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September 23rd, 2009:

McDonald’s in America [progress]

Few things scream America more than the golden arches of McDonald’s. And thanks to the company’s relentless expansion push, you can find the low prices, great tastes and predictability of McDonald’s in over 120 countries across the globe.

But while McDonald’s continues to spread American ideals around the world, it is also expanding here at home.  Stephen Von Worle over at the blog Weather Sealed decided to map out just how ubiquitous McDonald’s has become in an effort to figure out if there is anywhere in the county that is out of McDonald’s reach.

Here is the map he came up with:


Turns out that at 107 miles from the nearest McDonalds, some godforsaken stretch of South Dakota is the pretty much the last place in the lower 48 without adequate access to a Happy Meal.

But while many view this map as a sign of just how homogenous the American suburban landscape has become, I prefer to look at it as a sign of progress. After all, even I find myself stranded between Glad Valley and Meadow, South Dakota, I still know that free refills, clean restrooms and a drive-thru window is only a 2-3 hour drive away.

God Bless America!

Previous topics mentioned in this post:

#2. Drive-Thrus

Why Europe Stinks €. 1 – Pay Toilets

Chain restaurants in NYC: Saturation point or starting point?

#20. Camel Crush Cigarettes [American innovation]

2009-06-29 120With the news out today that the Food and Drug Administration is instituting a ban on flavored cigarettes, I thought it was only fitting to take a look at a positive contribution Big Tobacco has recently made to society:  Camel Crush Cigarettes.

These are no ordinary premium cigarettes. These are special flavor changing cigarettes.*

They are specially developed to transform from a normal cigarette into a menthol when the smoker applies pressure to a small ball located in the filter. Apparently this new product fills the needs of smokers who can’t wait the two or three minutes until they are done with their current smoke to light-up a menthol.

I can’t say I’ll ever use it, but I am happy that the good men and women at RJ Reynolds developed it just in case.

Not to be cynical about this product’s chances, but if you are inclined to give it a try, I might suggest doing it soon. I have the lingering suspicion that it won’t be long before either the FDA bans menthols or the corporate bean-counters send it the way of Crystal Clear Pepsi.

God Bless America and God Bless American Innovation!

*The FDA’s current ban on flavored cigarettes does not apply to menthols.

(Hat tip, Dan H)

Previous American Innovation topics:

Deep-fried butter. That is all

#19. KFC’s “Double Down Sandwich”

MINUTEMENT UPDATE: Because eight pop choices is not enough

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