Tuesday, August 7, 2012


   These pretty, heart-shaped cakes are perfect for the kids to make.


  • 2cupsall purpose flour
  • 1teaspoonbaking powder
  • 3/4teaspooncoarse kosher salt
  • 4large eggs
  • 2cupssugar
  • 1teaspoonvanilla extract
  • 1/2cupunsalted butter, melted, warm
  • 1cupwhole milk, room temperature
  • Raspberry jam or fruit spread
  • Purchased lemon curd
  • Powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line heavy 18x12x1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk first 3 ingredients in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla in large bowl until very pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in butter, then milk. Fold in flour mixture, then beat just until blended, about 30 seconds. Spread batter evenly into prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and cake begins to color on top, 26 to 28 minutes. Cool cake completely on baking sheet on rack.
  • Using 4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out 8 hearts from cake (cover and reserve leftover cake). Spread thin layer of jam over top of 1 cake heart. Spread 1 heaping teaspoon of lemon curd over; top with another cake heart. Repeat with remaining hearts, jam, and lemon curd. Sprinkle each with powdered sugar.


    Japan like any other country is steeped in ghostly lore. Here are a few of the more common Japanese spirits for you to read about and be amazed by.


    Translated as "haunted lantern", in Japanese folklore a Bakechochin is a lantern inhabited by ghosts. According to folklore the lantern has a long tongue and wild eyes and is home for the ghosts of people who died with hate in their hearts; for this reason, they are doomed to hauntthe earth for all time. If someone should light one of the haunted lanterns it is thought that a hateful ghost may leap out of it and attack.


   Buruburu, meaning the sound of shivering, is a terrible ghost from Japanese folklore that for reasons unknown is said to lurk in forests and graveyards in the form of an old person, who is sometimes one eyed. According to legend it attaches itself to its victim's spine and causes a chill to run down them, or in the worse case causes them to die of fright.


    A Gashadokuro according to Japanese folklore is a giant skeleton many times taller than a human. It is thought to be made of the bones of people who have starved to death. After midnight the ghost roams the streets making a ringing noise that sounds in the ears. If people do not run away when the Gashadokuro approaches it will bite off their heads with its giant teeth.


    The Ikiryoh is the name used to describe an entity that is thought to be created by the evil thoughts and feelings of a person. When it is energized by hatred the Ikiryoh becomes so powerful it can leave the person harboring hateful thoughts and enter and possess the person who is the object of the hatred. Once it is inside the person at can kill the victim slowly by draining away the person's energy. The Ikiryoh is thought to be extremely difficult to exorcise and there are numerous rites to drive it away, including some Buddhist scriptures.


    A Konakijii is the spirit of a baby who has been left to die in the woods. The Konakijii lures people out to the woods with the sound of its crying, but when people get close they see that the baby has the face of an old man. If they pick the baby up it is impossible to put down and suddenly becomes so heavy that it crushes unsuspecting victims to death.


  The Kubikajiiri is a head-eating ghost, who has a distinctive smell that of fresh blood, and is said to lurk around graveyards at night searching for its head. If it can't find its own head it will try to eat the heads of anything, living or dead that crosses its path.


    The Mononoke is a ghost that resides in inanimate objects. It is found in temples, shrines and graveyards and likes to scare or even kill people. Priests are thought to be able to drive it away be reciting Buddhist sutras. According to Shinto belief, all things, including inanimate objects, have their own unique spirits (kami), which gives them life.

    According to Japanese folklore on the Island of Kyushu, the Nurikabe is said to be a wall ghost. It appears as a large, white wall, with pairs of arms and legs, to people out walking late of night. Now, if a person attempts to pas the ghostly wall, it may fall and crush them or if the person attempt to run around or run away the wall reappears in front of them. According to the legend the only way to escape is to hit the bottom of the wall with a stick and it will vanish. 


    Each July, tens of thousands of spectators line the banks adjacent to the Stari Most, the Old Bridge that crosses Bosnia-Herzegovina’s beautiful Neretva River in the city of Mostar. Undeterred by the Balkan sun, onlookers keep their eyes locked on the apex of the single-arch bridge where, one by one, divers enter the water in a spectacle of machismo and local tradition as they vie for title in the world’s longest-running high diving competition: the Ikari.
    As one of the oldest venues for extreme sporting events, the Stari Most has been the place to go for male rites of passage since it was first built back in 1566. Set in the Ottoman Empire’s regional capital, the Old Bridge connected the Neretva River’s two banks at its narrowest point, a strategic location that marked the centre of the city’s earliest development. The name Mostar comes from the “mostari,” or bridge-keepers who held watch over the structure from the Halebinovka Tower on the west bank, and the Tara on the east. In a city dotted by minarets and spires, and inhabited by Croat and Bosnian ethnic communities, Stari Most grew to symbolize the peace and unity of cosmopolitan Mostar—a physical structure that also bridged cultural divides.

