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Things Not to Name Your Pet

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I think I'm living in the cat Bermuda Triangle. It seems like every day, another one goes missing, and another 150 missing cat posters decorate the trees and phone poles in my neighborhood. Don't get me wrong, I always feel sorry for their poor owners -- but I also find myself thinking, more often than not, what a terrible name for a pet. But the inspiration for this blog was this one, which I just had to snap a picture of:

This cat, poor lost soul that he is, has not one bad name, but two. (You let the kids name the cat, didn't you? Bad idea. I nearly named my mother's fox terrier "Falcon" when I was a GI Joe-obsessed nine-year-old.) Little wonder it ran away. Because when it comes to naming your pet, there should be some basic ground rules. It should sound like a pet, not like your stoner roommate. That rules out Gary, Ryan, Jeff, Amanda, etc. (Chris Higgins and I were once housemates, and we had a fancy goldfish named Paul. That's a terrible pet name -- it's also only a fish; I never would've done that to a dog.)

You can also go too far in the other direction, and give your pet a really cutesy, self-consciously pet name pet name. This is also a bad idea. According to The Internet, here are some of the worst real names of this sort:

Norman Tinkle-Winkle (cat)
Sir Crapsalot (dog)
Neuteronomy (cat)
Pussalini (cat)
Beowoof (dog)
Fussbudget the Squeak (cat, kinda cute actually)

Yet another genus of Bad Name is the Overly Long and Formal Silly Name. To wit:
Capt. Beauregard Schmoo-Diddeley (cat)
General Colon Bowel (dog)
Senator Loomis P Nutley III
Scootacious P. Fruitwinkle
Countess Rumpleteazer Cattulus Anastasia Hecate-Baalith of Kalma Nefferkitty Baghera Bastet la chate noire
Sir Meowington Pudger Cat The Third

Then there are the absurd head-scratchers, all given to cats:
Small Man in a Catsuit
Chinese Food
Ducttape
Hors D'Ouvres
Volume Discount
Freeway

But hey, that's just my two cents. What are the worst pet names you've run across?

PS! If anyone HAS seen a tailless cat that answers to "Tailless" in Santa Monica, let me know and I'll give you the number to call.

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Space
Can’t See the Eclipse in Person? Watch NASA’s 360° Live Stream
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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Depending on where you live, the historic eclipse on August 21 might not look all that impressive from your vantage point. You may be far away from the path of totality, or stuck with heartbreakingly cloudy weather. Maybe you forgot to get your eclipse glasses before they sold out, or can't get away from your desk in the middle of the day.

But fear not. NASA has you covered. The space agency is live streaming a spectacular 4K-resolution 360° live video of the celestial phenomenon on Facebook. The livestream started at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and includes commentary from NASA experts based in South Carolina. It will run until about 4:15 ET.

You can watch it below, on NASA's Facebook page, or on the Facebook video app.

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Art
Cephalopod Fossil Sketch in Australia Can Be Seen From Space

Australia is home to some of the most singular creatures alive today, but a new piece of outdoor art pays homage to an organism that last inhabited the continent 65 million years ago. As the Townsville Bulletin reports, an etching of a prehistoric ammonite has appeared in a barren field in Queensland.

Ammonites are the ancestors of the cephalopods that currently populate the world’s oceans. They had sharp beaks, dexterous tentacles, and spiraling shells that could grow more than 3 feet in diameter. The inland sea where the ammonites once thrived has since dried up, leaving only fossils as evidence of their existence. The newly plowed dirt mural acts as a larger-than-life reminder of the ancient animals.

To make a drawing big enough to be seen from space, mathematician David Kennedy plotted the image into a path consisting of more than 600 “way points.” Then, using a former War World II airfield as his canvas, the property’s owner Rob Ievers plowed the massive 1230-foot-by-820-foot artwork into the ground with his tractor.

The project was funded by Soil Science Australia, an organization that uses soil art to raise awareness of the importance of farming. The sketch doubles as a paleotourist attraction for the local area, which is home to Australia's "dinosaur trail" of museums and other fossil-related attractions. But to see the craftsmanship in all its glory, visitors will need to find a way to view it from above.

[h/t Townsville Bulletin]

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