Friday, May 15, 2009


Christine got me a gift of a book of australian national parks. The places that seem to interest me the most are the ones that are the least accessible. When I was flying to Portland for the first time, I talked with my seatmate for most of the trip. She brought out a map of Oregon in the in-flight magazine and talked about different areas. I pointed to southeastern Oregon where there was a large blank on the map. I asked what was out there and she said "nothing". That sounded like the place to be. Unfortunately I never did make it out east before moving away. 

But tonight when I was looking in the book I came across one place labeled "unnamed conservation area". Unnamed? Really? There is nothing in the world that's unnamed, especially places. Is it waiting for a name and nobody has gotten around to it yet? Sure enough, googling turned up only one or two links. There's the "unnamed conservation park management plan". The area's been thought about enough to have a plan, just not a name?

I can relate in a way though. My research has been on building a piece of software for forecasting. Although naming your program is always one of the biggest steps, a bit like naming your band, we've gone months without agreeing on a name. Good acronyms are especially important. VIPER, SPUR, VIC, all good. DWOPER or unpronouncable strings of consonants (strangely common here) not so good. Middle-of-word acronyms are a definite sign of weakness, like Hydrological EstimAtion Program Sofware (HEAPS).

Anyhow someone really did suggest the "unnamed model" and I kind of like it... UNM. I'm almost at the point of calling it "Claire" just to get that out of the way. Tom


  1. NEXRAD - NEXt generation RADar.

  2. Gads... acronyms. There are so many TLAs (three-letter acronyms) in medicine that traditional license-plate games have been replaced in our household by the "medical acronym license plate game". I've recently seen "congestive heart failure", "hit-by-car", "inflammatory bowel disease" and "ain't doin' right" on Oregon plates...

    (Yes, ADR is commonly used by vets as a problem-on-admission, until a more definitive diagnosis is achieved!)