Saturday, March 28, 2015

Winter Resurrected at Easter Egg Hunt

Roosevelt Island got an unwelcome visitor at its annual Easter egg hunt today: snow.

This feels fairly typical of the winter we've had (it's been spring for more than a week, but who's counting).

On the plus side, the arctic chill was great pinwheels.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Least Realistic Names on Television

In my latest post for Nameberry, I looked at out-of-sync names for TV roles.

I'm talking about 40-year-old characters who are named Sophia or Olivia. (Sure, it's possible that someone that age could have that name, but not very likely.)

On the other end of the scale, you have Tina, Gene and Louise from "Bob's Burgers" — all of whom are way too young to have those names.

Bart Simpson also isn't nearly old enough to be a Bart. But he can take solace in the fact that "Bort" hasn't overtaken Bart during the show's quarter-century run.

You can read the full post here.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Evolution of Girls' Names

Remember when someone created cool animated GIFs showing maps of girl and boy names since 1960? Well, here's another take on the baby-name infographic genre. It's a video showing the most popular girls' names since 1880 across the U.S.

You can see the GIF version here...

...but it's worth watching the full video on YouTube, complete with dramatic music.

Seeing Linda overtake Mary in the post-World War II years is like a "Game of Thrones" moment.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Love and Basketball

Elliot may not have mastered basketball yet, but he stays true to his fan base.

A video posted by Nick Turner (@sf_nick) on

Maybe the Knicks should add hugging to their routine. At this point, it can't hurt.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Snow Baseball

In the spirit of taking advantage of the last remaining snow, Elliot invented a sport named Snow Baseball.

It's a little hard to connect with the ball, but at least there's little risk of injury (other than frostbite).

Monday, March 09, 2015

Writing Names in the Snow: a Timelapse

With the snow finally on the way out, we're trying to enjoy it while it lasts. We made this timelapse video using the spiky tree pods that are scattered around outside our apartment building.

And yes, the music is an instrumental version of Rihanna and Drake's "What's My Name?"

Saturday, February 21, 2015

PSA Warns Against Using Overly Popular Baby Names

This fake PSA from the Nickmom site addresses the topic of overused baby names.

I like the reveal at the end about the 40-year-old Jennifers, but I'm not sure this is really that big an issue in 2015.

As baby-name watchers know, names are far more widely distributed today than they were in previous decades. There will probably never be another Jennifer (a name that is so utterly dominant in every state for 15 years).

That said, we have encountered quite a few Sophias and Jacks in our social circle. And Lucy is surprisingly popular in the neighborhood. Another Lucy recently joined Elliot's class, bringing the total number we know to at least four or five.

We hardly know any Olivias, though, which shows you that's it's all a crapshoot. It's probably best to pick a baby name you like and not worry about what the crowd will do.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Is This the Best Brand Name for a Stroller?

Our previous stroller came apart at the seams — apparently because someone (me) didn't respect the clearly stated weight limits. (Putting all three kids in at once is a no-no.)

So now we have a new stroller, and we're quite happy with it. But I wonder about the brand name: Joovy.

Kelly did extensive online research, and it's a well-respected name. I just think that a product you literally lock your children inside probably shouldn't sound like "juvey."

(As I was working on this post, autocorrect repeatedly tried to change "joovy" to "joint." I can't tell if that's an error or an extremely perceptive move.)

It doesn't help that our stroller is prison-jumpsuit orange.

Then again, when the kids start acting up, solitary confinement starts to sound very attractive. (Either for them or me,)

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Cities Visited: 2014 Edition

I'm more than a month late with this, but it's become a tradition to list the cities I've visited in each year — part of a competition with fellow blogger Anh-Minh (in a sign that I'm winning, she also appears to have forgotten to do it).

Boston's Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge.

One thing that's useful about this exercise: It really forces you to work your memory. You'd be surprised, but it's actually hard to remember all the places you've been in a given year. (And I'm not even counting the towns I passed through; the rule is you can't list a city unless you've slept overnight in it.)

I used to rely on Google Calendar to help me remember, but now the most effective tool is Instagram. After all, I'm basically incapable of visiting another city without taking a bunch of pictures of it.

Anyway, here's the list:
1. Chicago
2. Santa Cruz, Calif.
3. Marietta, Ga.
4. Newnan, Ga.
5. Boxboro, Mass.
6. Northeast Harbor, Maine
7. Scituate, Mass.
8. Philadelphia

Not too bad a number. That's an above-average tally for me in recent years. (Let's face it: Once you have three kids, you become an immobile blob.)

But my 2015 hasn't been much of a whirlwind so far. I haven't left the borough of Manhattan once! I should probably at least run an errand in Queens or something.

Friday, February 06, 2015

'I'll Be Back...' to Destroying the Golden Gate Bridge

One of this blog's favorite topics is the perpetual destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge by Hollywood movies. Well, it appears the span suffers a fresh assault in the new Terminator film.

I'm not sure I entirely get the plot of the new picture, "Terminator Genesis," but it appears the robot played Arnold Schwarzenegger comes back as an older version of himself. (I guess if they never bothered explaining why robots have Austrian accents, there's no need to address the aging thing either.)

Loyal readers know that I've long wondered why the Bay Bridge doesn't get the same attention as the Golden Gate. So I was heartened by last year's publicity campaign for "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," which showed the Bay Bridge being menaced.

Well, after recently watching the movie, I'm sad to report that the Bay Bridge is nowhere to be seen. Once again, it's all about the Golden Gate.

Talk about false advertising.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Hooray for Dad Ads!

If you watched the Super Bowl, you couldn't help but see the plethora of dad ads, or as I call them "d(ads)."

There was this Toyota commercial about a father who raises his daughter to be a solider...

This one, also for Toyota, about the father of Amy Purdy, the Paralympic snowboarder...

A Nissan commercial where the Nascar dad appears to neglect his son and turn him into a sullen teen (but I guess everything's OK in the end?)...

And this crazy-sweet commercial for Dove...

The message: Dads rules and moms drool (or at least get taken for granted).

I will happily bask in this glory — though I do worry a dad was responsible for the Nationwide's kid untimely death.

This shoddily assembled television stand has "dad handiwork" written all over it.

I actually doubt flat-panel TVs kill many children (old CRTs appear to be the real danger). But the Nationwide ad did make a valuable point during all the dad love.

You can drive Nascar and go to father-daughter dances all you want, but keeping the child safe is dad's No. 1 job. Point taken.