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Posts Tagged ‘name’

When is a tail not a tail?

In Animals, Crazy YarpNews on June 9, 2014 at 12:45 pm

If that’s not a tail between its legs, does it mean it’s pleased to see me?

When you’re a busy biologist, naming new species can be a bit of a drag. Not only do you have to come up with something interesting and relevant in English, but you also have to come up with another often unpronounceable Latin version for its scientific name.

The trouble with spending all your time naming things is you don’t have much time to check that the names you’ve been handing out are correct.

Consider the Ascaphus Truei, which is otherwise known as the Coastal Tailed Frog. Yes, it is a frog and yes, it does hang out near the coast, but hang on a minute, is that really a tail between it’s legs?

So, if it’s not a tail, what is that large appendage? Why, it’s the equipment that froggy went a-courting with!

And there is the rub. The poor little frog proudly drags his mighty manhood around, but gets no recognition for his talent, even though it can grow up to a quarter of the length of his body! That’s huge

Although the comparative size of the beast to its ‘tail’ is impressive, it’s not what you’ve got, but what you do with it that counts and here the Coastal Tailed Frog shines, as it is the master of wagging its ‘tail’.

“It actually swivels around to different positions,” said aquatic ecologist, Harry Toadlicker. “Also, they have sex in very cold water, which is not easy either.”

Fortunately, for the little frog, the ladies don’t seem to mind that his most unique attribute has been incorrectly named – the latest buzz around the fish pond is that there are a bevy of wide mouthed beauties keen to meet a coastal ‘tailed’ frog.

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Avatar’s unobtanium voted crappiest ever made up name

In Crazy YarpNews on January 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Avatar’s ‘unobtanium’ has been voted the worst name ever given to a fictitious rare mineral in a movie. The online poll, run by some techno head, questioned movie goers about their favorite and least favorite fictional elements. Top of the poll were: Kryptonite as used on Superman, Dilithium, which in crystal form helps Star Trekers reach warp speed and Solarite, which Ming the Merciless was going to use to destroy earth before Flash Gordon stopped him. However, there was one outright winner for the least favorite made up name for a mineral; with 97% of the votes (the other 3% being ‘not sure’) it was Unobtanium as hidden under a Pandoran tree in James Cameron’s Avatar.

James Cameron may be blessed with an amazing visual imagination but when it comes to making up names for rare minerals, he sucks big time. Admittedly Mr Cameron didn’t make the name up all by himself, he had help from some science geeks in the fifty’s who labeled any rare, expensive and impossible material or device ‘unobtainium’. However, that is no excuse for Mr Cameron to start using this lame name or even making it the central theme of his movie Avatar.

Because Unobtanium is a truly dumb name, Yarpnews thought we would trawl the web for something a little more imaginative. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that there was no need for Mr Cameron to resort to using such a stupid made up name, when there are some truly bizarre real ones out there. Check these out (they are REAL!):

Sillimanite Al2SiO5 is an alumino-silicate mineral named after the American chemist Benjamin Silliman (1779-1864).

Unununium, probably better known as Roentgenium is the 111th element on the periodic table.

Cummingtonite Mg,Fe)7Si8O22(OH)2 is a metamorphic amphibole.

Dickite Al2Si2O5(OH)4 is a phyllosilicate clay mineral chemically composed of aluminum, silicon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Welshite Ca2SbMg4FeBe2Si4O20 is a mineral named after Wilfred R. Welsh (1915-2006).

Fukalite Ca4Si2O6(CO3)(OH,F)2 is a calcium carbonate silicate hydrate mineral.

So, you could say although Mr Cameron was a sillimanite and his name was welshite if he can relax and think fukalite and unununium his dickite he could be cummingtonite.

 

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