The Quick 10: People With the Same Names

The inspiration for today's Quick 10 comes from mental_floss collaborator A.J. Jacobs. I recently read his book The Know It All: One Man's Humble Quest to become the Smartest Person in the World. He noted the George Harrison connection, and for some reason I knew the Jack Black connection. Thus, a post was born. Enjoy!

blacks1. Jack Black the actor (one of my favorites, I must say "“ I'm a big Tenacious D fan) shares his name with a famous rat catcher from London. The other JB was Queen Victoria's personal rat catcher and nearly died on many occasions due to infection from his numerous rat bites. He didn't kill them all, though "“ when he caught unusually-colored rats, he would keep them and breed them as pets. Queen Victoria even had a couple of pet rats, and it's thought that Beatrix Potter bought rats from Jack Black as well. The full name of Jables, by the way, is actually Thomas John Black, so technically the two of them don't share a name at all. Sorry to start this post with a farce.

2. George Harrison the Beatle shares his name with George Harrison the organ designer. He's known for creating organs with best tonal design ever. An example of his work is the organ at the Morman Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. So, this George Harrison probably isn't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but he definitely made some major contributions to music, too.

3. David Jones, AKA Davy Jones of the Monkees, shares his name with David Jones, AKA David Bowie. Since Davy Jones was famous first, David Jones changed his name to David Bowie to avoid confusion. I completely understand that; it would be super embarrassing to be onstage as Ziggy Stardust and having people shout, "DO DAYDREAM BELIEVER!!" at you. There's also David Jones the scientist (he studied aluminum) and David Jones the writer (The Anathemata). Actually, there are a lot of David Joneses, but I'll just stop there.

4. Likewise, there are lots of semi-famous William Baileys. There's Bill Bailey the English comedian, two major league baseball player Bill Baileys, Bill Bailey the dancer, Bill Bailey the Spanish Civil War Veteran and Will Bailey from the West Wing. But I'd be willing to bet that the most famous William Bailey (to most of us, anyway) is the William Bailey who is actually Axl Rose. He was born as William Bruce Rose, Jr., but when his mom remarried L. Stephen Bailey, she changed little Axl's last name, too.

5. Leslie Hope is a Canadian actress "“ 24 fans might remember her from the first season when she player Teri Bauer. She's been on various other T.V. shows with bit parts here and there. So, it's probably safe to say that the other Leslie Hope is a lot more famous. You just know him better as Bob Hope.

6. Michael Moore, the director/producer of Bowling for Columbine; Fahrenheit 9/11; and Sicko, shares his name with a ton of other somewhat well-known Michael Moores. First, there's Michael Moore the baseball player (he used to be a pitcher who played for the Mariners, the Tigers and the A's). Then there's Michael Moore the evangelist, and Michael Moore the Contemporary Christian musician. And Michael Moore the former New Zealand Prime Minister. And two Michael Moore jazz musicians (one played clarinet and sax, the other played bass). And there's a lot Moore where that came from. Ha.

thomases7. No doubt even people who aren't sports fans know the NBA's Isiah Thomas, formerly of the Pistons. But how about Isaiah Thomas, the revolutionary-era newspaper publisher? He performed the first public reading ever of the Declaration of Independence and was the founder of the American Antiquarian Society. Sounds like these two would have really hit it off.

8. Back on the Jones front, we have Brian Jones the Rolling Stones guitarist, who died at the age of 27 in 1969. However, there's also Brian Jones, the hot air balloonist, who is still alive and co-piloted the first successful, uninterrupted trip around the world in 1999. It took 19 days, 21 hours and 47 minutes.

9. Growing up in the "˜80s, I'm most familiar with Alfred E. Neuman, the MAD magazine mascot (I used to love the MAD magazine board game). But there's also Alfred Newman the composer, who received 45 Academy Award nominations before his death in 1970. He scored films such as How the West Was Won, Gunga Din, All About Eve and The Greatest Story Ever Told. And yes, the name Newman as a composer should ring a bell "“ he's Randy Newman's uncle. But that's not the only other famous composer in the family "“ two of his brothers, two of his sons and his daughter all did or do write music for the big screen. I'm partial to his son, David Newman, because he composed the music for Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

jacksons10. Michael Jackson. I'll refrain from personal commentary, but needless to say, there's a certain Michael Jackson that jumps to the forefront when you hear that name. But preceding him were Michael Jackson, a Massachusetts soldier injured at Bunker Hill; Michael Jackson, the head of the British army; Michael Jackson, the British software designer and computer scientist; and Michael Jackson, an industry expert in the fields of beer and whisky. That's him in the picture on the left, next to the other MJ.

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Ernest Hemingway’s Guide to Life, In 20 Quotes
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Though he made his living as a writer, Ernest Hemingway was just as famous for his lust for adventure. Whether he was running with the bulls in Pamplona, fishing for marlin in Bimini, throwing back rum cocktails in Havana, or hanging out with his six-toed cats in Key West, the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author never did anything halfway. And he used his adventures as fodder for the unparalleled collection of novels, short stories, and nonfiction books he left behind, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, Death in the Afternoon, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea among them.

On what would be his 119th birthday—he was born in Oak Park, Illinois on July 21, 1899—here are 20 memorable quotes that offer a keen perspective into Hemingway’s way of life.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING

"I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen."

ON TRUST

"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them."

ON DECIDING WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT

"I never had to choose a subject—my subject rather chose me."

ON TRAVEL

"Never go on trips with anyone you do not love."


Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. [1], Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INTELLIGENCE AND HAPPINESS

"Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know."

ON TRUTH

"There's no one thing that is true. They're all true."

ON THE DOWNSIDE OF PEOPLE

"The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness, except for the very few that were as good as spring itself."

ON SUFFERING FOR YOUR ART

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."

ON TAKING ACTION

"Never mistake motion for action."

ON GETTING WORDS OUT

"I wake up in the morning and my mind starts making sentences, and I have to get rid of them fast—talk them or write them down."


Photograph by Mary Hemingway, in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston., Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON THE BENEFITS OF SLEEP

"I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?"

ON FINDING STRENGTH 

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places."

ON THE TRUE NATURE OF WICKEDNESS

"All things truly wicked start from innocence."

ON WRITING WHAT YOU KNOW

"If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water."

ON THE DEFINITION OF COURAGE

"Courage is grace under pressure."

ON THE PAINFULNESS OF BEING FUNNY

"A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book."


By Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. - JFK Library, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON KEEPING PROMISES

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."

ON GOOD VS. EVIL

"About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after."

ON REACHING FOR THE UNATTAINABLE

"For a true writer, each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed."

ON HAPPY ENDINGS

"There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide, than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it."

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4 Movies, 1 Thing In Common II
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