Most Popular Names of Space Explorers

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(Credit: Shutterstock / Igor Zh.)

“I think of space not as the final frontier but as the next frontier. Not as something to be conquered but to be explored.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 13, 2011

Since the beginning of time, humankind has been fascinated with space. From ancient civilizations predating the Greeks and Romans, to the current day International Space Station and the Juno satellite that’s just reached Jupiter, humans have always wanted to know about the origins of the earth, the universe and if there’s other life forms other than Earth-bound ones.

In honor of Moon Day and Space Exploration Day, we took a look at a not-so-scientific list of trailblazers and history makers, to see how popular their names matched up with the rest of the U.S. population:

Yuri Gagarin

Yuri is a Russian version of George. Gagarin was a Russian Soviet pilot and cosmonaut, the first human to journey into outer space, completing an orbit of the Earth in 1961.

There are 9,002 people in the U.S with the name Yuri; it peaked in popularity in 1987.

Sally Ride

Ride was an American physicist and astronaut and in 1983 became the first American woman in space.

Over 217,000 people in the U.S. share the name Sally; it was most popular in 1938.

John Glenn

Glenn is a former Marine Corps aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States senator. His claim to space-fame

Christa McAuliffe

A high school teacher, McAuliffe made history as the first American civilian selected to go into space in 1985. She perished with 6 other astronauts in the Challenger space shuttle explosion.

There are 45,683 people named Christa in the U.S.; the name peaked in popularity in 1986, the same year as the Challenger explosion, so the spike in the number of girls named Christa was a result of parents paying tribute to McAuliffe.

Ellen Ochoa

The current Director of the Johnson Space Center, Ochoa is an engineer and former astronaut.

There are 249,486 people in the U.S. who share the name Ellen; it was most popular in 1911.

Alan Shepard

Shepard made the first manned Mercury flight in May 1961, to become the first American in space, and later travelled to the moon in Apollo 14.

There are 323,529 people in the U.S named Alan; the name was most popular in 1951.

Jim Lovell

The only person to fly to the Moon twice but never trod its surface, Jim Lovell is perhaps best know as the commander of Apollo 13, and safely returned his crew to Earth after a catastrophic failure during the mission.

James is a name that dates back to the Middle Ages, and is the 4th most popular name in the country, with 4,105,780 who share the name. It peaked in popularity in 1944.

Neil Armstrong

Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon, and his famous words in the summer of 1969, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, endures.

Neil is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Niall. While it has historically been popular in Ireland and Scotland, since the 20th century it has spread to enjoy considerable popularity in all parts of the English-speaking world. There are 105,497 people who are named Neil; it peaked in popularity in 1933.

Gene Cernan

After flying to the moon twice, Cernan also holds the distinction of being the second American to walk in space and the last man to have lwalked on the moon.

Traditionally a boy’s name, 1% of the 148,547 people in the U.S. who share this name are girls. The name hit its peak in popularity in 1937.

Edward White

White was the first American to “walk” in space in 1965, and then tragically died, along with his fellow astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom and Roger B. Chaffee during prelaunch testing for the first manned Apollo mission.

There are 1,028,323 in the U.S. who share the name Edward; it peaked in popularity nearly a century ago, in 1918.

Whitepages Premium Teams up With Miracle Messages

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At Whitepages, our mission is to leverage our digital identity data to build products that help people and businesses in many different ways. And while we have spent the past 20 years helping people connect through the data we provide, we still get inspired by every single connection we help make. This is why we are thrilled to announce that we have teamed up with Miracle Messages, an organization that helps homeless people record short video messages to their dearly missed loved-ones, and then attempts to reunite them using social media. By providing Miracle Messages with free access to Whitepages Premium, we are hoping to help the organization’s volunteers quickly locate and connect with family members of the homeless people they help.

Since Miracle Messages started using Whitepages Premium, we have helped to locate and reunite five different families with their homeless relatives. Just three weeks ago, the Miracle Messages team met a man in San Diego who was looking to reconnect with his sister who he hadn’t spoken with in 20 years. Through Whitepages Premium, Miracle Messages volunteers found his sister in in a matter of minutes. See this happy reunion happen here:

With Whitepages Premium, Miracle Messages volunteers get access to robust identity data associated with the person they are looking for, including detailed contact information, mobile phone numbers, and a list of people associated with who they are searching for. We are thrilled to be pushing our mission forward with this partnership and can’t wait to hear more about the connections we help to make!

Whitepages Named Best Place to Work For Sixth Year in a Row

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Last night, we attended the Seattle Business Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For awards ceremony. Needless to say, we were thrilled to learn that we earned a spot on the list for the sixth year in a row! As always, we had a great time filled with awesome company, entertainment, food and drink!

