Archive for the ‘Names’ Category

Witch’s cat in the morning

May 24, 2015

This morning’s name was Pyewacket, which came to me as the name of the cat in Bell, Book and Candle. The cat, with Kim Novak:


Morning harmony

May 20, 2015

Yesterday’s morning name was L’Estro Armonico:

L’Estro Armonico (Harmonic Inspiration), Op. 3, is a collection of twelve concertos for one, two and four violins written by Antonio Vivaldi in 1711. It augmented the reputation of Vivaldi as Il Prete Rosso (The Red Priest) [so called because of the color of his hair, a family trait; Vivaldi was ordained as a priest at the age of 25]. Vivaldi scholar Michael Talbot described the set as “perhaps the most influential collection of instrumental music to appear during the whole of the eighteenth century”. (Wikipedia link)

On YouTube, a recording of Concerto #06 in A minor for solo violin, strings and basso continuo, RV 356:

Fig time

May 20, 2015

A couple days ago I caught a snippet of a discussion on KQED-FM about overwintering fig plants. Why people were discussing the topic as we near the beginning of summer I don’t know, but there it was. I’m not caring for any fig plants here in Palo Alto, but back when I lived in Columbus OH most of the year I had two: a Ficus benjamina, a very common house plant in temperate climates; and a Ficus carica, the plant the people on the radio were talking about (an ornamental and the source of the figs we eat), which I grew in Columbus as a potted plant, to serve as a reminder of California.

Now some figgy reflections, starting with some Ficus plants and then wandering on to other fig-related matters: the fig leaf of modesty, figgy pudding, Fig Newtons, and the negative polarity item care/give a fig.


Morning: Steve Burton Richter

May 15, 2015

This morning’s name was Burton Richter, the Stanford physicist. That led me to a photo of Richter with a quote from him — and Google then obligingly turned up a photo of soap opera hunk Steve Burton with a quote from him.


Administrative thrashing in France

May 13, 2015

In the May 9th issue of the Economist, a fascinating article on a forthcoming reorganization of the administrative regions of Metropolitan France: “New kids on the block: Redrawing regional boundaries is causing big rows and will save little”. The crucial map:

You will see that the regions correspond crudely to the large historical provinces of France, so they tend to be associated with significant social identities; as a result, messing with the boundaries is politically fraught.


Morning Olives

May 13, 2015

This morning’s name was Olive Schreiner — puzzling, until I realized that I had probably gotten to Schreiner via Olive Higgins Prouty (through the name Olive), and Prouty probably bubbled up in my subconscious because I’d recently seen references to Stella Dallas in Zippy cartoons. A long and winding road.


Morning tune

May 12, 2015

Yesterday morning it wasn’t a name, exactly; it was a theme song, from the tv sitcom Three’s Company, that was stuck in my head. And remained stuck, as a dreadful earworm, all day long.

Here it is, if you’re willing to expose yourself to it:

Now to the show and its star, John Ritter.


Like a rock

May 12, 2015

Yesterday’s Dinosaur Comics, on remembering names:


The feminine counterpart to the name Peter is Petra, both ultimately from Greek πέτρος (petros) ‘stone, rock’, but there are also women called Pete — and some called Peter.


New names for old

May 10, 2015

In yesterday’s NYT (and in many other news sources) we learn of an admonishment from the World Health Organization (in “W.H.O. Urges More Care in Naming Diseases” by Rick Gladstone) to avoid animal names, place names, people’s names, and names of groups or organizations in naming diseases — earnest advice that’s going to be hard to follow, since it seems to lead to names that are either short but opaque or cumbersomely long though informative.


A morning with Friz

May 8, 2015

Today’s morning name was Friz Freleng: an animator for Warner Bros. cartoons. (His name was probably in my subconscious from my posting on Speedy Gonzales.)



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