Smart talk, Dec. 18 

What's on your mind?


There's always something new under the Internet sun. The latest time-waster is a website that provides state-by-state rankings on Google searches. It's simple. You plug in a word and the website ranks the states according to which have produced the most Google searches for that term.

Arkansas, for example, ranks No. 1 among the states in Google users who did a search for all references to “Razorback.”

We checked a few other terms. Other Arkansas No. 1 rankings: Huckabee, incest and cheese dip. We were No. 2 in searches for catfish, behind Mississippi.

The page also correlates word searches with other defining characteristics. Searches for cheese dip, for example, strongly correlate with states where obesity is high. Have your fun at statestats.appspot.com


Today in history


It's calendar time and if you're tired of puppies, flowers, pinup girls, etc., how about some local education and amusement. To that end, you can buy the 2009 Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture for $10, plus $2 per order for handling and postage. (Three calendars would cost $32, including handling, in other words.) You get 13 historical photos and lots of information about noteworthy days in Arkansas history.

One is the photo above, from the 1930s, which shows the move to air freight by a small but growing poultry producer in Northwest Arkansas.

Send your order to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, 100 S. Rock St., Little Rock, AR 72201.


Now, wings for

the Crown Vic  


It sounds like a fried food, not a thing of beauty, but the Diana fritillary has taken Arkansas by storm. First it was celebrated atop Mount Magazine at its annual butterfly festival. Then the state named it the state butterfly. Now the large (wingspans between 3 and 4 inches), Ozarks-loving fritillary has winged its way onto the state Game and Fish Commission's 2009 conservation license plate. The plate features an open-winged black and blue female and a side view of the black and burnt-orange male. The conservation plates cost $35, $25 of which goes to a Game and Fish scholarship education fund.  



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