Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager takes forever to load and requires a load of java script, but the result is worth the wait: You type in a name and a graph of that name's popularity over the last century grows right before your eyes. It's amazing.
You can track all sorts of cultural trends. For instance, watch "Colin" spike following the Gulf War and look at the two spikes for "Roosevelt," along with their steep declines. "Elvis," too, is brought back form the dead in the 1930s, and then explodes in popularity as the King's career takes off.
This website (which is based on a book by Laura Wattenberg) is worth an entire chapter in David Brooks's next book.
And if you're not careful, it can suck up your entire day.
3 hours ago