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Tuesday, July 06, 2021

CBS is rebooting classic cop show “Hawaii Five-O” for a Fall 2010 revival. But, according to the network, this latter-day “Five-O” carries an alphanumeric distinction:

Yep, in what the Eye has billed its “shortest press release in history,” the network has informed journos that it’s not the capital letter “O” but instead, the number “0,” in the show title “Hawaii Five-0.”

But yet, that zero is still pronounced “O.” As in “Oh.” As in, “Oh, we’re just effing with you.”

There must be a tongue-in-cheek spirit behind that pronouncement. Because if the Internet Movie Database counts for anything, it clearly lists both old and new series as “Hawaii Five-O”, as in the letter “o”. (Curiously, though, there’s an in-development feature film listed on IMDb that does, indeed, carry the title Hawaii Five-0, as in the number zero. What to make of that?)

In any case, it’d be hard to for CBS to undo decades of ingrained pop-cultural reference. I’m guessing there’s a couple of generations who’ve never seen a trace of the old Jack Lord TV series. Yet “five-o” is common West Coast urban slang for the police, and that distinctive instrumental theme song is instantly recognizable. Especially if you hang out with me, as I’ve been known to use it as my cellphone ringtone.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/06/2021 11:03pm
Category: Pop Culture, TV, True Crime
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If you’re from California, the slang-term “hella” is probably an unlikely candidate for use as a formal unit of scientific measure, i.e. 10 to the 27th power, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000:

“Hella,” a term many Southern Californians find as irritating as teary-eyed renditions of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” is used mainly to make adjectives more intense, as in: “This lentil pizza is hella healthful!” It also can convey simple exuberance: “That party at Sunshine’s house? Hella!”

“Hella” probably derived from “helluva” and, for reasons unknown, morphed into “hella” in the Bay Area before taking wing in the 1990s. In 2001, Gwen Stefani and her band No Doubt — out of Orange County — took it national with their mega-hit “Hella Good.”

“A lot of people around the U.S. know it comes from Northern California, where there have been so many contributions to science at Davis, Berkeley, Stanford and Lawrence Livermore,” [physics student Austin] Sendek says of “hella.” “It would be a really good way to immortalize this part of the state.”

I don’t know that “mega-hit” applies to that No Doubt song. Personally, I first came across “hella” in the 1998 “Spooky Fish” episode of “South Park”, wherein Cartman used it incessantly, to the extreme annoyance of his pals (“Stop saying ‘hella’, fat-ass!!”). Given such pop-cultural linkage, I fully endorse its adoption as a mega-number prefix by the International System of Units.

Besides, we need some sort of shorthand for things like the theoretical diameter of the universe, which, according to “hella” proponent Sendek, is 1.4 hellameters. I mean, how have we gone this long without it, right?

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/06/2021 10:12pm
Category: Creative, Pop Culture, Science, Wordsmithing
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