Posted October 12, 2017
Want to start an old-fashioned scrap? Ask which state has the best barbecue. Some will say North Carolina, others Tennessee and still others Texas. All of them belong in the culinary kerfuffle. Then there’s Missouri, which just might top them all. In the least, the “Show Me State” – according to a couple of surveys, here and here – might be home to the city with the country’s best BBQ: Kansas City.
Again, you can eat great BBQ in a lot of places, but probably none is better than what they serve up in KC-MO. Perhaps it’s a holdover to KC’s hey-day as a cow town, when its stockyards covered 55 acres – actually straddling the Kansas River into Kansas City, Kansas, as well. (Below, KC’s stockyards in 1909.) At its peak in 1923, Kansas City’s yards received more than 2.6 million cattle and more than 2.7 million hogs. Only Chicago’s were bigger.
The living legacy to those days is some mighty-fine BBQ eating. Energy helps make the feast happen – in all its tangy, greasy glory.
Posted October 10, 2017
It’s early fall in the Mid-Atlantic, and memories of summer weekend jaunts to the Jersey Shore are still fresh – because, as Springsteen put it, “down on the shore everything’s all right.”
Here’s what’s alright: Folks loading up the car, filling the tank with gas and hitting the Atlantic City Expressway in droves, because there’s no more popular shore point than historic Atlantic City. The Boss again:
“Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty, and meet me tonight in Atlantic City.”
Atlantic City is the shore, it’s the Boardwalk – the one with a capital “B.” It’s shops, amusements and games of chance. It’s historic. Atlantic City street names were appropriated by “Monopoly,” still one of the most popular board games ever.
Atlantic City certainly lives up to its “Do AC” slogan. Pull through Ventnor or Brigantine, onto Atlantic Ave, into “America’s Favorite Playground,” and you’re instantly greeted by emporiums and casinos. A couple of blocks in the distance, the Boardwalk attracts beachgoers, bicyclists and beach tag checkers. This town doesn’t mess around when it comes to the tourist experience. Natural gas and petroleum help ensure that A.C. brings the heat year-round.
Posted October 5, 2017
We’re a hardy lot, we humans, often displaying enormous determination to keep moving forward in the face of steep challenges. Paratriathlete Allysa Seely, though, takes determination to another level entirely.
Seely made history last year by winning a gold medal for Team USA at the summer Paralympics. Eight years earlier she lost her left leg below the knee after surgeries and associated complications in the course of treatment for three separate disorders, two involving her brain. (Read more about it in this interview with ESPN.) She refused to stay down – and energy supported her steely resolve.
Posted October 3, 2017
Posted September 28, 2017
You remember “Lucy” and “Ricky” from “I Love Lucy,” one of the best TV sitcoms ever that’s still being seen on the Hallmark Channel. Once upon a time, in the film comedy “The Long, Long Trailer,” they set out on a road trip with a fully outfitted tow trailer about the length of Tennessee.
It’s still pretty funny stuff. For example, there’s a scene where she’s trying to fix a meal inside the bouncing, jouncing trailer while her husband happily belts out a ballad in the car, completely oblivious to his wife’s predicament in the rig behind him. And other gags.
Here’s the link between an old film comedy, trailers and energy: Every year, millions of Americans hit the roads towing trailers – and every mile is made better with the help of oil and natural gas. The link with Ohio is that Jackson Center in the Buckeye State, about 75 miles northwest of Columbus, is home to Airstream, maker of the classic, aluminum-clad travel trailer.
Posted September 26, 2017
Heading down the Las Vegas Strip toward one of the town’s big-name attractions, the sights and sounds are just mesmerizing, the crowd’s energy adding to the excitement. At the show the view is as spectacular as the iconic neon lights of the city’s skyline.
Musicians, illusionists and acrobats alike are decked out from head to toe in costumes that say out loud: There’s no such thing as too much glamour and extravagance in Las Vegas. The show’s a work of art of its own, seen in the performers’ elaborate face makeup. One’s decorated like a fierce warrior; another like a majestic animal. The shimmering makeup fits so well in a city that itself shimmers with color and light. Let’s look at the ways energy plays a role in makeup and cosmetic products – whether it’s putting the sparkle on a Vegas showgirl’s face or simply helping the rest of us look our best.
Posted September 20, 2017
In Birmingham, they may indeed love the governor (or so the song says), but in Alabama what they feel for college football – stretching from Mobile in the southwest corner of the state to Piedmont in the northeast – borders on insanity. College football might not be religion in these parts, but it’s pretty doggone close.
The first rite of service on football Saturdays is the tailgate. Before “War Eagle!” is heard inside Jordan-Hare Stadium or “Ro-o-o-o-oll Tide!” echoes in Bryant-Denny, the football acolytes observe special pregame rituals – food, drink and the most raucous reverie you’ll find under a canopy. Think of it as an outdoor party with tens of thousands of your closest friends. Whether on The Plains at Auburn or the Quad in Tuscaloosa, energy helps set the game day stage.
Posted September 13, 2017
More than 16 million U.S. households own motorcycles. It’s an energy-filled joyride that’s more about the getting there than the being there. Energy makes each cycling mile quicker, faster, yet safer – helping riders become a little more present, more adrenalized, a little more alive. Indeed, that fairly describes energy’s role in modern life: supporting, empowering, improving.
Posted August 29, 2017
The pro tennis U.S. Open getting under way this week in Queens, N.Y., is more than a sporting event. It’s a living museum, too. The hollowly thwack of racket hitting ball, echoing in the hard-court canyon of Arthur Ashe Stadium, conjures memories of past greats like Ashe and Billie Jean King, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Roger Federer and many others. All authored key chapters to their legends at the open, many doing so under the lights at Flushing Meadow, where summer often gives way to fall during the tournament’s fortnight.
The U.S. Open is lightning-fast asphalt courts, power tennis and epic, late-night matches that stretch to five sets. It’s also energy – energy that makes tennis today a much improved game and spectator event compared to the tennis when Richard Sears won the first open in 1881, no doubt looking something like the image here.
Better rackets, better shoes, better playing surfaces and conditions – better tennis wear (sorry, Richard) – all assisted by contributions from natural gas and oil. America’s energy abundance supports virtually every aspect of modern living – work, home life, health and recreation – including tennis.
The Arthur Ashe Stadium, the open’s home the past 20 years, illustrates. The stadium’s retractable roof lets matches continue even in inclement weather. When it’s raining outside, more than 22,000 who fill the stadium can thank natural gas for keeping them and the tennis dry.
Posted August 24, 2017
With food kings Heinz, Utz, Herr’s, Kunzler and brewer Yeungling all headquartered in Pennsylvania, you’d think the summer cookout was invented in the Keystone State. With that group you’ve got your dogs, chips, pretzels, ketchup and beer – and more. All that’s left is to fire up the grill.
Energy handles the grilling part: propane from a tank or maybe a natural gas feed. Yet, products made from or with oil and natural gas contribute greatly to the feast in other, under-appreciated ways. Which is energy’s role: making modern life fresher, tastier, more convenient and more enjoyable – often without us noticing it very much. Let’s talk about how energy facilitates a great American summer tradition.
Pennsylvania is the perfect setting for cooking outdoors. Tourists flock there to take in the state’s rich history. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia offer a long list of things to see and do, as do the places in between. Catch a Pirates game at PNC Park, or if you’re in Philly, grab a cheesesteak downtown or a drink with some friends at Spruce Street Harbor. But it’s hard to beat a cookout in August.