Long pre-solstice nights call for many illuminating links. Happy Festivus!
Feeling nostalgic for Lustre-Creme shampoo, Dr. Denton's pajamas, the Ford Taurus, or the BankAmericard? BrandLand USA, a project of historic preservation activist Garland Pollard, reports on dead, moribund, and resuscitated brands with great gusto. (By the way, BankAmericard is back.) (Via The Trademark Blog.)
Read/Write Web recommends seven places to watch commercials on purpose, including TBS's Very Funny Ads, where I caught a droll South African commercial for DSTV: enter "arranged marriage" in the search field.
One more from adworld: Mental Floss research editor Kara Kovalchik tracks down bygone ad mascots and finds out what became of them after their 30 seconds of fame. Included in the roundup: the Gerber Baby, Little Miss Coppertone (whose real last name, appropriately, is Brand), and the FedEx Fast Talker.
Word Wizard compiles many useful language resources in a single handy chart. Some of the less-familiar ones: a random neologism generator, a random insult generator, and a glossary of hard-boiled slang.
Merriam-Webster's Visual Dictionary went online last month: more than 20,000 terms, more than 6,000 illustrations. Beautiful and useful.
Human Brain Cloud is "a massively multiplayer word association 'game' (or experiment ... or something)." The cloud started with a single word, volcano, and has grown into a cloud of 531,316 unique words and phrases connected through 5,704,465 associations, according to Errata, which is where I discovered it.
May a moody baby doom a yam? Yes indeed, and more, in "Weird" Al Yankovic's palindromic tribute to Bob Dylan. (Hat tip: Jon C.)
Feed the URL of any website to Lingro and all the words on the site become clickable. You can choose English-to-English definitions or translate to and from Spanish, German, Italian, French, or Polish. Here, for example, is a Lingrofied version of this very blog. Cool, n'est-ce pas? I love Lingro's About page, too. (Via Verbatim.)
Lexicographer Erin McKean of Dictionary Evangelist has found a worthwhile use for Twitter: she posts interesting words of the day (WOTD). Spotted recently: "struthious" (ostrich-like) and "cropper" (a scrapbooking enthusiast).
Finally: Did you know the word dairy has no connection at all to words meaning milk or cow? Instead, it comes to us from an Old Teutonic word meaning to knead dough. Language Hat explains everything.
(Lustre-Creme ad from BrandLand USA blog.)