    Much of the Old Bridge’s charm also lies in its tradition of bridge jumping. Crossing the Neretva gorge at a height of 21 metres, over twice that of a high board diving competition, the Stari Most has long offered men the chance to prove their pluck by diving from its highest point into the teal-blue waters below. In Mostar, so the saying goes, as soon as you learn how to walk, you learn how to dive. It’s a rite of passage that makes heroes of men, and many take their first leaps during the annual Ikari competition in which up to seventy-odd participants can choose to make their descents either feet or head first. It’s no surprise then, that many of the world’s high diving champions got their start at Stari Most. Zvezdan Grozdic, the international cliff-diver

who has proved his mettle on the elite World Cup circuit, took his first plummets in Mostar back in the late 1990s. Although Grozdic now jumps from staggering heights off cliffs worldwide, it’s not easy to out-jump local legend Emir Balic, an Ikari veteran who by the age of seventy (in 2004) had taken the plunge over 1,000 times—the first when he was the boyishly tender age of fifteen.
    For someone like Balic, and the countless others devastated by the Bosnian War (1992-1995), the intentional destruction of the Stari Most on 9 November 1993 by heavy shelling, embodied the worst of the civil war for most Bosnians. As the stones of Stari Most tumbled into the Neretva River, the country witnessed the decimation of a globally-recognized symbol of multiculturalism and unity. With resounding

condemnation of what has since been called a war crime, the international community coalesced to support the reconstruction of Stari Most; and on 23 July 2004, the Old Bridge reopened in a celebration of renewed peace and partnership. After a decade of rebuilding, the ceremony was perhaps most touching when nine Mostar divers leapt into the Neretva River with torches in hand.
    Returning after a 438-year-old run, the reinstitution of the Mostar Bridge Jump and Ikari is a sure sign that the Stari Most retains a strong significance for Mostar as a symbol of reconciliation and courage.

When to Go to Mostar Bridge Dive
    If your aim is to take in the Ikari bridge jump, plan on being in Mostar the last week of July. The exact dates change each year, but the local diving club, the Mostarski Ikari, announce the final dates ahead of time. A call to the Mostar tourism board or a visit to their website in the month previous will provide you with the specific dates and times.
Even if you can’t make it to Mostar in July, bridge jumpers continue to dive on a seasonal basis throughout the warmer months. Enjoy an ice cream atop the Old Bridge and wait for the divers to make their appearance. A good time to stake your dive-viewing location is usually in the afternoon to early evening.

    Now is a great time to visit Mostar. With reconstruction and the rebuilding of BiH’s infrastructure, tourists are returning to Mostar in greater numbers. Although Bosnia-Herzegovina is not mine-free, the country is not considered dangerous, and Mostar is safe for all travellers. Mostar’s Old Bridge area is also a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site as a symbol of solidarity and peaceful coexistence. Preserved in the Old Town are Mostar’s unique Turkish houses and the Old Bridge.

Odds n' Ends

    These days, the annual Ikari competition has reasserted its prominence as a tradition within Mostar. Presided over by the local diving club, Mostarski Ikari, Speedo-clad bridge jumpers continue to enthral onlookers with their feats of bravado. They jump, not only during July’s Ikari, but throughout the warmer months, entertaining tourists and residents alike. If you happen to be in Mostar, take a walk along the Old Bridge at Stari Most. You might luck out and catch a young boy take his first leap to manhood in Mostar’s Neretva River.


    The Darwin Beer Can Regatta is an event which has been held annually since 1974 in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia at Mindil Beach. Participants create boats using empty beer cans, soft drink (soda) cans, soft drink bottle and milk cartons. The vessels are not tested for seaworthiness, prior to water events, and those that fall apart are part of the day's entertainment. A great many sundry events go along with the regatta, including concerts, a thong-throwing contest and the "Henley-on-Mindil" competition (named after the Henley-on-Todd Regatta), where participants run their "boats" around like Flintstones cars. The Darwin Stubby seems to be the beer bottle of choice for this festival. This bottle reigns as the largest "stubby" of beer in the world at 75 ounces, or roughly 2.1 litres.

