Goodhearted Laughter

Mwa ha ha ha ha. Bwa ha ha ha. Heh heh heh heh heh. Ho ho ho. Tee hee hee. Ha ha ha ha ha. Snort. *Fannie wipes a tear from her eye.*

Greetings funny names fans. In these times of change, sometimes a good belly laugh is required. You’ve heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine.”  Tee hee.

Our next guest believed whole heartedly laughter was the best medicine. Laughter therapist, Dr. Annette Goodheart (1935-2011) started out life an as artist with a paint brush. She reframed her solitary painter’s life and found more benefits in the art of therapy.

She worked in the field of laughter therapy for eight years before she met fabulously named author, Norman Cousins, who wrote the book, Anatomy of an Illness, As Perceived by the Patient, about his healing from a terminal illness through laughter.

The laughter caught on, Goodheart approached the University of California about a workshop on laughter—laughter ensued. Her work spread to other universities who wanted her to conduct workshops for their hospitals, churches, clubs, welfare departments, etc., teaching the healing power of playful laughter.

The Surgeon General’s warning for laughter could read, “Warning, laughter produces chemicals known to the State of California to be cathartic and make you feel better. Other states of mind may follow.” Hee, hee, hee.

Dr. Goodheart’s Cathartic (laughter) Therapy involved four steps according to an article posted on Laughter Online University paraphrased here:

  1. Get in touch with your feelings.
  2. Release those feelings through catharsis (laughter).
  3. Rethink the situation or experience associated with those feelings, because it’s now become possible through the chemical re-balancing of your body to allow you to think more clearly.
  4. Take whatever sensible action is appropriate.

If you want to read the full article click here.

Here is Dr. Goodheart at work.

Your mission today: laugh. Heh, heh, heh.

Life is better when you’re laughing. It’s contagious, spread it around. Bwa ha ha. Snort.

Would someone please pass a tissue?

   *  *  *

Thank you to blogger, Aplscruf, for submitting today’s guest.

Tracy – Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom

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Conlon Nancarrow: Trio Of Beasts

Welcome back to the Blog of Funny Names! I can’t believe we’re headed into the holiday season already, but we’re keeping the Funny Names train chugging. Today’s delicious dish is Conlon Nancarrow, an expat American composer who said adios to the U.S. of A. and headed south to tickle the ivories. He is best remembered for his studies for player piano, and one of the first composers to use auto-playing musical instruments.

Conlon is an Irish family name, the gaelic spelling being Ó Connalláin. Per our friends at Wikipedia, the name may be derived from two Irish Gaelic words “Con” (meaning hound) and “Lón” (meaning lion), thereby implying a person who has the “characteristics of a lion born of a hound–strength and speed.” Have you ever even said that phrase? A lion born of a hound? And get this: Nancarrow is a Cornish surname meaning the “valley of the deer.” Hence, this man is a trio of beasts: part lion, part hound, part deer. Or at least a lion-hound cavorting about amongst the deer.

Nancarrow was born in the bordertown of Texarkana, Arkansas (the city that’s twice as nice!) the year the Titanic sank into icy waters. He played trumpet as a youth and then studied in Cincinnati and Boston, where he fell in with some Communists. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, he jetted to Spain to join the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in fighting against Francisco Franco. But he was not victorious, and Franco tasted sweet, sweet victory. Nancarrow was briefly interned in 1939 by the French at the Gurs internment camp. Upon return to his glorious country of origin, he discovered that his Abe Lincoln Brigade cohorts were having issues renewing their U.S. passports. Go figure. In order to escape potential harassment, Nancarrow crossed the second largest border in the world to take up residency in Mexico in 1940 (only the U.S.-Canadian border is longer).

While in Mexico, he did complicated music stuff. In 1947, Señor Nancarrow bought a custom-built manual punching machine to enable him to punch the piano rolls. He also adapted player pianos, increasing their dynamic range by covering the hammers with leather (in one player piano) and metal (in the other) so as to produce a more percussive sound. Right-o.

Here he is, looking super complicated.

By the 1980s, he had escaped obscurity and was given his propers by many, including György Ligeti, and hailed as one of the most significant composers of the century.

But all these propers did not soothe his homesick heart. In 1985, Nancarrow consulted a lawyer to determine if he could return to the U.S. Indeed, he could but he would have to sign a statement swearing that he had been “young and foolish” when he decided to become a Communist sympathizer. Nancarrow said he could not go for that and chose to stick it out in Mexico till he died in 1997, the year the movie, Titanic, was released, since that seemed only fitting.



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DC Comics—Silver Age of Comic Books

SURPRISE. I bet you were surprised. I was surprised. *Fannie fans herself.*

If you didn’t see the Carrie A. Nation post yesterday, you’re probably wondering about today’s surprise. I almost executed a redundancy blunder here at the BoFN with my version of Carrie A. Nation only to discover while I was posting it, she’s already here. Woohoo.

So to my surprise, we are balancing out last month’s Funny Names in Comic Author, from Marvel, with Funny Names in DC Comic Artists from the Silver Age of Comics. Plus there’s only one more day until Emerald City Comicon 2017 tickets go on sale. I’m gonna be celebrating like Carl the Camel tomorrow asking everyone in my office if they know what day it is. Oh wait, I’m the only one in the office tomorrow. *Fannie’s shoulders sag.*

Without further ado, boohoo or ballyhoo here are our artists . . .

