Statistics Saturday: Some Things US States Actually Do Look Like

State Looks Like
Delaware A pawn
Michigan (lower peninsula) A mitten
Colorado Detroit-style pizza
Vermont and New Hampshire Someone heard about Penrose Tiling and tried drawing it without ever seeing a picture of what they really look like
Michigan (upper peninsula) That solar flare the starship Voyager flies through in the opening credits
Wyoming Second Detroit-style pizza
Rhode Island My cursive lowercase ‘r’
Connecticut Elementary-school-style rectangle pizza with a tail
West Virginia A potato you forgot about long enough it’s growing roots
Florida That little emergency release handle to break open the bus window when it falls in the river or something
Oklahoma A pot of macaroni and cheese someone left in the campfire
Tennessee Deck of cards you set down wrong so they’re sliding apart
Maine New England giving the Black Power salute
Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia That cool animated PBS logo from the 1970s where the letter P turns around

Idaho Cheese, Mega-Delaware

Reference: Lunar Lander: How We Developed The Apollo Lunar Module, Thomas J Kelly.

Statistics Saturday: Beloved-Enough TV Shows Already Made Into Movies You Never Knew About, So Far As You Know

  • Car 54, Where Are You
  • Sargent Bilko
  • The Honeymooners
  • The Archies
  • Just The Ten Of Us
  • Mr Belvedere
  • Gilligan’s Planet
  • Space Precinct
  • Early Edition
  • The $1.98 Beauty Pageant
  • I Love Lucy
  • Password Plus

Reference: The Triumph Of Numbers: How Counting Shaped Modern Life, I B Cohen.

Statistics Saturday: Some Things I Would Like To Stop With Their Not-Existing And Be Again

  • My hair tie
  • My tire pressure gauge
  • This pair of eyeglasses my spouse had on the vanity that just disappeared one month when we weren’t paying attention to them
  • The job I used to have that paid only okay-ish but where they left me alone to do whatever I felt like 380 days of the year and only had specific duties the rest of the time
  • Those Star Trek tie-in novels from the 80s where everything was by some fanfic writer slipping in, like, the Fourth Doctor as a background character and no editor noticed or else some professional writer using a trunk manuscript so you get, like, Dr McCoy shaming the cosmic entity who makes quasars for being a jerk
  • Two Guys discount department store since, why not
  • That home videotape of my trip to see my aunt and uncle in Indiana from back in 1988 that I lost when I moved out to Michigan
  • Story comics
  • This one pen cap my spouse had that disappeared after dropping the book the pen was in on the floor
  • Coke Zero Orange in cans
  • Turn-based grand strategy games for the Mac
  • The time slot where Buzzr would show Whew!

Reference: The Edifice Complex: How The Rich And Powerful — And Their Architects — Shape The World, Deynan Sudjic.

Statistics Saturday: Things I’ll Try Without Success To Re-Create That Mad-At-Funky-Winkerbean Readership Bump

  • Why Is Everyone Mad at _Ask Shagg_?
  • Why Is Everyone Mad at _Drabble_?
  • Why Is Everyone Mad at _Raising Duncan_?
  • Why Is Everyone Mad at _The Grizzwells_?
  • Why Is Everyone Mad at _Red and Rover_?
  • Why Is Everyone Mad at _WuMo_?
  • Why Is Everyone Mad at _Bound and Gagged_?
  • Why Is Everyone Mad at _Sam and Silo_?
  • Why Is Everyone Mad at _Legend of Bill_?
  • Why Is Everyone Mad at _Overboard_?

Reference: Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, Richard Wrangham.

Statistics 2022: Jokes I Thought Of After That I Wished I Included

  1. For Some Bad Wordle Starts: one of them should absolutely have been “four greens, one yellow”.

Yeah, that’s about it. Sorry. It was a real Funky Winkerbean of a year for me and it hasn’t been good for my esprit de l’escalier. Maybe next year.

Reference: The Basque History of the World, Mark Kurlansky.

