Water Country

There is nothing more refreshing than being at a waterpark on a hot summer day.  In Portsmouth, New Hampshire there is a water park called Water Country.  The park opened in 1984 by the Samuels family until Festival Fun Parks bought out the family in 2000.   Palace Entertainment now owns the water park which contains many slides, waves, rivers, and swimming pools for all ages.

The newest ride to the park is Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror.  It will open this season.  In a two person tube, you will sit face to face and take a 40 foot plunge through a twisting totally dark tunnel.  During the ride you will experience a tornado funnel that will make your head spin.  It is the first ride like this in New England.   Another thrilling experience is the Double Geronimo which is a body slide.  You fly down a 58 foot slide that is nearly vertical.

A gentler experience could include the Giant Wave Pool.  It is New England’s largest wave pool containing 700,000 gallons of water.   The adventure river allows you to float for ¼ of a mile through waterfalls, fountains and caves.  In addition, there is an Activity Pool where

for the whole family can relax for open swim.

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Photo Credits: rickpilot_2000

The schedule for Water Country begins in early June and ends on Labor Day.  The park opens at 10:30 am and closes at either 5:00 pm or 6:30 pm depending on the day.  Check weather as the park may alter its hours.  It is usually open if raining but severe weather may close the park.  The single day tickets prices are $37.99 for 48” and taller, $25.99 under 48”, $25.99 for 65 and older.  Children under 2 years are free.  Season passes are available for $65.99.  The contact information is www.watercountry.com on the web or call 1-603-427-1111.

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History of Food: Pasta

The first form of food similar to pasta was in the writings of Horace where thin strips of dough were fried and served with spices in the 1st century B.C.E. A few centuries later, we see an ancient ancestor of modern day lasagna come out in the form of lagana. It was described to be consisted of sheets of dough with meat filling in between. In the second century, the dough started to be made with flour and water instead of juice from lettuce. Later, Arabs adopted a similar form of noodle in the 5th century and lead to the Italians making thin strip noodle pasta.

 

If we jump to the 15th century, dried pasta was very valued because it could be stored for very long periods of time.That’s why many exploring ships brought dried pasta to the New World. Believe it or not, tomato sauce was only invented in the 18th century! Before this, people would just eat pasta with their hands. Now, people eat it with forks because the tomato would get too messy without it.

 

Today, the average Italian eats about sixty pounds of pasta per year, while the average American eats about twenty pounds of pasta per year. Writings suggest it originated in Italy, but why is it popular in North America? It’s because Italian immigration to the Americas that we love pasta so much. Italians have also had a mass immigration to South Africa, making spaghetti and meatballs a major part of Italian cuisine.

 

Do you like pasta? How do you eat yours? Comment, if you want, I guess.

 

White Water Rafting

An exciting day trip for the summer is white water rafting at U. S. Rafting Maine.  It offers   locations on the Kennebec and Dead Rivers. The experience includes rafting down Class III and IV rapids with all necessary equipment and an experienced guide.  There is transportation between the river and base camp.  A full lunch at the base camp is prepared for you, which includes barbecue chicken, baked beans, pasta salad and watermelon.  Finally you will receive a video viewing of your experience.

The Kennebec River is the most rafted river in Maine.  The Upper Gorge is a huge adrenaline rush mixing fun with fear. The Kennebec River requires no previous experience and is perfect for a family adventure.  You must be at least 10 years of age to attend.  The Dead River offers 16 miles of continuous whitewater and many surf holes and famous for the “High Water” releases.  The Dead River requires no experience, but is challenging.  You must be at least 14 years of age to attend.

The check-in is at 9:30 a.m. and trips return to the base camp at 4 p.m. This is a full-day adventure which includes all necessary equipment including a paddle, life jacket and helmet, a licensed guide.  The guides are knowledgeable and make the experience awesome.  You will be on the water for 3 to 4 hours of the day in a raft that fits up to 10 people.

