Flavour Revolution – Cotton Candy

Daunting Debuts

Cotton Candy was first introduced to the mass public at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, There, it sold 68,655 units at 25-cents per box (which in today’s money would be approximately $6 each). To say it was a success, would be an understatement. That got me thinking about other famous items that were first unveiled at World’s Fairs or similar events. Here are some of the notable products we may never have known had it not been for masses of people gathering in the name of advancement:

Disneyland Attraction Technology (1964)

Walt Disney played a massive role at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, presenting a number of the technologies that would later become fixtures at his theme parks, namely Audio Animatronics. The Disney company created two awe-inspiring experiences for visitors to the event, with the It’s a Small World ride, and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show. As a Disneyland fan for close to my entire life, I must heap great praise on this turning point in the park’s history.

Hangin with Tinkerbell

Broadcast TV (1939)

Any casual observer of this site knows of the Sip Advisor’s love of television. Well, it all began here, with RCA President David Sarnoff, choosing to put a TV on display for the start of the fair, including broadcasting President Frankiln Roosevelt’s opening address. As if people’s minds weren’t already blown, colour photography, air conditioning and even Smell-O-Vision were introduced to the public, although I think they’re still working out the kinks to that Smell-O-Vision concept.

Telephone (1876)

My love-hate relationship with phones (I love MY phone, I just hate everyone else’s!) wouldn’t be possible without its unveiling at the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia. Who could have imagined then, that phones would become portable, let alone be able to accomplish so much with, while out and about. Other items to be featured at the event, included the typewriter, the steam engine, Heinz Ketchup and Hires Root Beer.

Electrical Outlet (1904)

With developments in electricity rapidly coming down the pipeline, all folks needed was a place to plug in all their future appliances and gadgets. Thanks to the 1904 World’s Fair civilization was introduced to a whole new way of harnessing power, which still exists today. Now, if only companies would stop making unnecessarily large plugs, which take up so much space that you can’t get another cable into the same outlet… and don’t get me started on European adapters!

Going Places Outlet

X-Ray Machine (1901)

This device can be credited with saving an untold number of lives and advancing medical technology in a number of avenues. Interestingly, the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo was infamous for the assassination of President William McKinley. After being shot by gunman Leon Czolgosz, doctors were afraid to use the X-Ray Machine on McKinley to locate the bullet, due to fear of adverse side effects… instead, he died from his wounds eight days later.

Touchscreens (1982)

While touchscreens are all the rage today, they were actually first introduced more than 30 years ago, at the World’s Fair in Knoxville. You’d have to imagine that this advancement blew a lot of people’s minds, given they were still fiddling around with rotary phones and such. Why it took so long for the technology to be developed before most of us had it in our hands is likely due to costs. For example, Sega had planned to follow the Game Gear with a touchscreen device, but had to scrap it.

Chuck Norris Touchscreen

Ice Cream Cones (1904)

1904 was a big year for revelations in the snacking industry. Along with cotton candy, ice cream cones also made their debut. While I’m not the biggest ice cream buff, preferring my iced treats to be in bowl or cookie form, I can’t say that I’ve never enjoyed a cone (preferably waffle) covered with all the necessary goodies. I wonder how the original cones held up given even nowadays, you often end up with ice cream all over your hands. Perhaps they used materials back then that are illegal now.

IMAX (1970)

For everyone that’s ever suffered motion sickness from these monster movie screens, you have the 1970 EXPO to thank. It figures that Japan would be the debut site of this technological wonder, but it should be noted that the film (Tiger Child) was produced by a Canadian company. I have never felt so proud of my country than right now! The IMAX might have been rivaled by the large moon rock on display at the American pavilion, recently returned from the second trip to the moon.

Flavour Revolution: Funhouse Cocktail

Some other more “minor” debuts of note at World’s Fairs include Cracker Jack (1893), Dr. Pepper (1904), the Twinkie (1940), and Cherry Coke (1982). It should also be noted that one of the world’s most famous landmarks, the Eiffel Tower, was built for the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, while other notable attractions were also erected for a city’s turn to host the world, such as the Space Needle in Seattle and Science World (aka that golf ball looking building) in Vancouver.

