Wednesday, June 30, 2010

All I Want For Xmas Is a Bike Path

I’m just back from a short trip to Nantucket, another small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. And while the similarities to Bermuda are uncanny—both islands have strong British colonial roots, a rich seafaring history and extremely high costs of living—it was the differences that really got me thinking, most notably how Nantucket has miles upon miles of dedicated bicycle paths and Bermuda does not. Over 25 miles of well-paved paths, actually. Now, I fully understand that Nantucket is larger than Bermuda (47-square-miles as compared to 21-square-miles respectively) and thus, has more land to create recreational lanes for its citizens and tourists, but whoever had the foresight to create island-wide bike lanes gets a gold star in my book. Which begs the question: Why don’t we have any bicycle lanes in Bermuda? When my wife and I moved here over a year ago, we envisioned hopping on our bikes and spending long days pedaling under the sun. But with congested roadways and impatient tailgaters, bicycling on Bermuda’s roads is dangerous at best and deadly at worst. Is there no better option? Sure, bicyclists can try the Railway Trail—the path left behind from the island’s 40’s era now-defunct train—but it’s unpaved and not really suitable for a leisurely bicycle ride. What I’m talking about here are dedicated bike paths alongside major roads, made for pedal bikes and only pedal bikes. Just imagine the progress we’d see: More people biking to and from work, less congestion on the roads and yet another source of tourism revenue for small business owners (I paid $50 for two bikes for 24 hours in Nantucket; Bermuda had around 500,000 visitors last year—you do the math). Look, it’s not that Bermuda isn’t a wonderful place to live. It absolutely is. But a few tweaks here and there wouldn’t hurt. My rusty bicycle thanks you in advance.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Health Alert

This just in from McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a Johnson & Johnson company that manufactures and distributes popular over-the-counter pills: According to a recent press release, one lot of 50-count Extra Strength Tylenol Rapid Release Gels, which were sold in Bermuda as well as the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago, have been recalled. The company says that the lots were “inadvertently omitted” from the initial January 15 recall, which included Children’s and Infants’ Tylenol. Prompted by consumer vomiting, diarrhea and complaints of a musty or moldy odor that has since been traced to a chemical used on wood pallets in shipping—a.k.a. 2,4,6-tribromoanisole—the new recall also includes four lots of Benadryl Allergy Ultratab Tablets 100-count bottles. Wondering what’s in your medicine cabinet? The lot numbers can be found on the side of the bottle label; Benadryl lots are AJA008, ADA194, ABA022 and ABA264. The Tylenol lot is ASA202. For a refund or more information visit or call 888/222-6036 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bermuda Soup

Alright, fine. I haven’t written in a few days. But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any mid-Atlantic news to report—just that I’ve been, shall we say, detained. So in the spirit of getting caught up, here in the meantime is your weekly bowl of Bermuda soup. First, the winners of Bermuda’s Perfect 10 Destination Wedding Giveaway. Unfortunately my overall pick, Danielle & Garison didn’t win, but this just in for Garison’s mother Martha, who left yet another heartfelt comment last week: “Garison and Danielle were out-voted and did not win that Bemuda wedding, however Garison just posted a lovely invitation: ‘8/13/11! Thats the date!! Connecticut! We'll treat the President of JetBlue to a flight to our wedding, Tucker's Point GM an overnight at the local hotel, the President of the Knot to his/her own private wedding cake and let the Prime Minister of Bermuda sit at the wedding party table." Talk about gracious losers! In other news, the 2010 Newport Bermuda sailing regatta is well under way, with boats crossing the finish line in St. David’s as we speak. The overall winner? A 100-foot sloop named Speedboat (pictured), which led the 183-boat fleet for the duration of the race. Clocking in just 59 hours at sea, the 25-man crew arrived June 21 at 4:49am, no doubt needing showers and copious amounts of rum. In the latest musical development from island impresario Tony Brannon, an album called Ride the Wave has been released to raise funds for the Coalition for the Protection of Children. Check it out on iTunes because it’s surprisingly good. The compilation boasts a completely local lineup of talent including dance hall star Collie Buddz, roots-reggae rocker Mishka and jazz crooner Gita Blakeney (to listen to all twenty songs go here). That's all for today, but be sure to tune in tomorrow for more island news and tropical updates.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Get Thee To Bermuda

