things (someone had gotten me a scrip for my birthday...great bedtime reading as it pretty much put me to sleep...yawn...) ran an article on it.

Now, for whatever reason, my longterm boyfriend at the time seemed intrigued by the idea of rooms transformed into a castle or ancinet Egyptian temple by the miracle of tacky resin and fiberglass appealing, so we ordered a brochure. At the time, there had been a branch by the King of Prussia Mall, which at the time was also allegedly one of the biggest malls in the country.

We never did actually make the trip, but we had a hell of a lot of fun reading the slick, "trying too hard at elegance" descriptions and packages. To be honest, the website and the current offerings of the chain are less fun and artsy than the old original--they apparently got rid of the more "artsy" rooms (they used to have monochrome rooms with special lighting, round furniture, etc), as well as some of the more elaborate ones (King Arthur's Court and the fullblown Egyptian Temple, both of which my then-beau seemed particularly interested in).

I realize that this idea and variations on it are nothing new, but never before had I or have I seen what I'll call the odd distillation of people's fantasies boiled down in one place--if they didn't have a demand for Room Theme X, they wouldn't have kept it. Given the availability of the "space" theme, the "stagecoach" theme, and the "treehouse" them, you really have to wonder.....

Now, there are other places that have a "theme room schtick" going on--Berlin's Propeller Island Hotel comes to mind--but there's something much more edgy, artsy, and less "velvet painting of big eyed puppies" about the whole setup:

Having said that, I guess my ideal fantasy hotel room (other than one that I occupy on a return trip to Berlin so that I can actually stay in one of PI's great rooms) would be a comfy suite that looks just like my apartment--only when they deliver the paper, it talks about President Gore's second terrific term, there actually would be something worth watching on TV, there'd be vacation brochures around for beach trips to the newly-peaceful Red Sea area, and my pay stubs would reflect a few extra digits.

One can dream....which I intend to do now. Have a peaceful night and dream of a better world.

posted by Jenonymous @ 2:53:00 AM

2:53:00 AM

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

VatGrown Burgers--Mmm Mmm Good

Tastes Just Like Chicken, erm. Beef, erm....

Okay, it's late but I just had to share this charming litte food article.

From Newswise ? Experiments for NASA space missions have shown that small amounts of edible meat can be created in a lab. But the technology that could grow chicken nuggets without the chicken, on a large scale, may not be just a science fiction fantasy.

In a paper in the June 29 issue of Tissue Engineering, a team of scientists, including University of Maryland doctoral student Jason Matheny, propose two new techniques of tissue engineering that may one day lead to affordable production of in vitro ? lab grown -- meat for human consumption. It is the first peer-reviewed discussion of the prospects for industrial production of cultured meat.

?There would be a lot of benefits from cultured meat,? says Matheny, who studies agricultural economics and public health. ?For one thing, you could control the nutrients. For example, most meats are high in the fatty acid Omega 6, which can cause high cholesterol and other health problems. With in vitro meat, you could replace that with Omega 3, which is a healthy fat.
?Cultured meat could also reduce the pollution that results from raising livestock, and you wouldn?t need the drugs that are used on animals raised for meat.?

Okay, question for everyone: Would you eat this stuff? Some things to consider:

--What if it was engineered to be much healthier than regular "on the hoof" meat?

--What if it was cheaper?

--What if it was more expensive?

--What if it meant that in the next 50 years, the only "meat on the hoof" in captivity in the US would be a few thousand head of happy, healthy stock animals, living a Norman-Rockwellish kind of life? Would that erase any current objections to eating meat by present-day ethical vegetarians?

--What about those who limit meat consumption based on religion? Would vatgrown pork be considered kosher/hallal? Since you don't "kill" vatgrown meat, how would it be categorized under the kosher/hallal systems?

--What if it tasted just like meat but had that funky vat-soy texture? Would you still eat it?

--If you could buy a "starter kit" and grow it at home as opposed to buying it from a Giant Vat Farm, would you?

Contemplate that whilst I shower before bed...and keep an eye out for posts from DC from Gilly...good night...

posted by Jenonymous @ 10:30:00 PM

10:30:00 PM

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