I WAS IDLY PERUSING Google Analytics the other day when I noticed something strange. Analytics is Blogger’s equivalent of the NSA. It knows everything about you — who reads your blog, where they live, what web browser they use, how many times they visit, and probably the make of their underpants.
I was looking at Analytics because Ivor Tungin-Cheaque, chairman of Vigor’s Silent Fan Club, wanted to know where all my readers lived. Analytics had the answer, of course. My blog is read, or has been read, in 91 different countries.
I have a sneaking feeling that the great majority of the readers in countries such as Bulgaria, Turkmenistan, and Zimbabwe somehow came across my blog by mistake. Perhaps they Googled vim and vigor or something, and accidentally ended up on my website. But never mind, 91 is 91, and Colonel (Ret.) Tungin-Cheaque was very pleased with his tally. I don’t know what he’s planning to do with this information but I expect we shall see in due course.
But, as I said, there was something strange among all the statistics relating to this blog. I couldn’t help noticing that Canadians (bless their hearts) are slow readers. Analytics claims that the average visitor to this blog stays reading for 1 minute and 52 seconds. But Canadians take 2 minutes and 24 seconds, on average, to read the same stuff. I wonder if they move their lips when they read.
Americans, as you might imagine, because they’re always in a hurry, stayed reading for 1 minute and 57 seconds. Surprisingly, the average visit duration for readers in Argentina, is a mere 59 seconds. They must be practicing their speed-reading over there.
But the fastest of all readers are the Brits. They manage to absorb the contents of this blog at lightning speed in an average of 54 seconds, a full five seconds faster than the Argentinians.
At the other send of the scale we find the South Africans. If the Canadians were hares, the Springboks would be tortoises. They need an average of 3 minutes and 9 seconds to read this blog. This, too, is strange, because South Africans are over-achievers in so many spheres. It’s just lucky for them that reading my blog is not an international sport. Not yet, anyway.
There is only one situation I can think of in which men and women make an effort to read better than they usually do. It is when they are in love and reading a love letter.
— Mortimer Adler
When President Obama went to visit former president Bill Clinton he paid a visit to the bathroom, where he was astonished to find what appeared to be a solid gold urinal. He told Michelle about this unusual piece of bathroom equipment, which he felt to be a bit ostentatious and in bad taste.
A couple of days later, Michelle and Hillary had lunch together. The subject of the solid gold urinal came up and the girls had a good laugh.
That evening Hillary said to Bill: “I found out who peed in your saxophone.”
(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a new Mainly about Boats column.)