Odds and Ends 4

On November 27, 2011 · 5 Comments

The mailbag runneth over with great finds and suggestions from the generous readers of the Twelve Mile Circle audience. I’ll combine that with a couple of my recent discoveries and voilà, instant article. I’m not sure if I’m feeling lazy or if I’m still in a food coma from the recent Thanksgiving holiday but either way, prepare yourself for another installment of Odds and Ends. If you enjoy this series then you can always find more in the Complete Index.

My Stuff

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I stumbled across a subdivision outside of Pretoria where the streets are named for South African football teams. Either the developer is a huge football fan or he’s stumbled upon a great marketing technique. Imagine the hordes of rabid followers of a particular team that would be attracted to specific properties for instant bragging rights. I suppose the strategy could backfire in off-years but it would be great during winning streaks. Here are some of the more interesting street names.

  • Qwa Qwa Stars Rd.
  • Kaizer Chiefs Rd.
  • Real Rovers St.
  • Moroka Swallows Rd.
  • African Wanderers Rd.
  • Orlando Pirates Rd.

Imagine the conversation: "Yes, I live at 123 Orlando Pirates Road, you know, the one named for the team that defeated the Black Leopards 3-1 at Mbombela Stadium to win the 2011 Nedbank Cup?…"

Moving along to another topic, the recent article called No, Not That One seemed to have struck a chord with the 12MC audience. Many people posted examples of minor inconsequential towns sharing names with famous cities. I have one more. I’d like to note for the record that London, Kentucky is the home of the world chicken festival. Take that, London, England! I actually kind-of want to attend the festival.

Finally, I received a visitor from Iqaluit, Nunavut earlier this week. I have nothing more to add to this other than it’s only the third visit I’ve ever received from Nunavut.

We Know, but We Were Here First

Steve from Connecticut Museum Quest — one of my favorite must-read blogs even though I live nowhere near Connecticut — wondered if I had a page devoted to "unfortunately named places." He’d like to nominate Swastika, Ontario.

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Yes, that would certainly place high on any list of unfortunately named places. The residents of Swastika argue that their usage dates back decades prior to any negative connotation. Wikipedia notes: "The town was named after the Swastika Gold Mine staked in the autumn of 1907… During World War II the provincial government sought to change the town’s name to Winston in honour of Winston Churchill, but the town refused…" It goes back to an earlier connotation, the good luck associated with a Sanskrit swastika, which seems to make sense for a gold mine. Still, sometimes one needs to know when it’s time to let go.

Still Lost

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Jim C. provided a great set of photos that I posted a couple of years ago on Michigan’s Lost Peninsula. He sent a message this morning to inform me that the Lost Peninsula is the subject of a recent article in the Detroit Free Press.

It’s a human-interest piece timed to coincide with the Michigan vs. Ohio State (American) football game. I got a sense of déjà vu, though. How the States Got Their Shapes used a similar premise to discuss the Toledo War. It left me with the feeling that a certain reporter for the Detroit Free Press watches the History Channel.

Back and Forth

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This one doesn’t show up well in Google Maps so you’ll have to trust me when I say that it represents an unusual situation. Greg drove along Interstate 71 in an area where Cleveland and neighboring Brooklyn share a particularly squiggly border. The Ohio Department of Transportation placed a sign at each municipal crossing so that travels can see shifts between Cleveland and Brooklyn five different times in the space of a quarter-mile, including two signs just a few feet apart.

It reminded me of the crazy (albeit unsigned) crossings between Kentucky and West Virginia on U.S. Route 52/119. It also shows that city planners and highway engineers don’t always use the same criteria when laying down their lines.

Uh huh huh huh… You said…

My wife isn’t happy that Beavis and Butt-head is back on television after a 14 year hiatus. Nonetheless, I’ll present some recent finds from Alger that I believe fit the spirit of this momentous event.

Keep your suggestions coming — you might find yourself included in the next installment of Odds and Ends!

On November 27, 2011 · 5 Comments

5 Responses to “Odds and Ends 4”

  1. Jeb says:

    Another one of those highway engineering oddities: Minnesota 23 near Duluth. It crosses the MN/WI border by land and about a half-mile later crosses the St. Croix River, heading back into MN. There’s no signage stating this oddity, at least according to Wikipedia and my quick perusal of Street View.

  2. Thias says:

    It could be ranked under “Unfortunate names” or “Beavis and Butt-Head”: a Lorrain city is called… Bitche. The “e” isn’t pronounced, for the greatest joy of anglophones everywhere.

  3. Phil Sites says:

    Uh-oh, another odds and ends, you know I usually get ideas from these…

    I’m almost sick I didn’t know about the Michigan Peninsula until after I passed through Toledo a couple years back. It would have been an easy detour then, of course.

    I’m also curious if there is signage on the road that criss-crosses Yukon and B.C. about five or six times (I know you mentioned this recently). From Google maps I could only find one (the initial crossing into Yukon is noted) but I wasn’t overly thorough in my search.

  4. Greg says:

    I just stopped by the Lost Peninsula a couple weeks ago. I didn’t take any pictures, but there are two restaurants on either side of the border with basically identical wording on their signs. A little cross-border rivalry?

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