Geography/variety of dropped objects on New Year’s Eve

Traverse City Cherry Drop – Source:

It appears that dropping various objects is the vogue thing to do in the United States for New Year’s Eve. Here’s a list of the variety and geography of the items being dropped for 2018. This list only includes those being dropped (not raised) outdoors at midnight.

As can be gleaned from the list, a lot of places in Pennsylvania like to drop objects for the holiday, though Pennsylvania wins for the widest variety of things being dropping, including items like yellow britches, bologna, and stuffed/replica animals. Balls are the most common form of celebratory dropping throughout the county. In many cases, the items being dropped represents something important to the local economy, folklore, culture, or history – bologna in Lebanon, PA or a beach ball in Panama City, FL for example.

Any additions, updates, and/or corrections to the list are appreciated.


Raleigh, North Carolina


Shippensburg, Pennsylvania


  • Cornelia, Georgia
  • Manhattan, Kansas


  • Austin, Texas
  • Binghamton, New York
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • Destin, Florida
  • Fairhope, Alabama
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Fort Smith, Arkansas
  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Hamburg, New York
  • Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Kokomo, Indiana
  • Ludington, Michigan
  • Marquette, Michigan
  • McAllen, Texas
  • Media, Pennsylvania
  • Muncie, Indiana
  • New Carlisle, Ohio
  • New York City, New York
  • North Tonawanda, New York
  • Orchard Park, New York
  • Royal Oak, Michigan
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Twin Falls, Idaho
  • White Plains, New York
  • Wilson, New York
  • Yellow Springs, Ohio

Bayer Aspirin

Myerstown, Pennsylvania

Beach Ball

  • Bangor, Maine
  • Ocean City, Maryland
  • Panama City, Florida

Bear (stuffed)

Boyertown, Pennsylvania

Beaver (stuffed)

Beaverton, Pennsylvania


Kennebunk, Maine


Lebanon, Pennsylvania


Prescott, Arizona

Box Huckleberry

New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania


Maysville, Pennsylvania


Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Canal Boat

Liverpool, Pennsylvania


Cornwall, Pennsylvania


Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin


Cedar Falls, Iowa

Cheese Wedge

Plymouth, Wisconsin


  • Traverse City, Michigan
  • Sister Bay, Wisconsin

Cherry Blossom Ball

Macon, Georgia

Chili Pepper

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Chicken (stuffed)

Gainesville, Georgia


  • Richland, Pennsylvania
  • Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania

Coal to Diamond

  • Shamokin, Pennsylvania
  • Wiles-Barre, Pennsylvania

Cow (wooden)

Blain, Pennsylvania


Easton, Maryland


Des Plaines, Illinois

Disco Ball

Baltimore, Maryland


Hagerstown, Maryland

Duck Decoy

Harve de Grace, Maryland


Eastover, North Carolina


New Orleans, Louisiana

French Fry

Ickesburg, Pennsylvania

Giant “D”

Detroit, Michigan

Goat (stuffed)

Falmouth, Pennsylvania

Golf Ball

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina


South Lake Tahoe, California


Temecula, California


  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Niagara Falls, New York


Black Creek, North Carolina

Hemlock Tree

Halifax, Pennsylvania


Fayetteville, Arkansas

Ice Cream Cake

McVeytown, Pennsylvania


Indianapolis, Indiana


Winder, Georgia
East Petersburg, Pennsylvania


Frederick, Maryland (home of Francis Scott Key)

Liberty Bell Replica

Allentown, Pennsylvania


Hummelstown, Pennsylvania

Moon Pie

Mobile, Alabama


Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Music Note

Nashville, Tennessee

Muskrat (stuffed)

Princess Anne, Maryland


Bartlesville, Oklahoma


  • Miami, Florida
  • Orange County, California
  • Orlando, Florida


Hanover, Pennsylvania


Atlanta, Georgia


Dothan, Alabama


Fredericksburg, Virginia


Bethlehem, Pennsylvania


Pensacola, Florida


Dillsburg, Pennsylvania


Sarasota, Florida

Pine Cone

Flagstaff, Arizona

Ping Pong Balls

Strasburg, Pennsylvania

Popcorn Ball

  • Chagrin Falls, Ohio
  • Marion, Ohio

Possum (stuffed)

