Steven and Stephen

So, Kim and I have been talking baby names a lot, as you might expect.  Current leading contender, Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate.   The Social Security Administration has an awesome baby name website, and for a data geek like me, it’s too much fun.  Anyway, we got to discussing my own name, which I really like, but I’m not into juniors (or any more name confusion than we already have in the Greene household).  Anyway, I was really intrigued to see the way “Steven” took off in popularity during the Great Depression.  Then I realized, that “Stephen” was probably already a much popular name.  Indeed it was.  Anyway, I got the data from the SSA website and made this chart below (which, does the trick, but did not quite translate into wordpress quite as well as I would like).   Anyway, it’s cool to see Steven take the lead in 1950, after being dramatically less popular in the first half of the century.  After a nice run near the top, both names have, sadly, dropped out of the top 100.

Anyway, this has all led to a lot of questions.  What caused Steven to catapult past Stephen?  Why did Kimberly come from nowhere to be an incredibly popular name in the 2nd half of the 20th century?  Why has Sarah been a remarkably steady name for 100 years? There’s clearly, some serious Sociology at work here.  I certainly noted Dawson coming from nowhere to join the top 500 on the popularity of the TV Show “Dawson’s Creek.”  I seem to recallFreakonomics having a chapter on baby names, which I loved, but I really think there’s a whole book in here somewhere.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Watched Fantastic Mr. Fox yesterday with David and I absolutely loved it.  It was absolutely delightful, charming, witty, and engaging.  I’m already a sucker for George Clooney and he was a terrific Mr. Fox.  What most impressed me was Wes Anderson’s writing and direction of the movie.  I’m not actually an Anderson fan– The Royal Tennenbaum’s is his only movie I liked, and that was more in spite of his style; I stopped watching The Life Aquatic less than half-way through because I found it too annoying.  That said, as many reviewers have pointed out, Anderson’s mannered and self-conscious style seems to blend perfectly with stop-motion animation of stylized mammals.  It’s also worth noting, that David loved the movie, too, as in many ways, this movie struck me as more entertaining for adults than kids.  Well done Mr. Anderson.

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