First, how about this year's AtoZ blogging challenge? For those who don't play (which includes me), you register over on Arlee Bird's blog, come up with a theme, and then every non-Sunday in April you do a post on the theme using the letters of the alphabet. Now, I never do this because
Second, how about that weather. I've been listening to people from Texas complaining that they might get freezing rain or-gasp- snow! (Just kidding, no curses please.) Our snow is now ice. Yesterday Scrappy's first two bathroom trips were a) after breakfast- outside, poop immediately with no turning of circles, come straight in; b) after dinner some 9 hours later, outside, pee immediately, come back in. Now this morning, he actually managed a few sniffs and a couple circles; but when he squatted, the first turd said, "Screw this" and went back in, and he was forced to make a second circle before successfully completing the job.
Next up, our esteemed meteorologist Greg Shoup tweeted a site that will figure your Twitter stats, and you know me and stats. (At least, most of you do.) So I tried it and found out I'm ranked 114,519,718th on Twitter. Now as of the start of the year, there were allegedly 645,750,000 active tweeters, but it said that only about 60% actually do more than watch tweets. So subtract the lurkers and you get...uhmm... 387,450,000. Which means I'm actually ahead of about 30% of tweeters... But with only 15 followers, who cares?
I didn't find enough stuff for a Martin World News post, but I did find some interesting (maybe) tidbits. For example, a British survey by Oxfam International ranked the best and worst places to eat, nation-wise, based on "food availability, prices, quality and the health outcomes of people's diets. " Here's their top ten:
Because of "obesity struggles", the US of A got 21st and Canada 25th. The worst places, from worst down, were:
So much for African cuisine. The poll was found by me on a Russian website, where they were quite happy with Russia being 44th- behind the Ukraine (33rd) but ahead of Belarus (57th). They added an interesting caveat at the end of the article:
Russia came in 44th, scoring fairly high on the availability of food, with few people going hungry. But it lost points for food quality, fairly high levels of diabetes and obesity, and steep prices. Ouch!
Another neat thing I learned in the search is that former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin's bribery trail started jury selection Monday. If you are new to this blog, let me tell you about why I find this nice. For a week we watched Hurricane Katrina move ever closer to NOLA and grow ever stronger. Nagin did next to nothing. Bloggers like me were writing NOLA newspapers, TV stations, begging them to prepare for evacuate. On Saturday night (it hit late Sunday), I listened to a live interview with Nagin on WWL radio. He told the interviewer, "I thought I was handling this hurricane thing pretty well" until his dinner was interrupted by then-NHC head Max Mayfield who told him, "You HAVE to evacuate those people NOW!" His response, he said, was, "I can't order an evacuation UNTIL OUR LAWYERS LOOK AT THE SITUATION", and told Max he'd try to get an order issued the next morning. And then, when all those people were crammed in the shithole the Superdome became, he accused President Bush of racism and letting them down. Now, he's on trial for accepting bribes from high-powered contractors for his help in getting them the plum jobs in rebuilding. IMHO, if ever there was a reason for bribery being a hanging offense, let me put the loop over his head myself.
Ahem, breathe deep, lower blood pressure. Let's go to Mental Floss, where I found a list of "65 Facts That Will Blow Your Mind". There were some good ones...10, though, I already knew, including the one about Portland, Oregon, draining 8 million gallons of water out of a reservoir because a teenager peed in it. Here though, are some I didn't know...
5- A California woman once sued the makers of Cap'n Crunch, because CC with Crunchberries didn't really have berries.
7- During WWII, German measles and dachshunds were called "liberty measles" and "liberty hounds".
8- A 2008 survey found 58% of British teens thought Sherlock Holmes was a real person and 20% thought Winston Churchill was not.
18- A 2009 search for the Loch Ness Monster found zero monsters and 100,000 golf balls.
20- New Mexico State's first graduating class (1893) had one graduate- and he was shot to death before getting his sheepskin.
35- The Arkansas School for the Deaf's nickname is the Leopards. The Deaf Leopards, get it?
44- If you start counting at one and spell the numbers out as you go, you'll hit 1,000 before you use the letter "a".
46- There's a technical name for ice cream headaches:
48- The Goodyear Blimp is the official bird of Redondo Beach, CA. I guess they missed the memo.
49- In 2009, Beaver College changed its name to Arcadia; web searches for the College were being blocked by anti-porn filters.
63- Purdue University, among its many accomplishments, invented a machine to find out it takes an average of 364 licks to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop.
There are some more cute ones, and I'll probably share them on another post.
Finally, how 'bout one out of the old spam comment box? Here's the latest little gem:
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Wow, it's positive 0.7 now. Here, anyway; officially, it's still -7. Wonder if they'll open the pool...