The Five Coolest People Born In Ithaca New York

The Five Coolest People Born In Ithaca New York

Ithaca's full of cool people, but these are the coolest people born here.
94
views

Ithaca, New York is a cool town, and those who live here are irrefutably cooler than those who do not. Don’t argue with me, I have proof — a Magic 8 Ball agreed with me (though it did tell me to “ask again later” several times, which I have always found to be rather presumptuous). If people who live here are cooler than those who don’t, it must only follow that those who were born here are even cooler still, right?

Well, maybe. After extensive research, it seems that more interesting people migrated to Ithaca than may have been born here. This left me in a bit of a pickle. I'd already picked the headline, and what was I going to do, change that? No, I had to buckle down, dig deep into the crevices of the Internet and find at least a handful of truly cool people born here. And here they are, the coolest people born in Ithaca.

1. David Foster Wallace

First up on the list is the inimitable postmodernist writer David Foster Wallace. Wallace's cool points are immediately clear. Look at him rocking that bandana, those glasses, that scruffy beard and long hair. Here's a guy who saw three different styles — nerdy, punk, and man without razor — and threw them together successfully. He also wrote "Infinite Jest," one of the most influential books of the last few decades, so that's pretty cool as well. As a writer, Wallace's street cred extended beyond his death. His final novel, "The Pale King," garnered a Pulitzer Prize nomination despite being unfinished. You know you're good when you can leave your novel (and this plane of existence) unfinished and people still think it's one of the best books of the year.

Wallace loses some cool points for two reasons. Despite being born here, he left fairly young and doesn't seem to have ever returned. Two, there was that one time he maybe kind of tried to push his girlfriend out of a moving car. Bad genre-redefining writer, bad!

2. Bre Pettis

The concept of cool is, in many ways, a superficial thing, often focused entirely on superficial aspects. But, superficially speaking, Bre Pettis is a rad dude. He's pulling one of the most casual fist-pumps in human history while wearing a watch without a face. Those sideburns are as long as they are out of style, and he doesn't care at all. Plus, let's consider the name. Bre Pettis. It could have been Bret, but he somewhere along the line he decided that the letter t was too mundane for his first name.

Bre Pettis was one of the co-founders and CEO of MakerBot Industries. Again, superficially, this sounds like one of the coolest companies ever, as if the company makes robots which make other robots. In reality, they produced 3D printers and helped in the development of the technology. Their most noteworthy achievement? Sending a bust of Stephen Colbert's head into space. Pettis no longer works with MakerBot, but I think we can all agree that he deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for this achievement.

3. Lonnie Park

Lonnie Park is a musician who earned a Grammy nomination on Arun Shenoy's album "Rumbadoodle." So what makes Lonnie Park cool? I'm 75 percent certain that he wrote his own Wikipedia entry. It contains verb tense disagreements, a flagrant lack of citations and downright ballsy claims, such as "Lonnie continues to be the go-to source for industrial sound systems." Viewing the page history, a number of the edits were done by someone cleverly named "LonniePark2." Which raises the question of LonniePark1's fate.

But you know what? Good for him. This is a power move as far as I'm concerned. Here's a man who recognizes that modern people use Wikipedia as a reference for who a person is and decided to define his own destiny. He stood up and said, "I will NOT allow others to say who I am, I will NOT allow myself to fade into Internet obscurity! I will shout from the electronic rooftops that I am cool, I am great, I am Lonnie Goddamn Park!"

In all seriousness, the album he helped on is pretty good. Give it a listen if I made you feel bad for him.

4. Dustin Brown

I'll be honest, I know nothing about sports. It's not exactly in my wheelhouse. So while Dustin seems pretty cool, his inclusion is based on three and only three things: 1) He led the Los Angeles Kings to win the Stanley Cup twice. This is good, right? Are the Kings the bad guys of sports? I'm going to assume no. Bad guys don't smile like that unless they also have a long, waxy mustache. 2) He once played for a team from Zürich. Zürich is a cool name for a city. 3) Five people for a list is much better than four people for a list. Go on, judge me.

5. Alex Haley

Writer Alex Haley is the coolest person born in Ithaca. I'd wish him congratulations, but he's had the kind of career that doesn't really need extra praise. He was the writer of "Roots: The Saga of an American Family," winner of a Special Pulitzer Prize. Considering that a regular old Pulitzer Prize is generally pretty well-respected, getting a special one seems like the sort of thing one would lead within every conversation they ever had for the rest of their lives. His first novel was "The Autobiography of Malcolm X." This is especially impressive considering that he was Alex Haley and not Malcolm X. He's received medals from the NAACP for his writings, and from South Korea and the U.S. Coast Guard for his service in the Korean War. One important demerit on his exceptionally cool record: he likely plagiarized portions of "Roots" from another writer. While definitely not a cool move, he gets a pass since the rest of it is still freaking "Roots."

