The phenomenon of Florida Man

around since 2013

florida man beerI’m not convinced that men in Florida are, per capita, any weirder than fellows in Oklahoma or Maryland or New York. Yet the notion of the Florida Man has been around since 2013. The meme calls attention to Florida’s supposed notoriety for strange and unusual events.

This narrative is explained HERE. “On May 12th, 2015, the Miami New Times published an article titled How Florida’s Proud Open Government Laws Lead to the Shame of ‘Florida Man’ News Stories, which cited the state’s Sunshine Act as a possible cause for the bevy of ‘Florida Man’ news stories.”

The paper “noted that freedom of information laws in Florida make it easier for journalists to obtain information about arrests from the police than in other states and that this is responsible for the large number of news articles.

“All we have to do in most cases is call the police department and ask for an arrest report, and the cops are required to give it to us. Nowadays a lot of cops simply email the reports, and some departments even post arrest records online. Some of the more dedicated weird-Florida-news reporters go through batches of arrest reports at a time.”

For instance, here are 60 examples posted in 2018:
Florida Man attacked during selfie with squirrel
thousands of gun owners in Florida planning to “shoot down” Hurricane Irma
Florida Man gets tired of waiting at hospital, steals ambulance, drives home
Florida Man breaks INTO jail to hang with friends
Florida Man denies drinking and driving, says he only swigged bourbon at stop signs

Here’s a list from Huffington Post and a description in the Urban Dictionary.

In fact, the phenomenon has engendered some reflections. It turns out that people from Florida are (slightly) better at guessing if a ‘Florida Man’ story really happened in Florida.

I’ve been to Florida twice, both to conferences in the 1990s. Once, I was in Miami during a muggy October. The other time was in Orlando, but no, I never went to Disneyworld or Universal Studios.

FL Florida – first two letter. The traditional abbreviation was Fla. Capital: Tallahassee. Largest city: Miami.

FM Federated States of Micronesia. Capital: Palikir. Largest town: Weno. It is “a sovereign, self-governing state in free association with the United States of America, which is wholly responsible for its defense.”

For ABC Wednesday

BC: British Columbia; Before Christ

the use of BCE was popularized in academic and scientific publications

British ColumbiaWhat possessed me going through the two-letter postal codes for United States states, Canadian provinces and territories of both? It started with a game I used to play with my daughter, usually in the car.

I’d say there were four states beginning with A and she’d name them. None with B, but three with C, one with D, etc.

Re: British Columbia, I started wondering about something. How does the province in Canada furthest from the country and explorer for which it’s named become so dubbed?

Here’s an explanation: “The Colony… was founded by Richard Clement Moody [et al.]… in response to the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush… He was hand-picked by the Colonial Office in London to transform British Columbia into the British Empire’s ‘bulwark in the farthest west,’ and ‘to found a second England on the shores of the Pacific…’

“Today… the question of Aboriginal Title, long ignored, has become a legal and political question of frequent debate as a result of recent court actions. Notably, the Tsilhqot’in Nation has established Aboriginal title to a portion of their territory, as a result of a 2014 Supreme Court of Canada decision.”

The traditional English abbreviation was B.C., the traditional French C.-B. for Colombie-Britannique. Capital: Victoria; largest city: Vancouver.


Dionysius invented the Anno Domini system in the sixth century, “which is used to number the years of both the Gregorian calendar and the Julian calendar.

“Common Era or Current Era (CE) and BCE (Before the Common Era or Before the Current Era)… are alternatives to the Dionysian AD and BC system respectively… Since the two notation systems are numerically equivalent, “2019 CE” corresponds to “AD 2019” and “400 BCE” corresponds to “400 BC”.

The expression has been traced back to 1615, when it first appeared in a book by Johannes Kepler… The term “Common Era” can be found in English as early as 1708, and became more widely used in the mid-19th century by Jewish religious scholars.

“In the later 20th century, the use of CE and BCE was popularized in academic and scientific publications as a culturally neutral term. It is also used by some authors and publishers who wish to emphasize sensitivity to non-Christians, by not explicitly referencing Jesus as “Christ” and Dominus (“Lord”) through use of the abbreviation “AD”.

There’s a daughter story here, too. Someone in her class a few years back suggested that AD meant After Death, presumably of Jesus, but someone (OK, I) had told her some time earlier that it meant “in the year of our Lord”, or Anni Domini. However, the teacher agreed with the other student until he subsequently checked.

For ABC Wednesday

Where I’ve been in the USA

Sadly, I haven’t added to the thirty states I’ve visited since my trek to Chicago, IL in 2008.

map1
I got to the map on this page via Dustbury.

Click states in the map to cycle through the colors, or use the list beneath. Choose:

red for states where you’ve not spent much time or seen very much.
amber for states where you’ve at least slept and seen some sights.
blue for states you’ve spent a lot of time in or seen a fair amount of.
green for states you’ve spent a great deal of time in on multiple visits.

These are definitionally tricky categories. Continue reading “Where I’ve been in the USA”

Not in an upstate New York State of mind

I REALLY liked Madison, Wisconsin when I was there in 1988. Always appreciate the state’s progressive tradition.

LONG-time blogger Dustbury asks a question for this round of Ask Roger Anything:

If a purely arbitrary decision was handed down to the effect that you could no longer remain in upstate New York, where would you first consider going?


I’ve thought on this a lot, actually. It’s pretty much a process of elimination.

Not moving to anywhere there is no fresh water, so desert states such as Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico are definitely out. California – well, is the big earthquake still coming? Continue reading “Not in an upstate New York State of mind”

M is for M states

Ole Miss went feminist to become a Ms. Also, ms is the abbreviation for manuscripts.

In the United States, there are eight states that begin with the letter M, tied with the letter N. But N has the advantage of descriptive adjectives New (Hampshire, Jersey, Mexico, York) and North (Carolina and Dakota); only Nebraska and Nevada are one-word states.

In 1963, ZIP Codes were introduced, although many large cities were divided into zones 20 years earlier. At the same time, the Post Office introduced two-letter abbreviations for the states, to accommodate space for the ZIP Codes.

The ones for the letter M tell stories about the states:

MA – Massachusetts. The mother of the country. Continue reading “M is for M states”