Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Schlumbergera seedling no. 066 (again)

I just couldn't bring myself to do TinEye again. I mean, I started, but all the photos that came up were ones I'd seen before, and I couldn't stand the idea of going through 20 pages of the same old photos again, just to come up with a bunch of names that I mostly wouldn't like. I needed a new strategy. Temporarily. Just until I was a little less burnt-out on TinEye.1

Unfortunately, the best I could come up with was a variation on the kitchen-sink approach I used for 089A Halloween Moon: about a third of the names on the long list were previously-rejected options that seemed like they might fit okay, another third were names that occurred to me as I went about my business without actually trying to come up with anything, and the remaining third were names I managed to wring from the Wikipedia "random page" function. I say "wring from" because Wikipedia is bizarrely fixated on places, in particular railroad stations; athletes, in particular dead ones; and moths. So many moths. So getting to a useful article takes time and patience.2

So, the short list for seedling 066B, a pretty good orange and pink whose main fault is that it hasn't produced very many blooms yet:3 Annie Lennox, Bachelor Beau, Charo, Make Believe, Rockamundo, Sigrid the Haughty, and Theia.

Both Bachelor Beau and Rockamundo are previously-considered racehorse names. I'm throwing out the latter on the grounds that I feel like it wants a redder bloom, or at least a darker orange one, and Bachelor Beau got less appealing the more I thought about it, though I can't explain how that happened.

Make Believe is a really weird way to put words together, if you think about it. We don't add "make" to very many other verbs; nobody says "make think" or "make imagine," for example. "Make do" is a thing, but that's the only other one I could think of.4 This has nothing to do with its suitability as a name, but I think it's interesting. As a name, it's a little abstract, compared to the other options, and my main association is to the Land of Make-Believe, from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Which I mainly watched on a black and white TV when I was a kid, so even though I know it was colorful, I don't necessarily remember it that way.5 In any case, Make Believe also has the problem that it sort of implies that the plant doesn't actually exist. I don't know how big of an issue that would really be, but any reason counts if it lets me cross off a name.

She's an acquired taste, admittedly, but I love living in a world that has Charo in it.

Not sure I love it so much that I want to name a seedling for her. At least not yet. But I won't rule it out, either. I mean, she's an amazing guitarist, she's funny, and she seems nice in person.6 I think I'm a little uncomfortable with how much of her shtick is about not being completely fluent in English: I don't think people should be encouraged to laugh at that. On the other hand, she's had an incredibly long career, and I'm certain that she knows what she's doing, so if she's not bothered by it then maybe I shouldn't be either. We'll add her name to the list and see if it comes up again later.

Which leaves three.

Sigrid the Haughty is a probably-mythic figure from Norse sagas, who would be great for her name alone, but the stories sound fantastic. She gets her epithet from a story in which, following the death of her first husband, Eric the Victorious, she was pursued by multiple suitors, including her foster brother Harald. Rather than remarry, she is said to have invited her suitors to a great hall for a feast and then burned them to death. To "discourage other suitors," as Wikipedia dryly puts it. (I know it would discourage me.)

Sigrid then turned down a marriage proposal from King Olaf of Norway, who wanted her to convert to Christianity as one of the conditions of the marriage. She refused, and he struck her with a glove. "This may some day be thy death," she told him, and then worked to create a coalition to, basically, kick Olaf's royal ass. As you do. (Sigrid got Sweden and Denmark to go to war against Norway, it went poorly for Norway, and King Olaf leapt into the sea and drowned rather than be captured.)

So I kind of love Sigrid.7 Sigrid the Haughty is maybe a little long for a name, but it wouldn't be unprecedented.

Then there's Annie Lennox, whose virtues were already discussed in the post for 079B Haleakala, and who kicks ass in her own ways (though she's probably not burned anybody alive).

Finally, Theia is both one of the Titans of Greek Mythology and a planet-sized body hypothesized to have created the Moon by crashing into the Earth, during the early days of the Solar System. Theia the Titan gave birth to Helios, Selene, and Eos (the Sun, Moon, and Dawn, respectively), but aside from being, apparently, very shiny (lots of references to glittering and brightness), she doesn't appear to have suffered from an abundance of personality. Theia the hypothetical planet is mostly used to explain why the Earth and Moon have similar compositions, how the Earth wound up with a satellite that is so big, relative to its mass, and why it appears that the Moon had a molten surface at one time.

