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Mark’s Neologisms #7

 “Today’s kids aren’t taking up arms against their parents; they’re too busy texting them.”–Nancy Gibbs

textuate–verb

1. The highly annoying use of texting abbreviations and emoticons in other forms of written and verbal communications.   He is always textuating when he talks to me.

2. The tendency of all communication to devolve into texting

Don’t u just hate that? OMG, me 2! GMTA! I’d tell you just exactly where this burns me up, but that would be TMI.  C U later. 😛

 

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Mark’s Neologisms #6

“A male gynecologist is like an auto mechanic who has never owned a car.”–Carrie Snow

 sporadiclunk–noun

1. An unnerving sporadic clunk, rattle, hum, buzz or other unnatural sound that may emanate from your car at any time–except when it’s in the repair shop.

2. Any such malady in any other piece of equipment that doesn’t occur when you take it in for repair.  May also include health or dental issues that disappear as soon as you go to the doctor or dentist.

 

I can just sense you nodding your head in agreement.  If you hear a rattle when you do that, go see a neurologist and hope it doesn’t go away when you get there. (The rattle, not your head. Well, OK, your head, too.).

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5th Annual Poll: Funniest Names in The 2017 NFL Draft

Note, this post occurs concurrently on The Blog of Funny Names.   I also blog and podcast on futurist topics at Seeking Delphi.

Voting is closed.  Jake Butt is the official winner of the 2017 Funniest Names In The NFL Draft Poll.

“They certainly give very strange names to diseases.”–Plato

These guys are all destined for something. Bacon, maybe?

Obviously, they didn’t have football in Plato’s day.  Maybe they had a funniest name in the ancient Olympics contest.  Of course, most of those names look funny to us today.

But why discuss the past when we have the funny names of the present?  It’s that time again–the time to honor (and ridicule) the funniest names in the 2017 NFL draft.  This year provides an interesting mix and a veritable embarrassment of riches–there are so many unusual and even bizarre first names, alone, we could almost conduct a separate poll for that.  Consider:  Praise, Amba, Salamo, Jehu, Cethan, JuJu, Budda, Takkarist, Taco, Cordrea, Tanoh, Phazan,  Amara, Fadol, Torrodney, Psalm, Pita and on and on and on.   Yes, there’s a Taco and a Pita.  I’m hungry already.

As for last names, there are several that can only be described as a threat to your oral health if you try to pronounce them.  To simplify things–if that is even possible–I’ve also gone for alliteration, mellifluousness or straight out style points in choosing the finalists.  But write in votes are allowed and encouranged.  Jaquiski Tartt won on a write-in two years ago.  It was that double “t” that did it.   As per tradition, I’ll also tell what I think the name sounds like, if it didn’t belong to a football player.

 

 

Jake Butt, TE, Michigan–Talk about nominative determinism: a tight end named Butt.  Maybe you can make this stuff up; I sure can’t.  He was headed towards a first round selection until he tore his ACL in the Orange Bowl.  That’s OK, his butt is still intact.  He’ll probably go in the third round or so.  What I think his name sounds like: a longshoreman.

Cordrea Tankersly, CB, Clemson–Tankersly certainly scores low on the nominative determinism scale.   With a name like that, he should have been an offensive tackle.  That’s OK, he makes up for it by having one of the more mellifluous names in this year’s draft.  It kind of rolls off the tongue.  Hopefully the wide receivers won’t roll off his coverage.  What I think his name sounds like: a hog farmer from Kansas.

Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan–OK, so Taco is obviously a nickname.  His real name is Vidaunte, which is unusual but not nearly as poetic. Using a nickname certainly didn’t stop Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix from winning our 2014 poll.  So let’s go with Taco.  What I think his name sounds like: a cartoon spokesperson for the South of The Border restaurant chain.

Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova–You might have to visit your dentist if you try to pronounce this guy’s name.   As he is 6’7″ 290lbs., you’ll be lucky if you have any teeth left if you piss him off.  According to the NFL draft pronunciation guide it’s  taw-no  pass-N-yo. No nominative determinism here.  With that pronunciation, he should either be a quarterback or an Indy car driver.   What I think his name sounds like:  a character in a Voltaire play.

A non-football future for Cooper Kupp?

Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington–Proving that players from smaller schools can also hit the big time, in football and in funny names.  He also wins the nod for the best alliterative name this year.   What I think his name sounds like: a Texas ranger (the lawmen, not the baseball team).

Praise Martin-Oguike, LB, Temple–He’s is a long shot to get picked in the draft; it’s  more likely he’ll be signed as an undrafted free agent.  But I always like to include at least one double-barreled surname each year, and his is the best of the current crop.  And as for Praise , it has to be the most narcissistic moniker for an athlete since minor league baseball player Wonderful Terrific Monds.  What I think his name sounds like: a Baptist minister.

Honorable mention goes to all of the following–and you can write in any of them:  Budda Baker, Channing Stribling, Tau Lotulelai (Star’s brother), Leo Koloamanangi, Phazahn Odom, Obi Melinfanwu, Amba Etta-Tawo,  JuJu Schuster-Smith, Takkarist McKinley, Pita Taumoepenu and just about anyone and anything else you can spell or attempt to pronounce.  Vote as often as you like.  The polls close at noon EDT, Monday, May 1.

UPDATE, 8:51 AM,EDT, Friday, April 28. 

Upon discovery that the O.J. in O.J. Howard (Alabama, TE) stands for O’Terrius Jabari, a late write-in campaign has been launched.  Just use OJ Howard in the write-in blank, lest your fingers cramp from typing the whole name.  What I think the name sounds like?  How about an Irish wookie in Star Wars XIV.

UPDATE 9:57 AM, EDT, Saturday, April 28.

O’Terrius Jabari Howard has been added as a voting option.

 

 

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Mark’s Neologisms #5

“I don’t know about you, but most of my exchanges with cashiers are not that meaningful.”–Jeff Bezos

Coupfusion–noun (koop•fu’•shun)

1. The to-do that occurs at a grocery checkout counter when a clueless customer or cashier can’t deal with expired coupons.

2. The irritation of being stuck on line behind such an occurrence

(Related  word: Scanfusion, noun,–a similar annoyance when a product’s UPC code won’t scan)

This calls to mind my late step-mother’s infatuation with restaurant coupons.  She just wouldn’t go out to eat without a coupon for some sort of discount.  I once observed that if the eatery was giving away free food, she still wouldn’t go if she didn’t have a coupon.  She didn’t disagree.

(Be sure to follow my more serious stuff at www.seekingdelphi.com)

 

 

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Cosmic Quote #80

“Let’s make Donald Trump explain his hair.”–Ted Deutch

No comment.

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Cosmic Quote #79

“If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?”–Will Rogers

Here’s a hint.  You can’t fix stupid with stupider. Maybe the biotech industry can come up with a solution.  But then, who am I to argue with Will Rogers?

You can check out my lame attempts to make the world a little less “stupider” on my futurist blog (and accompanying podcast) Seeking Delphi.

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(Frozen) Cosmic Quote #77-2.0

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.”–Carl Reiner

Call me freezing.  A few minutes ago–never mind how many exactly–having no life at home and little to keep me in the house, I thought I would set out and see the snowy part of the world.  That lasted exactly 15 seconds.  Home Sweet (and warm) Home.  This weather sucks.  Stay inside, my friends.

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Tales of a Veterinary Spouse #12: When Pigs Fly

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

Warning: this post contains tacky pig cliches.

Huey, making himself at home

Huey, making himself at home

Meet Huey.  He’s an eighty pound mini-pig and he lives at the Beacon Falls Animal Hospital, my wife’s practice.  The employees love him, the clients love him. The client’s pets?  I’m not so sure, but maybe we’ll take a survey.

And me?  I love him as long as he stays right where he is.  Cheryl wanted to keep him at home–in the house–but I put my foot down on that one.  One weekend was enough.  We have two dogs in the house,  a barn cat, appropriately named Barney, and a backyard full of four horses and over 20 assorted birds (chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl).  Enough is enough.  So I love Huey as long as he is the office mascot.  If Cheryl brings him home again, he’s bacon.

As for pig stories, Cheryl has just this one really good one from her distant past days in mixed practice (meaning both large and small animals).  The patient’s name was William, and he lived in a pen on his owner’s property–a Yale cardiologist who lived in a big house on a very small lot in Hamden, CT. It was not exactly a farm community.  Oh, and William was not exactly a mini-pig;  he was a 600 pound Yorkshire porker.  Wow.

