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Sounkyo Ice Fall Festival

    Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, elevates the term ‘Winter Wonder Land’ to an all new standard. Tourists are already familiar with the Sapporo Snow Festival and may have even heard of the Asahikawa Winter Festival. Just a two hour bus ride away from Asahikawa, Sounkyo is renowned for its waterfalls and natural hot springs. Once winter sets in, a crew sets to work and constructs an ice castle like something fashioned from a Japanese RPG. (You can see a video showing how its built here). This, coupled alongside the ethereal lights illuminating its frosty walls, creates a feast for the senses. It’s one additional reason why Hokkaido is an ideal destination for the season.   We had a chance to visit...

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Joystick Joy! Urinal Games Available In the UK

The only reason I’d go to the Exhibit bar would be to drink as much as I can, so I could play the urinal game. Beer, tons of it shall fill my bladder to the point of me seeing yellow. I’ll hold it in, so my slalom run will be the longest ever. I’ll smash all of the penguins easily. It may cost a few British pounds, but it’ll be worth it. I won’t joke about a joystick or a knob, that’s too easy, you do get to pee in directions to control your skiing run. Go left or right, the stream will guide your character. Yes, urinals splash, I know this, but for the joy of playing a game,...

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Montreal, Chapter 2: Mutant Raccoons of Mount Royal.

Homeboy is Cray Cray. “What the hell is goin’ on?” you might ask…  I’m not quite sure- but he and his family were feeding the raccoons. After a long first day of getting into Montreal, my hosts Li Li and Jeff took me up to Mount Royal to check out the view.  We drove up, saw the beautiful lights of the city- but it was upstaged by the most random scene…  a family- two parents and a little girl, about 7 or 8? feeding a horde of Freakishly Large  Raccoons.  I was fearing that something really bad was about to happen, but fortunately it- never escalated… even when the mom was kicking some of the bigger raccoons out of the...

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Montreal, Chapter 1: Poutine on the Ritz

I went to Montreal for the first time last weekend for a screening of Surrogate Valentine and a small coffeehouse gig at the Pop Montreal festival.  The five day music/film festival sprawled across 58 venues with about 450 artists, including big names like  Arcade Fire, Stephen Malkmus, and Kid Koala. I flew in from New York, which was merely a 52 minute flight… pretty painless other than waiting through customs lines and lack of sleep after a whiskey party at my host’s abode before the 4am trip to the airport… but that is a tale for another time. Let’s talk about Poutine.  Say it with me:  Cheese Curds, Gravy, Fries. I was in Montreal for three days, and somehow I...

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Help! Jellies Taking Over Chicago!!!!

Ahhhh, Chicago in 100 degree heat. . . What better place to escape into the air conditioning than the Shedd Aquarium? And right now they have a great jellyfish exhibit that will be up until Spring 2012. Yes, I admit that the entry fee is pretty steep at about 30$ a head. But don’t let that you detour you! Once we were pass the admission booth I quickly realized that all of the money goes back to the facility. It ain’t cheap feeding all those fishies! Oh! And don’t miss the resident beluga whales, either. Those little friendly guys will make your day with their cuteness! Word of advice: Purchase your ticket in advance on-line at the Shedd Aquarium website....

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