I just had an ice cold Pepsi this afternoon.

It was 35+C (ok, in the mid-nineties), I had just come back from a long hot walk through the kidfest day at the Artfest and I just had to have it.
It was so refreshing, and cool, and invigorating. Why it was exhilarating.

Don’t know about the “Aids Digestion” bit – ‘course it was Diet… not the same, eh?

It will, probably, be the only pepsi I have this month.

So, us physical science bloggers can be like total sluts, what with Pepsico having bought a blog on scienceblogs.com and many of the other bloggers quitting or suspending operations.
Not. Well. Handled.
Say. No. More.

But that wasn’t why I did it.
Not. At. All.

See, I can’t get a coke on campus.
Nor may I be shown in a photograph with a coke product in an official capacity, and there’s some other stuff…
Pepsi totally pwns Penn State – and man we’re cheap at that…

Something to do with the whole Blue & White thing – couldn’t really do a deal with coke with that (actually we could, you know, make it be a “red white and blue” theme, actually be kinda neat… given a good enough an offer), people might get confused and think we’re Wisconsin or something.

So, now Pepsico has bought into scienceblogs.com, and this is a problem.
Food Frontiers (link to Pepsico old blog) – they kinda need to work on their content.
But, hey, they are on twitter!

So, now I’m, like, totally pwned by Pepsico, they’ll probably buy the IoP next and totally fence me in.
You’d think they’d throw in a research grade telescope facility, or at least a new planetarium for the arboretum site or something.
An endowed Chair in Theoretical Astrophysics!
Those are cheap.

Hey, I like Quaker Oats – the original, not the instant, of course.
And their snack bars are quite tasty and make you feel less guilty about eating what is essentially glorified candy bars with fiber.
Does that count?

I do seriously no longer drink sodas, except in dire need, like while driving across texas, in summer – when I need something cold and caffeinated and iced coffee is not always an option.
I have however pinky promised to keep it to less than once per month or so on average.

When I was a kid, in Iceland, I drank coke.
It came in glass bottles, reusable, with a substantial deposit making it worthwhile for kids to gather those tossed by drunk teens so as to get the refund.
Nice bit of cash that.
Made with Icelandic water, and beet sugar. Very tasty.
I had a real coke a few weeks, ago, mid-June. Turns out there are shops which import coke, in glass bottles, made with beet sugar, from Mexico. (It was too sweet.)
You pretty much can’t get real coke in the USA – local stuff is made with high fructose corn syrup, not real sugar, and it always has that funky plastic aftertaste, whether from can or (plastic) bottle.
So does Pepsi.

I switched mostly to diet as a teenager/university. Drank whichever brand my immediate partner or social circle liked, no point having two things around a small student pad. Taste was not really a factor. Nor was flavour.

Then came grad school.

Ph 205: Quantum Field Theory
The lecturer, much admired, always, I mean always, got a cold diet pepsi from the vending machine down the hall, brought it into class and put it on the corner of the lectern.
Within 3 weeks 87.3% of the physics first year grad students were drinking diet pepsi.
That took care of the California years, including NoCal.
Man, pepsico owes Caltech a few millions for that one. They can pay it straight to the Quantum Computing Center.

Then it was back to the UK, and mostly coffee, with an occasional coke, us sophisticated European postdocs only drank sodas as post-modern subtly ironic statements on the capitalist hegemony.
Like us sophisticated faculty, eh?

Now, as an old fart with kids, I got trapped in a rationale of my own making.
We won’t generally let the kids drink soda pop fizzies (which side of the soda/pop divide am I anyway, it runs through near here somewhere).
Too much sugar, the diet stuff is crap for them, it is diuretic, an appetite stimulant, rots their teeth with the phosphoric acid, if not the high fructose corn syrup, and it inhibits bone growth.
So, said me kids, “why do you drink soda, pabbi?”.

duh… er, Duh… er, DUH!

So, I don’t anymore.

I do like oatmeal though.
Quaker oats totally rocks.

PS: “Brad’s Drink”? Really? A bully drink!


  1. #1 Dave Bacon
    July 8, 2010

    I drank so much diet soda in grad school that I once found myself at an ATM, pulled out my wallet, and tried to insert a dollar bill into the slot so that I could get my soda. Twas damn funny to the homeless guy watching me.

  2. #2 csrster
    July 8, 2010

    I suppose it would be a slightly amusingly ironic protest at the pepsicolisation of Sb if the few remaining bloggers replaced their photos with images of coca-cola products.

  3. #3 NancyNew
    July 8, 2010

    I buy my oatmeal in bulk (serious bulk, as in 50LB bag). No Quaker required. And I can’t remember the last time I had a soda other than an occasional generic ginger ale.

  4. #4 DesertHedgehog
    July 8, 2010

    I’ve always thought the soda/pop boundary was generally the Mississippi, but…I’m from the Deep South, where any soft drink is generically a “coke” or a “cold drink” (pronounced as one word)…Texas, at least the Houston-Austin area, seems to still be in the coke zone (“you want a coke?” “sure, get me a Diet Sprite”).

  5. #5 Ryano
    July 8, 2010

    Pepsi buying Penn State was clearly an attempt to create a new name for soda/pop/coke. Located right at the pop/soda divide, but far from coke country, (see http://popvssoda.com:2998/countystats/total-county.html), Pepsi was clearly just trying to get people to start calling everything ‘Pepsi’. Of course, this does risk diluting their Trademark.

    In any case, I welcome the Pepsi overlords endowing 30 Theoretical Astrophysics Chairs around the country, with my name earmarked for one.

  6. #6 brad
    July 8, 2010

    I had no idea I had a drink! And, to think, I grew up drinking coke….

    But I will put my name behind anything if it will endow chairs…even chairs in theory.

  7. #7 Steinn Sigurdsson
    July 8, 2010

    Hmm, “Brad’s bully Thirty Meter Telescope: Bigger than Coke Ever Was!”

    Go with a VLT style dome in a swirly blue and white.
    It could work…

    Actually, right now I might just sell out for a chair.
    Like, an actual chair… the “visitor chairs” in my office are the old grad student class room chairs that I rescued from the “throw out” pile, because they were old worn and ergonomically unsound.

  8. #8 Caryl
    July 8, 2010

    I brought a Coke Zero to Astro 480 regularly last spring. I kept expecting to get busted by the Penn State Pepsi police, but it never happened. I also don’t think I turned any of my students into diehard Coke Zero drinkers though. And for the record, I’ll be happy to take an Pepsi Endowed Chair in Observational Astronomy!

  9. #9 The Phytophactor
    July 8, 2010

    >>Don’t know about the “Aids Digestion” bit – ‘course it was Diet… << The original name, dyspepsia cola, certainly made that claim, a typical enough patent medicine concocted by a pharmacist and somehow the link with drug stores and soda fountains began.

  10. #10 ryano
    July 8, 2010

    Here is a chair anyone can relax in. Well, not everyone, but still.


  11. #11 Lab Lemming
    July 10, 2010

    Here is one example where pepsi is clearly superior to Coke for astronomical purposes.

  12. #12 saç ekimi
    July 12, 2010

    Hi all;
    A fatal flaw was that they failed to have any representative posts ready to go up when the blog went live.

    Had they done so, and had the content been surprisingly acceptable, the reception might have been better.

    Instead we get this “Hi! Welcome to ShillBlog!” (crickets) and everyone, quite reasonably, expects the worst.

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