FORGET BOATY MCBOATFACE. There's a new feat of engineering that could be lumped with a crappy name because of people.
You've probably caught on to Boaty McBoatface by now. She is a Royal Research Ship that cost a couple of hundred million quid and may get to be named by the great British public. And we all know what they are like.
It appears that someone isn't paying any attention to this on the other side of the Atlantic as the US Air Force has just asked people to assist in the naming of a bomber.
Actually, perhaps someone is paying attention. The Air Force has some rules in place (there is no point in trying to call the plane Tronald Dump, for example) and has no time for your shenanigans.
"The name must be original and the entry may not contain material that violates or infringes any third party's rights, including but not limited to, privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or that constitutes copyright infringement," said the terms and conditions.
"The entry must not contain or be phonetically similar to any third-party product names, brand names or trademarks.
"The entry must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, tortuous, defamatory, slanderous or libellous. The entry must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
"The entry must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any state where entry is created. There is a limit of three names you may enter per person."
If you want to take part you are going to want to be solemn and serious about it because this is a very serious thing that will ultimately be used to do very serious things.
"Our airmen must answer new dangers with ingenuity and innovation. A bomber for the 21st century, the B-21, will help secure the nation's future the moment it becomes a reality, and will work in tandem with pre-existing technologies to seamlessly provide deterrence and assurance for a new era," explained the Air Force.
"It's important to allow our airmen the opportunity to contribute to the identity of this new aircraft. This event marks a significant milestone in bomber development, and will allow them to give the B-21 a name."
We'd like to say: 'Whoa there!' The internet has been asked to help decide the name of a very expensive ship already this week, and has done what you might expect: voted for a very silly name indeed.
The Royal Research Ship, which brims with sophisticated engineering, would usually be ensured a sound and steady name.
The internet, at least the part of it that has voted in a naming poll, thinks that the ship looks like a Boaty McBoatface which, to be fair, it does.
The National Environment Research Council (NERC) asked for the public's help in this, and is presenting the results of the poll with a straight face.
The nominations are probably not precisely what NERC was thinking of when it launched the campaign, having spoken of previous ships called Shackleton, Endeavour and Falcon last week as it asked the public for guidance.
"NERC's new ship will help put the UK at the cutting edge of polar research as part of an extensive programme with £200m investment from the government. Built in the north west of England, she will help bring an economic boost to the region and to the UK ship-building industry," said NERC chief executive Duncan Wingham.
"Today we are launching our campaign to bring our ship to the UK people, asking for their help to find her a name that encapsulates her role at the forefront of UK science. We are excited to hear what the public have to suggest and we really are open to ideas."
Ideas have flooded in - well there have been a few thousand votes - and they veer from the serious to the aforementioned Boaty McBoatface.
Due to a high amount of traffic some users may be experiencing problems using the #NameOurShip site. Please bear with us.— NERC (@NERCscience) March 20, 2016
"Can you imagine one of the world's biggest research labs travelling to the Antarctic with your suggested name proudly emblazoned on the side?" said UK universities and science minister Jo Johnson before anyone had thought of naming a million pound research vessel Boaty McBoatface.
"The polar research ship represents a leap forward in securing Britain's place as a world leader in marine and climate change science, and illustrates this government's commitment to invest in research facilities on a record scale.
"With the eyes of the world on this ship, this campaign will give everyone across the UK the opportunity to feel part of this exciting project and the untold discoveries it will unearth."
Boaty McBoatface is not the only name in the running, and the votes are still open. Someone may yet throw in a more sensible option that gets as much traction, but so far the other runners include Pingu and RRS Boat Marley and the Whalers. µ
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