Friday, October 14, 2011

Have a Blog & a Smile

Each year, Bailey is assigned a research project and backboard display for some school fair (Science, Social Studies, Young Authors', etc.)

Come to find out, none of these "fairs" serve candy apples or deep-fried butter.  Talk about false advertising.  

And each year, I'm wild with anticipation about what grade I'm going to get.... ahem... I mean, what grade she gets... uh.... what grade we get?  At any rate, I hope it's an A.

Teachers, let me fill you in on a little secret.  A seven year old is not doing online research, printing photographs or creating charts and graphs.  They didn't make those glitter letters, either.  It's the parents doing the manual labor on this one.

Except for the projects that are really terrible.

One year for Secret Santa, I'm going to do Science Fair projects for kids with parents who expect them to learn stuff on their own. Pfft.  Like anybody does that these days.

But Bailey isn't seven years old anymore.  She's ten now and practically an old lady.  She is perfectly capable of doing her own research project.

She chose The Coca-Cola Company for her topic.  She came up with her own ideas, collected her own data, gathered her own props, and wrote her entire report.  I did not correct one comma splice.

And guess what?  She rocked it out.  Maybe tomorrow, I'll even let her cut her own meat.

However, at some point last night, I realized that Bailey's artistic work was moving at a snail's pace. I hoped that her display would be ready in time to send her off to college.

So I stepped in to help.  Because I like to help.  (And I have control issues.)  Plus, it's only fair considering that she was predisposed to procrastination on her mother's side.

While helping, I read her report. (It was quite impressive, by the way.) And then, being the nerd that I am, I decided to do more research (for fun) at two o'clock this morning.  Some days it's hard being this cool.

Here are a couple of interesting things that I learned about Coke:

  • John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola, was from Columbus, Georgia.  He was a Civil War veteran turned drug addict turned pharmacist.  

  • Like all good drug addicts, he wanted to create a socially acceptable drink to get him over the afternoon withdrawal.  The original formula was called Pemberton's French Wine Coca.  He was forced to create a non-alcoholic version when Fulton County decided that people shouldn't walk around drunk 24/7.  Pfft.  Prudes.  

  • In 1886, Coca-Cola was first sold in an Atlanta pharmacy as medicine used to treat morphine addiction, impotence, dyspepsia (today called indigestion or upset stomach), neurasthenia (also called "Americanitis" - a disease in woman that caused fatigue, anxiety, depression, mood swings and low sex drive.  Today we call it PMS).  Oh, and headaches.  

  • I noticed on Coca-Cola's website that their photo of John Pemberton is the same one that Bailey used for her project. He was 57 years old at the time.  A quick Google search revealed that this must be the only photo of the man who invented Coke.  Geez.  Today you can get 300 photos of you at a friend's house playing poker.    

  • The original formula contained coca leaves extract - the same stuff in cocaine.  In a related story, coca beans, used to make chocolate, contain theobromine and phenethylamin, which affect the brain.  Clearly anything "coca" is uber-awesome.  No wonder Charlie Sheen likes it so much.  

  • The original Coca-Cola logo was created by Pemberton's bookkeeper in 1885.  He must have had some pretty fancy penmanship.  And it's never been altered.    

  • Pemberton sold The Coca-Cola Company to Asa Candler, future Mayor of Atlanta, for $2,300.

  • When Candler acquired The Coca-Cola Company, it was selling 9 drinks per day.  Today, Coca-Cola sells approximately 1.7 billion drinks per day.  

  • Candler is the one who changed Coke from a fountain drink to a bottled drink for easier distribution.  Then, he was able to sell Coke nationwide, and after World War II, Coke was sold overseas. This proves that success isn't just about having a great product.  It's about good marketing, too. 

  • "New Coke" was released in 1985 and royally sucked, but you already knew that. Coca-Cola Classic was re-released three month later, and in 1992, New Coke was officially banned from the planet.   

  • Coke has had 45 different campaign slogans.  The first one was "Drink Coca-Cola".  No thinking outside the box there.   

  • Coke is sold in every country in the world except for five: Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Burma and North Korea.  You know, all the countries that really pissed us off. 

  • Coca-Cola started out as "medicine" but now includes over 3,000 different products.

  • Today, Coca-Cola is estimated to be worth almost 100 Billion dollars.  Not bad for a $2,300 investment, huh?

Dang!  This blog is turning into a PBS broadcast.  Somebody quick - tell a story about falling down a flight of stairs or burping or something.  Anything.