25 Problem Solving Products Your Dad Will Love

We may be buying into gender stereotypes here, but if there’s one thing that most dads love, it’s solving problems. So forget about buying his yearly tie, belt or argyle socks, and take your pick from our carefully collected list of twenty-five problem-solving products.

From flip-flops that can open any bottle, to multi-tools that’ll last a lifetime, these puppies are perfectly poised for Father’s Day success.

We hope you find these awesome products as problem-solving as we do. Just an FYI: 22Words may receive a share of sales from links on this page.
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From Ansel Adams to Stephen Shore: famous photographers shoot their favourite food

After 40 years, a cookbook by some of Americas best-loved photographers is being published for the first time

Perhaps the salient thing about food, from a photographers point of view, is that it doesnt last. Even the most gorgeous, curvaceous pepper those shot by Edward Weston in 1930 are among the cameras greatest still lifes must either be chopped up and eaten, or rot.

Back in 1977, Deborah Barsel, a bored employee at George Eastman House in New York, home to the USs finest photography collection, had the idea of asking artists to contribute food-related pictures and recipes to a cookery book. Nearly 40 years on, the project has been brought to fruition after a box of letters and pictures from the likes of surrealist legend Brassa and William Eggleston, who captured the US south, was discovered in a store room.

Its a great idea whose time has come. Quality cookbooks in 1977 were more likely to be illustrated with sensitive line drawings such as John Mintons for Elizabeth Davids classics on southern European food. Today, photography and cookery are inseparable. I recently went to a restaurant whose lavishly photographed recipe book I own. It was a chance to order dishes whose pictures I have been looking at for years, including ones that are too fussy to cook at home. Damn, no cod cheeks in the fridge! So I ordered the cod cheeks and, yes, they were as good as their photograph.

Now, when I look at the picture, Ill remember the taste, the time, the fun. Foods impermanence makes it the stuff of richly associative memories such as these. I wish I had been at the New York restaurant where Stephen Shore photographed the aftermath of a meal in 1972. It must have been a good one. Black coffee, and a cigar. The sharp colours tell of a meeting, a conversation, maybe business, maybe love: all the social stuff of city lunches. Or was he eating alone?

Real character in photography comes from a precise, rich engagement with the suggestiveness of the physical world. That cigar in Shores ashtray, the cherry garnish on a Neal Slavin hotdog. Egglestons cheese grits casserole, using half a pound of Velveeta cheese, sits alongside his 1976 photograph of an empty diner, whose bright yellow walls evoke the cheese he likes to melt all over his down home food.

As with most of the contributors, Eggleston shares a fondness for ingredients that are now practically illegal on health grounds: this is the 1970s, and the dishes are steeped in the saturates of the time graham crackers, frozen macaroni cheese. This is a cookbook to look at rather than use, if you value your arteries.

Food is not a fetishistic obsession for great photographers, it seems, so much as a movable feast, a theatrical moment in the midst of everyday life. Eileen Cowins vegetable cheese casserole is just lots of veg baked in ricotta: fast and easy, to suit the chaotic lifestyle portrayed in her shot of a kid watching TV from the same table as a couple trying to have a candlelit dinner (pictured overleaf).

Photography is the art of modern lifes flux; the moments that make the best pictures may not be food on a plate so much as pots in a sink, people at a counter, coffee on a stove. Above all, food is social: in Barbara Cranes rawly coloured snapshot of people passing slices of pizza at a party, the sharing is what its all about.

When this lovely project was launched, photography was at a crossroads: modernist masters such as Ansel Adams were still composing pictures of great formal beauty while younger photographers were recording more random scenes. Artists such as Ed Ruscha were exploring the cameras power as a conceptual tool. These pictures allow us to savour a great moment, melting in the mouth like Velveeta cheese.

Pavlova: Grant Mudford

There are many things from Australia I remember with great affection, partly due to their absence elsewhere in the world. I truly miss: old Holdens (cars), gladioli (flowers), galas and kookaburras (birds), Ayers Rock (natural monument) and the bush (outback country). Australian cuisine on the whole is forgettable, with one notable exception: the pav! Its named after the Russian dancer Anna Pavlova, who in 1926 performed Swan Lake in Australia. Description: a soft, marshmallow-centered dessert with crisp, lightly browned meringue crust, topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Egg whites use at least 8
2 rounded tbsp sugar per egg white
1 drop of vinegar per egg white

Heat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the sugar gradually while beating; add vinegar. Cover an oven tray with greased paper. Spread the mix out in a disc (nine or 10 inches in diameter), put in the oven, and turn down the heat to 110C/225F/gas mark . Bake for one and a half hours.

Add toppings just before serving: whipped cream, strawberries, pineapple, cherries, kiwi and other fresh fruit.

Based in LA, Mudford is best known for his work with the architect Louis Kahn.

Cheese grits casserole: William Eggleston

William
William Eggleston, Untitled, 1976, from the series Election Eve. Photograph: Brian Buckley/Eggleston Artistic Trust, Courtesy Cheim & Read, New York

Serves six to eight.

1 cup (160g) grits
1 tsp salt
4 cups (1 litre) water
1 stick (110g) butter
cup (80ml) milk
pound (230g)
Velveeta cheese
3 eggs, slightly beaten

Cook the grits in salted water until done. Add butter, cheese, eggs and milk. Stir until melted and smooth. Place in a quart casserole, and bake for an hour at 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

Now 76, Eggleston has won multiple awards for his vivid portraits of the US.

Key lime pie supreme: Stephen Shore

Stephen
Stephen Shore, New York City, SeptemberOctober 1972. Photograph: Courtesy of the artist and 303 Gallery, New York

For the crust

Make a graham cracker (digestive) crust, using brown sugar.

For the filling
1 cup (200g) sugar
cup (30g) flour
3 tbsp cornstarch
tsp salt
2 cups (500ml) water
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp butter
Juice of 2 limes, about cup (125ml)
Grated rind of 2 limes

Topping
Heavy whipping cream

Combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan, and stir in the water gradually. Cook on medium heat until thickened, add the beaten egg yolks gradually, return to a low heat and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the butter, lime juice, and rind, and allow to cool slightly. Pour into the baked pastry shell and cool. Top with whipped cream sweetened with sugar. Born in 1947, Shores work has centred on US road trips and everyday life.

Nylens frankfurters in full dress: Neal Slavin

Neal
Neal Slavin, Frankfurters In Full Dress, 1978. Photograph: Neal Slavin

My most delightful and favourite tidbit gastronomique is called the Nylen full-dress frank. Its named after a colleague, Judy Nylen, who not by chance is also its creator. The frankfurter need not be left naked. It can be formalised and decked out for a sumptuous midnight snack or fun party fare. Condiments, garnishes and accents can take on any theme. Those described below are regional costumes to be grouped buffet-style for a party, so guests can create their own masterpieces.

Basics (for a party of 24)

48 frankfurters
48 buns

Bring six quarts of water to a boil in one or more large pots. Remove from the heat and put in the frankfurters. Cover and let stand for seven minutes. Serve right from the pot, or keep warm on a hot tray set to low; theyll also keep for several hours in warm water.

Dressings: New Yorker
2 cups (300g) sauerkraut

Heat the sauerkraut through and keep warm on a hot tray; smother the frankfurter.

German
1 cup (250ml) apple sauce
1 cup (120g) crab apples, sliced

Spoon the sauce over the frankfurter, and garnish with crab apple slices.

Southern
2 cups (400g) frozen macaroni and cheese, baked according to package
pound (450g) bacon, cut in half and fried until lightly crisp
1 cup (100g) cheddar cheese

Spoon macaroni on to the bun, put in a frankfurter, cover with a little more macaroni, top with bacon and grated cheese, and melt in toaster oven.

Californian
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 head curly Spanish lettuce
cup (125ml) thousand island dressing

Put lettuce under a frankfurter sliced lengthwise; stuff with tomato down the centre and top with dressing.

Mexican
4 peppers, cut into rings
2 cups (500ml) chilli con carne, without beans
1 cup (150g) onion, finely chopped

Heat the chilli and keep warm on hot tray. String peppers three or four rings on to a frankfurter, and top with chilli and onions.

Chinese
cup (60g) water chestnuts, sliced
1 cup (120g) canned sliced peaches
cup (60g) bamboo shoots, sliced
cup (125ml) sweet and sour sauce

Cut short, diagonal slits in a frankfurter and stuff with water chestnuts. Top with peaches, bamboo shoots and sauce.

Middle Eastern
1 cup (120g) kumquats, peeled and quartered
1 large red onion, sliced in rings
cup (125ml) mayonnaise

Slice a frankfurter lengthwise and stuff with three or four kumquat quarters, alternating with red onion. Surround with mayonnaise.

Irish
2 cups (500g) pickle relish
1 small bunch watercress

Smother a frankfurter in relish, and garnish with watercress clovers.

