you know how engineering whipping boy Dilbert came to be
called by that name? Per Scott Adams, while working at Pacific Bell he ran an informal
name-the-comic-strip-engineer contest from his cubicle. A guy named Mike Goodwin suggested Dilbert. "I
ended the contest immediately and declared Mike the winner," says Adams. It sounded perfect. Years after the comic
strip had become syndicated, Mike commented that he believes the name idea might
come from seeing his father's old WWII aviator comics with "Dilbert the Pilot." DtP was a screw-up, invented by
Navy artist Robert Osborn, whose purpose in life was to illustrate the wrong way of doing things so that real
pilots wouldn't make the same mistakes. The name was funny then, as it is funny now. BTW, Dilbert is a variant of
Delbert meaning nobly famous. During the War, "dilbert" became a synonym for "blunder" for Navy pilots. The
Navy even produced an aviator safety film titled, "Don't
Kill Your Friends," featuring Dilbert the Pilot. "Don't be a Dilbert!"
The AskACFI.com website has a huge collection
of Dilbert the Pilot drawings as well as many others from Robert Osborn.
These items are an archive of past Topical Smorgasbord items that have appeared on the RF Cafe homepage. In keeping with
the "cafe" genre, these tidbits of information are truly a smorgasbord of topics. They all pertain to topics
that are related to the general engineering and science theme of RF Cafe.
Please send me an e-mail
if you have
a good subject.