Tallapoosa, Georgia


Boise, Idaho

Potato Chips

Lewistown, Pennsylvania


York, Pennsylvania


Eastport, Maine


Elmore, Ohio


Palmyra, Pennsylvania


Duncannon, Pennsylvania


Newville, Pennsylvania

Sprint Car

Port Royal, Pennsylvania


  • Roanoke, Virginia
  • South Hill, Virginia


Harrisburg, Pennsylvania


Tucson, Arizona

Two (2) of Clubs

Show Low, Arizona


Port Clinton, Ohio


Vincennes, Indiana


Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Yellow Britches

Lisburn, Pennsylvania


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Favorites of 2017


One of my New Years resolutions for 2017 was to read more classic literature and watch classic films I have missed in the past. As you can see form this list, I have accomplished that, partially in thanks to TCM (Turner Classic Movies), as these are just a partial tally the books read/films seen.  My plan is to continue this trend in 2018 and beyond. During this process I have found that dystopian literature and film are favorites, as is film noir.

The only disappointment has been that it is increasingly hard to find alternative, indie, and rock music that I like. Granted, the free time available to search is less and the resources are fewer and farther between than they once were. I will continue to pursue this quest and look forward to new albums from some of my favorite artists arriving in 2018.

Happy New Year to all and I wish everyone peace and good will in 2018!

Films Released and Seen in 2017

  1. Blade Runner 2049
  2. Lady Bird
  3. Dunkirk
  4. The Zookeeper’s Wife
  5. Young Karl Marx
  6. Battle of the Sexes
  7. Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Classic Films First Seen in 2017

  1. Double Indemnity
  2. Brief Encounter
  3. Three Faces of Eve
  4. An Affair to Remember
  5. Call Northside 777
  6. Dial M For Murder
  7. The Shop Around the Corner
  8. The Defiant Ones
  9. Casablanca
  10. Lifeboat
  11. Singing in the Rain
  12. West Side Story

Recent Films First Seen in 2017

  1. The Way Back
  2. Edge of Seventeen
  3. Loving
  4. The African Doctor
  5. The Help
  6. 100 Metros
  7. The Nice Guys
  8. Sully
  9. The Man Who Knew Infinity
  10. Comet

TV Drama

  1. The Crown (Netflix)
  2. Madam Secretary (CBS)

TV Comedy

  1. Superstore (NBC)
  2. The Goldbergs (ABC)
  3. Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt (Netflix)

Books Published in 2017 (fiction)

  1. Sea of Rust
  2. The Marrow Thieves

Books Published in 2017 (non-fiction)

  1. Nomadland
  2. Stingray Afternoons
  3. Patagonian Road
  4. Saving Arcadia

Previously Published Books First Read in 2017 (fiction)

  1. The Stone Raft
  2. On The Beach
  3. Fahrenheit 451
  4. The Handmaid’s Tale
  5. We
  6. Frost and Fire (short story)
  7. Player Piano
  8. It Can’t Happen Here
  9. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
  10. The Pedestrian (short story)

Previously Published Books First Read in 2017 (non-fiction)

  1. Vroom With A View
  2. Vroom by the Sea
  3. If Venice Dies
  4. Sixty Degrees North
  5. Homage to Catalonia
  6. Everything That Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists
  7. A Dog’s Purpose
  8. The New Utopia
  9. Astoria
  10. Reimagining Detroit

New Album Released in 2017

  1. Visions of a Life – Wolf Alice
  2. Songs of Experience  – U2
  3. Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie
  4. Life After Youth – Land of Talk

Single/Song Released in 2017

  1. Loving by Land of Talk
  2. Don’t Delete the Kisses by Wolf Alice
  3. Planet Hunter by Wolf Alice
  4. Get Out of Your Own Way by U2
  5. Lay Down for Free by Buckingham and McVie
  6. You’re the Best Thing About Me by U2
  7. Sleeping Round the Corner by Buckingham and McVie
Posted in advertising, art, book reviews, books, branding, cartoons, Communications, culture, entertainment, film, fun, history, internet, libraries, literature, movies, music, music reviews, reading, Science, Science fiction, Television, theaters, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fictional cartoon cities and towns

Bedrock – Source:

Here’s my list of cities and towns from well-known, popular, and classic cartoons. If there are any I am missing, please feel free to send suggestions along.

