New Website Helps You Track Down the U.S. Streets That Share Your Name

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Unless you're a president or some other historical figure, the streets that share your name likely aren't an homage to you. But there's no harm in pretending. A new website makes it easy to find your namesake road signs for just that purpose.

As Town & Country notes (via Cosmopolitan), anyone can type their first or last name into Crossing.us. Using data from Google Maps, it brings up a list of intersections featuring at least one mention of that name. Type in the name Eustace, and you'll get a list of nearly 90 intersections; search for Smith, and you'll get more than 24,000.

The search engine also works with two names at once. Users can enter their first and last name to see where in the country both parts come together. Intersections with the name Maria Garcia, for instance, pop up twice in the U.S., both times in Texas.

And, of course, the site can be used to find an intersection of your name and that of someone you know. That's what originally inspired Entrepreneur magazine editor-in-chief Jason Feifer to create the tool. After seeing a street that shared a name with his wife, Jennifer, he thought how neat it would be to find out it led to a street named Jason. He didn't see a way to search for such an intersection online, so he and his team of friends built a way to do so from scratch.

Crossing.us can help you pick out a creative proposal spot, or a stop on a road trip with your best friend. Or if you don't feel like traveling, you can use it to build an epic map of all the roads that share your name without leaving home.

[h/t Town & Country]

10 Fascinating Facts About Daylight Saving Time

Time to spring into sleepiness.
Time to spring into sleepiness.
Rawf8/iStock via Getty Images

Whether you savor the extra sunlight in the summer or dread the jarring time jump, Daylight Saving Time is inevitable (at least in most parts of the United States). Here are 10 things you should know before making the semiannual change.

1. Benjamin Franklin was half-joking when he suggested Daylight Saving Time.

More than a century before Daylight Saving Time (DST) was adopted by any major country, Benjamin Franklin proposed a similar concept in a satirical essay. In the piece, published in 1784, he argued:

"All the difficulty will be in the first two or three days; after which the reformation will be as natural and easy as the present irregularity [...] Oblige a man to rise at four in the morning, and it is more than probable he will go willingly to bed at eight in the evening; and, having had eight hours sleep, he will rise more willingly at four in the morning following."

In one prophetic passage, he pitched the idea as a money-saver (though at the time people would have been conserving candle wax rather than electricity). To enforce the out-there plan, Franklin suggested taxing shutters, rationing candles, banning non-emergency coach travel after dark, and firing cannons at sunrise to rouse late-sleepers. While his essay clearly brought up some practical points, Franklin may have originally written it as an excuse to poke fun at the French for being lazy. He wrote that the amount of sunlight that goes wasted each morning would likely come as a shock to readers who “have never seen any signs of sunshine before noon.”

2. Official credit for the Daylight Saving Time idea goes to a bug collector.

A kitten chases a butterfly
Like the entomologist, this kitten enjoys springing forward in pursuit of insects.
Leoba/iStock via Getty Images

The first serious case for DST came from a peculiar place. While working at a post office by day, an entomologist who did most of his bug hunting at night soon became frustrated by how early the Sun set during the summer months. He reasoned springing the clocks forward would allow more daylight for bug collecting—along with other evening activities. The clocks could be switched back in the winter when people (and bugs) were less likely to be found outdoors.

When the idea was proposed to a scientific society in New Zealand in 1895, it was panned for being pointless and overly complicated. Just two decades later, Daylight Saving Time would begin its spread across the developed world.

3. World War I pushed Daylight Saving Time into law.

In 1916, Germany became the first country to officially adopt Daylight Saving Time. It was born out of an effort to conserve coal during World War I, and Britain, along with many other European nations, was quick to follow the Germans’ lead. It wasn’t until 1918 that the time change spread to the U.S. A year after entering the war, America began practicing DST as an electricity-saving measure. Most countries, including the U.S., ceased official observation of the switch following wartime.