The cardiologist called Cheryl and reported that William, who had been adopted as a pet after having been used for research purposes, had an abscess.   OK, easy enough.  But the address somewhat spelled trouble as she knew it to be in a neighborhood near the New Haven line that has very large houses on very small lots.  Out of curiosity, she inquired if William–a boar–had been neutered.  The client answered in the negative.

“You really ought to castrate him…male pigs smell terrible and, in your residential area, the neighbors may not be too happy about it.”  The client answered in the affirmative.

Easy peasy, right?

On certain occasions, they do fly.

Wrong.  There would be no story if it was.

Cheryl set out with her intrepid junior associate,  Sue Farmer (nee Cole) to tackle William.  On arrival, they found William in a small backyard pen on spotless shavings, being attended to by the Cardiologist’s wife.   She had a martini in one hand and was feeding the pig cannolis with the other.  Beautiful cannolis.  Cheryl and Sue looked enviously at the cannolis, but weren’t offered any.

Cheryl immediately took charge.  Figuring she was the senior of the two docs, and had seen and heard and done plenty of pig medicine in vet school at Purdue, why not?  She calculated the dosage for a 600 lb pig…and administered Rompun™ and ketamine intramuscular.  Down went William.  No problem.

“OK, you get the abscess, I’ll get the balls,” she instructed Sue.

No problem with the abscess, but then, after prepping, came the balls.

YEOWEE!  Pigs fly–at least this one did.  William jumped up and scrambled around the pen, while blurting out the most godawful squeals imaginable.

Ok.  Going back to the drawing board she administered another 300 lbs dosage of the two anesthetics, again intramuscular.

Down went William again.  Scalpel wielded.

STRIKE TWO!

SHRIEK!! William jumped up and this time landed straight down on the knife and severed his saphenous vein. Too say he bled like a stuck pig is…well…there never was a truer cliche. He  doubled his pace of laps around the pen, the formerly white shavings now only needing some blue dye to be truly patriotic.  They tackled William, bandaged the wound, and Cheryl then mainlined who knows how much drug into a vein in his ear.

This finally worked, and William was successfully neutered;  by this time in front of a crowd of neighbors who had assembled to watch the commotion.

Cheryl and Sue departed, as the cardiologist’s wife sat hugging the poor pig and crying, “Oh William, I’m so sorry William.” And she still had that martini in her hand.

Upon follow up discussion with the Yale doc, he casually mentioned that, oh yeah, William is difficult to anesthetize.   Maybe the next time she’ll be told that before pigs fly.

 

Follow my other, more serious blog and podcast on Seeking Delphi.

 

 

 

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Tales of a Veterinary Spouse #11: Kind of Blue

“There is no blue without yellow and without orange.”–Vincent Van Gogh

“All’s well that ends well.”–William Shakespeare 

MilesDavisKindofBlueThe bard was right.  Van Gogh was…um..uh–I have no idea.

But here is a story that ended well, though with an unexpected twist that makes it one of my all time favorite veterinary vignettes.

This happened some 30 years ago, when Cheryl was working her last job as an employee before starting her own  clinic.  Her partner in crime in this particular case was the junior associate in the group, one Susan Cole, a pretty and vivacious young blond just a few months out veterinary school.

It started one typical Monday morning, when in came a panicked old lady, Mrs. P, with a pearly white cat.

The cat was struggling to breath.

Mrs. P: “Save my kitty!!!”

Dr. C: “When did this start?”

Mrs. P: “Save my kitty!!”

Cat: “[cough] [choke] [wheeze]”

Dr. C: “How did this start?”

Mrs P: “Puhleeeaaase save my kitty!!”

Cat: “[gasp] [gasp]”

It was obvious that Mrs. P was not going to be any help.  Enter my intrepid Cheryl to consult.

“This seems to be some sort of respiratory distress, we’d better take an X-Ray.”  She advised.

Dr. Cole thought otherwise, and suggested drawing a blood sample first.  Cheryl was skeptical, but realized it couldn’t hurt, so that’s what they did.

The cat’s blood was brown. Freaking brown.

