Play The Internet
(or The Importance of Being Barry Jones)
Who else around the world shares your name? Anyone can play The Namesake Game
on the Internet. It can be lots of fun and full of surprises.
All you have to do is enter your name (between quotes) in one of those
amazing search engines, such as Google. (Later, try clicking Google's
IMAGES button, and then enter your name, to see what are often hilarious
pictures of your namesakes). It's not much good if your name is John Smith (Google lists 296,000 pages of
them), but if you enquire about "John Montague Smith" you can narrow
the field down to a mere handful.
Nor is it much use if your name is George Bush. You'll find that any
references to lesser-known namesakes are lost among 593,000 entries, mostly
about the present and former U.S. Presidents.
Our introduction to the game occurred when we searched the Net to gather
information about a distinguished Australian, Dr Barry Jones, A.O. (Officer of
the Order of Australia, our highest honor).
We discovered that Barry Jones is the name of a politician, film star,
baseball pitcher, professor, hypnotist and crystal gazer. There seems to be
something about the name that turns many of its owners into talented, and often
extroverted, in-your-face performers on the Internet. You can see some of their
pictures by clicking on Google's IMAGES.
Barry Jones first became a public figure when, as a young
Melbourne school teacher, he won the title of national quiz king in Bob
Dyer's BP Pick-a-Box show on Channel 7 in the days of black-and-white
television. I first met him then, in the 1950s, when, as public relations
officer for the sponsor, I often drove him from his Sydney hotel to and from the
TV studio in Epping, seven or eight miles from the city.
Barry was a great TV performer for several years, becoming a celebrity when
he beat challenges from quiz champions from several countries. A few years later
he gained degrees in arts and law and doctorates in science and literature.
He entered Victoria's State parliament as a Labor member in 1972, and
graduated to become a Federal politician from 1977 until 1998. He was Minister
for Science from 1983 to 1990 and national president of the Australian Labor
Party from 1992 to 2000.
In January 1998, he was deputy chair of the Constitutional Convention and in
February 1998 became a "national treasure," one of 100 people
the National Trust named as Australian icons. Barry Jones Bay in the
Australian Antarctic Territory, and Yalkaparidon jonesi, a rare extinct
family of marsupials, were named for him. Now he is busily writing his
By a strange coincidence, Britain too has a Labor MP: The
Right Honorable Barry Jones represents Alyn and Deeside in the House of
Commons. Termed "a nice guy" by his Australian namesake, he had the
misfortune of being born at the wrong time politically - too young to have been
a minister in the Wilson Labor Cabinet, and too old for the present Blair
The many other Barry Joneses around the world are a curiously mixed bunch, as
was revealed in a tour of their Internet websites. Here are just a few of them:
Barry Jones - Hypnotist,
Mentalist, Corporate Speaker was born in England and now
lives in California. "As a competitor in the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii,
Barry became aware of the 'altered states of mind' that it took to participate
in such events," says his website "Subsequently, during a 21-hour
event from Death Valley to the peak of Mt Whitney he experienced a four-hour
loss of time. Fascinated by this 'trance state' he studied hypnosis at the
University of California, San Diego. Using hypnosis for imagery and as a
motivational tool for athletes, Barry Jones has become a leader in its use in
sports psychology... Available for Conventions, Schools, State Fairs,
Universities, Night Clubs, Athletic Motivation, Private Parties."
Barry Jones -
Crystal Gazer: "Wendy and Barry Jones take you on a journey through
the crystal realm. Beginning with the story of their creation deep within the
Earth, The Magic of Crystals tells of the history and significance of
crystals through the ages as an important background to understanding their
Jones - Film Star was a British character actor who began his stage
career in the 1920s and appeared in 33 movies between 1931 and 1966, including Brigadoon
(1954) which is still shown from time to time on late-night TV. His other films
included Ten Little Indians (1959), The Safecracker (1958), Prince
Valiant (1954), Return to Paradise (1953), Island Rescue (1952),
Appointment With Venus (1952), The Clouded Yellow (1951) and Number
17 (1932). He is remembered as the deranged explosives expert Professor
Willingdon, who threatened to destroy London in Seven Days to Noon
Jones - Baseball Pitcher "Barry Louis Jones. Height: 6ft. 4in.
Weight 225lb. Born Feb. 15, 1963 in Centerville, Indiana (U.S.)"
Barry Jones - Boxer
"Hometown: Wales. Division: Super Featherweight. Ranking:
WBO - 1: IBA - 12. Titles: Former WBO Super Featherweight Champion, IBF
Inter-Continental Super Featherweight Champion."
- Alcohol Researcher "His first lectureship was at St. Andrews
University. In those days, he researched visual processes in rats, monkeys and
young humans. During the 1980s, his research interests evolved to modelling
decision making in clinical nurses and nurse managers. Since that time, he has
graduated to modelling the decisions of the patients themselves and particularly
alcohol consumption decisions."
Barry Jones - Professor
"The following links are midi files created in class as demonstrations of
the use of synthesizers, sequencers and the MIDI protocol. The songs are
arranged and played by Barry Jones: Ain't Misbehavin' - Fats Waller,
Harry Brooks, Andy Razaf ; Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight - James
Jones - Motivator "Great quotes to inspire, empower and motivate
you to live the life of your dreams and become the person you've always wanted
And proving Barry Jones's versatility, there's even a Barry
Jones 10km Road Race in London. The annual race was renamed to honor the
memory of the organising club's late secretary.
It would have been great if at least one of the thousands of other Barry
Joneses around the world had competed. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be a
marathon runner among them.
Copyright © 2002
Story first posted August 2002