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A fascinating map of the most spoken languages in every US state besides English and Spanish


The United States has never had a single “official” language. While English is broadly accepted accepted as the common tongue and typically used in schooling as well as government documents, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Spanish is also used frequently across the country — but there are a lot more languages than that at play throughout the States.

Andy Kiersz and Ivan De Luce at Business Insider crunched some data based on the individual-level responses from the 2017 American Community Survey  assembled and published by the Minnesota Population Center’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series program, to find out what other languages are most commonly used in the United States.

America as a multilingual nation: “This map shows the most commonly spoken language in every US state, excluding English and Spanish”, by Andy Kiersz and Ivan De Luce, Business Insider (1/18/20): (NOTE:  I will refer to languages other than English and…

— Language Log (@LanguageLog) January 23, 2020

There are a lot of thought-provoking takeaways from the data as presented here. Some things may seem obvious — there’s a lot of French, of course, particularly in Louisiana and the states that border eastern Canada. While I didn’t know that Tagalog was as popular in California and Nevada until now, I can’t say I’m surprised. The abundance of Haitian Creole in Florida makes sense, too, but its presence in Delaware is much more interesting. As someone with an interest in indigenous tongues after colonization, it’s somewhat comforting to see that Ilocano, Aleut-Eskimo, and Dakota/Lakota/Nakota/Sioux languages are all still hanging on. And while I knew that Pennsylvania Dutch was a still thing, I genuinely didn’t realize it was still thriving that much.

What you strikes you the most on here?

Language Log: America as a Multilingual Nation [Victor Mair / UPenn Linguistic Data Consortium]

This map shows the most commonly spoken language in every US state, excluding English and Spanish [Andy Kiersz and Ivan De Luce / Business Insider]

Source: A fascinating map of the most spoken languages in every US state besides English and Spanish

‘World’s worst cat’ up for adoption

The “world’s worst cat” is available for adoption, according to volunteers at the Mitchell County Animal Rescue organization in North Carolina.

The group will even waive adoption fees, it said on Facebook, because Perdita is just such an an asshole cat.

“We thought she was sick. Turns out she’s just a jerk.”

Mitchell County Rescue Organization [via facebook]

Her rescue profile says her dislikes include “dogs, children, the Dixie Chicks, Disney movies, Christmas and last but NOT least … HUGS.”

The cat enjoys lurking, faking being sick, and “staring into your soul until you feel as if you may never be cheerful again …”

Via the Associated Press:

Shelter Director Amber Lowery says 4-year-old Perdita came to the facility on Christmas Eve, The Charlotte Observer reported. Since then, the shelter has had to warn visitors that Perdita’s attempts to draw passersby to her cage are actually a ruse that will not end well.

“I’m looking at her right now, and she’s rolling around in her little bed, looking all sweet and cute, but the minute you try to rub her, she slaps you. We thought she was in pain and took her to the vet and he said: ‘No, this cat is just a jerk’,” Lowery told the newspaper.

Read more here:
‘World’s worst cat’ up for adoption at North Carolina shelter. ‘She’s just a jerk.’ []

Source: ‘World’s worst cat’ up for adoption

Baby “sings” AC/DC’s Thunderstruck

YouTuber and dad Matt MacMillan picked an unusual way to cover AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.” He spent a year recording his baby son’s cooing, sneezing, and other random noises and pieced it together to make the song. He writes, “It took forever.”

And when you see HOW he arranged it all, you’ll see why it took so long — it’s really quite a feat!

If you’re not familiar with the original song (I wasn’t), here it is for comparison:


Source: Baby “sings” AC/DC’s Thunderstruck

Literally give zero fucks with these coins

For when you have no fucks to give, give (these surprisingly well executed) Zero Fucks Given coins.

This crazy world is filled with dumb-asses and assholes, and we believe we are greatly outnumbered by them, so we invented/created Zero Fucks Coins as a way to arm the citizens of earth with a way offend and defend themselves from these jackasses. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then handing out one of these coins is surely worth zero fucks.

There are plenty of coins to choose from: “Rat’s Ass” ($5.99), “Flying Fuck” ($5.99), “My Two Cents,” ($5.99) and MORE!


Source: Literally give zero fucks with these coins

Florida woman flings poo at landlord, covers herself in it, charged with battery


A most unfortunate woman in Florida was arrested after tossing a bucket of human feces in the general direction of her landlord, which somehow caused her to also up with dried excrement smeared all over her own face, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Joanne Mercader, 59, first told deputies her landlord was the one who in fact first assaulted *her* with poop, according to the arrest report.

In video of the incident, a deputy can be heard saying, “There is poop everywhere.”

“It’s a really crappy situation,” the deputy says.

After a pause, his supervisor replies: “Yeah. Do the right thing.”

