Have you ever tried to look up famous chemists on Wikipedia only to end up misspelling their name or finding a more famous person who shares it? Although sometimes this can be frustrating, it can also be pretty funny. Here are a few amusing namesakes I discovered recently:
As well as being one of the leading figures in the organocatalytic revolution, according to wikipedia.org, "David McMillan is a British-Australian drug smuggler who is best known for being the only Westerner on record as having successfully escaped Bangkok's Klong Prem prison". A man of many talents. Apparently, Dave avoided recapture by his immediate acquisition of an umbrella once outside the prison walls... because escaped prisoners never carry umbrellas. Clearly a clever man.
2. Phil Baron
The real Phil Baran. Credit: Sexy Science
Although he tends to make the rest of us look bad and just won't stop writing review after review after review, I still get excited whenever he publishes something. Apart from all that chemistry and reviewing, I have just learned from the Phil Baron wikipedia page that he's also a "voice actor, puppeteer and songwriter who voiced Piglet in the Disney Channel live-action/puppet television series Welcome to Pooh Corner". Where does he find the time?
3. Dave Evans
According to Wikipedia "Christopher Moody was an 18th century pirate who held a policy of no quarter (no sparing of lives)". As well as being well known as a heterocyclic chemist, "Moody is largely remembered for his distinct Jolly Roger flag. Instead of the traditional white on black, Moody's Jolly Roger is gold on red. It also has an hourglass with wings, to express to his victims that their time to live was flying away. In the middle is a white arm holding a dagger". In fact, a friend of mine who did his PhD with Chris managed to get one of these flags printed and hung it in the lab until a dispute over health and safety:
I can think of a few more examples but they're nowhere near as funny as those above. Does anyone know any good ones?
1. Sometimes it's almost as much fun as the classic SMBC game of sexual intercourse.