At the Frankfurt Motor Show this week, Bentley Motors, a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen since 1998, unveiledits first SUV, the Bentayga. Bentley has already sold out the full first-year production – 3,500 vehicles – of the $229,100 (base price), 600-horsepower behemoth. Buyer #1 was Queen Elizabeth II, who reportedly will use the vehicle for her hunting expeditions in Scotland. Tally ho!
It’s hard to stay clean when you’re sleeping on the streets. A new San Francisco nonprofit, Lava Mae, has an ingenious remedy: transforming old Muni buses into mobile bathrooms, complete with stall showers and toilets, that travel to neighborhoods with the greatest need.
Lave Mae and its founder, former public-relations executive Doniece Sandoval, were featuredin the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this week on the occasion of the unveiling of Bus No. 2. Sandoval’s plans include expansion throughout California.
“Delivering dignity, one shower at a time.” For more on the “One X at a Time” sloganclone, seethis 2012 post(and follow the links for more).
According to the Chronicle story:
Lava Mae’s simple solution of providing homeless people with showers and toilets has captured the attention of people around the world, many of whom have asked Sandoval to help them create a similar program.
To deal with the huge interest, Sandoval is working with the International Centre for Social Franchising, which is based in London but also has an office in San Francisco. It seeks to help organizations with a social benefit replicate their work in other places around the world.
Sandoval has decided to focus on serving 30,000 homeless people around California by 2020 — and recently met with state Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles to discuss a Lava Mae-type program there.
There’s a feel-good story behind the Lava Mae name, too. Here’s how the organization’s website tells it (verbatim):
In Spanish, “lavame” means “wash me”
In our culture, we refer to vehicles in the feminine as in, “She’s a beauty, isn’t she?”
In the South, (where our founder grew up), it’s not uncommon for people to have two first names e.g Billy Bob, Peggy Sue. Putting it all together gave birth to the name Lava Mae
OK, the copy needs some, um, cleaning up. If you want to be picky about it – hey, it’s in my job description! – it’s “lávame,” with an acute accent to mark the stress on the first syllable. And I cringed a little at the bio that reads “Brett is the principle and founder of StudioTerpeluk.”
I’ll stop quibbling now and instead reaffirm that I like the Lava Mae name: it’s friendly, personal, down-home, clever, and bilingual. (The echoes of Fannie Mae and Sallie Mae, which also aim to help people in need, may be intentional.) And I applaud the work Lava Mae is doing. In a region dominated by whiz-kid techpreneurs whose idea of “making the world a better place” is selling an app that does stuff your mom used to do for you, this is a truly creative and, yes, disruptive initiative.
“Spelled in either direction, this white bone china by Fitz and Floyd® is pure heaven.”
“Nevaeh” is an ananym: heaven spelled backward. In 2006, the New York Times reported on “the spectacular rise of Nevaeh” as a girl’s name in the United States: it had broken into the top 1,000 baby names in 2001 at No. 266, “the third-highest debut ever.” In 2005, Nevaeh “was the 70th-most-popular name for baby girls, ahead of Sara, Vanessa and Amanda.” From the Times story:
The name has hit a cultural nerve with its religious overtones, creative twist and fashionable final "ah" sound. It has risen most quickly among blacks but is also popular with evangelical Christians, who have helped propel other religious names like Grace (ranked 14th) up the charts, experts say. By contrast, the name Heaven is ranked 245th.
Nevaeh continued to rise in popularity over the next few years, reaching 25th (according to Social Security Administration statistics) in 2010 before falling off slightly.
Nevaeh’s surge, the Times observed, “can be traced to a single event: the appearance of a Christian rock star, Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D., on MTV in 2000 with his baby daughter, Nevaeh. ‘Heaven spelled backwards,’ he said.”
But there was trouble in paradise.
In 2011, the Baby Name Wizard blog reported that an online survey had identified Nevaeh as “the most-hated name in America.” “Grounds for objection included look, sound and origin, the whole package,” commented blog author and name expert Laura Wattenberg.
I haven’t been able to find out how long ago Fitz and Floyd (“for half a century … synonymous with excellence in design, quality and style”) introduced the Nevaeh line, which is sold exclusively on the Bed Bath & Beyond website and in BB&B stores.
Earlier this week, Sprout Pharmaceuticals announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had granted approval of Addyi(pronounced “ADD-ee,” as though the “i” weren’t there), a once-daily, non-hormonal pill for the treatment of low sexual desire in premenopausal women. The prescription drug, whose generic name is flibanserin (fly-BAN-ser-in), will go on sale October 17, 2015.
Other reporters have commented on the medical and businessaspects of the announcement. Even The Onion, America’s finest news source, has weighed in. I’m here to talk about the Addyi name—its spelling, its pronunciation, and its brand qualities.