Thursday, June 22, 2006

More on David Race Bannon

(For those of you wondering who David Race Bannon is, read my story today about the Charlotte man who claimed to be a hit man for Interpol.)

In researching this story, my bookmarks list on Bannon bulged to more than 40 pages. He's all over the Web. Here are a few key sites for background and more information:

Bannon's Wikipedia page is here. (Wikipedia isn't always accurate -- for example, it lists Bannon as being born in 1964, while public records say 1963. But most of this entry appears to be correct.)

Samuel Browning's hyper-detailed investigation from is here.

Interpol's statement is here.

The statement from the Jefferson County (Colo.) district attorney's office is here.

The Amazon page for "Race Against Evil" is here. (Note that the newest reviews talk about his arrest.)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A truckload of Bimbo

One of the benefits of becoming an international city is coming across those little quirks in language.

And so twice in the past week I've ended up behind trucks painted with big, happy signs advertising:

Bimbo bread.

Surprisingly, Pamela Anderson has nothing to do with this product.

Turns out Bimbo is a Mexican brand that has been around since 1945. They specialize in white bread (it's sort of the Wonder bread of Mexico) but they also make doughnuts, pound cakes and so on. Their mascot, which is featured on the trucks, is a cross between a Care Bear and the Pillsbury Doughboy.

You can find out more at, a site that has surely disappointed legions of teenage boys.

Seen any other brand names that almost made you drive off the road? Add your favorites below.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Things go better with...

Now this is the kind of academic research I can get behind.

It's a map that shows the generic name for "soft drink" in different parts of the country. The Midwest is big on "pop." The Northeast likes "soda." My cousins in Texas always said "sody water." (They always drank Dr Pepper.)

In the Carolinas, what I hear most often is "drink." (That also comes up big in the informal N.C. poll.) But in Georgia, where I grew up -- and where Coke was invented -- we call everything "Coke."

This makes for some strange conversations if you don't know the lingo. Here's a typical moment from my house when I was growing up:

"I'm going to the store."

"Could you get me a Coke?"

"Sure. What kind of Coke you want?"


So what do they call soft drinks where you come from? What do you hear down here? And what's the weirdest term you've heard?

Comments, debate, and references to "bellywashers" below.