Giants Humm Baby, Youtube

The People Behind 15 Fast Food Names

Giants Humm Baby, Youtube

Ever wonder who is behind the names of your favorite fast food joints? Now you can put a face to the burger. 

1. McDonald’s 

Before Ray Kroc turned the modest burger joint into a corporation, McDonald’s was just a BBQ drive-in in California. The restaurant was founded by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald—known as Dick and Mac—who were the company’s namesake. 

2. P.F. Chang’s 

The name of this restaurant is actually a hybrid of two of the founder’s names. P.F. comes from restaurateur Paul Fleming's initials, and Chang is a simplified version of chef Philip Chiang's last name. 

3. Church’s Chicken 

Church’s Chicken gets its name from founder George W. Church. He opened the first chicken joint in 1952, right across from the Alamo in San Antonio.

4. Wendy’s 

Founder Dave Thomas tried out the names of all five of his children before settling on Wendy, his daughter Melinda’s nickname. The little redhead became the face of the restaurant and now, as an adult, Wendy can be seen in commercials promoting the restaurant. 

5. Taco Bell 

Taco Bell gets its Bell from its founder, Glen Bell. The restaurateur originally sold burgers at a fast food restaurant called Bell’s Burger. After the market got too crowded, he decided to bring the taco to the fast food world. His first shot at tacos was called Taco Tia. Later he opened Taco Bell after a friend suggested the name.

6. Denny’s 

Before Denny’s was a late-night diner, it was a doughnut shop called Danny’s Donuts. The name Danny was simply chosen for the alliteration. Eventually the focus was switched to coffee and the name was changed to Danny’s Coffee Shop. The name was changed again to Denny’s Coffee Shop to avoid confusion with another area establishment, Coffee Dan’s. The company finally shortened the name to Denny’s in 1961, and has stuck with it since.

7. Papa John’s 

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Most people are familiar with the face of Papa John, because he can be seen on most promotional media for the company. John Schnatter is the restaurant’s founder, and he opened the first Papa John’s in 1985. The Papa part of the name is likely inspired by Schnatter’s grandfather, “Papaw” Ackerson. 

8. Carl’s Jr. 

Founder Carl Karcher is the namesake behind Carl's Jr. He and his wife, Margaret, opened a drive-in BBQ called Carl’s after finding success in hotdog carts. Then, Karcher opened two smaller restaurants in 1956 and called them Carl's Jr. because of their size. 

9. Jimmy John’s 

Jimmy John Liautaud was just 19 when he opened Jimmy John’s in 1983. After graduating next-to-last in his prep school class, his father told him he could either join the military or start a business. Liautaud took a loan from his father and started a restaurant. 

10. Bob Evans 

Robert Lewis "Bob" Evans opened a truck stop diner near his farm in Rio Grande, Ohio in 1946. Unsatisfied with the current sausages on the market, he decided to make his own using hogs from his farm. From there, the chain has seeped into 19 different states. 

11. Tim Horton’s 

Just as the name suggests, the beloved Canadian doughnut shop was founded by ice hockey player Tim Horton. The defenseman played in the NHL for 22 years, most of which was spent on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Horton opened a doughnut and coffee shop in 1964 as a way to make money once his hockey career ended. 

12. Carvel

Older lovers of the ice cream shop probably remember founder Tom Carvel from the company's commercials. The businessman invented soft-serve ice cream, but he may be better known for his distinct voice. 

13. Sbarro 

The pizza joint got its name from founders Carmela and Gennaro Sbarro. The couple opened up a deli in Brooklyn that specialized in fresh imported meats from Italy. The family-run business soon entered the pizza market and began to expand. Carmela was known as “Mama Sbarro” and became the mascot of the chain, working at the original Brooklyn location well into her 80s. 

14. Perkins 

Matt and Ivan Perkins opened Perkins Pancake House in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1958. Eventually the chain combined with Smitty's Pancake House to become Perkins Cake & Steak. The Perkins brothers retired in 1979, and sold their remaining share of the company. 

15. Baskin-Robbins 

Brothers-in-law Burton "Burt" Baskin and Irvine "Irv" Robbins both had a passionate love for ice cream, so they each opened ice cream shops in California. Baskin’s Burton's Ice Cream Shop and Robbins’ Snowbird Ice Cream eventually merged together in 1953. 

Which Terrestrial Planet?
You Can Sip Coffee and Play Games While This Helmet Scans Your Brain

Brain scanning is a delicate operation, one that typically involves staying very still. Researchers use imaging techniques like magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging to get an idea of how the brain functions and what neurons are being activated, but it's not an easy task. Current scanners are huge, requiring patients to sit unmoving inside them, lest their head movements mess up the data. There may soon be a better way—one that would allow patients to act normally while still getting reliable data.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the UK report in Nature that they've developed a prototype brain scanner that can be worn like a helmet, one that can generate reliable data even if the subject moves.

It uses lightweight quantum magnetic-field sensors held against the scalp by a 3D-printed helmet that's custom-made for the patient. For the study, one of the researchers volunteered to be the patient and was fitted with a white plastic helmet that looks kind of like a cross between a Roman Centurion helmet and a Jason Voorhees Halloween mask. She was positioned between two large panels equipped with electromagnetic coils that cancel out the Earth's magnetic field so that it doesn't interfere with the magnetic data picked up from the brain. As long as the patient stayed between the panels, she was free to move—nod her head, stretch, drink coffee, and bounce a ball with a paddle—all while the scanner picked up data about on par with what a traditional scanner (seen below) might gather.

A man sits inside an MEG scanner.

The more flexible scanning system is exciting for a number of reasons, including that it would allow squirmy children to have their brains scanned easily. Since patients can move around, it could measure brain function in more natural situations, while they're moving or socializing, and allow patients with neurodegenerative or developmental disorders to get MEG scans.

The current helmet is just a prototype, and the researchers want to eventually build a more generic design that doesn't require custom fitting.


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