Monthly Archives: October 2007

Internationally Published Photographer? Dubai?

About a month ago I got a message on Flickr from a Japanese publishing company, CONEX Asia Network, requesting to use a photo of mine in a business magazine of theirs. Even more surprising was that they wanted to use it for Dubai Business Today which, “focuses on informing Japanese businessmen the various aspects of Dubai and the United Arab of Emirates in general.” The photo they asked about was this shot I took of the Las Vegas construction. Apparently, Dubai World is investing in the new MGM Mirage City Center project. I agreed to the request and asked for a credit on the photo, as well as a copy of the magazine, if possible. I didn’t expect to hear another word.

Lo and behold, yesterday in my mail was a large envelope from Japan, via airmail from Hong Kong. Inside was a copy of the October issue of Dubai Business Today, entirely in Japanese. And sure enough, in the middle of the magazine, as part of an inset article was my photo and name. It’s too bad that the caption and credit take up a lot of space at the bottom of the photo, but it’s still pretty cool (click the thumbnail at right for a larger view of the article). Does anyone read Japanese and want to tell me what it all says? So far, I’ve figured out the parts that are “MGM”.

I guess now I can officially call myself an “Internationally Published Photographer” or something. What a strange small world where I can visit Vegas for the first time… post a photo on the internet… and 6 months later it’s stumbled-upon and then published in a Japanese magazine about Dubai.

Allow me to introduce you to Coffee Milk

Having gone to school in Rhode Island, I was exposed to the somewhat odd beverage of Coffee milk. Exactly as Wikipedia describes, it is a syrup-flavored milk similar in consistency to chocolate or strawberry milk. I knew it originated in Rhode Island and was common there, but didn’t realize it was so popular to be dubbed, “The official state drink of Rhode Island”.1

In my college cafeteria next to the regular, skim, and chocolate milk dispensers, they also had one for coffee milk. I tried drinking it for a while but it was too sickly sweet for my taste (which is funny, because that’s exactly how I like my coffee). I’ve asked many friends and coworkers from all different parts of the country if they’d ever heard of coffee milk and not a single one had.

It’s common to find highly regional foods and drinks all over the place, but coffee milk strikes me as particularly odd. Why did it never catch on like other flavored milk? It combines three things that almost everyone in this country loves: coffee + milk + sugar. I guess the closest we’ve gotten are the other coffee-syrup-based drinks you now find in Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks, like the coolatta or frappuccino. I guess the rest of the country needs a fancily-marketed, masquerading-as-real-coffee beverage instead of a plain ‘ol ice cold coffee milk.

1I didn’t even realize that states had official drinks until now. Rhode Island is one of only a handful of states that doesn’t have plain milk as their state drink. Here’s a list of all U.S. state beverages. The only alcoholic beverages represented are (not surprisingly): wine in California, beer in Wisconsin, and Conecuh Ridge Whiskey (moonshine) in Alabama. Though I would have expected bourbon out of Kentucky. Slackers.