Well, the answer to that one is fairly simple. Since the Internet went from a geeky research tool to an indispensable part of our lives, the grab for unique addresses (or domain names, as they’re known) has pretty much ended, with all the common names long since snapped up by legitimate sites, or worse, speculating cyber-squatters who purchase the names with no real intent ever to use them apart from extorting money from people who do really want to use the name for an actual website. The only real hope of finding an unused domain name now is either coming up with a nonsense word like “Google”, “Zoosk”, or “Joomla”, or running a long string of words together for an unwieldy, if easier-to-remember, site name.
I liked the phrase “Once More Around The Sun” as a sort of catchy, general description for my intended blog about everything and anything. Plus, it was the only title I liked after hours of brainstorming more ridiculous ones. I didn’t want controversy, I didn’t want to narrow the appeal, I just wanted to use something everyone could understand and recognize. I found a decent hosting site that offered WordPress and unlimited transfer–and would let me start for a very tiny outlay of actual cash. (This site was started for under US$25.) All I had to do was enter my credit card information, and pick my free domain name…
Imagine my shock when www.oncemorearoundthesun.com was already registered. Oh, come on! I just thought that up! Worse still, every slight permutation I could think of was also taken. I didn’t want to misspell any of the words, since the title was too long as it was, and it’s hard to get people to remember unusual words without writing them down. Sort of kills word of mouth publicity, too. So I just started typing stuff. All of my old “Sevenar” domains had long since lapsed–and been sucked up by cybersquatters (jerks!)–and none of my other nonsensical words worked either.
I remembered a local sci-fi blog I subscribe to on Facebook called “Erth Station One”. I never could figure out what the joke was behind misspelling “Earth”, I just assumed it was some sort of retro-50s sci-fi in-joke to go along with its graphical flying saucer theme and whatnot. Although after a frustrating afternoon spent trying to outsmart the domain name database, it becomes a lot more understandable. I started trying some made-up phrases instead. There was an old episode of Star Trek that had a vast repository of knowledge called “Memory Alpha”, but I knew that had already been taken, as had the obvious “Memory Beta”. I didn’t try the other 22 letters of the Greek alphabet, but I really didn’t want to call the thing “Memory Upsilon”, even if it were available. I started going through the old science fiction films of the 50s, trying to come up with something like Forbidden Planet, This Island Earth, or Destination: Moon, but not really liking what I could come up with–and I was straying too far into nerd-dom as it was. Still, I had to call it something, and I was getting rather frustrated.
“Moonbase Alpha” was out, because that was the base from the Space: 1999 TV show (and was taken), so in exasperation, I thought of the stupidest name for a 50s sci-fi movie ever: ATTACK FROM MOON BASE: EARTH!!! I could just see the B-movie Production Office on some 1957 Hollywood backlot:
We’ll call it “Attack From Moon Base: Earth!” It’s brilliant!
Wait, who’s attacking what, and why would you call anything “Moonbase Earth”?
Sounds like you’re saying Moon Men set up some sort of base here, and attack…what?
I don’t even think Abbott and Costello would do something that stupid.
Oh. Well, I guess I could just put a space helmet on a guy in a gorilla suit.
NOW you’re talking! Bang out a script by lunch, we’ll start shooting this afternoon!
(NOTE: I cannot say for certain that this is how the ludicrous film Robot Monster was created, but having seen clips from it over the years, it would not surprise me in the least if it were…)
To my surprise, moonbaseearth.com was actually available to register. Before really thinking it through, I went ahead and claimed it–and thus, this site was born. Since you don’t really need to type the title of the blog now in order to read it, I went ahead and added the site name to it, and it just “clicked” for me. The ludicrousness (ludicrosity?) of the name added just a bit more tongue-in-cheek whimsy to the whole thing, and frankly, I think that anything that adds a bit more fun to the times in which we live is generally a good thing.
So, dear friends, won’t you please join me as we go Once More Around the Sun on Moon Base: Earth!