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.
Stephanie Meyer kicks Jane Austen's ass: "Apparently thanks to the Twilight vampire series, Isabella replaced Emma as the most popular baby name for girls in 2009. Among the boys, Jacob retained its 11-year-run at the top."
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 [...]
Here's a little sentence that requires no real explanation: "At the age of eight months, Presley's parents started calling her Summer." Speaks volumes, doesn't it? "It took six visits to civil court but now the government calls her that too," explains the Times, in this little bit on regretting the wacko name you gave your baby. What did you ever expect? But this at least is an interesting age, in which nearly all always-popular names are less popular than ever, due to diversity in naming choice-due to our love of fun! And our worship of individuality, etc. This points us, of course, to the extreme rise and [...]
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.