Friday, May 9, 2008

People who delve too deep into science and the terrifying results

My friend Mel came down from Ogden to play last night. We worked together for a long time, so it was really good to see her again.

Since we are both rather nerdy, in a scientific kind of way, we found ourselves, on a Friday night, talking about biology. Sometime during the conversation, I mentioned that Francis Crick, one of the discoverers of the shape of DNA, had wanted to name his daughter Adenine, which is one of the four building blocks of DNA. Fortunately, his wife didn't let him, although Jim Watson, the other discoverer of DNA's shape, also thought that it would be a great name for the little girl.

We pondered the fact that "Adenine" is actually not a terrible sounding name, out of context. Definitely a little strange, but no stranger than some names that are in fairly common circulation. We then proceeded to think about other biology and chemistry terms and names that might pass for baby names. Here are some of the ones we came up with:

Names that were mentioned but rejected include:
Methionine (especially after it's been shortened to Meth- just not a good idea)

We also pondered the use of scientific names. We thought that the scientific name for maize would possibly work for someone's first and middle names: Zea Mays. Zea is kind of a cool name. It sounds a little bit Nephite-ish to me. We got excited by this winner and tried to think of others. The name for wheat is a little strange, so we decided not to add it to the list (Triticum Aestevum. "Aestevum" sounds a little bit like saying the name "Steven" with a Spanish accent).

Then, we got lured outside to join a volleyball game. Someone had set up a projector on the neighboring basketball court, and a couple of people were watching an old, very funny sci-fi movie. It kept distracting me from the volleyball game. I'm not sure what the plot of the movie was, but there was a man who was a "scientist" who got too buried in his work, apparently, because at one point he spouted off this gem of a line:

"You know, it's rough being a scientist and always thinking scientific thoughts. Sometimes I wish I could just enjoy other things, like . . . cabins."

There you have it. One of the great curses of dedicating one's life to science is the inability to enjoy cabins. Suddenly my life makes a lot more sense.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

How about umbeliferae? (however you spell it). It doesn't make the list? Maybe it's a better boy name.