Archive for August, 2008

Most Popular Russian Baby Names

Friday, August 29th, 2008

In an effort to prove everyone from the Greatest Generation to the last of the Cold Warriors wrong, the Rooskies have carried out their most dastardly scheme yet—naming their kids something other than Ivan. Ivan has taken second place to Alexander in Moscow, no doubt in hopes that their children may one day replace their surnames with “the Great II.” Shockingly, Ivan didn’t even place among the top ten on any of the lists of the most popular female baby names.

Take that, capitalist imperialist pigdogs.

In order, the top names for Russian boys in Moscow are Alexander, Ivan, Maxim, Artyom and Mikhail. For girls, the most popular baby names are Anastasiya, Mariya, Dariya, Inna and Polina.

In St. Petersburg, popular boys’ names are Alexander, Alexei, Anatoly, Andrei and Dmitry. Popular girls’ names are Yekatarina, Yelena, Anastasiya, Natalya and Darya.

Among the general population, popular Russian boys’ names are Aleksandr, Sergey, Vladimir, Andrey and Aleksey. Popular girls’ names are Elena, Olga, Tatiana, Irina and Natalia.

Most Popular Car Color in Japan

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

We’ve told you about the most popular car color in the United States, but what about Japan? Are the Japanese buying white in droves as much as Americans are? According to DuPont’s 55th Global Automotive Color Popularity Report, they certainly are. As you can see from the cart below, 24% of all vehicles purchased in Japan in 2007 were white. While white wasn’t as popular as silver in intermediate or compact/sports cars, or black in SUVs, it dominated in luxury cars and MPVs. In fact, white was even more popular in Japan than it was in the US!

Most Popular Car Color in Japan

Most Popular Truck Color

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

We’ve told you about the most popular car color, but what about the most popular truck color? Are truck owners buying white in droves as much as car owners are? According to DuPont’s 55th Global Automotive Color Popularity Report, they certainly are. As you can see from the chart below, 24% of truck owners purchased white in 2008—more than vehicle owners in any other category!

Most Popular Truck Color in North America

Most Popular Car Colors in China

Monday, August 25th, 2008

We’ve told you about the most popular car color in the United States, but what about China? Are Chinese buying white in droves as much as Americans are? According to DuPont’s 55th Global Automotive Color Popularity Report, the answer is no. As you can see from the cart below, only 15% of all vehicles purchased in China in 2007 were white. Silver is the most popular color in China at 23%, followed by black at 22%.

Most Popular Car Colors in China

World’s Most Popular Superheroes

Monday, August 25th, 2008

It’s the stereotypical comic book geek question—“Who would win in a fight?” Considering the comic book industry’s history of bowing to the demands of their fans, the answer to that question really comes down to which superhero is more popular. If you want to know who’d be left standing after an all-out superhero brawl, then the question you really need to be asking is “Who is the most popular superhero in the world?”

After a series of rigorous trials and arcane experiments—i.e. seeing which ones got the most results on Google—I’ve compiled the following list of superheroes most likely to win a grudge match. Also included are the superheroes’ highest ratings by the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes and their highest grosses on an opening weekend.

World's most popular superhero - Hulk

5. The Incredible Hulk
This misunderstood monster made a triumphant return to the box office with 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. Considering the horror that was the Hulk’s previous movie, it’s surprising that Marvel managed to sign an actor of Edward Norton’s caliber for this latest one.
The Incredible Hulk on Rotten Tomatoes: 58%
The Incredible Hulk opening weekend: $55,414,050

World's most popular superhero - Superman

4. Superman
The first superhero’s latest theatrical adventure may not have been the success that it could’ve been, but that didn’t keep the last son of Krypton off the list. Superman is easily one of the most iconic (if not the most iconic) superheroes to grace the pages of a funnybook.
Superman II on Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Superman Returns opening weekend: $52,535,096

World's most popular superhero - Iron Man

3. Iron Man
The fact that Tony Stark is even on this list is remarkable—the other five have appeared numerous times in both the box office and on television. Iron Man, by contrast, never had his own television series and only has the one movie under his belt.
Iron Man on Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Iron Man opening Weekend: $102,118,668

2. Spider-Man

World's most popular superhero - Spider-Man

Peter Parker has problems, but that hasn’t kept him from becoming a giant in the comic book industry. In fact, it’s pretty much the reason he’s up there. I also suspect that part of his popularity is due to having some of comicdom’s most fascinating villains, but I digress.
Spider-Man 2 on Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Spider-Man 3 opening weekend: $151,116,516

