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Cosmic Quote #52: Play Ball!

“There are three things you can do in a baseball game.  You can win, you can lose, or it can rain.”–Casey Stengel

brrrrr

brrrrr

Unfortunately, there is a fourth thing that can happen.  It can snow.  And as that is exactly what it is currently doing outside my window right now, I thought I’d get a head start on this coming Sunday’s Major League Baseball opener and give spring some encouragement.   Stay warm and dry, my friends.

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Cosmic Quote #3.1415…..Happy Pi Day

“Perfect numbers like perfect men are very rare.”–Rene Descartes

“It’s clearly a budget.  It’s got a lot of numbers in it.”–George W. Bush

Cherry is good, too.

Cherry is good, too.

It seems that perfect presidents are even rarer than perfect men or perfect numbers.  And that goes doubly for perfect web sites, as that “W” quote above came from the inaptly named brainyquote.com.  So what better entity to dedicate a day to than the most famous of imperfect numbers, π.    On this Pi Day of the century (3/14/15) have yourself a slice of your favorite.  I’m in Florida at the moment, so that would definitely be Key Lime.

Cheers

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Timeout: This is Not a Pipe

marksackler:

Winter Chill Rerun: Time for Something Warm…

Originally posted on The Millennium Conjectures™:

“I am two with nature.”–Woody Allen

This is not a pipe The Treachery of Images, by Rene Magritte, 1928-29
Ceci n’est pas une pipe. This is not a pipe.

René Magritte’s message is rather unambiguous.  An image of a “thing” is not the thing itself.  But don’t worry, I’m not headed toward a heavy ontological discussion here.  I have a simple question which, believe it or not, my overly opinionated philosophical mind has virtually no idea how to answer.   Maybe one of you out there can help.

I love nature photography.  Flowers, birds, wildlife, oceans, lakes, clouds, mountains, landscapes–you name it, I like looking at these images and they are my favorite to photograph.  Good grief, I’ve even photographed mud puddles and insects.  And yet I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, what one would call a nature lover.  I hate gardening and yard work.  I won’t even mow my own lawn as…

View original 232 more words

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Mark’s Neologisms #3

“I would stare at a map of Delaware for hours.”–Ken Jennings

“Men read maps better than women because only men understand the concept of one inch equaling 100 miles.”–Roseanne Barr

directile dysfunction**–noun

1. The inability to read a map, or follow simple directions, generally caused by over-dependence on GPS monitors.

2. A wrong turn or disorientation caused by dysfunctional GPS software.

www.cartoonstock.com used with permission

http://www.cartoonstock.com used with permission

Away back in the 20th century, my wife referred to the malady described in the first definition above as geographical dyslexia. She suffers from it.   I actually use her as a sort of reverse GPS–the surer she is we are going the right way, the surer I am we are lost.  Now all we need is a neologism for whatever ails Ken Jennings.  Any suggestions?

**OK, I admit it. After thinking this one up, I Googled it and discovered it already exists in the urban dictionary, but c’mon, it’s just too good not to use.

 

 

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Time Out: The Amazing Oliphant Chuckerbutty

Note: This post appeared yesterday, under a different title, on The Blog of Funny Names

“Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.”–Winston Churchill

In the beginning, there was Outerbridge Horsey.  And Outerbridge Horsey begat Outerbridge Horsey, Jr., who begat Outerbridge Horsey III, who begat Outerbridge Horsey IV and so on through Outerbridge Horsey VII, who still lives today.   And collectively, The Horseys begat the blog of Funny Names which became the bible of funny names.

Now, unto us a king is given.  Behold a new dawn and a New Testament of funny names.

I give you, Oliphant Chuckerbutty.  Or in full, Soorjo Alexander William Langobard Oliphant Chuckerbutty.   (note: he apparently also was known at times as Wilson Oliphant, but why he would ever go by anything other than Oliphant Chuckerbutty is beyond me.).

No, not that Oliphant.

No, not that Oliphant.

The esteemed Mr. Chuckerbutty (1884-1960) was a church and cinema organist, as well as composer of organ music.   He lived most of his life in India. He was best known for, well, not much other than an awesome name.  He did write a brief treatise for young aspiring cinema organists and a single one of his compositions has survived in the classical organist repertory.   Unfortunately for his legacy, there has been no call for cinema organists since the invention of talkies in the late 1920’s.  And here’s an interesting puzzle:  if the World Wide Web has only existed since the 1980’s,  how is it that his ancient document entitled To be or not to be–A Cinema Organist is available on line (here)?  Would anyone in his right mind actually publish this relic today?  No.  Aliens definitely walk among us; they built the internet hundreds of years ago and hid it from us until this exposee on The Blog of Funny Names.  

There’s not much else to tell about Mr. Chuckerbutty.  His grandfather was a journalist named William Oliphant–which might lead one to speculate that he was a relative of the political cartoonist Pat Oliphant.   It might; I have no idea.  Or maybe he was the inspiration for Tolkien’s oliphants.  I suspect that would actually be the organist in  the You Tube video below.

