There's interminable and then there's interminable

By Barbara Wallraff
Re the March word fugitive, about a name for the "interminable" period one can spend contemplating the audiovisuals that cycle endlessly behind a DVD's main menu while one waits for someone else to come sit down, reader Tom Noe writes:

Imagine having to come up with a new name for a geologic period:
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7223663.stm
 
Fugitives fans, don't get overexcited. Scientists have a name for the current period. They're calling it the Anthropocene. 

If this has you searching your memory for the names of other geologic periods, look here, where you'll find them together with mnemonic devices suggested by listeners to NPR's Science Friday. My favorite is "Can Very Callous Old Senators Demand More Power and Privilege Than Junior Congressmen?" A rhetorical question, obviously. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2009/02/theres-interminable-and-then-theres-interminable/49670/