I was on my lunch break and texting my dad when that thought crossed my mind, definitely not for the first time. My dad’s name is Kirby Alan Hanson, so that’s where my name comes from, and I’m pretty sure there isn’t any deeper connection to [...]
The other day I was listening to NPR and they were talking about the plight of the refugees from the Syrian civil war, many of whom live in cramped conditions that only exacerbate the stress caused by the horror of being forced to leave their homes and the uncertainty of whether or not they will ever be able to return. They were interviewing one of the women who was trying to keep her family together in that awful environment and when they asked her what the worst part was, she immediately—I mean, without even waiting for the translator—replied, "Oh, for sure it's when they pronounce my name wrong." I [...]
A little backstory on how snow storm Nemo came to have a name: the practice of naming snow storms came out of the National Weather Service's Buffalo, NY office, where they've been doing it for years as a way of distinguishing between storms. Western New York gets multiple blizzards per year, so you can't just call them "The Blizzard of [Year]"* when there was probably more than one blizzard that year. It's the infamous Lake Effect; cold winds whip across the Midwest, pick up water vapor rising off of the warmer-by-comparison Lake Erie, and dump it as fluffy, snowball-perfect snow as soon as it hits land. Upstate gets so much [...]
The most popular name for boys in England and Wales is now Oliver, which is remarkably serendipitous in that, thanks to the new Coalition government's savage evisceration of the social safety net, most of the children on that cursed isle will be begging for extra helpings of gruel very soon.
Is this article a tribute to the fact that the increasing diversity of our nation's population is resulting in an explosion of previously unfamiliar names or an early signal that as the economy becomes mainly centered around the service industries many of the pieces we read considering modern life will be about the knotty problems that come from interacting with the help? Yes.
In honor of Opening Day on Sunday, the second of two pieces today on the history of the game.
From my extensive research, I've learned that baseball is a sport people watch sometimes. I could blame my lack of appreciation for America's greatest sport on many factors—my father being Australian, and therefore interested only in cricket; the fact that when I played softball in school I always ended up in right field; the fact that my entire heart belongs to Patrick Chan—but I've decided instead to scapegoat the names, specifically their terrible decline in quality in recent years.
"After a year-long search, Garment District landlords and business leaders have picked a name to highlight the neighborhood's ongoing transformation from clothing factories to hip office buildings and boutiques: the Garment District."
Devices like iPhones have a unique name, a string that is usually called a "universally unique identifier." That the word "unique" doesn't ever need any modifier is, I guess, beside the point. It's not just unique, it's unique in the whooooole universe. Sometimes they call it a globally unique identifier. Heh. Anyway, a UUID is 32 characters and four hyphens. There are, according to the math whizzes on Wikipedia, 39 digits in the number representing 32 possible combinations of letters and numbers. That's a really big number, more than there are people, for sure.
This is a helpful thing, for obvious reasons. Wouldn't it be amazing if every human had [...]
"It is a greater change than we could even imagine 20 years ago, even 10 years ago. And it has taken us by surprise and we must adjust our understanding of the system and we must adjust our science and we must adjust our feelings for the nature around us." —The urgency apparent in Norwegian Polar Institute's Dr. Kim Holman's assessment of recent data about the melting arctic ice cap is truly terrifying. But the fact that the Institute named its icebreaker ship "Lance" makes me smile.
Happy belated birthday, Facebook Jamal Ibrahim! You are a baby girl born last week in Egypt. Your parents named you, in honor of the role the social networking site Facebook played in your country's recent revolution. Your name struck me as strange at first. And I guess it is a bit strange. But the longer I sit with, the more I think it's strange in a good way, the more I like it. It's better than "Twitter," for starters, in that it won't be shortened to "Twit." And I actually think it will be pretty cool as you grow older. People will surely call you "Face." And [...]
Fans of rap and of organization will really enjoy this Grand Taxonomy of Rap Names tree chart made by the poster-design duo Pop Chart Lab. It's terrific, and definitely worth falling into for a few minutes today. But, sadly, it does not include the newest addition to the all-time great rap names pantheon*, Riverdale, Georgia's Waka Flocka Flame. A member of Gucci Mane's Brick Squad crew who's found recent success on the strength of singles like "O Let's Do It" and "Hard in the Paint," Flocka would have fit nicely into the "Rhyme" category of the "Wordplay" branch, or started any one of various possible new groupings: An [...]