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!