Statistics 2022: Your Top Achievements of 2022

  1. Nearing the ideal of throwing away the food that seems iffy instead of just eating around the suspect portion
  2. Typing a sentence that included the words ‘Cincinnati’, ‘accommodate’, and ‘occurance’ without getting any of them wrong
  3. Rickrolling without concern about whether it’s being done ironically, retro-style, or otherwise
  4. Spotting an actual Ghost Clown, letting them know it’s not 2016 anymore
  5. Mastering that magic trick where you make Donald Duck leap through a hula hoop and he turns into a kangaroo
  6. That time the bill was $17.48 and you pulled out $22.73 without even thinking about it and the cashier had $5.25 in change before the register even told them
  7. Joining in that thing back in August where all eight billion of us jumped up at the same time … uh … you did hear about that, right? … Oh … uh, whoops
  8. That time you plugged in the USB cables the correct way first time for five days straight
  9. Getting through that phone upgrade problem that required four visits to the store and three customer-support phone calls without ever raising your voice or giving in to despair
  10. Memorizing the PLU number for flat parsley so the cashier doesn’t have to search for it or look it up on the computer (4901, like I hardly need to tell you)
  11. Not squandering $44 billion in any ill-conceived purchases
  12. Learning more about sharks

Reference: Symmetry: A Journey Into The Patterns Of Nature, Marcus du Sautoy.

Statistics 2022: Top Fads Of 2022

  1. Hollering about “Quiet Quitting”
  2. Re-requesting the multi-factor-authentication code be texted to us
  3. Taffy pushing
  4. Agreeing that animated Christmas specials these days move too fast and edit too much, all right-y
  5. Re-launching your Patreon
  6. Sea Shanties on TikTok? That was this year, right?
  7. Struggling to remember why everyone was that angry about “Bean Dad” without looking it up
  8. Nodding about how the weather isn’t supposed to be like this, all right-y
  9. Goldfish swallowing telephone booths
  10. Slumbering for ten times ten thousand eons until time has made mockery of all contemporary woes, finding they’ve still got as many woes left over, all right-y
  11. Liminality
  12. Minor-chord acoustic covers of New Wave hits

Reference: The Most Unsordid Act: Lend-Lease, 1939 – 1941, Warren F. Kimball.

PS: the code was 560142. Please use within the next — sorry, it’s expired.

Statistics 2022: Top Months Of 2022, As Persons’s Names

  1. June 2022 Hodiak
  2. March 2022 Dahl
  3. May 2022 Donahue
  4. October 2022 Howard
  5. April 2022 Bakaleinikoff
  6. January 2022 Lyon
  7. September 2022 Kagawa
  8. November 2022 Cobb
  9. August 2022 Astor
  10. December 2022 O’Neal
  11. February 2022 Ferrer
  12. July 2022 Harris

Reference: Level Playing Fields: How The Groundskeeping Murphy Brothers Shaped Baseball, Peter Morris.

Statistics Saturday: Some Unconventional Christmas Presents

  • The complete collection of Georges Méliès’s lost films recording the Paris Exposition of 1900.
  • Storm windows.
  • Coupon good for the resolution of one absolute fiasco.
  • A temperate zone belt of the clouds on Jupiter. Not the one with the Great Red Spot, don’t be silly.
  • This one thing that I kept thinking of every time I fell asleep all week that was really funny and apt and yet every time I got down to the computer the thought was gone, sorry, but I promise it was a good one.
  • A nice warm hill you can just roll down all afternoon.
  • Coupon good for the resolution of one relative fiasco.
  • Sources.
  • The name of that one song, you know, with the daaah-di-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-diiiiii-dah bit.
  • Persuading the SCTV gang to do a sketch for “Ken Russell’s 2001: A Space Odyssey”.

Reference: Paving the Way for Apollo 11, David M Harland.

Statistics Saturday: Adaptations Of _A Christmas Carol_ Ranked

  1. Alastair Sim’s version
  2. Reginald Owen’s version
  3. The Odd Couple version
  4. Lionel Barrymore’s version (radio only)
  5. Patrick Stewart’s version
  6. The Real Ghostbusters version
  7. Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds version
  8. The Pac-Man cereal box version
  9. The Back to the Future cartoon version
  10. The Oddball Couple version
  11. Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds version
  12. This really good sink fixtures display they had one year at Rickel’s, though.

Reference: A Voyage Long And Strange: Rediscovering The New World, Tony Horwitz.

