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Thursday, August 06, 2009

I bet you always wondered....

I'm delighted to be invited back to PrawfsBlawg -- and very impressed that Dan has managed to stay on top of the monthly rotations, what with a newborn baby confiscating his sleep these days. Why, I believe Dan has even claimed to have an empty inbox at the moment. I, on the other hand, am just getting around to my first post and feel lucky if I can stay on top of deleting all of the international banking scam emails from my inbox ("Dearest One in Christ...").

So, apropos of nothing, I just learned from a New Yorker article on swimsuit shopping that the bikini is, in fact, named after the Bikini Atoll, as the US had just begun nuclear tests there when the bikini was introduced in 1946. I suppose that should have been obvious, but perhaps I just never gave it much thought. Apparently, the bikini came after the so-called "Atome," a bathing suit that a French designer claimed was the smallest bathing suit in the world; the designer of the bikini then announced that he would "split the Atome." Who knew? (Bet you also didn't know....

that a genuine bikini, according to its inventor, "could be pulled through a wedding ring." Personally, I'm not sure the owner of that wedding ring should be wearing a bikini.)

On the subject of fun facts with names, I was once told that this Levi Strauss was related to this Lévi-Strauss, though I have yet to find any convincing evidence that this is the case. This Francis Bacon is definitely related to to this Francis Bacon, though. 

Posted by Jessie Hill on August 6, 2009 at 11:00 AM | Permalink


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Hi Jessie. Obviously the research semester is treating you well! Interesting re the bikini. I was just reading an FDR biography that said the bikini was actually invented (or at least started to be manufactured in the US) during the early years of WWII because of the need to save nylon for the war effort eg making parachutes etc. Does this fit with your story? Maybe we should apply for a research grant to investigate further??

Posted by: Jacqueline Lipton | Aug 11, 2009 10:22:11 AM

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