Meet Mary Christmas


That’s Brian Christmas in the background…I think you get the picture.

According to Ancestry.com:

The surname Christmas originated in Wales, sometimes given to people born on Christmas Day.There are 89 people named Mary Christmas in the U.S. [no mention Wales or elsewhere on this one].

Other Christmas-related names on U.S. Public Records include: Jack Frost, Santa Claus, Santa Helper, Carol Christmas, On Christmas and Christmas House.

Other names found in the U.S. Public Records include: Xmas Alley, Past Xmas, Eve Xmas, Kris Kringle, Snow Ball, Snow Flakes, Saint Nicholas, Rudolph Reindeer and Ginger Bread [I think I knew a stripper named Snowball].

There is no Frosty the Snowman, but 1,700 individuals show up with the surname Snowman in the census records [1700 Snowmen and not a Frosty among them? …wimps].

Christmas is also a popular first name, according to census records. These include Christmas Joy, Christmas Day, Christmas Week, Christmas Coal, Christmas Cane, Merry Christmas Kellogg and Christmas December.

That’s it for Christmas – Happy Seasonal Tides and Greetings!

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Scratch and Sniff Marketing

Have a listen to Weekend America’s piece: Forget Ads, What’s Your Brand?, which chronicles the unconventionally successful marketing approach of Hollister Co., the $1.4B annual sales boost for parent Abercrombie and Fitch.

Almost every Saturday, 15-year-old Emily Erickson is at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. Most of its 500 stores don’t interest her, except Hollister, a clothing store for teens. Hollister is odd. It’s dark, with music so loud you can’t hear yourself shop. The air is filled with a deep citrus scent that stays on your clothes for hours. But Emily loves it and keeps coming back. Hollister’s “brand” invites her to become part of a particular tribe, and to show her allegiance by wearing its clothes. It’s part of the way that branding has taken over from traditional advertising. We hear from brand designer Joe Duffy about the concept of “brand” for clothes, kids and even countries.

…So Emily and Hollister have found each other. It’s not just about cute clothes. It’s about being part of group, your tribe, the people who care about the things that you care about, who think about the things you think about. Duffy says this has been part of a massive change in marketing. It’s becoming easier and easier to ignore and even avoid ads, so they have to speak to you in other ways.

A kinder, gentler brainwash? I can’t help thinking of Kramer’s beach scented cologne.
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Managing Your Individual Brand

Big Brother is watching you.

You knew that.

But how about all the little brothers and cousins googling you from time to time?

“Everyone is an individual brand — the ‘you’ brand. If managed incorrectly, this can have negative consequences when it comes to getting a job, advancing your career or maintaining a positive reputation…” more….

So, can you remove unwanted search results about yourself from the search engines? It may be possible and there are steps you can take, but according to Leo Notenboom (Ask-Leo.com) it is pretty much a lost cause.

Think carefully then about profile information you attach to yourself online; screen names, interests, etc. If you jokingly listed a serial killer as personal hero in a forum profile several years ago or even if you gave yourself your a seemingly innocuous screen name like Skaterdude at some point, the information remains and can influence how a potential employer, co-worker, customer, mate, etc., might perceive you.

Be careful with your brand kids. It’s the only one you’ve got.

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Centrifugal Deforest

I started a new blog, Centrifugal Deforest – Stock Market at a Lance. It will update each market day and is focused on the upcoming bear market in the US; whenever it comes; this year, next year or sometime in your grandchildren’s grandchildren’s future – I will be there.

The name doesn’t really refer to the stock market – hell, it doesn’t refer to the stock market in the least. And apparently I am breaking all the finer rules for smart blog-naming. So, perhaps the name is clunky, meaningless and impossible to remember.

Actually, it is not totally meaningless. Centrifugal Deforest was the term that sprang to mind some years back when I heard the pseudo-scientific theory that the Earth’s rotation is beginning to accelerate as the world’s tall trees come down. Exactly the way the ice skater spins faster and faster as the arms are brought inward.

So until I am forced to re-name, like virtually every project in the past, I’m sticking with it.

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100 Venezuelan Baby Names?


The children of the Vargas family: Kleiderman Jesús, Yureimi Klaymar, Yusneidi Alicia, Yusmary Shuain, Kleiderson Klarth and Yusmery Sailing.

Goodbye, Tutankamen del Sol.

So long, Hengelberth, Maolenin,Kerbert Krishnamerk, Githanjaly, Yornaichel, Nixon and Yurbiladyberth. The prolifically inventive world of Venezuelan baby names may be coming to an end.

If electoral officials here get their way, a bill introduced last week would prohibit Venezuelan parents from bestowing those names — and many, many others — on their children.

The bill’s ambition, according to a draft submitted to municipal offices here for review, is to “preserve the equilibrium and integral development of the child” by preventing parents from giving newborns names that expose them to ridicule or are “extravagant or hard to pronounce in the official language,” Spanish.

The measure would not be retroactive. But it would limit parents of newborns to a list of 100 names established by the government, with exemptions for Indians and foreigners, and it is already facing skepticism in the halls of the National Assembly.

More…

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Banding and Branding


Couples Cast Off Their Surnames for Original Ones:

“We wanted a name that meant something,” said Jeff Sharlein, a social worker. “In many ways we are unconventional and our families see this as an unconventional choice.”

More people than ever before are looking for unique ways to express their identity, according to Pamela Redmond Satran, co-author of the “Baby Name Bible.” Her dictionary documents 50,000 names from nouns or colors or even video game characters. “Statistically, fewer and fewer people are using one of the Top 10 names,” she said.

“Everybody is looking for a name that has a lot of personal meaning,” said Satran, who took her husband’s name, but keeps her maiden name as a middle name. “It’s the conscious power of branding and leads people to appropriate a name in a different way. You are not just stuck with and limited to the usual suspects.”

In both first names and surnames, couples now have the freedom to “search and choose the name that really feels like you and really stands for the individual you think you are,” said Satran. “It embodies values, history and image. Naming your family is not unlike naming a company.”

The preceding message was brought to you by Quark Savage…

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