Archive for April, 2006

Most Popular Last Name in the US

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

A person’s last name is what connects them to their past. Someone’s last name is what gives them a sense of identity, individuality, and family pride. There are countless last names in the United States today, but what is the most popular last name?

There are 2,772,200 Smiths living in the US as of the 2000 US Census, making it the most common last name. Everyone’s met a Smith. They’re everywhere. Some famous Smiths include Emmett Smith of Dallas Cowboys fame and Joseph Smith founder of the popular Mormon religion. John Smith was on one of the first ships to land and make settlement in Jamestown, VA, before falling in love with Native American princess Pocahontas. No Smith has been to the moon yet, but you can bet that they one day will.

Name Population
Smith 2,772,200
Johnson 2,232,100
Williams 1,926,200
Jones 1,711,200
Brown 1,711,200

Everyone has a last name, unless you are Madonna or Prince, in which case you are too good for last names. Smith is the most popular last name in the United States, and having a last name is much more popular than not having one.

Most Popular Online Music Store

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

Apple’s iTunes Music Store (iTMS) is the most popular online music store today. iTMS has both big name artists and a large selection of more independent and obscure musicians. The rate for songs is still 99/cents a track in the US, but there is talk of raising this price in the near future.

Napster was once the most popular way to download music, but due was shut down to the rampant illegal file-sharing, and Napster has been relaunched as a legal online music market, hoping to compete with Apple’s most popular online music download service.

The biggest downside with the popular online music store is that unlike mp3s, tunes you download from Apple’s Music Store will not play on other portable players that are not iPods. The iPod has quickly become the most fashionable portable digital music player, but as other competitors research and create their new portable devices, many users will be left with digital music collections that will only play on Apple brand devices, since Apple has not licensed its FairPlay DRM technology.

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Most Popular National Park in the US

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

After Abraham Lincoln’s initial declaration, Yellowstone National Park was established as the world’s first truly national park in 1872. The national parks in the United States were for public use, resort, and recreation. National parks around the world serve as a refuge for nature and also public tourist areas

Great Smoky Mountains National Park between North Carolina and Tennessee is the most popular national park by number of visits in the US. During 2005 the park had almost 9,200,000 visitors, more than any other US National Park in 2005. The second most popular national park was the Grand Canyon with over 4,000,000 visitors.

The old Southern Appalachian mountains of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have diverse animal and plant life in their temperate deciduous forests. Activities in this popular national park include more than 800 miles of trails for hiking and grounds for picnicking, fishing, and horseback riding.

The United Nations have designated America’s most popular national park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as an International Biosphere Reserve.

Most Popular Vacation Spot

Friday, April 21st, 2006

All around the world, people are are feeling the urge to just get away, at just the right vacation spot. Average people are working more and more hours to live their lifestyles. When it comes to spending that hard earned cash on a little “me time,” where are the humans flocking? What is the most popular vacation destination in the world today?

most popular vacation spot Las Vegas is the entertainment capitol of the world and also the most popular destination in the world. Every year, 36.7 million visitors come to Sin City looking for relaxation, entertainment, or that chance to strike it rich. The Las Vegas city limits and surrounding Clark County boast a permanent residency of only 2 million. Of all the tourists converging on Vegas annually, 25% come from the southern California area, and 12% came from outside the United States.

Las Vegas is a hub for airlines, railroads, trucking and highways. Major and regional airlines find Las Vegas to be one of their most popular destinations. McCarran International Airport is the 8th busiest airport in the US. Las Vegas was founded as a railroad city. Because of its central location, it is still a principal on-route destination for the railroads.

The average stay in Vegas is 3.7 nights, with rooms costing about $103 on average. Of all visitors, only 5% say they come to the desert mainly to gamble, although 87% end up gambling at some point during their stay. A typical Vegas tourist will spend 3.9 hours a day in the casinos, and that same typical tourist will loose $559 to the house before their vacation ends. The state of Nevada makes 9 billion dollars a year off it’s cut of legal gambling. It is no wonder that Nevada has encouraged turning Las Vegas into a popular vacation destination.