This just in from a loving mother-in-law to be regarding yesterday’s picks for most deserving wedding couple. Looks like I was right on the money by picking Garison & Danielle (pictured) for one of those ten destination weddings in Bermuda. Here’s what Martha had to say in the comment box yesterday: “Thank you for picking Garison and Danielle for the "Linked for Life" category. We love Bermuda. [My husband and I] have honeymooned there, run your marathon, baked cassava pie on Christmas in Bermuda, Garison was baptised with Bermuda water, my daughter [was] named after a parish and we gave blood while on vacation when Bermuda had a shortage. While we probably won't win the category we have won nonetheless. Thank you for your vote.” No, Martha. Thank YOU for reading! They sound like a lovely couple and considering your daughter's middle name is in fact Pembroke—the parish that encompasses the city of Hamilton—I have a feeling the Bermuda Gods may indeed be looking down upon you (although I have a feeling she's glad you didn't pick Devonshire or St. George's for nombre numero dos). Hey Department of Tourism & the Knot, you hear that? These good folks even donated blood here! Sounds pretty deserving of a Bermudaful wedding to me. Consider Bermuda Shorts pulling for you all the way.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Let the Voting Begin

Back in April I told you about a fantastic destination-wedding giveaway sponsored by the Bermuda Department of Tourism. In case you missed it, it was one heckuva prize: Ten lucky couples would win a destination wedding in Bermuda for ten people including a five-night stay at one of ten participating hotels, airfare for the entire party on a private JetBlue charter flight and a dream wedding based on one of ten island-inspired themes (Exotic Cave, Eco-Chic, Magical Sunset, Waves of Love, Moongate, Sunset and Pink Sand, Waterfront, Harborfront, Nostalgic Bermuda and Linked For Life). The catch? Interested couples would have to say, “I do” on October 10 (ten couples on 10/10/10, get it?). And so after careful deliberation the finalists are in—and today is the last day to vote for your ten winners. You can check out the three lucky finalists in each category here, but in the meantime, here are my early picks.

For Eco-Chic I’m going with Kelsey & Jason, if only because they have the support of their local newspaper. For Magical Sunset, I’m picking Tonya & David, because the groom-to-be looks so dapper in that tux of his. For Waves of Love, I’m voting for Takoa & James, because they already have four kids and seemingly no way of affording an experience this extravagant. For Nostalgic Bermuda it’s Holly & Aaron all the way, he being an Iraq war veteran who had to ship off before they eloped in Vegas. For Moongate, I’m throwing my full support behind Kalev & Ananda, because of Reason 4: “Always wanted to name our first born ‘Subtropical.’ If we win it would seem less weird.” For Sunset & Pink Sand, I’m voting for Alexis & Donnie, neither of whom have ever been outside the U.S. For Exotic Cave, I’m going with Jessica & Greg, who have pledged to get in shape for the beach if indeed they win (you go guys!). For Harbourfront, I’m pulling for Casey & Michael who look just adorable with their young son at Christmastime. For Waterfront, I’m voting for Chanell & Brandon, another young couple who’ve never left the U.S. And finally, for Linked for Life, I’m picking Garison & Danielle, who have pledged to name their first child ‘Somers Isle’ if they get chosen. Well done team. The winners will be announced on June 17 (that's in two days for all you counting out there). Now go get voting!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Calling All Farmers

Do you own a tractor? Do you like pink sand vacations? If so, then this might be the travel deal just for you. The Reefs Hotel & Club in Southampton is offering a free vacation for up to six people in its brand new Reefs Club beachfront residences in exchange for—wait for it, wait for it—a tractor! You heard me right, a tractor. And not just any ol’ tractor either. The resort, which prides itself on keeping its slice of pink sand beach pristine (hence the need for the four-wheeled workhorse) has issued a specific set of guidelines for said exchange. Farmer Johns, listen up: The traded tractor should be equivalent to a Kubota B2320, be in new or nearly new condition, 23 horse power and have a front loader and trailer hitch. The length of the vacation will be based on the value of the tractor, but for all of you wondering how much a vacation for six normally costs, rental of a three-bedroom residence for six is $1,935 in high season, including breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner daily. Think you’ve got the goods? All those interested can send photos to the Reefs at And if you’re wondering, that’s what the Reefs’ tractor used to look like. No wonder they need a new one.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Indy in Bermuda?