Ah, Florida.

Never change.

“She took the poop and she rubbed it on my face,” Mercader told the deputy. A deputy’s body camera showed her face covered with dried human waste. Mercader’s landlord, a woman who was not identified, had wet feces on her face, the report said. “She’s dripping with it,” the deputy said.

Mercader eventually told deputies that she had intended to toss a bucket of water on the landlord, whose name was redacted from the arrest report, but she got confused and threw the bucket of feces at her. Mercader told deputies she knew the landlord would be angry, so she ran into the bathroom, where the landlord spread excrement on her face. The deputy said Mercader’s story still didn’t add up.

The landlord told deputies she was met with the bucket of feces in her face when she opened the door Saturday after no one answered. She said she had prearranged the visit to Mercader’s home to look at several broken items.

Florida woman accused of throwing human feces at landlord [AP, photo montage based on images from Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and suspect mugshot]

Source: Florida woman flings poo at landlord, covers herself in it, charged with battery

The strange pyromaniacal niche of wooden match chain reaction videos

I love how watching one YouTube video you happen upon can scoop up a whole genre of videos you didn’t even know existed. Witness the match chain reaction genre. I watched the first video below and that lead to countless others.

I cannot imagine the patience (not to mention the desire) required to cut and glue together thousands of wooden matches. And is the time invested in building the structure proportional to the rush the builder gets during the burn?

Source: The strange pyromaniacal niche of wooden match chain reaction videos

“Animals” escaping from Japanese zoos part of unintentionally funny drills

Every year in Japan, animals escape from zoos in a planned exercise. Except they aren’t really animals, they’re humans in animal costumes. And they aren’t really escaping, they’re part of an annual drill to train staff on what to do when a real animal does. While funny to watch, escaped animals are no joke in a country known for earthquakes.

Director of Tama Zoological Park, Yutaka Fukuda, told Metro in 2015:

‘In the event of a big earthquake, a tree could fall on a cage, or many other things could occur that may lead to an animal escape.

‘We think it is very important, and it is our responsibility to carry it out with seriousness.’

Look for the real lions, their reactions to the drill are priceless.

Thanks, Julie!

screenshot via The Guardian

Source: “Animals” escaping from Japanese zoos part of unintentionally funny drills

Man keeps bones of his amputated arm on display


As a teenager, Mark Holmgren of Edmonton, Canada lost all use of his arm after a motorcycle accident. Last year, he decided to have the nonfunctional arm amputated. But he also had a curious request of his physicians: Holmgren wanted to keep the lost limb.

“I carried it out of the hospital in a garbage bag,” Holmgren told CTV News Edmonton. “I actually kept it in my freezer for about a month.”

Apparently it wasn’t easy to find a taxidermist willing to remove the flesh and prepare the bones for display.

“A couple of them told me no, like right away. There was no way that they were going to touch human body parts.”

Eventually, he found a taxidermy shop willing to do the job.

“I’m just going to keep it probably behind the sink in the kitchen,” Holmgren says. “I’m happy I did it. It’s just not for everybody.”

More: “This Edmonton man had his arm amputated. Then he kept the bones.(CTV News Edmonton)

Source: Man keeps bones of his amputated arm on display

Ingenious Cold War keylogger the Russians used to bug Selectric typewriters in the US embassy


In the 1970s, the Soviets managed to intercept top secret communications in the US embassy in Moscow and nobody could figure out how. While an antenna was eventually found hidden in the embassy’s chimney, it took years to determine how what data was being collected for transmission and how. As a last resort, all equipment at the embassy was shipped back to the US for analysis. From IEEE Spectrum:

After tens of thousands of fruitless X-rays, a technician noticed a small coil of wire inside the on/off switch of an IBM Selectric typewriter. (NSA engineer Charles) Gandy believed that this coil was acting as a step-down transformer to supply lower-voltage power to something within the typewriter. Eventually he uncovered a series of modifications that had been concealed so expertly that they had previously defied detection.

A solid aluminum bar, part of the structural support of the typewriter, had been replaced with one that looked identical but was hollow. Inside the cavity was a circuit board and six magnetometers. The magnetometers sensed movements of tiny magnets that had been embedded in the transposers that moved the typing “golf ball” into position for striking a given letter.

Other components of the typewriters, such as springs and screws, had been repurposed to deliver power to the hidden circuits and to act as antennas. Keystroke information was stored and sent in encrypted burst transmissions that hopped across multiple frequencies.

For more on this fascinating story, check out former intelligence officer and technologist Eric Haseltine’s new book: “The Spy in Moscow Station

image: IBM Selectric by Oliver Kurmis (CC BY 2.5)

Source: Ingenious Cold War keylogger the Russians used to bug Selectric typewriters in the US embassy