Space Marines

Well, apparently Games Workshop think they have trademarked "space marines" and nobody else is allowed to use them in works of fiction.

Ooh, is that a copy of Heinlein's Space Cadet see nearby, published in 1948. Let's copy a couple of sentences:

"Matt killed time by watching the space marines and chinning with the non-coms.
He liked the spit-and-polish style with which the space marines did things, the strutting self confidence self-confidence with which they handled themselves."

Naughty Mr. Heinlein! Infringing on Games Workshop's trademark like that, 40 years before they released Warhammer 40k. I hope GW have a time machine handy so they can go back in time and sue him.

It's a good job GW don't derive their games from other written works, like publishing a wargame with elves, dwarves, orcs and ... no, wait.

V is for woman

Hearing that someone out there thinks 'V' is a feminine initial in a name, I was quite intrigued. Time to Do Some (Very Vague) Science!

Hunting about on the internet, I found this page:

with "Historic Baby Name Ranks":

Taking a quick look at this, some things pop out.

There really are only two traditional boy names beginning with V in the lists:


Vincent was only the 72nd most popular name in 1964, three years before I was born. It then completely disappears from these tables. Victor was quite popular in the earlier years of last century, declining to 93 in 1954 and then dropping out of the list too.

So at least we can say that since at least 1974 a boy's name beginning with 'V' has been very unpopular.

Whereas there are seven traditional girl names in the lists:


Victoria has really picked up in recent years. It's not even in the lists prior to 1974, then goes:

1974: 23
1984: 12!
1994: 32

So since at least 1974 a girl name beginning with 'V' has been much more popular than a boy name.

I'm curious now. What happened in the early 70s? I can vaguely remember them. Was there some amazing TV series featuring a Victoria? Were Vincent and Victor the villains? Nothing obvious springs to mind.

Completely unrelated, but you can clearly see the massive peak and decline in my wife's name (Tracey):

1964: 11
1974: 31
1984: 80

Then it no longer appears. Curiously, I was in Tesco's cafe a couple of days ago and I'm sure I heard a woman calling a child in there Tracey! I've never yet me a child called Tracey since Evie came into my life.

Spare Sisters of Mercy ticket

Logistical issues mean I've got a spare ticket for the gig in Leeds on Thursday evening (17th), if anyone wants it. The ticket has £25 on the face of it (although I think I paid something like £4_000_000 in booking fees), but make me an offer and we'll see what we can do.

Ancient affection for LJ means I'm posting it here first. And yes, I realise some of you would want *me* to pay *you* to watch the Sisters of Mercy :-P

(no subject)

From mister_ed. I don't think I've seen one of these for AGES on LJ, so I was curious. Interesting result... I'm not sure I want to *be* Beverley Crusher. Being found in a Jefferies tube *with* her doing something naughty would be more interesting ;-)

Your results:
You are Beverly Crusher
Beverly Crusher
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Geordi LaForge
Will Riker
Jean-Luc Picard
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Mr. Scott
Deanna Troi
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Mr. Sulu
A good physician and a caring parent.
You are devoted to your children
and to your occupation.

Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character are you?" quiz...


20th Century Fox fanfare

Ice Age was on earlier this evening. Evie loves this film (although she did cry at the end) and she's probably watched it several million times over the last few years. As films my daughter has subjected me, it's one of the more bearable.

However, there's one thing that worries me. A few times, when she's heard the 20th Century Fox fanfare at the start of other films, she's muttered something about Ice Age. The two are clearly connected in her mind! This is all wrong!

Whenever I hear the 20th Century Fox fanfare, I expect the screen to darken partway through, and the words "Lucasfilm Ltd" to appear. It then ends, and during the silence that follows the words "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." appear (in blue). Then *BANG* John Williams Star Wars theme kicks in, and "STAR WARS" appears in yellow and zooms away.

All other uses are a pale comparison.