Postscript:  One of the comments on The Blog of Funny Names made reference to an online picture of Oliphant Chuckerbutty in a bow tie.   I looked up that picture and was astonished to see that he is was a near dead ringer for the notorious Arnold Rothstein.  As their supposed birth dates are within two years of each other, I’m wondering:  brothers separated at birth?  Or maybe Rothstein didn’t die from gunshot wounds in that NYC hotel in 1928.  Maybe he moved to London and became Oliphant Chuckerbutty.  What do you think?

Oliphant Rothstein?

Oliphant Rothstein?

Arnold Chuckerbutt?

Arnold Chuckerbutty?

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Cosmic Quote #51

“I am fond of pigs.  Dogs look up to us.  Cats look down on us.  Pigs treat us as equals.”–Winston Churchill

He obviously uses my denist

He obviously uses my denist.

This is one of my wife’s favorite quotes.  No wonder she is always calling me a pig.  I’m betting a pig story in Tales of a Veterinary Spouse can’t be too far behind. Stay tuned.  Oink. Oink.

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Mark’s Neologisms #2

“Never trust a computer you can’t throw out the window.”–Steve Wozniak

computus interruptus– n. the spontaneous unwanted shutdown of a program or app on a computer, tablet or smart phone.

 

 

computus interuptus

We’ve all been there.   You’re just about done with the spread sheet, or you just found the eatery you want on Yelp, or you are on the verge of a record score on some dumb game.  And then you click or tap or swipe and the program or app shuts down.  Poof.  It’s gone.  Dear Mr. Hawking, please tell us which black hole it fell into and how do we get it back?  Or do we do the Wozniakian thing and throw the device out the window?  Oh look, I just created another neologism.  Wozniakian.  Isn’t this fun?

 

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New Feature: Mark’s Neologisms

” I can’t wait to go home and wash all those socks.”–Julianne Moore

Let’s face it:  daily life in the new millennium is full of any number of experiences that, well, there is just no word or words to describe.    Enter Mr. World’s Most Cluttered Mind to come to the rescue.  Herein lies the ultimate descriptionary for everything you wanted to curse out but had no easy descriptive way to do so.  We’ll start, though, with a low tech dilemma, rooted in the 20th century.

Dysoxia–n.  The anxiety caused by inability to match socks when they come out of the wash.

Somebody is not following directions.

Somebody is not following directions.  (Cartoon attribution unknown)

We’ve all experienced it.   You get to the end of folding a basket of clean clothes, and there they are:  two socks that don’t match.  Even worse, maybe there is an odd number of socks left with no matches.  Three. Five. (1083)+1.**    There are any number of theories to explain this phenomenon.   The socks are alien beings, and the missing one has reported back to its home planet.  Socks are the larval form of wire hangers.  A more scientific approach is my theory of frequent wash color drift:  as socks get washed over and over, the color of each sock fades at different rates over time.   This causes subtle mismatches which, when compounded by folding several pairs,  may leave you with two socks at the end that are far apart in hue.   How does this explain being left with an odd sock at the end?  My guess is somewhere one sock disintegrated and its remains will be found in the lint drawer.

Please feel free to share your theories, and to suggest subjects for future editions of Mark’s Neologisms.  Oh, and my advice to Ms. Moore?  You’re a rich movie star.  Don’t ever wash socks,  you can afford to wear them once and throw them away.

** In case you were wondering how many socks (1083)+1 is–it is probably enough to fill the entire visible universe.  And none of them would match.

 

 

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Cosmic Quote #50

“Everything that happens to me is very cosmic.”–Tommy Chong

 

Tommy Chong.  Cosmic is as cosmic does.

Tommy Chong. Cosmic is as cosmic does.

Um..um…yeah!! (Duh).  It’s pretty obvious why his experiences are so “cosmic.”  And how often do I get to run a Cosmic Quote that actually has the word cosmic in it?

Stay cosmic, my friends.

 

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Time Out: Second Annual Outerbridge Horsey Awards for the Funniest Names on the Planet

Note:  This post appeared yesterday under a different name on The Blog of Funny Names

“Awards do not pay the mortgage.”–Kevin Chamberlin

I’m taking a poll.  All those who don’t agree with the above quote, send me $100.  Let’s prove it wrong.

Now, let’s get down to business.  2014 may be over, but the awards season for its achievements is just beginning.  Not to be outdone, let’s be the first to throw out meaningless accolades in the new year, with the second annual Outerbridge Horsey Awards, honoring the best of the past year’s funny names previously covered in these pages.  Yes, we do consider it an honor.  By the way, due to numerous complaints from readers, we have dropped last year’s requirement that you be wearing a tuxedo or evening gown when you read this post.  But please, no tank tops or bare feet;  and if you do chose formal attire, wearing both a tuxedo and an evening gown at the same time would be awesome!

