Brendan Spaar welcomes our robot overlords

PopeBot and the Gospel according to HitchBot

Brendan Spaar welcomes our robot overlordsBy now I am sure that you have read about the untimely demise of the Canadian research project known as HitchBot.  Brendan Spaar was following the robot’s journey across the United States of America and was sad to learn of its fate in Philadelphia earlier this month.

In case you were wondering if the City of Brotherly Love had something against robots, radio station 93.3 WMMR is here to set the record straight.  The radio station has created a robot pope named PopeBot in an effort to spread the gospel of robots to humans that may not understand them.  Residents of Philadelphia will be graced with its presence this week and should be able to have all of their non-working electronics healed by “His binaryness.”

While PopeBot looks a little like HitchBot had a baby with a laundry basket and pool noodle, this effort is picking up where the previous robot left off. You can follow PopeBot’s journey on Twitter and can catch him at landmarks like Charley’s Philly Cheese Steaks restaurant and local bars.


Brendan Spaar has discovered lobster beer

Portland Brewery introduces Lobster Beer

There are two things that are usually nearby when Louisiana people get together. One of the items is seafood & the other is beer. It seems like almost every weekend there’s a festival or gathering at someone’s house. Good food, good times & good music are the secret ingredients that visitors remember when they’re back home.

If you ask someone how many ways there are to use the wonderful seafood that’s found throughout Louisiana, you’ll probably fall asleep before they finish telling you their list. You can find seafood in every way imaginable but so far it hadn’t been widely used as a flavoring for beer… until recently. It is hard to believe that someone beat the creative Cajuns to making a beer with a seafood component but a brewery in Maine has done just that.

When you think of Maine the picture in your head is of delicious lobsters with a side of melted butter. It makes your mouth water just to think of it. While lobster should be the state food of Maine, they also have quite a few good breweries. What could be more perfect than a combination of both?

Thanks to some creative folks at Portland’s Oxbow Brewing Company you can now have your lobster & drink it too. They have come up with a beer made from live lobsters & sea salt. It’s a limited edition brew available at their taproom. According to Brewmaster Tim Adams the lobsters were placed in a mesh bag and suspended in a kettle full of boiling wort during the brewing process.

Before you shake your head & moan about the waste of lobsters, there is good news. The lobster meat that was left when the process was over got eaten. There’s no mention of how the lobster tasted after being “brewed” but the beer is reported to have a slight briny sweetness from the lobster & salt.

It’s clear that Louisiana now has a challenge- to use some of the wide variety of seafood & seasonings to brew a beer that will top the “Saison Dell’Aragosta” lobster beer from Maine. It’ll be interesting to see if there will be a Louisiana crawfish or alligator beer to rival Maine’s claim to fame.

After hearing about this latest “creative” flavoring, Brendan Spaar decided to see what other things have been used to give a new taste to an old beverage. It’s hard to believe that someone would actually drink some of these on the list.

Funky Buddha’s Maple Bacon Coffe Porter

Tom Seefurth’s Mamma Mia Pizza Beer

Tex Mex Siesta Prickly Pear Lager

Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout

Wynkoop Brewing Company’s Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout

When you’re planning your next party you might want to add one of these to your list. You’ll definitely get some conversations started & might find a new favorite.

Watch where you sit when flying the not so friendly skies

Brendan Spaar flies the friendly skies with his airline miles

Have you ever been on a crowded flight and just wanted to plug in the headphones to chill? You know you’re stuck in a tiny seat for a couple of hours with nothing to do. A nap sounds like a good way to pass the time…until you try to recline your seat.

Recently, several flights have had to be rerouted with an unplanned stop because passengers got into fights over legroom (or lack of). Just last week there were several instances where things turned nasty when the person ahead wanted to recline their seat. On a Miami to Paris flight, the American Airlines plane had to land in Boston because a man fought with a passenger in the seat ahead who was trying to recline his seat. Luckily, Air Marshals were on the flight and restrained the man who also had grabbed the arm of the flight attendant that was trying to calm things down. The 61 year old man from Paris was arrested and faces a federal charge of interfering with a flight crew.

Just the day before on a Newark to Denver United Airlines flight, a man used something called a Knee Defender to prevent the person ahead from reclining their seat. The woman in the seat got into an argument with him and threw a cup of water in his face. They were seated in the Economy Plus section which is supposed to have a bit more legroom than normal economy/coach seating. the flight was diverted to Chicago and the two passengers were escorted off the plane.

The worst flight had to be the one that passengers experienced last week on a Toronto to Cuba Sunwing Airlines flight. A fighter jet had to escort the plane back to Canada after a couple of passengers got out of control. It seems that two women decided to have a party with lots of duty free alcohol in the plane’s lavatory. Then they lit a cigarette (a big no-no) which set off the smoke alarm. Brendan Spaar has flown on a lot of different planes and can tell you the lavatory is not the place to party. Clearly, the alcohol didn’t help the situation because the women then started fighting and making threats against the aircraft. The women were arrested after the plane landed in Toronto. You can be sure that a hangover is the least of their problems now.

Maybe it’s that the world is more stressed or that confining people in smaller places makes them lose their cool more easily. Whatever the reason, flying is not the way it used to be. So the next time you plan a trip think twice when booking your flight. Maybe the seat at the very back might not be so bad after all!