If there ever was an argument that people are influenced by popular culture, it's hard to ignore the names that parents bestow upon their progeny as reflexive of what's going on in the world.
According to a Huffington Post article by Pamela Redmond Satran for Nameberry, in 2012, mothers and fathers arrived upon names for their offspring overwhelmingly from literature, film and — yep, celebrities.
We here at Middletown Patch see a scientific correlation (OK, a correspondance) between top-grossing films and perennially favorite books and the names that show up on a baby wristband in the maternity ward.
Twenty years ago, when the population was about 5.5 billion on the planet, the top five were dominated by traditional names: Michael, Christopher, Joshua, Matthew and Andrew for boys; Ashley, Jessica, Amanda, Brittany and Sarah for girls.
Forty years ago, when the population was a more manageable (?) 3.8 billion, 5-year-olds enrolled in kindergarten were overwhelmingly called Michael, Christopher, James, David and John for males; Jennifer, Michelle, Lisa, Kimberly and Amy.
In 2012, when the planet is bursting at the seams with more than 7 billion people, boys' and girls' names correlate with heroines (Katniss from "The Hunger Games") and heroes (Finn from "Huckleberry" and (Harper from Wizards of Waverly Place, To Kill a Mockingbird or the character from Two and a Half Men — you decide).