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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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Conjecture #5: Quantum Solipsism (Part two)

“I’m not afraid of death.  I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”–Woody Allen

I conjecture:  In a Many Worlds quantum multiverse, each individual consciousness represents a distinctly different universe.

Part Two:  Quantum suicide and quantum immortality

Warning:  Professional stunt blogger.  Closed course.  Do not attempt at home.

To recap where we left off in our last episode,  the first part of Conjecture #5 suggested that, in a universe where the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics holds sway, each conscious entity represents its own distinct universe.   I called this Quantum Solipsism.  This differs somewhat from Conjecture #4, which suggested that in a universe governed, at least philosophically, by the Copenhagen interpretation,  our consciousness represents a composite of all the potential, but not real, universes.   This brings us to part two of Conjecture #5.

Quantum Immortality

Bold notions can sometimes breed extreme potential consequences.   When Hugh Everett posited the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum weirdness in 1954,  he didn’t just espouse it, he lived it.  He believed that in a world where every sub-atomic event splits off into a real alternate universe for every possible quantum outcome, that one’s own consciousness would always survive in some of them.  Quantum Immortality.  So he ate, drank and smoked himself to an early death–at least in the universe of everyone reading this post–by the age of 51.  His son expressed anger over his father’s failure to take care of himself.  His wife initially did not comply with his wishes to have his ashes disposed of in the trash, though eventually she did.   You think his views are extreme?  Or did he live on forever in a never ending series of alternate universes?  Consider this:  the quantum view of the second law of thermodynamics is purely a statistical one.  The reason all the air molecules in a room never seem to migrate to one corner is purely a matter of probability.  There are  staggering orders of magnitude more ways for them to be relatively evenly distributed.  But if every possible combination of such molecules actually exists as a real entity,  then somewhere  there is a universe where you suffocated last night because the air molecules in your bedroom did exactly that while you slept.   And somewhere, there is a universe where Hugh Everett’s ashes reassembled themselves and he woke up in a dumpster.

Quantum Suicide

This brings us to the ultimate in extreme ideas.  Quantum Suicide.  Originally conceived by Hans Morovec  in 1987 and further developed by Max Tegmark, it is a thought experiment designed to prove once and for all if the Many Worlds interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is correct.    If you recall from my Quantum Weirdness 101-107 series,  the Copenhagen interpretation sees the cat as neither dead, nor alive, until an intelligent observer intervenes.  The Many Worlds interpretation, sees the the creation of two separate universes, one each for a dead cat and a live cat, and the observer only finds out which one he is in when he looks in the box.   The quantum suicide gun re-creates the Schrodinger’s Cat experiment from the point of view of the cat.  Theoretically, it could prove the many world’s interpretation, though there are a couple of hitches.  If Many Worlds holds true,  the subject would be the only one it would be proved to;  if it does not hold true, the subject would be dead, period.  See the video below for a complete explanation, and as stated in the warning above, do not attempt this at home.  I sure won’t.  On the other hand, I can think of a few people I wish would try it…

(Video Credit: AliceandBobTV)

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Cosmic Quote(s) #49

“Sometimes it is the people nobody imagines anything of who do things nobody can imagine.”–Keira Knightley as Joan Clarke in The Imitation Game

“Machines take me by surprise with great frequency”–Alan Turing

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game.  No, that is not Sherlock Holmes.

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game. No, that is not Sherlock Holmes.

Allow me for one second to depart from my usual flippancy and be serious for a minute.  The Imitation Game, starring Benecdict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, is one of the most important movies I have ever seen.  If you are a regular reader of this blog, there is a good chance you know who Turing is, or at least have heard the name.   Whether you do, or do not, you should see this movie.  It will leave you with an indelible impression of Turing’s profound contribution to the world we live in today.  I know it did me.

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Cosmic Quote #13 (redux)

“The main reason Santa is jolly is he knows where all the bad girls live.”–George Carlin

Hmmm.I Wonder what he's looking for...(www.savagechickens.com, click for link)

Hmmm.I Wonder what he’s looking for…(www.savagechickens.com, click for link)

I knew there was a reason I was jealous of the guy.  I also now know what he is doing the other 364 days while the elves are making all the toys.  At any rate, this non-theistic, almost-atheist existentialist wishes you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Season’s Greetings, happy pagan winter solstice, or whatever it is you celebrate.

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Conjecture #5–Quantum Solipsism (Part one)

Note:  It has been so long since I published part I of this conjecture, I feel the need to refresh my memory–let alone yours–before completing it with part II.  You can catch up on all my cockamamie speculations by clicking on the “Millenmium Conjectures” category link to the right.

“Cogito Ergo Sum”–René Descartes

“What if god is our dream, and we’re his?”–Christian Bale as Jamie Graham in Empire of the Sun

I conjecture:  In a Many Worlds quantum multiverse, each individual consciousness represents a distinctly different universe.

I'm pretty sure I do exist most of the time--with the possible exception of some Monday mornings.   Exist tee shirts. http://www.zazzle.com/tshirts

I’m pretty sure I do exist most of the time–with the possible exception of some Monday mornings. Exist Tee-shirts. http://www.zazzle.com/exist+tshirts

I once overheard a friend explaining the multitude of religious beliefs to her young daughter in following manner.

She said, “everyone believes something different, and everyone is right!”

Really?  This seems to be the ultimate illogical statement in the illogical realm of religious beliefs.  If everybody believes something different, it seems to me infinitely more likely that everyone is wrong.  I won’t get into the implications for religious beliefs in this conjecture, mainly because I don’t care.  Suffice to say that stretched to an outre extreme,  this conjecture does suggest a manner in which everyone could be right.  It’s always fascinated me how different individuals could be so certain of world views that are so diametrically opposed.  Of course, one can tie that to cultural and cognitive differences resulting in seemingly different worlds.  But then maybe we’re all just be living in our own distinct quantum  universes.

At any rate, if Conjecture #4 was a possible ontological extension of The Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum weirdness,  the current conjecture–#5–clearly emanates from The Many Worlds Theory.

Let’s be clear on one thing.   In my own head, I’m sitting on the fence between Copenhagen and Many Worlds…a kind of quantum superposition, simultaneously believing both.  But let’s get to the heart of the matter before I get too far ahead of myself.

What, exactly, is solipsism?  The brief dictionary description is simple enough: it’s the notion that only the self exists, or can be proven to exist.  Taken to the limit, it can result in a second definition: extreme self-absorption and egoism.

I don’t buy this and am not suggesting it.  While I’m not 100% certain of anything, external or internal, I still believe that you exist and our interactions do influence each other.   We may be in separate parallel universes, but these planes of existence overlap, in much the same way that these universes interfere with each each other on the quantum level.  (It’s worth noting that the conjecture wording says “distinct different” universe and not “distinctly separate.”)  But the fact remains: if The Many Worlds theory holds true the notion of quantum solipsism in some form must be taken seriously.  It’s as if our observations roll the quantum dice and influence which course through the multiverse each individual consciousness takes.  This notion will be the subject of conjecture #6, though at the rate I am going, this may take place a long, long time from now in a galaxy far, far away.  For more on solipsism including more detailed and nuanced description of it, and its various sub-categories, go here.

In the second part of this conjecture, I’ll deal with two very disturbing and controversial extensions of a “strong” quantum solipsism world view.   Quantum suicide and quantum immortality.  You’ll need to hold on to your metaphysical hats for this one.

And if you don’t get any of this, don’t worry.  I’m just impressed that I used “ontological” in a sentence.

Cheers,

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