The popularity of certain baby names has been a topic for nearly as long as women have been giving birth. Each year, the list is updated, usually with names that have been popular at one time or another in the past. Names like Jacob, Olivia, Wyatt and Penelope have been popular off and on for centuries, and the name Jacob can even be dated back to biblical times. However, times have definitely changed, as it seems that now parents are choosing to name their children after video game characters. Now that the extremely popular video game, Fortnite, has mesmerized many players, the list of top baby names now includes many characters from this particular game.
Substantial research has been conducted on this new phenomenon, and a survey obtained from a popular parenting website, Baby Center, regarding the most popular baby names of 2018 revealed that there has been a substantial increase in parents giving their children Fortnite character names. These names, mostly given by Millennial parents, include the Fortnite characters Rogue and Bunny for girls, as well as Leviathan and Ramirez for boys. In fact, there has been nearly a 60% increase in parents naming their children Ramirez.
Psychologists have studied the fascination that preteens, teens and young adults have with Fortnite, and it has been concluded that there are many reasons. First of all, although the initial version of Fortnite wasn’t free, the current version that is being released is absolutely free. Free can be appealing to many people for obvious reasons. Another aspect of the game that draws young people in is due to the unique dances that the characters on the game perform. Not only are these dance moves attractive, but many players find them fun to perform themselves. The outfits worn by the characters of Fortnite is another lure. In fact, the survery obtained from Baby Center regarding Fortnite-inspired names revealed that the attire of the characters is one of the main reasons that parents felt compelled to name their babies after certain characters.
Furthermore, gamers like the fact that winning in the game Fortnite is actually attainable, unlike many other games. Games like Call of Duty only enable you to see how far you can get, but Fortnite actually offers play that is not only enticing, but it’s also goal-oriented, making winning a lot more fun.
An additional reason for the Fortnite-character baby name craze is due to the fascination with “expert” real-life gamers. For example, one well-known real-life gamer is Dakotaz, who posts his actual gameplay on social media via videos. As a result of Dakotaz’s game success, an increasing amount of parents are naming their baby girls and boys Dakota. Many younger parents and parents-to-be see certain gamers as very inspiring, which is based solely on their gaming skills. It’s easy for Fortnite enthusiasts to seek out these real-life gamers through various social networking websites. Even if they don’t seek out actual videos themselves, they may come across the many videos shared on YouTube, Facebook and other popular websites.
It doesn’t look as if Fortnite is going anywhere anytime soon, as game creators are constantly adding attractive upgrades to the game, which will continue to mesmerize young gamers. There, it is likely that parents will likely continue to name their children after characters from the game. When these Fortnite character-named children get older, their parents can share with them how they came up with their names, which might be somewhat interesting to the children.
A Marriage Made at Subway, Hold the Onions
When people talk about where they met for the first time and realized it mean something serious, not many will say it was at a fast food restaurant, much less admit it. However, for Julie and Zack Williams, that’s exactly what they are proud of the most. In fact, it mean so much to them, the couple decided to also get married at the same Subway sandwich shop as well.
Both of the couple were running around on a cold December 8 back in 2017 just trying to get things done and grab lunch. As it turned out, the Julie and Zack both independently decided a Subway sandwich was just the thing for the lunchtime hunger pangs. So, Zack decided to drive out of his normal local dining spots and ended up at a Subway out of the normal locale. Getting there, he ended up getting in line ahead of Julie and her mother, also at the same Subway at the same time.
Julie remembers at the time thinking that the guy in front of them was a bit cute. Julie’s mother, on t he other hand, had other ideas. The maternal figure started haranguing Julie to do something about it and make a connection. Julie on the other hand, was suddenly very shy. As her mother kept insisting she give the guy her phone number, Julie trying to eat her sandwich at the table finally put her foot down and told her mother to do it. As Zack got up to leave, Julie’s mother might have likely put Olympian 100 yard champions to shame with how fast she moved. Julie’s mom was able to catch Zack in the parking lot, transferred the note, and Zack called Julie about 30 minutes later.
The two got to talking and soon enough the sparks start to fly that set off catalyst for a first date. From there, Julie and Zack’s relationship became history started at a Subway’s sandwich shop of all places.
Of course, things take time to get serious. The couple dated and kept their relationship going for about four years before deciding to make the big leap into getting married. While there was a Subway visit here and there in different locations, nothing was quite the same as that first diner the couple met in on their fateful day of happiness. And, while making things official in Plymouth, MI, Julie and Zack also made a point of going back to the very same Subway to have their wedding photos taken.
However, no turkey avocado footlongs or BMT sandwiches were ordered. This time the visit was all about memorializing Julie and Zack’s special day, courtesy of Subway then and the day of their wedding. The pepperocinis were extra.
Geese Showing Off By Flying Upside Down
Amateur photographers love to get great shots, especially given that sometimes they seem random, and the trick to reaching professional status is to produce great shots consistently versus every once in a while. So, for photographers in Holland watching geese fly near Arnhem, the opportunity to catch a goose flying upside down was a bit out of the norm and eye-catching. As it turned out, the goose was showing off.
