Friday, August 30, 2019

A Necessary Name Change Weekly Link Round-Up

I've mentioned a time or two that Denis (AKA Mr. Gizmo) likes his technology, and that we've had some adventures with Amazon's Alexa. I will admit that I do like her turning the lights on or off at my direction, but I could do just fine without her.

One thing I've never liked about her is her name. Alexa seems to be one of those names that's flavor of the month. I'm finding Alexas everywhere. Even the main character of the book I'm reading now is named Alexa. Sheesh! Enough already.

Last week, the straw arrived that broke the camel's back. I started watching an Australian crime show called My Life Is Murder, and the main character's name is-- you got it-- Alexa. If a gizmo can splutter, that's exactly what Alexa was doing, sitting there on Denis's end table. I also have a weakness for trivia game shows (like Jeopardy). I was watching the Best Ever Trivia Show, and one of the contestants was named-- sigh-- Alexa.
From the looks of that spinning blue light at the top of that gizmo, I thought our Alexa was going to have a nervous breakdown.

I told Denis about his gizmo's woes, and he looked through the instructions. Now the Alexa in the family room where the television is located has had a name change that should prevent smoke from coming out of her ears.

However... if people start naming their kids Echo, I am going to be monumentally miffed. On to the links!

►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄

►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄

►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
  • The world's greatest collection of bumblebee butts.
  • A massive manta ray was filmed seeking help from snorkelers in Australia.
  • A neuroscientist studies dog emotions with an MRI and concludes that "dogs are people, too." 
  • Tiny animals trapped in fossil trees help reveal how fauna moved onto land.
  • Here's your laugh for the day: police have apprehended penguins who keep sneaking into a sushi restaurant in New Zealand.
  • A Japanese railway hosts the world's first cat cafĂ© on a moving train with adoptable kittens riding on board.
  • A rare New Zealand parakeet population doubles after an "epic" breeding season.
  • Once nearly as dead as the dodo, the California Condor comeback reaches 1,000 chicks. (One of the most majestic sights I've ever seen is a California Condor soaring over the Grand Canyon.)

►Fascinating Folk◄
  • Laura Lippman writes about age.
  • Meet Kate Warne, America's first female detective and spy, who thwarted an assassination plot on Lincoln. 
  • Nadezhda Popova: Commander of the Night Witches.

►The Happy Wanderer◄
  • Carrara, the Tuscan town famous for anarchists, marble, and lard.
  • Yosemite hets its historic place names back. 
  • Pukará de Quitor, the ruins of a pre-Columbian fortress city so secure it held off the Spanish conquistadors for over twenty years.
  • There's a massive conch-shell graveyard in the Caribbean.
  • "The impact is tremendous": readers on wildflower verges in the UK. (Bring that idea on over here!)

►I ♥ Lists◄

That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.

Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!


  1. It is interesting, isn't it, Cathy, how names go through those popularity phases. For a while, everyone was Jessica, and now it's Alexa. I wonder what'll be next? Hopefully there won't be a slew of new protagonists called Echo... Now, for my next stop...Hmm...Pueblo Grande or Jerusalem? Hm......

    1. My 7th grade class had 35 students. Seven of us were named K/Cathy, and the teachers refused to use last names. No fun for someone who always had a book hidden in her textbook so she could read during class!


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