CLOSE
Original image

The Quick 10: Celebs Who Went to High School Together

Original image

It's kind of stunning how many celebrities actually went to high school together "“ when you start looking at the list of people who attended prestigious prep schools and performing arts academies at the same time, Hollywood must just seem like high school never ended to some actors (ugh). I tried to stay away from Hollywood High and Beverly Hills High, because those are too easy "“ tons of celebrities graduated from there. If I missed any really strange ones, be sure to let me know in the comments "“ I love stuff like that.

neil1. Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond not only went to Erasmus Hall High School together, they sang in the choir together.
2. Lady GaGa went to the same high school "“ Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York - as the Hilton sisters, but insisted that she had nothing to do with them. "I never saw those girls for more than 10 seconds down the hallway," she once said.
3. Val Kilmer and Mare Winningham once shared the stage at Chatsworth High School in Chatsworth, California. Kilmer played Captain von Trapp and Mare played Maria in a high school production of The Sound of Music. Kevin Spacey was in the same class as well.


4. Writer James Baldwin and photographer Richard Avedon were close friends in high school when they worked on the DeWitt Clinton literary magazine together. They remained good friends throughout their careers, although writer Rachel Cohen says there was some "tension" in the "˜60s.

hartnett5. Josh Hartnett and Rachel Leigh Cook attended Minneapolis South High School together. I like this one because it's not like a prestigious prep school or school for the performing arts where you expect a higher percentage of the students to come out with high-profile careers. It's just a random high school in the Midwest. It's where Cook got her start, though "“ one of her earliest jobs was as a model in print ads for Target, which is headquartered in Minneapolis. Also attending South: Genevieve Gorder from Trading Spaces. She would have been a senior when Harnett was a freshman (Cook would have been in eighth grade).
6. Judge Wapner and Lana Turner. These two stars "“ albeit in very different arenas "“ not only went to school together, they actually dated for a while. Weird. They both went to Hollywood High, which I know I was going to try to avoid, but I thought this connection was too strange to pass up.

7. B.J. Novak and John Krasinski (Ryan and Jim from The Office, respectively) both went to Newton South High School in Newton, Massachusetts. The first play Krasinski was in was written by B.J. Novak, in fact.

8. At the prestigious Dalton prep school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, these celebs would have been roaming the halls at the same time "“ whether they knew each other or not is anyone's guess: Anderson Cooper, Christian Slater and Steve Lemme from Broken Lizard.

watts9. Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts have been besties since they went to North Sydney Girls High School together. Coincidentally (or maybe not) Baz Luhrmann's wife is just a few years older than Nicole and Naomi and also attended North Sydney.
10. Doing the Brat Pack movies in the 80s must have just felt like a continuation of high school for a lot of the actors "“ a lot of the crew attended Santa Monica High School together, including Rob Lowe, Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey, Jr., and Sean Penn. I know those aren't all official Brat Pack members, but they were all of the same era.


Here's a bonus "“ they didn't go to high school together, but I liked the story anyway:


11. Jeff Garlin (Larry's manager Jeff Greene in Curb Your Enthusiasm and Conan O'Brien used to room together in 1988 in Chicago, where they lived right across the street from Wrigley Field. You'd think with such two funny dudes sharing a roof, it would be constant laughs "“ but no. Conan said that he literally cried one day because his room was so hot. Jeff's room, however, had air conditioning.

If this high school stuff is just too kiddie for you, check out this post about famous college roomies by Jason Plautz.

Have a good Q10 suggestion for me? Send me a Tweet!

arrow
Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
A Chinese Museum Is Offering Cash to Whoever Can Decipher These 3000-Year-Old Inscriptions

During the 19th century, farmers in China’s Henan Province began discovering oracle bones—engraved ox scapulae and tortoise shells used by Shang Dynasty leaders for record-keeping and divination purposes—while plowing their fields. More bones were excavated in subsequent years, and their inscriptions were revealed to be the earliest known form of systematic writing in East Asia. But over the decades, scholars still haven’t come close to cracking half of the mysterious script’s roughly 5000 characters—which is why one Chinese museum is asking member of the public for help, in exchange for a generous cash reward.

As Atlas Obscura reports, the National Museum of Chinese Writing in Anyang, Henan Province has offered to pay citizen researchers about $15,000 for each unknown character translated, and $7500 if they provide a disputed character’s definitive meaning. Submissions must be supported with evidence, and reviewed by at least two language specialists.

The museum began farming out their oracle bone translation efforts in Fall 2016. The costly ongoing project has hit a stalemate, and scholars hope that the public’s collective smarts—combined with new advances in technology, including cloud computing and big data—will yield new information and save them research money.

As of today, more than 200,000 oracle bones have been discovered—around 50,000 of which bear text—so scholars still have a lot to learn about the Shang Dynasty. Many of the ancient script's characters are difficult to verify, as they represent places and people from long ago. However, decoding even just one character could lead to a substantial breakthrough, experts say: "If we interpret a noun or a verb, it can bring many scripts on oracle bones to life, and we can understand ancient history better,” Chinese history professor Zhu Yanmin told the South China Morning Post.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

arrow
language
6 Eponyms Named After the Wrong Person
Original image
Salmonella species growing on agar.

