Nepal Airlines Officials Sacrifice Goats to Appease Sky Gods

The driving forces behind Nepal’s national state-run airline have found a novel way to fix a technical problem with their airplanes — they’ve sacrificed goats to appeal to the Hindu ‘sky god’, Akash Bhairab. Sacrificing animals is an ancient tradition that seems to have resisted modern logic, at least in some part of Asia, and in this case, the practice was used to fix and electrical problem in a Boeing 757. And it might sound like a strange way to fix a mechanical issue, but here’s what’s even stranger: it worked.

Still, the whole idea of sacrificing goats to appease the sky gods doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in skeptics like myself. Luckily, I don’t think I’ll be taking Nepal Airlines anytime soon.

One for the Road: The Year of the Goat

Here’s a heads up about a unique road trip memoir hitting shelves next month: The Year of the Goat: 40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheese. The title alone suggests that if you can tell a good story, you can write a travel book on just about any topic these days!

In 2003, six months into the Year of the Goat, Margaret Hathaway and her then-boyfriend Karl Schatz left New York in search of greener pastures. Part food memoir and part travel narrative, the book tells the story of the couple’s fascinating food obsessed journey, introducing a cast of characters that they encounter along the way. Readers can follow along with the “goat mobile” as Margaret and Karl meet with farmers, breeders, cheese makers and chefs, learning everything there is to know about the goats and cheese. Slow food advocates should enjoy this one too, since the story focuses on getting back to the land.

It actually sounds quite charming, and even though goat cheese does nothing for me, I’d consider reading this one. If you can’t wait for the book, there’s a nifty DVD called Goat Love that captures the journey on film. Margaret and Karl are married now, so I guess goat love got to them too!