Re: becca

Jul 01 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

You know, when I first stumbled into this crazy bloggy world, I had no idea how things worked. I'd just started a blog myself, and then come to find there were all these other blogs! And you could say stuff to people on blogs! I left a comment or two, and I commented under the name "Becca" because, well, it was my name! What were the chances that anyone else would be commenting under MY NAME?

Now, some of you are laughing at this, and others of you are like, Right! Dr Becca, you are the only Becca on the internet! Those of you who are laughing are laughing because you know that sharp-witted, frequent commenter becca--aka @sciliz--and I are indeed very different people*, and that even though she doesn't have a blog of her own, she is perhaps even better known in certain circles of the 'sphere than I am.

For those of you who are confused, let's break it down piece by piece, starting with a little something I like to call The Probability of Being an Early Career Scientist in 2011 Named Rebecca.

Exhibit A: Rebecca's popularity, through time. Notice, if you will, that there was a HUGE spike in people choosing to name their baby girls Rebecca between approximately 1973 and 1981, a range that covers my own birth, and I'm willing to guess probably that of becca as well (or at least comes close).

So you see, given that a large proportion of science-academia blog readers are early career scientists/academics (data not shown) who were thus likely born in the 70s and 80s, it was in fact extremely likely that when I arrived late to the party, there was already someone there with my name. As further evidence, I offer the anecdote that in my small graduate program alone, there were four Rebeccas to matriculate over 3 years.

Exhibit B: We talk to each other. Both on Twitter:

And on my blog:

Do you really think I have nothing better to do with my time than create a same-named alter-ego in order to have conversations with myself?

Exhibit C: DrugMonkey demonstrates what would be a chronological paradox re: major career events, were becca and I actually one person. Back in March, I signed my offer letter with New Job University. Exciting times! DrugMonkey's been following my career ups and downs from the beginning, and he was kind enough to post some words of congrats on his Scienceblogs site. Then, just a few weeks ago, becca passed a major milestone herself--she defended her thesis! And again, DrugMonkey (though this time on Scientopia--hmm...) offers his heartfelt congrats. Chronologically, then--presuming time is linear--it would be nigh impossible for me to have completed 6 years of a post-doc, secured a tenure-track faculty position, and THEN defended my thesis. The world just doesn't work this way, people!

Finally, to toast the first becca but second Dr Becca on the internet, I offer  a cocktail. As you may have noted above, she likes the gin, and so last night I prepared one of the most classic gin cocktails in existence--the Aviation Cocktail.

The Aviation is so named because of its cloudy, sky-blue color, which it gets from the elusive Créme de Violette liquer, a lightly sweet and floral liqueur that existed, and then didn't , and now exists again. Its bottle has a cool art deco-y look to it that pleases me.

The Aviation Cocktail

3 oz gin
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino
1/4 oz Créme de Violette
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker, and shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass with a brandied cherry. Enjoy!


* that is, two very different people both created by Janet D Stemwell (maybe)...

18 responses so far

  • HennaHonu says:

    What about the custom floor tiles? I missed that on twitter and would totally go for it! What company does it?

    • Dr Becca says:

      It was just the in-house architects for New Job University! Apparently they had someone in the past who studied nicotine, and had a nicotine molecule worked into the floor design. Unfortunately, my lab is kind of a funky shape and the floor space wouldn't really allow my molecule of choice, but it's going to look super awesome anyway!

  • drugmonkey says:

    That's a lotta Rebeccas! But you should have mapped in the Jennifers for scale purposes...

  • becca says:

    *I* think you have nothing better to do than have conversations with yourself. But you should likely be more imaginative than to give an alter-ego the same name. I think.

    Anyway, as I noted, I do not quite fall in the peaks of the Rebecca haydays; I was quite late to the party.

    The drink looks wonderful. While I do not so much like gin as I would *like* to like gin. That is, I have quite liked some of the few gin cocktails I have had at decent bars, but I am somewhat hesitant to mix my own. I do not have a home liquor selection anywhere near yours. It is hard to know if it is worth investing in all these for an Aviator concoction.

    @DM- yeah yeah. Jennifers peak at ~4 times Rebecca (40k vs. 9.6k; per 100k), and they don't have the biphasic peak but a single one about 1974.
    I do wonder about whether Rebeccas are overrepresented in science. After all, we know scientists are more likely to be Jewish and Rebecca is a good Old Testament name (I was once told "Rebecca Weinberg" might as well be "Jewy Jewesstein").

    • Dr Becca says:

      It's true, investing in the Violette is probably only worth it if you know you LOVE the Aviation--it's not good in much else (though it is *exquisite* in this one drink). My recommendation is to find yourself a swanky cocktail bar, see if they have it, and give it a whirl. Or come visit me!

  • FrauTech says:

    Wow crazyville. Somehow I never consciously thought about you two having the same name. Your tones are so different having read posts and comments etc all over the interwebs I don't know...I didn't put the two together? I probably need that cocktail which I will rename Aerospace Cocktail to make it more engineering appropriate.

    Also I have SUCH a common name for girls that I've dealt with this my whole life. My last initial ALWAYS had to be said after my name. In a way engineering has been a relief, there are so few girls here that while there are a few others at the company it's nobody I work with (unlike if your name is Dave or Mike or Joe in which case there are a plethora of you). On the other hand, these guys often get called by first and last name, or sometimes last name only, and then I feel like a child or like somebody's secretary when I'm the only one introduced by first name only. Quandary.

    • Dr Becca says:

      See, I think our voices are quite different, too. But then on my recent de-lurking post, I got the impression that when people said "I like your comments on Dr Isis's or DrugMonkey's blog," they were thinking of becca. I just wanted to set the record straight!

  • Brokers' gin is pretty fucken decent, and a great price. When they first started selling it, the bottles came with a little plastic bowler hat on top of the cap. They have since stopped doing that.

    • Dr Becca says:

      Broker's is totally my new favorite everyday mixing gin. And that's disappointing about the hats--I just bought that bottle a couple of weeks ago!

  • I also think that you and becca are the same person. Also FSP is written by multiple people.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Was there ever a time/ country where Tom, Dick and Harry were the top male names, one wonders?

  • Rugosa says:

    "Steven" is so common among a certain age group that my friend Steve once said "Every Tom, Dick, and Harry is named Steve."

  • Anthea says:

    Wow...two Beccas! I'd assumed that they were one and the same...but I did notice some differences but I just didn't think that there might be two of you.

    Thank you for the cocktail recipe. I love gin and I'm always on the lookout for more ways of drinking it.

  • Dr. Cynicism says:

    "Do you really think I have nothing better to do with my time than create a same-named alter-ego in order to have conversations with myself?" I totally want this kind of free time.

    And thank you for the cocktail!

  • DrugMonkey says:

    I just noticed the timing vis a vis WWII. Duh.

  • katia says:


    I tried your cocktail recipe last night and I liked it. Am not a great drinker though

  • DJMH says:

    I always assumed the other becca was manufactured by DrugMonkey in one of his more lucid multiple personalities, or maybe by DM's wife, to skewer him as hard as he deserves. So gratified to know she is a Real!

    Also, I drank sidecars all last week on vacay and my brother made fun of them as girly drinks. If only I had had a bottle of Violette to smassh on his head...

Leave a Reply