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France – Between the Sheets

Sensational Skyline

The Eiffel Tower is an iconic symbol, regularly associated with not only Paris, but the entire country of France. The structure can be found in numerous forms of media representing the country and celebrated its 125th anniversary earlier this year. Let’s take a closer look at this mammoth structure:

The Eiffel Tower was opened to the public on March 31, 1889, taking two years, two months and five days to build by 300 workers. It was erected to serve as the entrance to the 1889 World Fair (or Exposition Universelle, since the French always have to put their own twist on titles). While it is an icon of the country today, its construction was protested by French artists and writers, who called it a “hateful column of bolted sheet metal!”

Frances-Thong

Writer Guy de Maupassant was one of the most vocal haters of the Eiffel Tower, yet was discovered eating lunch inside the setting on a daily basis. He claimed that it was because it was the only place in Paris that he didn’t have to look at the building. Other residents of the city initially viewed the construction as an eyesore.

Although the tower is named in honour of engineer Gustave Eiffel, he wasn’t initially interested in the project. Designed by his company’s engineers Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, Eiffel only really came on board when the design was tweaked by his head of architecture, Stephen Sauvestre. Then, Eiffel purchased the patent rights for the structure.

A symbol of modern science, for 41 years, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest man-made object (standing at 1,063 feet) in the world, but that reign came to an end in 1930 with the completion of New York’s Chrysler Building. I bet the French regretted giving New York the Statue of Liberty after they were trumped. The tower is comprised of 18,038 pieces linked by 2.5 million rivets.

Tower or Battleship

Today, the Eiffel isn’t even the tallest structure in France anymore. It has been surpassed by the Millau Viaduct, a cable-stayed bridge that connects parts of Millau-Creissels, France over the River Tarn. While it does provide a nice photo-op (if you’re into bridges and such), the Eiffel Tower is still the place tourists flock for their Parisian moment.

The tower was treated with 60 tons of paint to protect from the weather and has been repainted numerous times (about every seven years) since its original covering. It is painted lighter at the bottom of the structure and becomes gradually darker at the top so it looks like one uniform colour, despite atmospheric pressure. On warms days, the Eiffel tower can grow up to six inches, thanks to thermal expansion… does this mean that Mrs. Sip is also thermal expansion!?

The tower’s elevators weren’t running until almost two months after the building opened. Visitors could still enter the structure, but had to climb 1,710 steps to reach the summit. Still, more than 30,000 people were willing to traverse the many flights to get a view of the city. Mrs. Sip and I have talked about doing the stair thing sometime, but I think my laziness will always prevail.

Eiffel Lightning

The Eiffel Tower was supposed to be taken apart after 20 years, but it was later used as a radio communications tower, transitioning into telecommunications with the change in technology. The city chose to keep the structure after its permit expired in 1909. A post office, theatre, newspaper, science labs, and even an annual ice rink have also set up shop at the structure.

In the 1920s, con man Victor Lustig sold the Eiffel Tower twice for scrap metal. With forged government documents, Lustig invited six scrap metal dealers to a meeting where they discussed dismantling the run down and expensive-to-upkeep landmark. When the scam worked once without Lustig ending up in jail, he returned to try it again, but this time authorities were summoned. Lustig did get away this time, but eventually found himself in jail, where he died in 1947. His death certificate listed his occupation as ‘apprentice salesman!’

Eiffel For You

The tower sure is sturdy, surviving wars, fires, and countless visitors. One time when Mrs. Sip and I were visiting the landmark, we even saw some dude relieving himself against the iconic iron! Today, the Eiffel Tower is the most visited pay monument in the world, with over seven millions visitors annually, 75% of which are foreigners.

It may not be the copycat Eiffel Tower located at The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, but Joe King, an engineering professor from California, constructed a toothpick replica of the famous structure in 1988, using 110,000 sticks. The tower stood 23 feet high. Other imitations include: Tokyo Tower in Japan, Torre del Reformador in Guatemala, Petřín Lookout Tower in the Czech Republic, AWA Tower in Australian, and many more.

France: Between the Sheets

Between the Sheets Cocktail

  • 1 oz Cognac
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 oz Light Rum
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

Every time Mrs. Sip and I have been at the Eiffel Tower (with the intent of going up), the weather has been inclement. The first time we ever scaled the monument, the weather was near freezing and windy and even snowed a little. Other times, we have passed on going up because we know it isn’t as enjoyable when it’s wet and cold. On one visit, the weather was gorgeous as we were winding our way through the Louvre line-up early in the day. That afternoon was supposed to be Eiffel Tower time, but as we made our way to the attraction, the clouds burst open and we were thwarted once again. C’est la vie is all you can really say!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Despite three ounces of alcohol, this drink was pretty damn good. I was worried about how harsh it might be, so instead of using plain Light Rum, I subbed in Torched Cherry Rum and the flavour went very well with the Triple Sec. Both tasted very nice with Cognac as part of the mix and while still potent, the drink was delicious.

