Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Wild, windy, woolly.

Mutterings continued.

Damn lot of rain fell today; haven't checked the BOM site to see just how much. On the BOM radar sweep this morning there was a yellow blob headed our way - yellow means Moderate Getting on for Get Out Your Ark.

Group of us went to the cafe for lunch and got trapped by the deluge. Most of the pathways back to the OPs building were flooded and I got wet feet. Had to wander around in my socks while my shoes dried.

"Viking ship built with 15 million ice cream sticks

A replica Viking ship made of 15 million ice cream sticks is to be launched in Amsterdam by a former Hollywood stuntman who hopes eventually to sail it across the Atlantic.

The 15-metre ship, which took Robert McDonald two years to build, is to be launched in Amsterdam harbour with a crew of around 25 in a bid to set a world record for the largest sailing ship made of ice cream sticks.

The Viking longship, equipped with oars and a mast, is built with sticks of birch-wood glued together painstakingly by McDonald and two volunteers in a Dutch workshop.

It is to be put through its paces for around 90 minutes on Tuesday.

"It's a dream come true. It's truly worth all the hard work," McDonald said.

"I never want to look at glue again. I don't think I will be in a hurry to look at ice cream sticks again," the 45-year-old from Florida said.

The ice cream sticks used to make the ship were provided by Unilever's ice cream maker OLA and by children who collected discarded sticks around the world.

McDonald, whose Sea Heart Foundation helps provide leisure activities for children in hospitals, hopes to sail his Viking ship across the Atlantic next year.

"That's still the ultimate goal, to sail across the Atlantic in the Viking-style," McDonald said."

The Vikings were known primarily for their ice cream eating.

Monks run short of 'world's best' beer

Monks at a Belgian abbey have run out of their famous beer after it was voted the best in the world.

The abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren in western Belgium is home to about 30 Cistercian and Trappist monks who lead a life of seclusion, prayer, manual labour and beer-brewing.

A survey of thousands of beer enthusiasts from 65 countries on the RateBeer website in June rated the Westvleteren 12 beer as the world's best.

But the abbey only has a limited brewing capacity and was not able to cope with the beer's sudden popularity.

"Our shop is closed because all our beer has been sold out," said a message on the abbey's answering machine, which it calls the "beer phone".

The abbey has no intention of boosting its capacity to satisfy market demand.

"We are not brewers, we are monks," the father abbot said on the abbey's website. "We brew beer to be able to afford being monks."

And to get pissed.



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