Jason Captain was until recently a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, which is amusingly aptronymic in itself. (Lieutenant Captain, meet Major Major Major Major.) But then he left the military to train to be a commercial airline pilot, according to this article in today's New York Times.
That's right. Captain Captain.
(Or maybe not: "[W]ith the airline industry ready to go into another swoon because of high fuel prices, Mr. Captain and other junior pilots could find themselves furloughed.")
Elsewhere in today's Times--on the front page, as a matter of fact--reporter Stephanie Rosenbloom investigates Googlegängers--namesakes found through Google searches. (From German Doppelgänger, literally "double goer": a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person.) From the article:
In “Finding Angela Shelton,” a book published this month, a writer named Angela Shelton describes her meetings with 40 other Angela Sheltons. Keri Smith, an illustrator, has posted drawings of six of her Googlegängers on her blog. There are name-tally Web sites like SameNameAsMe, and Facebook coalitions including nearly 200 people named Ritz (their insignia is a cracker box logo) and a group aiming to break a world record by gathering together more than 1,224 Mohammed Hassans.
But while many people are familiar with Googlegängers, a fundamental question has gone unanswered: Why do so many feel a connection — be it kinship or competition — with utter strangers just because they share a name?
I'm certainly familiar with the phenomenon. Well before Google's advent, I crossed virtual paths with Nancy Friedman of St. Louis, who calls herself the Telephone Doctor. (She advises companies on improving their customer service skills.) When the Rainbow Room closed in New York City, a news article mentioned its publicist: Nancy J. Friedman.
I also learned of the still barely Googleable Nancy M. Friedman, a therapist who lived only a mile away from me. (I used to get voicemail messages from her clients.) Nancy M. and I eventually met and, yes, bonded. It turned our we belonged to the same gym and bought subscriptions to the same performing arts events.
Out of idle curiosity, I began looking for and discovering more and more Nancy Friedmans. At one point I considered writing an article or even a book about this odd little sisterhood--it turns out we all were born within a few years of each other--but I ended up consigning the information to the Not About Me section of my web site. (Scroll down.)
Angela Shelton, however, did publish a book, Finding Angela Shelton, about her encounters with 40 namesakes. And Grace Lee, a Korean-American filmmaker, made The Grace Lee Project, "a funny, highly unscientific investigation into all those Grace Lees who break the mold -- from a fiery social activist to a rebel who tried to burn down her high school."
I'm pretty sure there was another first-person documentary on the subject, by a male filmmaker. Does anyone remember its name?