Current estimates suggest that 3% of the adult population will experience a serious problem with gambling that will result in significant debt, family disruption, job losses, criminal activity or suicide. Americans seem to be rediscovering a love for gambling of all types, giving Las Vegas a firm grasp on it’s title as the most popular vacation spot in the world.

Most Popular Prescription Drug

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Because of an aging population, more and more Americans and people around the world are taking prescription drugs to alleviate their pain and help them recover from illness and injury. Many of the most popular drugs are powerful substances that can be dangerous or abused. Federal law prohibits many of these popular drugs from being dispensed without a written order or refill issued by a medical professional. Pharmacies are the retail stores licensed to dispense medicine upon a doctor’s prescription.

According to a study released last year by NDC Pharmaceutical, generic Hydrocodone was the most popular drug by number of prescriptions dispensed in the US during the 2004 year.

The second most prescribed drug, Pfizer‘s Lipitor, was the most popular branded drug according to the study. The drug is approved for use to help lower one’s cholesterol and thereby help prevent cardiovascular and heart disease.

According to reports, diazepam, marketed under the brand-name Valium, was the most prescribed drug is the US during the 1970s, until critics claimed it was in overuse and switched to different drugs to replace their need to treat patients with substances.

Most Popular Fast Food Restaurant in the US

Monday, April 17th, 2006

There’s no question that more and more Americans are turning to fast food every day to fill their stomachs. For many, choosing which drive-thru window to visit is a daily ritual, but with so many choices on modern day Main St. USA, where are most Americans choosing to pick up dinner, what is the most popular fast food restaurant chain in the US?

According to a new poll by Zogby International, nearly one-in-four (23%) American adults call fast food chain Wendy’s their favorite, with half as many preferring runners-up Taco Bell and McDonald’s (12% apiece). Burger King trailed McDonald’s and Taco Bell at 11%. Rounding out the field were KFC at 8%, and Jack in the Box and Long John Silver’s, at 3% each. Three-in-ten (29%) respondents say they either prefer no fast food restaurant or a chain not offered on the list.

Until 1999, McDonald’s was the most popular fast food restaurant by leaps and bounds. Recent trends in health and some famous “anti-McDonald’s” movies have apparently, fairly or unfairly, giving the golden arches a stigma in American eyes as “the most unhealty” fast food option. McDonald’s is currently spending Millions of dollars in advertising to change this public opinion.

Some fast food restaurants, like Jack in the Box in the western US or White Castle in the northern mid-Atlantic are the most popular fast food restaurants in their respective regions, possibly due to their somewhat “local” appeal.

With more and more fast food restaurants hitting the streets every day, it’s getting harder and harder for one chain to prove they are America’s favorite. Fast food it’s self, however, is in no danger of loosing popularity amongst a population that seems to be growing increasingly large.

Most Popular Boy Name in the US

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Picking a name for your new son is a daunting task for many would-be parents, but in the end, you have to come to a decision or fear being a parent with the unnamed child! Some parents want unique names because they believe it will make their offspring unique as well, but usually it will just bring them ridicule on the elementary school playground. For this reason, most parents choose popular baby names. The most popular baby name for boys of 2004 was Jacob, according to the U.S. Government’s Social Security Administration.

Jacob is holding strong, having been the most popular boy’s name since 1999. The oldest publicly available social security records, which date back to 1880, rank Jacob as the 39th most popular name. The name dropped in popularity over the next eighty years, reaching a “career-low” of 369th most popular in 1962, before enjoying a steady rise to the top. The primarily African-American variant Jacoby ranked as the 819th popular boy’s name in 2004.

Jacob is a Hewbrew name, originally spelled Ya’aqob, which translates to “holder of the heel”. In the Old Testament, Jacob was the son of Isaac and Rebekah and the patriarch of the 12 tribes of Israel. He was born holding the heel of his twin brother Esau. Biblical names are very popular helping make Jacob the most popular boy’s name in America.