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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

11 Twisted Facts About 'The Far Side'

Gary Larson entertained us with his surreal sense of humor in the newspaper comic The Far Side from 1980 to 1995. Although the last comic ran over twenty years ago, Larson's loony ideas have become part of the real world in many ways. The Far Side gave us useful new English words, like Anatidaephobia and Thagomizer.
Stegosaurus is world-famous for its lime-sized brain and the quartet of nasty-looking spikes on its tail. A 1982 "Far Side" strip decided to have a little fun with the latter attribute. In that cartoon, we find an early human anachronistically lecturing his fellow cavemen about dinosaur-related hazards. Pointing at the rear end of a Stegosaurus diagram, he says “Now this end is called the thagomizer … after the late Thag Simmons.” Without meaning to, Larson’s strip plugged a gap in the scientific lexicon. Previously, nobody had ever given a name to the unique arrangement of tail spikes found on Stegosaurus and its relatives. But today, many paleontologists use the word “thagomizer” when describing this apparatus, even in scientific journals.
Read more wonderful stories about The Far Side at mental_floss.

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