9/05/2013

Monty Python's Flying Circus is a British TV show famous for its surreal and outrageous comedy. First airing in the seventies, it gained a large following of geeks throughout the US as well as the world. Python has received many honors, none more so than the naming of various nerdy things after it. Here are nine of them.


1. Genetics


DNA With a Mutant Gene
Researchers discovered a mutant gene that allowed a fly to live twice as long as non-mutant flies. Scientists named the gene "Indy," an acronym for "I'm not dead yet," the famous line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.


2. Landfill



 "Mt. Cleese" Landfill, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Python member John Cleese has made a career out of insulting people, but it seems he went too far with his comments on a town in New Zealand. He complained that he had a horrible time at Palmerston North, and called visiting it a good way to commit suicide. In retaliation, the locals dubbed a mound of compost at the local landfill “Mt. Cleese” in his honor.


3. Programming


The Python programming language is one of the most popular and widely used programming languages in the world. It's also very explicitly named after Monty Python.

The references don't stop there. Its programming language development environment is named IDLE, after Python member Eric Idle. The name "Parrot" is used for a project to develop a virtual machine for running bytecode for interpreted languages such as Perl and Python. Python's package index is known as the "Cheese Shop" after the Python sketch of the same name. A Python refactoring tool is called bicyclerepair, after the Python's "Bicycle Repair Man" sketch.


4. Fossil


Python in zoo
In 1985, the fossil of a previously unknown species of giant prehistoric snake was discovered. The Australian palaeontologist who discovered the snake gave it the name of Montypythonoides riversleighensis. In Greek, Montypythonoides means "like Monty Python."

Later, it was discovered that it's not extinct after all. So it was reclassified as Morelia riversleighensis.


5. Ice Cream


 Ben & Jerry's "Vermonty Python" Ice Cream
In 2006, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, known for their "celebrity flavors" like Cherry Garcia, introduced "Vermonty Python." It's a coffee liqueur ice cream with a chocolate cookie crumb swirl and fudge cows.

Sadly, it's been discontinued. Or perhaps the flavor is just pining for the fjords.


6. Beer


"Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale" Source
In 1999, Black Sheep Brewery released an ale named "Holy Grail Ale" for Monty Python's thirtieth anniversary. It became such a hit that it's still going strong.


7. Rock Band


"Toad the Wet Sprocket" Band Members
The band "Toad the Wet Sprocket" is a hugely popular American alternative rock band. It got its name from the "Rock Notes" Eric Idle monologue on Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album.

Bonus: The band "Boxhamsters" gets its name from the German translation of Brook-Hamster, named as the winner in the Upper Class Twit of the Year sketch.


8. Email


SPAM email Source
Spam is a canned meat-like substance that is much reviled (but I personally think is delicious). It's also the commonly accepted term for bulk, unsolicited email. The term comes from a Monty Python sketch where the word "spam" is repeated over and over, endlessly. Spam is a fitting name for the repetitive and unwanted advertisements.




9. Asteroids


Asteroid in Space Source
Given the love geeks have for Monty Python, it's not surpassing to find a number of celestial bodies named after them. So far, there are seven asteroids named after Monty Python and its cast members: 9617 Grahamchapman, 9618 Johncleese, 9619 Terrygilliam, 9620 Ericidle, 9621 Michaelpalin, 9622 Terryjones, and 13681 MontyPython.

What do you think of these things named after Monty Python? Do you have a favorite and why? Do you have a favorite Monty Python sketch?


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4 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Holy Grail Beer - that is just awesome!
Funny about the landfill named after Cleese.

Yolanda Renee said...

Very cool! I'll have to pass this on to my hubby, he's a big, big fan! Spam, beer, landfills, and genes. Amazing! Thank for the info!

DAVID WALSTON said...

I was unaware of about half of this, and I love Monty Python. For my favorite sketch I would go with "And now for something completely different.", or The "Dead Parrot". ....BUT No One Expects The Spanish Inquisition!

Pat Dilloway said...

It would be sad if a Monty Python asteroid someday crashes into Earth and destroys all life here.

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