Since I’ve been a little light on travel-related stuff lately – too much web 2.0/new media related stuff that I just felt compelled to discuss, let’s talk about the New Seven Wonders of the World.  On a related note, does their voting system (you can register and vote online, by text message, or by phone) remind anyone else of American Idol?

The New Wonders:

I find the personalization of the selection process very interesting.  Of course, choosing the seven world wonders is a subjective thing anyways (who can really determine what someone else thinks is the most wondrous wonder?), but this sort of makes me think of the whole web 2.0 phenomenon (yes, I can relate everything back to that).

First of all, the wonders are chosen democratically – the winners were the ones favored by the people who had the ability and chose to participate in the vote.  Same thing with highly ranked websites and blogs.  Second, people and nations campaigned to their favorite picked (SEO and general promotion).  Third, well, this is technically the second list of world wonders, thus actually making these seven wonders the 2.0 version.

Now, I haven’t personally seen any of these wonders (although I’m not arguing with the choices) and since these are the 7 Wonders 2.0, part of the fun is being able to join the conversation and pick your own – in no particular order, here are my seven manmade wonders:

What are your wonders 2.0?

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Writing the Father’s Day post reminded me of another trait my dad and I share – a love of good beer.  Thanks to my father’s appreciation for a delicious microbrew and the fact that my first beer drinking experiences occurred during a high school trip to Germany (I was a senior so it was legal), I became an unabashed beer snob before I was even 21.  Spending time in Amsterdam and taking a side trip Belgium the summer after I finished college only increased my beer snobbery.

Now that I’m 23, I shun American macro-brews in favor of imports and craft beers.  One of my favorite places in Chicago is the Maproom, which has over 200 unique beers from all over the world with a menu that changes constantly.  They take their beer seriously!  I’m also a fan of Goose Island and Bell’s Brewery.

Without further adieu, here are my top five beers:

1.  Beamish and Beamish Red.  I know that these are two separate beers, but they are from the same brewery and Beamish Red is only available in Europe.  The original Beamish is a classic creamy stout with hints of chocolate, and Beamish Red is a smooth Irish Red with a hint of bitterness.

2.  Augustiner Weissbier.  I’m really a fan of most of the Augustiner Brauhaus’s products, but I find the weissbier especially refreshing.  Crisp and wheaty with a hint of citrus, this is the perfect beer for a summer day.

3.  Duvel.  The name means “devil”, but this tasty Flemish beer combines the complexity of ale with the lightness of a pilsner for a heavenly result.

4.  Leffe Blonde.  A smooth Belgian blonde beer with a hint of sweetness that’s perfect with a meal (spicy food in particular) or on its own.

5.  Sam Adams Oktoberfest.  Yes, it’s a mass produced American beer, but I wanted to include one that was readily available in the U.S. and this one is delicious.  Hoppy and spicy, this beer tastes like fall.

What are some of your favorite beers?  Let me know in the comments!