April 4th, 2008

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Commonly used phrases derived from names

Last night on Jay Leno I was watching his "Jaywalking" segment. Now I know they must focus on the people who just don't know any of these for laughs, but I was still surprised at some of the ones that people missed. These are names that have become commonly associated with and used to indicate traits in people or other things, such as John Hancock being a way to ask for your signature: "Give me your John Hancock." (People seemed to think this was something obscene!)

This association with signatures undoubtedly stems from the fact that John Hancock had the largest and most flamboyant signature on the Declaration of Independence. The legend goes that he wanted to be sure the English King (George III) could read it without his spectacles but others say John's signature was always that large.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hancock
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Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) famous as a nurse who also wrote books about her profession, and also a statistician (useful in the study of epidemiology). Her name is now used to indicate someone who nurtures someone who is ill, often directed at family members and friends, such as "She's a regular Florence Nightingale."

http://www.florence-nightingale.co.uk/index.php
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Faces of Meth

I suppose this is a great way to use young people's concern for their appearance as a way to discourage them from drug use:

Faces of Meth

Wave your cursor over each picture and see how methamphetamine use can completely change someone's appearance for the worst--often in a very short time frame. It's truly amazing!

See also, Breaking Bad, a show about a high school chemistry teacher who decides to produce meth after receiving his terminal cancer diagnosis. It's an amazingly well done show and a look into the world of meth production and dealing.

ETA: http://www.montanameth.org/

Quote: WHAT IS THE MONTANA METH PROJECT?

The Montana Meth Project is a large-scale exercise in prevention, aimed at significantly reducing Meth use in Montana. The integrated program consists of an ongoing, research-based marketing campaign—supported by community outreach and public policy initiatives—that realistically and graphically communicate the risks of methamphetamine to the youth of Montana.

The Meth Project was conceived and founded by businessman and Montana rancher, Thomas M. Siebel. The purpose is to inform potential Meth consumers about the product attributes and actual risks associated with methamphetamine. The goal is to substantially reduce methamphetamine use.

The Montana Meth Project is a state affiliate of the national Meth Project organization.
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(Siebel began this after selling his tech company by the same name for billions.)

On the news they showed some of the PSAs he's paid to produce--they're stunning. I can only imagine they'll have an impact.