We sometimes find the terse descriptions on museums' wall labels a little wanting, and recently we ran into one that could have been penned by a motivational speaker.

At the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in Talbot County, Md., one exhibit centered on fishermen's successful use of pound nets.

A lighthouse on the grounds of the museum.These inshore devices, deployed on the Chesapeake since colonial times, trap migratory fish along shallow tributaries of the bay. This method of fishing takes advantage of the fact that migrating fish tend to seek the path of least resistance.

The exhibit's curators go on to explain that this principle works in the human population as well and that "this is why fish end up in nets and some people in dead-end jobs."

So much for dispassionate science.

Double downer

A variation on the mint-on-the-pillow amenity: two $5 casino chips atop a note wishing the guest sweet dreams and good luck on the morrow.

Actually, the chips are counterfeit, but they do seem an appropriate turndown item for a hotel with on-site gambling.

The edible chocolate "chips" are the brainchild of David Kurland, managing director of the Wyndham El San Juan Hotel & Casino. Kurland was a child psychologist before he switched careers to hotels.

Insider can only assume the message is: Eat your losses. Tomorrow is another day.

Projectile marketing

We sunbathers (there are three of us left) can relax on the beach with a favorite book, now that Frisbee fanatics have a new toy that greatly reduces our chances of getting whacked or trampled.

The AquaDisc, as it's called, can travel 30 feet through water up to 50 feet deep.

We still might have to keep one eye peeled for the AquaSkimmer, a smaller version of today's Frisbee that skips like a stone over the water's surface for distances of up to 100 feet.

The guy who invented these nifty products based his senior thesis at Stanford on his experiences while swimming with dolphins in California.

He's also an ex-Microsoft geek, and his toys, naturally, can be viewed on line, at www.aquatoy.com.

Add verge of conch ...

The names of cocktails dreamt up by Caribbean bartenders rarely give a clue as to the ingredients: green flash, last sunset, granny's petticoat, aftershock, saints & sinners ...

Doesn't matter. Most are made in a blender, and most taste pretty much alike.

A conch comes out of its shell.We thought we'd seen them all -- until a recent visit to the Turks and Caicos.

The conch is king in these islands. There are conch-only restaurants, the world's only conch farm, conch souvenirs, conch cookbooks. And, of course, a conch cocktail.

Bartenders happily tout it as an aphrodisiac, calling it the glowworm and swearing it's a natural, cheaper, over-the-counter version of Viagra. And why is that?

To make a glowworm, once the spirits and fruits have been put in the blender, just add the verge of a male conch (the reproductive appendage, located just over its right eye), blend till smooth -- and whammo, it's party time.

So, we ordered one up, took a sip and then, in the conch tradition, held it up to our ear to see if we might hear the ocean. Sure enough, what we heard was the muffled sound of waves on shore, whispering, "Y'wishhh ... y'wishhh."

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI