"What Color is Your Name?" is a website that associates your name, or any name, with blocks of colors. The project's creator, Bernadette Sheridan, has grapheme–color synaesthesia, which means her brain perceives numerals and letters as very specific colors.
...I am terrible at remembering names. I hear the name, but my mind is distracted. In my head, I am calculating the number of letters in the name, and visualizing the colors of each letter. Your name may be Emily, but to me, you’re a bright, happy swath of five letters with an “E” and an “I". When I meet you again later, I may think your name is Emily or Jille or Ellie. Five letters, with an “I” and an “e.”
Sheridan also offers, at a reasonable price, your name-color portraits as prints.
screengrab via "What Color is Your Name?"
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Nathan Yau created this fun and fascinating name guessing algorithm. You select "male" or "female," the decade you were born, and then type in the first letter of your name. I tried more than a dozen times for people I know and it nailed it on the first letter about 80% of the time. On those that it screwed up after the first letter, it got it right after I entered a second letter. From the project description:
This is based on data from the Social Security Administration, up to 2018. It’s relatively comprehensive, but there are a few limitations. First, it’s data for the United States, so the numbers don’t really apply elsewhere. Second, the SSA doesn’t include names with fewer than five people in a year, so the chart doesn’t cover more unique names. Third, there were no Social Security Numbers before 1935, so the name counts are fuzzier for years before that.
But like I said, the data still has a wide range. I aggregated the annual data by decade and calculated percentages by dividing name counts by total number of Social Security Numbers provided.
Before you enter anything, the chart shows the most popular names for the given sex and decade. Then as you enter a name, the chart shows conditional probabilities. The more information you give it, the stronger the guess.
"Guessing Names Based on What They Start With" (FlowingData)
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If you were hoping that 2020 would mean less superficially amusing yet disquieting videos from me, I'm afraid you're on the wrong timeline. Happy New Year! Read the rest
Johnson City, Tennessee police arrested Tupac Shakur for assault, resisting arrest, and possession of meth and drug paraphernalia. According to News Channel 9, Shakur is being held on an $18,000 bond. In addition to being a hip hop legend, Shakur is apparently a master of disguise.
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When police arrested Matthew Bushman, 36, of Mansfield, Illinois on Friday, he reportedly tried to provide a fake name. Thing is, his real name is tattooed right across his neck. Police shouldn't be surprised though. After all, they were investigating Bushman for possible involvement in a forgery.
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After eight years, Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck has earned her PhD in higher education from Cardinal Stritch University. And yes, Marijuana Pepsi is her real given name. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Her mother, Maggie (Brandy) Johnson, who still lives in Beloit, (Wisconsin) picked out her name and proclaimed that it would take her around the world. Her sisters, one older and one younger, got relatively common names, Kimberly and Robin.
Teachers, classmates, bosses and other people in Marijuana's life pushed back against her name and teased her. Some suggested she go to court and change it. Some flat out refused to call her that or insisted on Mary, which she rejected.
As much as people blamed and judged her mother for the name, Marijuana credits her mom with making her the strong, balanced, entrepreneurial woman she is today...
But mostly she embraces the name as proof that you can overcome any obstacle in life and achieve your dreams...
It's fitting that an African American woman who has gone through life as Marijuana Pepsi chose as her dissertation topic: "Black names in white classrooms: Teacher behaviors and student perceptions."
"Yes, her name really is Marijuana Pepsi, and now she's Dr. Marijuana Pepsi to you" by Jim Stingl (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
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In another example of life imitating Seinfeld, Melville, Saskatchewan citizen Dave Assman (pronounced Oss-men) applied for a personalized license plate of his last name but the Saskatchewan Government Insurance (like the DMV) put the kibbosh on the request and also his appeal. So Assman created a large decal inspired by the Saskatchewan plate design and slapped it on the rear end (ahem) of his truck. Based on the SGI's Twitter post below, they seem to be ok with that.
"It's just a name and censorship should be out of the window..." Assman said. "It upsets me, but I'm not one of those guys to take offence to it."
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Macaulay Culkin's middle name is currently "Carson." But, starting in 2019, it will be "Macaulay Culkin," as in Macaulay 'Macaulay Culkin' Culkin.
The Home Alone actor has been polling his fans on what his new middle name should be. The other choices were "Shark Week," "Kieran" (his younger brother's name), "TheMcRibisBack," and "Publicity Stunt." Ultimately his fans went with the meta choice of his own first and last name.