So. Theia is at least a nice short name, and one unlikely to be in use already, but it just isn't as emotionally satisfying as the other two, so I have no problem setting it aside for a later seedling. However, trying to decide between Annie Lennox, who I've been acquainted with for years and years and love, and Sigrid the Haughty, who I've only just met but also love, is just impossible.

I wound up having to think about it for a couple days before I could make a decision, and even then, I still waver a bit. I suspect my readers probably favor Annie, and I hate to disappoint, but I think my heart belongs to Sigrid. Annie'll still get a seedling eventually, I'm sure. I mean, Cyndi Lauper had to wait a year, but she got one. So 066B is Sigrid the Haughty. Apologies to anyone who's disappointed. (At least I didn't try to discourage you.)


1 I have, by the way, looked for other sites that allow color-specific image searches, but there aren't very many, and the other ones are all terrible for my purposes.
Google Image Search will permit searching by color, to a degree, but you can't put any specific hue in; you're limited to about a dozen broad options ("orange"), and you have to search for some other word as well ("orange person," "orange bug"). Which means that the entertaining randomness of TinEye is thwarted before I ever start seeing photos.
Another tool gives you a broader range of color options to choose from, but you still can't enter any HTML color code you want. You can also only choose one color at a time, and it only returns like twelve results, with no option to get more. (Also, choosing any of the oranges mostly returned pictures of other flowers. Not helpful.)
And I think I found a third site somewhere that would permit searching for a specific HTML color code, but only one at a time. And it produced something other than flower pictures. The down sides: the number of results was tiny, like eight or something, instead of flowers it was mostly autumn foliage, and I can no longer find the site.
So TinEye appears to be it, and TinEye isn't enough.
I've also tried generating random words from on-line random-word generators, which can occasionally generate something worth considering, but there's a lot more to sift through before I find anything I might like, and I don't even get to be entertained by odd images as I do it.
2 But if you keep at it, you learn interesting things. It's probably better for random educational opportunities than TinEye. Examples:
I learned from the Wikipedia entry on samizdat (basically material forbidden for Soviet citizens to possess, during the Cold War: books, pamphlets, recordings, and so forth) that x-ray film of the time was substantial enough that one could make it into phonograph records, like the flexible plastic records one used to see in magazines occasionally, back before cassettes and CDs completely took over. Which I find delightful.
And I learned that the name for a winged dragon with two feet, which one sees from time to time in heraldry and flags and whatnot, is not called a "dragon" but is instead a wyvern. Wyvern was on the long list of name options for this seedling, but I didn't like it enough for this seedling to consider it on the short list.
3 (I don't know how many. Possibly only the one. I have enough things to keep track of around here without trying to document every single bloom produced by every single plant.)
4 Usually "make" gets paired with prepositions to make phrasal verbs like "make up" or "make out," or it's paired with adjectives to produce slangy, idiomatic stuff like "make nice" and "make known." "Make believe" is just weird.
5 Incidentally: some of the episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood are on Netflix now, so the husband and I watched one a while back, just for shiggles, and it was amazing. Seriously. Fred Rogers should get a seedling.
6 Maybe also exhausting in person. But nice.
7 Those were, unfortunately, the only two stories about her that were at all easy to track down on the internet, and there wasn't much detail about either. I want someone to write some new ones. Maybe as like a comic book? I would read the shit out of a Sigrid the Haughty comic.


Paul said...

And of course "make up" can also become a noun if the space is removed. Also have make do...

Anonymous said...

I did a Google Image search using 'orange objects' and got a lot more than a few results. Aside from the obvious orange and basketball, there were a lot of different items depicted including a front end loader and the very weird one of human heads wrapped in plastic wrap sitting in aluminum cake pans. Just photos though. I wondered about the orange elephant. I've only heard of pink ones

Texas Anon