There you have it, the five coolest people born in Ithaca, New York. Or, four plus Lonnie Park.

Cover Image Credit: Salon

Popular Right Now

What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
383648
views

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Picking Passion Over Pressure Is The Answer To A Fulfillng Life

Don't crack under pressure, flourish with passion.

361
views

What motivates your actions? The answer to this critical question can determine whether or not you are living a fulfilling life. Many of us follow a social script as if we are reading lines from a play. We succumb to the influence of those around us and roam aimlessly in the direction of the masses.

The concept of living within the confinement of certain "norms" is an expectation society calls us to uphold, and it is not an entirely negative idea. But when life becomes "a series of motions to go through", this expectation can become problematic. When you find yourself stressed out about doing whatever it is you think that you have to do, stop and ask yourself if it makes you truly happy. Are you pursuing your passion or are you just performing under pressure? To find true contentment in your life, pick passion over pressure.

Be an individual before an identity.

When people first introduce themselves to a new friend or group of people, they are quick to jump to aspects of their life that compose their identity. Many of us define ourselves by what it is we do, and not necessarily who we actually are. For example, this can include identifying as a member of a club or sports team or even defining yourself based on accolades and accomplishments you have achieved. While these are definitely adequate ways to distinguish yourself from others, have you ever stopped to look beneath the surface? It is important to know what unique qualities make you an individual and not just a part of a larger entity.

By viewing yourself as an individual, you will find your passions in life more easily and find genuine enjoyment in all that you do. Taking on an identity will only hold you under unnecessary pressure to fulfill a role that could leave you feeling unsatisfied later on.

Become self-aware.

To find out what makes you truly happy, you need to establish a clear sense of who you are. Fostering self-awareness is a journey, and it can be discovered through life experiences. In order to figure out what you love doing, push yourself out of your comfort zone to figure out what you don't love doing. This can mean joining a new club, taking a challenging class, or working in an environment that you are unfamiliar with. Once you begin to discover how you react in certain situations, use these personality traits to your advantage.

Don't make the same mistake twice, and avoid taking on a position that you know would not be compatible with your lifestyle. By becoming self-aware, you will discover your passion more easily and will be able to take on realistic opportunities that will prove to be fulfilling. When you try to become someone you are not, it will seem like there is always a lingering pressure to "keep up the act", and it will be harder to accomplish tasks because you don't truly enjoy doing them.

View outside opinions with a filtered lens.

Don't let others dictate your future. When you make life decisions based on what other people think is best for you, you will be pleasing everyone except yourself. Consciously decide whose opinions are valid, meaningful, and constructive to your life. This can include the wisdom of close friends and relatives, professors, or a boss that has known you for years. By finding out who knows you best and who truly desires the best for your life, you can tune out the background noise and hone in on the few voices that actually do matter.

Place value in what these people have to say, and take the words of others with a grain of salt. Avoid letting irrelevant or negative opinions linger in your mind. If you allow the influence of others to infiltrate your decision making, you will find yourself in many regrettable situations and unsatisfied with the outcome of your choices. By subscribing to the helpful advice shared by those closest to you, you can foster your true passion.

Practice positive thinking. 

You can't find out what makes you happy in life without actually experiencing what happiness is. To discover your passion, adopt a positive mindset. Get out of the habit of mentally putting yourself down, and take the word "can't" out of your thought process. The more mental blocks you put on yourself, the less likely you are to have good experiences. Release your inhibitions and train your brain seek positivity in any situation.

Don't allow minor inconveniences to disturb you, and remind yourself of the saying that "it is only a bad day, not a bad life." In doing so, the positive choices you make will lead you in the direction of your passion so that you can live a fulfilling life.

Be open to new ideas. 

Keeping an open mind will allow you to experience life from a new perspective. Even when something seems foreboding, treat it as a lesson. If you cannot think of a positive quality for the situation you find yourself in, then don't assign your circumstances any qualities at all. If you keep a neutral mindset, you will eliminate the possibility for disappointment. This will encourage learning and growth, which are essential in your journey to finding your true passion.

Being open to new ideas will help you avoid sticking to the status quo. By taking part in something you have never done before, you are less likely to find yourself confined by what others expect you to do.

Related Content

Facebook Comments