Photo Of The Day: Gum Wall

There are the attractions you plan a trip around: the Taj Mahal, the Louvre museum, a bakery serving bacon donuts, and there are the attractions you stumble upon, and the latter are often more memorable and fun. Take, for example, Seattle‘s gum wall, whose existence I was unaware of until I saw this close-up photo in our Flickr pool, but is evidently a downtown landmark. The wall is about 15 x 50 feet completely covered in gum, and several inches thick with chewiness in some places. The wall is near a movie theater, where employees long ago gave up trying to scrape away the crud when it kept getting replaced. Another example of how one man’s trash is another man’s tourist attraction.

See any odd attractions in your travels? Add them to the Gadling Flickr pool for a future Photo of the Day.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Mark Fischer]

Florida airport lifts their chewing gum ban

What do Singapore and Palm Beach Airport have in common? They both ban the chewing of gum. At least, that was the case until last week.

Palm Beach airport had long been a gum-free zone. The airport operator banned the sticky candy in 1988 when they opened their newest terminal.

Back then, the airport was too afraid to deal with the rude and inconsiderate passengers who spit their gum out on the floor, or stick it to the bottom of chairs and tables (you know who you are!).

But as is often the case, money talks, so the airport finally lifted the ban, citing the possibility of $225,000 in extra revenue from gum sales alone.

That figure would mean the local county snags itself a not too shabby $50,000 in free money each year.

Honestly, do people buy that much gum at the airport?

Check out these other stories from the airport checkpoint!

Where has all the sugar gone?

Have you noticed that it is virtually impossible to buy chewing gum WITH sugar anywhere in the world anymore? Panama, Italy, Czech Republic, Switzerland…they all sell gum with aspartame or saccharin. Even in Mauritius, one of the world’s top sugar cane growers, I noticed they used artificial sweetener in their gum. Sad, to say the least.

It used to be that sugar-free gum was a US specialty because Americans were obsessed with fitness (like the two extra calories make a difference) and their teeth. Not anymore.

Nowadays, it is virtually impossible to get a piece of gum without aspartame/NutraSweet anywhere in the world. Not because it is so much better for you, but it is so much cheaper to produce. This really blows for me because aspartame gives me an instant headache. Not fun, especially when you travel.

Chatting with the biologist about water bottles (yesterday) brought us to the topic of sugar as well. He feels much more strongly about the use of artificial sugar than drinking water with leeching chemicals. He said:

“If you really want to worry about your health, don’t use anything that has artificial sweetener in it which includes all diet drinks and foods as well as most over the counter medicines. Sugar has been part of man’s existence for thousands of years and until we got modern was never a problem unless we used too much (as we do in the U.S.). I am very afraid of aspartame (NutraSweet) and the neurological damage it does since it is in millions of products used daily. “