With the excitement building for the new episodes of Dr. Who to start¹, there has been a lot of who-buzz. But Dr. Who is not the only Who who is out there. I offer you this list of whos: a sort of Who’s Who of Whos.
Who’s got more whos?
¹Season 7, part 2 starts this Sunday, March 30th
² Prescriptive grammarians will say that who is only to be used in cases where the pronoun/interrogative is in the subject, or nominal, position, and that whom is what you must use in object positions. However, contemporary usage allows for use of who in object positions.
³ I’ve never enjoyed this game.
⁴ I care.
Whose whos are whose? (image credits):Horton Hears a Who!, Whoville from the 1966 animated movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas (based on the book), Who Dat, The Guess Who Greatest Hits album cover, The Who logo, Jackie Chan’s Who Am I?, Who’s On First? screenshot from youtube clip from The Naughty Nineties,Tardis, World Health Organization logo, and Introspective Pug.
Posted in humor, lists, movies, Music, silliness, things, ThThTh, TV, words
Tagged Dr. Who, humor, lists, movies, music, pronouns, silliiness, things, ThThTh, TV, words
My 2010 Pi Pie
Happy Pi Day! In celebration of Pi Day¹, and its auspicious landing on a Thursday, I offer to you this very large helping of pie-themed things. Mmmm, pie.
Have more pies to bring to the table? Throw ‘em in the comments.
¹ So-called, as the date (at least as it is written here in the US) is 3-14, is reminiscent of the number Pi’s initial 3 digits: 3.14. My past celebrations of Pi Day have included easy as pi, my personal gallery of Pi Pies, and a Pi-themed list.
²I was surprised to learn that this nursery rhyme was actual used by pirates to convey messages. This is the sort of thing that would usually send me to Snopes to check, but in this case Snopes is where I found it.
³ Toast is much easier to make.
⁴ I love tarte aux pommes as made in France. You know what was hard to get in France when I lived there, though? Doritos.
⁵Really. Apple pie has a Wiki page. So do pumpkin pie, pecan pie and cherry pie.
Images: Little Jack Horner and the king with the pie are both from Project Gutenberg.
Posted in food, holidays, lists, silliness, things, ThThTh
Tagged food, holidays, idioms, lsts, nursery rhymes, Pi Day, pie, silliness, things, ThThTh
With Chinese New Year on the way this Sunday, we have almost run out of the year of the dragon. I started putting this list together as the Year of the Dragon entered, but now am barely managing to post it before the Dragon departs.
Dragons are creatures that have appeared in the mythologies of many cultures in Europe and Asia, and they are featured in many a song and story, among other things. Here are a dozen arbitrarily chosen dragon things to usher out the Year of the Dragon:
- Custard the Dragon: A poem by Ogden Nash from 1936
Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
And spikes on top of him and scales underneath,
Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose,
And realio, trulio, daggers on his toes.
- Puff, the Magic Dragon: A song by Peter, Paul & Mary that was inspired by Custard. (The dragon, that is. Not the dessert. But you never know. Sometimes if I eat dessert right before going to bed I get really weird dreams.)
- Dragonfire: A song written by Sandra Boynton in/on the book/album Dogtrain [mp3 sample]
- St George and the Dragon: a European legend of a man who slays a dragon.
- Smaug: the treasure-hoarding dragon from J. R. R. Tolkiens classic novel, The Hobbit.
- dragonfly: an insect that is neither a dragon nor a fly. Dragonflies are of the order odonata.
- dragonfruit: a thing that is neither dragon nor fruit. No, wait. It *is* a fruit. But I’m mostly sure it’s not a dragon.
- dragon dance: a Chinese tradition involving a large costume of a dragon, which is operated by multiple people. The dragon dance is often part of Chinese New Year celebrations.
- Dragon Ball: While it sounds like it could be a formal-dress version of a dragon dance, it’s actually a media franchise including manga, anime, and video games. But they do feature dragons who can grant wishes.
- Dungeons & Dragons: Sometimes known as D & D. A role-playing game, or universe of games. To be honest, I have no idea what role dragons play in any of it.
- Enter the Dragon (1973): Bruce Lee’s legendary martial arts movie. Bruce Lee does not actually enter a dragon in this movie. But he does enter a sort of dungeon, come to think of it.