The two of them scratched their heads in puzzlement.  What could turn a cat’s blood brown? Cheryl observed that if they saw this in a cow they would diagnose it as methemoglobinemia, a condition that bovines get from eating cherry leaves.  You guessed it, cherry leaves are toxic to cows.  But cats?  How would this indoor feline even have access to cherry leaves, whether or not they are toxic to cats?

At any rate, regardless of the cause, the diagnosis was confirmed.  But, then, how to treat it?

“Well” Cheryl posited,”we use methylene blue to treat this in cows.  Let’s try it.”

Methylene blue is a dye that also has some medicinal purposes.  But  the cat’s wheezing and gasping for breath was rapidly worsening, so Sue and Cheryl  frantically calculated the appropriate dosing.  Let’s see.  Bovine dose, 60cc.  Feline dose…hmm…. 6cc.

They administered 6cc of methylene blue, and by golly, that cat rapidly improved and its blood and breathing were back to normal in no time.

End of story?  You know me better than that–there’s a little kicker.  Of course there is, there always is.  You see, there was a slight miscalculation in the dosage.  The feline dose should not have been 6 cc, it should have been 0.6cc.  But hey, what’s a silly little order of magnitude among friends.  After all, the cat got better.

blue catIt’s just that the pearly white cat turned….BLUE!!  Its skin, its gums, its sclera, its paws. Everything but its fur turned a bright shade of blue!

And that, of course, is still not the end of the story.  The denouement came the next morning, when Mrs. P. phoned to find out the condition of her kitty.

Dr. Cole took the call, and she answered with a straight face, within ear shot of just about every employee in the clinic.

“Oh, she’s doing much better, but she’s feeling a little blue right now!

Crash! Bang! Thud!  All over the hospital employees dropped whatever they were holding as peals of laughter erupted.  They say that in comedy, timing is everything.  I guess that goes for veterinary medicine, too.

Anyway, the cat’s normal color soon returned, and it turned out that Mrs. P had given it Tylenol.  Tylenol, you may surmise, is toxic to cats.   So don’t give your cat Tylenol.  This goes doubly if you have a yellow cat, as the antidote could turn the poor thing an ungodly shade of green.

Is there a moral to this story?  Yes.  The next time you are feeling blue, be thankful it is only a metaphorical, and not a literal, blue.

blue man gourp

 

 

 

 

 

If you are feeling blue, try my other blog, Seeking Delphi.™  That will really get you down.   😛

 

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Time way in: 100,000 views!

“I sincerely believe blogging can save America.”– John Jay Hooker

Uh, I don’t think so.  Not only is blogging not saving America, but social media might actually be destroying it.   And promoting my blog on social media?  We won’t even discuss that.  But what I will discuss–and pound my chest about–is that just a few weeks after Millennium Conjecture’s 4th anniversary, it has passed the 100,000 hit mark.  Wow.  I know you didn’t see that coming, and I sure as hell didn’t.  And I’m willing to bet that not more than 97,000 of those views have come from immediate family and close friends.  After all, how many close friends and family do you think I could have?

In honor of this hallowed event,  here a is blast from the past.  It was by far my most viewed post.  Thanks to being “Freshly Pressed” by WordPress,  this post brought in over 1700 views and garnered 230 blogger “likes” on September 23, 2012–exactly four months to the day after my inaugural post.    And yes, it has been all downhill since then.

Anyway, thanks for all the views and likes–and if you are really a masochist, check out my new blog on futurist topics, Seeking Delphi™

 

Equations of Everyday Life #2: Inane Celebrity Memes

“You’re not famous until my mother has heard of you”–Jay Leno 

(Jay Leno graduated from Emerson College the same year I did.  Aren’t you unimpressed?)

Lindsay Lohan…Paris Hilton…Charlie Sheen…you just gotta follow these people to be “with it” in this day and age.  What I can’t figure out is exactly what “it” is. The nonsense involving these silly (do I dare say ridiculous?) excuses for humanity, and the speed with which their inane meme virality propagates throughout the internet and general mediasphere is stultifying.

 How do we quantify this vacuous tripe?  Quite obviously with:

The Index of Inane Celebrity Meme Virality

Get out your calculators folks, though the math on this one may require something more like a Cray supercomputer.   This process requires not one step, but three.

