The Grossest Coffee on the Planet?

davidd, Flickr

We’ve covered crazy high-end coffees before. One of the world’s most expensive coffees, kopi luwak, comes from Indonesia, where the beans are harvested from the feces of the wild civet. Apparently something amazing happens to the beans in the digestion process, or at least the coffee world would have us believe so.

Then there’s Black Ivory Coffee, which of course comes to us thanks to elephant dung. The elephants stomachs are apparently like a “natural slow cooker” for the beans.

But now there’s a new coffee contender on the block, and you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world. All you have to do is make your way to… you guessed it, Portlandia.

Just outside of Portland, Oregon in Estacada a man is dabbling in the effects of sending coffee beans through his own digestive system. That’s right everyone: human poop coffee.

If you’re not thoroughly grossed out to stop reading yet, you’ll be thrilled to know that there are plenty of people out there that want the stuff. Randy Goldman, a home coffee roaster, wanted to experiment with the “kopi luwak process,” advertising his beans on Craigslist. The story of course went viral – turns out people are into fecal coffee – and soon the demand outweighed the supply.

But fortunately some coffee bloggers got in on the game and documented the whole process, noting that the end result was “musky and fruit-forward,” but not really up there with the world’s best cups. Goldman agrees, noting that the fecal-coffee connection is less about the taste and more about the novel process that somehow helps with marketing. “I didn’t think it’d do much for the taste, but I see Kopi Luwak selling and selling and know that the consumer wants to drink shit. So be it.”

You’ll be hard-pressed to get some though: Goldman has over 40 people on his wait list for the next batch. Looks like you’ll just have to stick to the normal coffee shops of Portland instead.

This Road Trip Is A Labor Of Love

road trip
Flickr/MSVG

Common road trip themes include stopping at small town parks for touch football on a sports focused journey, eating at only hole-in-the-wall barbecue places, collecting tacky souvenirs from truck stops and more. But how about a focus on love? That’s exactly what two former strangers are doing, trying to document 100 love stories as they drive from coast to coast.

Nate Bagley and Melissa Joy Kong have been traveling across the United States in a Mini Cooper hoping to “learn what makes a lasting marriage and dispel all the myths around real love,” says an ANI News report. Looking for couples involved in what might be considered a successful relationship, The Loveumentary has already produced more than two-dozen podcast interviews.

Learning the difference between real love and marriage myths, Loveumentarians Bagley and Kong want to continue their travels and document at least 54 more relationships. To do that, a Kickstarter project has been launched to help pay for future accommodations, gas and other incidentals.Want to get an idea of what The Loveumentary road trip is all about, who these people are and what they are up to? Check this video that tells us “One day consists of 86,400 seconds. This is one of them….”


Where Will You Go For Free Museum Day?

Cartoon Art Museum - free museum day
Flickr, Kim Smith

Whether you are traveling in the U.S. or having a staycation this Saturday, be sure to include some culture. September 28 is Museum Day Live! (aka Free Museum Day), when museums all over the country open their doors without charging admission.

The annual event is inspired by the Smithsonian museums, which offer free admission every day. You’ll have to register and download your free ticket in advance, which will get two guests in free to participating museums.

A few of our favorite museums participating:

Chicago
Smart Museum of Art
The University of Chicago’s art museum is always free, but this weekend is also the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and museum-goers can also enjoy free concerts in the sculpture garden.

Dallas/Ft. Worth
American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum
Regular price: $7 adults
Serious airline nerds, frequent flyers and those on a long layover can check out this museum of aviation and American AIrlines history, just a few miles from DFW airport. Exhibits include a rare Douglas DC-3 plane.

Las Vegas
Burlesque Hall of Fame
Regular suggested donation or gift shop purchase: $5)
What’s Sin City without a little strip tease? See costumes, props and photos documenting the history, traditions and stars of burlesque dance.
Los Angeles
Grammy Museum
Regular price: $12.95 adults
Pop music lovers can check out four floors of music exhibits and memorabilia. The current exhibition features the career of Ringo Starr, including an interactive drum lesson with the Beatles‘ rhythm man himself.

New York
Museum of Chinese in America
Regular price: $10 adults
Learn about the immigrant experience in New York’s Chinatown in a building designed by Maya Lin. Current special exhibitions on the glamour of Shanghai women and the role Chinese-American designers in fashion. Follow it up with dim sum in the neighborhood.

San Francisco
Cartoon Art
Regular price: $7 adults
Take your comics seriously? This is the art museum for you, with 6,000 works of cartoon cels, comic strips and book art. Best. Museum. Ever.

Washington, D.C.
Museum of Crime and Punishment
Regular price: $21.95
Value the free admission and your freedom at a museum dedicated to criminals and police work. Fans of police procedural TV shows will enjoy the CSI lab and the filming studio for “America’s Most Wanted.”

Remembering The ‘World’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park’

Amusement park safety has been a hot topic this summer. After a deadly fall from a Six Flags roller coaster in July, even minor injuries have been making headlines. But are amusement parks really as dangerous as they used to be? A new documentary sheds light on what Mashable is calling “The World’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park,” a New Jersey waterpark called Action Park that closed in 1996. Inside this lawless park, which seemed to be staffed mostly by intoxicated teenagers, were nonsensical attractions like:

  • The “Cannonball Loop” slide, which had a complete loop at the end.
  • A winding cement track called the “Alpine Slide” that children barreled down on carts while people tried to spit on them from a chairlift that ran above it.
  • A rope swing called “Tarzan swing” where men regularly exposed themselves to onlookers.

Seriously, is this place for real? We went to Twitter to do some investigating, and found many people recalling-and even lamenting-their injuries at the park:

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Ouch, sounds painful. Although these people walked away with minor injuries, at least seven people died at Action Park during its existence. Watch the first half of the documentary above, and the second half after the jump.
The Most Insane Amusement Park Ever – Part 2 of 2 by insane-amusement-park

Instant Film Makes A Comeback

Instant film photography tool
Courtesy of Impossible Project

Mobile phone apps like Instagram have made it possible to make our digital images look “vintage” using filters and effects, but they can’t quite capture the particular nostalgic quality of actual film. Photography lovers have mourned the loss of Polaroid instant film since it was discontinued in 2008. Several former employees teamed up to experiment with a new kind of instant film with the Impossible Project in 2010, allowing many owners of vintage cameras to keep taking pictures. The film is available at select camera stores around the world, but might be more for those who appreciate the art of film rather than speed: color pictures take up to a half-hour to develop.

Next month, the Impossible Project will take digital old-school when it introduces the Instant Lab, an app and tool that will allow you to print analog instant photos right from your iPhone. The device will be exhibited at Photoville, a pop-up photography “destination” in Brooklyn September 19 to 29, and available for purchase soon. The Instant Lab could be perfect for travelers who want to travel light with a camera phone but keep their trip photos from collecting dust on a hard drive.