- Here be dragons: A phrase associated with unexplored territories on old maps. Possibly this is based on only one such map, The Hunt-Lenox Globe. According to its wiki page,
It is notable as the only instance on a historical map of the actual phrase HC SVNT DRACONES (in Latin hic sunt dracones means “here be dragons“.)
There are loads more great books, movies, legends, and things with dragons. I could easily add another few dozen dragons to the list, but we’d be well into the year of the snake by that time. Instead, I’ll wrap up and get to bed. But please feel free to add more dragons in the comments!
Yesterday I crossed the finish line for my commitment to daily blogging, and even met a deadline for a conference submission. (Remarkably, I submitted the paper even though the deadline was extended, in part to accommodate confusion over date lines and timezones, since the conference organizers are in Shanghai, and probably most of those submitting papers are from timezones that are lagging behind. But they added several days, which may be overkill…) And now I’m trying to get things in line for another submission. The timeline is quite tight, since the deadline is Monday. As it is, I’m pretty wiped out from pushing myself for that last submission. I think I’ve been running on adrenaline the last few weeks, which is actually not a kind of line. And while I should be working on an outline for the next deadline, or some other more productive line of activities, I find myself goofing of online. And thinking up line things.
This list is but a scratch on the surface of all the things with line. (There sure are a lot of meanings of the word line, for a start.) If you have more line items to include in the line-up, drop me a line in the comments.
Here are the leftover potatoes from yesterday.
- Here’s a potato riddle, courtesy of this post of potato jokes. (Yes, of course there are potato jokes.):
A skin have I, more eyes than one. I can be very nice when I am done. What am I?
- Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato: a picture book by Tomie dePaola based on an Irish folktale. Apparently not about small potatoes.
- The Enormous Potato: by Aubrey Davis. Also a retelling of a folktale. Not actually sure whether it’s the same folktale.
- How big is my potato? A website that allows you to calculate the size of your potato. I’m serious. There’s even a related blog.
- potato battery: harness the power of the potato
- meat and potatoes: the main substance of something. (Also can be used as a more literal description of someones dietary preference, as in “a meat and potatoes kind of guy.”)
- potato prints: the results of a printmaking technique in which a design is carved in a flat sliced section of potato (usually a half of a potato) to make a stamp. The potato edge is then dipped in paint or ink, and pressed against paper (or other surface) to imprint the design.
- The Prince Edward Island Potato Museum: “The only museum of its kind in the world.”
- The Idaho Potato Museum: a potato museum in Idaho
- Potato Museum: seems to be more of an organization than a location. The real-world location of the museum collection has moved around. They offer up many tidbits of potato goodness. I just lost about 15 minutes doing an online jigsaw puzzle of a potato.
- For an encyclopedic yet entertaining post on potatoes, their origins, history and etymology, check out potato on polyglot vegetarian. Also find a load of potato poems.
- Want more potato history? (And who wouldn’t?) You can investigate further with books like Potato (by Patrick Mikanowski), Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent (by John Reader), and The Potato: How the Humble Spud Rescued the Western World (by Larry Zuckerman).
And if that’s still not enough potatoes, then there are these:
Okay. That was a lot of potatoes. I’m full now.
It’s been some time since I’ve served up a ThThTh post, but the recent wave of tuber-related posts got my mind churning up a big heapin’ mess o’ potato-themed things. Plus it’s Thanksgiving Day here in the US, and potatoes are part of the feast tradition.¹
Okay, it turns out I dug up too many potatoes. I decided to save away some of the extra potatoes. I’ll reheat them for you tomorrow…
¹They also go well with the ThThTh posts served up on Thanksgivings past: turkeys, bread, and utensils.²
² It’s ThThThThanksgiving.
³ I feel compelled to mention that this potato is being reused. Mr. Potato Head has already appeared in one of my ThThTh lists. Over 4 years ago.
⁴ Assuming that “children” is a term meaning “small cylinders made of shredded bits of the parents, who happen to be potatoes, which have been deep fried.”
image credits: Mr. Potato Head (Hasbro)The small poatoes were mine.
A little list of Five Phoebe things.
