Archives for names



FREAK Shots: The George Foremans

George Foreman named all five of his boys after himself, but only one has taken up pro boxing. I met the retired boxer and “grillionaire” at his son’s pro debut last Saturday. George III won, but in a bout that some say looked rather unevenly matched. Read More »



Fun With WolframAlpha

The jury’s still out on whether WolframAlpha.com will turn into a tool that is useful to solve real world computational problems, but it certainly is fun to play with. Read More »



Winner, Loser, and Marijuana Pepsi

Winner became a lifetime criminal; Loser a detective in the NYPD. The story of these two brothers matched the findings of my academic research with Roland Fryer, which found no impact of a child’s name on her life. Read More »



Choosing the Name of the Year

| The proprietors of the Name of the Year contest “can’t imagine topping last year’s death struggle between Destiny Frankenstein and Spaceman Africa.” But these are hopeful times. They’ve collected and verified 64 of the weirdest names they could find. They’re now taking your votes for a winner. (HT: MJS) [%comments] Read More »



Batman, Hurt by Slumping Oil Prices, Lashes Out

The mayor of the oil-producing town of Batman,Turkey, says he’ll sue Warner Bros. for taking the name of his town for its caped crusader without permission. He hopes to win a cut of the royalties from this year’s Christopher Nolan hit, The Dark Knight. Even if the case never goes to trial, the free publicity […] Read More »



Palin "Going Rogue"

When I read the CNN.com headline that Sarah Palin was “going rogue,” I thought the quote was meant in admiration. It turns out the story is wholly negative, and “going rogue” is a bad thing. That is not what my sister Linda told me when she gave me the moniker the “rogue economist.” She told […] Read More »



Jennifer Hudson's Family Tragedy

Not that far from where I live, Jennifer Hudson‘s mother and brother were murdered this weekend. My deepest sympathies go out to the Hudson family. Jennifer Hudson is a local girl who made it big against all odds. Last month I was talking to a photographer who had just done a photo shoot with her, […] Read More »



The Price of Olympic Competition

There have been a lot of posts here about various wrinkles in Olympic competition: medal count, citizenship flexibility, outlying statistics, etc. Here’s perhaps the smallest wrinkle of all, but one that I found fascinating. It falls under the “citizenship flexibility” category and concerns one Olympic athlete’s name. We wrote in Freakonomics that the name a […] Read More »