New Englander
2 cups (600g) baked beans
1 bunch curly parsley

Heat the beans and keep warm on hot tray; spoon over a frankfurter and garnish with parsley.

Polynesian
1 cup (120g) pineapple rings, halved
cantaloupe melon, cubed
cup (125g) mango chutney

Place pineapple rings over the frankfurter, garnish with cantaloupe and top with chutney.

All-American
1 cup (250ml) brown mustard (or any favourite mustard)
cup (12g) snipped chives

Smother in the traditional manner.

Italian
1 cup (250ml) pizza sauce
1 cup (80g) grated mozzarella
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
12 fresh mushrooms, sliced

Keep the sauce warm on a hot tray. Spoon over bun, put in frankfurter and top with cheese, pepper strips and mushrooms. Put frankfurter in toaster oven to melt cheese.

Neal Slavin specialises in group portraits. He is also a TV/film director.

Eggs poached in beer: Ansel Adams

Ansel
Ansel Adams, Still Life, San Francisco, 1932. Photograph: 2016 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

cup (60g) butter
Mixed spices
1 dash sherry
1 bottle dark malt liquor or strong ale
tsp salt
2 eggs
2 pieces toast
A pinch of paprika

Melt the butter in a microwave, but do not allow to brown. Add a dash of mixed spices and sherry. In a bowl, microwave the malt with the salt to boiling point. Slide the eggs into the hot liquid, cover with a paper plate or glass bowl and cook in the microwave as desired (see below).

While the eggs are cooking, make two pieces of toast. Spread part of the butter-spice mix over the toast.

Serve the eggs on the toast, and pour over the rest of the butter-spice mix. Add a dash of paprika.

Note on microwave cooking I like my eggs poached soft. I find that one egg in the hot ale or malt takes about one minute to cook, two eggs about two minutes, etc, all the way up to eight eggs about eight minutes.

Ansel Adams is best known for his photographs of the American West.

Zwei vier minuten eier Ralph Steiner

Ralph
Ralph Steiner, Ham And Eggs, 1929. Photograph: Ralph Steiner (1899-1986)/Estate of Ralph Steiner

I am more a basse cuisine than haute cuisine chef. I got my Cordon Bleu not in Paris but in Erie, Pennsylvania. There I learned: a) how to take a box of cornflakes down from the shelf; b) how to boil two four-minute eggs. Eggs are important! You recall Samuel Butlers solution of the ancient question, Which came first, the chicken or the egg? He said: The egg came first: a chicken is only an eggs way of making another egg. Now for my favourite/only recipe.

One puts water an eggs diameter deep into a pan. Turns heat on. When boiling briskly, drops two eggs in from low altitude. Turns heat off. One watches ones watch watchfully for 240 seconds. At the stroke of 240, one removes eggs. On opening eggs, I always get bits of shell or is it will? in my eggs. I never know when to use shell and when to use will. Never mind; a bit of shell ingested gives a man shell power.

Ralph Steiner was a US photographer and pioneering documentary-maker.

Cheesecake: Barbara Crane

Barbara
Barbara Crane, Private Views, 198084. Photograph: Courtesy the artist / Stephen Daiter Gallery

I love to eat, as long as someone else cooks it. I especially love cheesecake.

1 graham cracker (digestive) crust
12 ounces (340g) cream cheese
1 cup (240g) cottage cheese
cup (175g) sugar
1 tsp vanilla
tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs
tsp ground cinnamon
1 21oz can (595g) cherry pie filling

Combine three packs of cream cheese with a cup of cottage cheese, and mix with electric mixer until smooth; beat in the sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each; measure out a cup of the mixture and set aside. Pour the remaining cheese mixture into the crust.

Bake for 30 minutes at 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Meanwhile, take the rest of the cheese mixture and the fourth pack of cream cheese, mix in a bowl and beat until smooth. Take a pastry bag with a round tip and fill with the mixture: you will use this to decorate the cake. Add the cinnamon to the cherry pie filling.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven at the end of 30 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 230C/450F/gas mark 8. Spread the cherry filling over the cheesecake. Take the pastry bag and decorate the top. Bake the decorated cheesecake in the hot oven for 10 minutes, or until the top is browned. Cool on a wire rack and serve at room temperature.

Cranes work, much of it experimental, is in galleries around the world.

Vegetable cheese casserole: Eileen Cowin

Eileen
Eileen Cowin, Untitled (Boy with TV), 1980, from the series Family Docudrama. Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

There is a scene in Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, by Tom Robbins, where someone sprays a special substance on different foods to make them taste like chocolate chip cookies. That would be my favorite recipe, if I could find it. Since I havent

Saute in very little oil: onions, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes (you can substitute any combination of vegetables in any amounts.) Add spices/herbs: garlic, salt, pepper, basil. (Again, changing or adding different combinations makes the dish taste different every time you make it.) Saute the vegetables until they are a little tender, remove from the stove, and put in a casserole.

Mix ricotta one cup (250g) of ricotta to every three cups (750g) vegetables, or to taste with salt, pepper, parsley, and egg (one egg per 250g of cheese). Add the ricotta mixture to the vegetables and bake at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 25 minutes. For the last five minutes, put thinly sliced mozzarella over the top of the casserole.

I hope this isnt too loose, but the best part of this is making up your own variations. If you want, you can find that special substance and make the whole thing taste like a chocolate chip cookie.

Born in 1947, Cowins work draws on the traditions of narrative painting.

This is an edited extract from The Photographers Cookbook, to be published in June by Aperture at 19.95. To pre-order a copy for 15.96, go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846.

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13 People Tell Their Most Hilarious ‘I Didn’t Expect To Have Sex Today’ Story

1. Her best friend had just died.

Her best friend had just died and we went to the showing. Sitting in her car afterwards, I was trying to console her while she was crying. I reached across and hugged her then realized she hadn’t hugged me back but had actually slipped her hand into my pants while still crying. Weirdest boner I’ve ever had.

2. Healthy expression we are still alive?

My first sexual experience was when a friend went down on me when I drove him home from a wake. Mutual friend had died in a pretty bad car accident, foggy morning, pulled out in front of an 18 wheeler she couldn’t see.

I brought it up with a therapist in college and he said it was a healthy expression that we were both still alive. Thinking of it that way, not too weird.

3. Study buddies

Asked girl in class if she wanted to study. I ate her out for a hour or so. She sucked my dick for 30 seconds. Got B on exam.

4. Wanna “walk the dog??”

A girl I knew but wasn’t real close friends with one day texted me asking if I wanted to go walk her dog with her.

I got there, was invited in, got a doobie pushed in my hands with a beer. Turns out she didn’t have a dog, we watched a movie, about halfway through she starts giving me a blowjob.

Best walk ever.

5. A very NOT boring night shift

Working the night shift in a hospital. The delivery room services was quiet and calm, so I decide to stroll around the hospital. Found a female intern, which I hang out with and have a smoke during boring night shifts.

As we’re smoking outside the hospital, we started making out. She mention that the classrooms on the top floor are, sometimes, open and are private. We go to the top floor. One empty classroom is open. We bang on the floor. Wasn’t expecting to bang that night.

The floor was cold and hard, my knees hurts after being done, we didn’t get enough sleep cause we were fucking. Still, 10/10. Would have hospital sex again.

6. Old flame magically appears

It was a random Saturday in the summertime, around 1-2 am, and I was home alone just enjoying a night in when from out of nowhere someone’s ringing my doorbell.

I freak out before realizing that it’s an old fuck buddy who I hadn’t seen in a few months, completely trashed off his ass. he said he was driving through my neighborhood and really needed to pee, and my house was the closest place he could think of.

I took his keys, let him do the needful, and afterwards suggested that he hang out with me in my bedroom watching tv until he sobered up (not a ploy, my bedroom was the only room in my house with decent AC at the time)

we watched Netflix, we talked, and eventually we passed out in bed together. I woke up a few hours later to him going down on me, which escalated pretty quickly into fucking. we went back to sleep and fucked again in the morning.

afterwards, we showered together, had breakfast, and that was the last time I ever saw him.

7. “Shut up and just fuck me”

I had a girl over and we started talking about making blanket forts as kids, so naturally, I grabbed a bunch of blankets and pillows and we made one! I went and got some flashlights and turned off the lights, then next thing I know we start making out, clothes start coming off, I asked, “Is this actually happening?” and she replied, “Shut up and just fuck me.”

8. “It’s not like we are going to have sex”

Went on a first date with this girl in college. She lived in the nice housing complex on campus and it was the Friday before spring break. All her roommates had gone home already for the vacation. We were sitting on the couch having a semi-deep conversation after we got back. She excused herself to go change into her PJ’s. She invited me into her room and joked when she saw me take her desk chair while she was in bed: “it’s fine you can sit on my bed, it’s not like we’re gonna have sex”.

Literally like 3 minutes later, we started having sex.