It looks like Indiana Jones might be cracking his leather whip again—and he’ll be doing it in Bermuda. According to countless entertainment blogs, Hollywood rumor mills and wanna-be news sites, Indy’s latest adventure will be in the Bermuda Triangle. If that’s indeed the case, it’s sure to be a high-seas adventure, but the good Dr. Jones has to hit land at some point, right? Of course, Hollywood being Hollywood nothing has been set in stone, but the final quote of a leaked report is encouraging for the island. Says an anonymous source, "Shia LaBeouf has a central role again as Indy's son but this will be a blockbuster made in the old fashioned way rather than the CGI efforts of the last movie." Which basically means there’ll be no computer-animated mumbo jumbo, which further means they’ll need plenty of boats and of course, all those boats will need docks, which Bermuda is proud to boast plenty of. Me being an eternal optimist, I’m thinking they’ve gotta shoot part of the movie on land. So without further adieu, here are my proposed movie titles for Indy’s next flick:

“Raiders of the Lost Shark: Indy Combs the Bermuda Triangle for Signs of Life”

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Madras Shorts”

“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Vroom: 50cc’s And Nowhere to Go”

“Indiana Jones and the Last Escapade: The Legend of Johnny Barnes”

Got any other suggestions? Lemme hear it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

BP = Big Problem

I’m no scientist, but even a cursory glance at the above video suggests that Bermuda may be in serious risk of becoming engulfed in BP’s oil this summer. According to the computer modeling study released by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) last week, oil from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico might soon extend along thousands of miles of the Atlantic coast as early as this summer. Says NCAR scientist Synte Peacock, "Our best knowledge says the scope of this environmental disaster is likely to reach far beyond Florida, with impacts that have yet to be understood." Which quite possibly means Bermuda if the above animation is indeed accurate. Don’t believe me? Click play. Do you see that light green dot in the middle of the dark blue Atlantic on the map? That’s Bermuda. Now watch as the slick makes its way around the tip of Florida, up the Atlantic coast and engulfs the entire island (about the 16 second mark; then again at 26 seconds). Scary stuff. Even scarier? Some island politicians don’t seem to agree with scientists. This just in from Environment Minister Glenn Blakeney who spoke on the disaster at last week’s House of Assembly: “There is presently not too much concern about a submerged plume of emulsified oil reaching the Atlantic because the levels or concentration of this material in the water column seems to quickly fall to a few parts per billion or per trillion parts of sea water that is barely measurable within 50 miles of the source of the oil. There is also little to no risk of fresh oil reaching Bermuda.” Well sir, I certainly hope you’re right, but when tar balls start washing up on our beaches please be sure to let me know where to dispose of them. In the meantime I openly welcome suggestions from scientists, politicians and yes, all you regular folks out there who regularly make a difference in this world, to suggest ways how we as an island can protect ourselves from the slick. The Bermuda Shorts forum is officially open.

Monday, June 7, 2010

And...We're Back!

Talk about a hiatus. Traveling to and from Telluride is usually a fairly easy endeavour—if you don’t live in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, that is. More than one week and five airports later Bermuda Shorts is back with the latest and greatest from Bermuda’s sunny shores. But first a bit about MountainFilm, because really, how can I not tell you about this amazing confluence of artists, activists and athletes. What started out as a few mountaineers who wanted to climb during the day and watch films at night has, over thirty years later, turned into an inspired gathering of aware people doing aware things. Like Nico Calabria, a one-legged boy who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money and wheelchairs for mobility-impaired people in Tanzania (watch his triumphant ascent in the short film, Nico’s Challenge). Or filmmaker Josh Fox, whose documentary Gasland exposes the toxic side of natural gas drilling (in case you hadn’t heard, it causes some Americans to have flammable tap water—now just imagine if you drank it). And perhaps most moving of all, director Louie Psihoyos whose film The Cove won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary, a movie which uncovered the horrific practice of dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan (Long story short: over 23,000 dolphins are brutally murdered in Japan every year and their mercury-poisoned carcasses were being fed to local schoolchildren, until this film exposed it all. Chilling). If I’ve at all piqued your interest—and I sure hope I have—then the good news you can watch these films and more on Outside Television, the brand new network that will air Outside Film Festival: MountainFilm, starring pro-skier Lynsey Dyer and yours truly this November. And in case you don’t get Outside Television, have no fear. The network should be coming to a TV near you very, very soon. And so my friends, thanks for your patience. Your island news and tropical updates will officially return tomorrow.