Having something named after you is the ultimate accomplishment for any inventor, mathematician, scientist, or researcher. Unfortunately, the credit for an invention or discovery does not always go to the correct person—senior colleagues sometimes snatch the glory, fakers pull the wool over people's eyes, or the fickle general public just latches onto the wrong name.

1. SALMONELLA (OR SMITHELLA?)

In 1885, while investigating common livestock diseases at the Bureau of Animal Industry in Washington, D.C., pathologist Theobald Smith first isolated the salmonella bacteria in pigs suffering from hog cholera. Smith’s research finally identified the bacteria responsible for one of the most common causes of food poisoning in humans. Unfortunately, Smith’s limelight-grabbing supervisor, Daniel E. Salmon, insisted on taking sole credit for the discovery. As a result, the bacteria was named after him. Don’t feel too sorry for Theobald Smith, though: He soon emerged from Salmon’s shadow, going on to make the important discovery that ticks could be a vector in the spread of disease, among other achievements.

2. AMERICA (OR COLUMBIANA?)

An etching of Amerigo Vespucci
Henry Guttmann/Getty Images

Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci (1451–1512) claimed to have made numerous voyages to the New World, the first in 1497, before Columbus. Textual evidence suggests Vespucci did take part in a number of expeditions across the Atlantic, but generally does not support the idea that he set eyes on the New World before Columbus. Nevertheless, Vespucci’s accounts of his voyages—which today read as far-fetched—were hugely popular and translated into many languages. As a result, when German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller was drawing his map of the Novus Mundi (or New World) in 1507 he marked it with the name "America" in Vespucci’s honor. He later regretted the choice, omitting the name from future maps, but it was too late, and the name stuck.

3. BLOOMERS (OR MILLERS?)

A black and white image of young women wearing bloomers
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Dress reform became a big issue in mid-19th century America, when women were restricted by long, heavy skirts that dragged in the mud and made any sort of physical activity difficult. Women’s rights activist Elizabeth Smith Miller was inspired by traditional Turkish dress to begin wearing loose trousers gathered at the ankle underneath a shorter skirt. Miller’s new outfit immediately caused a splash, with some decrying it as scandalous and others inspired to adopt the garb.

Amelia Jenks Bloomer was editor of the women’s temperance journal The Lily, and she took to copying Miller’s style of dress. She was so impressed with the new freedom it gave her that she began promoting the “reform dress” in her magazine, printing patterns so others might make their own. Bloomer sported the dress when she spoke at events and soon the press began to associate the outfit with her, dubbing it “Bloomer’s costume.” The name stuck.

4. GUILLOTINE (OR LOUISETTE?)

Execution machines had been known prior to the French Revolution, but they were refined after Paris physician and politician Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin suggested they might be a more humane form of execution than the usual methods (hanging, burning alive, etc.). The first guillotine was actually designed by Dr. Antoine Louis, Secretary of the Academy of Surgery, and was known as a louisette. The quick and efficient machine was quickly adopted as the main method of execution in revolutionary France, and as the bodies piled up the public began to refer to it as la guillotine, for the man who first suggested its use. Guillotin was very distressed at the association, and when he died in 1814 his family asked the French government to change the name of the hated machine. The government refused and so the family changed their name instead to escape the dreadful association.

5. BECHDEL TEST (OR WALLACE TEST?)

Alison Bechdel
Alison Bechdel
Steve Jennings/Getty Images

The Bechdel Test is a tool to highlight gender inequality in film, television, and fiction. The idea is that in order to pass the test, the movie, show, or book in question must include at least one scene in which two women have a conversation that isn’t about a man. The test was popularized by the cartoonist Alison Bechdel in 1985 in her comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For,” and has since become known by her name. However, Bechdel asserts that the idea originated with her friend Lisa Wallace (and was also inspired by the writer Virginia Woolf), and she would prefer for it to be known as the Bechdel-Wallace test.

6. STIGLER’S LAW OF EPONYMY (OR MERTON’S LAW?)

Influential sociologist Robert K. Merton suggested the idea of the “Matthew Effect” in a 1968 paper noting that senior colleagues who are already famous tend to get the credit for their junior colleagues’ discoveries. (Merton named his phenomenon [PDF] after the parable of talents in the Gospel of Matthew, in which wise servants invest money their master has given them.)

Merton was a well-respected academic, and when he was due to retire in 1979, a book of essays celebrating his work was proposed. One person who contributed an essay was University of Chicago professor of statistics Stephen Stigler, who had corresponded with Merton about his ideas. Stigler decided to pen an essay that celebrated and proved Merton’s theory. As a result, he took Merton’s idea and created Stigler’s Law of Eponymy, which states that “No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer”—the joke being that Stigler himself was taking Merton’s own theory and naming it after himself. To further prove the rule, the “new” law has been adopted by the academic community, and a number of papers and articles have since been written on "Stigler’s Law."

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios