kottke.org posts about McDonalds

The McFarthest Spot

To get to a McDonald’s in the lower 48 United States, it’s never more than 145 miles by car. And the McFarthest Spot in the US is in South Dakota.

For maximum McSparseness, we look westward, towards the deepest, darkest holes in our map: the barren deserts of central Nevada, the arid hills of southeastern Oregon, the rugged wilderness of Idaho’s Salmon River Mountains, and the conspicuous well of blackness on the high plains of northwestern South Dakota.

See also maximum Starbucks density and Starbucks center of gravity of Manhattan.

Update: The distribution of McDonald’s in Australia is a bit more uneven. (thx, kit)

Update: As of December 2018, the point the farthest away from any McDonald’s in the lower 48 US states is in Nevada, 120 miles away from the nearest McDonald’s.


The McGangBang

The McGangBang has to be one of the more American things I’ve ever seen. It’s a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger with a McChicken sandwich crammed into it.

Let that soak in a bit before you actually view this piece of hideous gorgeousness. The best part is that it only costs $2.16.


Nothing like a good 12-yo hamburger

Karen Hanrahan shares her favorite prop that she shows parents in her Healthy Choices for Children workshop: a McDonald’s hamburger purchased in 1996 that still looks like it did the day it was made.

People always ask me — what did you do to preserve it? Nothing — it preserved itself.

(via wider angle)

Update: Looks like the post got taken down for some reason? Server getting a little melty maybe? Anyway, that hamburger was amazingly preserved. Serious Eats grabbed a pic before the site went down.


The McDonald’s theory of war

The Russian/Georgian conflict has proven the McDonald’s theory of war wrong. The theory stated that no two countries with McDonald’s restaurants would ever go to war with each other. (via mr)

Update: Depending on what you consider a war, the theory has been proven incorrect before. (thx, lots of folks who sent this in)


McDonald’s medals

Morgan Spurlock ate McDonald’s for 30 days, gained 25 pounds, and had health problems. US swimmer Ryan Lochte has eaten McDonald’s for “almost every meal” since he arrived in Beijing and has won four Olympic medals. His fellow swimmer Michael Phelps doesn’t eat so healthy either. In a sport where you can win or lose by tenths or hundredths of seconds, I wonder what impact a proper diet would have on their times. (And to not eat any Chinese food — one of the world’s great cuisines — while in Beijing? A travesty.)

Update: The Guardian’s Jon Henley tries Michael Phelps’ diet for a day. Unsuccessfully, I don’t need to add. (thx, laura)

Update: Fear of illness may also have something to do with Lochte’s standing reservation at McDonald’s.


Line Rider McDonald’s commercial

Whoa, a TV commercial for McDonald’s that features Line Rider. (via waxy)


One meal at Per Se has as

One meal at Per Se has as many calories as 4.5 Big Macs, about a whopping 2400 calories. (via eater)


What’s in a McDonald’s Chicken McNugget? 56% of

What’s in a McDonald’s Chicken McNugget? 56% of it is corn and a tiny percentage is actually lighter fluid (for freshness!). (via cyn-c)

Update: There are several comments in the above thread that indicate that the chemical sprayed on McNuggets for freshness is not butane (lighter fluid). Also, the 56% corn figure counts meat from corn-fed chickens, for which corn is not a natural food. (thx, demetrice)


Is Food Network doing subliminal advertising during

Is Food Network doing subliminal advertising during its shows? This video shows a McDonald’s ad that was displayed for only one frame during a recent episode of Iron Chef America. (via the grumpiest)

Update: Additional information from my inbox: “Thank you for pointing out that Food Network one frame commercial! They do this _all the time_ and the technique was driving me batty: not only is it annoying, I didn’t know if anybody noticed/cared. There is at least one other channel (either HGTV or TLC) that does that exact same thing.” (thx, alex)

Update: Michael Buffington writes: “You sure the single frame ad isn’t a case of local market cable ads getting dropped onto the national feed? When I had cable, I’d see this all the time. A single frame for some well known brand suddenly hijacked by Cal Worthington and his 500 used cars.”


Video of a Steven Levitt talk on

Video of a Steven Levitt talk on the economics of gangs and why gangbanger is not such a good vocation (for one thing, the job pays less than McDonald’s). The board of directors stuff made me think of the co-op on The Wire.


Clever McDonald’s sundial billboard. “The billboard features

Clever McDonald’s sundial billboard. “The billboard features a real sundial whose shadow falls on a different breakfast item each hour until noon, when the shadow of the McDonald’s arches are dead center.”


Google Maps + Fast Food shows all the

Google Maps + Fast Food shows all the the McDonald’s, Burger Kings, Wendy’s, and Jack in the Boxes in the US on a scrollable, zoomable map. Here’s lower Manhattan + parts of Brooklyn and New Jersey. (Alternate plurals of Jack in the Box: Jacks in the Box or Jack in the Boxen?)


Because of their Dollar Menu (which doesn’t

Because of their Dollar Menu (which doesn’t feature any of their recently added healthy menu items), sales at McDonald’s have risen sharply over the last three years. In the article, a McDonald’s rep calls the Egg McMuffin “a very nutritious sandwich”. I like me some McMuffin, but if you look at its nutrition info (22% of your daily saturated fat and 77% of your daily cholesterol…and a McMuffin isn’t that big), it’s hard to imagine the circumstances under which you could call it “very nutritious”.


McGriddle Fan Fiction group on LiveJournal. “Keep

McGriddle Fan Fiction group on LiveJournal. “Keep it focused on breakfast products. I don’t want to hear about any french fries.” (thanks, thirteen) -dj


Why do people buy a smaller size

Why do people buy a smaller size of Coke when going through the McDonald’s drive-thru than when they order from the counter?. No answer is given, but it’s not the small size of the cupholders. Any ideas?


Interview with Soso Whaley, director of Mickey

Interview with Soso Whaley, director of Mickey D’s and Me, counterpoint to Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me. “Even without seeing [Super Size Me] I could tell from the clips and the description by Spurlock that this was nothing more than junk science masquerading as legitimate scientific discovery.”


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