  • Aberdale – Clarence
  • Adventure Bay – Paw Patrol
  • Anytown – the ZhuZhus
  • Arlen – King of the Hill
  • Aron City – Johnny Bravo
  • Autobot City – Transformers
  • Balsa City – Scaredy Squirrel
  • Bayport – The Hardy Boys
  • Bedrock – The Flintstones
  • Bikini Bottom – Spongebob
  • Bluffington – Doug
  • Bubbletucky – Bubble Guppies
  • Cape Suzette – TaleSpin
  • Capital City – Underdog
  • Capitaleville – Captain Biceps
  • Coolsville – Scooby-Do
  • Cosmopolis – Sally Bollywood, Super Detective
  • Danville – Phineas and Ferb
  • Dimmsdale – The Fairly OddParents
  • DingaLing Springs – Numb Chucks
  • Duckburg – Duck Tales
  • Dukesberry – Eight Crazy Nights
  • Elmore – The Amazing World of Gumball
  • Ellwood City – Arthur
  • Fair City – WordGirl
  • Freeland – Glenn Martin, DDS
  • Friendly Falls – Sunny Day
  • Frostbite Falls – Rocky and Bullwinkle
  • Genius Grove – Dexter’s Laboratory
  • Gongmen City – Kung Fu Panda
  • Gotham City – Batman
  • Gravity Falls– Gravity Falls – Thank you, Robert (added 12/20/17)
  • Great Big City – Pinky Dinky Doo
  • Grisham Heights – The Scarecrow
  • Highland – Beavis and Butthead
  • Hillwood – Hey Arnold
  • Inner City  – Fat Albert
  • Jump City – Teen Titans 
  • Langley Falls – American Dad
  • Lawndale – Daria
  • Metro City – Inspector Gadget and Megamind
  • Metropolis – Superman
  • Metroville – The Incredibles
  • Middleton – Kim Possible
  • Miserytown – Jimmy Two-Shoes
  • Monstropolis – Monsters, Inc.
  • Moose Jaw Heights – Atomic Betty
  • Nearburg – Catdog
  • Neo Yokio – Neo Yokio
  • New Holland – Frankenweenie
  • New New York – Futurama
  • Nowhere – Courage the Cowardly Dog
  • Ocean City or Seymour’s Bay – Bob’s Burgers
  • Ocean Shores – Rocket Power
  • Orbit City – The Jetsons
  • OTown – Rocko’s Modern Life
  • Peaceful Pines – Beetlejuice
  • Petropolis – T.U.F.F. Puppy
  • Playa Verde – Dora and Friends: Into the City
  • Porkbelly – Johnny Test
  • Quahog – Family Guy
  • Radiator Springs – Cars
  • Retroville – Jimmy Neutron
  • Riverdale – The Archie Show
  • Royal Woods – The Loud House
  • San Fransokyo – Big Hero 6
  • San Lorenzo – The Adventures of Puss in Boots
  • Santa Cecelia – Coco
  • Sheetrock Hills – Handy Manny
  • Smallville – Superman
  • Sodor – Thomas and Friends 
  • South Park – South Park
  • Splittsboro – Sidekick
  • Spoonerville – Goof Troop
  • Springfield – The Simpsons
  • St. Canard – Darkwing Duck
  • Stoolbend – The Cleveland Show
  • Super Hero City – The Super Hero Squad Show
  • Thneedville – The Lorax
  • Toon Town – Roger Rabbit
  • Townsville – Powderpuff Girls
  • Wayouttatown – The Angry Beavers
  • Whoville – The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
  • Woodcrest – The Boondocks
  • Zootopia – Zootopia 

Sources: and websites for each show

Metroville – Source:

These place names can be broken down into several categories:

Cities that sound really big:

  • Cosmopolis
  • Great Big City
  • Metropolis
  • Metroville
  • Monstropolis

Towns that sound really small:

  • Bubbletucky
  • Nowhere
  • Peaceful Pines
  • Smallville
  • Wayouttatown

Sarcastic/disgusting names:

  • Bikini Bottom
  • Dimmsdale
  • Ding-a-Ling Springs
  • Frostbite Falls
  • Miserytown
  • Nowhere
  • Porkbelly
  • Stoolbend
  • Townsville

Names related to the cartoon theme:

  • Autobot City
  • Bedrock
  • Genius Grove
  • Monstropolis
  • Orbit City
  • Radiator Springs
  • Sheetrock Hills
  • Toon Town
  • Zootopia

Average and ordinary names:

  • Anytown
  • Hillwood
  • Lawndale
  • Middleton
  • Riverdale
  • South Park
  • Springfield
  • Townsville

    Hillwood – Source

    Posted in art, cartoons, Cities, Communications, culture, demographics, diversity, family, fun, geography, history, land use, Maps, movies, pictures, place names, satire, skylines, spatial design, technology, Television, Transportation, Uncategorized, video | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

    USA/Canada metros with the most Bitcoin ATMs/tellers

    Robocoin ATM machine – Source:

    Below is a fascinating list from of the cities in the United States and Canada with the most Bitcoin ATMs or tellers. There are currently a total of 1,244 in the USA and 310 in Canada. The most surprising fact is how far down the list some of our largest tech hubs are situated. San Francisco at 14th, Boston at 22nd, Austin at 23rd, and both San Jose and Seattle are not even in the top 25?  That is quite a surprise.

