Jared Diamond / Dustin Diamond

Recently I had the opportunity to watch the Saved by the Bell episode “Aloha Slater” in which Slater must decide between moving to Hawaii and staying in Bayside. Of course this idea of decisions of destiny is also a constant theme of the new book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. Ultimately it got me to thinking on the various coincidences concerning the intertwining lives of renowned author and biohistorian Jared Diamond and award-winning thespian Dustin Diamond. The similarities between the two titans should be obvious to anyone, assuming, as I do, that we are all avid students of biogeography and avid viewers of Saved by the Bell. The coincidences in the lives of these two well-known and celebrated celebrities border on near-eerie:

Jared Diamond Dustin Diamond
Spent much time in New Guinea studying its indigenous fauna, peoples and its history. Played the character of Screech on a television show.
Has written many books which explore history from a biological perspective. Besides being on a TV show, he also does stand-up comedy.
Is aprofessor of geology at UCLA. Was born in 1977.
Won a Pulitzer Prize for his remarkable tome Guns, Germs and Steel. Produced the video Dustin Diamond Teaches Chess.
Has published over two hundred articles in Nature, Discover and Geo. Screech on Saved by the Bell was named Samuel Powers.
Is an expert on typewriter design, avian evolution and feudal Japan. Played Screech on the TV show Saved by the Bell.
Once wrote a scientific paper entitled Ethnic Differences: Variation in Human Testis Size. Had a cameo in a David Spade movie.
Speaks over twelve languages. Spades and Diamonds are both playing card suits.

Hard to believe they’re two separate people!

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