Statistics Saturday: Questions Raised By _Funky Winkerbean_ This Or Any Week

  • What?
  • Huh?
  • Wait, what?
  • Why?
  • What does that even mean?
  • OK but you know that’s not less creepy, right?
  • Seriously?
  • Oh for crying out loud how?
  • Why are we spending time on this?
  • What?

Reference: Michigan Curiosities, Colleen Burcar.

Statistics Saturday: Most Recent Mentions of Things in Peanuts

(An incomplete list.)

Thing Most Recent Appearance
Arthroscopic Surgery November 30, 1987
Astronaut Scott Carpenter June 28, 1962
Beethoven April 15, 1999
Billie Jean King January 30, 2000
Boyne Falls, Michigan July 7, 1975
Christo November 20, 1978
Connecticut October 29, 1961
Daffy Duck January 30, 2000
Davy Crockett March 8, 1956
Disco Fever October 19 1978
E-mail April 27, 1996
Flying Ace November 28, 1999
Fussbudgets September 30, 1987
Joe Biden May 24, 1993
Joe Garagiola May 21, 1991 (with a mention in the repeat of December 10, 1997)
Joe Schlabotnik January 3, 1997
Mascot Costumes March 29, 1983
Mickey Mouse September 5, 1999
Raccoons March 3, 1979
Rod McKuen October 3, 1969
Singapore October 15, 1961
Spuds Mackenzie October 12, 1987
Stage Fright April 2, 1989
Tear Gas July 7, 1970
Tilt-a-Whirl June 3, 1971

Reference: Skyscraper: The Search for an American Style, 1891-1941, Roger Shepherd.

Statistics Saturday: Which Comic Strip’s Fault Is It GoComics Has Been Down All Day?

Pie chart of which comic strip's fault it is; comics listed are Broom Hilda, Mount Pleasant, My Dad Is Dracula, Texts From Mittens, Bear With Me, Brewster Rockit, Over the Hedge, and The Comic Strip That Has a Finale Every Day. Most have about the same-size wedge. Over The Hedge has a noticeably larger wedge, and the biggest piece goes to The Comic Strip That Has a Finale Every Day.
Not pictured: Sam and Silo, which is over on Comics Kingdom, and Mr Skygack, from Mars, because that hasn’t run since 1911, and GoComics hasn’t been down THAT long yet.

Reference: King of Argent, John T Phillifent.

Statistics Saturday: Top Names for Cartoon Weasels

  • Wally Weasel
  • Willy Weasel
  • Walter Weasel
  • Wiley Weasel
  • Waldo Weasel
  • Wesley Weasel
  • Winston Weasel
  • Wendell Weasel
  • Girl Weasel
  • Winslow Weasel
  • Wyatt Weasel
  • Warrick Weasel

Reference: 1898: The Birth Of The American Century, David Traxel.

Statistics Saturday: Some Old-Time Candies

  • Milk Choc-O-La
  • Squirrel Nut Fasteners
  • $75,000 Candy Bar
  • Thos A Edison’s Adequate Peanut Lumps
  • O Henry Senior
  • Quaker Trustworthy Chac-a-lot-a-luck
  • Fordson Model R Tri-Toffees
  • Cup-o’-the-Mallow
  • Patent Taffy
  • Boston Standard Redi-Bake Beans
  • M’s &c
  • Electro-liquorice

Reference: All The Best Rubbish: Being An Antiquary’s Account of the Pleasures and Perils of Studying and Collecting Everyday Objects from the Past, Ivor Noël Hume.

Statistics Saturday: Some Significant Data

Year Data
2015 287
2016 586
2017 1.415 inches
2018 677
2019 2,381 to the liter
2020 $1.00/credit, 3 for $2.00
2021 29 to 46
2022 25 or 624

Really makes you think, huh?

Reference: Symmetry: A Journey Into The Patterns Of Nature, Marcus du Sautoy.

Statistics Saturday: The Tongue Holidays

Day When
Sweetest Day 3rd Saturday in October
Saltiest Day 2nd Monday in March
Sourest Day 5th Thursday in May (where applicable)
Bitterest Day 18th Wednesday of the Year
Savoriest Day 10th Day before or after the New Jersey Big Sea Day, someone should look that up
Salted Carameliest Day 2nd Friday in December

Reference: The First Space Race: Launching The World’s First Satellites, Matt Bille, Erika Lishock.

