Thursday, September 30, 2010

Simply Not True

As any number of women will tell you, there's nothing more fun than experiencing your Ladytimes.
And as Livebird will tell you, nothing makes the whole thing funner than reading the trivia that a certain brand of Ladyproducts puts on their adhesive strip covering.  But like Livebird, I find that these gems are not always entirely accurate.

These fun facts range from the blatantly incorrect:"Mickey Mouse has four fingers on each hand".... the unprovable and poorly worded: "The largest pumpkin ever grown recorded a weight of 482kg."

..... to the fruits of a wasted research grant: "The average person spends 2 weeks of their life waiting for a traffic light to change." Which light? GAAAAH!

Many, however, just seem to be lies that are easier to accept than argue with.  Now, I'm no stranger to made up facts, but at least I try to make them sound plausible.

The statement that "The only animal that cannot jump is the elephant," for example, is a terrible falsehood.

Other animals that can't jump are:
  • slugs
  • corals
  • prawns (cooked)
  • earthworms
  • white men
  • hibernating bears
Do your research, people.

Friday, September 17, 2010

On The Naming Of Children

Let me preface this post by saying I am NOT pregnant.

Sometimes when I've got nothing better to do I think about what I might name a baby.

A couple of years ago a friend of mine named his daughter Rowan, which I think is a beautiful name for a girl. But if Seinfeld has taught us nothing else, it's that friends don't steal other friends' baby names. Anyway, this friend of mine is a botanical type guy, and named the girl after the rowan bush, not Rowan Atkinson as I had initially thought.

I quite like the idea of naming a child after a plant. Not any plant, obviously - Carrotweed, Ficus, Spider Lily and Patterson's Curse are not good baby names. And naming Bindi Irwin after a noxious weed is not something the poor girl will be grateful for when she's out spreading the conservation message as an adult.

In fact, after I had looked into it, I realised Rowan is the only good plant name out there. Flowers provide plenty of pretty girl's names (Violet, Rose, Poppy, Dogwood), but options are limited if you want to go for the whole shrub. Some have poetic scientific names, but aren't so lovely if you know their common names:

Iresene = Chicken Gizzard
Nemantanthus = Clog Plant
Schefflera = Octopus Tree
Monstera = Swiss Cheese Plant

OK, maybe Monstera isn't all that pretty. But it's a pretty plant, which highlights the fact that not all that is beautiful in nature has a lovely name. Take birds, for example. With my plant options exhausted, I wondered if there was a pretty bird name I could use.

I suppose it reveals the inclination and limitations of my imagination that I could only come up with Tit, Boobie, Thrush, Goose, Peacock and Chook. And googling only added Warbler, Screaming Piha, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Oilbird and Giant Cowbird.

What do you think of Ellen for a girl and Stuart for a boy?

Oh, right.

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