Craigslist, the popular bulletin-board service, has long had a "missed connections" personals section. This is the place were lovestruck singles (or at least, the situationally single) can reach out to the unidentified partner of their dreams, armed only with a description of their fleeting encounter and the hope that the object of their affections is also looking on Craigslist for their missed connection. Here's a recent typical example, from a supermarket in northern California:
Trader Joe's on Cleveland - m4w - 41 (santa rosa)
Well, I feared this would happen. I'd see you at Trader Joe's, try to muster up the courage to say hello & ask for you digits, and then, having failed, wind up here in CL. You're maybe 30, and gorgeous. Blonde hair, wearing dark flip flops, and maybe your shirt was white? I was wearing a baseball hat. (Tell me what color.) We checked out at the same time at adjacent cashiers, at about 1pm, maybe a bit before then. You drive a small car, I think gray. (For some reason, I apparently don't remember colors too well.) Are you out there??
Dorothy Gambrell realised that these "missed connection" posts could give insights into where around the country "love at first sight" strikes the most often. By mining the most frequent locations mentioned in 100 posts in each state back in February, she created the following "love map" of the USA (via Flowing Data):
If you're looking for love this weekend, maybe this map will help you find it. (WalMart is certainly a popular choice in many parts of the country.) Whatever you get up to this weekend, enjoy! We'll be back on Monday.