Canadian Mountain Dew

I have a new Canadian coworker and I have been learning a ton about our neighbor to the north (unless you're reading this from Detroit, where Canada is your neighbor due south).

Apparently Canada used to have a law banning the sale of caffeinated clear sodas. Actually, the Canadian government didn't allow the sale of artificially-added caffeine in any foods. Therefore, only the naturally occurring caffeine in coffee, chocolate, tea, and dark-colored cola-drinks (since the kola plant has caffeine) was legal.

Many clear sodas in the United States don't have caffeine anyway - Sprite, 7-Up, Ginger Ale - so that may not seem that odd. Then you remember the most caffeinated soda is... Mountain Dew, right? Yep, Canadian Mountain Dew = caffeine-free. (!!!)

In 2002, Pepsi Co did come up with a caffeinated version, called "Dew Fuel", just for sale in Canada, but it wasn't sold as soft drink, it was marketed as "health drink". It went out of production in 2007.

Nice try.

Luckily for Canadians, the law changed in 2012, and now natural caffeine can be added to soft drinks, thus restoring Mountain Dew to its intended glory.

So if you were driving through Canada any time before 2012 and grabbed a Mountain Dew through a drive-thru or at a store, you probably didn't know that you weren't getting the caffeine you desired. Maybe all the sugar made up for it?

To read current Canadian guidelines on caffeine: click here!


What Does English Sound Like To A Non-English Speaker?

Do you ever wonder how (American) English sounds to a non-native? Does it sound romantic? Harsh? Awkward? Does it have a natural flow?

As a person who understands the language, it's hard to separate the language sounds from the meaning of the words being said. So the second you try to just hear to the sounds, it's easy to get distracted and start listening.

Maybe these videos will help shed some light on this mystery?

In 1972, an Italian singer, Adriano Celentano, wrote a song full of gibberish (in any language), but has enough American-sounding syllables to pass as an "English" song. It's called "Prisencolinensinainciusol":

I've only listened to it once and it's already in my head.

Similarly, a pair of London filmmakers, brian & karl, made a short film called "Skwerl" in 2011, where a couple has some pretty convincing English conversations... all while not really saying anything:

And then there is this, where a Finnish woman imitates all sorts of accents (via huffingtonpost):

(American English at 1:12)

Feeling like your ears can relate more to our international friends'? Eh illy cope to dew!


Test AA Batteries Without Equipment!

This is great - I tried it and it worked!

You can watch the video for more details, but here are the basics of the method:

1. Take the battery and hold it about an inch over a hard surface with the negative (-) end down.

2. Drop it.

3. If it bounces, it's bad. If it lands on edge or falls flat, it's good.


How Do You Pronounce "Worcestershire Sauce"?

Just as I thought: you definitely have to ignore a couple of letters to pronounce this correctly. :)

She does a better pronouncing it, but for those on a time crunch, it's approximately:



Get Rid Of Sticky Labels!

My friend told me recently that anytime she needs to peel up something sticky (in that case, she was removing a peel-and-stick tile floor), she blasts it with a hairdryer first.

Today, I tried it with some product labels that have been stuck to my garbage cans for months and it worked! Easy peasy. Chemical- and liquid-free!

Works on stickers, too (in case someone in your household likes putting them everywhere...). :)

This was confirmed by apartmenttherapy.com. For their article: click here!