World's most popular superhero - Batman

1. Batman
From the 60s TV series to this year’s Dark Knight, Batman has been through the ringer when it comes to moving pictures. Tim Burton’s movies succeeded in bringing the grim and gritty Batman to film while Joel Schumacher nearly killed the franchise by infusing it with the campiness of the dynamic duo’s original television adventures. Director Christopher Nolan’s success with Batman Begins was only compounded by this year’s Dark Knight which, sadly, was marred by the passing of Heath Ledger after what was probably his greatest performance on film. Despite that tragedy (or, perhaps, because of it), Dark Knight now holds the record for the highest grossing opening weekend ever. All that tells us that Batman is the world’s most popular superhero.
Besides, everyone knows Batman can kick anyone’s ass.
Dark Knight on Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Dark Knight opening weekend: $158,411,483

Most Popular Car Color in America

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Cars have been available in a range of colors since the first Model T rolled onto the market. It was only later, from 1914 to 1926, that the Model T was available in just one color—black. Henry Ford is often quoted as proclaiming that “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” Supposedly, black paint dried faster than any other paint of the time and thus led to cars roll.

Most Popular Car Color
Before it was cool.

Of course, the full range of colors is available today. In fact, a couple of urban legends have been spawned by the idea that a car’s color is indicative of the owner’s personality. While there is no evidence that insurance companies use automobiles’ colors to determine insurance quotes, it’s still a common assumption along with the idea that red cars are more likely to get ticketed by police officers.

You may be wondering, what is the most popular car color? For seven years, silver was the most popular car color. It was seen as both a high-tech color and one that was safe for resell—not as many people would be turned off by a silver car as would be turned off by, say, a green car.

Buyers in 2007, however, broke the mold by buying more white cars than cars in any other color. Why? Well, it’s been said that a high-tech color like silver isn’t popular anymore. I disagree. I don’t think silver is a high-tech color anymore. Looking at the popularity of iPods, iPhones and other Apple products, I’d say white is going to be the color of technology for some time.

In 2007, nineteen percent of cars manufactured were white. Twenty-two percent of luxury cars were white. Eighteen percent of all cars were silver and sixteen percent were black.

Of course, given years of popularity, silver cars will still outnumber autos of other colors for awhile.

2007 Most Popular Car Colors
Source: DuPont 2007 Global Automotive Color Popularity Report

Related Info

Most Popular Television Show

Friday, August 1st, 2008

World's Most Popular Television Show - CSI: Crime Scene Investigations

The most recent Nielsen report places the national average television viewing time between three and just over five hours per day, depending on both gender and age. That means we spend roughly three percent of our lives glued to the TV. So what, exactly, are we watching? What is the most popular television show?

A new study tells us that the most watched television show on Earth is “CSI: Crime Scene Investigations.” The crime drama boasted more than 84 million viewers around the world in 2007, beating sibling show “CSI: Miami” and hospital drama “House.”

America's Most Popular Television Show - American Idol

It wasn’t the most popular show in America, though. That honor belongs to “American Idol,” which may have netted the global top spot if different countries didn’t have their own versions of the show.

“CSI” debuted in 2000, spawning its Miami spin-off in 2002 and “CSI: NY” in 2004. It is currently scheduled for its ninth season. “American Idol” debuted in 2002 and will begin its 8th season in 2009.

Most Popular College in the US

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Every year, millions of high school students in the United States start the process of applying for secondary education. Of course, some schools have more applicants than others. What, then, is the most popular college in the United States?

For the school year beginning in the Fall of 2007, the University of California, Los Angeles received over 50,000 applications from high school seniors. UCLA is considered one of the best five universities in the nation, among such Ivy League schools as Princeton and Harvard. Part of that rank is due to the institution’s Athletics program; UCLA has won multiple NCAA championships. It’s also considered one of the best public research institutions in the nation; UCLA ranked 11th in the nation for research leading to a Nobel Prize.

Of course, the most popular university can’t accept all 50,000 of those applicants—that’s nearly twice the size of the school’s entire undergraduate class. Instead, they’ve instituted a new “holistic approach” to acceptance, starting in 2006, where each application is reviewed by two readers rather than three. In 2007, UCLA admitted just over a fifth of their applicants.

Most popular university in the US - UCLA