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Anti-procrastination cafe

Anti-procrastination cafe

At Japan’s anti-procrastination “Manuscript Writing Cafe”, there is no leaving until your work is done.

The cafe is for writers of all kinds who are facing imminent deadlines. Customers first write down their work goals and an expected length of time it will take to achieve them. Next, they choose between three levels of intensity of progress checks from ‘mild’ to ‘difficult.’ Only after achieving said goals can writers check out. According to the cafe’s owner, Takuya Kawai, every customer has achieved their goals, even if they’ve had to stay past closing time. The cafe also offers unlimited coffee, tea bags, high-speed Wi-Fi and charging ports to maximize work efficiency.

Here’s the address if you want to go. It turns out that I walked a block away from here a few years back, but it didn’t exist as this kind of cafe yet.

原稿執筆カフェ 3 Chome-34-1 Koenjikita, Suginami City, Tokyo 166-0002, Japan

Pullman Mansion in Chicago

Pullman Mansion in Chicago

Chicago is a city full of amazing architecture – something you don’t see as much on the west coast with it’s more modern buildings. There are some really great Chicago architecture tours by the Chicago Architecture Center if you visit the city.

One such architectural marvel was the Pullman Mansion. The Pullman Mansion was built for George M. Pullman on Prairie Avenue and was known as the social center in Chicago for over 50 years. When the area surrounding the mansion became blighted in the 1920s, the Pullman family auctioned all the contents in 1921 and demolish the home.

At the sale, everything was sold – not just furnishings and art, but also the wall panels and decorative interiors. Everything that could be pried loose was sold.

In 1984, architect Michael Shymanski made a discovery in the basement of the old Chicago Historical Society Building that shed light on the Pullman mansion. He found a whole pile of pieces from the old Pullman home – along with the original construction plans. It turns out that the craftsman who built the home had numbered and labeled each of the pieces during fabrication (something very common for the time). It was possible to know exactly where each piece came from.

This video is one of the best put together documentaries about how the house was put together and what it looked like. Definitely worth a look if you like Chicago architecture.

Les Mystères de la Passion, de la Résurrection et de l’Ascension du Christ

Les Mystères de la Passion, de la Résurrection et de l’Ascension du Christ

For Christians, we are about to enter the mysteries of Holy Week. Christ enters Jerusalem, is crucified by the temple leaders, and then rises from the dead – an act which opens the gates of eternal life for humanity. There is so much going on in such a few short days, one can barely keep up with it all. It’s no wonder the different events of Holy Week have been the subject of countless masterpieces over time.

On my first trip to Paris, I did the tourist things like visiting the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa. But what’s much more interesting is that when I left the hall, I saw a painting that captivated me far more than fair Lisa. A painting by Antonio Campi called The Mystery of the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ (1569).

What is fascinating about it is that the more you look at it, you see all the events of Holy Week until the Ascension of Christ in one picture. I spent a lot of time looking at it and finding all the different parts. There is so much detail in this one giant painting! Just some of the events are:

  • Meeting of the women while carrying the cross
  • Jesus is stripped and his garments nailed to the cross
  • Crucifixion with the 2 thieves at Gogatha
  • Removal of the body from the cross by Joseph
  • Wrapping in burial cloth
  • Burial in the tomb
  • The Harrowing of Hell
  • Resurrection and frightening of Roman guards
  • Apostles finding the tomb empty
  • Mary encounters Jesus in the garden
  • The appearance on the Road to Emmaus
  • Thomas places his hand in the wounds of Christ
  • Jesus meets the apostles fishing and Peter swims to shore
  • Cooking of the fish together
  • Jesus tells Peter to feed his sheep
  • Jesus’ final discourse and ascension into heaven.
  • The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles

Give this little video clip a watch to see what events you can see.

Links:

Oberammergau Passion Play

Oberammergau Passion Play

The history of the Oberammergau Passion play begins in 1633. In the midst of the Thirty Years’ War, after months of suffering and dying from the plague, the people of Oberammergau – a small town south of Munich, Germany – pledged to act out the passion: the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ once every 10 years.

Normally it should have happened in 2020, but was delayed due to Covid. Instead, it was moved to this year: 2022. The 5 hour play will now have performances from May 14, 2022 until October 2, 2022. If you are in the area, you should catch it since it won’t return until 2030.

Story behind the Forest Park Drive-in

Story behind the Forest Park Drive-in

Perhaps you’ve seen this little drive in located on NW Skyline Blvd. These days it sits empty except for Christmas time when it has a Christmas tree in it.

It turns out this little landmark has an amazing back story. It was run by a WW II veteran called Old Ben (Benjamin Pachkofsky) that built the drive-in himself and also created a zip-line and a gigantic A-frame swing in the woods behind the building. It became a spot for people to come hang out and enjoy his creations and his food. Unfortunately, Ben seemed to suffer from the effects of the war via PTSD. His marriage ended in divorce and his son said he was a generous man that unfortunately needed help. Help that really wasn’t around back then.

The place now belongs to Scott Posey. Ben sold it to Posey for a song when he reached his 80’s. Posey has been approached countless times about people wanting to turn it into a 7-11, bikini baristas, and everything else you can imagine. Posey denied all the requests and hopes somehow to open it back up for it’s original style, but only time will tell.

Whirling stilt dancers of Anguiano Spain

Whirling stilt dancers of Anguiano Spain

Each year on July 22nd (Although the main day is July 22nd, this “fiesta” last three days and is often repeated on the last weekend of Sept), the city of Anguiano Spain honors Saint Mary Magdalene in an unusual way. The Whirling Stilt Dancers festival starts with the parade of the dancers and musicians at 10 am.  At 12 pm there is a procession during which the dancers, always backwards, dance to the virgin along the way. Two hours later after the mass, the whirling (Danza de los Zancos) starts.

It seems that walking on stilts was common in this area of the country because it was a very damp zone, and the tall grasslands doesn´t allow the farmers to see the cattle. On the other hand the farmers used to dance to the virgin asking for good crops.  Both traditions were brought together; every year in July eight dancers on stilts of almost 50 cm high whirls down the stairs of the church and the cobbled street that leads to the town hall. The whirling flight down the steep hill is precarious to say the least. The winner is the one who makes it the furthest.



Deep Dive Dubai

Deep Dive Dubai

Along with many other attractions, Dubai now has the deepest pool of water in the world. Not only that, but it’s also a tourist attraction you can enjoy.

Deep Dive Dubai has a 195 foot deep pool is a sunken world you can explore. The first levels have a fully submerged apartment, stores with working lights and displays, a garage with a car you can sit in, and a game room where you can even play pool and many other exciting tidbits to explore. Below that is a more post-apocalyptic world you can explore as you literally go deeper.