Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hey, baby, buy you a drink?

You probably guessed that there are more pairs of white shoes and matching belts in Florida than Kansas. But did you know there are also more tornadoes in Florida than Kansas? Devoted weather nuts recognize that nugget from “Restless Skies” by Paul Douglas.

Better hurry if you are going to Ireland. The Irish pubs are disappearing. Down 1,000 in three years time. Ireland’s per-capita income is now among the highest in the world, higher than the U.S., Sweden and Japan. It’s been years since anyone thinks they saw a Leprechaun.

The new flashpoint in New York City bars? Baby strollers. “Please, No Strollers” signs are popping up all over Brooklyn. The movement has spread to Minneapolis, Philly and Washington, D.C. Can you reconcile this image: cubes, crayons and candy on top of the bar next to shot glasses? Parents have responded on blogs in the past with the “Stroller Manifesto.” I have mixed feelings. In Texas, you can still raise kids in VFW Halls.

Encyclopedia Britannica has yielded to the internet. Sales of the 32 volumes peaked in 1990 but have dropped to a mere 10 percent of that giddy high. Most remaining print customers are schools and libraries. The 1,000 door-to-door sales staff is gone. Scholars say the switch to on-line is a net gain for the public. Hmmm. At Wikipedia, there is more text on LightSaber Combat than Modern Warfare. And John Locke from “Lost” beats out the other guy. Netgain?

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