Thursday, June 29, 2006

"Hurricane Edam will make landfall..."

It's Hurricane Season, and so I think it's topical to consider about how hurricanes are named.

I'm old enough to remember when hurricanes were only given female names. Eventually this came to be viewed as inappropriate, and in 1979 male names were introduced into the rotation. You may not know this, but it is in fact a rotation: The same names repeat every six years. Unless there's an especially bad storm, and then that name is retired and a new one is chosen. So there will never again be a Hurricane Camille, or Andrew, or Hugo. Or Katrina. And the seemingly innocuous name Fifi has also been retired (1974). Actually, a total of sixty-seven names have been retired, including the Hurricane Twins, Frances and Jeanne, that passed over my home two years ago.

Anyway, the point of this post (yes, this post has a point) is that I'm tired of this system. I'm tired of the same names repeating every six years. I think some variety needs to be injected into the process. I think it's time for some fresh thinking. I think it's time we introduce other series of related names for hurricanes. For example, how about a series of animal species names? We can start off with Hurricanes Aardvark, Bat, and Cheetah. Or Greek Gods. How about Hurricanes Artemis, Boreus, and Calliope? Hurricane Season, after all, could be educational.

If you have any ideas for good series, post a comment or send me a message at gss at att dot net. Or post on your own blog and let me know. In the meantime, I'll contribute my first full list of the names I think we should use for next Season. Dear Readers, welcome to the Season of Cheeses, and say hello to Hurricanes...

Asiago, Bierkase, Caboc, Dunlop, Edam, Fougerus, Gorgonzola, Havarti, Iberico, Jarlsberg, Kugelkase, Limburger, Munster, Neufchatel, Oaxaca, Parmigiano, Quark, Ricotta, Stilton, Taleggio, Ubriaco, Vendomois, Wensleydale, Xynotyro, and Zamorano.

Wensleydale is included as a special homage to Wallace and Grommit. (I would have preferred to use Stinking Bishop for either "S" or "B", but it's two words.) You'll notice there is no "Y" -- no single-word cheese names begin with "Y", as far as I have been able to discover. And for those of you who think I made up Xynotyro, I didn't:

Xynotyro means "sour cheese", but this one does not represent its name. It is made from the mixture of sheep's and goat's milk in various shapes and sizes. Xynotyro is a hard, flaky cheese that melts in the mouth and the flavor is a combination of sweet, burnt caramel, lanolin and the sour taste of the whey. -

I know I always look forward to trying a cheese that tastes like lanolin.

Okay, so is anyone at the National Hurricane Center listening?

P.S. Thanks to for the assist.


Great idea! How much could the National Weather Service make by auctioning off the right to name hurricanes for a season?
Not a bad idea. I wonder how much Warren Buffet would pay to name a Season after twenty-six of his companies. On the other hand, there's the frightening thought that Bill Gates might buy a Season and name the storms after twenty-six Microsoft products. Oh... wait. Microsoft products are already natural disasters! :)
Actually, I imagine the real market is some industrialist buying the naming rights and then naming the storms after his/her competitor's product. It may be cheaper for GM to name a disaster 'Toyota Tacoma' than it would be for GM to simply build a good reliable truck. Kind of reminds me of the time Dan Quayle nicknamed his 2000 presidential bid Y2Q, not realizing that the association with Y2K was, although apt, not positive.
"I'm tired of this..."

funny, here i was thinking "area strife with hurricanes", but no, you're tired of the naming system.

ok. =D

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