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Top Ten Geek Girls 560

TurboPatrol writes "CNET have published a list of the Top Ten Girl Geeks throughout history. The winners include the elegant Ada Byron (the world's first computer programmer), Grace Hopper (invented the compiler) and Lisa Simpson (invented the perpetual motion machine — well, in the world of cartoons). Some of the entries are fascinating, for example Marie Curie apparently used to carry plutonium in her jacket pockets. Have they missed anyone out?" At least two entries on the list are stupid. I guess someone thought they were funny.
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Top Ten Geek Girls

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  • Plutonium? Unlikely (Score:5, Informative)

    by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @10:04AM (#16948852) Journal
    Plutonium was created in the 1940's. Marie Curie died in the 1930's.

    What is interesting, in a disturbiung way, is that Marie Curies workbooks that she used while discovering radium are still considered dangerously radioactive.
  • What about... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @10:08AM (#16948928)
    Uh, hello? Fiorella Terenzi?

    http://www.fiorella.com/fiorprofile.htm [fiorella.com]

  • Re:paris hilton? (Score:3, Informative)

    by udderly ( 890305 ) * on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @10:10AM (#16948986)
    Paris Hilton a "geek girl?" Whatever. She is the most clueless tramp that ever walked the planet. Her idiocy is legendary: http://www.thesuperficial.com/archives/2006/01/19/ paris_hilton_is_a_genius.html [thesuperficial.com]. She's the perfect example of someone who's famous for being famous.
  • Hedy Lamar (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hazrek ( 900706 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @10:13AM (#16949036)
    Seriously, Paris Hilton and Lisa Simpson, but they snubbed Hedy Lamar [wikipedia.org]? I mean seriously, how can you top a gorgeous movie star geek?

    Hedy Lamarr (November 9, 1913 - January 19, 2000) was an Austrian/American actress and communications technology innovator. Though known primarily for her great beauty, she also co-invented the first form of spread spectrum, a key to modern wireless communication.

    Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil received U.S. patent #2,292,387 for their Secret Communication System. This early version of frequency hopping used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or jam. The patent was little-known until recently because Lamarr applied for it under her then-married name of Hedy Kiesler Markey. Neither Lamarr nor Antheil made any money from the patent. It had expired by the time the U.S. military barely began using this system after 1962. It took electronics technology a long time to catch up with the concept.

    Lamarr's frequency-hopping idea served as the basis for modern spread-spectrum communication technology used in devices ranging from cordless telephones to WiFi Internet connections. In 1997, the two of them received an EFF Pioneer Award for the invention.

    Now that's hot, Paris.

  • Where TF is.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @10:28AM (#16949342)
    Sophie Germain [wikipedia.org] was quite the math geek - even has a type of prime number named after her. Had to use a psedonym because women weren't supposed to be mathematicians back then. Clearly the folks who wrote the article didn't do any real research.
  • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @10:31AM (#16949398)
    For that matter, Mary Shelly wasn't a geek girl, she was a "creative type" who be a Mac owner today. Frankenstein is her magnum opus, reductio ad absurdum attack on geeks.

    She was only eighteen and a "popular girl" when she started writing the book. i.e., she's that bitch in the hall who pointed at your nerdiness, giggled and made rude comments about your "high waters" and Teva sandels with socks.

  • Re:Grace Hopper (Score:5, Informative)

    by theAtomicFireball ( 532233 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @10:35AM (#16949472)
    A woman invented COBOL? This does not surprise me. *ducks*
    Actually, no, the article is wrong. Grace Hopper did many incredible things, but she didn't actually invent COBOL. She did, however, come up with the idea that computer programming languages could be designed that were more like English and, thus, be easier to use. I would say that is a much greater accomplishment. She also created a language called FLOW-MATIC that was a precursor to COBOL, and which strongly influenced the CODASYSL committe who created COBOL. So, COBOL was created by a committee (of men), but many of the basic concepts and ideas that are fundamental to most of the technology you use today was, in fact, invented by a pretty damn amazing woman.
  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @10:40AM (#16949572) Journal
    They'd both get my vote. So would Cathy Rogers from Scrapheap Challenge/Junkyard Wars.
  • by Fishstick ( 150821 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @11:03AM (#16950048) Journal
    Plutonium was created in the 1940's

    Yeah, I thought the same thing when reading the summary.

    the article actually says

    She discovered the elements radium and polonium

    I had to read that a couple times because I kept seeing "plutonium" and ended up going to wikipedia to make sure it wasn't.

