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February 22, 2002
Climbing Queen Elizabeth, and other pursuits
Posted by Teresa at 10:52 AM *

When you’ve got a database containing the names of more than 37,350 varieties of roses — which the Help Me Find/Everything Roses website does — it’s a sure bet that some of them are going to be funny. I cope with this by keeping a list of my favorites. In some cases, it’s the combination that recommends them to me: Tiz and Not, for instance, or Once-Blooming Barbara Worl vs. Improved Cecile Brunner. The common practice of naming roses after people, and the equally common practice of adding “Climbing” to the name of a variety that picks up that habit, is always good for a giggle; viz., Climbing Princess Margaret of England. Color-change mutations gave us the unappetizing Salmon Sorbet and the oxymoronic Pink Margaret Thatcher.

For some reason, quite a few roses have been named after newspapers and editors: Daily Express, ditto Herald, Post, Sketch, and Telegraph; Editor McFarland, Editor Stewart, Editor Tommy Cairns; and Financial Times Centenary, International Herald Tribune, Liverpool Daily Post, Liverpool Echo, Paris-Match, Press and Journal, Sunday Times, and The Times, not to mention the 1998 Ladies Home Journal. Obviously, these aren’t all kneeslappers, but when they’re modified in the usual fashion you do get some interesting results, such as Climbing Editor McFarland and the Daily Mail Scented Rose.

But the chief characteristic of the really odd ones is that they’re inexplicable, so I’m not even going to try. Here’s the rest of my list of favorites:

Albert-Georg Pluta-Rose
Aspirin Rose
Atom Bomb
Bad Fussing
Beau Rose Primaplant
Bloomfield Courage Weeping
Brenda of Tasmania
Brilliant Pink Iceberg
Buddhist Clothing Fragrance
Catherine at the Real Jardedn Bote1nico de Madrid
Cemetery Keeper’s Peach Tea
Charmin Cover
Christ 78
Climbing Douglas MacArthur
Comtesse Festetics Hamilton
Comtesse Icy Hardegg
Cramolsissimo Amplo
Crumble Bar
Dr. Peck’s 12th Avenue Smoothie
Dye Plot China Bourbon
Elise Sauvage
Faded Pink Monthly
False White Pet
Famous Cliff
Farny Wurlitzer
Feu de Buck
Flaming Potluck
Flesh Taito
Flying Tata
Fracas Plot
Fred Hollows Vision
Giant of Battles
Golden Showers
Hamburger Phoenix
Hamburger Rising
Happy Butt
Hein Muck
Herz Ass
Hiawatha Recurrent
Highway 290 Pink Buttons
Hoag Housecream
Hold Slunci
Hoosier Hysteria
Hornish Plot
Hot Princess
Improved Universal Favorite
Ita Buttrose
Kardinal Piffl
Lingo Muck
Literary Giant
Mad Dog Road Tea
Madge Whip
Madness at Corsica
Moeder des Vaderlands
Oberburgermeister Boock
Oor Wullie
Orange Bunny
Perpetual Michigan
Petit Canard
Petit Rat de l’Opera
Pfuss Pfree
Pie IX
Pink Diddy
Pink Redundant
Polybag Joshi
Pompon Spong
Prairie Clogger
President Nomblot
Prunella Stack
Puck Pulling
Purple Popcorn
Reine de la Pape
Restless Native
Rose of Wagga Wagga
Selwyn Bird
Selwyn Toogood
Small Virtue
Souvenir de Ben-Hur
St. Tiggywinkles
Sturdy Gertie
Surpassing Beauty of Woolverstone Church
The Pudsey Bear
The Thing from Glendora
Tipsy Imperial Concubine
Tooth of Time
Turbo Rugostar
Unknown Mothproof Maude (discovered by Mr. Field Roebuck)
Wee Ack
Wilfred Pickles
Winghaven’s Left Back Guard
Wolly Dod’s Rose
Wonder of Woolies
These didn’t make the final cut for my list of favorites, but I’m too fond of them to leave them out entirely:
Angel Dust, Bedshoot, Bizarre Triomphante, Blesma Soul, Blushing Pink Iceberg, Cabbage of Holland, Cee Dee Moss, Climbing Betty Uprichard, Coby Fankhauser, Couleur de Chair, Countess Vandal, Derek Nimmo, Des Alpes sans Epines, Doctor Hogg, Dopey, Dr. Covell’s Carrotrooted Understock, Duchesse de Dino, Emma’s Wild #2, Florence L. Izzard, Flying Doctor, Fred Loads, Fuzzy Navel, Head of Rivers, Heart of T. D. K., Home of Time, Jeeper’s Creeper, Lavender Spoon, Legend of Sidney Atholwood, Line & Twine, Little Green Snake, Lizzie Molk, Lodewijk Opdebeeck, Lykke Dazla, Macmillan Nurse, Magneet, Me Darling, Me Too, Message 35, Miss Flora Mitten, Mobile Jubilee, Most Unusual Day, Mr. Feast’s No. 1, Mrs. Percy V. Pennybacker, Noble Hit, Old Cabbage Rose, Orange Elizabeth of Glamis, Pax Labor, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Percy Izzard, Permanent Wave, Pink Cardinal Hume, Planten und Blomen, Pounder Star, Pye Colour, Ready Teddy, Red Baller, Reine des Amateurs, Rob in des Bois, Rotary President, Scudbuster, South Orange Perfection, Souvenir de Brie, Thusnelda, Via Mala, Virgo Liberationem, White Pearl in Red Dragon’s Mouth.
Hey, it keeps me amused.

February 21, 2002
Know your drugs
Posted by Teresa at 08:09 AM * is a proper useful site, but it’s their Pill Identification Wizard that that’s the real prize, if you’re trying to figure out whether those four pink pills in the ornamental pillbox in that beaded evening bag you last carried six months ago are in fact the last of those great muscle relaxants the doctor in the ER in Florida gave you that time you threw your back out on the first day of vacation.

The questions are dead simple, and you pick your answers from pull-down menus: “Is it a pill or a capsule? What shape is it? What color? Is there any writing on it? If so, please type in the first two characters.” And then, Shazam!, it comes up with: “No, those are the extra-strength Paracetamols you got from Boots Chemist in London while you were waiting for Patrick to finish up in the bookstore next door.”

Okay, I’m exaggerating. But only a little.

February 08, 2002
The HMS Surprise is taking on crew
Posted by Teresa at 10:50 PM *

Peter Weir and his casting director are looking for people with tall-ship sailing experience to work as actors and extras for the filming of Patrick O’Brian’s The Far Side of the World. They’ll be sailing the HMS Rose, a replica of an 18th century frigate. (I’ve seen the Rose — she’s beautiful.)

It is of course an unspeakably cool thing to do. Specs, dates, and contact info can be found here.

Posted by Teresa at 08:25 PM *

The Top Ten Mineral Names (according to Marcus Origlieri), and how to pronounce the #1 name (according to Bob’s Rock Shop).

Bob’s Rock Shop is a lovely site, by the way — well-made, intelligent, and entertaining, with a vast amount of information tucked under its surface. If you like astronomy but not geology, check out their frequently-updated “Rocks in the News” links, which tracks all rocks everywhere, not just the local terrestrial variety.

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