This has been sitting in my starred feed items for a while and I forgot to blog about it. It shows the generic name for soft drinks, broken down by (American) county. Growing up I always called it pop, and I have yet to visit a place in Canada that refers to it otherwise…strange, since all of the northeastern states seem to call it “soda.”

I’m not surprised to see the red…years ago when I was consulting in Texas and going out for lunch with clients, this would be the typical conversation:

Server: “What would y’all like to drink?”

Client: “Coke.”

Server: “What kind?”

Client: “Sprite.”

Server: “Coming up.”

The first few times this happened I was pretty confused. For a while I even thought it was just Chuck — funniest man alive — messing with me. It took me a while to dope out. Honestly, my brain was still busy dealing with the idea that tornadoes happened here. The hotel I was staying in even had “In case of a tornado…” instructions on the door right next to the usual “In case of a fire…” I’m used to seeing.

[via Strange Maps]

[tags]generic names for soft drinks, strange maps, chuck kirby[/tags]

"Sort of like plagiarizing a comic strip"

Ken Jennings freaked me out today. It’s kind of a long story, so stay with me.

Last night I was reading a chapter on business ethics in my textbook (no, really!) and it briefly touched on a bunch of the biggies…Rawls, Kant, Mill, and so on. I guess it must’ve lingered in my head, because this morning in the shower I started thinking about Kant. That immediately got me singing the Bruce’s Philosopher Song from Monty Python, and then I started thinking about the excellent movie Quiz Show (imdb). If you haven’t seen it, it’s about how Charles Van Doren went along with the cheating on the quiz show 21, deceiving the public. There was one particularly funny scene:

Van Doren, contemplating the moral implications of being given the answers: “I just wonder what Kant would think of this.”

Freedman, trying to get him to do it, and not having a clue who Kant is: “Uh…I think he’d be ok with it.”

So I laughed about that in the shower this morning, and then today I saw this post on Ken Jennings’ blog about Charles Van Doren. Now, Charles Van Doren isn’t a topic that comes up in my regular everyday routine, so to think about him so clearly twice in a few hours…weird. I got a little freaked out…started checking over my shoulder. Kind of a Truman Show moment.

[tags]ken jennings, rawls, kant, mill, monty python, charles van doren, quiz show[/tags]

Hoteliers: fear my web 2.0 wrath

Random catch-up from the last week, including some highlights of the thousands of feed items I just blazed through:


George Carlin died last Sunday. I had no idea. That’s what happens when you’re out of tv/internet/newspaper range for 4 days. Carlin was an important entertainer, a rare animal indeed. Jessica Hagy from Indexed puts it nicely:


I watched three movies on our trip, mainly on the flights from and to Toronto: Charlie Wilson’s War (which I never did finish…our descent began before I caught the end, but I don’t feel like I missed that much), Ocean’s 13 (yawn…the last two have just been issues of GQ magazine put to celluloid) and Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead (and you shall know it by its bleak, bleak trail of dead…yeesh). Philip Seymour Hoffman was the best thing about the last, and the only good thing about the first. If that guy had “leading man good looks” he’d be a superstar. I suspect in about ten years he’ll be regarded as one of the finest actors of our generation, if not the finest.


Richard Florida pointed to the chart below, by Dave Lakeland, showing the cost of gas vs. the GDP per capita (all in the US) for the past twenty years. Very interesting.


I actually quite look forward to this phase of a trip, where we can finally see how all the pictures look (Nellie’s 22″ iMac gives a much clearer idea than my tiny little sub-laptop) and I can write reviews of the hotels in TripAdvisor. Three of the hotels will be getting rave reviews; one will get faint praise and one mild scorn. Mmmmmm, feedback.

[tags]george carlin, indexed, richard florida, cost of commuting, tripadvisor[/tags]

In which my vocabulary returns to the 80s. Rad.

Awesome: Stephen Colbert’s plundering of the Hockey Night In Canada theme song.

Awesome: Bigger sidewalks on Bloor. (Less awesome: lack of bike lanes)

Awesome: watching Portugal play football. Since I cheer for no particular team I just like watching skill, so the game today was like watching a group of painters at work.

Awesome: the weather. Perfect. An ideal June day.

Awesome: being 95% done.

[tags]stephen colbert, bloor street, portugal, euro 2008, toronto weather[/tags]

They could have also used "nuclear meltdown"

Today I bought this tshirt from Threadless because a) it’s funny; b) I bought one for my brother for Christmas and I very nearly kept it for myself; and c) it was $10.

Nellie went the slightly maudlin route and picked the shirt of the polar bear drifting unhappily without an ice floe.

And so my tshirt addiction continues unabated. However, if the weather for the past three days is any indication of what this summer will be like, I will need all the clean tshirts I can freaking get. Today my plastic headphones melted into little puddles of melody in my ears.

[tags]threadless, haiku[/tags]