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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Which pop-culture characters should winter storms be named for?

Lord of the Rings Ian McKellen

Today’s question comes from Kirk, who writes:

Now here’s a topic FF readers need to chime in on – What SHOULD the Weather Channel name any bad future winter storms?

Slate’s got an article on current plans…

Personally, I think Jadis, the Witch Queen who covered Narnia with perpetual snow and ice should be an obvious choice.

…and maybe Margaret Thatcher??

That Slate piece? It’s headlined:

Weather Channel To Start Naming Winter Storms After Roman Gods, Subway Lines, and People Who Do Yoga

Which sounds like an Onion headline.

And the list of names for the 2012-2013 storm season (from The Weather Channel):

Athena: The Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspirations, justice, mathematics and all things wonderful.

Brutus: Roman Senator and best known assassin of Julius Caesar.

Caesar: Title used by Roman and Byzantine emperors.

Draco: The first legislator of Athens in Ancient Greece.

Euclid: A mathematician in Ancient Greece, the father of geometry.

Freyr: A Norse god associated with fair weather, among other things.

Gandolf: A character in a 1896 fantasy novel in a pseudo-medieval countryside.

Helen: In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy was the daughter of Zeus.

Iago: Enemy of Othello in Shakespeare’s play, Othello.

Jove: The English name for Jupiter, the Roman god of light and sky.

Khan: Mongolian conqueror and emperor of the Mongol empire.

Luna: The divine embodiment of the moon in Roman mythology.

Magnus: The Father of Europe, Charlemagne the Great, in Latin: Carolus Magnus.

Nemo: A Greek boy’s name meaning “from the valley,” means “nobody” in Latin.

Orko: The thunder god in Basque mythology.

Plato: Greek philosopher and mathematician, who was named by his wrestling coach.

Q: The Broadway Express subway line in New York City.

Rocky: A single mountain in the Rockies.

Saturn: Roman god of time, also the namesake of the planet Saturn in our solar system.

Triton: In Greek mythology, the messenger of the deep sea, son of Poseidon.

Ukko: In Finnish mythology, the god of the sky and weather.

Virgil: One of ancient Rome’s greatest poets.

Walda: Name from Old German meaning “ruler.”

Xerxes: The fourth king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Xerxes the Great.

Yogi: People who do yoga.

Zeus: In Greek mythology, the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus and the gods who lived there.

There are pop-culture names in here already — Winter Storm Iago does sound deadly — some of them quite sneaky: like we all aren’t going to talk about Winter Storm Gandalf letting none pass, and Winter Storm Q using his whimsical trickster god powers to throw us into the path of a blizzard, and so on.

Forget about copyright issues (which are clearly on The Weather Channel’s mind here), and have at it:

Which pop-culture characters should winter storms be named for?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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  • RogerBW

    Presumably they misspell Gandalf so that they won’t get a threatening letter from the Saul Zaentz Company.

    But storms should probably be named after other destructive things: Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Deepwater Horizon, Focus on the Family…

  • Voldemort?

  • KEAplin

    Disney villainesses would be good: Maleficent, Ursula, Shan Yu, Madame Mim and of course…Cruella de Vil.

  • Oh Weather Channel. That’s not what Yogi means. Even still, no matter how you’re trying to define, people are going to assume you just named a storm after a cartoon bear. Or a baseball player who made up a lot of good one-liners. But probably the bear. 

  • LaSargenta

    If a storm turns out to be a tempest in a teapot, I’d say call it Rush Limbaugh. 

  • Huh. I was going to harp on the “Gandolf” and “1896” screwup, but then Wikipedia tells me this:

    The name “Gandolf” occurs as a character in William Morris’ 1896 fantasy novel The Well at the World’s End. Morris’ book is a multi-part ‘magical journey’ involving elves, dwarves and kings in a pseudo-medieval landscape which is known to have deeply influenced Tolkien.

    Didn’t know that. Cool.

    Also: Orko? Tee hee!

    My own suggestion: The White Walker.

  • LaSargenta

    …Tony Perkins (the buddy of David Duke, not the actor), Scientology…

  • Tonio Kruger

    Mr. Snow Miser?

  • Struckingfuggle

    Winter Storm Stark.

    I mean, obviously. 

  • RogerBW

    Can we call a storm Xenu?

  • They went with Shakespeare but didn’t use “Prospero?”

  • Michael in Seattle


  • LaSargenta

    You don’t need my permission!

  • Tonio Kruger

    But of course. Because it’s not like there’s a Marvel Comic character named Storm? ;-)

  • thanks this

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