by by Maggie Lange

illustration by by Liana Ogden

When a project pitch involves a phrase along the lines of "heir of a family banking empire builds sailboat to cross from California to Australia," the title Elitist Adventure-Junkie immediately come to mind. Despite his name, David de Rothschild, is anything but a tennis whites and boat shoes sort of guy. Adventure junkie might not be a misnomer, though.

In less than a month, de Rothschild will attempt the journey from California to Australia, a vessel constructed entirely of plastic bottles. This trip is far from selfish thrill-seeking: de Rothschild will take a green sail across the blue accompanied by his team of three and plenty of Steve Zissou references. De Rothschild intends to prove the craft can embrace ecological responsibility. Sailing is one of the purest uses of natural power, combining wind, water and physics into a form of deliberate locomotion.
De Rothschild and his team are busily latching together 12,000 recycled bottles to create the 60-foot ship. The boat will cover over 11,000 miles--that's a little over a bottle per mile. Lovingly named Plastiki, the ship is made entirely of recycled plastic, except the metal masts. Americans produce about 15 billion pounds of plastic waste annually and only recycle 1/15 of that. De Rothschild plans to embrace the cradle-to-cradle method of reusability and will recycle the boat's parts when he returns from Sydney.
The trip should take over 100 days. Even a day on this ship (which is about how long the flight from San Francisco to Sydney takes) seems adventuresome. However, de Rothschild and his crew of three seem confident. Although the trip will be dangerous, the motivation of doing some ecological good spurs on these sailors. The irony, however, of plastic bottles in the ocean is lost.


This month has witnessed a rise in food-related crime, the most recent incident occurring this week in South Providence. This past Sunday Henry Recinos was making a routine delivery of pizza and steak and cheese sandwiches when two teenagers approached him. His fear that the destination address was a fake was confirmed when the boys tried to pay for the order with a 20 dollar bill and a punch in the face. Recinos fled the scene, and the teenaged duo took the food and, as an afterthought, Recinos' Jeep. The Jeep, an empty pizza box and their robbers were found, but the pie and sandwiches are still missing.
This incident is not the first of its kind; it looks like others are jonesing for a snack, too. Last month a man in Florida instigated a hostile exchange with a Burger King cashier when the worker told him the chain was no longer serving lemonade. Wanting his lemons juiced and on ice, Mr. Fortune threatened to call the police; the cashier sassed him, telling the man to "go ahead." Mr. Fortune's subsequent 911 call landed him with a charge of "wasting police time," but still no lemonade.
Across the pond, burglars entered a home in Norwich, England whose doors were unlocked and stole the entire contents of the fridge and cupboards, half-eaten and opened food included. A laptop computer, television and Xbox were left untouched. Twenty-four hours later the ravenous ransackers returned the loot with a note reading: "Sorry for taking this stuff--very, very drunk and stupid."
Mr. Recinos is still waiting for an apology--and a hefty tip for the delivery.