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Man of the Year


This is the latest installment in our heroically gruff series on Hemingway Days, examining the charms of spare prose, sport fishing and all things Ernest.

As an epilogue to our magnum blog opus, we couldn’t help drawing your attention to Mr. Charles Bicht, cat lover and 2010’s Hemingway Lookalike of the Year. This was his 12th year going out for the prize, but apparently at 64 years old, he's now exactly the right age for it.

As a bonus, the prize fish was a 400-pound blue marlin (worth $25,000), and the running of the bulls was entirely mechanical.

Congratulations, gentlemen.

Hemingway Days Are Upon Us


You don’t get many chances to get drunk and do ridiculous things in the name of a literary icon, so when the chance comes along you’d better make the most of it.

In that spirit, we thought we’d bring your attention to a little festival called Hemingway Days, raging from July 20th to 25th in the Florida Keys. You’ve probably seen pictures of the lookalike contest but we prefer to focus on the more meditative aspects of the event, and just how great it is to grow out a snow-white beard, pack a few bottles of rum, swing through a reading and then go sport fishing. It would be pretentious if it weren’t so goofy…which isn’t such a bad place to find yourself.

So, in the spirit of the occasion, you’ll be seeing a lot of Papa on Kempt over the next couple weeks, including beard advice, overlooked works, and an introduction to something called the Conch Republic. And if you feel like pouring yourself a drink to celebrate, we’ve got one ready.

Showing Muscle


The early 70s were a magical time, as all those Starsky & Hutch reruns can attest. And while the clothes, hairstyles, air quality, political leadership, and standards of hygiene may be a bit embarrassing in retrospect, there’s one thing that never disappoints: the cars.

Luckily, we’ll have a place to admire them all. Punta Gorda, FL is now the site of the confusingly named Muscle Car City Museum, with more than 200 muscle cars kept in spectacular working order. It’s a fascinating window into Detroit’s last great generation of automobiles, along with a decade worth of design innovations for anyone paying attention.

And we imagine they can drive pretty fast too.

Good Dog, Good Dog


Recreational cloning cleared a big hurdle last week, when a grief-stricken Boca Raton woman cloned her dead Labrador for a price tag of $150,000. Clearly it’s not for everyone—or at least not at that price—but the possibilities are exciting.

School mascots can be kept alive indefinitely, guard dogs can genuinely be identical, and we can engineer a whole new ending for Old Yeller. But the most pressing question has yet to be answered: can you teach it new tricks?

Goodness Gracious the Paper


CoolHunting just gave us a few ideas about wrapping paper that had never occurred to us, so we thought we’d pass them along.

Our favorite is the Florida brand Fish Lips Paper Design (their “circle game” is pictured), but it’s hard to go wrong with anything on the list. Wrapping paper has been in Norman Rockwell territory for so long that we're happy to see any sort of innovation spring up.

The trick is ordering it so you’ll have time to use it this season…but we assume by now you’re pretty good with an online form.