There’s even a Star Trek character named O’Brien! Isn’t that cool!? The character’s full name is Miles Edward “Chief” O’Brien and he was a major character on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I guess that he was a minor character at first and then his part got larger and larger until he became a fairly major character with his own storylines and such. I’ve never watched those shows but it sounds like he had some pretty dramatic storylines: one time he was put on trial and accused of being a spy and he even was sentenced to prison. In another storyline, O’Brien was a slave on some other planet! Pretty crazy! I had no clue that Star Trek was so dramatic – I might just have to give it a second look just for the O’Brien slave lawsuit
Wow, a whole county! That’s pretty impressive, I think. O’Brien County Iowa is pretty respectable, size-wise. The population is around 14,000 and there are several actual cities that are located in the county: Archer, Calumet, Hartley, Paullina, Primghar, Sanborn, Sheldon, Sutherland – and there are a few of those “Unincorporated Communities” (still want to know what those are, exactly) called Gaza, Germantown, and Moneta.
Here’s a fun one: There’s an award called the Davey O’Brien award. It’s given to college football players and its official name is the “Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.” The award was named for a college football player who died of cancer in 1977, and the award is based in Fort Worth, Texas (not surprising – Texas loves football!). Some pretty famous football players have won the award and that’s saying a lot because Kimberley O’Brien doesn’t know much about football. She kind of knows some of the names of Chicago Bears players but that’s the extent of her football knowledge. But some of the players who have won the award include Jim McMahon, Vinny Testaverde, Troy Aikman, Tim Tebow, Peyton Manning, and Vince Young.
Yep, that’s right. There is at least one famous court case with “O’Brien” in the name. United States v. O’Brien was a 1968 court case that decided that burning a draft card was not a form of protected speech as mentioned in the first amendment. Although the draft-card burning was considered to be a popular form of protest against the Vietnam War, the supreme court decided that it was a crime – and this decision also led to something called “The O’Brien test,” which is used to figure out whether a law is basically preventing free speech. I think I have that right. As you can probably tell, Kimberley O’Brien is not a lawyer or a law expert – but that’s the gist of it I think. I think the O’Brien test has been used to determine that other forms of protest are free speech.
Okay so I know that this isn’t a person, place, band, or anything else but how cool is it that we O’Briens have a food named after us?! It’s very very cool, in Kimberley O’Brien’s opinion. Potatoes O’Brien are pan-friend potatoes swerved with green and red bell peppers. That’s what the Wikipedia page says. I want to say that I’ve had potatoes o’brien with onion, too – but maybe that’s not potatoes o’brien. Maybe there’s another dish that’s similar that has onions. I’m not sure. Anyway, it seems like nobody knows exactly who invented potatoes O’brien but they have been around since the early 1900s and they most likely were invented in New York or Boston. Either way, I think they’re pretty tasty.
Woohoo! Moving right along from cities and towns and companies to bands! I didn’t know that there were any bands out there with the name O’Brien, so I sure was surprised to learn about these guys. I was also disappointed to learn that they’re not around any more. They broke up in 2011, which is a shame because they sound like they were interesting. They toured with Nada Surf, Modest Mouse, and Bright Eyes and I like all of those bands so I bet I would have liked them, too. I saw Modest Mouse in Chicago about 10 years ago but I’m pretty sure that Port O’Brien didn’t open for them. I want to say it was some kind of old-timey band with a bunch of strings and horns and like a zillion people in it. And Port O’Brien was only four people. So I’m pretty sure it wasn’t them. But at any rate, I’m intrigued and now I may have to search ITunes and see if I can find any Port O’Brien songs on there. I’d really like to know what they sounded like.
O’Brien Press is a publishing company in Ireland. It publishes kids’ books and nonfiction. The company was started in 1973 and several books published by The O’Brien Press have won awards. Pretty cool! I love to read and I like to think that my last name is also the name of a publishing company.
I bet you had no idea that there were TWO ENTIRE ISLANDS named O’Brien. The one in Chile is located at Cape Horn, which is right at the beginning of the Beagle Channel which I think is where Charles Darwin started or continued his voyage. The Spanish name for this island is “Isla O’Brien” which to me sounds like an amazing movie star name. I think If I were going to change my name to something other than Kimberley O’Brien I might choose the name “Isla” instead. But don’t tell my parents that. They would flip the eff out and probably file a lawsuit against me for abuse of the name they gave me. Good thing I think Kimberley O’Brien is an awesome name, LOL.
Brr! Put on your parka if you want to visit O’Brien Island. Kimberley O’Brien isn’t sure why you’d want to go there, though. From what I read, there’s not much on O’Brien Island. In fact, it sounds like there are only two things on the whole island: Rocks and penguins. And it sounds like the penguins outnumber the rocks by quite a lot. The penguins that live there are called “Chinstrap Penguins” and O’Brien Island is actually home to large breeding colonies of these guys.
It’s actually known as something called an “Important Bird Area” (or IBA, for short) by an organization called BirdLife International. I guess that means that it’s protected and you can’t go in and mess things up or interfere with the penguins? I’m not sure. But l like the idea of protecting wildlife. More people should do that. I think it’s just such an abuse of our natural resources when we let entire species die out. Kimberley O’Brien would like to file a lawsuit against people who hurt animals and the environment.
Here’s a quick one: There’s a place named O’Brien in West Virginia. It must be really small because the Wikipedia page for it is like one sentence long. I couldn’t even find out how many people live there, that’s how short the wiki entry is! So, I guess that’s all Kimberley O’Brien has to say about O’Brien West Virginia. If anyone out there knows anything, drop me a comment and let me know! I’m really curious.