Here I present the origin and evolution of Huxley…er..Hexley, my favourite mascot and email signature.
Hexley was created in response to a query on the Darwin Developers mailing list that they needed a mascot. This was sometime in the year 2000. A web vote was taken of the various submissions and the platypus was chosen. Some of the other submissions included an Aqua Darwin fish and various devilish modifications of Clarus the DogCow.
Once the platypus was chosen someone suggested that “Hexley” be used as the name of the new mascot since Darwin’s assistant was named Hexley. It turns out that they were wrong and the person they were referring to was actually Thomas Henry Huxley. Huxley was not Darwin’s assistant but was a prominent English biologist in his own right. He was a vociferous defender of Darwin’s theories, so much so that he was nick-named “Darwin’s Bulldog”.
By the time the mistake was found “Hexley” had escaped into the ether and it was felt that it was too late to change the name to “Huxley”.In retrospect they probably should have originally had a Bulldog character, but it gave them the chance to give Hexley a sidekick.
The original design also included an apple on Hexley’s fork but it was removed at the behest of Apple computer for legal trademark reasons.
Hexley lives here