    Also called Radium F, polonium was discovered by Maria Skodowska-Curie and her husband Pierre Curie in 1898 and was later named after Marie's home land of Poland (Latin: Polonia). [wikipedia.org]

    Plutonium was first produced and isolated on February 23, 1941 by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, Dr. Michael Cefola, Edwin M. McMillan, J. W. Kennedy, and A. C. Wahl by deuteron bombardment of uranium in the 60-inch cyclotron at Berkeley. [wikipedia.org]

    So no, Marie Curie would have died a lot sooner had she carried plutonium around. As it happened, what she did carry around killed her by 1934.
  • by Boadi ( 1010283 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @11:06AM (#16950104) Homepage
    Back when computation and observational astronomy were considered "women's work," Henrietta Swan Leavitt discovered the standard candle which lets us judge the distance of galaxies. At the time, many believed that the other galaxies were just nebulae.

    She expanded our universe from a large number of stars, to an enormous multigalactic system.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrietta_Leavitt [wikipedia.org]
  • Hedy Lamarr (Score:5, Informative)

    by DaChesserCat ( 594136 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @11:18AM (#16950314) Journal
    She was originally married to a German weapons supplier. Consequently, she knew about things like tanks and torpedoes.

    Came up with what we now call frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology, trying to make a torpedo which could be directed after launch, but couldn't be jammed.

    Reasonably good actress. Brainy as all hell. Drop-dead gorgeous.

    Now THERE'S a Geek Girl rolemodel who simply needs better publicity.
  • by Vrallis ( 33290 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @11:46AM (#16950814) Homepage
    Whoever put Paris Hilton on the list needs to be shot. If you want a REAL geek girl who also shows the goods go for (SFW), the self-described "nerd of porn." [wikipedia.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @11:46AM (#16950816)
    I'd have gone for Willow Rosenberg instead.

    Now, THAT's a face you'd never get tired of cumming on.

  • Margaret Hamilton (Score:3, Informative)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @12:59PM (#16952270) Homepage

    Margaret Hamilton [nasa.gov]. In charge of the NASA Apollo Flight Software from 1963-72. Coined the term "software engineering". Created the field of high-reliability software. "No software bug was ever found on any manned space flight Apollo mission."

    Good-looking, too; I met her once.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:45PM (#16953260)
    geek /gik/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[geek] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    -noun Slang.
    1. a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken.
    2. a peculiar or offensive person, esp. one who is perceived to be overly intellectual.
    3. an expert in computers (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders.)
    [Origin: 1915-20; prob. var. of geck (mainly Scots) fool D or LG gek]



    nerd /nerd/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[nurd] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    -noun Slang.
    1. a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person.
    2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd.
    Also, nurd.

    [Origin: 1960-65, American; obscurely derived expressive formation]

    Both nerd and geek were intended to be (and still are) derogatory terms. The fact that many have adopted these terms to describe themselves does not detract from the meaning of the words geek and nerd. The phenomena is similar to the case of nigger being used in some circles as an expression of affection. Invention of new meanings for a word does not negate older ones and those who willingly adopt insulting slang to describe themselves have egg on their face; even if they don't notice it.
  • by BigGar' ( 411008 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:54PM (#16954828) Homepage
    Let's see here:
    Ada Byron: Worlds first programmer on Charles Babbage's computer.
    Val Tereshkova: Cosmonaut, Hero of Russia, Crater named for her on the moon.
    Grace Hopper: Inventor of the Mark 1 Calculator; COBOL; really found the first computer "bug"
    Rosalind Franklin: Expert in DNA and crystallography; probably should have receive a Nobel prize.
    Marie Curie: Won TWO Nobel Prizes discovered Radium & Polonium.
    Mary Shelley: Author of Frankenstein the archetypal geek gone mad story.

    A fairly impressive list.
    Next Up
    Daryl Hanna: Acted in Blade Runner & Attack of the 50 foot woman, designed two board games.
    Lisa Simpson: Fictitious, doesn't count. get it off the list.
    Aleks Krotoski:Expert in the social psychology of virtual worlds, writer for the Guardian
    Paris Hilton:Huh?

    Aleks might be able to stay, on the list but the rest gotta go. DAryl might be a geek but come on top ten?

    Here are some suggestions for additions to the list:
    Maria Mayer: Nobel Prize in Physics. Determined the "shell" structure of the atom.
    Jewel Cobb:Studied the effects of chemotherapy non-cancerous cells. Received 41 honorary doctorates.
    Evelyn Granville:Second woman in the USA to receive a PhD in mathematics. Worked for IBM on the team that developed the formulation of orbit computations and computer procedures for NASA.

    Or to go OLD school:
    Theano: Wife of Pythagoras. Worked on the formula to derive Golden Rectangle.

Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982