4. Daylight Saving Time gained renewed popularity during the energy crisis.

The U.S. reconsidered DST in the 1970s, when, once again, the argument pivoted back to energy conservation. The oil embargo of 1973 had kicked off a nationwide energy crisis and the government was looking for ways to reduce public consumption. Daylight Saving Time was imposed in the beginning of 1974 to save energy in the winter months. Not everyone was enthusiastic about the change: Some of the harshest critics were parents suddenly forced to send their children to school before sunrise.

5. Daylight Saving Time may actually be an energy waster.

Despite Daylight Saving Time’s origins as an energy-saving strategy, research suggests it might actually be hurting the cause. One 2008 study conducted in Indiana found the statewide implementation of DST two years earlier had boosted overall energy consumption by 1 percent. While it’s true that changing the clocks can save residents money on lighting, the cost of heating and air conditioning tends to go up. That extra hour of daylight is only beneficial when people are willing to go outside to enjoy it.

6. Daylight Saving Time is also a health hazard.

A bulldog in human clothes slumps over a desk
Losing an extra hour of sleep can take a ruff physical toll.
monkeybusinessimages/iStock via Getty Images

Even if DST was good for your energy bill, that wouldn’t negate the adverse impact it can have on human health. Numerous studies show the extra hour of sleep we lose by springing ahead can affect us in dangerous ways. An increased risk of heart attack, stroke, susceptibility to illness, and seasonal depression have all been linked to the time change.

7. But there are some benefits to Daylight Saving Time.

Though people love to complain about it, Daylight Saving Time isn’t all bad news. One notable benefit of the change is a decrease in crime. One study published in 2015 found that the start of DST in the spring was associated with a drop in robberies.

8. Daylight Saving Time is not observed nationwide.

DST has been widely accepted across the country, but it’s still not mandated by federal law. U.S. residents resistant to springing forward and falling back each year might consider moving to Arizona. The state isn’t exactly desperate for extra sunlight, so every spring they skip the time jump. This leaves the Navajo Nation, which does observe the change, in a peculiar situation. The reservation is fully located within Arizona, and the smaller Hopi reservation is fully located within the Navajo Nation. The Hopi ignore DST like the rest of Arizona, making the Navajo Nation a Daylight Saving donut of sorts, suspended one hour in the future for half the year.

9. Daylight Saving Time starts at 2 a.m. for a reason.

A dog wearing an eye mask sleeps next to an alarm clock
No time disruption worries or schedule snafus here!
damedeeso/iStock via Getty Images

Daylight Saving Time doesn’t begin at the stroke of midnight like you might expect it to. Rather, the time change is delayed until most people (hopefully) aren’t awake to notice it. By waiting until 2 a.m. to give or take an hour, the idea is that most workers with early shifts will still be in bed and most bars and restaurants will already be closed.

10. The candy industry lobbied for an extension of Daylight Saving Time.

Until recently, losing an hour of daylight in the fall presented a problem for the candy industry. That’s because Daylight Saving Time traditionally ended on the last Sunday in October, a.k.a. before Halloween night. Intense lobbying to push back the date went on for decades. According to one report, candy lobbyists even went so far as to place tiny candy pumpkins on the seats of everyone in the Senate in 1985. A law extending DST into November finally went into effect in 2007.

5 Towns That Had to Change Their Names

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Many places have undergone name changes at some point in their past, often because the land came under new rule or because the settlement outgrew its old designation. But some towns and cities had more unique reasons to transform their titles. Scandal, shame, or a desire to honor their history can spur a community to present a fresh identity to the world. Here are five places whose name changes aren’t your average rebranding.

1. Berlin, Ontario, Canada, became Kitchener

A picture of a vintage letter
A memorandum issued by the Kitchener postmaster shortly after the city changed its name from Berlin in 1916.
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

A lot of German immigrants settled in Southern Ontario in the 19th century, and the city of Berlin was named as an homage to their motherland. This was fine—until the 20th century, when said motherland started bombing Canada’s allies during World War I. That, combined with the large population of pacifist Mennonites in Berlin, spelled trouble for the city. All the pacifists meant a large number of local men weren’t signing up for the war effort, which caused people from other towns to look at the heavily German-populated Berlin with suspicion.

