27 Comments

  1. That’s an app icon badge, which appears on the icon of an app in Android when the app gets a notification, such as an update.

  2. Pretty sure Treesong is correct, but I wonder what Vat Creature’s hesitation/uncertainty is all about. Shouldn’t he know?

    (I don’t remember Vat Creature’s name, but I know it’s not Spook because that’s the hirsute prisoner in the dungeon.)

  3. I see by the date it’s old, too bad. Vat Creature dressing as an app update notification for Halloween would be scary.

  4. @ Treesong – Not just Android, iOS uses them too. I’m not sure who came up with it first, but I really don’t want to dig into their patent wars.
    P.S. Even Wikipedia could not come up with a name for the “vat creature”, and calls it the “evil spirit”, which is patently false, because that wisp has never been “evil”.

  5. beckoningchasm — I’m guessing because Spirit doesn’t actually completely recognize it, either, and is trying to figure it out from context, like the rest of us. “Hunh. An app notification just showed up on my approximately-like-a-head. I guess… that means I’m supposed to tell Wiz something?”

  6. I was reading some original Gasoline Alley comics. One of the first characters was “Doc”. I don’t know if they ever said his given name. His wife, Hazel, called him “Doctor” even when they were alone.

  7. Maybe Doc’s real name *was* Doctor. Isn’t that the real name of one of the little kids in JUMP START? (Just doublechecked: yes — “Doctor Appleby,” so named because his parents expect him to grow up to be a doctor — so, no pressure then, eh?)

    Or maybe the GA guy’s real name was Throat Warbler Mangrove, but it was *pronounced* “Doctor.”

  8. One of the candidates for county commissioner in the recent election here was Doctor Sparks. She had no connection to medicine, that was her given name.

  9. “Maybe Doc’s real name *was* Doctor.”

    That’s certainly possible. Perhaps he went into medicine to fulfill the name.

  10. There’s always “Doctor Who”, who may or may not have a normal first name.
    P.S. According to German scholastic tradition, a person who completes a second doctorate can duplicate the title, so if Doctor Who did this, and then obtained a professorship at a German university, he would be known as “Prof. Dr. Dr. Doctor Who“.

  11. Except Doctor Who is exclusively known as “The Doctor” — so if he did as you suggest, he’d be known as “Prof. Dr. Dr. The Doctor”… What I want to know is what if the Master got a doctorate — or heck, what if the Doctor got a Masters?

  12. Do you’all consider titles to be actually a part of a person’s name (as against something that goes along with the name proper)? I always rebel when I hear someone say “My name is Doctor Smith” or “My name is Detective Sergeant David Satchell”.

    My objection is on the nerdy ground described, not either “Gosh, you seem to identify a lot with your role and title!” or “Gosh, you seem quite concerned we address you by title”. I would be entirely satisfied if they said “Hi, I’m Doctor Smith”, even though arguably the “am” in there shows even more identification with role & title than the “name” formula.

  13. Wow, no one has yet referenced the CATCH 22 character “Major Major Major Major.” But maybe he goes without saying. . .

    Then there’s Thomas Crapper, who held some patents relating somewhat to “water closet” improvements. And psychologist Karen Horney, who wrote on sexuality (among other things).

    I once had a boss whose last name was Fink. (Fortunately, he was a nice guy.)

  14. RE: Doctor Who — if The Doctor hasn’t picked up at least ONE doctorate in the millenia he/she has been alive, what’s he/she been doing with his/her time?

    I’m pretty sure the implication was that The Doctor picked up at least a couple doctorates well before the William Hartnell version came to Earth with Susan.

  15. @iansmond: re Doctor Who — “what’s he/she been doing with his/her time?”

    Well, there was that stint when he played baseball for the St. Louis Wolves.

  16. I haven’t been following the new Dr. Who much. I’ve only seen a few bits from videos people have linked. Are both the Master and Doctor female at this time? Or did “Missy” switch back at some point?

  17. When I saw the one with the big spider I was rooting that they would disclose she was called Big Spider Becky, then make jokes about Bix Beiderbecke.

  18. There are a few dentists around named Dr. Payne.

    The person who taught swimming at Boston University in the 1970’s was Professor Wetmore. (Professor was his title, not his first name.)

    Also at BU, a Risk Management class was taught by a teacher whose first name was Chance.

  19. @ shrug – Before the name “Fink” became an English insult, it may have been related to the German word for “Finch”.

  20. P.S. @ ianosmond – Researching whether “The Doctor” had a name was a mistake; I learned more than I ever wanted to know about how much effort some people will invest in retroactive analysis of ephemeral (not to mention low-budget) scriptwriting. In any case, at some point the numbering became canonical, so that the “William Hartnell” incarnation is officially his “first” form.

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