Photo of the Day (06.14.10)

Ever been in a situation that caused you to analyze every decision you made leading up to you arriving in that moment? I remember one time when I was on stage at a sex show in Amsterdam. There was a man in a gorilla suit that was – shall we say – anatomically correct. And his phallus discharged a liquid that I dearly hope believe was water. I don’t know why I was on that stage nor do I recall what my role in the audience participation segment of that show was. I just know that it was awkward. And erotic.

As for the gentleman on the ground in this photo by Flickr user MurrayJ3, well, he’s probably screwed. And he most certainly wonders how the hell he ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. One can only assume that alcohol and/or hubris was involved. But probably just alcohol.

Have you run with the bulls in Pamplona? Have pictures of other amazing festivals or wild travel adventures? Upload them to our Flickr pool and we might choose your photo to feature as a Photo of the Day.

Fake airline offering non-existent jobs to desperate seekers

In this poor economy there are two things with no shortage – people looking for a job, and people looking to take advantage of people looking for a job.

Sadly, when the two meet, someone is going to get scammed, and usually this means someone who is down on luck, gets hurt even more.

Such is the case of “Bull Airways”. This completely fake airline posted job listings looking for flight attendants, offering $17 per hour, with a $1/year raise. El Paso local Patricia Solis jumped on the ad, and had a meeting with the airline CEO at the fountain of a local mall (that should have been the first alarm bell).

She filled in a W-2, handing him all her personal information, and was told she’d hear back from him. She was indeed contacted, and offered the job, based out of Seattle.

By now, she obviously knew something was wrong. The local ABC affiliate tracked down David Sanchez, the so-called CEO of this airline, and discovered that the whole thing was a scam. The FAA had no records of the airline, and Mr. Sanchez initially claimed he was a Canadian businessman trying to start a US airline, but after a bit of prodding, he admitted to the fraud. It isn’t entirely clear whether he was just pulling an identity theft scam, or if he had more sinister plans in mind.

What strange things have been found on planes?

Spain’s (unofficial) national symbol is 50!

It used to be the trademark of the popular Spanish sherry company “Osborne”. A random marketing whim 50-years ago made the company erect about 90 14-meter high metallic silhouettes of a bull on all major highways across Spain; now they resemble the country. What a lucky fluke for Osborne, I doubt their marketing prowess foresaw that.

Around 1988, Spain introduced a law where there couldn’t be any publicity on the highways. Osborne got rid of their branding on the bull so they could still stand. Obviously, campaigners protested, but apparently public demand to keep the silhouette is what saved Osborne’s metallic structures, and it is still referred to as the “El Toro De Osborne” (The Osborne Bull).

Other than pointing it out to grandchildren on road-trips, the Spaniards I spoke to about this bull had neutral sentiments. “They chose a bull to represent their brand, then blew it up and put it all around the country,” is what they said; far from an ingenious plan I suppose.

In Catalunya, groups have protested: “we don’t want Spanish symbols in our territory”, and post many attempts to knock down the bulls; now there are none in that region.

Other than Catalunya, Cantabria and Murcia are the other two provinces without the bull; Alicante and Cádiz have the most. It’s the same bull you see on T-shirts, key-chains, stickers, posters and Spanish flags that you can buy in souvenir shops.

In celebration of the bull’s 50-years of existence, an art competition has been launched in the country where you can submit your artistic representations of the bull to win theme park tickets valid for 2008 (yaay?), Sony PlayStation 3, or a 100cc Motorcycle.