Interesting - I'm reading Charlie Stross's awesome novel "Accellerando". It's a great read - fast paced, full of amazing ideas and new technology. It is so full of ideas that there is a whole wiki article emerging about it as a study guide. And, even cooler, Charlie saves us a trip to the library by providing the book for free as a download on it's website. Yup, you can buy it or you can get it for free.
So anyway, I'm reading away when this line jumps out at me:
Rome is hotter than downtown Columbia, South Carolina, over Thanksgiving weekend- that means Rome is very hot. In the summer, there is nothing between Columbia and hell but a screen door.