I hate you, hotel advertising TV channel

I hate you, hotel advertising television channel. I hate that you’re the default channel every time I turn on the TV in my room. I hate it even more when you’re already on when I enter my room. Don’t you understand that if I hear noises in my hotel room when I enter, I’m going to think that there’s someone inside waiting to murder me and do odd things to my body? I hate that you advertise movies that I can purchase but that I wouldn’t watch if the hotel manager offered to pay me (I’m looking at you, 17 Again). I hate you for making it so difficult to navigate away from you and to other channels that may actually entertain me. I hate you so much.I hate that you default to a volume that drowns out jet engines. I hate that you make me find the strange menu buttons on the remote to navigate away from you. Don’t make me handle the remote anymore than I need to. It’s covered in bodily fluids!

I hate that you have spawned other in-house hotel television channels. Now there are hotel movie channels, hotel amenities channels (I do not want to see people with dead-behind-the-eyes expressions enjoying your spa), hotel restaurant channels (fact: bulk shrimp do not look appetizing on hotel televisions) and local attraction channels. Why are you pressuring me to do so many things? This is my vacation! This is my business trip! I don’t want to be bombarded by your nonsense when I’m in my room. I’m here to relax.

You know what I do want to watch in my room? The same garbage that I watch at home. Give me my basic cable channels. Give me a TV that works and displays high definition programming so that I can see rednecks running pawn shops and dudes mining for gold in Alaska in all their glory. I’m away from my DVR and need to stay caught up on my stories.

I don’t want to buy a movie. I don’t want to watch Carrot Top give me a tour of the Luxor (seriously, he haunted my dreams more than that asinine slanted ceiling did). I just want to see some sports highlights and Ron Swanson make dry-witted jokes about meat.

I hate you, hotel advertising channel. I hate you so much.

Istanbul to get second Bosphorus with new canal project

The US may be all abuzz about President Obama’s birth certificate, but the big news in Turkey this week is the proposed Istanbul canal project to dig a second Bosphorus. Prime Minister Recep Erdogan’s self-proclaimed “crazy” project would connect the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea, making Istanbul a city of “two peninsulas and an island.” Details of the project are still unclear, but it is estimated that it will cost more than $10 billion and would be finished in time for Turkey’s centennial in 2023.

“Today, we are rolling up our sleeves for one of world’s greatest projects which cannot even be compared with Panama Canal, Suez Canal or Corinth Canal,” Erdogan said. “Istanbul is the only city on earth that a sea passes through. With this project, Istanbul will become a city that two seas will pass.”

Turkey’s cultural capital is already known for several historic bodies of water including the Bosphorus strait, which divides Istanbul between Europe and Asia, as well as the Golden Horn, the Sea of Marmara, and the Black Sea. The Bosphorus is one of the busiest and most important waterways in the world, with up to 50,000 passages per year with one-way traffic for tankers. The new canal would alleviate all of the commercial traffic and allow for additional ships to pass. The waterway would be around 30 miles long, 500 feet wide, and 80 feet deep and cut through the European side far west of the city center. The upside for vistors is that the crowded Bosphorus would be returned to sport and pleasure boats, making the classic Bosphorus cruise less polluted and crowded.

Photo courtesy Flickr user alinnman