Seattle has an Accent

I was playing catch-up with my RSS feeds when I stumbled upon this little gem from kottke: 21 accents in 2 minutes 30 seconds.

The women, Amy Walker, pretty much does exactly what the title would suggest: 21 accents in 2 minutes 30 seconds. No surprise there. Skip forward (or just wait, because the rest of her accents are actually pretty good) to 1:45 and you’ll get the Seattle accent.

Now, up until this time, I was never aware that Seattle had it’s own distinct accent. As it turns out, Seattle may. I found a 2005 article by the Seattle PI (that would be “Post-Intelligencer” for all you non-natives), Contrary to belief, local linguists say Northwest has distinctive dialect, that reports that “Jennifer Ingle, a 27-year-old Ballard native and student of language at the University of Washington” did a study on the Northwests’ distinct accent:

From seattlepi.nwsource.com:

Say “caught” and “cot” out loud. If you’re a true Northwest speaker, the words will sound identical. Linguists call this the “low-back merger” because we’ve merged these two vowel sounds. On much of the East Coast, these same words will sound different. “Creaking is a way of making those distinctions that are being lost,” Wassink said. Just as Bostonians tend to compensate in their speech for removing the “r” from many words, she said, we might speak creaky to compensate for refusing to use both vowels.

Random Space Needle Fact

The Space Needle is 184 meters tall. Despite its height, the center of gravity is only 1.5 meters about the ground.

From en.wikipedia.org:

The earthquake stability of the Space Needle was ensured when a hole was dug 30 feet (10 m) deep and 120 feet (40 m) across. An army of cement trucks (467 in all) took one full day to fill it up. In fact, the foundation alone weighs almost 6,000 tons and there are 250 tons of reinforcing steel in the base. With this concrete base weighing the same as the above-ground structure, the Needle’s center of gravity is just 5 feet (1.5 m) above ground level. The entire structure is bolted to the foundation with 72 bolts, each bolt being 30 feet (10 m) long.

See also: Seattle’s World Fair 1962 picture postcard

Dropped Off on Both Ends

I dropped Jeff off at the airport yesterday for his flight back home to Seattle.

This would normally not be a notable event, except that I also dropped Jeff off at the airport in Seattle on his flight here to Colorado.

You read that right, I dropped Jeff of at the airport in Seattle in my car. Then drove to Colorado and dropped Jeff off at the airport in Colorado in my car.

Back In Seattle

I’m back in Seattle for break.

I’m waaaay behind on email and RSS feeds, so I’m spending some time catching up on those. But I’m pretty free over break (I do actually have some awesome events I’m going to, but I can fit you in). I’ll be working on some writing stuff if I can get my act together (read as: if my brain will unknot itself).

Drop me a line: email (I read the new ones, I promise), txt, call, facebook, etc.

The Great American Beer Festival

The Great American Beer Festival (10/11/2007) was pretty awesome.

I’ve never seen so many different beers before in my life, and therein lies the problem. Being of the analytical sort, I was completely overwhelmed with my choices of beer. I knew I couldn’t taste them all, but I was unprepared for a coming with a methodology to taste what I could.

In short, I was frozen with the overwhelming task of trying to sample beer.

I basically decided that the best course of action was to follow those I knew. I followed Trevor around for a while before breaking off to go find some food.

The floor is ordered by region, which is makes it nice and easy to find the beers I knew I wanted: Alaskan Amber, Full Sail, and Buttface.

For whatever reason, The Ram didn’t have Buttface on tap! So I had to settle for the Blonde (yea, I know…poor me). Nick introduced me to the strongest commercial beer in the world: Samuel Adam’s Utopias. Holy crap. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I can assure that it does not go down like beer, and at 25% ABV1 I wouldn’t expect it to go down like a normal beer either. Oh, and at $100 a bottle, it ain’t cheap either.

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do for next time. I’ll definitely need a better plan.

Other notes:
There is a purposely sour beer floating around the GABF. I don’t remember it’s name. I think it’s out of Nevada, but I’m not sure.

ferg_characture There was a free caricature artist there, Alan J. Lewis, he drew a picture of me and we chatted for a while. He’s not like most caricature artists who draw really fast. He took his time and we chatted for a while. We eventually got to talking about the Northwest and how I was from Seattle and he wanted to move to Portland. It was pretty cool and he even drew the Space Needle in the background of my caricature.

Do not drop your sampling glass on the floor. It makes a “tink tink tink” sound and everybody turns and boos you.

There are few things more amazing then a bunch of drunk people watching the Rockies play post-season baseball.

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1 Alcohol by Volume

More Snow

Brian and Quinn both just let me know that it’s snowing in Seattle and sticking. Looks like I got out just in time. My flight yesterday was delayed 30 minutes so they could de-ice. I slept the whole way. I’m good on the plane like that.

It starting last night. The idea was innocent enough and one I’ve had before: would I be better off back in Seattle at the UW. It’s a thought I’ve have times before and nothing has really come of it and nothing came of it tonight. But for whatever reason, the seed grew. Part of it might have been the email this morning from Ben, perhaps the last straw in growing housing tensions. Part of it might have been my own failure to achieve the grades I want at Mines and the reflection in others about the grades they achieve versus the grades get. Why am I so complacient in my own learning?