That was the only time I’ve ever had a FWB/fling situation, lasted about a month, but god dammit it was the highlight of my life.

9. The power of a good suit

I gave a presentation in one of my classes and after the day just went back to my place. My GF had never seen me in a suit before, so when she came in she just said “you’re going to fuck me, damn it!” I never realized the power of a good suit until then.

10. Best work shift ever

I was working as a server at a restaurant and we had a beautiful new hostess start working there recently. We both happened to be closing one night when I told her that she looks how I would describe the perfect woman. One of the hostess closing duties is doing the mirrors in the bathroom. I walked into the mens room as she was cleaning them. I turn to walk back out and she tell me not to. It was a blur before both our pants were down and I was inside her.

I came to work expecting tips but I didn’t expect to be giving anyone mine.

11. Fucked in the office before coffee (basically)

I was an adult entertainer for a couple of years. Having sex with the patrons was obviously illegal but as you can imagine it happened. The one time it surprised me is I was first in for an early spot. It was 4:30 and a pretty girl walked in, and sat in a dark corner near one of the smaller satellite bars. I just had gotten dressed hadn’t even been on stage yet and the DJ had probably played one or two songs since we opened. I was sober (rare when dancing and hadn’t taken any G which was my go to drug of choice.)

She ushered me over and asked for a table dance. Fine. I begin moving and she immediately spreads her legs on the bar stool and she has a shaved and pierced pussy. I go rock hard, but keep dancing. She then tells me she is also a dancer and has a 6:00 shift at the Pink Pony.

“Was on my way to work and got horny…” So before you could say hump and grind I was in her… We quickly finished up, thankfully no waitresses were on the floor, doormen were elsewhere getting ready for the night and my manager was probably doing lines in the office. We cleaned up, she tipped me well and she was gone. All in the space of 10 minutes. It was like getting fucked in the office before your first coffee.

12. Car sex with new friend

My buddy asked me to hang out and meet his friend Sabrina. We were hanging out driving around when Sabrina starts getting frisky with me. We were going down the 91 freeway with music blaring and this girl I met about an hour ago riding the shit out of me in the backseat. Great day, Noah your the best wingman.

13. I fucked a married woman on her husband’s cousin’s car

Probably the time I went to a beach party at my friend’s place, as the only single guy. Her friend’s wife was excessively hot to me, and was in a bikini top, which was difficult for me because I don’t wanna be ogling some married woman. I’m looking for a place to sit and she offers me a spot on the towel next to her, I act like I don’t notice because I don’t wanna end up making moves, but my completely oblivious friend is like “Dude she’s making a spot for you right there.”

So I sit down and we start talking, she is very very obviously interested in me and within ten minutes I excuse myself to go back to the cars parked a ways away to “check my phone”, she says she has to use the bathroom, few minutes later I’m nailing her doggystyle on the hood of her husband’s cousin’s car, about 500 yards from the party.

I thought I was the shittiest person in the world for a few minutes after, until I figured out that she and her husband were into that and he completely knew what we were doing.

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Cask from the past: archaeologists discover 5,000-year-old beer recipe

Chinese find suggests barley was used for booze before being grown for food – and that beer could have played a role in the development of society

Chinese villagers could have been raising a pint 5,000 years ago, according to new research.

Archaeologists studying vessels unearthed in the Shaanxi province of China say theyve uncovered beer-making equipment dating from between 3400 and 2900 BC – an era known as the late Yangshao period – and figured out the recipe to boot.

China has an early tradition of fermentation and evidence of rice-based fermented beverage has been found from the 9000-year-old Jiahu site. However, to our knowledge, [the new discovery] is the first direct evidence of in situ beer making in China, said Jiajing Wang of Stanford University, first author of the new research.

The team examined residues in the vessels to reveal that the brew was made from a wide range of plants, including broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), Jobs tears (Coix lacryma-jobi) and barley.

The discovery marks the earliest known evidence of barley being used in China, suggesting that the crop arrived in the country around 1,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Funnel
Funnel for beer making from the Mijiaya site n the Shaanxi province of China. Photograph: Image courtesy of Jiajing Wang.

That, archaeologists add, is intriguing since it suggests that the crop might have been used for making booze before it was grown for food, and that beer could have played a role in the development of society.

The production and consumption of Yangshao beer may have contributed to the emergence of hierarchical societies in the Central Plain, the region known as the cradle of Chinese civilisation, the authors say.

Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, researchers from the US and China describe the analysis of a collection of complete funnels and pottery fragments from the Mijiaya site in the Shaanxi province of China whose shapes and styles, indicate that they were used for different stages of beer-making, a function backed up by analysis of residues within the vessels.

Wang and her colleagues unpicked the brews recipe by examining these yellow residues and scrutinising the sizqe and shape of starch grains and phytoliths – tiny pieces of silica that form within plant cells.

Their analysis revealed that broomcorn millet, Jobs tears, lily, yam, barley and even snake gourd root (Trichosanthes pilosa) went into the beer. Whats more, they say, the type of damage to the starch grains, together with chemical analysis of the residues, suggests the drink was produced by methods familiar to modern brewers. The beer was made by going through three processes, including malting, mashing, and fermentation, said Wang.

But despite cracking the beers recipe, the archaeologists admit they cant say how its flavour would measure up to a modern pint. I really have no idea, said Wang. That is beyond our research methods.

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‘None of the old rules apply’: Dave Eggers travels through post-election America

From dazed election night revellers in Washington DC to a gay Trump voter in Detroit to kids in Kentucky … The US writer gauges the mood of a divided nation

The word surreal is overused and often wrongly used, but in the case of the Washington Post Election Night Live party, the word was apt. First of all, it was a disco. There was a DJ playing a frenetic mix of contemporary Top 40 and pointedly apropos songs such as Pat Benatars Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Youre a real tough cookie with a long history ). Behind the DJ there were dozens of screens showing various television networks coverage of the election. The screens were so bright and so huge, and the colours so primary and vivid, that the experience was like being trapped inside an enormous jar of jelly beans.

Women dressed like Vegas showgirls made their way through the crowd with towering tiered hats adorned with chocolates from one of the evenings sponsors. The chocolates, round and the size of strawberries, were offered in pairs, enclosed in loose plastic sacks a bizarre but perhaps intentionally lewd optic? The bartenders were setting out Campari Americanos by the dozens. The food was by chefs Jos Andrs and the brothers Voltaggio. The Washington Post has a right to celebrate the paper is thriving and its political coverage extraordinary but this felt like Rome before the fall.

At some point early on, the music was turned down for 20 minutes so Karen Attiah of the Post could moderate a live conversation between the current German ambassador, Peter Wittig, and former Mexican ambassador Arturo Sarukhan. The talk was serious and enlightening, but the ambassadors seemed baffled by the nightclub atmosphere, and besides, few people were listening. The party was about the party.

And everyone expected Hillary Clinton to win. The attendees were largely Washington insiders lobbyists, staffers, legislative aides, pundits and producers. Most were liberal and most were confident. The nights only potential for suspense centred around whether or not Clinton would take some of the toss-up states, like Florida and North Carolina. When she was declared the winner which was expected before the partys scheduled end-time of 10 oclock there would be talk of who would be appointed what, with a not-insignificant portion of the partygoers in line for positions in the new administration.

Thus the mood was ebullient at seven oclock, when the event started, and was electric by eight. Kentucky and Indiana were announced for Donald Trump and that news was met with a shrug. More scantily clad women walked through the rooms serving hors doeuvres, and soon there were at least three showgirls wearing hats of towering testicle-chocolates. Young Washingtonians swayed to the music. Drinks were set under chairs and spilled. A young girl in a beautiful party dress walked through the drunken partygoers looking for her parents.

Then nine oclock came around and the party began to turn. Most of the states thus far had gone for Trump. None of these victories was unexpected, but the reddening of the national map was disheartening, and the margins in those states were often greater than expected. He took Texas, North Dakota, Kansas, Mississippi. Not a problem for the crowd, but by 9.30, people were panicking. Trump was leading in Florida and North Carolina. Nate Silver, the statistics shaman who had been roundly criticised for overestimating Trumps chances, now posted that a Trump victory was likely. Ohio was in the bag, Pennsylvania was trending toward him, and it looked like he could win Wisconsin and Michigan. A hundred guests turned their attention from the big screens to their little screens. They paced and made calls. The party emptied and we all spilled into the streets. Beyond the Washington Post building and beyond DC, the country had been swamped by a white tsunami few saw coming.

Election
Election night at The Washington Post. Photograph: The Washington Post/Getty Images

For a few hours, the city had the feeling of a disaster movie. People scurried this way and that. Some wandered around dazed. Following the returns, we travelled from restaurant to bar to home, and the Somali and Ethiopian cabbies were stunned, worried less about Trump than about the prospect of Rudy Giuliani serving in the cabinet in any capacity. We all talked about where we will move: Belize; New Zealand; Canada. We no longer knew our own country. In Columbia Heights, when the election was settled, a young woman biking up the hill stopped, threw her bike into the middle of the road, sat on a kerb and began weeping. No no no no, she wailed.