- Phoebe is a name meaning “bright and shining,” originating from ancient Greek. The first Phoebe was a goddess in Greek mythology, one of the Titans (also spelled Phoibe)
- Many Phoebes have since made their appearance in fiction and life, such as Phoebe Snow, used in advertisements for the Lackawanna Railroad in the early 1900s:
- Phoebes are birds: “The genus Sayornis is a small group of medium-sized insect-eating birds in the Tyrant flycatcher family Tyrranidaenative to North and South America.” (wiki). They are named for their song, which is said to sound like “fee-bee” (Click here to hear some Phoebe chirping.)
An Eastern Phoebe
- Phoebe is Saturn’s smallest moon, a satellite which was once a comet.
Phoebe, moon of Saturn.
- Phoebe, or Little Phoebe, is a term meaning “five”
the cardinal number that is the sum of four and one
In case this meaning seems completely obscure to you, as it did to me, it appears to have originated in the dice game, craps. Among the “Principal craps terms” listed under the heading for craps in Dictionary of the American West: over 5,000 terms and expressions from Aarigaa! to Zopilote, by Winfred Blevins are these terms for a roll of 5: “fever dice, little Phoebe, feebee, or just Phoebe“
This is all by way of saying that my own little Phoebe is five today.
Phoebe, five-year old girl.
Happy birthday, sweet Phoebe.
Image links: a roll of Phoebe with dice, Phoebe (moon), Phoebe (bird), and Phoebe Snow. (All 4 of these are public domain images. The image of Phoebe (child) is not.)
Happy New Year! It’s Chinese New Year today, marking the start of the year of the rabbit. In keeping with my tradition of welcoming the lunar new year with a themed list,¹ I present to you a bunch of rabbits:
- “rabbit, rabbit” A tradition of saying “rabbit, rabbit” first thing when you wake up on the first of the month to bring you good luck. I used to do this as a kid. I hadn’t remembered it in years. (Maybe my luck would have been better…)
- Bugs Bunny: a famous cartoon from the Looney Tunes/Warner Brothers. (What’s up, doc?)
- Binky and Bongo: somewhat less famous rabbit characters from Matt Groening’s comic Life in Hell. (Bongo is the one with one ear.)
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) A movie combining live action and cartoon characters, one of whom is a rabbit.
- Harvey (1950) A movie starring Jimmy Stewart and a 6-foot-tall invisible rabbit.
- Little Rabbit Foo-foo/Little Bunny Foo-foo. A folk song. …hopping through the forest. Scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head…
- The Bunny Hop: a conga-line type dance involving hopping
- Rabbits are popular anthropomorphic characters in children’s literature, such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit and others by Beatrix Potter, or Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown.
- Watership Down: a novel by Richard Adams about a very complex rabbit society. Complete with their own language. I’m quite fond of the Lapine words tharn (which is the feeling one gets of being a deer caught in the headlights) and hrair (which is a number larger than 4–rabbits can only count up to 4.)
- Other well-known stories feature a rabbit among other characters and species of creatures, such as Rabbit from A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh books or the White Rabbit in Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland. There was also Thumper from Disney’s 1942 animated film Bambi. Br’er Rabbit: is a character from the traditional African American Uncle Remus folktales
- Other stories feature bunny-shaped toys, such as The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams, or the more recent Knuffle Bunny, by Mo Willems.
- The Easter Bunny: a rabbit said to bring colorful eggs and candy for children on Easter.
- Here comes Peter Cottontail: a song about the Easter Bunny. (…hopping down the bunny trail…hippity hoppity...)
- Cheddar Bunnies: rabbit-shaped snack crackers.
- Welsh Rabbit: a kind of food that is not actually made from rabbit. It is a thick sauce, traditionally made with cheddar cheese and ale, and served over toast. (Here’s a sample recipe.)
- VW Rabbit: a kind of car, not traditionally made with cheddar cheese or ale.
- rabbit food: what some call salads and other raw vegetables
- rabbit’s foot: a good luck charm made from the foot of a rabbit (less lucky for the rabbit)
- rabbit ears: antennae for a TV, not generally made from the ears of a rabbit (lucky rabbits)
- Rabbits have appeared as mascots for products, especially in TV commercials, such as the Energizer Bunny (it keeps going), the Trix rabbit (Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.) and the Nesquik bunny (I have nothing to say about this rabbit.) For that matter, the logo of Playboy magazine is a stylized rabbit in a tuxedo. (I don’t have anything to say about that rabbit, either.)
