Zippy’s commercial names

Today’s Zippy, in which cartoonist Bill Griffith indulges in his pleasure in names — in this case, names of companies and products:

Thirteen names in three panels, one of which (Novo Nordisk) Griffith exults in by having the VC alien repeat it three times, as a mantra.

Before I go through the names in turn, I’ll take up Novo Nordisk first. I thought the company name has come up in the strip before, but I can find only one strip indexed on the Zippy site, this truly wonderful one from Christmas 2007, which combines Griffith’s preoccupation with Hostess snack foods, a fabricated tale of an inventor named Novo Nordisk, and the joyous holiday celebrated in his memory every December 25th:

On the actual Novo Nordisk:

Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services and was created in 1989 through a merger of two Danish companies dating back to the 1920s. It produces, in particular, diabetes care equipment and medications. (link)

On to the rest:

MATLAB (matrix laboratory) is a numerical computing environment and fourth-generation programming language. Developed by MathWorks, MATLAB allows matrix manipulations, plotting of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, creation of user interfaces, and interfacing with programs written in other languages, including C, C++, Java, and Fortran. (link)

Simulink, developed by MathWorks, is a data flow graphical programming language tool for modeling, simulating and analyzing multidomain dynamic systems. Its primary interface is a graphical block diagramming tool and a customizable set of block libraries. It offers tight integration with the rest of the MATLAB environment and can either drive MATLAB or be scripted from it. (link)

Quattro (meaning four in Italian) is the name used by Audi AG to indicate that all-wheel drive (AWD) technologies or systems are used on specific models of the Audi automobiles [beginning with the Audi Quattro in 1980] … The word “quattro” is a registered trademark of Audi AG (link)

This is probably the thing that Griffith had in mind, though as a Palo Alto resident I could hope that this was a candidate:

Quattro: This Palo Alto [technically, East Palo Alto] Italian restaurant [in the Four Seasons Silicon Valley hotel] features traditional and innovative Italian cuisine that highlights seasonal ingredients at the height of their potential, sourced from the local farming community. A tasting menu with wine pairings offers guests an opportunity to experience a selection of the chef’s daily inspirations. In the adjoining bar, a seasonal cocktail list matches the creativity and novelty of the cuisine – and presents a perfect way to begin or end any occasion. [There are other Italian restaurants elsewhere named Quattro. ] (link)

The Tercel is a subcompact manufactured by Toyota from 1978 to 2000 across five generations, in five body configurations sized between the Corolla and the Starlet. (link)

HazMat Environmental Group, Inc. is a Responsible Care® transporter of chemical products and by-products, offering services nationwide in tank trailers, vacuum trailers, roll-off and dump trailers, van truckloads, lift gate vans and less-than truckload (LTL) vans. [The company has terminals in 3 states and support operations in 7 other states.] (link)

On the term HazMat:

Dangerous goods are solids, liquids, or gases that can harm people, other living organisms, property, or the environment. They are often subject to chemical regulations. In the United States and sometimes in Canada dangerous goods are more commonly known as hazardous materials, (abbreviated as HAZMAT or HazMat). (link)

Then comes Novo Nordisk (above), and on to:

Olestra (also known by its brand name Olean) is a fat substitute that adds no fat, calories, or cholesterol to products. It has been used in the preparation of traditionally high-fat foods such as potato chips, thereby lowering or eliminating their fat content… Olestra was accidentally discovered by Procter & Gamble (P&G) researchers F. Mattson and R. Volpenhein in 1968 while researching fats that could be more easily digested by premature infants. (link)

Roomba is a series of autonomous robotic vacuum cleaners sold by iRobot. Under normal house conditions, the Roomba is able to autonomously vacuum the floor while navigating a living space and avoiding obstacles. (link)

TechCrunch is a web publication that offers technology news and analysis, as well as profiles of startup companies, products, and websites. It was founded by Michael Arrington in 2005, and was first published on June 11, 2005. (link)

Friendster is a social gaming site that is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was previously known as a social networking website. (link)

SNOCAP was founded by Shawn Fanning (best known for creating the Napster music service), Jordan Mendelson, and Ron Conway… SNOCAP’s initial focus was on developing technology content owners (in particular artists and labels) could use to register their content; rights holders who registered their content could also set business rules controlling where and how that content is available on the web. (link)

There are four at least plausible candidates for Bluedot:

BlueDot Trading, LLC was started in 2012. Our goal was to import great new hot items for sale on our webpage, amazon, ebay and more… Our current product line includes great products like shade sails, LED tealights, Headlamps, Whiskey Stones and various other sporting and home goods. (link)

BlueDot Medical, Inc. [in Charlotte NC] was founded in 2002 [It offers mobility devices, especially wheelchairs.] (link)

Bludedot Communications [in Portland OR]: We build brands with public relations and marketing campaigns (link)

Bluedot Japan makes portable digital TVs and DVD players.

And finally:

Pageflakes was an Ajax-based startpage or personal web portal similar to Netvibes, My Yahoo!, iGoogle, Wikpage and Microsoft Live that operated from 2005 until January 2012. (link)

A lot of technology in there. But mostly names to roll around in your mouth.



One Response to “Zippy’s commercial names”

  1. Extreme Twinkies | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] commented before on Bill Grffith’s “preoccupation with Hostess snack foods”, and devoted a posting […]

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