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  • feedwordpress 09:01:51 on 2018/12/21 Permalink
    Tags: Around the World in Eighty Days, Christmas movies, Die Hard, , , , , Nellie Bly,   

    “Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho”*… 


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    Ok, enough bickering and fighting. Let’s settle this once and for all in the only way I know how – going into a topic in way too much detail.

    As we prepare to enter the year 32 ADH (a.k.a. After Die Hard), the world is gripped by a constantly nagging question.

    No, it’s not “Why does everyone call Hans Gruber and his gang ‘terrorists’ when they were clearly bank robbers?”

    Today we’re going to use data to answer the question “Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?”

    Along the way, we’re going to test Die Hard’s Christmas bona fides against all movies in US cinemas for the past thirty years, using a variety of methods…

    Stephen Follows tackles a perennial poser: “Using data to determine if Die Hard is a Christmas movie.”

    [Image above: source… which also weighs in on the Die Hard question.]

    * Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), reading what John McClane (Bruce Willis) had on a dead terrorist’s shirt

    ###

    As we just say Yippie-Ki-Yay, we might recall that it was on this date that Phileas Fogg completed his circumnavigation of the globe in Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days.  (As the book was published in 1873, the putative year of the journey was 1871 or 1872.)

    In 1888 American journalist Nellie Bly convinced her editor to let her attempt the feat.  She completed her round-the-world journey in 72 daysShe completed her round-the-world journey in 72 days.

    220px-Verne_Tour_du_Monde

    First edition of Verne’s tale

    source

    Your correspondent is headed into his annual Holiday hiatus; Regular service will resume on or around January 2…  Meantime, many thanks to all for reading– and Happy Holidays!

     

     
  • feedwordpress 09:01:22 on 2015/01/25 Permalink
    Tags: around the world, , Nellie Bly, Super Bowl, , , Wings, World   

    “Alis volat propriis”*… 


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    In exactly a week, millions will gather on couches across America (and the world) to watch the the Seahawks and the Patriots duel in Superbowl XLIX.  And on the coffee tables in front of many– if not most– of them will sit heaping mounds of (now traditional) chicken wings.  Readers may recall that, two years ago, we reported on a downturn in Super Bowl wings consumption, occasioned by rising poultry prices.  But even as chicken costs have continued to rise, consumption has recovered…

    According to a National Chicken Council report released Friday, 1.25 billion wings will be consumed during Super Bowl XLIX.

    The average wholesale price of chicken wings is currently $1.71 per pound, up from $1.35 per pound at the same time last year, according to the Daily Northeast Broiler/Fryer Report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Marketing Service. Wing prices hit a record high in January 2013 of $2.11 per pound.

    If one laid 1.25 billion wings end-to-end, assuming and average length of 3.5 inches, they would stretch to and from CenturyLink Field in Seattle to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., almost 28 times. The wings would also circle the Grand Canyon 120 times.

    It’s enough wings to put 572 on every seat in all 32 NFL stadiums and they weigh about 5,955 times more than the poundage of the Seahawks and Patriots entire 52-man rosters combined.

    Most people will buy wings from restaurants and bars, but wings sales at grocery stores also spike during Super Bowl week. Nielsen Perishables Group FreshFacts shows that fresh and prepared wings sales totaled $1.7 billion in the 52 weeks ending Nov. 29, 2014, an increase of 3.1 percent compared to a year earlier.

    As far as dipping sauces go, Ranch wins out. More than half of people prefer ranch for dipping, while 42 percent prefer barbecue sauce and 36 percent prefer blue cheese.

    source: Chicago Tribune

    * State motto of Oregon

    ###

    As we wonder how half-time turned into the fair-ground joke that it has, we might recall that it was on this date in 1890 that journalist Nellie Bly completed her 72-day trip around the world.

    In 1888, Bly suggested to her editor at the New York World that she take a trip around the world, attempting to turn the fictional Around the World in Eighty Days into fact for the first time.  A year later, at 9:40 a.m. on November 14, 1889, with two days’ notice, she boarded the steamer Augusta Victoria, and began her 24,899-mile journey.

    She brought with her the dress she was wearing, a sturdy overcoat, several changes of underwear, and a small travel bag carrying her toiletry essentials. She carried most of her money (£200 in English bank notes and gold in total as well as some American currency) in a bag tied around her neck.

    Bly traveled through England, France (where she met Jules Verne in Amiens), Brindisi, the Suez Canal, Colombo (Ceylon), the Straits Settlements of Penang and Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan.  Just over seventy-two days after her departure from Hoboken, having used steamships and existing railway lines, Bly was back in New York; she beat Phileas Fogg’s time by almost 8 days.

    Nellie Bly, in a publicity photo for her around-the-world voyage. Caption on the original photo reads: “Nellie Bly, The New York WORLD’S correspondent who placed a girdle round the earth in 72 days, 6 hours, and 11 minutes.”

     source

     

     
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