The omens were there if you looked. A month before the election, Id driven from Pittsburgh to the Philadelphia suburbs and saw nothing but Trump/Pence signs. In three days I covered about 1,200 miles of back roads and highway some of the prettiest country you can find on this continent and saw not one sign, large or small, in support of Clinton. The only time any mention of her was made at all was on an enormous billboard bearing her face with a Pinocchio nose.

I did see Confederate flags. James Carville, the political strategist, recently quipped that Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between, and there is some truth to that. There are a lot of men in camouflage jackets. There are a lot of men out of work. When you stop at gas stations, the magazine sections are overwhelmed by periodicals devoted to guns, hunting and survival. Then there are the tidy farms and rolling hills, the equestrian centres with their white fences, the wide swaths of Amish and Mennonites and Quakers.

I was in rural Pennsylvania to see the United 93 National Memorial in Shanksville a monument to the 40 passengers and crew who died in a windswept field on 9/11. The day I visited was bright and clear. The surrounding country was alive with autumn colours and, far on distant ridgelines, white windmills turned slowly. Just off the parking lot, a park ranger in forest green was standing before a diverse group of middle school students, admonishing them. Boys and girls. Boys and girls, he said. Youre standing here where people died. There are still human remains here. Youre goofing around and laughing, and I shouldnt have to tell you to be respectful. They deserve that. They quieted for a moment before one of the boys nudged another, and the giggling began again.

Trump
Trump supporters rally in Oceanside, California. Photograph: Bill Wechter/AFP/Getty Images

The memorial is beautifully constructed and devastating in its emotional punch. Visitors can walk the flightpath of the plane, a gently sloping route down to the crash site, which is separated from the footpath by a low wall. Its a grave, another ranger explained. So we dont walk there. Higher on the hill, there is an indoor visitor centre that recreates every moment of the day in excruciating detail. There are video loops of the Twin Towers being destroyed, fragments of the plane, pictures and bios of every passenger, details about the calls they made from the plane once they knew they would die. It is shattering.

Leaving the museum, a man in front of me, young and built like a weightlifter, couldnt push the door open. I reached over him to help and he turned to thank me. His face was soaked with tears. I got into my car, shaken but heartened by the courage of the 40 humans who had realised what was happening that they were passengers on a missile headed for the White House or Capitol building and had sacrificed their lives to save untold numbers in Washington DC. The American passengers of United 93 were from 35 different cities in 11 different states, but they died together to save the capital from incalculable loss of lives and what might have been a crippling blow to the nations psyche.

I left the memorial and turned on to a two-lane road, part of the Lincoln Highway that runs through the state part of the first coast-to-coast highway in the United States. Just beyond a sign advertising home-grown sweetcorn, there was a residential home, the first house anyone might encounter when leaving the United Memorial, and on this home, there is a vast Confederate flag draped over the front porch.

Its important to note that this was the Lincoln Highway. And that the civil war ended 160 years ago. And that Pennsylvania was not a state in the Confederacy. So to see this, an enormous Confederate flag in a Union state, a mile from a symbol of national tragedy and shared sacrifice, was an indicator that there was something very unusual in the mood of the country. Ancient hatreds had resurfaced. Strange alliances had been formed. None of the old rules applied.

The
The Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Mark Makela/Reuters

Steven McManus has come out of the closet twice. First as a gay man, then as a Trump supporter. We were sitting at a coffee shop in Detroits Eastern Market neighbourhood, and McManus was almost vibrating. This was two days after Trumps election, and McManus was elated about the victory, yes, but more personally, about the fact that after Trumps election, hed had the courage to post a message on social media declaring his support of the president-elect.

I lived a lot of my life as a closeted guy, McManus said, and the liberation I felt as a man coming out was similar to how I felt coming out for Trump. You really truly think youre the only one who has these feelings. Its liberating. I felt it was time to come out again.

McManus is a thin man in his late 30s, bald and bespectacled, with a close-cropped beard. He grew up in the part of the Detroit suburbs known as Downriver. Many of the areas residents had come from the American south in the 1940s to work in the auto factories, and the area still retains a southern feel. His father was a salesman who brokered space on trucking lines. Looking back on it now, McManus appreciated the fact that his parents could raise five children on one salesmans salary. But then came the Nafta, and the gutting of much of the Detroit auto manufacturing base. McManus watched as Detroit and Flint hollowed out and caved in.

Trump was the only candidate talking about the trade imbalance, McManus said. Being a businessman, a successful businessman, he understood why business decision-makers, at the highest levels of their companies, move their production overseas. McManus was angry when auto companies, after receiving bailouts from the US government in 2009, continued to move production to Mexico. In Detroit, we gave America the middle class. But this is now a false economy. The housing market is decimated, and the middle class is shrinking. I want someone to shake it up. Lets move the whole country forward.

McManus is not blind to the rareness of an openly gay man supporting Trump. But I dont have to vote a certain way based on my sexuality. In my mind weve moved beyond having to vote Democrat just because youre gay. And hes not worried about a reversal of the hard-fought right to marriage gays just achieved. Weve got our rights now, he said. Its settled. McManus and his husband got married three years ago in New York, before the supreme court decision legalised gay marriage nationwide, and it was in his new place of domestic tranquillity that McManus watched the Republican national convention. Two moments affected him profoundly. First was the appearance of Peter Thiel, the former CEO of PayPal, who was given a prime speakers spot and said from the stage, Every American has a unique identity. I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all, I am proud to be an American.

McManus was moved then, but he was even more affected by an unscripted part of Trumps speech. It was shortly after the Orlando massacre, and for the first time in my life, a Republican candidate for president said things like, forty-nine wonderful Americans, or beautiful Americans or whatever he said, were savagely murdered. And he said, I will protect gay and lesbian individuals. Some people at the convention cheered and some people didnt cheer. And then Trump said, off the cuff and off the teleprompter, he said, For those of you who cheered, I thank you. And I cried. I cried.

McManuss husband works for the army, as an IT specialist, and they both became bothered by Clintons email setup. If my husband had done the same thing, hed be fired. And its pretty hard to get fired from a government job. McManus began to follow Trump more closely, and found that he was agreeing with most of hispositions on trade, immigration and national security. I began to realise that Im more conservative than I thought. But he couldnt reveal this. He lives in Detroit, a liberal city, and works in the restaurant industry in town, where left-leaning politics dominate. But after coming out as a Trump supporter, he is finding himself emboldened. The day after the election, McManus saw his doctor, who is Muslim, and he mentioned that hed voted for Trump.

I just wanted to get it off my chest. I was feeling a little McManus sits up in his chair, to indicate the new confidence he felt that day. I told him, I came out as a Trump supporter today. And he went off for 15 minutes to the point where I almost walked out. He was impassioned about how he felt that Trump was disenfranchising Muslim-Americans. But our present state of terrorism does have a religious undertone to it. Finally I managed to get something off my chest. I cant remember who said this to me, either my husband or my ex, but I said to my doctor, You know, it wasnt a group of Catholic nuns that flew planes into the World Trade Center.

Proud
Proud to be a Republican Peter Thiel. Photograph: ddp USA/REX/Shutterstock

Later that night in Detroit, I ran into Rob Mickey, a professor of political science. He grew up in Texas, but has spent about 10 years teaching at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. We were at a party benefiting an educational nonprofit. Doing something concrete and positive felt good, and being around kids felt good, but everyone was exhausted no one had slept since the election and 30 seconds into every conversation it turned to Trump, Clinton, what had gone wrong and what would happen next. One of the events attendees had been living in a central American cloud forest for years, and there was much talk about following her down there.

I told Mickey about McManus, and to him, the story of the gay Trump supporter was both surprising and unsurprising. Everything about 2016 was upside down. Parts of Michigan who had voted twice for Obama had turned to Trump. Rob and his wife Jenny had gone canvassing for Clinton on the Sunday before the election, and the reception they received was not warm.

I would say it was hostile, he said.

They had gone to Milan, Michigan, an overwhelmingly white town 50 miles southwest of Detroit. Its spelled like the Italian town, but pronounced MY-lan, Rob pointed out. The Clinton campaign had given Rob and Jenny a list of names and addresses of white working-class residents who had registered as Democrats but were labelled sporadic voters. Milan had voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, and winning towns such as Milan was key to delivering a Clinton victory in Michigan.

The homes they visited were run-down, with No Soliciting placards on every door. They saw no Clinton signs on anyones lawn. There were Trump signs scattered around town, but most of the residents they met were disgusted by the entire election. One woman said, I dont want to have nothing to do with that, Mickeyrecalled. Another said, I hate them both, including that guy of yours. When I pointed out that our candidate was a woman, she said, Whatever and slammed the door.

