Monday, August 9, 2010
This time, let's just have fun.
Will anyone ever read this? Am I doomed to be the Emily Dickinson of the blogosphere? Are there two gg's in blogosphere? Are there two mm's in Emily? (Just kidding.) Is it an overweening insult to Ms. E.D. to even suggest I could ever play in her lonely iconic game?
Blog angst. I've had other blogs. I'm actually planning to populate this one, here and there, with some of the best of those. But I am writing this mostly for MOI! As a journal. As a place to think semi-out loud. So I'm puttin' in stuff I like. The things I muse about when I'm driving around in the Flying Tomato. (Tomato photo to follow.)
So here's one right now:
In the category of What WERE they thinking:
"Who named the planet Uranus?"
Who on Earth unleashed all those ludicrous contortions of pronunciation? I actually found this online: Say "YOOR a nus" , not "your anus" or "urine us" Dear goodness. With all the names from classical mythology to choose from, why oh why? And who? Oh, who?
Answer: A dude named Johann Elert Bode, 1747-1826. But it didn't come into common use until 1850 when I figure the population of eleven year olds discovered it. Prior to that, for awhile it was named Georgium Sidus after George III of England (not a big hit this side of the pond.) And then Herschel. Which is kind of sweet. But alas no. You'd think Johann would have been more shall we say elert about the pitfalls, given that the... ah ... "other word" originated (presumably among eleven year olds) c. 1650. But no.
Don't assume that this post opens the door to all sorts of explorations of quasi-dirty words. That's NOT what this blog is about. But one thing I'd like to do is ask the questions that I ask myself and would like to answer once and for all, for all of us.
This is merely the first. Because, I'm just sorry. When I read "Uranus is larger in diameter but smaller in mass than Neptune" I think, "Who in their right mind named that planet???"
So now we know.