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What Was Coke II?

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The story of New Coke is an oft-recited parable in the marketing world. Scared by Pepsi's rise and the success of the "Pepsi Challenge," Coca-Cola retooled their formula and introduced a newer, sweeter beverage in 1985 called "New Coke." "Old" Coke was completely removed from the market, and consumers aired their outrage at this debacle to the tune of 400,000 phone calls and letters sent to the soft drink manufacturer.

Less than three months after New Coke's unveiling, old Coke was reinstated as "Coca-Cola Classic" and all was right in the world. Americans returned in droves to the supermarket and picked up the old recipe they forgot they loved so much. Given the massive participation and swift results, the efforts to get old Coke back can be considered one of the most successful protest movements in U.S. history, a fact that is equal parts depressing and perfect.

Some say this was all a ruse by Coca-Cola to whip the public into a frenzy and generate new demand for an old product. This is unlikely, considering the company's commitment to New Coke. CEO Roberto Goizueta was still attached to the beverage and, when announcing the old recipe's return, stated that bottlers would have access to concentrates for New Coke and Coca-Cola Classic—the amount each was produced would be at their discretion. Coca-Cola Classic immediately outsold New Coke ten to one, and few bottlers ever re-ordered the New Coke concentrate again.

The company still harbored hope for the new recipe and they market tested it again as "Coke II" and formally re-released it in 1992 as part of the product line. But why were they so married to this total failure of a product? While never formally admitting it, New Coke (and Coke II) was supposedly cheaper to produce. According to The Real Thing: Truth and Power at the Coca-Cola Company, shortly after New Coke was released in targeted markets, Pepsi had their chemists examine the formula. They found that it contained fewer flavored oils and vanilla and that "the new formula would save Coke about $50 million a year because it cut back on some of the most costly ingredients."

The different name didn't help, and Coke II was produced by fewer and fewer bottlers until it was killed off for good in 2002. Occasionally, unopened bottles will pop up on eBay, but don't bother buying one for a taste test. Coke II tasted just like New Coke: sweet and a little flat.

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travel
Why You Should Never Take Your Shoes Off On an Airplane
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What should be worn during takeoff?

Tony Luna:

If you are a frequent flyer, you may often notice that some passengers like to kick off their shoes the moment they've settled down into their seats.

As an ex-flight attendant, I'm here to tell you that it is a dangerous thing to do. Why?

Besides stinking up the whole cabin, footwear is essential during an airplane emergency, even though it is not part of the flight safety information.

During an emergency, all sorts of debris and unpleasant ground surfaces will block your way toward the exit, as well as outside the aircraft. If your feet aren't properly covered, you'll have a hard time making your way to safety.

Imagine destroying your bare feet as you run down the aisle covered with broken glass, fires, and metal shards. Kind of like John McClane in Die Hard, but worse. Ouch!

Bruce Willis stars in 'Die Hard' (1988)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

A mere couple of seconds delay during an emergency evacuation can be a matter of life and death, especially in an enclosed environment. Not to mention the entire aircraft will likely be engulfed in panic and chaos.

So, the next time you go on a plane trip, please keep your shoes on during takeoff, even if it is uncomfortable.

You can slip on a pair of bathroom slippers if you really need to let your toes breathe. They're pretty useless in a real emergency evacuation, but at least they're better than going barefoot.

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

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Big Questions
Where Should You Place the Apostrophe in President's Day?
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Happy Presidents’ Day! Or is it President’s Day? Or Presidents Day? What you call the national holiday depends on where you are, who you’re honoring, and how you think we’re celebrating.

Saying "President’s Day" infers that the day belongs to a singular president, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays are the basis for the holiday. On the other hand, referring to it as "Presidents’ Day" means that the day belongs to all of the presidents—that it’s their day collectively. Finally, calling the day "Presidents Day"—plural with no apostrophe—would indicate that we’re honoring all POTUSes past and present (yes, even Andrew Johnson), but that no one president actually owns the day.

You would think that in the nearly 140 years since "Washington’s Birthday" was declared a holiday in 1879, someone would have officially declared a way to spell the day. But in fact, even the White House itself hasn’t chosen a single variation for its style guide. They spelled it “President’s Day” here and “Presidents’ Day” here.


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Maybe that indecision comes from the fact that Presidents Day isn’t even a federal holiday. The federal holiday is technically still called “Washington’s Birthday,” and states can choose to call it whatever they want. Some states, like Iowa, don’t officially acknowledge the day at all. And the location of the punctuation mark is a moot point when individual states choose to call it something else entirely, like “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day” in Arkansas, or “Birthdays of George Washington/Thomas Jefferson” in Alabama. (Alabama loves to split birthday celebrations, by the way; the third Monday in January celebrates both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert E. Lee.)

You can look to official grammar sources to declare the right way, but even they don’t agree. The AP Stylebook prefers “Presidents Day,” while Chicago Style uses “Presidents’ Day.”

The bottom line: There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Go with what feels right. And even then, if you’re in one of those states that has chosen to spell it “President’s Day”—Washington, for example—and you use one of the grammar book stylings instead, you’re still technically wrong.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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