    Given the meteoric rise in value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin in the past 12 months, it is likely these numbers will grow dramatically in the near term. Whether it is sustainable or not is the larger question.

    1. New York City = 179
    2. Los Angeles = 149
    3. Chicago = 126
    4. Toronto = 120
    5. Atlanta = 108
    6. Miami = 84
    7. Detroit = 54
    8. Vancouver = 50
    9. Montreal = 49
    10. Washington, DC = 46
    11. Dallas-Fort Worth = 44
    12. Philadelphia = 42
    13. Calgary = 30
    14. San Francisco-Oakland = 29
    15. San Diego = 27
    16. Las Vegas = 26
    17. Houston = 22
    18. Tampa-St. Pete = 21
    19. Phoenix = 20
    20. Ottawa = 16
    21. Denver = 15
    22. Boston = 14
    23. Austin = 13
    24. Sacramento and St. Louis = 12 each
    25. Edmonton = 11
    26. Charlotte, Cleveland, and Nashville = 10 each

    SOURCE (data as of 12/13/17)

    Posted in business, Canada, Cities, commerce, consumerism, deregulation, digital payment systems, geography, infrastructure, internet, product design, Statistics, technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

    America’s hottest hipsterhoods in 2017


    The following list developed by identifies the hottest inner city neighborhoods around the country in 2017. Having been to Midtown Detroit back in late August and seen how exciting it is, one can only imagine the vibrancy and hipness of the other 24 in this list. A link to information on several of the neighborhoods is also provided.


    Scores were tabulated out of 100 for each criteria shown in the image above and averaged for the total score shown for the applicable neighborhood to determine these rankings.

    1. The Mission in San Francisco, CA = 92
    2. Bushwick in New York City (Brooklyn), NY = 88
    3. Jackson Square in San Francisco, CA = 86
    4. Capitol Hill in Seattle, WA = 84
    5. Sunset Park in New York City (Brooklyn), NY= 84
    6. Pearl District in Portland, OR = 82
    7. North Park in San Diego, CA = 82
    8. Shaw in Washington, DC = 82
    9. Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta, GA = 80
    10. Central East in Austin, TX = 79
    11. U Street in Washington, DC = 78
    12. Holly in Austin, TX = 78
    13. Highlands in Denver, CO = 77
    14. Silver Lake in Los Angeles, CA = 77
    15. Wynwood in Miami, FL = 76
    16. Lowry Hill East in Minneapolis, MN =75
    17. Lower Westheimer in Houston, TX = 75
    18. Northern Liberties in Philadelphia, PA = 75
    19. Logan Square in Chicago, IL = 74
    20. Allston-Brighton in Boston, MA = 74
    21. Lower Garden District in New Orleans, LA = 73
    22. Wicker Park in Chicago, IL = 73
    23. Highland Park in Los Angeles, CA = 72
    24. Roosevelt Row in  Phoenix, AZ = 72
    25. Midtown in Detroit, MI = 69


    Posted in Active transportation, Alternative transportation, art, Biking, branding, Cities, civics, coffee shops/cafes, commerce, culture, density, diversity, economic gardening, fun, gentrification, geography, Housing, land use, new urbanism, place names, placemaking, planning, revitalization, spatial design, Statistics, third places, urban planning, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

    Ann Arbor’s new “FlexRoute” dynamic shoulder lanes

    Flexroute lane is to the left of the vehicles – left of the yellow line.

    The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently opened flexroute lanes along a nine mile segment of US 23 north of Ann Arbor. This was done as a cost saving alternative ($92 million) to three-laning the freeway ($400 million) through this very busy corridor. Here’s a link to a digital brochure on the project.

    Sources: MDOT and MLive

    The flexroute lanes operate in both directions during peak rush hours and special events, such as University of Michigan football games; and when regular travel lanes are blocked by accidents or construction. Unlike some flex lanes, these lanes are improved inside shoulders (a.k.a. dynamic shoulder lanes) that are situated on opposite sides of the freeway’s grass median, so they are not reversable lanes.