- Finally, we must not forget that rabbits, while typically portrayed as docile, may have big pointy teeth.
¹ …with pigs in 2007, rats in 2008, and cows in 2009. Last year, I didn’t put up a list for the New Year, in part because I had put up my tiger list before, and in part probalby because I was busy with something else.²
² In fact I shouldn’t be doing this list now, as I have loads of other things I am supposed to be doing, but I can’t resist. So I will be quick like a bunny. And I will pull this rabbit list out of my…hat. I’ve tried to keep it short, but the bunnies seem to keep multiplying. (You know how rabbits are. Though I can’t help but notice that just about all of the rabbit characters on the list are male. You’d think that would make the breeding tricky…)
Image sources: Book cover for Watership Down, movie poster for Harvey, Peter Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, TV with antenna, Binky, Bongo, and John Tenniel’s illustration of the White Rabbit.
Here it is, October 10th, 2010. Or 10/10/10. How could I resist making a list?¹ Here are 10 “ten” things:
- 10: the number of fingers of a typical human
- decimal system: the base 10 system of numbers, the numeric system most commonly used in the world, likely due to people liking to count on their fingers
- a scale of 1 to 10: used to rate various things, from degree of pain to physical attractiveness, or athletic performance, such as olympic gymnastics
- a perfect 10: an expression meaning that the entity to which the expression is applied has achieved the highest score possible, particularly when the scale is of something positive.
- “Perfect 10” a song by The Beautiful South [on youtube]
- 10 (1979): a coming of (middle-)age movie about a man (Dudley Moore) who stalks a younger woman he doesn’t know (Bo Derek) after seeing her on her way to her wedding, and deciding that she is the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. (Oddly enough, this is a romantic comedy, and not a suspense/thriller.)
- 10: the start of many countdowns, and either the beginning or end of various counting rhymes, counting games and counting songs, such as “The Ants Go Marching,” “10 in the Bed,” and “10 Little Indians“
- The 10 Commandments: a list of (10) religious rules from the Old Testament, and a 1956 movie based on the same
- decimate: to reduce something drastically, but historically by 10%:
c.1600, in reference to the practice of punishing mutinous military units by capital execution of one in every 10, by lot; from L. decimatus, pp. of decimare (see decimation). Killing one in ten, chosen by lots, from a rebellious city or a mutinous army was a common punishment in classical times. The word has been used (incorrectly, to the irritation of pedants) since 1660s for “destroy a large portion of.” Related:Decimated; decimating.
- top 10 lists: 10 is a popular number for itemized lists of things that are “best ofs” or “worst ofs.” In poking around for this 10 list, I came across quite a few intriguing lists. Here are 10 of them just for you:
So, there you go. 10 ten things.²
¹Seeing as I had a 7/7/7 list, an 8/8/8 list and a 9/9/9 list…
² Yes, I realize that there are really more than 10 things in my list, seeing as some of hte items themselves contain multiple items. But here are another 10 10 things I left off the list, anyhow: 1) 10-foot pole (something you wouldn’t want to touch something with), 2) Ten (Pearl Jam’s 1991 debut album), 3) tithe (donate 10% of your earnings), 4) 10 pin bowling, 5) 10 (the numeric value given to face cards in a game of blackjack), 6) X: the roman numeral 10, 7) decagon (a 10-sided polygon), 8) 10th (the tin wedding anniversary), 9) dime: A ten-cent coin in the US or Canada, and 10) Perfect 10, a magazine³
³ This was new to me. I found it on Wikipedia, where the entry said this:
a quarterly men’s magazine featuring high resolution photographs of topless or nude women who have not had cosmetic surgery and focused in particular on slender models with piercing eyes and medium to large, youthful breasts in pensive or artistic poses.
Um, okay, does anyone else find the attachment ambiguity here highly entertaining? How, pray tell, does one portray youthful breasts in pensive poses?
¹º I know I should have 10 footnotes, but I’ve already spent way too much time on this list. So I’m not going to. Except by way of cheating.
Images from WP Clipart.