One house with a Bernie Sanders sign on the lawn looked promising. Mickey knocked on the door. A white man with a US ARMY shirt answered. He was missing an arm. Mickey introduced himself as a Clinton canvasser, and told the man he had supported Sanders, too, during the primary. Thats great, the man said, and closed the door.

The people we met that day were straight out of central casting, if you were making a movie about the disaffected white working class, Mickey said. Between 55 and 65, without college degrees. You could see that Lena Dunham and Katy Perry were not going to do anything to form a bridge to these people. If I hadnt read any polls, and I was basing it just on the people I met, I would have thought, boy, Clintons going to get wiped out.

It was different in 2008. Knowing that Michigan was securely in Obamas column and Ohio was on the bubble, Rob and Jenny went to Toledo to knock on doors in trailer parks and housing projects. Foreclosure signs were common. When they introduced themselves as canvassers for Obama, the residents, all of them white, were welcoming and chatty. The interactions were long, Mickey said. The people were worried and they wanted to talk. Ohios 18 electoral votes went to Obama in 2008 and 2012.

This campaign wore a lot of people down, Mickey said. The state was bombarded by pro-Clinton ads, but she failed to offer any sustained and coherent economic message. She said, Im not crazy and Im not a sexist racist pig, but for working class whites thats not enough. I would say that of the people who slammed their doors on me, most of them didnt vote for either candidate.

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A Hillary Clinton supporter applauds her televised concession speech. Photograph: Steven Senne/AP

In fact, an unprecedented number of Michigan voters cast ballots without choosing either Clinton or Trump. This kind of voting happens every election where voters make their preferences known down-ballot but dont mark anyone for president but never in such numbers. In 2012, there were 50,000 Michigan voters who declined to choose any presidential candidate. In 2016, there were 110,000.

Clinton lost Michigan by 13,107 votes.


The week after the election, the business of the United States went on. Schools and banks were open. The stock market plummeted and rose to a new high. Commuters commuted, and I was headed from Detroit to Kentucky. All of this was travel planned months before, and none of it had anything to do with the election, but it felt like I was making my way, intentionally, into the heart of Trump country.

At Detroit airport it was impossible not to feel the tragedy of Tuesday as having realigned our relationships with each other. Because the voting had split so dramatically along racial lines, how could an African-American or Latino pass a white person on the street, or at baggage claim, and not wonder, Which side are you on?

The emergence of safety pins to symbolise support for Clinton (and equality and inclusion) was inevitable it fulfilled a need, particularly on the part of white Americans, to signal where they stand. Otherwise all iconography is subject to misinterpretation. At the airport, I found an older white man staring at me. His eyes narrowed to slits. I was baffled until I realised he was looking at my baseball hat, which bore the logo and name of a Costa Rican beer called Imperial. Was this man a Clinton supporter who suspected me of being a white nationalist? Was the word Imperial sending a Ku Klux Klan/Third Reich signal to him?

Anyway, I was in the wrong terminal. I was in danger of missing a flight to Louisville, so I left and poked my head into a Hertz bus and asked the driver if he would be stopping near Delta anytime soon. He paused for a moment.

Yeah, Ill take you, he said.

His name was Carl. He was a lanky African-American man in his 60s, and we rode alone, just me and him in this enormous bus, for a time. He asked how I was doing. I told him I was terrible. I was feeling terrible, but I also wanted him to know which side I was on. He laughed.

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A traveller in Detroit airport. Photograph: Jim Young/REUTERS

Yeah, I was surprised on Tuesday, too, he said. But I almost feel sorry for Trump. I dont think he thought hed actually win. You see him sitting next to Obama at the Oval Office? He looked like a child.


In Louisville, three days after the election, I sat with 32 students at Fern Creek high school. This was supposed to be a regular classroom visit by someone passing through, but the atmosphere was different now. The students at Fern Creek are from 28 countries. They speak 41 languages. There are refugees from Syria, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We sat in an oval and ate samosas. Nepalese samosas, I was told. Three of the students in the class were from Nepal, and had a particular recipe. The food was extraordinary.

I told these students, three girls still learning English, that Id always wanted to go to Nepal, and asked them to write down some places theyd recommend. They wrote Jhapa, Damak (Refugee camp). They were from Bhutan and had grown up in a UNHCR camp in eastern Nepal. A young man to my left had come from Iraq two years earlier.

Their teachers, Joseph Franzen and Brent Peters, guided the conversation through topics of creativity, social justice and empathy. The students were without exception thoughtful, attentive and respectful of each others opinions. Every time a student finished a statement, the rest of the class snapped, Beat-style, in appreciation. We didnt talk politics. For the time being, the students had had enough of politics. The day after the election, theyd had a charged discussion about the results, and, still feeling raw, they had written about the discussion the next day.

The thing I didnt say yesterday was that Muslims scare me. The thing with Isis is out of control and I dont trust them at all and I dont get why Mexicans cant take the test to become legal? Are they lazy?

The election didnt really bother me even with the outcome, I didnt support Trump. The main reason I cared about Clinton winning was cause I didnt want my family to be affected. My mom is gay and married to a woman.

As a Muslim female in high school its hard to deal with this and let it sink in. But I know Trump doesnt have full power of his actions. So I feel like even if hes president, everything will be the same.

I was downright disappointed in the country. Because Trump won, racism, sexism, misogyny and xenophobia won. It goes to show what our country values now. Either this is what we value, or this is what the majority is OK with.

I feel like everything said yesterday doesnt even matter anymore. We as American citizens cant change whats been decided. Not everybody gets what they want. Thats what life is. Trump will be our new president and we cant change that. WE need to make America great again, NOT Trump. Thats our job as people.

I think Trump and Hillary are both crazy and Im kind of eager to see how trump runs this b—h.

And so we see how differently we express ourselves on paper. The students, sitting in their oval with the smell of Nepalese samosas filling the room, were unfailingly kind to each other. But on paper, other selves were unleashed. Despite the many international students, the schools population is mostly American-born, 48% white and 38% black, and it was easy to see how Trump could bring dormant grievances to the fore, could give licence to reactionary theories and kneejerk assumptions. The students had witnessed eight years of exquisite presidential self-control and dignity, and now there would be a 70-year-old man in the White House whose feelings were easily hurt, who called people names, and who tweeted his complaints at all hours, with rampant misspellings and exclamation marks. Our only hope will be that the 100 million or so young people in American schools behave better than the president. A president who has not read a book since he was last required to. Think of it.

After the class, a tall African-American student named Devin approached me. Hed introduced himself before the class, and had asked some very sophisticated questions about using imagery to convey meaning in his poetry. He was a wide receiver on the schools football team, he said, but he was also a writer. He handed me a loose-leaf piece of paper, and on it was a prose-poem he wanted me to look at.

We sat on top of my house, laying back, looking at the stars, the stars shining, waving back at us. They told us hello. Time froze. I turned my head to look at you. Still fixated on the stars, you paid me no mind. I studied you. This was the true face of beauty. Your royal blue eyes, the brown polka dots on your face. Your smile making the moon envious because it could not compare in light. I reached out to grab your hand. You turned your eyes to look at me. Our hands intersected and we both smiled. I told you you were were beautiful.

Below the piece, Devin wrote, in red ink, Do I have something here? Should I continue?

Anti-Trump
Anti-Trump Protesters march through Los Angeles on 12 November. Photograph: UPI / Barcroft Images

That night in Louisville there was another benefit event, this one for an organisation called Teach Kentucky, which recruits high-achieving college graduates to come to the state to teach in the public schools. Joe Franzen and Brent Peters are among Teach Kentuckys recruits, and if they are any indication of the quality of humans the organisation is attracting, the programme is a runaway success.

At the event, Franzen and Peters spoke about their craft, and about making sure their students felt they had a place at the table. There was much talk about their classrooms as families, of meals shared by all, of mutual respect. It was very calm and heartening, but there was also a moment where the audience was encouraged to let out a primal scream (my idea, I admit it), and 200 people did that, screamed, exorcising our election-week demons. Later on, Jim James Louisville resident and leader of the rock band My Morning Jacket performed a medley of songs, from Leonard Cohen to All You Need Is Love and Blowin in the Wind. And then everyone got drunk.

There was good bourbon. It was called brown water by the locals, and after stomachs were full, we all vacillated between despair and measured hope. But the questions loomed over the night like the shadow of a Nazi zeppelin. Would he really try to build a wall? Would he really try to exclude all Muslims? Would he actually appoint a white nationalist as his chief of staff? And did 42% of American women really vote for a man who threatened to overturn Roe v Wade and who bragged about grabbing them by the pussy? Did the white working class really elect a man whose most famous catchphrase was Youre fired? Like a teenager with poor self-esteem, the American people had chosen the flashy and abusive boyfriend over the steady, boring one. Weve had enough decency for one decade, the electorate decided. Give us chaos.


