Hello Funny Names fans! It’s been a good week for people with funny names, and by extension, those who enjoy learning about funny names. We take a special look at the names of very smart people today, by way of coincidence and because why the hell not!
In New York, a Democratic primary election for the governor’s office had a surprisingly close race as incumbent Andrew Cuomo just beat off challenger Zephyr Teachout, a law professor at Fordham University with a brilliant name and some apparently good ideas. The oddly named Teachout (whose middle name is Rain) captured a solid 34% of the vote, far more than predicted by “experts”. Expect to see more of this fantastic name here in the near future.
The 2014 MacArthur “Genius” grant recipients were also announced this week, and they delightfully included the labor organizer Ai-jen Poo. Also hippity-hopping his way to a grant were lawyer Jonathan Rapping, rhyming historian Tara Zahra, and tea drinkers’ favorite Pamela O. Long. Long, the MacArthur Foundation tells us, has been “challenging our understanding of the role of scholarship and craftsmanship in Renaissance societies and demonstrating how technologies are deeply enmeshed within the broader cultural fabric” for some time. This, I believe, is really cool. You tell me.
Sticking with our academic theme, we were recently alerted to molecular microbiologist Dr. Richard Titball, at the fine Exeter University. We do not know if he shortens the first name to Dick, but we can only hope. By the way, next time you’re at your local bookstore (which is probably Amazon.com now wherever you are, whoops), pick up a copy of Dr. Titball et al.’s work “Insect infection model for Campylobacter jejuni reveals that O-methyl phosphoramidate has insecticidal activity”. True pageturner.
And finally, we wrap up our coverage with a little trip to real estate, where Neil Patrick Harris’ house in L.A was sold by an agent named Monty Iceman. Would you buy a house from a man named Monty Iceman? Heck, I think I’d specifically seek him out. You know, if I could afford a $3 million house that Neil Patrick Harris used to own. Happy Friday!