Saturday, April 30, 2005

Symi's in DC-- Yaaaaay!!

Three slime mold beetles now bear the names of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.
Sometimes I wonder what some parents were thinking when they name their children certain things.

Most of you know my feelings about people who call their children 'Chastity' but there are some people whose names must make their lives a living hell just because of their resemblance to other people or fictional characters.

Of course, there is the character in the movie Office Space named Michael Bolton but I have talked to a lot of other people with bizarre connections:

There is a Toni Braxton working at the National Park Service.

I had to get a guy named Jim Crow to send me some info from Atlanta a few months ago in order to finish a project I was working on...

I went to high school with a Benjamin Franklin and have since met another one.

One of the people I competed against in Academic Decathlon was named Travis Tritt.

And many, many others...

There are also a few people whose names just conjure up unpleasant references:

A really good British professor of mine decided to change his name after moving to the US because his family name happened to be 'Barff.'

I can also go to what looks to be an interesting lecture on Operations Research, Military Consulting and the Growth of Tyson's Corner, Virginia: 1945-1970 given by Paul Virus, Curator of Aerospace Electronics & Computing, Division of Space History at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum.

I just feel sorry for them...



The tiny Eastern European republic of Molvania was disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest this year.

Zladko “Zlad” Vladcik was to perform his very popular techno-ballad, “Elektronik – Supersonik” - described as “a melodic fusion combining hot disco rhythms with cold war rhetoric”. [ Click here to see the music video]

However, the 23-year-old singer was arrested at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport and immediately deported. While Eurovision does not normally test for recreational drugs, unfortunately for Vladcik, Turkish Customs do.

On his return, “Zlad” apologised to everyone in Molvania for letting them down, especially his family, his friends and his dealer.


Zladko “Zlad” Vladcik rose to prominence in 2002 when he won Molvanian Idol in controversial circumstances - the other finalist, Ob Kuklop, pulled out due to a serious throat condition after one of the judges tried to strangle him.

“Zlad” immediately released the megahit, “Juust Az I Amm” – hailed by Rolling Stone as the most incorrectly spelt song of all time.

After barely 2 days on the Molvanian “Rhythm & Polka” charts, the track went platinum – remarkable considering it was only available on cassingle.

Then, in an exciting move, “Zlad” formed supergroup Wow! But while on their very first tour, he decided to go solo again, citing the fact that the rest of the band was “moving in a different direction” (Romania).

For more information on Molvania, visit the Jet Lag Travel Guide website and this NPR Interview.