Like a Geek God
Now, good solderer Northrup, 26, a software "solutions architect" for a Burlington, Mass., company that manages Web sites, has a title to impress all those kids who played Little League while he was reassembling old computers. He is, in his peers' eyes, the Sexiest Geek Alive.
Northrup, 6'1" and 175 lbs. (without pocket protector), won the title earlier this year after entering an online competition sponsored by the entertainment Web site geekandguru.com Among the questions: Explain Heisenberg's uncertainty principle—"I looked it up," Northrup admits—and list your favorite Star Trek captain (he picked Kirk).
At the finals, in a bar in Austin, Texas, with fiancée Erica Edson, 27 (a financial analyst who describes him as "pretty laid back"), cheering him on, Northrup defeated 11 men and women for the title. "There were some pretty cute girls," says Northrup of the competition, culled from more than 18,000 entrants. "I would have voted for them way before I voted for myself."
Although the title didn't come with a prize—not even some extra RAM—Northrup says it has brought occasional dividends. Nowadays when coworkers tease him, he says, "for the most part it's 'Hey, Sexy!' " Which is, of course, an improvement on "Hey, Geeky!"