Friday, November 24, 2006

The rain in Spain

It turns out your pronunciation can say a lot about you. Unfortunately, it doesn't always give you away completely. Today, my hardcore California accent (or lack thereof) placed me in the "Midland."

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West


North Central

The Inland North

The South


The Northeast

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Apples and tangerines

Who was the first to celebrate Thanksgiving? Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado is thought to have feasted with some Native Americans in Texas in 1541, in celebration of (and gratitude for) his discovery of food supplies. Some 200 years later, national leaders called for a Thanksgiving feast after a military victory over the Whiskey Rebellion (not to mention the American Revolution and the War of 1812). George Washington even declared the completion of the new constitution worthy of its own Thanksgiving festivities. In the 20th century, Franklin Delano Roosevelt attempted to expand the Christmas shopping season by moving (the already traditional) Thanksgiving a week earlier. But the funniest by far is the group who celebrated what is thought to have been the second Thanksgiving dinner ever:

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With all that fruity goodness, no wonder cranberry sauce became a Thanksgiving staple. The typical canned variety might as well have been created (and packaged) 3 centuries ago, considering its incredible rigidity. In case you've been wondering how strong jellied cranberry sauce really is, it may not be able to support an entire gobbler, but it can hold up more than its weight in pennies:

Carefully, we set paper plates on the tops, and began piling pennies, ten at a time, on the paper plates. We tried to place the pennies evenly around the plate, in order to balance the load. Side-by-side, we continued to pile. With each addition of pennies, the dedicated staff held their collective breaths. It became apparent right away that the jellied sauce would be the stronger. Still we piled, like a backward game of Jenga. At 300, we saw signs of strain on the whole-berries. At 310, it collapsed. The dedicated staff was saddened but also a little relieved. It is hard waiting for the inevitable. The jellied berries fought the good fight, finally falling at 540. The dedicated staff cheered. (

Go figure! Gobble gobble... Happy Thanksgiving!

Plumb full of pumpkin

In honor of Thanksgiving, a seasonal recipe:

  • 1 slab of pumpkin, skinned and chopped in 1-inch chunks
  • a handful of brown sugar
  • 2 T butter, margarine or olive oil
  • cinnamon (optional)
  • nutmeg (optional)
  • powdered ginger (optional)
Spread pumpkin chunks on a cookie sheet and cover with little bits of butter (or toss in olive oil). Sprinkle brown sugar over the top (and add a dusting of cinnamon, nutmeg and/or ginger if you like a spicier dish). Cover in foil and bake at 350-400 degrees F until pumpkin is soft and steam pours out of the foil when you open it (30-60 minutes). Remove foil and bake uncovered for a 10-15 minutes to get a caramel tinge. Enjoy!