One of the things people do when they get on-line for the first time is to "Google" themselves. Why even George W. Bush has used "the Google" to look at his ranch. No doubt you've already done this yourself but just in case you haven't you can try it out here:
Earlier this millennium, say the year 2000 or 2001, I received a number of emails (well, 2 actually) from some other people who were also called "Tom Tilley". One was from the UK and the other from Belgium. They had been searching for their name on the web and found my page (although back then Alta Vista was the Godzilla-like king of search engines) and emailed to say "Hi!" to a fellow member of an exclusive club where we all share the same name. Below you can find out some more about my fellow club-members both past and present. For example, there's Tom Tilley the:
Perhaps the most famous member of the club, this Tom Tilley was a professional ice hockey player in Canada and North America during the 1980's and 90's. Follow the links to view his game statistics and you can also find him on a number of hockey trading cards.
Early in 2008 someone told me that they heard a reporter on Triple-J (an Australian youth radio network that is part of the ABC - Australia's equivalent of the BBC) - named Tom Tilley and wondered if... no, it couldn't be, could it? No, it wasn't - however, in February 2009 I was interviewed on ABC Adelaide's "Beyond the Backyard" segment. You can listen to the inteview here.
My other foray into radio was one morning on Sea FM back in 2001. Two friends, Simon and Wazza, were trying out a new show in the morning time-slot and they asked me to come in to the station to give "scientific" sounding answers to callers questions in a talkback segment called "What's Going on There with Professor Tom". Before heading into the station I hit the internet to make sure I was well armed to answer difficult questions like "why don't sheep shrink when it rains?" and "why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?". You can listen to the opening theme:
and closing theme for the show:
No doubt you remember Vizzini's famous remark during his battle of wits with the Dread Pirate Roberts in the movie The Princess Bride where he states that
...Australia is entirely peopled with criminals....
Of course that's not true - Australians aren't all criminals - oh wait. This is a picture of a love token made for a convict who arrived in Australia aboard the first fleet. The NSW Migration Heritage Centre has this to say about it:
This convict love token was commissioned by the First Fleet transportee, Thomas Tilley who was sentenced to seven years transportation for theft with force. To ingratiate himself, Thomas Tilley falsely watered down his crime on the token he left for his loved one. On one side is a bird chained from its neck to the ground, and on the obverse is inscribed, 'Thomas Tilley transported 29 July 1785 for signing a note sent the hulks Jan 24 1786'. Vanity perhaps led him to ascribe his own crime to fraud rather than theft with force - a detail suitably sanitised for immortality on a token of love. After languishing in the hulks, Tilley was put on the transport Alexander in 1787, bound for Botany Bay. Tilley was present at Port Jackson when the colony was proclaimed on the 26th January 1788 at Sydney Cove.
Hmmm, Maybe Vizzini was right after all.
I still feel a bit wary about people publishing so many details of their lives on Facebook and MySpace and I don't think the long term implications have really been thought through yet (he says, hypocritically as he publishes details about his own life). These guys, however, obviously have no such concern and there are a surprising number of club members out there.