Geese in the region have regularly been seen flying upside down, which might seem somewhat odd to the bystander seeing the behavior for the first time. Locally referred to as “whiffling,” upside-down geese flying occurs on a regular basis when the bird manages to twist its belly up in the air and keep flying while the head is also twisted right side up. No one is quite sure why geese do this, but some guesses are it helps distract would-be predator birds from attacking when something looks odd, or it slows the goose’s flight to the ground. Geese are not the only birds to perform whiffling either; lapwings and godwits have been seen doing the same in flight.
Vincent Cornelissen was the lucky photographer who was able to snap a wonderfully clear shot of a goose near Arnhem, and it was his image that ended up triggering the latest online debate and interest in geese whiffling. Cornelissen had posted the image to his Facebook page to show off the photograph, and it ended up expanding his audience to some 10,000 different followers as a result. One particular fellow in Turkey turned out to be an aerodynamics professor at Istanbul University and used Cornelissen’s image as an example for students studying flight capabilities.
The upside-down goose was not Cornelissen’s first bird shot either. The photographer has been watching and catching images of birds since childhood, and his library of photographs over the years has grown expansive. However, the odd goose flight could arguably be Cornelissen’s most famous photograph by far. It was pure accident that he even got the shot, simply noticing that one of the birds was flying weirdly at the time. The odd flight approach wasn’t fully noticed until Cornelissen was working on post-processing of his images when he realized what the bird was doing.
At first, Cornelissen thought his audience would accuse the amateur of photoshopping the image, the practice of making a fake image with Adobe Photoshop, a highly powerful post-processing image editing program. However, Cornelissen was soon buffered by those in other countries who confirmed the behavior as being real and accurate.
As it turns out, when young geese become accomplished in flight, they do dumb stuff, most notably, flying upside down to apparently “show off.” It works great until the goose runs into trouble and then has to adjust for a potential flight mishap and crash on the ground. The whiffling has been confirmed by other photographers after Cornelissen’s image was produced, but his image remains the greatest clarity so far of the goose’s flight behavior.
Man Sets Guinness World Record For TALLEST Stack of M&M’s — EVER!
Where were you when you had your first bite of M&Ms? These multi-colored chocolate buttons were first introduced to the world by Mars, Incorporated on September 10, 1941 – more than 79 years ago! Sold around the planet, M&Ms have become one of the most popular sugary candies on the planet, gaining ground with its catchy slogan, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
More than just a sweet treat for chocolate lovers everywhere, one man turned to his favorite candy to land within the Guinness Book of World Records. That man, named Will Cutbill of the U.K., would do so by managing to balance five M&M sweets atop one another, bursting through the record of four held by Brendan Kelbie of Australia and Silvio Sabba of Italy.
Snacking and World Records
When we think of accomplishing a world record, most of us probably consider all of the work that likely goes into the equation. We certainly don’t anticipate beating a world record while relaxing in front of the television with our favorite snack. For Will and his bag of M&Ms, it turned out that sitting around was the EXACT recipe for success that would push him to victory. Will said, “One day in lockdown I was mixing up my confectionary choice (…) and this time the bag of M&Ms called me, and boy am I glad they did!”
Will had been sitting on his couch with his snacks when he felt possessed to try and stack them atop one another. At the time, Will thought that he was just killing time with his candies. He didn’t realize that he was practicing and preparing to break a world record! After seeing how good he was at stacking the M&Ms initially, he decided to go for as many as possible.
Will said before breaking his record, “One day I thought, right, let’s crack this. So I sat down determined to complete it.”
The future M&Ms world record holder would film his attempts to stack five M&Ms atop one another and in doing so, Will would capture his success as it happened. Will said, “I’ve had a lifelong ambition to break a world title. I’ve always wanted one.” Will would go on to admit that he had been purchasing the Guinness books every single year, hoping one day to add his name to its pages.
After breaking the record from the comfort of his living room, Will would submit the recording for review. Claiming that the moment felt ‘absolutely amazing’, Will would wait until the video was verified to actually celebrate. “It’s madness. I can now say I’m a Guinness World Records title holder!”
Despite earning the record for his ability to balance chocolate candies, Will admits that he himself isn’t very athletic. “I can barely stand on one leg, but I have a talent for chocolate!”
While he is happy to hold onto his record, for now, the U.K. native admitted that he’s already planning on future challenges. Will said that he was inspired and that his “creative juices” were flowing.
A Pandemic, a Tweet, Costco, and a Dream Job
No one knows yet why or how a post becomes viral, but when it does that communication moves across social media like a hurricane, gaining speed and strength as it is shared exponentially by readers. That was the case with one particular post by a daughter who felt bad about the career stump her father was in and wanted to help.
