Monday, April 30, 2007

bye-bye, bears?

Climate change is threatening the polar bears of western Hudson Bay and the tourism industry of Churchill, Manitoba (population: 923), which depends heavily on the furry, photogenic beasts.

A female polar bear snuggles up with her twin cubs in Wapusk National Park near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Photograph by vmselde and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 License.

"Churchill is unique as a destination. It's where the sea-ice of western Hudson Bay freezes first, and the bears aggregate each fall, waiting," remarks John Gunter, Marketing Director of Frontiers North Adventures.

Because the polar bear population of western Hudson Bay effectively funnels through Churchill, for about six weeks of every year, the no-frills, northern outpost offers tourists unmatched wildlife viewing opportunities. Small wonder, then, that the tundra township can unabashedly declare itself as the "Polar Bear Capital of the World."

However, going forward, whether Churchill will still have its claim to fame may be in question.

Click here, for the full story at

Do you recall about three months ago, we reported here on starfish and waffles that I would be enrolling in Amanda Castleman's online travel writing course so I could learn to impersonate a travel writer? Well, in an unexpected and ironic twist of fate, the first gig I landed upon graduation was writing the polar bear story above for the Ethical Traveler News Team. Isn't that hilarious? An imposter, like myself, writing for Trust me, folks, you simply can't make stuff like this up.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

the open window

As April turns, fresh air drifts in from the open window and carries with it a new summer of high hopes.

A sunny morning in Lund, Sweden. (2006). I start graduate school at Lund University in August. Good news: the editor has decided to come with me. Adventures, challenges, and fun times ensue. But there are also, oh, so many questions. How will I adjust to life in a foreign country? Will cutting class to travel the whole of Europe affect my ability to graduate? Will the editor end up with a tall, leggy blonde? Stay tuned.

In August 2007, the head offices of felix's daily starfish and waffles will be moving to Lund, Sweden. Object to our planned relocation? Speak now - or forever hold your peace.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

730 days of sea stars and checkered battercakes

Every time I finish up another post here on starfish and waffles, I wonder if it'll be the last ... if I've finally run out of pictures to show and words to write. But two years later, we're still motoring along ... and we're happy you're around for the ride.

Here's to the next 730 days of sea stars and checkered battercakes.

Seems appropriate, doesn't it? Two donuts to celebrate two years of starfish and waffles for me and the editor, who's pictured above. As you can see, the editor couldn't resist chomping into a maple dip before we finished our photoshoot ... but hey, with donuts being as delicious as they are, who could blame him?

Friday, April 06, 2007

my simulated reality tv life: episode twenty-one

Hey, hey! We're glad you tuned in to join us for this special Easter holiday weekend edition of My Simulated Reality TV Life, the simulated reality series that's infinity-times better than the religious holiday itself! Miss the last episode? Click here for a rerun. New to the series? Click here to start at the very beginning or check out the the left side of this page for links to all of the old episodes. Wait no longer - because tonight's episode begins now!

Bridgette struggles with Easter dinner, somehow managing to scorch a bag of frozen peas. Awww, poor Bridgette - she looks so sad!

Episode Twenty-One
Easter is always a fun holiday, filled with good stuff like eggs, chocolate, and furry bunnies. But the best part about Easter? The gluttony, of course. Mmmm, gluttony.

This year in simulated Felix's household, wife Bridgette has taken it upon herself to cook up a fabulous Easter feast. Awesome! Except there's one problem: simulated Felix is the star cook in the family (see Episode Four for evidence) and it soon becomes apparent that Bridgette is in over her head. First, she somehow manages to burn the frozen peas ... then, she forgets the potatoes in the mashed potatoes ... and, by the time the Easter ham is done ... well, let's just the say it comes out looking like a football - a very well-done football. Oh no!

Fortunately, simulated Felix, Bridgette, and Felicia are no slaves to tradition and, without hesitation, they dial for a delivered pizza. Extra rabbit, please!

Until next episode, the cast and crew of My Simulated Reality TV Life wish you all a happy and gluttonous Easter!

Happy pagans simulated Felix and Bridgette start a new Easter tradition: strip darts. Simulated Felix's absence of clothed cover, the badly missed dart in the wall, and Bridgette's hand-clapping glee all suggest simulated Felix is losing this sexy battle.

Some simulated math: strip darts + Easter spring fever = ... oh, here we go, simulated Felix and Bridgette are at it, again! Hey, is that steam rising from their bed? Wow, those two are simulated machines.

Felicia plays "cops and robbers" with a schoolyard chum. I'm pretty sure Felicia's the cop because the bowl cut on that other kid is just plain criminal. Sweet Jeebus! Somebody crucify that haircut!

"Of course a whale is a fish, what else would it be?" Oh dear. Looks like Felicia picked the wrong parent to help her with her homework.

Simulated -c to simulated Felix: "Just think, once we become travel writers, we'll make bags of money and be rich, rich, rich!!"

Felicia's teddy bear explains his Good Friday to Bridgette: "As if getting arrested wasn't bad enough, now I have this horrible, horrible rash."