PersonalDNA test results

For some reason I tend to find personality-type tests entertaining. I found this PersonalDNA site through a link from a link from a link from a blog whose feed I subscribe to (but I don't recall preceisely which at the moment).

Considerate Inventor

My numeric scores combined with their glossary defenition of what the terms mean to them:

Confidence
How confident you are about expressing your opinions and accomplishing things.
54 [Sounds about right vis a viz expressing my opinions, but seems low as far as accomplishing things goes.]
Openness
Your degree of openness to new experiences.
80 [Sounds about right with the caveat that said experiences are moral, ethical & legal.]
Extroversion
How outgoing you are. High means you are extroverted. Low means you are introverted.
14 [There is no question I'm an introvert, but am I really that introverted?]
Empathy
How much you understand (and experience) the emotions and thoughts of others.
92 [This seems overly high; I try and understand how other people think and feel but I wouldn't say that I regularly "experience" their emotions.]
Trust in Others
The general faith you have in other people; how much you think people are good at heart.
74 [I'm generally willing to assume good intent until specific experience teaches otherwise.]
Authoritarianism
Your adherence to the social order and how much you favor obedience.
50 [Uh, ok.]
Masculinity
The degree of your stereotypically-male traits.
84 [They don't enumerate what "stereotypical male traits" they are talking about so...]
Femininity
The degree of your stereotypically-female traits.
58 [Does this mean I'm slightly in touch with my "feminine-side?"]
Spontaneity
How comfortable you are with making plans at the last minute.
72 [This number probably would have been even higher when I was in college.]
Attention to Style
How aware you are of fashion trends. How much effort you put in to your own style.
12 [Hey, at least I didn't score in the single digit range!]
Agency
How much you believe you determine your own outcomes. High means you believe that you have control over your life. Low means you believe that other factorssuch as chance, fate, and powerful others influence your life.
60 [I'd have expected this number to be higher...]
Imaginative/Earthy
Your prefererence for concrete or abstract things. Low means you prefer abstract, theoretical things. High means you prefer detail-oriented, practical things.
14 [Perhaps a bit low; I am good at troubleshooting because I can pick out relavent details from the "big abstract picture" so to speak.]
Functional/Aesthetic
Your prefererence for beauty or form. Low means you care more about how something works. High means you care more about how something looks.
10 [I guess this goes along with the low score for attention to style...]

Incidentally, some of the questions asked you to answer—instead of on a mere sliding scale (1-10, etc.)—by plotting your answer on a two dimensional grid. Nice technique (though broken without Javascript being enabled).

— Michael A. Cleverly

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Totally useless trivia "discovered" by a Tcl script

BraDBURy Stories book cover

Ken Jennings (of Jeopardy! fame) posed the following research invitation on his blog yesterday:

Anyway. The cover of Bradbury Stories is as shown [at right], with BRADBURY in navy blue and the letters within BRADBURY that spell RAY in white. I thought this was pretty cool and wondered: are there other famous people who first name is contained, in order though not necessarily consecutively, within their last?

Ray makes it looks so effortless that youd think there would be lots of others, but I spent about half an hour trying to name some and could only come up with one: sportscaster Al MichAeLs. I tried to interest the assembled Grand Slam brain trust into thinking of others, but evidently even the Sony greenroom provided too much stimulus for a dull pursuit like this one.

But hey, this is the Internet. Theres got to be lots of bored people out there. Can anybody think of other kangaroo celebrities like bRAdburY and michAeLs?

I doubt I could name ten five sportscasters at all from memory. I'm not at all up to date on popular culture. (Although Jeopardy! is an enjoyable show, I rarely watch TV and never saw Ken play during his famous winning streak; for what it is worth probably the main thing we have in common is religion.) So basically, I have to resort to programatic analysis of existing data rather than my own wealth of trivia knowledge re: celebrities, etc.

My first apprach was to turn to Project Gutenberg as a source for a list of (mildly) famous authors. Naturally these authors are all dead since nothing published since Steamboat Willy was produced in 1928 has been allowed entered the public domain (nor, I fear, will it ever—at least in my lifetime—but I digress...)

I spidered their index of authors. I chose to discard any name where the given name was spelled by consecutive letters in the surname (think William Williams or Eino Leino) as being too uninteresting.

