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.
It’s autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere. Fall. Here in New England, the leaves are changing colors. And falling.
But leaves aren’t the only things falling.¹ Gravity appears to have been at work in many areas, as evidenced by the fallen items below.
- Humpty Dumpty: He had a great fall. (Actually, it didn’t turn out so great for him, what with the breaking up. Maybe his summer was better.)
- Jack (of Jack and Jill): Fell down. Broke his crown.
- The sky: It’s falling. (At least according to Chicken Little.)
- The cradle: It will fall. Out of a tree. With a baby in it. (I’m not sure why a song about a baby falling out of a tree is supposed to help bring on sleep…)
- London Bridge: It’s falling down. (Falling down, falling down.)
- Falling Down (1993): A Michael Douglas movie
- “Falling:” a song by Julee Cruise that was well known as the theme song for the TV series Twin Peaks.
- The Fall: a “post-punk” band
- take the fall: to take the blame for something
- fall guy: someone who takes the fall, a scapegoat
- The Fall Guy: An 80s TV series about a stunt man starring Lee Majors (better known for his 70s role as the “bionic man.”)
- to fall short: to not meet expectations
- fall asleep: to enter a sleeping state
- fallout: consequences, especially those that aren’t immediate
- fall in: to get into line
- fall in love:an expression meaning, um, to fall in love. Crap. How do I even paraphrase that? I guess “become enamored of, usually in a romantic way.”
- fall for someone: an expression meaning “be won over by someone,” or sometimes “start to like someone”
- fall for something: to be tricked
- fall into the pudding: this isn’t actually an expression²
- “Fall on Me” A song by R.E.M.
- When I Pretend to Fall: an album by the Long Winters, and a line from the song “Stupid.” She laughs when I pretend to fall…
- Ring around the rosie³:
Ring around the rosie
Pocket full of posie
We all fall down
And there it is. We all fall down.⁴
¹ Clearly I’ve been falling down on the job with my ThThTh posts, seeing as the last one I posted was in December.
² There are loads more real idioms involving falling
³Apparently there are many different versions of this, some of which don’t even involve falling down. Theo has been reciting a version of this lately. Mostly what I hear is “Asses, asses, we fall down.” I don’t recall seeing that one on the Wiki page.
⁴ Often on our asses.
Cradle falling image from The Only True Mother Goose Melodies, by Munroe & Francis, 1833, found on the Gutenberg Project.
- tin: a metal “Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn (Latin: Stannum) and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table.”
- tin toys: classic toys made of tin
- Tin Toy(1988): an early Pixar short film featuring animate toys and a drooly baby
- tintype: a early type of photograph printed on metal (typically iron) plates
- Tintin: a character from a series of comic books
- Rin Tin Tin: a German Shepard (or several) of fiction and TV
- Pushing Tin (1999) A movie about air traffic controllers starring John Cusack
- tin: another name for a can used to hold food, e.g. a tin of beans
- tin foil: what aluminum foil is commonly called
- tin: a traditional material for gifts in honor of a 10th wedding anniversary
Had I been more organized, many of those items might have made good gifts to get John for our 10th anniversary. Which is today. Instead, I may have to give him a wad of aluminum foil and a tin of green beans.
Happy anniversary, John!