Galena (Lead Sulfide) Crystals
I met a little girl named Galena the other day. I was surprised at her name, which is also the name of a common, shiny, silver mineral. The young girl was about ten years old and knew all about the mineral after which she was named. Apparently, her mother is a geologist who now teaches Middle School Earth Science.
Children are a long way off for me, if I ever have them. If I do have kids, though, giving my children geological or scientific names appeals to me. Admittedly, most minerals are not the prettiest-sounding names (I mean, who wants to name their kid Orthopyroxene or Smithsonite?), but Galena isn’t such a bad choice. I bet there are other geological and scientific terms that would also make good names.
Even without being too adventurous, one can come up with good scientific names. “Charles Darwin” as a first and middle name, for instance. Charles is a perfectly normal name, and most people don’t use their middle names on a day-to-day basis. I think it’s okay to go a little or even very crazy with middle names. My own middle name is Martinique. I was given this name because my mom is a history buff and Napoleon’s wife was born on this tropical island, but I like the name because Martinique is a volcanic island that in 1902 erupted violently. The hot volcanic gas clouds from this eruption wiped out the entire town of St. Pierre. Now, that’s a powerful name!
Even if I never have children, I still plan on giving my pets scientific names. Currently, my small Boston apartment and my travel schedule don’t allow even for a goldfish. One day, though, I plan on having dogs, cats, fish, and maybe even a kinkajou, which is James Randi’s favorite animal. I’ve always wanted to name a dog “Pavlov” and have fish named after nuclear particles. I plan on having a tank full of a dozen or so colorful fish named “neutrino,” “muon,” “tau,” “proton,” et cetera. Though, I’m not sure I’ll be able to tell you which name goes with which fish. Maybe I’m a little strange, but these sorts of names really appeal to me. They’re fun and also contain a message as well as a story of sorts.
Don’t worry, though. I promise not to name my human children after nuclear particles… well, at least not for their first names.