Soon, there was a referendum (not supported by the majority) to change the city’s name. Citizens were given a variety of new names to vote on, but there was no space on the ballot to keep Berlin “Berlin.” Anyone who supported the status quo was, according to the National Archives of Canada, “immediately perceived, by those who wanted change, as being unpatriotic and sympathizers with the enemy.”

Violence, riots, and intimidation followed. Only 892 people out of a pool of about 5000 eligible voters voted on the referendum. A meager 346 votes were enough to change Berlin to Kitchener, named after Britain’s Minister of War.

2. Pile-Of-Bones, Saskatchewan, Canada, became Regina


Queen Victoria and the Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, Duchess of Argyll by Hills & Saunders.

Today, Regina is a city more than 220,000 people strong. But in the 1880s, it was a barren grassland frequented mainly by buffalo and the Cree Indians who hunted them. Its original name, oskana kâ-asastêki, means “where the bones are piled.” The macabre moniker references the enormous piles of bones the Cree would construct in the hopes that living buffalo would return to visit their dead ancestors. Later settlers shortened the name to “Pile O’ Bones.” In 1882, the wife of Canada’s governor general, Princess Louise, suggested they change the name to honor her own mother, Queen Victoria. Regina is Latin for “Queen,” and all female monarchs sign their name using it. Thus the Saskatchewan settlement was elevated out of the boneyard to royal heights.

3. Wineville, California, became Mira Loma

Black and white image of an old ranch
This ranch was the site of the ghastly Wineville Chicken Coop Murders, which prompted the town to change its name.
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie made a movie called Changeling, about a mother who is sure the kidnapped son returned to her is not actually her boy. The film was based on true events, and those events are why the town of Wineville, California, became Mira Loma (it’s since been incorporated into Jurupa Valley). The real-life kidnapped boy, Walter Collins, was likely murdered in Wineville along with at least three other boys by Gordon Stewart Northcott. The case became known as The Wineville Chicken Coop Murders, as the partial remains of Northcott’s victims were recovered around the criminal’s chicken coop. Northcott was hanged in 1930, and the town sought to escape its appalling notoriety by changing its name in 1931.

4. Staines, Surrey, England, became Staines-Upon-Thames

Ali G at the MTV Europe Music Awards press conference
Ali G caused an English town to change its name.
Anthony Harvey, Staff/Getty Images

Americans have come to loathe or love Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat or Bruno. In his native Britain, he was first known as the character Ali G, an obnoxious wanna-be white boy rapper. Part of Ali G’s background is that he grew up in the mean ghettos of Staines—which is actually a lovely middle-class town in Surrey. His fame was such in the UK that the people of Staines didn’t appreciate being associated with his image. The borough council opted to change the town’s name to the more elegant Staines-upon-Thames, partly to distance themselves from Ali G’s obnoxious antics, and partly to advertise their proximity to the River Thames to encourage tourism. Though Ali G may have put the town on the map, as Alex Tribick of the Spelthorne Business Forum said, he also “put the stain in Staines.”

5. Gay Head, Massachusetts, became Aquinnah

Colorful cliffs at dusk with a rising moon in the background
Aquinnah was once named after its colorful cliffs.
Massachusetts Office Of Travel & Tourism, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

On the western edge of the island of Martha’s Vineyard, there is an outcropping of craggy, brightly tinted rock. The white settlers who arrived there in the 1600s described them as the “gaily colored cliffs.” The association stuck to the settlement that grew nearby, and thus, the town of Gay Head was born. In 1997, the people of Gay Head voted to change their town’s name to Aquinnah, to honor some of the residents’ ties to the Wamponoag tribe, who were the original holders of the land. As Carl Widdis, the tribesman who started the petition in 1991, said, “I guess it's simple. An Indian place should have an Indian name."

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