Curt Swan contributed to DC Comics greatest comic: Superman. From the late 1950’s to the 80’s, if you read a Superman comic, it’s most likely Swan who drew it. Before him Superman was drawn by wonderfully name, Wayne Boring. Not to be confused with Bruce Wayne of DC Comics’ Batman Fame.  During WWII, Swan worked as an artist for the G.I. Magazine, Stars and Stripes. While there he met France Herron who ultimately led Swan to DC Comics. If you want to know what Swan looks like, here’s a link to a portrait drawn by Stan Drake. What goes together better than Drake, Herron, and Swan? Birds of a feather, drawn together.

Photo courtesy of Alan Light

Photo courtesy of Alan Light

Gil Kane divided his time between Marvel and DC. He helped give renewed life to several DC comic series: Atom, Plastic Man, and Green Lantern. Gill teamed up with Stan Lee over at Marvel to break the industry’s self-regulating Comics Code Authority, which forbade mention of drugs in comics. Yet they created an anti-drug story line at the request of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The comic was not published with the Code seal, but was so well received the code was revised.



Photo Courtesy of © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons

Photo Courtesy of © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons

Joe Kubert began his lengthy career in 1938 at age 11 and worked until his death in 2012. He is best known to Superhero fans for his work on Hawkman in the 1950’s. But he is probably most famous for the character, Tor from 1,000,000 years ago, not Thor the Norse God. Joe and his wife, Muriel, founded their own art school called, The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art. And his fabulously named grandson, Orion Zangara, graduated from his school, and is a comic-book artist. Two of Joe’s sons, Adam and Andy, are comic artists, with grand daughter, Katie, a comic editor. Must be in the genes.




Photo courtesy of © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons

And last but not least is Carmine Infantino. I have to say it again. Carmine Infantino. Carmine Infantino. Carmine Infantino. Okay, I’m over it. He’s been credited with putting the fire back into the superhero genre in the early 1950’s. He also kick-started the Silver Age of Comics. And you can thank him for updating the Flash with the red and yellow uniform and his then new visual language with the use of motion lines show-casing Flash’s incredible speed.

BTW this is my 50th post here at the BoFN. Now that was a surprise.

Keep on blogging.

Tracy – Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom









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Carrie A. Nation

I planned my regular Tuesday post on Pre-temperance forebearer, Carrie A. Nation, who later changed her name to Carry A. Nation after her divorce from her second husband. But Rob beat my to it by several years. So Tuesday’s post will even be a surprise for me. Enjoy!

Take it away Rob.

The Blog of Funny Names

Carrie Amelia Moore Nation (1846-1911), had a Moore punny name than any of us can ever dream of having. But there was nothing funny (haha at least not in the traditional sense – she may have been “funny peculiar”) about the self-proclaimed “anti-souse queen.”

Don’t know what that means? Well, to sum it up succinctly, she hated alcohol, and people who drank it. After her first husband died of alcoholism in 1869, Nation began a journey which would lead to her becoming the most famous member of the pre-Prohibition temperance movement.

Nation with hatchet, Bible, and fashionable spectacles. What a spectacular photograph!

Believing she had been given a divine ordination to destroy bars and their contents, Nation embarked on a multi-state mission to raid pubs, destroy their fixtures, and demolish their libations, while simultaneously singing hymns and saying prayers. Originally using rocks in these efforts, Nation switched to using hatchets…

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Funny Names in Comic Authors

Welcome back funny name fans. I’m counting down the days until Comicon 2017 tickets go on sale for Seattle. That would be 30 days and counting. *Fannie pulls out the noise makers and throws confetti.*

Sorry, I didn’t mean to get any on you.

Since we’re talking about Comicon, what better place to look for fabulous, funny names than in the creators of the comics themselves.

I Marvel at the thought, all of today’s guests were born in December and they’ve all worked for Marvel.

Dear future parents who wish to Spawn comic book geniuses, mark late March and April on your calendar. Just a thought.

*Stan Lee photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

Stan Lee photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

Let’s start with Stan Lee. The person whose first name and last name combine to make his first name. His real name is Stanley Martin Leiber. At 93 he’s the Hugh Hefner of the comic world, now making cameo appearances as himself in movies and on television. Who could forget his appearance on the Big Bang Theory? Clearly he has great taste in women, his wife of 69 years is the fabulously named Joan Clayton Boocock Lee.

We can thank him as co-creator for such memorable works: Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and X-Men.

Fabian Nicieza photo courtesy of © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons.

Fabian Nicieza photo courtesy of © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons.

Since the movie Deadpool based on the comic released last December, how about a shout out to comic co-creator Fabian Nicieza. He’s worked on many series including X-Men, X-Force, New Warriors, Cable and Deadpool, and Thunderbolts, creating many memorable characters for each of the series.

Matt Fraction photo courtesy of Jasmine Heyward.

Matt Fraction photo courtesy of Jasmine Heyward.

Matt Fraction, whose pen name is a fraction of his real name—Matt Fritchman—but not an anagram. He’s won the Eisner Award for best new series and the Eagle Award for favorite newcomer. A fraction of his work includes: Hawkeye, Sex Criminals, The Invincible Iron Man, The Immortal Iron Fist, Casanova, and Uncanny X-Men.

He’s married to Kelly Sue DeConnick a comic book artist in her own right who also adapts Manga (Japanese comics) into English.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to catch up with Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.

Carry on.

Tracy — Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom





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