    The first Beer Can Regatta was held in June 1974. This is contrary to popular belief that the regatta started in the aftermath of Cyclone Tracy which hit Darwin on Christmas Eve, 1974.
    The 1st Beer Can Regatta was the brainchild of Lutz Frankenfeld and Paul Rice-Chapman, both of whom were members of the Darwin Regional Tourism Promotion Aassociation. At the time, Paul (working at local newspaper "the NT News") had a deal with Swan Breweries to stage a water festival of somesort, and was developing the idea of building rafts out of empty beer cans. Lutz took this idea a step further and added an outboard motor to the vessel, and things grew from there.
    The Beer Can Regatta is now managed by the Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta Association Inc, which is essentially a partnership of the four Lions Clubs of Darwin to:

1. promote tourism in the Northern Territory
2. raise funds for charitable purposes,
3. promote Lionism.

    The Beer Can Regatta is also known as the Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta.
   The Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta has in recent years taken place on Mindil Beach on Sundays 8 August 2010, 19 July 2009 and on 13 July 2008. The date changes every year, but will generally take place on a Sunday with favourably timed high water.
The 2011 Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta will be held on Sunday 10 July 2011.


Battle of Mindil
The boat race where anything goes; flour bombs, water sprays etc. The boats sail around the course and have to find an object that has been hidden under water somewhere in the course. The winner is the finder of the object.
Junior Soft Drink Can Boat Race

If you and your friends think you have the stomach to drink enough soft drink to build a boat out of cans, then this is your race. Great for Schools
Adult Can Boat Challenge (Crew of 4)
This event tests your boat building and racing abilities on the water. How well can 4 people come together to master the rough seas in a can boat!
Adult and Junior Kayak Paddle
Pull your kayak out and compete in the junior kayak competitions. This is a great race for adults and kids to get involved in. All kayaks are supplied on the day

On The Shore

A test of skill over both land and water. Win a dinghy complete with outboard motor and safety equipment: just land a golf ball in a bucket.
That's the bucket on a small dinghy anchored about 70metres off-shore. Easy!

On the beach

Henley on Mindil
So you built the boat for water but it didn’t float. Don’t despair, as this is the race for you. How fast can you and your mates carry a Henley boat in a straight line in a race down the beach? This is a very keenly fought race.

Iron Person Competition-Both iron man and iron women competitions

Tug-of-War Competition-Held on the beach throughout the day. Each team consists of eight people with competitions for adults and children.

Best Novelty Hat- The best novelty hat - a fun competition requiring a little ingenuity and a lot of fun.

Kids Sand Castle Competition- The best kids sand castle. Looking for creative effort on this one.
Family slalom-Family slalom competition for two adults and two children.

Kids Beach Races-Held each year for the kids to see who’s the fastest on the sand.

Ladies & Mens Thong Throwing Competition-Just how much practise have you had through the year to compete in this competition will decide whether you end up a finalist. These are the thongs you wear on your feet by the way, not the other kind.

Boat Building

If you decide to build a boat and enter one of our events, there are a few rules that you should be aware of.

These rules are in place to ensure the events to run smoothly and fairly.



1. All craft must comply with the rules for the specific event in which it is entered: these rules will be outlined on the the day of the event.

2. Any design will be permitted if, in the opinion of the Committee, the craft is safe.

3. Craft may be converted to enter more than one event provided they comply with the rules for each event entered.

4. The Committee reserves the right to reject any craft displaying written or other material, which might be offensive to the public.

5. The Committee reserves the right to refuse entry in any event or events to any person or persons without giving any reasons for such refusal.

6. A tow rope no longer that the length of the craft shall be attached to the bow of each craft.

7. All crew members shall wear a suitable flotation jacket.

8. The operator and crew of a boat shall be responsible for all damage caused by the boat.

9. All craft shall assemble in the marshalling area at least 15 minutes before the announced starting time of the event.

10. No protest regarding eligibility of a craft will be considered once the race has started.

11. No protest regarding the result or running of a race will be considered unless lodged with the protest committee within 15 minutes of completion of the event.

12. At the conclusion of the Regatta, the crew and supporters shall remove all boats or parts of boats.


14. All craft should appear to be made substantially from drink cans.

To ensure participants understand the spirt of the event we also suggest you read and follow:


1. Thou shalt enter the event in the right spirit..

2. Thou shalt build the craft of cans.

3. The craft shall float by cans alone.

4. Thou shalt not drown.

5. Thou shalt not take the name of the craft in vain. Any craft bearing signs or lettering that may be offensive will be barred.

6. Thou shalt not drift from the straight and narrow and end up at Mandorah.

7. Thou shalt not protest too much.

8. Thou shall honor thy Committee.

9. Thou shalt not commit adultery – nothing really to do with the Regatta, but it gives us an air of responsibility and respect.
10. Thou shalt go back and read the first can-mandment again.