Monday, August 23, 2010

Et Facta Est Lux

We called our firstborn child Lux (aka @thebeean). It's Latin for light.

We didn't anticipate confusion or uncertainty about her sex based on the name¹, but encountered some nonetheless. It prompted me to do some research about other folks called Lux. Turns out in fact that there aren't all that many.

Lux Interior (an assumed name which came "from an old car commercial"), frontman of The Cramps, is just about the only famous one—and is a bloke. On the other hand, Lux Lisbon is a girl but is a fictional character in The Virgin Suicides. I didn't find any other well-known people called Lux but I did find one or two others considering the name.

Beyond names, Lux has a formal meaning in physics: as the SI unit of luminous emittance it's equal to one lumen per square metre. And Lux is also a soap; originally (1909) a laundry soap but subsequently (1925) a bathroom soap. A colleague of mine at work clipped for me this page from an old Time magazine:

Lux I love you
How awesome is that?!

Notwithstanding the rarity, Wendy and I both think the name suits our baby very well. We are certainly delighted to have her luxing up our lives.


The title of this post, by the way, is the second half of Genesis 1:3: dixitque Deus fiat lux ("and God said let there be light"). Et facta est lux ("and there was light")... and the rest, as they say, is history.

¹ UPDATE: although Anssi Porttikivi points out that lux is grammatically feminine in Latin.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I learned the other day that the word "infant" derives from Latin and means "not speaking" or "unable to speak". I liked that.

More babyfacts:

  • babies lose weight after birth, usually regaining their original birthweight within a week or two
  • babies sleep about 18 hours each day
  • babies have four times as much REM sleep as adults
  • babies are born without kneecaps
  • babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood will have only 206
  • a week-old baby consumes about 20% of its bodyweight in milk every day!

And now some babyphotos:

Lux Day 11
Pre-Bath Lux

Monday, August 09, 2010

Learning or Earning, coda

An old friend of mine (I've known Lee for over thirty years) wrote me about the arrival of The Bean but also commented on Learning or Earning, Redux. He summarized it ever-so-neatly thus:

When people start only learning skills related to surviving in their company its bound to lead to a lack of innovation

And yes, this is precisely it. You might think of progress and invention in a company as a chemical reaction, with corporate inertia represented as activation energy. There's a point beyond which exciting reactions that might take place in a smaller organization are no longer possible in the larger one. The cost of survival itself in the organization becomes an inhibitor.

In baby news, here's a recent photo of Lux at the tender age of eight days, struggling herself with energy:

Lux Yawns

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Meeting The Bean, redux

I met the bean. She's amazing. Lux Hepworth, 8lb 4oz & 20½", born 1.38am 1.37am in San Francisco.

Bean's Day Two

More to come.