Friday, April 24, 2015


Yesterday I was listening to the latest episode of the Judge John Hodgman podcast. At the end there was a short discussion about how on a prior episode Hodgman mentioned there is a town in Idaho with the unfortunate slogan is "The Land of Rape and Honey", with "Rape" referring to the rapeseed crop that is grown there rather than sexual assault. Hodgman had also mentioned that Canola oil is actually rapeseed oil. The reason why it came up again in this week's episode is that those comments from the earlier episode prompted complaints that: (a) the town with the rape slogan was in Saskatchewan and not Idaho, and (b) that canola oil is made from a separate variant seed that is related to rapeseed but is not the same as Rapeseed oil. Hodgman acknowledged his error about the location of the town. But it was odd that there were Canola oil partisans who would write to him to save that oil from the stigma of rapeseed oil.

None of this would have been worth noting here except that today on TPM, there are all these posts about the pretty much the same thing. There is a post about the "Land of Rape and Honey" town, rightly attributed to a town in Saskatchewan rather than Idaho. There is the story of canola oil and its connection to rapeseed oil, and, even more surprisingly, the backlash by pro-canola oil partisans.

As far as I can tell, the Judge Hodgman discussion was not inspired by the TPM post (Hodgman's original discussion started weeks before TPM's). Nor is there any indication that Josh Marshall got interested in the rapeseed/canola and the town of Tinsdale, SK from Hodgman. So why are both of these places having the same discussion right now? Is rapeseed/canola in the air? And why are there so many canola oil partisans waiting to raise their voice is anyone besmirches the honor of their oil?