Who Has Europe’s Dirtiest Currency?

Think about how many hands the average dollar bill passes through; all jokes about “dirty money” aside, it’s practically impossible for the money that you carry in your wallet to be clean. But some bills are dirtier than others.

Researchers at Oxford put European currencies and banknotes to the test, finding that British pounds are actually cleaner than Euros. On average European bills and coins contain 26,000 bacteria, while UK currency has around 18,200.

How dirty is that? According to Ian Thompson, Professor of Engineering Science at Oxford, 11,000 bacteria is enough to pass on an infection. Makes you want to go wash your hands after paying for your souvenirs doesn’t it?

Surprisingly enough, clean and efficient Scandinavia actually tops the list of dirty cash. The dirtiest currency was the Denmark krone, at 40,266 bacteria, with the Swedish crown at 39,600 not far behind.

Maybe it’s another reason to get behind the Euro?

[Photo Credit: Jixar]

Hungry? Have some Indonesian mud snacks!

I’ve eaten some odd foods in my day. Haggis. Hot Vit Lon. But for all the odd travel cuisine I’ve tried, I’ve yet to find anyone that has willingly eaten dirt. I take that back. Check out the video above on the making and consumption of “Indonesian Mud Snacks,” a local delicacy on the Indonesian province of East Java. Indonesian Mud Snacks aren’t just made from any dirt. According to other articles on the practice, mud snack fans will harvest dirt only from local paddy fields and it must be free from gravel. The chosen mud is then baked, smoked and sliced into tiny roll-like canapes for consumption. Locals believe eating the mud snacks have health benefits, claiming these dirt-bites work as pain-killers. We have film critic Roger Ebert to thank for this gem of a video, which was posted to his Twitter feed yesterday.

[Thanks, Roger!]

Bring home dirt – Souvenir tip

The expression “dirt cheap” applies to my keepsake hunting.

I like to collect soil from different historical locations. I then take said dirt home and mix it into my garden. My garden has soil from Normandy, Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, Kitty Hawk, Jerusalem, Fenway Park, Sarajevo, Kuwait, Mogadishu (my husband was in the military), and dozens of other spots.

My sister thinks that it’s sort of ghastly that I steal soil from what is essentially, in places like Antietam, a mass grave. I point out that over 22,000 people died to help grow my Shasta daisies.

To each, their own.

Plane sheets: Make that flight clean and cozy

We’ve written about urine on plane seats. We’ve written about finding a hypodermic needle under a plane seat and an empty vial nearby. We’ve also written about things left behind in seat pockets–unpleasant things. To read such stories, one might think that plane seats are a bio hazard. One might be tempted to suit up in a hazmat suit like Mike did for his stay at the Hotel Carter in New York City.

If you’re one of those people who is a bit concerned about what you’ll catch when you travel with people who are crammed into a cylinder shape for a trip that may or may not get there on time, here’s a possible solution.

Plane Sheets. They come in two sizes, and according to the Web site, are a great way to personalize and tidy up your allotted space.

Of course, there’s no guarantee about what the people you’re wedged between will be up to or how they’ll feel when you cover up your plane seat. They might think you’re a weirdo. Or, perhaps, they might make you an offer.

Photo of the Day (12.06.08)

I booked a ticket to Australia a little while ago, and now that we’re in the new year, the reality of my journey is starting to hit. In the throes of planning our itinerary we considered a variety of destinations, including wine country, in the South of the island. Scenes like this, taken by colmdc in Barossa Valley make me even more certain that it’s a place that I want to visit. We’ll see where the winds take us.

Have any cool photos you’d like to share with the world? Add them to the Gadling Pool on Flickr, and it might be chosen as our Photo of the Day. Make sure you save them under Creative Commons though, otherwise we can’t use them!