What Can Hidden Video Teach Us About Our Healthcare System?

Dr. Gretchen Berland, an assistant professor at the Yale University School of Medicine and former documentary filmmaker, writes in the New England Journal of Medicine of an extraordinary experiment she has conducted over the past 10 years. It involved giving videocameras to people in wheelchairs, and asking them to document their daily lives (samples of […]

Is California’s Environmental Policy Worth Fighting For?

California’s environmental policy has made headlines recently, with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announcing that he plans to sue the federal government over its refusal to let the state enact its own plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and instead adopt a more lax federal plan. While the E.P.A.’s regulation promises to increase fuel efficiency standards by […]

Is ‘Stop Liking Men Who Drive Hot Cars’ Sound Climate Advice?

Richard Gray at the U.K. Telegraph reports that Sir David King, a University of Cambridge chemist, staunch global warming activist, and one of Britain’s top government scientists, gave the following advice to a woman who asked him what she could do to curb global warming: “[S]top admiring young men in Ferraris.” King’s larger point — […]

Shaping the World at Versailles: A Q&A With the Author of A Shattered Peace

Any history book will give you a chapter on the Treaty of Versailles, during which delegates from around the world gathered in France to hammer out peace terms following World War I. The men (and occasional woman) who negotiated the outcome may have had their own individual and national agendas, but their decisions arguably set […]

What’s the Significance of Your Sign? A Guest Post

A reader named E. Allyn Smith, a Ph.D. student in linguistics at Ohio State University, wrote in with the following observations. I’ve been thinking about birthdays a lot lately, because November 15th to the 27th is one of the annual “birthday rushes” in which I have eight birthdays in two weeks. It got me thinking […]

Love Your Job? That Doesn’t Mean You’re Better at It

The conventional employer wisdom has always been that a happy employee is a more productive employee. Countless dollars are spent every year on initiatives to raise employee morale, create camaraderie in the workplace, and eliminate practices that could lead to a hostile work environment, all so that companies can boost their retention rates and productivity […]

Do Mothers Pass On Racism More than Fathers?

Dubner has blogged before about the difficulty of gathering accurate data from adults on subjects like racism. The problem, he noted, lies in people’s tendencies to give answers that are socially appropriate but don’t necessarily reflect their actual views. Children, however, are not often so guarded (or disingenuous, depending on how you look at it). […]

Creating the Car of the Future: A Q&A With the Author of Zoom

It’s tough to imagine a world without cars. They serve as a base for our social and economic structure in a way that wasn’t thought possible a century ago. But the rapid growth of an automobile-based culture has produced economic and environmental consequences that, if left unchecked, could cripple society. As such, we’re facing a […]

North Carolina Collectively Cuts Water Consumption By a Third

Last week, the data-aggregating site Swivel (which we’ve discussed before) posted a chart showing the recent and dramatic drop in North Carolina’s water demand. The reduction occurred after Governor Mike Easley, in the face of a state-wide drought, issued a plea to North Carolina residents in mid-October, asking them to cut their water consumption in […]

Jonathan Coulton Answers Your Questions

Last week, we asked for your questions for singer/songwriter/Internet celeb Jonathan Coulton. Thanks to all of you (including John Hodgman, or at least “John Hodgman“) for the questions, and thanks especially to Jonathan for his answers. Q: You’ve been getting a lot of mainstream media play over the last year. How has that been different […]