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Anyone had an interesting or unusual previous job?


Please excuse the risqué(ness) of what is an absolutely true tale.
A girlfriend of mine worked in an HMRC (Inspector of Taxes Regional Office)
She saw innumerable files in her day to day work.
On a date, one evening whilst a bit squiffy, she regaled me with a series of amusing names that had recently appeared in her in-tray.
The most memorable one was Ophelia Balls!!:open_mouth:
For the life of me, I cannot comprehend quite how stupid, cruel or dim-witted parents had to be to saddle the poor girl with this name.
Thinking back, through the mists of time, by now the lady in question would be north of 140 years of age, so there is scant possibility of me getting into trouble over this disclosure!! lol!:+1::grinning:


Very cruel! Almost as cruel was a name my daughter discovered when compiling a family tree for my family. Back in the 18th century one of my female ancestors married into the Day family. She had a son born on 25 December. Yes, you’ve guessed it - he was christened Christmas Day. Your story also reminds me of a children’s fairy tale about a country where the letter O was banned. A girl named Ophelia Oliver became Phelia Liver.


There was a bloke in Taunton who had his name over his doorbell; Norman Conquest.


Just to tell you, there was a QI question about where you could find the most alcohol - and the answer was in certain parts of space. But I think it may have been Methanol more than Ethanol. May it have come from your research?


Not me personally, but other members of the research group I was part of were involved in the “smells like rum, tastes like raspberries” discovery.


Much respect! I am seriously impressed. UCL was where Brian May did his PHD?? I am an amateur astrophysicist - my degree was in social science but I have a lot of interest - and my daughter now is interested and we have pictures of the ISS and SOPHIA - the infrared telescope on a 747 up on her wall. I’ve made the point that a lot of the leading engineers in NASA are women. She has a NASA ‘future space scientist’ t-shirt.


Brian May was at Imperial. We shared a 1st year doctoral candidates lecture series with them, and I met him there once! He used to just hangout there apparently.

SOFIA is an amazing instrument. Someone I shared an office with now works on it. Had I stayed in academia (due to the Far Infrared nature of most of my research) there’s a reasonable chance I would have been too.


Wow! My daughter is 6 but I am hoping she doesn’t feel science is out for her - but I really don’t care what she does - just that she doesn’t feel any doors are closed to her. There’s a wonderful Horizon with SOFIA and LIGO - which is very funny, as they were setting up LIGO at the time and it was that stage where all they were doing was making sure they weren’t getting errors - and all they got was errors…

She’s into exoplanets - and I’ve explained that they find them by ‘wobbles’. It’s great to see her excited.


To go on topic, as well as academic stuff, I’ve been a dancer and also tested propeller markings that became recommendations for the Civil Aviation Authority - basically they needed to flicker enough that people could see them (and not walk into them when they were spinning - a Very Bad Thing as you’ll remember from Raiders of the Lost Ark). As airports are so loud, you need to see stuff, as you won’t hear stuff. If they flicker too much, it’s annoying for groundcrew dealing with that, and you don’t want them to do any weird hypnotic spiralling stuff. It was quite a fun way to spend a summer.