Statistics Saturday: Some Things Named For Their Inventors

Thing Invented By
Leotards Jules Léotard
Saxophone Adolphe Sax
Telephones Phil Telephone
Hope Bob Hope
Sewing Machines Prudence Machine
Hats Hat S Léotard (no relation)
Blue Annabelle Blue
Spreadsheets Herman Spreadsheet
Justice Flora Justice
Tigers Daniel Striped Tiger
Catherine Wheels Wheel of Alexandria
Soup John Philip Soupsa

Reference: The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television, David Weinstein.

Statistics Saturday: Most Commonly Misspelled US Cities

  1. Cincinnatti, Ohio
  2. Schenactedy, New York
  3. Schenectedy, New York
  4. Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
  5. Cincinati, Ohio
  6. Schenachtady, New York
  7. Cinncinatti, Ohio
  8. Culpepper, Virginia
  9. Schenectody, New York
  10. Cincinnati, Ohio
  11. Cinncinnati, Ohio
  12. Schenachtady, New York

Reference: On The Laps Of Gods: The Red Summer Of 1919 And The Struggle For Justice That Remade a Nation, Robert Whitaker.

Statistics Saturday: US States Spelled Using Only Their Postal Abbreviations

  • Alaaa
  • Aaka [*]
  • Aza
  • Araa
  • Caa
  • Cooo
  • Cctct [*]
  • Dee
  • Fl
  • Gga
  • Hii
  • Id
  • Illii [*]
  • Inin
  • Ia
  • Kss
  • Kky
  • Laa
  • Me
  • Md
  • Maa
  • Mii
  • Mnn [*]
  • Mssss
  • Mo
  • Mt
  • Ne
  • Nv
  • Nhh
  • Nj
  • Nm
  • Ny
  • Ncn
  • Nd [*]
  • Oho
  • Oko
  • Oro
  • Paa
  • Ri
  • Sc
  • Sd
  • Tnn [*]
  • Tx
  • Ut
  • Vt
  • Va
  • Wa
  • Wv
  • Wii
  • Wy

[*] Signifies is also an alien character, species, or world in C J Cherryh’s Chanur novels.

Reference: The Air Show At Brescia, 1909, Peter Demetz.

Statistics Saturday: Comic Strip I Most Wanted to Slug This Week, by Day

Day Slugging-Ready Comic Strip
Sunday Mary Worth
Monday Funky Winkerbean
Tuesday Funky Winkerbean
Wednesday Funky Winkerbean
Thursday Funky Winkerbean
Friday Funky Winkerbean

Reference: When You Were A Tadpole And I Was A Fish: And Other Speculations About This And That, Martin Gardner.

Statistics Saturday: Hosts of The Tonight Show over Time

Pie chart showing the different eras of hosts of The Tonight Show (eg, 1954 - 1957, 1957 - 1962, 1962 - 2002), each labelled as '1'.
Not shown: that time Jack Paar just shrugged and walked off and left Hugh Downs to guess what the heck to do next.

Reference: The Artist and the Mathematician: The Story of Nicolas Bourbaki, the Genius Mathematician Who Never Existed, Amir D Aczel.

Statistics Saturday: the Most Frequently Snarked-Upon Comic Strips in Another Timeline

  • Russell Myers’s Broom Hilda
  • Gary Larson’s Broom Hilda
  • Charles Schulz’s Broom Hilda
  • Chester Gould’s Broom Hilda
  • Tom Batiuk’s Broom Hilda
  • Jim Davis’s Broom Hilda
  • Karen Moy and June Brigman’s Broom Hilda
  • Mark Schultz and Thomas Yeates’s Broom Hilda
  • Norm Feuti’s Broom Hilda
  • That Guy Who Did The Outbursts of Everett True‘s Broom Hilda
  • Bill Watterson’s Broom Hilda
  • Walt Kelly’s Broom Hilda

Reference: Magnificent Failure: Free Fall From The Edge Of Space, Craig Ryan.

