I’m taking a breather from blogging while I catch up with some other projects. I expect I’ll return, but I’m not sure when. In the meantime, here are a few other pieces I’ve written recently. (The Visual Thesaurus columns have been released from their paywall.)
This was the front page of the New York Daily News on August 22, 2018:
“All the President’s Henchmen”
The line puts a spin on the title of the most famous book (and movie) to come out of the Watergate scandal, which broke 45 years ago this month.
All the President’s Men (1974)
And that title was inspired by Robert Penn Warren’s political novel All the King’s Men, which won the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1947 and was made into a 1949 movie starring Broderick Crawford (which won the Best Picture Oscar) and a 2006 movie starring Sean Penn (which has a miserable 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes).
Caterpillar, the heavy-equipment manufacturer, has had a registered trademark for CAT since 1949. Now it’s extending CAT to a footwear line. And not just steel-toed boots, either: these oxfords are women’s street fashion. (Duets Blog)
The method Google Maps uses to name city neighborhoods “is often mysterious. The company declined to detail how some place names came about, though some appear to have resulted from mistakes by researchers, rebrandings by real estate agents — or just outright fiction.” (New York Times)
A century ago, dozens of American girls were named Milady because of the success of a new product: the Milady Décolleté Gillette safety razor, developed to remove underarm hair. (And did you know that “underarm” was coined as a euphemism for “armpit”?) (Baby Name Wizard)
On February 22 – the birthday of America’s first president, George Washington – @RealDonaldTrump rose early and poked out a farrago of tweets – seven in all – proffering his theories about guns, schools, and a “GREAT DETERRENT” (his capitalization) to massacres like the one that occurred on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Davis High School in Parkland, Florida. Scattered within those tweets like so much buckshot were three occurrences of the word sicko.
....immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A “gun free” school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!
....If a potential “sicko shooter” knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there...problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!
My latest column for the Visual Thesaurus looks at numbers from a non-mathematical perspective: as words and names. I include commentary on some numeric names I’ve written about here, including 605, SENS8, 23, and 427.
Original 420 Brand CBD gummies. For more on 420 as shorthand for “cannabis,” see my 2014 post.
Full access the column is restrict to subscribers (still just $19.95 a year)! Here’s an excerpt:
How best to mark the end of the shitshow that was 2017? With a pilgrimage to an institution that mocks and celebrates all manner of flops, lemons, fiascos, misfires, and fuckups, of course. Which is how I found myself last week at the Museum of Failure in downtown Los Angeles’s Arts District. The traveling installation, housed in the A+D (architecture + design) Museum, is open to the public through February 4; it then returns to its permanent home home in Helsingborg, Sweden.