By now, most of the country has heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Whether we have participated or not - or plan to sometime - we know the way it works: nominate some friends, dump the bucket on your head, donate money to ALSA.org (or not), otherwise simply donate. Last week, I talked about an alternative to the ice bucket which a number of people said was a fine alternative and they plan to go that route.

But beyond the obvious good this has done, I've noticed some unexpected and surprising developments:

1. You get to see friends you haven't seen in a while.

A large number of my Facebook friends are people I know but haven't seen in a long time. Some of them I haven't seen in 15, 20, 25 years! Usually what we post on Facebook are clever quips, pictures of their kids or vacations, or rants on whatever's going on in the world. This time, it's been a fascinating look at what my old friends look like now, sound like now, even what kind of house they live in (or at least, their backyard). So it feels like a 30 second "mini-visit" to their world. It's made my Facebook news feed a little more tolerable.

2. Ice and bucket sales have undoubtedly gone up.

As I watch a lot of these videos, I've noticed that people's method of ice is a bag of ice in a bucket usually obtained from a "big box" hardware store. So you know what that means - all these people who buy ice for the cooler for their twice-a-summer park or backyard barbecue are now finding it harder to go the local, say, Stewart's to grab ice, because undoubtedly someone has bought ice for the weekend to make their video. Hey, they were called out - what else are they going to do? Same goes for buckets: who wants to be caught on camera with a substandard bucket?

3. You discover people's true personality.

There have been some really creative ways the challenge has been done. There's also some people that have declined taking on the challenge, but have donated instead (or not). Either way, everyone has a stance on whether or not they'd actually dump the water on themselves, and in doing so, you learn the reasons they do it or not do it.

Side note: I got to say, people have done an amazing job of not cursing when they get doused. You'd think that would be the first thing people would say, but maybe since they know this is for charity, kids would be watching, etc. people have been amazingly constrained.

But really, you have to know what ALS actually does to a person. Check out the video below and understand.