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Test Pattern: Five-link Friday

Zombies and electricity, running away, "Afternoon Delight," "Fear Factor" candies, 1980s music quiz. By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
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• June 18, 2004 | 6:00 a.m. PT

Five-link Friday

Another Five-link Friday is upon us.

• I've already , and movies like "28 Days Later" and the "Dawn of the Dead" remake have only added to my fandom. So of course I was really interested in the answer to this question: (The answer, in short: Not long enough.)

• On a related theme, this chart tells you , a la every action, horror, or sci-fi movie ever made. So if you're ever caught in a zoo where the animals are going crazy, it's better to be chased by a roadrunner than by an ostrich.

• Sail back into the 1970s with Heeeeeeeey, afternoon delight.

• OK, "Fear Factor" fans (are there any?), get ready to down some candy inspired by the show. Included in the product line, , "jellyfish-shaped gummies, candy tongues meant to be dunked in goo, a giant chicken leg-shaped sucker that tastes like chicken and a "grub" bag filled with real dried silkworms and granola."

• If there's a pair of jelly shoes or a polo shirt with a turned-up collar in your past, you're sure to ace this .

TV dads, continued

I wrote this story about , and because I couldn't possibly fit in all the possibilities, invited you to share your thoughts.

The #1 dad that you sent mail about was the wonderful Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith). I didn't leave him out because of any anti-Mayberry feelings -- in the story, I arbitrarily only chose dads from 1970s and later shows, just for space reasons.

Here are just a few  of your suggestions, and Happy Father's Day.

How could you leave out...

"... Andy Taylor?  He embodies everything a good parent should be.  He listens to Opie, he explains to Opie when he’s getting into trouble and has the courage to admit when he’s made a mistake."  —Kerry

"... Ray Barrone of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond.’ I think he falls under the broader category of "typical dad" in that while he often seems annoyed at having to deal with, or discipline his children, he always ends up doing what is right and best for them in the end."  —Jim

“ ... Jim Anderson from ‘Father Knows Best’  Between my own Pop & my best friend’s, Susan’s Dad, it really was that way.  People think how great it musta been, but what they don’t realize is that it is now very depressing for us & others like us, to deal with the REAL world.”  —Linda

“ ...Jack Arnold from “The Wonder Years.” He was gruff. He sometimes was clueless about his kids or their friends. But you just knew he would come to their rescue if they were truly threatened. He had rules and a core set of values, but he was able to temper them based on the gravity of the situation. And — like my own dad — he could tell his kids he was proud of them with a special look in his eyes and a smile on his face."  —Bob

" ...The 'Full House' dads. There was Danny Tanner who lost his wife and had asked brother Jesse and friend Joey to help out raising his family.  Danny Tanner was the super-clean freak who was always paranoid about something.  Jesse was the cool dad who had the black greasy hair that every girl wished was her uncle and then you have Joey who was the sometimes dumb but always funny uncle.  All of these “dad’s”  loved their kids even though each episode they did something to make them not the always smiling mushy mushy dads that they were."  —Jordan

"Angel, who, in order to save his miracle son Connor’s life and mental health, went to work for evil law firm Wolfram & Hart in exchange for a new life for his son, complete with a change of memories for Connor and for all of Angel’s associates.  How many other fathers can or would do that for their sons?  Of course it all came back to bite him in the backside, but at least he tried."  —Doris

"John Walton had to keep a large family together, while his aging parents lived with him during the depression years.  The kids, John-Boy, Jason, Jim-Bob, Ben, Mary Ellen, Erin and Elizabeth all went through trials and tribulations, and by the time the show was over, I was crying."  —Pamela

"[Paul Hennessey] (John Ritter)in ‘8 Simple Rules.’  The man was hilarious and he played such a great role in that show. Who wouldn’t love a father who puts it all out there for his family, emotionally and  every other way possible?  He wasn’t afraid to show his vulnerabilities to his kids and sacrificed all for them.  The world lost a great man, as an actor and a human being."  —Dana

"George Francisco, immigrant dad, and Matthew Sikes, all-too-human dad, from 'Alien Nation.' "  —Esther

"Sherman Potter at the 4077th M*A*S*H unit. Not really a father but certainly a father figure."  —Paul

Apple and Coco are just the beginning

On the "Friends" finale, Monica and Chandler named their babies Erica and Jack. But in real life, Courteney Cox Arquette and David Arquette didn't pick anything nearly as basic. It's been announced that their baby girl following in the wacky celeb footsteps of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin and .

If anyone can talk about unusual names, it's me — I've gone through the childhood trauma of never being able to find anything personalized for me. ("We need more in the gift shop!")

"Gael" is a Gaelic (duh) spelling of a name that's more commonly relayed in the U.S. as Gail, Gayle, or Gale. (Everyone tells me it's not a traditional Irish name, but I once found it listed as a boy's name in a baby-name book I bought in Galway City.) It's always entertained me when someone asks me "Is your name spelled -il, or -yle?" and I get to respond "Neither."

Fortunately, Gael didn't have any of the built-in jokes that Coco ("I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!") and Apple ("Did you fall far from the tree?") are sure to have. But somehow I think with their parents' bank accounts, little Apple and Coco can have as many custom-made personalized items as their little edible hearts desire.

Apple and Coco won't be the only ones with unusual names at their Beverly Hills playgroups. One look at the proves that. David and "Posh Spice" Beckham's children are named Brooklyn and Romeo. Gillian Anderson's daughter is Piper Maru (I really like that name, but perhaps I am biased because I once had a great German Shepherd named Piper).

Erykah Badu has a son named Seven, which sounds like it was inspired by . (Said Jerry in that episode: "Seven? Yeah, I guess I could see it. Seven. Seven periods of school, seven beatings a day. Roughly seven stitches a beating, and eventually seven years to life. Yeah, you're doing that child quite a service.")

I never got beatings or stitches for my name, or even that many jokes. What I did get was it misspelled, every day, in every way. When I enrolled at a high school where we wore nametags, my nametag was misspelled. I often wondered exactly how that happened. Did the person ordering the tags look at my application and figure that I obviously had no idea how to spell my own name, and that they'd better just go ahead and correct it to "Gail" for me? Were they required to just glance at the applications for five seconds and go ahead and order the tags from memory? Because really, if they were going to go ahead and make up a spelling for me, I think I'd have preferred Gaieylle or something fancy. Maybe something with a silent "J."

I can't leave the topic of baby names without linking to a hilarious riff on the baby names that innocent parents-to-be are have discussed on online bulletin boards. It's a must-read for anyone who's ever met a McKenzyiei, and perhaps to be avoided by parents-to-be who might see the name of their dreams mocked mercilessly.

Typical bulletin-board posting quoted on the site: "My fiance and I named our first born Cam'ron, I thougt at the time it was pretty unique but the name was actually pretty common last May. Just different spellings. "

And typical response: "Oh dear God, they've discovered random punctuation to go with random lettering. Any minute now, they're going to bust out the umlauts and I've going to go into hiding."