Cousin Sheldon Cooper loves the news

Just like cousin Anderson. How I haven’t written about Big Bang Theory since it was mediocre and getting legs, I have no idea. I’ve loved the show a long time now. A.V. Club talks to Jim Parsons about TV picks:

AVC: Anything else you watch religiously?

JP: I’m a big news junkie. And one of my favorite quirky, can’t-be-that-big-an-audience-but- it’s-been-on-the-air-forever is The McLaughlin Group. Oh my God, change the set! I don’t know when the show was first on the air, but nothing’s changed, obviously. And I wouldn’t want them to change it, actually; I love it. Crotchety fighting, and 30 minutes of just yelling about politics.

Stats on Cooper Patrick? Or twins

I wrote this post Sunday and intended it to run today. But a surprise last night made it much more fun. Let’s start with the original, then update.

“We could run a regression to figure this out. For instance, we could see when the Mini-Cooper was introduced and see if ‘Cooper’ babies show up in the data dispropriately that month. Or we could look at the trajectory of Anderson Cooper’s ratings. Can we get the data by month — that would help with isolating cause and effect…”

In the spring, we looked at the rise of Cooper — and the fall of Patrick — as a first name. Amit offered the above advice and suggested I write baby Cooper Patrick to ask his parents about their name choice.

I did so, including my guesses on influences, if not for them then for others in the rising tide: Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Anderson Cooper and the Mini-Cooper. Not surprisingly, I got no reply. Spam filter? Random Internet pop culture baby name speculators, we get no respect.

If I had to bet, I’d have put my money on Mini-Cooper. It moved the name beyond particular people, placed it gently aside an increasingly popular brand but kept a human quality. The attitude and human aspects seemed key. There was no trend of baby Touaregs.

Yahoo Answers offered little help. “Do you like the name Cooper for a boy or does it sound too much like a last name?” came closest. The top user answer: “It’s a good name — though trendy on two fronts — The surname as first name and the job-related trends (think Archer). So if you are looking to stay away from trendy, you’d have to keep looking.”

With no evidence on the names, I have to admit I gave up. The topic was always one that could be revisited, especially if the rise continued. But I ended up finding some reward. Clicking through Social Security’s name data, I came across the most popular names for sets of twins. The bookmark surfaced again last week, prompting this post.

Landon and Logan, Madison and Morgan, Jayden and Jaylen. Yes, my name’s bizarro was winning, but at least I wasn’t a twin name.

Now: The update!

With this post hours away from publishing, the father of Cooper Patrick randomly found this blog. Five months after I e-mailed the baby’s site and likely got lost in a spam filter, we could thank Google and a butterfly flapping its wings somewhere. Then, even better, Cooper Patrick’s mother wrote to give the long-awaited story on their name.

They turned out to be cool, and the mom was even a Herald reporter.  “People always joke that we have a domain name for our son, but here’s why – my husband works in IT,” Jennie Piedra commented. “And as for the name Cooper, we just loved it. Patrick is a family name.”

So: Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper did not influence the naming of her baby. Jennie wrote in an e-mail, however, that people ask she and her husband all the time if Cooper is named after the Mini-Cooper.

(In other news, Cooper Patrick loves crackers and spaghetti.)

One for the money

I’d like to give a shout out to cousin Anderson. Last week most television anchors bantered mindlessly about the 25th anniversary of Elvis’ death. Smiling anchor one: What’s your favorite Elvis song? Smiling anchor two: Ha, ha, that’s funny, I really don’t know.

But cousin Anderson — CNN anchor Anderson Cooper (not really a cousin) — gets my great respect for his work on the subject. Working the early morning hours last Friday, Anderson did the King proud. Live on air, he practiced his Elvis sneer. Behind him, he had an Elvis impersonator walk around the newsroom. To close, he let the guy sing a few tunes, including the terrific “Love Me.”

This kind of effort… I can appreciate.

It all began in fifth grade. The theme for the Blessed Sacrament School musical that year was rock and roll. The musical wasn’t an actual musical; each grade sang a song based around a theme. Long story short, my grade ended up with “Blue Suede Shoes.”

Not really knowing who this Elvis character was, I went with my mom after school to Mazza Gallerie and stopped at the record store. We searched through the Elvis cassette tapes until we found one with “Blue Suede Shoes” on the tracklist. The tape was Elvis: A Legendary Performer, Volume 2. I popped it in my tape player when I got home, and it was something. I had walked unfamilar to the ways of rock and roll for so long, but Elvis on a tinny kids’ tape player changed my life that day. When my mom went out to run an errand, I turned it up loud and danced on the living room couch.

It snowballed from there. I slicked my hair back for the musical and painted black sideburns down to the bottom of my ears. I worked up an Elvis impersonation, which impressed the relatives. For a Christmas, I got a set of Elvis stamps from the island nation of St. Vincent. (They passed my name on to Graceland, who continues to mail me offers on Elvis-themed credit cards.) For the same Christmas, I got the USPS Elvis stamp bath towel. (I voted repeatedly for Young Elvis in the competition.) These years are cloudy for me now, but I know there was a “Why Elvis is a good role model” school essay involved too.

Ridiculous? Yes. But fun. One year I was the King for Halloween, and I raked in the candy. The next year I was “Elvis Goes to the Supermarket,” dressed the same but carrying a grocery bag with a Cheerios box inside. Sure, creativity was down, but enthusiasm and candy-collection totals remained high.

In high school, Elvis faded for me a bit. I found my dad’s LP of CCR’s Gold and got into them. Then Springsteen showed up on my radar, and my rock and roll trifecta was complete.

But last week. Last week was pretty cool, and I’m understating here. Elvis on the television, Elvis on the radio, Elvis in the food. It threw me back to fifth grade, to the time when music got me all shook up and kept me that way.

Ridiculous? Yes. But have you heard the news? There’s good rockin’ tonight. And I thank Elvis for that.