Archive for ‘Miscellaneous Links’

February 16, 2011

Is Coke’s Secret Out!? Dun dun dunnnnnn.

Photo Credit: Voteprime, Flickr

 

How was that for dramatic?

Clutch your pearls and hold your breath, but the NPR Radio show “This American Life” may have uncovered the exact recipe for that bubbly cup of magic we all know lovingly as Coke.

The show’s staff recently stumbled across the February 8, 1979 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which published an article on page 28 about a leather-bound notebook that once belonged to Pemberton’s best friend, another pharmacist in the Atlanta area named R. R. Evans. The notebook contained a number of pharmacological recipes–but the main entry, for students of commercial history, was what’s believed to be the exact recipe for the soft drink: all of the ingredients listed with the exact amounts needed to whip up a batch. The Journal-Constitution piece also featured a photo of the page in Evans’ notebook detailing Coke recipe–essentially revealing the recipe to the world. But since 1979 well antedated the explosion of digital media, the photograph of the recipe didn’t travel far beyond the Atlanta area. (“Did ‘This American Life’ Discover Coke’s Secret Formula“, Brett Michael Dykes)

Why is this the first anyone has paid to the photo? It’s believed news about the photo never traveled far beyond the Atlanta area, that is until the explosion of…you guessed it, social media!

For those who aren’t aware, Coke has kept its recipe under wraps with great effort and mystique. Why? Your guess is as good as mine, but, if for no other reason, maybe for a little intrigue. According to the article:

Coke’s recipe is one of the most closely guarded secrets in American commerce, steeped in cloak-and-dagger lore. After businessman Asa Griggs Candler bought out Pemberton–who also conjured up cough medicines and blood purifiers, among other things–in 1887 for $2,300, the exact recipe for 7X was placed in the vault in an Atlanta bank. It’s been reported that only two company employees are privy to its ingredients and how they’re mixed at any given time–and that those two aren’t allowed to travel together out of fear that a traveling accident might take both of their lives.

According to company historian Mark Pendergrast, Candler was so paranoid about the recipe leaking out of his proprietary control that he would go through the company mail himself to prevent any employees from seeing invoices that might tip off its ingredients. (“Did ‘This American Life’ Discover Coke’s Secret Formula“, Brett Michael Dykes)

The two people who know the recipe can’t travel together?! Really?! That makes me suspect that maybe the rumors are true and cocaine is a main ingredient. I’m kidding. Sort of. Or am I?

You see, the story behind Coke is this:

Pemberton had reportedly hit upon the formula for Coke in an attempt to overcome the addiction to morphine he contracted after the Civil War, so it’s perhaps not surprising that, in addition to alcohol, the drink originally contained Coca leaves laced with cocaine. After Atlanta passed a local prohibition ordinance in the 1890s, the company took the booze out of the formula, and the company has used cocaine-free coca leaves since 1904.

Yup, that’s right. Coke was meant to heal, being coined at its debut as a remedy for pain, impotence and headaches. For those avid Jersey Shore viewers, some may even call the drink a blast in a glass.

Coke denies the validity and accuracy of the recent discovery, but what kind of hard-hitting journalist would I be if I didn’t give you the rumored recipe for Coke? Let me know if anyone decides to give it a try:

The recipe:

Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP
Citric acid: 3 oz
Caffeine: 1 oz
Sugar: 30 (unclear quantity)
Water: 2.5 gal
Lime juice: 2 pints, 1 quart
Vanilla: 1 oz
Caramel: 1.5 oz or more for color

The secret 7X flavor (use 2 oz of flavor to 5 gals syrup):
Alcohol: 8 oz
Orange oil: 20 drops
Lemon oil: 30 drops
Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
Coriander: 5 drops
Neroli: 10 drops
Cinnamon: 10 drops

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February 16, 2011

Social Media Statistics: You May Be Surprised

I find social media research entirely intriguing, so when I stumbled upon the following report, I was almost giddy. Check some of these out and tell me your heart rate doesn’t increase even a little:

 

Facebook

  • Chicago was the fastest growing city on Facebook in terms of usage in 2010. Houston was a close second. (AllFacebook.com)
  • During the average 20-minute period in 2010, there were: 1,5870,000 wall posts, 2,716,000 photos uploaded and 10,208,000 comments posted. (AllFacebook.com)
  • Indonesia has the second largest population on Facebook.

 

Twitter

 

All Social Media

  • The change in social media use among Baby Boomers 55-64 rose from 9% in Dec. 2008 to 43% in Dec. 2010 (Marketingcharts.com via David Erickson)
  • Social networking site usage grew 88 percent among Internet users aged 55-64 between April 2009 and May 2010 (Pew Research)

Source: 16 Social Media Statistics that May Surprise You, Arik Hanson

February 15, 2011

Oreos: Looking to be Liked

Exactly how well liked are Oreos? We’ll soon find out. The organization is on a mission to secure the most ‘likes’ on Facebook, in hopes of securing a Guinness World Record title.

The brand started pursuing this goal at 9 a.m. ET today and hopes to establish a new record since no current one exists. Guinness World Records people, however, set the bar at 45,000 likes within a 24-hour period. This morning, the Kraft-owned brand started the ball rolling with a post asking the brand’s 16.6 million fans to set the “likes” record. An hour or so later, Oreo seemed well on its way with more than 30,000 likes. (“Oreo Tries to Set Guinness Record for Facebook Likes“, Mashable, Todd Wasserman)

Oreo hopes to utilize publicity generated by the Guinness efforts to increase global brand awareness. It is already one of the five most engaged brands in social media, according to a recent study.

Could failing to reach the record be harmful to the brand image? Could the black and white cookie we all know and love be less lovable than we think? Time will tell.

February 1, 2011

Link to Love: Somewhere Splendid

Somewhere Splendid— a blog on all things kitchen, party, decor, entertaining, and DIY— is a fresh find sure to inspire. Its clean, sleek web silhouette, how-to format, and pristine graphics make for a quick, easy and informative read.

December 21, 2010

Time Flies, Get a New Calendar

Along with new opportunities, resolutions and goals— we’ll call these traditional perks— a new year brings new calendars and planners, one of my biggest guilty pleasures.

For those looking to stray from your traditional, boring, black and white desktop calendar and personal planner, Etsy— an online marketplace to buy and sell handmade or vintage items, art and supplies— offers an array of unique and often one-of-a-kind items to start your new year off planned and organized.

Prices vary, depending on the seller. Another option for buyers are calendars that are formatted as downloadable PDF files, allowing buyers to simply pay online, then download their files to expedite shipping and handling.

Personally, I’m not willing to sacrifice my style to remain organized, so I opt for a more eclectic, quirky taste for all things organization and planning.

Etsy Seller: JPressDesigns

Etsy Seller: redstarINK

Etsy Seller: LittlePaperDog

Etsy Seller: LetterHappy

What Do You Think: Would you be more likely to remain planned and organized using items that more closely reflected your style?