Posts Tagged ‘tourism’

Owners of Noah’s Ark Sue Over Rain Damage

June 10, 2019

Owners of Noah's Ark Sue Over Rain Damage

The owners of Noah’s Ark have sued their insurance company over rain damage. It didn’t happen on Mount Ararat, but in Kentucky, off Interstate 75, on State Route 36 in Williamstown.

Ark Encounter, a Bible-themed tourist attraction, was partially funded by state economic development dollars because, First Amendment be damned, Biblical Literalism is the state religion of Kentucky. It took 2 years of heavy rain, not forty days and forty nights, to damage a publicly-funded access road, and the park’s insurance provider says that’s not covered. As election time nears, we predict political, not divine, intervention.

Note to nonbelievers: Kentucky’s major tourism attractions are horses, bourbon, music, arts, the outdoors and food, not big Biblical boats with dinosaurs.

More:

“Ark Encounter: State-Subsidized Religious Tourism in Kentucky,” NotionsCapital.com

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Image (“Ark Encounter, after Edward Hicks”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Elvis & Corporate Welfare

April 18, 2019

The dirt-poor city of Memphis is giving tax breaks to Graceland.

“So why, you might ask, is a city that regularly ranks among the nation’s poorest giving several hundred million dollars in tax breaks to a long-dead rock star’s house museum where the cheapest ticket costs $41?”

— “This Has to Be One of the Most Ridiculous Corporate Welfare Deals in Quite Some Time,” Henry Grabar, Slate

 

Video: “Money Honey,” written by Jesse Stone, recorded by Elvis Presley, 1956.

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2 Weeks In Orlando

July 23, 2018

Illustrator Matthew Armitage visits Florida.

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Ark Encounter: State-Subsidized Religious Tourism in Kentucky

August 8, 2016

Ark encounter: State-Subsidized Religoius Tourism in Kentucky

Noah’s Ark may have landed on Mount Ararat, but you can see it in Kentucky off Interstate 75, on State Route 36 in Williamstown. Answers In Genesis, the outfit behind the Creation(ism) Museum, has built a 510-foot-long biblical boat as a tourist attraction, Ark Encounter ($40 admission, $10 parking).  The wooden hull is stocked with pairs of animals said to be on the Ark, including dinosaurs (from the Book of Flintstones?). There’s also a zoo, but don’t expect any dinosaurs there.

Ark Encounter opened on July 7th and was built at a cost $102 million. Of that, $62 million was raised from Industrial Development Bonds issued by the City of Williamstown. The Kentucky state government granted Ark Encounter $18 million in tax incentives and is building a new $10 million highway interchange for the new Christian theme park.

The rationale for granting this public largesse for religious evangelism is that the big boat will stimulate the tourist economy and create jobs. Want to apply for those jobs? You’ll have to sign a statement of faith in Genesis and Jesus Christ, disavowing homosexuality, same-sex marriage and premarital sex. Somehow, Federal Judge Greg Van Tatenhove (alumnus of Christian Asbury University) has ruled that this is all constitutional and isn’t state sponsorship of religion. It seems Ark Encounter is a secular outfit when it gets public funding and tax breaks, but a religious organization when it hires employees. Glory be, it’s a miracle!

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2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

June 28, 2016

2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is back in Washington DC, June 29th to July 4th and July 7th to July 10th. You’ll find it on the National Mall between Fourth and Seventh streets, north of the National Air and Space Museum. The free festival features Basque culture of the Old World and the Americas (music, dance, craft and foodways), music of California, and the cultural impact of Immigration.

The festival schedule is here. See you on the line at the food concessions.

Festival map. Festival blog.

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WiFi on Mount Fuji

July 8, 2015

WiFi on Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji, Fujisan, is one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains,” a place of ancient shrines, a designated national Historic Site and Special Place of Scenic Beauty. UNESCO added Mt. Fuji to the World Heritage List, noting it had “inspired artists and poets and been the object of pilgrimage for centuries.”  The tallest peak in Japan, a volcano, the distinctive mountain has long been a place to contemplate the wonders of nature.

All Mt. Fuji needed was decent digital connectivity. That’s why NTT Docomo collaborated with Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures to offer free Wi-Fi hotspots on Fujisan from July 10th to September 10th. We mark the occasion in haiku:

Climbed the rocky slope
Clutching my iPad tightly
Opened your email

More:

“Climbers to get free Wi-Fi on Mount Fuji,” Kohei Watanabe, Asahi Shimbun

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Image (“WiFi on Mount Fuji, after Utagawa Toyoshige”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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UFO Welcome Center in Bowman, South Carolina

April 7, 2013

UFO Welcome Center in Bowman, South Carolina

Flying saucers zoomed through the skies of the 1950s and 1960s. Why the lack of recent UFO sightings? Some observers say it’s due to the end of the Cold War, but South Carolina’s Jody Pendarvis blames it on the shocking lack of travel amenities for space aliens. That’s why he built a UFO Welcome Center next to his house trailer.

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Buddhaland

January 11, 2013

Buddhaland

In 623 BC Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in Lumbini, southern Nepal. A holy site, it has long been a place of pilgrimage, and Emperor Ashoka built a commemorative pillar there in 249 BC. In 2013 AD, an international consortium has plans to make Lumbini an amusement park, Buddhaland.

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Flying into Washington, DC

March 25, 2012

Space tourism is a growth industry. Welcome, intergalactic tourists.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Cherry Blossom Web Cam

March 20, 2012

Cherry Blossom Web Cam
The National Park Service Cherry Blossom Web Cam is in full bloom. Use it to view the seasonal beauty surrounding Washington’s Tidal Basin before the fragile flowers are gone. Due to Global Climate Change, the cherry trees began blooming well before the traditional date of Washington’s biggest annual festival.

Note: Webcam does not work with Chrome. Use another browser.

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-cPf

Image (“Cherry Blossom Viewing at the Tidal Basin, after Hiroshige”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license. Credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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