56 Acronyms and Initials All Spelled Out

So that's what it stands for!

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1. If you've ever been caught staring at your zipper and wondering what YKK stands for, it's Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha, which roughly translates to Yoshida Company Limited. Also, your fly is down.

2. TASER stands for Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle.

3. The greatest name in the history of clothing and outdoor recreational equipment is Leon Leonwood Bean.

4. 3M is an abbreviation of Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing.

5. M&M's stands for Mars and Murrie's. (That is, Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie.) Before you think that M&M's are some confectionery American dream, Mars and Murrie were the sons, respectively, of the Mars and Hershey fortunes. And while we're on the subject of chocolate brand named origins, the Three Musketeers originally included three smaller bars: one vanilla, one chocolate, and one strawberry, but when the ingredients became too expensive during World War II, the Three Musketeers became all chocolate.

6. The "Q" in Q-tips stands for Quality. They were originally called "Baby Gays."

7. BMW? Bavarian Motor Works.

8. Smart Car began as a collaboration between Swatch and Mercedes, and sounds better than "Swatch-Mercedes Art Car."

9. ASICS gets it's name from the Latin phrase "Anima Sana In Corpore Sano" - Mispronouncing things is my THING! - which means "A sound mind in a sound body." Which is pretty high-brow for shoes that look like THIS.

10. ADIDAS is not short for "All Day I Dream About Soccer." The name comes from founder Adi Dassler.

11. TCBY now means "The Country's Best Yogurt," but it once meant "This Can't Be Yogurt," until they were sued by rival frozen yogurt concern "I Can't Believe It's Yogurt." 

12. The "A" and "W" of "A&W" are Roy Allen and Frank Wright.

13. Frederick August Otto Schwarz founded his famous toy store with his brothers, but then cut them out of the naming rights. In a related story, the vlogbrothers channel on YouTube shall now be know as "John Green is the greatest. Hank is poopy."

14. The "R" in Toys R Us isn't an initial; it's just bad grammar. However, the Toys R Us mascot, Geoffrey, pictured here, here, and here - God, we love giraffes on this show - used to be known as Doctor G. Raffe. And his liver looks like that!

15. The "K" in K-mart stands for Kresge, for founder Sebastian S. Kresge.

16. The "J.C." in J.C. Penney stands for James Cash.

17. When you say you're going to the "ATM Machine" to type in your...

18. ..."PIN Number," you are being redundant. Also, you are saying an unnecessary number of words.

19. Michael J. Fox's middle name? ...Andrew.

20. Wander over to your bookshelf and you'll find an alphabet soup of writers' initials. Like, before writing Catcher in the Rye and becoming all reclusive, Jerome David Salinger worked as an entertainer on a cruise ship.

21. Elwyn Brooks White, of Charlotte's Web fame, also the White behind Strunk&White, the famous English-language style guide.

22. The November 22, 1963, death of Clive Staples Lewis was overshadowed by the death of another famous person known by his initials: JFK (John Fitzgerald Kennedy).

23. Then there's Howard Phillips Lovecraft

24. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

25. Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

26. Thomas Stearns Eliot

27. David Herbert Lawrence

28. Herbert George Wells. No wonder these people went by their initials!

29. Lucy Maud Montgomery

30. James Matthew Barrie

31. Wystan Hugh Auden

32. Alan Alexander Milne

33. Philip Dey Eastman

34. Hunter Stockton Thompson

35. and Philip Kindred Dick. Let's just pause for a moment and thank Phillip K. Dick's parents. Good people.

36. All right, I'll do a couple more: Arthur Charles Clark

37. Edward Estlin Cummings

38. Joanne Rowling didn't have a middle name, so when her publishers wanted another initial, she gave herself a "K" for "Kathleen," which was the name of her favorite grandma. By the way: Harry James Potter, Hermione Jean Granger, and Ginger Bilius Whatshisface.

39. If you want a career in politics, particularly a career in American presidential politics, you're gonna need a good middle initial, like James Knox Polk...

40. or Rutherford Birchard Hayes

41. or Chester Alan Arthur

42. or James Abram Garfield

43. or Warren Gamaliel Harding

44. The "M" in Richard M. Nixon stands for Milhous. Everything's coming up Milhous.

45. And Harry Truman's middle name? Just "S."

46. Someone worked extremely hard to make USA PATRIOT Act an acronym. It stands for "Uniting & Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept & Obstruct Terrorism."

47. The ZIP in ZIP Code is Zone Improvement Plan.

48. GEICO was originally short for "Government Employees Insurance Company."

49. The speaker company JBL is named for founder James Bullough Lansing. Bullow? Bulluff? BullOG? Beuloff? I'm sure one of his descendants is going to let me know.

50. CVS originally stood for Consumer Value Stores; over time, it just became CVS.

51. H&M is Hennes & Mauritz.

52. The shipping company DHL is named for founders Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom, and Robert Lynn.

53. The abrasive cleaning pad SOS means "Save Our Saucepans."

54. SCUBA means Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

55. LASER means Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

56. And, lastly, DFTBA, of course, stands for "Darling, Fetch the Battle Axe." And "Don't Forget to Be Awesome."

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Afternoon Map
The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.

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Design
A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”

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