It is not easy to get a ticket to Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. This is the newest museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and its design, by the Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, is so successful, at once immediately iconic and bold but also somehow blending into the low-slung surrounding architecture, that it has become the most talked-about building in the United States.

Admission is free, but there is a six-month wait for passes, and the passes are timed. If you get a pass, you must enter at the assigned hour or wait another six months. I had gotten such a timed pass, and it so happened that the pass was for the day after the election. That morning, I had the choice between staying in bed, forgoing my one chance at seeing the building in 2016, or rising on three hours sleep and keeping the appointment. Like millions of others, I did not want the day to begin. If I woke up, I would check the news, and if I checked the news, there would be confirmation of what I had remembered foggily from the night before that the people of America had elected a reality television host as their president. I closed my eyes, wanting sleep.

Then I remembered the Gazans.

Back in April, I had been in the Gaza Strip and had met a married couple, Mahmoud and Miriam, journalists and activists who badly wanted to leave Gaza. I had e-introduced them to an asylum lawyer in San Francisco, but from 7,000 miles away, she couldnt do much to help. The impossible thing was that they actually had a visa. A real visa issued by the American state department. All they had to do was get out of Gaza. But permissions were needed from the Israelis or Egyptians, and they were having no luck with either. Finally, one day in October, an email arrived. Mahmoud and Miriam were in Brooklyn. Theyd bribed an Egyptian guard at the Rafah gate and had made their way on a 14hour journey through Sinai.

National
National Museum of African American History and Culture. Photograph: Michael Barnes/Smithsonian Insitution

So on a lark I told them to meet me in DC. Frederick Douglass had said, after all, that every American should visit the nations capital at least once. And given they would soon be Americans, wouldnt it be good to do that duty right away, and do it the day after the first woman had been elected president? (We had made the plans a week before.)

So they had planned to meet me at this museum celebrating African-American history in the shadow of the obelisk dedicated to George Washington, great man and also slaveowner. The morning was clear and cool. A small line had formed outside the museum before the doors were to open. I looked around, and didnt see them. Then I did.

They were aglow. Theyd spent their lives in an open-air prison of 141 square miles, and now they were here. They could move about freely, could decide one day to go to the capital of the United States and be there a few hours later. No checkpoints, no bribes, no Hamas secret police. Id seen Miriam suffer in Gaza because she refused to wear the hijab and favoured western clothes. In Gaza City, she was yelled at, cursed. I hope your parents are proud! people yelled to her. Now she was herself, uncovered, dressing as she chose. H

Source: http://allofbeer.com/2017/10/21/none-of-the-old-rules-apply-dave-eggers-travels-through-post-election-america/


Source: https://allofbeer.wordpress.com/2017/10/21/none-of-the-old-rules-apply-dave-eggers-travels-through-post-election-america/

8 Real Haunted Houses Where You Can Stay The Night, If You Dare

For foodies, September kicks off pumpkin spice season, but for Halloween enthusiasts, the month before October begins a short duration of time dedicated to all things horror-themed. From books to movies to real-life attractions, fall is prime time for adrenaline levels to spike with fear, and if you thought staged hayrides and deep-rooted mazes gave you a thrill, there are a handful of haunted places to stay overnight sans actors and cheesy, overdone costumes that offer an authentic scare.

I’ve been a fan of haunted houses since I was a kid, and even though I will most likely end up clinging to any article of clothing I can grab onto with my clammy hands, or hovering behind the tallest, largest person in the group for “protection,” I cannot get enough of getting scared. Sitting through horror films, inhaling Stephen King novels, walking through high corn stalks at night, you name it, and I’m probably game. But, I’ve yet to check off an overnight stay at a haunted house from my Halloween-themed bucket list.

Haunted houses are legendary, and there are plenty around the country if you do your research. Here are a few overnight stays that promise paranormal encounters you can brag about to all your friends.

1. The Lizzie Borden House

The chilling ballad of Lizzie Borden is a classic, creepy sing-song that’s been stuck in my memory since childhood. Assuming you’re unfamiliar with the axe murderess, allow me.

Lizzie Borden took an axe,
gave her mother 40 whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
she gave her father 41.

Transforming her Massachusetts home into a bed and breakfast was, in my opinion, bloody brilliant. Though the actual murders date back to 1892, Lizzie clearly made quite the impression (and marketing ploy).

Visitors have the option to either spend the night, or they can rent a floor, or even the entire household, for parties, events, and paranormal assessments. You can also request to stay in Lizzie’s haunted suite if you’d like, but be warned, this humble abode shares a bathroom with the John Morse Room, aka where mommy dearest was murdered.

2. The Stanley Hotel

For those who dedicated the weeks running from September through October to burying their minds in thrillers, The Stanley Hotel is epic for horror enthusiasts looking to get a scare off the page.

Stephen King’s 1977 thriller was inspired by a stay at The Stanley Hotel with his wife Tabitha in 1947. To their surprise, the couple were the only two guests to stay over that fateful night.

King described his spooky, yet inspiring night at The Stanley Hotel,

I dreamed of my three-year-old son running through the corridors, looking back over his shoulder, eyes wide, screaming. He was being chased by a fire-hose. I woke up with a tremendous jerk, sweating all over, within an inch of falling out of bed.

I got up, lit a cigarette, sat in a chair looking out the window at the Rockies, and by the time the cigarette was done, I had the bones of the book firmly set in my mind.

So, you in?

3. Prospect Hill Bed And Breakfast Inn

If you’re looking for a paranormal experience that’s a little more low-key (aka not downright terrifying), the ghosts at Prospect Hill Inn are said to be more playful than petrifying. Guests recall waking up to delicious aroma of muffins, peanut butter, and cookies, even smelling hints of a pleasant perfume in the air.

Of course, ghosts will be ghosts, so random, opening doors and the sound of footsteps are normal occurrences. According to the hotel’s official website, spirits are described as typical guests.

How’s that for co-existing?

4. The Historic Farnsworth House Inn

Taking into consideration just how much history looms in Gettsyburg, Pennsylvania, hauntings are practically expected.

The Farnsworth House Inn offers a ton of ghost walks and presentations to spook, but an overnight stay will also teach you a thing or two about this city’s haunted past.

From the East Cemetery Hill Walk to the Witching Hour Ghost Hunt, it’s safe to say you’ll be in for a seriously spooky stay here.

5. The Queen Mary

Who ever said spirits can’t enjoy the high seas, too?

Voted as one of the most haunted places in America by  magazine, Queen Mary docked on Dec. 9, 1967  in Long Beach, California, and has been a floating hotel ever since. Spirit sightings include a dearly departed sailor, “lady in white,” and children who drowned in the cruise ship’s pool.

Daytime tours are open to the public, but we all know everything gets way more interesting when the sun goes down. Guests can partake in paranormal tours at twilight, or spooky seances to encourage a little ghost activity before bed.

6. Villisca Axe Murder House

The best ghost stories are the messiest in my opinion, so if you’re a fan of fear, Villisca’s Ax Murder House is for you.

I normally wouldn’t piece together terror and the state of Iowa, but in June of 1912, two adults and six children were brutally murdered in their own beds, without a suspect to try for the violent crime.

To honor the victims and house the great mystery, Darwin and Martha Linn purchased the mansion in 1994, restoring the home from a vacant crime scene to a tourist attraction that to this day holds pain, great tragedy, and a lot of gruesome horror.

7. Lemp Mansion

Ready for some beer and boo? John Adam Lemp was a German native who came over to America in 1838, starting his life in the states as a grocer and eventually starting his own lager business. He died a millionaire, but you know what they say about money buying happiness (hint: it doesn’t).

The family’s demise is a collage of suicide, a decline in wealth, and liquidation, and apparently the ghosts of Lemp’s past continue to roam the mansion for guests to goggle at. Choose from haunted history and hunting tours to see what these spirits are really up to these days.

8. Captain Grant’s, 1754

Nothing says spooky quite like a cabin in the woods. Add a little history to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a ghostly gold mine.

Captain Grant’s historic inn stands cozy in between Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos, so if things get too freaky, at least you have a few escape options. The bed and breakfast is privy to spirits looking for a place to stay when their cemetery plot feels played out.

And the ownership and staff are aware of their otherworldly guests, offering a Talking With Spirits package that features a communication lesson connecting you with those who have yet to cross over.