Statistics Saturday: The Movies, Part II

  • The Great Mouse Detective 2: The Greater Mouse Detective
  • 2010 II: 2012
  • The Maltese Falcon II: The Maltese Falconer
  • Gildersleeve’s Ghost 2: Gildersleever’s Ghost
  • The Sting II: The Stinger
  • The Godfather II: The Godfatherer
  • To Sir, With Love 2: To Sirerer With Loverer
  • Apollo 11 II: For Serifed Fonts Only
  • The Hustler II: The Hustlerer
  • 2012 II: 2014
  • Broadway Melody of 1933 II: Broadway Melodier of 1933er
  • The Man Who Came To Dinner II: The Guy Who Stuck Around For Lunch

Reference: Tulipomania: The Story Of The World’s Most Coveted Flower And The Extraordinary Passions It Aroused, Mike Dash.

Statistics Saturday: Articles of Clothing, Ranked by How Good They Are for Containing Portals Usable for Escaping Unpleasant Conversations

  1. Hats
  2. Clutch Purses
  3. Shoes (giant, unworn)
  4. Trenchcoats
  5. Dress shirt with pocket
  6. Hoodies with pocket
  7. Skunk costume tails
  8. Socks
  9. Infinity scarves
  10. Cargo shorts
  11. Shoes (regular size, worn)
  12. Hair scrunchies

Reference: Creatures Of Accident: The Rise Of The Animal Kingdom, Wallace Arthur.

Statistics Saturday: Stanley Kubrick Movies, By Century

Bar chart of Stanley Kubrick movies, by century. For the 17th, 18th, and 19th century the total is zero. For the 20th century, it is 13. For the 21st century it is zero.
Accurate as of 22 July 2022.

Note: Barry Lyndon is not listed as a 17th century movie; it is set in the 18th century.

Reference: The Secret Life Of Bletchley Park, Sinclair McKay.

Statistics Saturday: Some Credible Facts About Apollo 11

  • Although none of the Apollo 11 astronauts ever flew a spaceship again, they did fly in airplanes and took boat rides and probably even train rides like the rest of us.
  • Neil Armstrong left his wristwatch behind in the Lunar Module when it (the watch) stopped working.
  • Buzz Aldrin was prescribed Ritalin to cope with his post-Apollo depression.
  • The mission patch originally depicted the eagle landing on the moon holding an olive branch in its talons, which for some reason moved to being held in its beak, or maybe it started out held in its beak. Whatever it was on the actual mission patch it started the other way, though.
  • The Apollo Guidance Computer was less powerful than the Space Shuttle Guidance Computer, but more powerful than the Gemini Guidance Computer.
  • Some of the Apollo 11 prime or backup crew have probably ridden horses some time or other. What the heck, maybe even the support crew.
  • Apollo 11 set a record for human lunar population that since then has been tied, but never beaten.
  • Though there was a fair chance Apollo 11 would not land on the Moon, there was no reasonable chance it would land on Mars instead.
  • There were no woodchucks on the prime, backup, or support crews of Apollo 11.
  • At the time of Apollo 11, not a single person person had yet attended the Woodstock music festival.

Reference: Car Wars: The Untold Story, Robert Sobel.

Statistics Saturday: Transformers I Can Still Recognize

This after watching every single episode of the 1980s Transformers cartoon too many times and then moving on to having other things to do since about 1990:

  • Optimus Prime
  • Starscream
  • Girl Autobot [*]
  • Megatron
  • Blurr
  • Grimlock

[*] Yes, I am aware that Girl Autobot’s name was not actually “Girl Autobot”. It was established in the 1986 Transformers: The Movie that her name was Autobelle.

Reference: Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa, Nicholas Shrady.

Statistics Saturday: New York Cities, Ranked

  1. Greater New York City
  2. New York City
  3. West New York, NJ
  4. Lesser New York City
  5. New New York, New New York, The Future (Earth)
  6. New York, Lincolnshire, England
  7. New York, New Mexico
  8. New York, Santa Barbara, Honduras
  9. New New York, New Earth, The Future (Space)
  10. New York, Saint Catherine, Jamaica
  11. Least New York City
  12. New York, Texas

Not listed: I accidentally ran across the Quora page attempting to answer “Why is it called ‘New York, New York’ if the city’s name is ‘New York City’?” and it’s caused my brain to try squeezing out of my skull.

Reference: The Numbers Game: Baseball’s Lifelong Fascination With Statistics, Alan Schwarz.

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