On Aquaponics and Earth’s sustainable farm, tilapia pools teeming with fish come up against rows of organic plants, which they hydrate via the farm’s energy-efficient growing and waste-recycling system. Founders and aqua-farmers John and Teresa Musser began experimenting with high-yield aquaponics in response to the crushing poverty they saw abroad and invented much of the equipment and methods they use in the search for a sustainable, affordable system they could share with the world. The Mussers have worked around the globe in orphanages and small villages since 1979 but began shifting their focus to infrastructure and education work to bring easy-to-learn agricultural techniques to impoverished areas.
The Mussers maintain their DeSoto farm not only to grow food, but to act as an educational resource for people who want to observe their methods and build their own aquaponics systems. Their organic microfarm, populated by rabbits, goats, microcows, and vermicomposting bins, harvests hundreds of pounds of produce each year on minimal substrate. Inspired by their frantic efforts one year to absorb a surplus of produce, the Mussers lead regular canning classes where students learn the proper ways to can seasonal veggies, meats, and blown kisses.
Real Time Sports & Entertainment, recently under new ownership and management, knows that it takes more than just their delicious burgers and hand-cut fries to keep their customers coming back night after night. They host live bands and DJs seven days a week to keep dance floors filled with partiers well into the night, while 22 high-def screens broadcast sports for excited fans. Meanwhile, bartenders whip up cocktails and pour beers that wash down dishes such as Cajun catfish poboys, turkey burgers, or chicken wings, as guests enjoy conversation and a convivial atmosphere. And no matter the day, the dedicated owners promise real people, a basket of fish with your name on it, and a bottle of ketchup with some guy named Heinz’s name on it.
Ellis County SPCA is a nonprofit organization striving to help homeless or unwanted cats and dogs find permanent, loving homes. Before discovering a four-legged soul mate, interested applicants must complete and flawlessly origami-fold a pre-adoption form to ensure that they and their homes are qualified for pet ownership. Once potential owners are deemed fit and prepared for a pet, they may visit the facility during adoption hours to cuddle and caper around with hairy friends in much the same way death-metal bands bond before each practice. Each adorable quadruped will come home with parvovirus, distemper, and rabies vaccinations, as well as 30 days worth of free vet insurance through ShelterCare.
Pump It Up knows it's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt, so they skip the last part. Each piece of the indoor inflatable playground is held to the wall by a complex series of anchors installed according to strict safety standards. The staffers' watchful eyes take care of the rest. Sock-clad striplings are then free to safely launch themselves into the air with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Adult counterparts can leap alongside their offspring through gargantuan bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, or slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an inflated obstacle course. Occasionally, the lights get switched off, and the roomful of players navigate the air-cushioned obstaclescape with glow sticks and bracelets.
The colorful venue also hosts custom birthday parties and private team parties, each themed to please the partygoers in question. These soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero that melt off youthful energy faster than ice cubes tossed into a running DVD player. At the climax, the birthday boy or girl gets to blow out the candles on their cake while seated on a blow-up throne.
After visiting BNB Jet Ski Rental, up to three wave wranglers per group can straddle a 2009 Sea-Doo watercraft for two hours of heart-racing fun. The buoyant personal cruisers volunteer their breeze-butchering services to riders of any age, allowing even children to forget about pending marriage proposals and let loose alongside adult drivers. To ensure the safety of each ebb conqueror, BNB adorns operators and passengers in sink-free, Coast Guard–approved safety vests that must be worn at all times and for all yearbook photos. A valid photo ID is required for rental, and BNB will not rent out speedsters to anyone intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, or blinding power trips over subservient whitecaps.