It’s going to be tough to outdo last year’s winners.  How do you top the likes of 2013 Funny-Named Athlete of the YearBarkevious Mingo  and 2013 Funny Name in the News of the YearJanice “Lokelani” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele?  The latter  should also win a special achievement award as the longest name ever presented herein–or maybe anywhere else for that matter.   Anyway, we may not be able to top them, but let’s give it a go.

Two of these will be awarded to Englebert Humperdinck.  Sadly, this won't make a whole horse.

Two of these will be awarded for Englebert Humperdinck. Sadly, this still doesn’t make a whole horse.

We’ll start with a bit of nostalgia and bestow the 2014 Funny-named Entertainer of the Year on Engelbert Humperdinck.  Both of them!  The cheesy 1960’s and 70’s British pop singer and the not-quite-as-cheesy 19th century German opera composer.   British Englebert had a number of top 40 hits back in the day, the first and biggest of which, Release Me, peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1967.  German Englebert composed any number of forgotten hodge-podges, but had one smashing success, Hänsel und Gretel, which premiered in 1893 under the baton of one Richard Strauss.  It has held down the #1 spot on the Fairy Tale-Themed Opera hit parade for most of the 120+ years since.  Oh, he also had a cheesy pop singer copy his name.  Our correspondent Kerbey originally profiled the British Engelbert back in April of last year, and included a shout out to the late German composer.

Next up is the 2014 Funny Named Athlete of the Year award, and the field of nominees is a crowded one.  With the likes of World Series MVP and Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Madison Bumgarner, Funniest Names in the NFL Draft poll runner-up Jadaveon Clowney,  Minor League Baseball Moniker Madness runner-up Joey Pankake,  and probable NFL Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year Odell Beckham, Jr. all in the running, it’s going to be hard to pick a winner.   But since we have to,  the envelope please!

And the winner is….none of the above, because there is just no way we can deny our readers’ wishes.  The winner is the 2014 Funniest Name in the NFL Draft poll champion Ha-Ha Clinton Dix.   He was not chosen as early in the NFL draft as Clowney and did not have as great a rookie year as Beckham, Jr.  But he sure led the league in bad jokes on his name.

Next, we move on to Funny-Named Politician of the Year. I was very tempted to delve into the realm of nostalgia again, and award posthumous trophies to two classics I profiled back in July:  Harry Baals and Wankard Pooser.  But those names are in such an elite class of their own, it seems almost unfair to award them Horseys.   So instead, we’ll actually name this award after them, and give the 2014 Wankard–Baals Award for the funniest name in politics to one Zephyr Rains Teachout.   Profiled by Arto back in September, Ms. Teachout had the audacity to challenge the unfunny-named, but very powerful Andrew Cuomo, for the New York Democratic gubernatorial nomination.  She lost; but she won our hearts.  Being that she is a professor of constitutional law–a teacher!–at the Vermont School of Law, we need to create another new honor for actually being her name.   Let’s call it the Major Major Major Major Aptly-Named Award.   Too bad she doesn’t look like Henry Fonda;  the image below could have been her campaign poster.

He's not Major Major Major Major, but he sure looks like him.

He’s not Major Major Major Major, but he sure looks like him.

Moving on to the 2014 Funniest Name in the News Award, we have a dilemma.  Nothing could possibly top the aforementioned 2013 winner, Janice K.  We have limited storage space on WordPress, so we can only spell out her name so many times, even though the abbreviation makes her appear to be the sister of  Joseph K., from Kafka’s The Trial.   And again, space limitations prevent us from naming the award after her.  So let’s be brief.  The winner this year is pop singer Iggy Azalea, for repeated news mentions mainly due to legal problems and for having a name that sounds more like a coniferous evergreen than an actual person.  She was first covered here in a Funny Names in the News post in August.  Hopefully this will be her last mention.

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for–well, I’ve been waiting for it because my hands are cramping up from all this typing–the ultimate award, The 2014 Funny-Named Person of the Year.

May we have a drum roll please.  Ratattattat

And now a trumpet fanfare.  Tarantara

And finally, one stupendous, ear-splitting volley of flatulence!  Pffffffffffttttttttttttt!

And if that introduction did not clue you in to the identity of the winner, you clearly have not been reading this blog very closely.   Because, yes, our winner is the man who famously described his own name as sounding like “a fart in a bathtub,”  the irrepressible British actor Benedict Cumberbatch.  He’s been nominated for both an Emmy as best actor for his portrayal of the title character in the BBC  TV series Sherlock, and for a Golden Globe as best actor for his portrayal of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.  He’ll almost certainly get an Oscar nomination for the latter role, as well.  But he doesn’t have to wait to actually win an award.  He’s got one now.  So let’s give him a big round of applause and drown out all that flatulence.  Or at least the sound of it.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Funny-Named Person of the Year.  Only his name is flatulent.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Funny-Named Person of the Year. Only his name is flatulent.

Check out the insanity on my own blog here,  and have a happy and prosperous 2015

Cheers,

 

 

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