The world's longest name

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Kim-Jong Sexy Glorious Beast Divine Dick Father Lovely Iron Man Even Unique Poh Un Winn Charlie Ghora Khaos Mehan Hansa Kimmy Humbero Uno Master Over Dance Shake Bouti Bepop Rocksteady Shredder Kung Ulf Road House Gilgamesh Flap Guy Theo Arse Hole Im Yoda Funky Boy Slam Duck Chuck Jorma Jukka Pekka Ryan Super Air Ooy Rusell Salvador Alfons Molgan Akta Papa Long Nameh Ek is believed to have the world's longest name.

At 63 words long, Mr. Ek's is at least the longest in Sweden, where the law provides an option to change one's name once free of charge. Any further changes are $149, reports The Local. Ek has changed his six times, making it longer on each occasion, and there is no official limit.

"My parents were a little confused the first time a letter came addressed to Usama-Bin Ek instead of Alexander," he told news site Nyheter24. "I don't always get my mail and sometimes the electricity bill is late, but that's part of the charm."

Ek says he goes by "Papah Long Nameh" day to day. He was born Alexander Ek. He released the above photo montage to the press, featuring his official grant of a personal name and a selfie featuring himself in a bathtub full of hot dog sausages.

Morning Glory Road renamed after beef raised

"The Lehi City Council has renamed Morning Glory Road after a technology company planning to relocate to the street raised concerns about the name's sexual connotation." [Daily Herald]

Political taxonomy: Obama gets a lichen, a worm, and a carnivorous lizard

There is already a lichen — Caloplaca obamae — and a worm — Paragordius obamai — named after Barack Obama. Now he also has Obamadon gracilis, an ancient, extinct, carnivorous lizard.

You can read a full write-up on Obamadon at Carolyn Johnson's Science in Mind blog. It includes some behind-the-scenes detail on the amusing considerations one has to take into account when one decides to name a specimen after a sitting president just before an election.

But I also wanted to take this opportunity to point you towards Curious Taxonomy, a fantastic list of creatures great and small and the sometimes surprising celebrities they have been named after. In the list you'll find a dinosaur named for Ross Perot, a ridiculous number of animals and plants named after Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, and no fewer than three creatures named for Stephen Colbert.

And if you're noting that the selection of animals named in honor of Obama are not exactly the world's most flattering, never fear. Taxonomy is kind of bipartisan in its possibly-maybe-accidental insults. George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney have a trio of slime mold beetles.

A group of squid is called a ...

For the record, squid come in shoals. Not quite as good as a squad. But still nicely alliterative.

Via Craig McClain

Making Inaccessible Island a little more accessible

This is a detail from one of the regularly updated maps that researchers in Antarctica use when they want to leave McMurdo Station and travel across the continent's sea ice. It shows the well-traveled routes across McMurdo Sound, ice thickness measurements taken at various points along the road, and hazards like large cracks in the ice.

Towards the north end of the Sound, you can see an island labeled, "Inaccessible Island". I asked Henry Kaiser — a musician and filmmaker who has spent the last decade working with scientists on the frozen continent — about why that island was inaccessible. After all, I didn't see any major cracks or hazards around it. Seems like you could traverse the ice to the island just fine.

Turns out, I was misunderstanding. Inaccessible isn't a designation. Inaccessible is the island's official name. Even though it's not. Inaccessible, I mean. Named by Robert Scott, it's part of a chain of islands that all represent the remains of an ancient volcanic crater. The name apparently comes from the fact that Inaccessible Island is incredibly steep, so while you can reach it, getting onto the damn thing seems to be a lot harder.

Inaccessible Island in McMurdo Sound is not to be confused with the Inaccessible Island that is located in the south Atlantic about halfway between South America and Africa; nor with the Inaccessible Islands, an entire group of islands located between the tip of South America and tip of the Antarctic peninsula; nor with Inexpressible Island, an Antarctic island where part of Scott's crew on his second expedition was forced to spend the winter of 1912 living in a cave and eating penguins.

Read about Inaccessible Island (the one in McMurdo Sound) in the report of Robert Scott's first expedition to Antarctica, published in 1907.

London mapped by common surnames


James Cheshire (Department of Geography, UCL) produced a series of interactive maps of London that show the relationship of common surnames to different neighbourhoods:

This map shows the 15 most frequent surnames in each Middle Super Output Area (MSOA) across Greater London. The colours represent the origin of the surname (*not necessarily* the person) derived from UCL’s Onomap Classification tool. The surnames have also been scaled by their total frequency in each MSOA.

London Names (via Sociological Images)

Parking lot baby earns soda sobriquet

A baby born in the Parking lot of a 7-Eleven is to be named Cais "Big Gulps" Malley after the convenience chain's signature soda offering. [Florida Today]

Meanwhile, in species-naming news

Rudyard Kipling has a crocodile. (Via Jacquelyn Gill)

Will Alberta's two Uniques ever meet?

Brent Wittmeier of the Edmonton Journal reports that two newborns were named "Unique" last year in Alberta, Canada.