Archive for the ‘Morning names’ Category

In the morning: the B list actor and the scholar

May 26, 2018

On the 20th, the morning name was W. Sidney Allen; if you’re not a linguist or a classicist, you’ve almost surely never heard of him — but then great scholars rarely work in the spotlights of public attention. On the 25th, the morning name was Lisa Whelchel, an actor you would probably recognize under the name of her most famous role: Blair Warner in the American tv sitcom The Facts of Life. So, in the penumbra of the spotlights, a B list celebrity.

(more…)

Involuntary memory

May 26, 2018

From Day 2 (May 25th) of the 2018 Association for Psychological Science’s convention in San Francisco:

“For many years, involuntary memories were ignored. I’m here to tell you what we have learned about this intriguing phenomenon,” said APS Board Member Dorthe Berntsen in the 2018 Presidential Symposium. Berntsen’s multi-decade body of research on this unique form of autobiographical memory has shown the wide-ranging influence of the memories that simply pop into our heads without intentional retrieval. She presented an impressive body of experimental findings on the role of involuntary memory across the lifespan in humans as well as in apes.

For some time, I’ve been collecting examples of one particular form of involuntary memory in my life — morning names, the expressions that come to me unbidden when I rise in the morning. There’s a Page on this blog listing my postings on them. So it’s nice to discover that there’s actually a research community working on involuntary memories.

(more…)

haws, hawthorns, Haworth, Haworthia, Hawick

May 8, 2018

Today’s morning name was Haworthia, the genus of some attractive succulent plants. Named for a person named for a place (celebrated for its Brontë connections) named for the hawthorn bush or tree (Crataegus), which bears haws as its fruit. Incidentally, Haworth (/ˈhæwɜːrθ/), in Yorkshire, led me by spelling to Hawick (remarkably, pronounced /ˈhɔɪk/), in Scotland, though apparently it’s hawks in Hawick vs. haws in Haworth.

(more…)

Ocotillo

May 6, 2018

The morning name for today, lurking no doubt in my subsconscious after days of looking at, thinking about, and posting about desert plants. The green plant:

(#1)

(more…)

Visit to a Small Planet

April 29, 2018

My morning name from a couple of days ago: the title of the Broadway play starring Cyril Ritchard, specifically (and not the movie starring Jerry Lewis):

(#1) Playbill for the show

(more…)

acuminate

April 29, 2018

Today’s morning name, and it turns out to be surprisingly relevant today.

adjective acuminate: Biology (of a plant or animal structure, e.g. a leaf) tapering to a point. ORIGIN late 16th century: from late Latin acuminatus ‘pointed’, from acuminare ‘sharpen to a point’, from acuere ‘sharpen’ [cf. acute].

Relevant to my daily life through the variegated agave (Agave desmetiana) that flourishes on my back patio (last noted here in my 11/4/17 posting “The succulent report”); it has wicked needle-like — acuminate — leaf tips that wound me every time I try to work around the plant. These plants evolved to seriously stave off herbivores and other pesky creatures.

(more…)

Polydactyly

April 25, 2018

My morning name a couple of days ago, but it came with a (mental) video that presented itself as offering ground-breaking insights into the structure of language but turned out to be a series of professional-grade photos of the feet (well, the right foot in each case) of former graduate students of mine. Not in any way erotic — I’m not especially given to podophilia — but, once I came to full consciousness and was no longer in the grip of my vivid dream, decidedly creepy.

One of the feet was that of a serious dancer; most were, oh let me say it anyway, pedestrian; but one was a sturdy male foot (belonging to a man I’ll refer to as PD) with extreme polydactyly: two perfect small toes between the big toe and the second toe, and one equally perfect small toe between each of the three remaining pairs. So ten toes in all, making a double-dactylic foot. (Cue: poetic meter.)

Apparently an extremely rare form of polydactyly (whether pedal or manual), not illustrated in anything I could find on the net.

(I don’t recall having seen PD’s feet, but I suspect that his toes are unremarkable)

(more…)

Jessica Dragonette in the morning

April 8, 2018

My morning name on the 6th: Jessica Dragonette. Why her name came up, I have no clue. A photo from her heyday:

(more…)

Morning name: Harry

April 3, 2018

My morning name a while back was just Harry. Some possibiities:

Dirty Harry. The Trouble With Harry. Harry Truman. Harry Hamblin. Prince Harry. Harry Houdini. Harry Potter. Harry Reems. Harry Connick Jr. Harry the Horse. Harry Frankfurt. Harry Belafonte.

But none of these. I instantly connected to Harry B. Miller, Jr., my first cousin-in-law. And then discovered that he’d died back in 2013.

(more…)

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

April 2, 2018

Yesterday was Sunday, and the morning name for the day was, appropriately, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (the movie, and the book on which it was based):

(#1)

(more…)