The roots of my Twitter handle date back to the early days of the Internet, when AOL ruled cyberspace. I was living in New York City and decided to sign up with an electronic mail provider called Mindspring (later swallowed up by Earthlink). Having a cutesy email handle was all the rage, and after a few attempts that were rejected as already claimed by other users, I settled on "lucrezia," in honor of Lucrezia Borgia, who I always felt got a bad rap as a smart woman in a powerful family who was denied much of that power for herself. Also? She owned fabulous poison rings, which are awesome. I bought a few cheap knockoff rings from the vendors on St. Mark's Place, filled them with salt (instead of the more historically accurate arsenic), and would sometimes offer to sprinkle some on a date's food. If he laughed, he was worth a second date.
Fast forward many years later. I had moved to DC, and my upstairs neighbors took to calling me "Jen-Luc" -- a clever mashup of my name (Jennifer) and email handle (Lucrezia). When I started my Cocktail Party Physics blog in 2006, it just made sense to name the moody little avatar at the start of each post "Jen-Luc." I added the last name "Piquant" as a nod to Captain Picard of Star Trek fame, of course, but also to capture something of the flavor of the blog.