Bing by Any Other Name
11/15/2010 by: Darleen Hartley
Microsoft, possibly taking a cue from Jobs and Wozniak, named its search engine after a fruit. Or did they?
Bing is a popular form of cherry, a tasty red morsel attractive to birds of many colors. Perhaps the name is an abbreviated form of Bing-Bang-Bong, as in bouncing around the net until the search engine finds what you are looking for. But we digress.
Microsoft commissioned a biographical video about another Bing - Dr. Richard J. Bing. Bing, the world renowned research cardiologist, had sent a letter in jest to Microsoft indicating that he previously had quite a successful run himself with the name.
Dr. Bing reached his 101st birthday before passing away last week. Prior to his death, he had accomplished much more than just living one hundred years. He explored cardiac metabolism and congenital heart disease in the 1950’s and 60’s. Along with Alfred Blalock, surgeon, and Helen B. Taussig, another cardiologist, they developed the first cardiac catheterization lab which allowed them to measure the heart’s mechanical efficiency. Working into the 1990’s, his research in nitric oxide as it relates to the vascular system lead to a Nobel Prize for three other scientists.
His own work is recorded in more than 500 research articles. He developed an early version of the PET [positron emission tomography] scan while working with an MIT physicist, George W. Clark, and using computers from the Ford Motor Company.
Born in Nuremberg, Germany, Bing studied music, and later medicine gaining two such degrees from universities in Munich and Bern, Switzerland in the 1930’s. He was fortunate enough to receive a fellowship to Columbia University in the US which brought Bing, a Jew, out of Nazi Germany to America. In his new homeland, he served as a lieutenant in the United States Army Medical Corps during WWII.
Bing’s talents were revealed not only in medicine, but in the 300-plus musical scores he wrote for chamber ensemble, orchestra, and chorus. In addition to papers on medicine, the doctor authored fictional books, on topics apparently drawn from his own life experiences. Three Brothers and Other Stories, touches on racial prejudice and courage, while King Lear and Ben Leary looks at the harsh reality of old age as a man tries to maintain his identity.
Microsoft premiered the video, Para Fuera, by director Nick Jasenovec and produced by Nonfiction Unlimited, at the Sundance Film Festival in January. It is now also available on YouTube.
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