Archive for the ‘Language and animals’ Category

Cartoon understanding in parallel worlds

November 10, 2018

Two cartoons that have come by me recently that work only if you have a fair amount of cultural knowledge in two dfferent domains, which are presented in the cartoon as parallel worlds equally present there. A Brevity strip by Dan Thompson from 4/27/18 (thanks to Joe Transue for help in identifying the strip); and a Wayno & Piraro Bizarro from yesterday:

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News for pumpkins: art and science

November 3, 2018

Two bits of recent pumpkin news: the pumpkin as an artistic platform; and the evolutionary history of pumpkins.

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Revisiting 19: more proxy names

October 31, 2018

Following up on my 10/20/18 posting “Numbers and names”, where I wrote:

The current avalanche of comments spam comes from a proxies site that creates random usernames for its comments from a gigantic database of names, thus producing many entertaining FN + LN combinations.

Another wave in recent days. Yesterday’s comments spam queue began with:

Frank Gwilt, Sebastian Tentler, Dovie Weasel

I was especially taken by Dovie Weasel, combining a high-positive FN (referring to the bird conventionally associated with peace and love) and a high-negative LN (referring to the conventionally deceitful small furry mammal). Later that day came the remarkable Shawnee Handshoe, which I merely note in wonder here.

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Nomenclature as destiny

October 9, 2018

A Scott Hilburn cartoon from 4/24/18:

(#1)

As they are called, so shall they serve. So says the law.

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The news for shoes

September 17, 2018

… and toucans, but not, surprisingly, pandas, despite the brand name.

Originally encountered in ads from the Footwear etc. stores (a California chain with a store on University Ave. in Palo Alto): Wanda Panda,

We Are Wanda Panda

Shoes, ankle boots and sandals for women. Made in Spain. [The company’s headquarters are in Alicante, on the Costa Blanca]

Hours of attention: Monday to Thursday, 9:00 – 13:00, 16:00 – 18:00, Friday 9:00 – 13:00 [notably Spanish hours]

Phonemically /wandǝ pændǝ/ in English, apparently involving the bamboo-eating bear Ailuropoda melanoleuca (I have two friends with the panda as a very serious totem animal, so I’m alert to pandas) — but phonemically /wanda panda/ in Spanish, with no allusion to (el) panda ‘panda’ at all; instead the reference is to (la) panda ‘gang, crowd, group of friends’ (in European Spanish slang). And the Wanda Panda mascot is a cartoon toucan (tucán in Spanish):

(#1)

Some notes on the shoes. And then a digression on why Wanda and panda don’t rhyme in English (though they do in Spanish).

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Brush away the blue-tailed skink

September 4, 2018

From Chris Zable on Facebook on August 3rd, a photo from her family’s holiday in Florida, with her comment:

(#1)

“Spotted this little lizard with a bright blue tail on a fence rail at the Tallahassee Museum. Much of their space is a zoo of local native species in generously-sized enclosures that are just fenced off bits of native habitat. We saw pumas, red wolves, and foxes among other critters.”

As good a photo of a blue-tailed skink as any you can find on the net. To come: on skinks; on the “Blue Tail Fly” song; and on my gay highjacking of the song, as “Blue Tailed Skink” (with skink as a portmanteau, skank + twink) — taking things far from Chris’s original child-friendly travel report.

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Stick insects and tree crickets

September 1, 2018

Today’s morning name: stick insect (creatures from my insect-collecting childhood):


(#1) The strong stick insect, Anchiale briareus

Fascinating creatures, with long bodies and camouflage coloration — brown like sticks, green like leaves.

Probably in my mind from a Facebook query by Georgia Morgan on the 30th about a long-bodied brownish insect that had turned up on a screen in her Brattleboro VT house. Which, as it turned out, was a tree cricket, not a stick insect.

A celebrated kid riddle:

Q: What’s long, brown, and sticky?

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Mandarin orange at the Malamute Saloon

August 30, 2018

Yesterday’s morning names. I have a ghost of a clue as to why Mandarin oranges came to me at dawn, but the Malamute Saloon is a total mystery.

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Rainbow. Sharks. Rainbow sharks.

August 16, 2018

First, rainbow: from Andrew Winnard on Facebook, a photo of a rainbow-lit Metro escalator in Stockholm.

Then, sharks: in my posting earlier today “Central Shark”, about Sharknado Week on the SyFy channel (Trailer Park Shark (2017) is just about to begin!).

Which led me to the Italian clothing company Paul & Shark, with its sharky logo — and its line of rainbow shark t-shirts. And to a slew of artworks depicting rainbow sharks. And to a popular aquarium fish, the rainbow shark.

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Central Shark

August 16, 2018

We’re in the middle of the SyFy Channel’s Sharknado Week (the 12th through the 19th), an event that continues to fly the banner of life-threatening sharp-toothed monster-fish even after the Discovery Channel has largely turned over its own SHARK WEEK offerings (July 22nd through 29th this year) to putatively informative feature stories. None of that wimpy speculative journalism for the staff at SyFy, who steadfastly maintain the tradition that has brought us SyFy-original gems like their 2010 Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda (which I watched again yesteday).

Each year some new movies (plus, of course, the classics of past years). Fresh meat this year:

Deep Blue Sea 2, Megalodon, Santa Jaws, Frenzy, Nightmare Shark, 6-Headed Shark Attack, with, as an extra attraction on Sunday, The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time!

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