    Source: MDOT

    Overhead signals spaced along the route notify motorists if the flexroute lanes are open or not. The system opened the week of November 13th and operates between Exit 54 (M-36) on the north and Exit 45 (M-14) on the south.

    I was pleased to see on Thanksgiving Day that no drivers were disobeying the closed flexroute lanes signal. My son, who commutes this route regularly, reports that he has yet to see anyone using the flexroure lane when it is closed. Given the propensity of Michigan drivers to flout speed limits, it is reassuring to see these rules being followed.

    A flexroute such as this appears to be an excellent active traffic management option for reducing peak hour congestion without going to the expense of widening an entire highway. Whether a flexroute creates the same kind of  induced demand that standard road/highway widening does will be interesting to learn.

    While dynamic shoulder lanes are an impressive and transferable idea to other places here in Michigan and elsewhere, this planner would still like to see alternatives attempted that actually reduce the number of cars on the road, especially those with a single occupant. For this particular corridor, the previously discussed commuter rail option along the existing tracks connecting Ann Arbor and Howell (located just west of Brighton) would be a good option to consider. HOV (high occupancy vehicle) or BRT (bus rapid transit) lanes on US 23 would be more difficult to implement without adding a third lane the entire length of the corridor between the two cities. Regardless, MDOT should be commended for trying out an alternative solution to the congestion problems that can plague US 23 north of Ann Arbor.

    Posted in adaptive reuse, Cars, cities, economic development, geography, infrastructure, Maps, planning, rail, spatial design, Statistics, technology, tourism, traffic, transportation, Travel, urban planning | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

    UK Smart Cities Index 2017: Leaders and Laggards

    Below are the 2017 smart city rankings for cities in the United Kingdom. This is the first time that London is not listed as number 1. Congratulations to Bristol for topping this list in 2017.

    1. 82.7 = Bristol, England
    2. 81.2 = London, England
    3. 74.3 = Manchester, England
    4. 74.2 = Birmingham, England
    5. 74.0 = Leeds, England
    6. 73.5 = Milton Keynes, England
    7. 71.9 = Glasgow, Scotland
    8. 69.5 = Nottingham, England
    9. 65.1 = Peterborough, England
    10. 63.1 = Cambridge, England
    11. 62.6 = Oxford, England
    12. 62.5 = Aberdeen, Scotland
    13. 61.3 = Edinburgh, Scotland
    14. 58.8 = Newcastle, England
    15. 50.4 = Belfast, Northern Ireland
    16. 47.4 = Sheffield, England
    17. 45.1 = Reading, England
    18. 41.9 = Liverpool, England
    19. 25.5 = Cardiff, Wales
    20. 23.4 = Exeter, England


    The criteria utilized for these rankings are as follows:

    “1.3.3 Evaluation Criteria

    The city evaluations for this Index are based on two dimensions: Strategy and Execution. The Strategy dimension assesses each city’s vision, goals, and objectives as they relate to its smart city programme. The Execution dimension assesses the city’s actual achievements, from initial projects to full-blown deployment of innovative technologies and services.

    Each dimension is split into five evaluation categories. The evaluation categories for the Strategy dimension are:

    • Vision: Assesses the clarity, comprehensiveness, and depth of the city’s smart or future city strategy.

    • Digital Innovation: Evaluates a city’s strategy to develop and exploit digital technologies and services.

    • Service Innovation: Examines a city’s strategy for innovations in local services that exploit improvements offered by smart technologies.

    • Sustainability Plans: Assesses a city’s sustainability strategy and the explicit targets set for energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and related goals.

    • Stakeholder Engagement: Examines the range of city stakeholders involved in the development of the smart city strategy.

    The evaluation categories for the Execution dimension are:

    • Implementation: Assesses the city’s overall progress in translating its strategy into action based on the number, range, and extent of projects implemented to date.

    • Digital Delivery: Evaluates progress on implementing the city’s digital strategy, including pilot projects, smart city demonstrators, and full-scale projects.

    • Service Delivery: Evaluates progress on implementing service innovations defined in the city’s smart city strategy.

    • Environmental Impact: Looks at achievements against sustainability targets and implemented environmental and sustainability programmes.

    • Community Reach: Assesses engagement across multiple communities and stakeholders and the extension of projects into the wider city region.”

    Posted in business, cities, Communications, economic development, Economy, entrepreneurship, geography, planning, Science, technology, Trade, urban planning | Tagged , | Leave a comment