Friday, July 16, 2004

The banal minutiae of a first blog post.

I'll bet that most people's first blog post is some variant of, "Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3". Let's see how I do.

I'll take this opportunity to explain the name "Ivy Mike." I've played video games forever; in online games, you need to choose a handle that identifies you to other players in the game. When I first started playing online video games like Counter-Strike or xpilot, I used to choose my name pretty much at random, but at some point, I wanted something that would stick.

But choosing a name for games is tougher than you might think at first. First and foremost, it's got to be something "cool"; that's pretty much the point. It can't be easily corrupted into an insult. (My friend Grady tells me he never chooses anything related to his name because he knows from experience that when killed, he'll get all sorts of "Grady is Gravy" comments.) The name has to be easy to remember and easy to type. (So "Verzylyk Slaytorg" is right out.) It should associate with the real person. On top of that, it still has to be obscure so that it wasn't already taken; there's nothing less cool than being "Frodo2". (And remember, "obscure to the pedantic sci-fi and fantasy hypergeeks of the internet" is a whole new level unto itself.)

Around the same time, I had a conversation with my brother about the punk band known as "Op Ivy." Their full name is "Operation Ivy," which is based on the U.S. program to develop the hydrogen bomb.

The first true thermonuclear test was "Mike", also known as "Ivy Mike". When I read that, I knew I had my nickname.

History, and some very cool photos of the Ivy Mike fireball on this page:


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