Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Roll call

I've always taken a peculiar pleasure in watching the end credits of American films roll on and on. It's partly the comedown after all the zany fun, it's partly the music. A lot of it, though, is the lists of names. It's like some World Music catalogue. I imagine the paths that led to this confluence and they come from every continent and so many nations. It's obvious that it should be so; it's still an immigrant country, but it seems to be confirmation of that old saw according to which those that have the energy to emigrate will have the energy to make something of themselves once they arrive.

Here's a list I garnered from a couple of DVDs on the IMDb site:

Oleksy, Oguchi, Kowalski, Sevier, Brizio, Sanca, Skillingberg, Fonnyadt, DiSanto, Chun, Kastl, Oka, Ming, Pi
The list of this year's Nobel Prize winners is not quite so various, but it's significant that the variety is at the top as well as lower down. This year's Nobels (with my amateur guesses as to the origins of the surnames)

Ed Phelps (English) - Economics
Roger Kornberg (Jewish, probably from Central Europe) - Chemistry
Andrew Z. Fire (No idea. I bet you it's been Anglicised) & Craig C. Mello (Portuguese) - Medicine
John C. Mather (Scottish) & George F. Smoot (Dutch) - Physics

Finally, I have borrowed this photo from the forum Italians on the Corriere della Sera site. It was taken by Giovanni Gadda (the bearded man third from the right) and it shows a group of research scientists at Georgia State University, Atlanta. Most of these people are foreign nationals. The countries are: Usa, Ethiopia, Italy, Vietnam, Serbia, Thailand, Denmark, Ghana, Nigeria, China, Egypt.

Research Group from Georgia State University
Forza America!

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