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In order to be considered, we had to rank well in ten different categories including benefits, communication, corporate culture, hiring and retention, executive leadership, performance standards, responsibility and decision-making, rewards and recognition, training and education and workplace environment. Given these categories, we feel honored to be have been recognized as #8 in the “Large Companies” category alongside Zillow, Expedia and Rover.com!

Do you want to work alongside some of the most talented in Seattle, in one of the sweetest digs downtown? Come join our team!

Do You Have a Star Wars Name?

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The “Star Wars” films may take place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, but you just might find a Luke Skywalker or even a Darth Vader here on Earth. In fact, the names of some of the most memorable characters of the seven-part film series may live… right next door.

We took a look at our Names database and found that there are some people in the U.S. have names that reflect Jedi Knights, renegade smugglers… and “New Hopes”.

The Force is strong with a few names—some characters’ names are more common on Earth (and the U.S.) than otherworldly monikers. Do you have a someone from the light or the “dark side” on your block?

Star Wars First Names

Luke (Skywalker)

101,521 people have the name Luke; the most in Florida: 4,648. Peaked in popularity in 2005.

Han (Solo)

There are 35,519 with the first name, the most in California (13,127). Interestingly, 74% are women; 26% men, while Han Solo of course was one of the good “bad boys” of the Galaxy.

Rey (Last name has not been revealed)

There are 11,038 people with the name Rey, the most in California (2,795).

Leia (Organa)

There are 3,985 people with the name Leia, the most in Washington (138).

Darth (Vader):

There are 170 in the US, the most in Washington (22).

Anakin (Skywalker)

There are 28 people in the U.S. with the first name Anakin; popularity peaked in 2005, the same year “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith” was released.

Kylo (Ren)

There are 42 people in the U.S. with the first name Kylo; the most live in Texas (6).

Poe (Dameron)

There are 417 people in the U.S. with the first name Poe, the most in California (66).

Lando (Calrissian)

There are 375 people in the U.S. with first name Lando, the most in Florida (26).

Mace (Windu)

There are 1,272 people with the name “Mace”, the most in Florida (101).

Qui (Gon Jinn)

There are 1,730 people with the first name Qui, the most in California (601).

Boba (Fett)

74 in the US, California + New York have the most, each with 8.

Jabba (Tiure)

18 in the US, most in Delaware & Illinois (4 in each).

Bib (Fortuna)

117 in the US, the most in New York (20).

Full Names: (although we suspect these people might be “Star Wars” super-fans):

Darth Vader: There are 2 people in the U.S. with the name “Darth Vader”.

Han Solo

There are 9 people in the U.S. with the name “Han Solo”.

Luke Skywalker

There are 8 people with in the U.S. with the name “Luke Skywalker”.

Anakin Skywalker

There are 2 people in the U.S. with the name “Anakin Skywalker”.

Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi

There are 3 people in the U.S. with the name “Ben Kenobi”.

What Does a Data Scientist do?

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At our core, we are a data company, and it is this data that powers our many products and services. As our resident Chief Data Scientist, Dr. Steve Hanks leads the team that makes this magic happen. Learn how he does it in this article by big data expert Bernard Marr on Forbes.com.

Big Data Uncovered: What Does A Data Scientist Really Do?
Bernard Marr, Contributor, Forbes.com

The world of Big Data and data science can often seem complex or even arcane from the outside looking in. In business, a lot of people by now probably understand the basics of what Big Data analysis involves – collecting the ever growing amount of data we are generating, and using it to come up with meaningful insights. But what does this actually involve on a day to day level for the professionals who get their hands dirty with the nuts and bolts?

To have a look under the hood of a job that some describe as the ‘Sexiest Job Of The 21st Century’ I spoke to leading data scientist Dr Steve Hanks to get an get an overview of what the work of a data scientist actually involves, and what sort of person is likely to be successful in the field.

Dr Hanks gained a PhD in computer science at Yale University, has spent 15 years as a professor of computer science and has worked at companies including Amazon, Yahoo YHOO -6.59%! and Microsoft MSFT -3.85%. Today he is chief data scientist at Whitepages.com where he is responsible for overseeing the Contact Graph – a database containing contact information for over 200 million people. The database is searched around two billion times every month and is the company’s primary business asset.

This database has driven Whitepage’s business since it was launched in 1997 and more recently it has diversified into app development. Caller ID, its replacement mobile user interface, queries the main Whitepages database to give more complete information on who is calling, and to help cut nuisance and spam calls. It also generates another revenue stream by providing its data to other companies to use in fraud prevention.

Read the full story here.