Journal: News & Comment

Monday, January 21, 2002
# 8:09:00 AM:

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Ego-surfing, sometimes indirectly

Some years ago, pre-Web and before the term "ego-surfing" was coined, I looked through the microfiche records at the University of B.C. library for authors with the same name as me. It turns out there is a fairly famous adolescent psychologist named Derek Miller. Search techniques are simpler today -- more recently, I discovered on the Web another Derek Miller with an odd specialty: the history of food consumption in Great Britain.

My friend Alistair shares his name with a highly respected geographer who works for the U.K.'s Office of National Statistics (ONS), and who has also done work for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The two Alistairs have e-mailed each other -- the European one was surfing around and stumbled across my friend's domain.

So last night I tried looking up the names of my two daughters: Marina and Lauren.

Lauren, my youngest, shares her name with:

  • A lacrosse player.
  • A Lauren Miller who was twelve years old in 1995 -- and thus 19 this year. But her 1995 Web page is still there.
  • The director of the Student Disability Resource Center at Florida State University.
  • A judge in Naples, Florida.
  • And last but not least, Lauren Miller was the name of Alex Keaton's girlfriend in "Family Ties," as played by Courteney Cox (now of "Friends," of course -- see my entry from early this morning).

Marina's name was not as common (I encountered a lot of places to park boats), but she has the name name as:

I thought the past president of the U.S. National Federation of Republican Women was a Marina Miller, but it turns out she's Marian Miller -- "Marina" was a typo in the Texas State Senate minutes. Just as well.


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