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Photo credits: Razvan Orendovici

The schedule for white water rafting begins in May and concludes in early October.  The cost for the trip starts at $129 per person.  The excursion will take place despite rain since they figure you are going to get wet anyway.  For more specific information, visit the website as schedules and pricing differ depending on which river you choose to raft.  For more information, you can visit http://www.usraftingmaine.com on the web or call 1-207-323-3052.

Canobie Lake Park

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Photo Credits: IronGargoyle

Imagine riding on a carousel over 100 years old or a wooden roller coaster built in 1930’s.  You can do both and a whole lot more at Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire. Canobie Lake Park opened in August of 1902, as a trolley park for the Massachusetts Northeast Street Railway Company.  In the early years, it was visited for its flower gardens, promenades and simple attractions.  From 1930’s through 1950’s, Canobie Lake Park opened the Dancehall Theater which became a famous location of entertainment which hosted many famous celebrities.  Today, the park features over 50 rides including thrill rides, water rides, family rides and kiddie.

The classic rides found at the park are the wooden roller coaster and carousel.  The Yankee Cannonball, a 1930s-era wooden roller coaster, is one of the park’s best known rides.  The Antique Carousel dates back to 1905.  It is equipped with stationary and moving animals as well as benches to ride on.  Additionally, the park features over 50 rides including thrill rides, water rides, family rides and kiddie rides.  That is not all, there is a variety of foods, prize games, three arcades, live entertainment, and fireworks.

One of the more recent rides that was added in 2011 is Untamed. It is a roller coaster that features a 72-foot vertical lift which then drops at a 97 degree angle. Untamed also takes riders through three inversions, a vertical loop, and a zero gravity roll. This year the park will open its newest ride called Equinox.  It has three spinning arms similar to a giant fan that can go 75 miles per hour around.

The schedule for Canobie begins in May and ends in October.  The times vary so you can check the website for details.  The general admission prices are $35 for adults, $26 for under 48″, $26 for 60 years old and over, $26 after 5 pm admission. Children under 3 years are free.  Make sure you check the website for specials and coupons for discount admission.  The contact information is www.canobie.com on the web or call 1-603-893-3506.

Summer: A Poem

Photo Credit: Varun Kapoor

Photo Credit: Varun Kapoor

Long days, short nights

Walking Barefoot

Playing with kites

 

Going to Camp

Staying out late

Meeting with friends

Fishing with bait

 

Doing what you please

Climbing up trees

Going to the beach

Not having to recite a long, long, long, long speech

 

Cinnamon bun

Water gun

Midnight sun

That long run

 

Hamburger bun

Tanning under the sun

Having fun

Until summer’s done

 

Going on a family vacation

Touring the nation

Playing games outside

Eating foods that are fried

 

Swimming in a lake

Stuffing your mouth with cake

 

Not an old plumber

Not a big fat bummer

But Summer

Summer.

 

Top Rides at Six Flags Great Adventure

When visiting New Jersey, there is one place you have to go; Six Flags Great Adventure. It is the best amusement park I have ever been to! The park is scattered with some crazy roller coasters and rides. Here is a list of my favorites. If you like roller coasters, you need to ride these before your life is complete. The lines are long but trust me, they’re worth the wait. (Note: Did not ride Bizarro due to lack of time, so it did not make the list. The youtube videos following were taken on the rides. I do not own these videos, and they WILL make you dizzy. Information credit to http://www.sixflags.com/greatAdventure/index.aspx)

 

4. Green Lantern

Green Lantern was one of the most unique rides I have ever gone on for one reason; you ride standing up. This unique coaster lets you “stand up to your fear”. Green Lantern features a coaster design new to Six Flags with seats that let the rider stand. Don’t worry, you are still strapped in tight. This roller coaster stands 154 feet in the air. It is one of the longest roller coasters at Great Adventure ( 2 minutes, 30 seconds), and has a top speed of 63 mph. The only factor that I didn’t like was that it gave me a headache. The tight turns made my head hit the seat a couple times.

