Are you ready for spring? It may have exceeded 300 Kelvin (80F) yesterday, but only a couple of weeks ago there was still snow on the the ground.
So on a lighter note, over the weekend my peeps in Chicago held a naming party for this year's instantiation of the F.I.S.T., and the result plays nicely to my delusions of godhood. While we are almost universally referenced in extreme shorthand (FIST being probably most common), our full name is a bit of a mouthful:
Lush Puppies mk. VII; F.I.S.T. pt. sex; Deleuzian Potato Homefries; Billmire's Scrod Double-Teams Stony; No Blank, All Umlaut; Rösëbüd, Still the Fucking Sled; Vagrant Sun Gods
Vagrant Sun Gods being the latest addition, that is. There is a common misconception that the leading portion of our name is but ancestry, baggage carried along out of a quaint appreciation for our own history. This is incorrect -- the prefixes evolve from year to year, and how could we be descended from the seventh iteration of the Lush Puppies? No, the correct attitude is to approach the prefixes as necessary and descriptive sovereign style, that component of our name that recognizes our conquest of vast and growing swaths of mythic terrain. In a formal setting it would be no more appropriate to refer to us as "the FIST" than to introduce "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith" as Lizzie.
Fortunately for everyone involved, Scavhunt doesn't actually have any formal settings.
Speaking of institutions with ephemeral staying power, the oldest company in the world finally went belly-up this month. (Via the Long Now Blog) Not that Kongo Gumi is actually out of business, but after 1400 years of building Buddhist temples, accumulated debt from the 1980s bubble economy pushed the company into bankrupcy and acquisition.
This buddhist temple construction company Kongo Gumi had been in operation since 578 CE, give or take. How come so many of the oldest companies are Japanese? Probably the same reason they've had an unbroken imperial line for about that long as well. The list also includes a bunch of medieval European inns and breweries, which pretty much tells you all you need to know about Europe.