The statistics behind your child’s name

A name is an identity and an important part of any child’s life. As they move on in life, the name will also change connotations. Because of this, naming a child is serious business. So let’s take a look at the art and science of baby naming and help you come up with a name for your great, vomity micro-human little ball of human joy.

Click to learn more at: Wait But Why

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Meet the man who fooled millions

We’ve been hearing that chocolate’s healthy for years and, as a nation, we’ve held a general hope that someone would find chocolate to actually be healthy.

Then, everything changed when one man dropped facts at us. Or, at least, what we thought were facts at the time: chocolate was healthy, final fact. The man was a doctor, he had a Ph.D. He did science. But he misrepresented the numbers on purpose to see how far people could take it.

The answer is far. Scary far.

Click to learn more at: io9 of Gawker

America’s trains suck. Here’s why.

[ACHTUNG! LONG READ!]

France has the TGV, Japan has HyperDia (so on time that delays are measured in seconds, not minutes or hours). America has Amtrak. Once a proud passenger rail corporation, Amtrak has been dragged along by Congress and kept in a vegetative state where rails are mis-maintained, where growth is stymied, and where speeds are retarded.

Why? Like the Chicken and the Egg, do people not ride Amtrak because it’s slow or is Amtrak slow because its ridership is artificially low? And what hope does it have?

Click to read at: National Journal

An interview with he who was Big Bird

[ACHTUNG! LONG READ!]

Sesame Street is one of America’s most beloved children’s programs–having educated and helped generations of children learn, laugh, love, and become more accepting members of society. This all began with one big bird.

Like all beloved character, behind every line and motion there was an actor. Meet Carroll Spinney, the first-ever man to play Big Bird, and watch him share his experiences as America’s favorite yellow-feathered bird.

Click to read at: Longreads

A TV show about firewood divided Norwegian society

Norwegians love firewood. They’re passionate about it.

So when TV producers in Oslo created a TV show, 20% of the population tuned in to watch. And soon after the producers started getting angry letters telling them that they were stacking wood wrong.

This is a 12-hour show with 4 hours of produced content, and eight hours of watching a live fireplace burn. What’s more, the produced engaged people on Facebook asking for advice on where to put the next log to keep the fire burning.

That’s incredible.

Click to learn more at: The New York Times

Firing its 1st black police officer, this small town waits for the backlash from the world and from a volcano

ACHTUNG! LONG READ.

Orting, Washington is a quaint little small town, home to 8,000. But unlike most small towns, it sits in the shadow of Mount Ranier, an active volcano that can blow any time and take the town with it. But rather than having to worry only about the volcano, the people of Orting have to struggle with race relations after it hired–then fired its first black police officer for stealing: a charge that was never substantiated.

The real question deals with what will blow first: the volcano or the people.

Click to read at: The Washington Post