WHAT'S IN A NAME? -- Odd Places in America

Written by Victoria Elizabeth

Copyright Victoria Elizabeth 2004. All rights reserved.

WHAT DO 'DEAD HORSE' AND 'DEVIL'S BACKBONE' HAVE IN COMMON? -- A Misguided Guide to Unusual Placenames in America --

It is said that England has more than a few rather quaint placenames such as Bodmin, Grimbister, Ipswich, Nobottle, No Man's Land, Pie Corner, Pratt's Bottom, Scrabster and Twatt but, they pale in comparison torepparttar plethora of picturesque placenames inrepparttar 118129 "New World".

For those with precious little to do, why not take a wee peek at a few ofrepparttar 118130 curious and entertaining placenames found inrepparttar 118131 United States of America (like Zap, North Dakota and Knockemstiff, Ohio).

This state of affairs naturally begs several questions.

1. Just who might be eager to visit these out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten track, and some might even say, downright peculiar places like Nothing, Arizona or Floyds Knobs, Indiana? 2. What do real estate agents say and do to attract new property owners to King of Prussia, Valentine or Santa Clause?

3. Who lives in Nags Head or Lynchburg?

4. Why would anyone name a place "Punxsutawney" unless of course, one had nothing better to do on "National Groundhog Appreciation Day"?

5. Where is Frostproof, Funkstown, Pottawattamie, Romeoville and Willacoochee anyway?

So grab yourself an atlas or a map and whatever you do, drop by and say hello torepparttar 118132 folks in:

-- Chicken, Deadhorse or Eek (Alaska)

-- Burnt Corn, Intercourse, Muck City, Rooster (Alabama)

-- Bagdad, Boneyard, Floss, Goobertown, Nothing, Why (Arizona)

-- Fannie, Greasy Corner, Grubbs, Hooker, Okay, Possum Grape, Smackover, Toad Suck, Turkey Scratch, Weiner, Yellville (Arkansas)

-- Blunt, Bummerville, Deadwood, Doghouse Junction, Frying Pan, Hellhole Palms, Hells Kitchen, Hooker, Last Chance, Mormon Bar, Needles, Ono, Prunedale, Rescue, Relief, Scarface, Squabbletown, Sucker Flat, Timbuctoo, Toad Town, Volcano, Weedpatch, Wimp, You Bet, Yreka Zzyzx (California)

-- Climax, Last Chance, No Name, Parachute, Purgatory (Colorado)

-- Giants Neck, Mianus, Moosup (Connecticut)

-- Howey-in-the-Hills, Kissimmee, Okahumpka, Sopchoppy, Two Egg, Weeki Wachee, Yeehaw Junction (Florida)

-- Between, Chickasawhatchee, Climax, Enigma, Hopeulikit, Talking Rock (Georgia)

-- Good Grief, Beer Bottle Crossing (Idaho)

--Bald Knob, Devil's Backbone, Grand Detour, Kickapoo, Paw Paw, Roachtown (Illinois)

-- French Lick, Gnaw Bone, Loogootee, Naked City, Roachdale, Toad Hop (Indiana)

-- Diagonal, Gravity, What Cheer (Iowa) Perdition, Ransom (Kansas)

-- Beaver Lick, Bugtussle, Chicken Gizzard, Crummies, Do Stop, Monkeys Elbow, Mousie, Mud Lick, Oddville, Ogle, Spring Lick, Rabbit Hash, Typo (Kentucky)

-- Belcher, Cut-Off, Fort Necessity, Grosse Tete, Mudville, Tickfaw, Waterproof (Louisana)

-- Bald Head, Dickey, Beans Corner Bingo (Maine)

-- Accident, Assawoman Bay, Boring, Crapo, Cockeysville (Maryland)

-- Belchertown, Cow Yard, Mashpee, Sandwich, Swampscott (Massachusetts)

Very Precise Fortune Cookies

Written by David Leonhardt

Very Precise Fortune Cookies By David Leonhardt

I cracked openrepparttar fortune cookie and readrepparttar 118128 little slip of paper onrepparttar 118129 inside. Immediately I realized that it had been written by a weather forecaster.

"You will be approached inrepparttar 118130 late afternoon by a pink polka-dot octopus..."

It continued onrepparttar 118131 other side: "... and asked to provide details of your application for a yellow cloud mulching permit."

Two things struck me about this particular fortune. The first is that they have come a long way in their ability to predict exactly what will happen and when, just like weather forecasters. This is undoubtedly due to recent technological developments. Laser technology, for example. Nano technology. Robotics. Bioengineering. And so many other specialized fields have been developed to points of precision unimagined just a generation ago.

And it's not justrepparttar 118132 weather forecasters.

In London, Ontario, specialists are performing microscopic cardiac surgery on patients miles away using a robot named CSTAR (Can't you just wait for new parents to start naming their children afterrepparttar 118133 famous surgeon, CSTAR?). This has opened uprepparttar 118134 door to many benefits, such as sending robots to remote locations without having to worry about a surgeon replacingrepparttar 118135 wrong organs due to jet lag.

Butrepparttar 118136 real benefit was revealed when one surgeon confided in me: "You knowrepparttar 118137 world is a better place when we don't have to scrub our hands before surgery anymore."

I can call anybody in North America onrepparttar 118138 telephone and they will answer in real time. Not only is this a better response than I can give people face-to-face, butrepparttar 118139 telephone cables direct my call torepparttar 118140 exact person I want, savingrepparttar 118141 other 400 million telephone subscribersrepparttar 118142 inconvenience of having to say, "Wrong number...again!" Just a few decades ago, Switchboard Suzie was manually connecting everybody.

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