Fritz Zwicky, scientist.


While researching our upcoming cover story on "The Future," I came across an astrophysicist with the most fantastic name in human history: Fritz Zwicky.

As early as 1933, [he] was arguing that the universe must have some form of "dark matter"—stuff that emits almost no electromagnetic radiation (such as light or x-rays) and can't be picked up by telescopes. In other words, invisible objects. But it wasn't until decades later that astrophysicists realized how much of the universe might be made of dark matter, possibly as much as 90 percent!

An FOE (friend of Einstein), Zwicky famously referred to people he didn't like as "spherical b*stards" because, well, that's what they were any way he looked at them. He was a bit spherical himself, of course -- a frequent opening salvo when meeting new people was "who the hell are you?" If you think you can bear the irascibility, there's loads more on him here.