Rebecca Mix is like any teenager today, active on social media and posting anything that matters online to share, get reactions and interact. In the meantime, however, her father, Jeff, was dealing with the economic reaction to COVID, particularly in the pandemic’s impact on companies forced to lay off employees because of reduced contact and customer inflow in facilities. That put Jeff in the situation of needing to find work somewhere else at a time when everyone else was suddenly in the same boat. It wasn’t a pretty picture in the summer of 2020. Of course, Jeff Mix had his preference if he could choose; he wanted a job that had him moving versus sitting, had decent pay, and involved helping people. The last one was a tall order given the pandemic restrictions and social distancing.
Unfortunately, Jeff was also in the classic category of being an older worker, needing to work still versus retire, and taking care of dependents, namely his family. So not working was out of the question; he had to find something to fill the gap. And, if it was going to be a good spot, he wanted to work at Costco, the grocery warehouse and consumer retail venue that first coined the phrase, “big box store.”
Jeff liked their culture, the hours, and the in-person feel of the business. The culture matches the way he thought a business should run as well as how it dealt with its staff. But, he hadn’t been job-hunting in a long time and the market was very different in 2021. So, Jeff leaned on his daughter, Rebecca, for pointers.
Rebecca, in the meantime, narrated the whole issue on her Twitter account and then moved on. She thought it was a giggle to have her father working at Costco at the time. However, the thing about posting something on the Internet is that it stays there. And it also becomes public. So, among the thousands of readers who could possibly read Rebecca’s post, it turned out the CEO of Costco, Craig Jelinek, got tipped off by active internal screening on posts about Costco, and he read Rebecca’s post. With a few notes or calls, Jelinek arranged for a job interview for Jeff in Michigan via one of the local store managers there. That set the ball in motion.
Rebecca was contacted by one of the managers via her Facebook account and was told it started with her earlier Tweet. In mid-May 2021, Rebecca found herself going bananas trying to get a hold of her dad and make him understand the significance of the digital reach-out, specifically for him. Jeff thought the whole thing was great, but he was also an experienced worker and kept reserved in terms of anything coming of the matter. He was well aware companies do things at times just for goodwill on the marketing side, and then nothing really happens in practice. Jeff met with the local store manager, discussed job potentials, noted there was no mention of the social media posting, and then he left the interview without an offer. From Jeff’s perspective, it was over, maybe just going through the motions.
Then, Jeff got a call. He scored well in the second interview and was hired. Now he could be excited, and Jeff zapped a photo of his new Costco employee badge to his daughter when it was finalized and real. And, the job was what Jeff wanted; he got to mix with people, he was in a store culture he liked, he was on his feet a lot, and the job had good promise and pay for its role. All in all, it was a bit of karma coming back to Jeff and his family after a rough year and losses to COVID. So, the job hire was a huge blessing, and he has a new nickname now at work – the Twitter Guy.
The Infamous but Hilarious Canadian Sign War of 2021
Towards the end of April 2021, an odd thing happened in the town of Listowel, Canada. Two businesses decided to get snarky with each other in a public manner. On the one side of the street was a Speedy Glass venue, a small business firm that serviced the locals with glass and vehicle window repair. On the other side of the street was the local Dairy Queen, a fast-food chain venue for burgers, fries and milkshakes.
Big Things Come in Small Packages
The sign battle started off simple enough. Both businesses had a typical elevated advertising sign in front of their venue visible from the street which could utilize letters to customize messages. Speedy Glass decided to use theirs to goad the Dairy Queen in a word battle. It started off as a copycat. Trevor Cork had seen a similar little tiff in Virginia that went bonkers on the Internet, so he decided to try the same in his own town. Gathering the staff, Cork had their Speedy Glass street sign modified to send the invite, basically asking the Dairy Queen if they wanted to have a sign war. It took off from there like wildfire. Trevor had no idea where the reaction was going to end up going, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Dairy Queen sassed back pretty quick and put Speedy Glass on the spot. From there, both double entendres and outright one-up’s started flying back and forth, much to the amusement of the locals driving by and living in the area. Interestingly, both stores have kept their cool and not gone below the belt with their snips, but they have been pretty funny and challenging as the signs keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
Of course, anytime someone is having fun, others want in on it too. The local casket store got in on the mix pretty quick and started their own shots. However, they didn’t have a big road sign and had to settle for a street-level A-sign instead. The locals loved it so much they started telling their friends and contacts outside of town, and Listowel started attracting tourists for the same as well.
A War is a Good Thing These Days
The timing of the sign war couldn’t have been better. The Covid pandemic was just depressing people something fierce, and the lack of social connection was making things worse. Suddenly, having a bit of humor and a good laugh with many of the business signs and their message conflict got everyone laughing their heads off driving by. It also amazingly brought the whole together as a community again when it needed that feeling the most. As some folks reflected on social media, the Listowel sign war was the best thing that could happen to them right there and then. Even now, folks still keep driving through town just to see the latest zingers and zaps on the local signs.
Will Listowel sign war eventually end and become a memory? Who knows? Even the infamous Hatfield and McCoy feud finally died out at some point. In the meantime, Listowel business owners like Trevor Cork are just enjoying the attention and the visitors, even in a pandemic.
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