  1. Rate the inanity
  2. Compute the Virality Index
  3. Classify the virality using the Virality Classification Scale

Rating Inanity

This part is for those of you who—like many politicians—prefer fuzzy math.  In order to compute the virality of an inane celebrity meme, you first need to give it an inanity rating.  This, however, does not compute.  You need to estimate it by a process that could be seen as similar to the way we old folks were taught to compute square roots in days before electronic calculators.  You sort of have to zero in on it—surround it, using  a combination of whatever logic or intuition works for you.

Using a scale of 0 to 1.0, we rate the inanity based on how unusual, how cable newsworthy and, of course, how inane it appears to be.  Using the Lindsay Lohan example, let’s rate some real and imagined events.

Lindsay Lohan gets up in the morning and brushes her teeth (or not).  Probable rating=0  (probable rating because, again, there is some subjectivity here).

Lindsay Lohan gets busted for another probation violation.  Approximate rating=0.5 (This is fairly commonplace but due to media culpability still maintains some newsworthiness.  Also, the specific story behind the arrest may result in some adjustment up or down; the next item demonstrates this.)

Charlie Sheen stubs his toe on the curb of 34th Street in NYC, stumbles into oncoming traffic causing Lindsay Lohan to swerve her speeding Porsche through a display window at Macy’s, decapitating several mannequins, skidding across the retail floor and then crashing through a sidewall into a back room where she runs over Paris Hilton who was in the act of giving her boyfriend a you-know-what.  Absolute rating of 1.0.  This theory does not permit a rating higher than 1.0, but we’ll give this one a 1.0 with a star, meaning it also generates spontaneous orgasms in Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and every Fox News and CNN anchor past, present and future.  (Note that while coverage on Comedy Central will actually lampoon the coverage by the other networks, this will add even greater fuel to the viral fire than serious reporting).

Computing the Virality Index

Here comes the fun.

ξ = Φ(F+T)(µ-110)

Symbol key

ξ =Virality Index I chose that squiggly symbol because I think it looks like Kate Middleton mooning the paparazzi.

Φ =Inanity rating Aren’t those Greek thingies cool? This one is iota, as in “I don’t give one iota of a hoot about these nitwits”.

F= number of “friends” or “likes” on celebrity’s Facebook page

T= number of Twitter followers of the celebrity There is a reason they call it TWITter.

µ =the median IQ of the set whose members are F+T. For the uninitiated µ is the scientific symbol for micro.  How appropriate. (Can’t you just imagine those two sentences being uttered by Dr. Sheldon Cooper?)

To sum it up:

The virality index is the inanity rating multiplied by the combined number of Twitter and Facebook followers multiplied by what I call the vacuity index (median IQ of all followers minus 110).

Classify the Virality

For any chance at virality, the final Index number MUST be negative.  This works perfectly fine for most of the personalities discussed above.  If we are talking about Stephen Hawking, however, there is a better chance of finding virality in the singularity at the center of a black hole.

The classifications of virality are as follows

If ξ ≤  -100,000  minimally contagious

If ξ ≤  -500,000  highly contagious

If ξ ≤  -1 million  immutably viral

If ξ ≤  -10 million globally pandemic

If ξ ≤  -100 million worthy of hours of uninterrupted coverage on CNN and FOX News.

Still to be determined is the threshold at which Geraldo Rivera coverage kicks in.

So if we compute the Charlie Sheen meme virality index for the automobile accident scenario hypothesized above,  we multiply the inanity index of 1 times the combined number of his Twitter and Facebook followers (roughly 10.5 million, don’t worry about being exact, this is fuzzy math) times the vacuity index. We will estimate the latter for Sheehan as (100-110)= -10.  This may be generous but 100, after all, is the definition of median IQ.  This yields a score of -105 million.  If you compute and add to this the scores for Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan who were also involved in the scuffle,  the Index plunges much lower.  The New York Post would be sure to issue a special edition.

This leaves one unanswered question, however.  We now know how to compute the manner in which these viral memes are turned on.  But what determines how they are turned off?  As you would expect, I have the answer which I call the medialogical constant.  I will discuss this in the next Equations of Everyday Life post, which may or may not be published within your lifetime.

Images credit: Meme Center   All text in this post ©2012 Mark Sackler

 

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