Source: http://allofbeer.com/2017/10/21/8-real-haunted-houses-where-you-can-stay-the-night-if-you-dare/


Source: https://allofbeer.wordpress.com/2017/10/21/8-real-haunted-houses-where-you-can-stay-the-night-if-you-dare/

5 things for Friday, February 3, 2017: Israel, Russia, Yemen

(CNN)Good morning. It’s the Friday before the Super Bowl. If you haven’t picked the team you’ll be rooting for come Sunday, you better get to it. Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

1. Israeli settlements

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s got to be a little confused. All through the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump seemed to be OK with Israel’s move to expand its settlements in the West Bank. In just the first couple weeks of the Trump administration, Israel OK’d plans for 5,500 new housing units there in addition to building a brand new settlement. Then the White House seemed to do a 180 and said that expanding settlements beyond current borders “may not be helpful” in bringing about peace with the Palestinians, who along with the international community view the land the Israelis have settled in the West Bank as the home of a future Palestinian state. Maybe the prime minister and President can iron all of this out when Netanyahu visits the White House later this month.

    2. US and Russia

    An interesting trend is developing as the Trump administration gets up and running. The President takes a position on an issue, then members of Team Trump go out and publically take the opposite position. We saw it happen with waterboarding. Trump said he was all for it and other forms of torture; Defense Secretary James Mattis said, um, no. (The President said, That’s cool, you can override me on that one.) Now we’re seeing it on Russia. Trump’s friendly with Vladimir Putin, has refused to condemn Russia’s hacking of the 2016 election and hints he might want to recognize Russia’s annexation in Crimea. In her debut at the UN Security Council, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley was having none of it. She blasted the Russians and said they need to get out of Crimea, which the rest of the world says is still part of Ukraine. So what did Haley’s boss think of her comments? We haven’t heard, but the White House was aware of her speech in advance. Explaining the US’ relationship with Russia is just one of many items on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s to-do list.

    3. Yemen raid

    It was a raid that killed an al Qaeda leader and left 13 other fighters dead. Valuable intelligence was recovered. But a lot went wrong in a SEAL Team 6 raid in Yemen over the weekend. One of the SEALs was killed, as were at least 10 civilians, including women and children. A $70 million Osprey helicopter was destroyed. It’s all getting a lot of scrutiny because it’s the first special operations raid authorized under President Trump (it was planned during the last months of the Obama administration) and could tell us a lot about how he’ll fight terrorism.

    4. Delaware prison

    There are lots of questions yet to be answered as officials sort out the 19-hour hostage drama which finally ended at a Delaware prison. The chaos left one corrections officer dead. How were inmates able to briefly take over one of the prison’s buildings? And how did Sgt. Steven Floyd die? Inmates forced him into a closet, but he warned other officers, who were rushing into the building, about what was about to go down. That saved lives, and Floyd is being hailed a hero. Three other corrections employees were also taken hostage, including a female counselor who was “shielded” and protected by some of the inmates. The standoff ended after authorities used a backhoe to breach the building.

    5. National parks

    We’re still in the grips of winter, but it’s not too early to start thinking about summer vacation plans. National parks are a surefire winner, but will the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and other beloved parks even be open now that President Trump’s put a hiring freeze on federal workers? The national parks need 8,000 seasonal and short-term temporary employees to get through the busy summer months. But an exemption to the hiring freeze has been granted. That means the Department of the Interior (which runs the parks service) will be able to bring in the help the parks need. Time to dust off the camping gear.

    BREAKFAST BROWSE

    People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
    Land of the lost
    What has 3-billion-year-old rocks and sits at the bottom of the Indian Ocean? A lost continent named Mauritia.
    A light in the dark
    The Muslim congregation lost its mosque to a mysterious fire. Then their Jewish neighbors showed up and just handed them keys to their synagogue.
    Sign of the times
    A day care put up a sign, telling parents to put their phones down when picking up kids. So of course one parent pulled out her phone and took a picture of it.
    Bowled over
    Haven’t succumbed to the Super Bowl LI hype yet? It’s not too late. Here are 51 things to know about the big game, like host city Houston’s beer can house.
    Time to move
    What’s worse than snakes on a plane? A snake in your toilet. Thirteen snakes in your storm cellar. And 10 more snakes under your house.

    WHAT’S FOR LUNCH

    Numbers game
    Later this morning the first jobs report under President Trump comes out. And it’ll be interesting to see if he accepts the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ unemployment numbers, which he called a hoax during the campaign.

    AND FINALLY …

    America’s chicken
    No, he’s not a bald eagle, but you’ll swell with patriotic pride just the same as Jokgu the chicken plays “America the Beautiful.” (Click to view)

    Source: http://allofbeer.com/2017/10/21/5-things-for-friday-february-3-2017-israel-russia-yemen/


    Source: https://allofbeer.wordpress.com/2017/10/21/5-things-for-friday-february-3-2017-israel-russia-yemen/

    ‘It was a nice idea, but …’ Europeans on what went wrong with the EU

    On its 60th birthday, people from Sweden to Bulgaria with doubts about the EU speak their mind about whether the project is worth pursuing

    A triple-A rating is more important than solidarity. Were digging our own grave

    Constanze
    Constanze Clever. Photograph: Sddeutsche Zeitung

    A few months ago, I was chatting with my husbands work colleague in a beer garden. It was about eastern Europe and the question of why those countries take so few refugees. The colleague came from Poland. He was of the view that in Europe we should first and foremost look after ourselves.

    In particular, he didnt want Muslims to be allowed in. According to him, they are a threat to the Christian identity of Europe.

    So of course we clashed about this Im a fan of open borders, and I find it unbelievable when people oppose open borders while personally benefiting from them. To be able to move freely is a basic right, and the essence of Europe.

    In the conversation, it became clear to me: we are both Europeans, but we come from different worlds. For us in Germany, things have gone well materially in the past 10 years. In Poland, things are different. That is why it is important that we reduce the imbalance.

    But were not doing that. Why must Greece pay such high interest rates on the capital market? Rich Germany pays virtually nothing. We Europeans are under the thumb of financial markets. A triple-A rating is more important than solidarity. So were digging our own grave. Unless justice quickly assumes precedence over the economy again, we wont have the EU much longer. That would be a nightmare.

    Constanze Clever, 33, hairdresser, Germany

    I hate the ever encroaching political union its a vanity project

    Gerard
    Gerard Richardson. Photograph: Gerard Richardson

    I dont think Europe as a group of countries has ever really been able to unite. Cultures, opinions, approaches to everything, from business to foreign relations, are so diverse.

    Trade, on the other hand now thats a really good harmoniser. People can agree on that far, far more easily. So I liked the idea after the war of uniting around trade. It didnt have to be complicated, and at first it wasnt. But then we started down the road to political union.

    Thats what I hate: ever encroaching political union. Europe has become a vanity exercise for politicians with too much ambition. The euro was vanity, not based on economic reality. Im not an isolationist, far from it, but I really, honestly do not believe good government can ever come from too large and diverse a group of politicians.

    Look at the hopelessly divided approach to problems like Greece, or the migrant crisis. Its a disaster. The EU cant even agree on where to host its own parliament.

    There are good parts: free movement, thats obviously a benefit. But its all so badly managed. And I dont believe the EU has prevented war; Nato did that. If they turned the clock back to the EEC being just a free market alone, then I would be more than happy to stay engaged. They should take the politics out of Europe. It worked as a trading bloc, but not as this.

    Gerard Richardson, 55, fine wine merchant and coffee roaster, UK

    It sows a mentality that theres always money but billions have disappeared

    Graca
    Graca Ramos. Photograph: Sddeutsche Zeitung

    First of all, the EU has been a great thing for both my countries, Portugal and Spain. The other European countries brought us back to life (after decades of dictatorship). Thats why the vast majority of Spaniards and Portuguese tend to be pro-European. Europe has pumped a lot of money into our countries.

    On the one hand the EU has brought positive economic developments, on the other hand there have been negative consequences. It sows a mentality that there is always money. We have lost sight of what it is to save. People havent been watching closely enough where all these billions have gone. The economies of both countries have slumped because there hasnt been effective control over the way this money has been spent.

    As a Portuguese woman Im worried about a two speed Europe . Does that mean the small countries will be put aside and suspended? We feel as a small country both protected and accepted within the EU and I hope that that doesnt change. The Eurosceptic voices in other countries worry me a lot. We must all ask ourselves what we have done wrong.

    Graa Ramos, 40, theatre administrator, Spain

    Nations have no rights. The EU took over everything

    Jozsefne
    Jozsefne Varadi. Photograph: La Stampa

    The nations have no rights. The EU completely took over and everything has to happen here as they wish.

    But the EU has a lot of advantages too. We entered to EU so we have to accept a lot of things, I admit, but they should give more independence to nations.

    Every time the government wants to decrease utility costs or taxes, or create more workplaces to let us breathe a little bit easier, they have a problem with it. Im with the nation with all my heart. I do everything. I help campaign. Im a member of the Fidesz party since its foundation. I consider this government good and fair. Our prime minister needs a lot of bravery to stand up like this for the nation.

    Did you see what happened here during the prime ministers speech? Did you see the people whistling? They think this is not a democracy, but if I had done the same when Ferenc Gyurcsany was prime minister, if I had used my whistle, they would have shot me.

