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The News Hole

Mr. Splashy Pants

By Edward Ericson Jr. | Posted 11/28/2007

Greenpeace is holding one of those inevitable web "contests" that reveal much about the human condition. And this time the news is good--though it's not clear that Greenpeace realizes it. The contest will name the humpback whales traveling in the "Great Whale Trail" (actually the South Pacific) and, according to Greenpeace's web site, the crew of the Esperanza has narrowed down 11,000 submitted names to just 30 top choices. Turns out 28 of those names are formal, serious and pretentious in their effort to convey the whales' majesty. Two names are not, and one of those, "Mister Splashy Pants," has caught on big. As of this writing, "Mister Splashy Pants" has 73 percent of the vote. The nearest competitor, "Libertad", which means "Freedom in Spanish," the web site helpfully advises, has three percent. The contest deadline has been extended--apparently twice. Some believe this is Greenpeace's attempt to give real whale lovers time to out-vote "Mister Splashy Pants." Whatever. The people want to call their whale "Mister Splashy Pants," and so they will.

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