Things are going remarkably well today, as the internet revealed to me that Google Sheets have a method that allows you to get the displayed value (string) of the contents of a cell rather than the object containing the value in the cell. Maybe it’s the cell that has a method? It’s a good thing that my faculty position in an EECS department was a research position and involved no teaching because I can’t keep up with the lingo.

Today’s deep thought is about how the students choose their usernames. We keep an eye on the usernames to ensure that they are mostly G-rated and generally appropriate for a wide audience. There is no way to write a regex that is going to catch everything terrible that the children think up without being unfairly restrictive on the other users.

But today we are not talking about terrible and offensive usernames. Today we are talking about the lowly potato. A surprising number of users choose usernames that contain the string “potato.” By my count, 360 users. Or roughly one in a thousand. One in a thousand might not sound like a lot, but it is an order of magnitude more than the number of users who choose usernames containing “tomato.” My unscientific look at other vegetables has potato being a strong favorite for vegetable-containing usernames. We even have some whose usernames are the word for potato in other languages.