    Jozsefne Varadi, 87, pensioner, Hungary

    Erasmus, the euro, are just sweets with a bitter aftertaste

    Luca
    Luca Carabetta. Photograph: Luca Carabetta/La Stampa

    They draw lines on a map, take decisions from on high, and then, if they dont work, they use every economic excuse possible to justify them as necessary to maintain the unity and progress.

    I am an energy engineer, a young entrepreneur from the Erasmus generation. I was born when Italy joined Schengen, in 1990, and you could leave your passport in the drawer to travel with family, or later to see friends in France, Germany, Denmark. Yet my Euroscepticism began when I was young, in my town of ButtiglieraAlta, near Turin. I saw the No-Tav movement (against high speed rail) grow in my valley, the Susa valley, I started studying and concluded that the projects tied to the European corridors were conceived in an office in Brussels, far away from local communities and their needs.

    I believe Europe is an extreme concession of sovereignty, which flattens diversity and national identities built throughout history. I do not agree with the economic homogeneity that binds the EU together. Does that seem strange from a young person with foreign friends? Absolutely not. Beppe Grillos Five Star Movement has shown me a clear path for what I always thought, and thats why I vote for it.

    In these years, Brussels has not been able to create a common welfare system, no citizens feel like Europe is closer, notwithstanding the sharing of pseudo-values and the currency. Erasmus, the euro, are sweets with a bitter aftertaste. Unitary economics, so far, has penalised us. Unitary politics, for me, does not represent us, the citizens.

    Luca Carabetta, 27, tech CEO, Italy

    Europe was a nice idea, but globalist politics and the euro have killed us

    Luc
    Luc Defrance. Photograph: Cyril Bitton

    Im a wheat farmer from northern France. Thats to say Im one of those people said to be very rich, living off subsidies, smoking a big cigar. In reality, I started work at 16, have worked like a dog for 50 years and am now ruined. I realised we were finished so I sold my operation last June.

    Europe was a nice idea, but its the globalist politics that has killed us that and the euro. In the rest of the world, other countries can devalue their currency and become competitive. With the euro, we are trapped. Marine Le Pen is right we should get out of it.

    Europe is just all restrictions and rules. You have to keep records on crop treatments and be careful about employment rules. You are bothered on all fronts. And the slightest mistake could cost you 10,000 in CAP aid, and thats a catastrophe.

    In any case, theyre reducing the aid. In 2010, I got 100,000 in basic grants; last year it was 52,000, and soon there wont be any more. Doing a job that depend on grants is not healthy. Europe would do better to create a safety net and fix prices rather than grants.

    Luc Defrance, 66, farmer, France

    Many Dutch people feel powerless and angry. It is time to rediscover our identity

    Joost
    Joost Niemller. Photograph: Katrien Mulder

    As well as books I write a blog called De Nieuwe Realist (the new realist). Europe is a land endowed with a rich civilisation. It works because it is based on the nation states, and yet its goal is to dismantle nation states, which would signify the end of European democracy. That is why many Dutch people, possibly even a majority, would like to leave the EU.

    People want to take back control and decide their own future. Mass immigration is a serious problem. Many Dutch people feel powerless and angry. It is time for the Netherlands to rediscover its identity.

    Joost Niemller, 60, writer, the Netherlands

    The Eurosceptics in my family are happy that Russia is stepping up strongly

    Rozalina
    Rozalina Laskova. Photograph: Zdravko Yonchev/Sddeutsche Zeitung

    I cant imagine Europe without the EU and am in favour of more integration. But I sometimes forget that other Bulgarians do not think like that. I have Eurosceptics in my own family, like my mother and aunt, who are bigger supporters of Russian culture, like a lot of Bulgarians. They see and read the same Bulgarian media which speak of the supposed all-encompassing manipulation of our country by Brussels and Washington. My aunt Maria asked me mockingly whether I also get money from the Americans. They are happy that Russia is stepping up so strongly.

    Rozalina Laskova, 34, cultural adviser, Bulgaria

    I would like to do a Swexit just like in the UK

    Andreas
    Andreas berg Photograph: Andreas berg

    The EU started as something different. In the beginning it was a good thing, a peacekeeping operation. But it has grown into something else: a massive, undemocratic monster, lots of people doing nothing to benefit the voters in their respective countries.

    It seems to me more than half of the laws in Sweden are not decided by the Swedish government but by the EU. We vote for the government but if it doesnt have the majority of the power, how can that be democratic?

    We choose representatives for the EU parliament, but I dont believe thats democratic either the ones who really affect what happens are not democratically elected. I havent read all the EU laws, only some of them, and some may benefit Sweden but many dont.

    I work in the construction industry and we have seen a shift towards what they have in the UK, where people from the poorer countries come to work for you, and they do it for lower wages.

    The main problem with the EU is that it incorporates loads of countries, and they are so vastly different in every way: welfare, economics, everything. To correct this the EU will have to make the richer countries poorer. So I would like to do a Swexit have a referendum like in the UK, and leave.

    Andreas berg, 52, construction worker, Sweden

    Source: http://allofbeer.com/2017/10/20/it-was-a-nice-idea-but-europeans-on-what-went-wrong-with-the-eu/


    Source: https://allofbeer.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/it-was-a-nice-idea-but-europeans-on-what-went-wrong-with-the-eu/

    This Is How I’ll Miss You On New Year’s

    The clock ticks closer and closer to mark the beginning of the New Year. Its only 11:37 at night and there is alcohol streaming up and down the veins of my body. Im trying to have a good time, and there is no reason why I shouldnt be having a good time. We just finished the year of 2015. We all worked hard, we didnt die or contract some scathing disease. Everyone around me is having a blast; the last games of beer pong and flip cup are ending as the clock ticks closer and closer to midnight.

    I am trying my hardest to live in the present moment, to maybe try and make out with the girl thats been hanging around me all night or maybe go get another drink or go to the dance floor.

    At 11:59 my mind races and flashes back to New Years Eve of 2014. At 11:59 your sweet words that you painted on me just 12 months ago haunt me and make it completely impossible to lay my lips on some other girl.

    I never wanted to picture a reality where I dont start 2016 without you but in one minute that reality will become entirely true.

    Last year on New Years Eve you told me that we were perfect for each other. That you didnt like me at first but that you could see us together for a very long time. Last year on New Years Eve you told me that you and I were compatible, mentally, and sexually. You told me that no one makes you feel the way I made you feel. Last year on New Years Eve you told me that I make you trip, and that you wanted me all for yourself.

    And this New Years Eve I can only imagine who it is that you are going to kiss at midnight.

    I can only imagine what it would be like to still be with you, especially on a night like this.

    But even that thought is useless. The girl who told me all those things last year literally doesnt exist anymore, and I miss her every day. Its 11:59 and it dawns on me that I am just some guy who it didnt work out with; nothing less nothing more.

    I am feeling so much, but so little at the same time. It’s 11:59 and Ive never felt so powerless in my entire life. Ive never wanted to share in the presence of another human being so badly that it literally hurts. And thats the awkward part, knowing that you and I are breathing the same air. We both look at the same night sky, but we are both so far away. At 11:59 I begin to miss the Snapchats I used to receive from you. I begin to miss your little hands, and your brown hair. At 11:59 I suddenly remember what the perfume you used to put on smells like. I compare the scent of your perfume to the girl standing in front of me looking into my eyes because she wants me to be her new year’s kiss, and it doesnt suffice.

    I am trying to figure out why lightning has a better chance of striking my left thumb twice than our stars aligning ever again. I am trying to figure out how I still have this fire inside of my heart that burns eternally bright at a temperature hot enough to melt the strongest of steel metals. Even though you left me behind many months ago I am going to bring you into 2016 with me.

    So even though I wish that you still thought about me, even though I wish you still looked at our old texts, even though I wish a picture of you and I together existed in your eyes when that clock turns to midnight I will again realize that nothing has changed. I am going to keep that memory of you, the old you. Ill hold on to it tight, and kiss that girl whos been hanging around me all night at this party, and Ill just pretend that it was you.

    Source: http://allofbeer.com/2017/10/20/this-is-how-ill-miss-you-on-new-years/


    Source: https://allofbeer.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/this-is-how-ill-miss-you-on-new-years/

    David Limbaugh sets up Brit Hume for the spike against Trump

    Author and syndicated columnist David Limbaugh went back and forth with Donald Trump supporters on Twitter today, arguing that the idea that Ted Cruz was somehow trying to steal the election from Trump by attempting to win 1,237 delegates was “entitlement thinking.”Eventually he’d had enough of arguing.

    That’s French for “BOOM.”

    Source: http://allofbeer.com/2017/10/20/david-limbaugh-sets-up-brit-hume-for-the-spike-against-trump/


    Source: https://allofbeer.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/david-limbaugh-sets-up-brit-hume-for-the-spike-against-trump-2/