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If you like baby names, you will love this

Despite the fact that the designer of this software doesn’t like our treatment of names in Freakonomics (see here and here, it is so much fun to play with that we have no choice but to link to it:

It let’s you type in the first letters of a name and see in a flash the rise and fall of such names by decade. The visuals are amazing. (Try typing in “MAD” and you will see the sudden rise of Madison, Madeleine, etc.)

The person who does the web site, Laura Wattenberg, has a book on baby names called “The Baby Name Wizard.” I haven’t read it, but given the software, I’m guessing it is a better-than-average baby names book and every expecting couple has to own at least one of these.

(Thanks to my former student Sean Harper for pointing me to the website.)