On Christmas day he made the big announcement.
Keep it quirky, Culkin!
Recently: 38-year-old Macaulay Culkin is Home Alone again in this fun ad
Related: Did you know that the black-and-white gangster film ("Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!') in Home Alone was created for specifically for the movie? It's not a vintage flick at all!
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Each year, Baby Center polls parents to find out what they named their newborn. In 2018, more than 742,000 parents answered.
Based on that data, here are the top baby names for 2018.
Sophia celebrates her ninth consecutive year as the top choice for girls, while Jackson remains the most popular name for boys for six years running. Oliver and Layla both jumped into the top 10, pushing out Logan and Zoe. The fastest climbers of 2018 include Everly, Isla, Leo, and Carson.
These are the top ten, head to Baby Center to see all 100 top baby names for 2018. If you click on a name, you can discover its popularity over the years (data FTW!). Baby Center also offers predictions of future trends in baby names (inc. sneakers, gender-swaps, and Southern states), as well as alternatives to popular names.
Previously: Heather used to be a popular baby name
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An unusual set of tweets from the official IHOP account suggests that the pancake house chain is going to be changing their name to IHOb. They haven't revealed what the "b" stands for but will on Monday, June 11, the day the name change is supposed to go into effect.
USA Today quotes IHOP’s executive director of communications, Stephanie Peterson, as saying, "We're serious about the quality of food and our menu, and this name change really reflects that."
photo by Mike Mozart
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The $63 billion takeover of Monsanto by Bayer prompted a thorny branding question: what to call the new company? The company's management has announced its decision: the new company will be called "Bayer," despite the name's longtime association with Nazi slave labor camps, fatal human subjects experiments conducted on prisoners supplied by the Nazis, and complicity in the production of Zyklon B, the lethal poison used in concentration camp gas-chambers.
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Today I learned that Donald Glover got his rapper name Childish Gambino from this online Wu-Tang Clan name generator. It's not new news (though the info was new to me, and perhaps to you as well), as he mentions it in this 2016 Hollywood Reporter roundtable discussion. He says, "If I had known it was going to be something for real, I wouldn't have used it."
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Johanna Giselhäll Sandström of Kyrkhult, Sweden paid to have her arm tattooed with her two children's names: Nova and Kevin. Problem is, he accidentally inked her with "Kelvin." The tattooist refunded her money and suggested she go to a tattoo removal clinic. Instead, she and her husband settled on an easier, less expensive, and pain-free solution: They changed Kevin's name to Kelvin which they claim to prefer anyway. From The Local:
“I had never heard the name ‘Kelvin’ before. There isn’t anyone who names their kid Kelvin. So when I thought more about it, I realized that no one else has this name. It became unique. Now we think it is better than Kevin,” Sandström said....
“He wasn’t so old [at the time of the tattoo] so he didn’t think about it. He’s five now, but when I got the tattoo he was approaching two,” she said.
"Swedish mum renames son after tattoo typo" (via Fark) Read the rest
The Social Security Administration has released its "Top 10 Baby Names of 2017" male and female baby names in the United States. (No info on gender neutral names though.)
The SSA's Baby Names page also has ways to look at name ranks by birth year, state, and also changes in popularity.
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A brand manager at Dong Energy finally convinced them that their company name might be getting in the way of their messaging. They will be Ørsted from here out. Read the rest
Dan Hon (perfecting earlier work by Tom Taylor) trained an AI on the vast corpus of British place names, then set it loose. The results are amazing, illustrative of an uncannily human humor seemingly at work, something you'd never get from the standard syllable-randomizing place name generators of yore.
"There aren’t as many cocks as you’d think," he writes.
My favorites: Brotters Common, Boll of Binclestead, Farton Green Pear End, Weston Parpenham, Sutsy Compton, Stoke of Inch, Kinindworthorpe Marmile, Rastan-on-croan, Fuckley, Fapton, Waterwitherwell.
See also Hon's AI trained to generate Ask Metafilter post titles.
Surely neural-net-generated Liffs are next. Read the rest
In 1987 or so, the Welsh island of Anglesey, legendary redoubt of the druids, hosted a similarly legendary gathering to which only people with fish-themed surnames were invited. In Fish Story, Charlie Lynn (with the help of one Caspar Salmon) sets out to unravel "the truth behind a fishy tale." Read the rest