I only came up with three answers:

  1. Asa Don DICKINSON
  2. Archibald Lee FLETCHER
  3. Helvi HERLEVI

As an alternate approach I decided to find U.S. government lists of names that I could put together & run some regular expressions over.

For surnames I ended up using a list of surnames ranked by frequency from the Census Bureau (incidentally Cleverly clocks in at 86,655th out of their 88,799 listed surnames).

For given names I chose the 1,000 most popular names in the 2000's for both boys and girls (2,000 names total based on Social Security card applications).

In total we have 88,799 unique surnames and 1,935 unique given names (65 unisex names are on both lists). Incidentally, did you know that "Baby" is the 831st most popular boy name and 989th most popular girl name? I sure didn't.

(But maybe if I'd been born a Babey, Bagby, Bagsby, Banbury, Baraby, Barby, Barnaby, Barnebey, Battersby, Blackaby, Blackerby, Braboy, Brackenbury, Bradberry, Bradbury, Bradby, Brasby, or Brayboy instead of a Cleverly I would have?)

Taking the cartesian product of these two sets gives us 171,826,065 name combinations to consider. How many "interesting" combinations exist? 65,733 or 1 out of every ~2,614 combinations. That's too many to list in the body of this post (but you can download them).

What surnames have the most flexibility in mixing and matching with a given name to produce an interesting result? The top five are:

BHAMARANIYAMA
28 possible given names: Amani, Amara, Amari, Amaya, Amiya, Amy, Amya, Ana, Aniya, Anya, Ari, Aria, Bria, Hana, Maia, Mara, Maria, Mariam, Mary, Maryam, Maya, Mia, Miya, Mya, Nia, Nya, Ray, & Riya.
JOSEPHPAULINE
24 possible given names: Ali, Ean, Eli, Halie, Jan, Jane, Jean, Joan, Joe, Joel, Johan, John, Jolie, Jon, Josephine, Josh, Josie, Josue, Julie, Paul, Saul, Sean, Shane, & Shaun.
SANTAMARINA
24 possible given names: Amara, Amari, Amina, Ana, Ann, Anna, Ari, Aria, Maia, Mara, Maria, Mia, Mina, Nia, Nina, Sam, Samara, Sanaa, Sara, Tamara, Tamia, Tara, Tia, & Tina.
CHAMBERLIAN
22 possible given names: Abel, Alan, Ali, Alia, Amelia, Ari, Aria, Ben, Bria, Brian, Cael, Cali, Cara, Carl, Carla, Carli, Celia, Ean, Eli, Elian, Erin, & Mia.
KANJIRATHINGA
22 possible given names: Ana, Anahi, Anita, Ann, Anna, Ari, Aria, Ian, Jan, Jana, Kai, Kaia, Kara, Karina, Kian, Kiana, Kira, Nia, Nina, Raina, Tia, & Tina.

Two thoughts: Girls seem to definitely have an edge over boys in this contest and I can't recall ever meeting someone with one of these surnames.

If we narrow our cartesian product down to the 10,000 most common U.S. surnames we end up with only 5,992 interesting pairs (out of 19,350,000 combinations). The top five surnames become:

  1. Vanlandingham
  2. Candelaria
  3. Evangelista
  4. Santamaria
  5. Chamberlain

with nineteen, sixteen, sixteen, sixteen and fourteen respectively. How many of the given names can you find hidden within these surnames?

Restricting the search to the top-100 most popular surnames (only 52 interesting pairs) the winner is Richardson (boys win finally: Aron, Carson, Cason, Chad, Ian, & Ricardo).

For the record with Cleverly as your surname your only choice is Lee. (I'm not having any second thoughts about what we named our twins though!)

Anyway, with such popular given names maybe some of todays kids with those names will grow up to be famous celebrities in the future...? :-)

— Michael A. Cleverly

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Digital camera recommendation

A friend of mine is looking to buy a new digital camera prior to taking a family vacation next month. I don't have a first-hand recommendation myself but my brother-in-law Cade suggested the Canon Digital Rebel XTi 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera along with these accessories:

My friend Will has been happy with his Lurmix FZ5 which is currently cheaper from Amazon than Cade's recommendation is.

YMMV.

— Michael A. Cleverly

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