Two British Admirals

It is easy to forget, but back in the 18th century,, so called “ships of the line” were high tech marvels. They were critical to Britain’s ability to build and manage its empire. And the navy had a special role in shaping British culture. The navy made everything else possible.

And at the head of this institution, you find interesting stories. The first is Admiral John Byng. Here he is

Image result for John Byng

Continue reading Two British Admirals


Your in Hanoi and Want a Drink. Anywhere fun to go?

Of course” Here is one spot

If you get bombed at Le Club in the Sofitel Legende Metropole Hanoi, never fear — there’s an air raid shelter just below. Joan Baez once sought refuge here during the Christmas Bombings in 1972, and recorded a portion of her album, Where Are You Now, My Son, in the subterranean warren at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. Excavated in 2012 and opened to hotel guests as a memorial, the shelter opens every day at Happy Hour. Otherwise, Le Club is the social hub of one of South Asia’s grand dames, built in 1901 and so completely refurbished in 2011 that the leading magazines hailed the hotel as one of the world’s most stunning debuts. Le Club itself emerged from a complete makeover in August 2016, looking a lot more like a speakeasy from the Roaring Twenties.

Looks nice!

Image result for Le Club in the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Getting Stoned in Worcester Mass?

Attitudes towards pot have changed a lot over the last 5 years, especially after its legalization in Colorado. There are now lots of places where you can get stoned in public — but not on the east coast.

In fact, there is only one hotel on the east coast where you can smoke in the lobby. It is in Worcester Mass  – The Summit Private Lounge

Travel a bit west of Boston to find the Summit Private Lounge in Worcester. This upscale bar and lounge offers an elevated yet rustic aesthetic to enjoy cannabis tastings while taking in live music or playing video games. To boot, it’s the only spot on the U.S. East Coast that allows legal cannabis consumption on its premises.

Rent or buy a smoking device (like a piece or a bong), and take advantage of the cold drinks, snacks, and coffee on offer. There are bimonthly events, paint nights—and yes, video games—all available to anyone with a membership or guest pass. The idea of a “members-only” club might sound pricey and exclusive, but the Summit makes its social cannabis experience accessible with a modest $15 per month fee.

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AFAR profiles the Summit Lounge and other options out west.

BTW, I was surprised to find out that there is a thriving “cannabis light” market in Italy. It got started a few years ago with a new law that was designed to promote more hemp use  as a fabric. Errr … it may have done that, and it opened the door to selling low THC pot on a retail basis.

Image result for cannabis light Italy

Is this legal? It is a grey area. Will it continue? No one knows. Is it around now in big cities? Yes.,

From the Saving the World Department: An Update on Renewables

This tidbit from the “Exponential View” confirms a trend that has been noticed for quite some time — the price of renewable energy keeps on falling

Wind energy prices are at historical lows in the US. The national average price of wind PPAs has dropped to below 2¢/kWh. The dropping price of solar energy is putting pressure on the wind power industry, however. That seems like the kind of competition we can all get behind.

You might recall the prediction of Tony Seba –— as the prices of electrical generation continues to fall and battery technology continues to improve, we will reach a tipping point far earlier than expected where using fossil fuel powered tech can no longer be justified on economic terms.

Seba thinks this will happen within a few years. The main challenge is about the “feast or famine” nature of renewable energy production. For example, the sun does not shine at night when we need lots of energy. There is a lot of thought going into meeting this challenge, and creating better and cheaper batteries is just one of them.

Stay tuned on this one!

An Evening at Hotel Narutis in Vilnius

Vilnius is a lovely city with a relaxed vibe.  Here is a peek at how you might best enjoy a visit.

On our last evening we eat at the summer terrace outside the hotel (Narutis). It is a popular spot. The terrace is packed with locals as well as tourists, dining on Lithuanian tasting menus. In winter the indoor a la carte restaurant is equally popular, serving up hearty soups and traditional cepelinai dumplings. However, on this warm evening we sit on the terrace with a glass of Lithuanian red and people-watch until the sun sets.

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The Most Beautiful Coachbuilt Car Ever?

I love this 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C Aerodinamica

1937 Alfa Romeo 8C Aerodinamica

What to say?

The Alfa Romeo 8C was beautiful even before Zagato’s forefathers got their skilled hands on it, but the ‘Aerodinamica’ really is something else. Sleek, tapering lines and an inclined windscreen; this is graceful 1930s styling at its peak.

Then again, I also like the 1960 Aston Martin DB4

1960 Aston Martin DB4 GTZ

And this 2015 Mostro Maserati also quickens the pulse

2015 Mostro Maserati

And there are more to choose from!

Which one do you go for?



Men: Yes, She Notices Your Shirts

Something to consider

If we’ve said it once, we’ll say it a thousand times: while we all love summer, it’s the toughest season for a man’s wardrobe. Style goes out of the widely-opened window, and we sweat over sweating day-in-day-out. But there are certain garments that can help you keep your cool — and the best of these is the humble shirt.

There is a wardrobe scale here. Young guys go from T Shirts to Polo Shirts and the finally realize that when you go out, a nice summer shirt is not a bad idea.

here are a few options. Not cheap, but each has its appeal. This Dunhill striped number from its Cuban collar collection caught my eye.

The summer shirts that will get you noticed, for all the right reasons

I also like this Bluemint Osaka printed shirt

The summer shirts that will get you noticed, for all the right reasons

Go for it!