 


3. Batman: The Ride

This was the first big coaster we did at Six Flags. It is a crazy, awesome ride. The seat design on this coaster lets your feet dangle while you go through several loops and corkscrews. “Batman: The Ride” stands 10.5 stories tall, and reaches a top speed of 50 mph. Although it is not a newer roller coaster (first introduced in 1993), it gives plenty of thrills. Look for the black and yellow for an adventure fit for Batman!

 


2. Nitro

Nitro features many twists, turns, drops, and accelerations in a mile long track. The beginning features a rise that seems to go on forever (part nerves!) with a drop on the end (215 feet) steep enough to scare the devil. This roller coaster reaches speeds as high as 80 mph. Unlike most roller coasters, the track is very long, therefore increasing the fun factor.

 

1. Kingda Ka

Kingda Ka is CRAZY. Standing 45 stories tall, it is the tallest roller coaster in the world. From the starting point, you get launched 45 stories and go from 0 mph to 128 mph in three seconds. This extreme launch makes Kingda Ka the fastest coaster in North America. You literally stick to your seat as you fly above the skyline into the gut- wrenching drop. It was the coolest most awesome thing I have ever done. Watch the video below to really get a sense of what it is like. You haven’t lived until you ride Kingda Ka.

Top 5 Video Game Easter Eggs

Easter eggs, in video games, are hidden objects, quests, missions, rooms, people or anything of that nature that are put in the game solely for fun. So, without further ado, my top 5 favorite video game Easter eggs!

5. Creepy room in Portal 2.

Number five goes to an Easter egg in one of my favorite games of all time, Portal 2. Portal 2 is set in a sort of apocalyptic future where the main character has to go through stage after stage of meaningless puzzles set up by computers. The Easter egg is actually a set of hidden rooms where anonymous people have written messages about having no hope.

Click here for pictures of them: https://www.google.com/search?q=creepy+portal+2+easter+eggs&hl=en&newwindow=1&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=n-tlUcDrIqjJ0QHn_oCgDg&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAQ&biw=1257&bih=591

4. Pokemon Red/Blue- MISSINGO

In Pokemon Red and Blue, there is a hidden pokemon named MISSINGO, which is actually a spare bit of code, which the developer decided to give stats. It can be used to duplicate rare items.

3. Jar Jar Binks frozen in carbonite.

Another one of my favorite games, Star Wars, The Force Unleashed. On one of the walls, you can see Jar Jar, the hated character of Star Wars, frozen in carbonite.

2. Chrono Trigger sarcastic developer room.

This one made me laugh when I saw it, if you manage to beat the game, and find the bonus level, when you restart, a gate appears and the development team is on the other side, a message appears saying:

“Congrats on beating the game,

Now get a life!!”

1. Hidden room in “Adventure”

This is number one because it is the first Easter egg ever created. If you do a certain set of things in the 1980’s video game “Adventure” you can see a room where the programmers wrote some messages!

Angkor Wat: The World’s Largest Religious Monument

Angkor Wat, located in Siem Reap Province in Cambodia, is the world’s largest religious monument. “Angkor” comes from Sanskrit and means “city” while Wat is Khmer for “temple.” Cambodians are usually referred to as Khmer people and Thai are referred to as Siem. So, the name Siem Reap means “Thai Defeat,” but that’s another story. Angkor Wat also appears on the national flag of Cambodia.

Angkor Wat was originally built in the 12th century by king Suryavarman II as a Hindu temple. It was a dedication to Vishnu. Later, in the 16th century, Buddhism took over and Angkor Wat was converted to a Buddhist temple. The Buddhists tried to paint the giant wall mural depicting several scenes from Hinduism and in some parts, you can actually touch the carved stone on the mural.

Angkor Wat lies on an island 1km x 1.5km with a 1 km wide moat on all sides. There are two entrances: the front in the west and the back in the east. Angkor Wat, unlike most temples, faces to the west instead of the east to signify that Suryavarman was intending to be buried there. Inside the temple, there is a central point where you can see in all four directions, many intricate and sometimes unfinished carvings, and a big central tower which was the king’s tomb. The central has really steep stairs that you could be afraid of going up and down.

Overall, Angkor Wat is a great place and has a lot of extra history and details to it, and it is also a great tourist destination.