April 1 – Pretty Vegas

Souvenir Sipping

Las Vegas is filled with special souvenir glasses. Each resort seems to have their own offering, thanks to the special theming that goes into each place. Here are some we’ve seen while out and about on the strip!

Eiffel Tower/Hot Air Balloon – Paris

Some of the most elaborate souvenir glasses are sold at The Paris hotel, where you can get your favourite iced drink inside either a replica of the Eiffel Tower (or as some jackass cabbie in France insisted, “Tour Eiffel”… seriously, we told the driver we wanted to go to the Eiffel Tower four times and he kept “misunderstanding” us until we said Tour Eiffel… and Parisians wonder why everyone hates them!) or a ceramic hot air balloon that mimics the outside of the resort.

Guitar – Rockhouse

If you ever wanted to play Guitar Hero and get blitzed without having to put your instrument down, here’s your chance. These bad boys hold a fair bit of liquor (80 oz), too, so be prepared to rock all night long!

80ozGuitar

Football – Fremont Experience

Fans and even non-fans of pigskin can’t turn down a beer-filled football. I know I couldn’t. When you’re done the drink, you now have something to play with back in your hotel room…  or you can turn Fremont Street into your own personal playing field. Touchdowns are scored by getting to the Golden Nugget end zone.

Tambourine – Rio

You can get either a Sex on the Beach or a Margarita in one of these glasses that also doubles as an instrument. Mrs. Sip, myself and Broski Sip grabbed a pair of these before hopping into a limo and cruising up and down the strip getting wasted. When our limo tour was finally over, we all had to hit the washroom so bad that taking a photo outside the vehicle shows a three-person pee-pee dance. Add to that, Mrs. Sip suffering food poisoning later that night (not to do with the drink) and now she can’t enjoy Margaritas in the same way.

Bong – Numb at Caesar’s Palace

I haven’t had a chance to see this glass in person, but I’ve seen pictures. Quite frankly, it looks like something Tommy Chong was arrested for selling. The curious cat in me wonders if it can actually be used as a smoking device afterwards. After all, can’t stoners turn absolutely anything into a bong?

Toilet – Rock & Rita’s at Circus Circus

Have you ever wanted to experience the joys of a dog’s life? Here’s your chance to do it in a mostly hygienic manner by drinking out of this toilet souvenir glass. This doesn’t mean you’ll gain the ability to lick yourself in the naughty region (well, give it a shot anyway), but you will suddenly gain an appreciation for having your ear scratched.

Rock & Rita's

Skull – Teasure Island

I used to have a skeleton mug that we’d leave out for Santa Claus every Christmas morning. It seems kind of morbid now, but when I was a kid, I insisted on it. Maybe jolly ol’ Saint Nick would prefer if that mug was filled with beer. I know I would and therefore I plan on tracking down this glass as a sacrifice for the ghost of Christmas future.

Big Kahuna Fish Bowl – Kahunaville at Treasure Island

Granted fish bowls aren’t really anything new to the drinking world, but combine the massive goblet you’re given here with the beakers of liquor that you can choose to add to the mix whenever you feel and you have quite the winning combo. You can even buy extra beakers and make the drink look like a test subject.

Boot – Coyote Ugly at New York, New York

We’ve all heard stories of the infamous German boot glass. Well, the Coyote Ugly Saloon has taken that success and created the cowboy boot glass. There’s actually a normal glass shape inside the boot, so drinkers won’t have to deal with the air pocket that sometimes accumulates when chugging from the German boot, although that’s all part of the fun. You know, I never understood the name of this bar… I think Wile E. Coyote is quite fetching!

Drink #91: Pretty Vegas

Pretty Vegas Drink Recipe

  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • 0.5 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Peach Schnapps
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with a Cocktail Umbrella

Layer each of the ingredients in their order about on top of each other in an ice-filled glass. There are many other specialty glasses out there in Sin City (Pineapples at Cheeseburger in Paradise, Statue of Liberty at New York, New York, etc.)… if only you had the time, liver and the money to collect them all!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Layering the ingredients of this drink actually worked out reasonably well. The only issue was the clear Peach Schnapps melding together with the light-coloured Lemon Juice. Other than that, all the ingredients behaved themselves and kept their distance. The overall taste was good, as well.