Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Go on and increase in valor, O boy! this is the path to immortality.
- Vergil, Roman Epic, Didactic, and Idyllic Poet (B.C. 70-19)

Have you ever experienced that state of insomniac delirium where you’re browsing the Internet at three in the morning and you finally feel there’s nothing left to browse, there is nothing you haven’t seen, you’ve seen it all – it’s like you turned down a street and it’s a dead end – the end of the Internet.

So last night, I’m deep in one of those stages, too tired to sleep, plodding along from link to link trying to find a satisfying read I can actually say wow, I just learned something, now maybe I can go to sleep a bit more wise about the world than I was when I began this Internet binge.

And I check out Yugster, which does have some crazy deals on a daily basis, so I’m a fan, but they also specialize in some totally irreverent blogging, too, which brought me to this website . . . I kid you not, the name of the website is popvssoda (pop vs. soda) and it’s like three in the morning and I’m saying to myself, are you kidding me, there’s actually a website on the Internet about pop vs. soda in the popular vernacular? And I say to myself, maybe all those insomniac hours surfing the Net aren’t all that misplaced at all because this is some really interesting stuff . . .

Pop vs. Soda

Now it seems a little unfair to Pepsi, because they’re not represented in the poll, but to be honest, if I get a cut that needs bandaging, I say, “I need a Band-Aid,” which is a brand name, which is like saying I want a Coke. Pepsi is a very popular brand, but saying, “I’ll have a Coke” is a little bit more the kind of thing the majority of people say at a restaurant, sometimes followed by, “We have Pepsi, is that okay,” and you say sure. The two are almost interchangeable, but you rarely hear people say, “I’ll have a Pepsi” and the waiter or waitress respond by saying, “We only have Coke.”

Click on that map, though. It’s really incredible. I’ve lived almost my whole life in Southern California, we drink soda here. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone in So. Cal. say lets go get some pop. But look at the rest of the county, totally different story.

What an interesting diversity. How crazy is that there’s a website on the Internet about pop. vs. soda?

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Team of Rivals
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Doris Kearns Goodwin