From the (U.K.) Times:
Read More »
Up to a million obese people will be offered weight-loss surgery on the NHS, under controversial new guidelines.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has ruled that all obese people who have been given a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in the past decade should be considered for stomach bands and bypasses. …
Patient groups questioned how the health service would cope with the up-front cost, potentially running into billions of pounds, at a time when waiting lists for treatment have topped three million, the highest for six years. …
This week’s episode is called “A Better Way to Eat.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.)
It features an interview with Takeru Kobayashi, who revolutionized the sport of competitive eating. So you’ll learn plenty about the tactics — physical, mental, and strategic — that Kobi employed while earning six straight victories in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. (He has also set world records with many other foods.) But the episode isn’t really about competitive eating. It’s about seeing what the rest of us can learn from the breakthroughs that Kobi accomplished in his training and his thinking. If there’s ever someone who truly thinks like a Freak, it’s Takeru Kobayashi. Read More »
The first installment (“How to Screen Job Applicants, Act Your Age, and Get Your Brain Off Autopilot“) covered Chapters 1-3 of Think. Now it’s time for you to send in questions for Chapters 4, 5, and 6 (see Table of Contents, below). If your question ends up in the podcast, we’ll send you a signed copy of Think Like a Freak or a limited edition Think Like a Freak t-shirt. So fire away! Read More »
From a nice review of Freakonomics Radio on Stitcher (a great podcast platform, BTW, if you don’t know it):
I wish I could listen to a new Freakonomics podcast everyday! Truly insightful, great narrative, thought provoking, and interesting topics…
Unfortunately, I don’t know how to fulfill the wishes of the first sentence while upholding the attributes of the second sentence. Sure, we could put out a daily podcast but it would be total crap.
We are starting to put together an anthology of posts from this blog, which we began in 2005, just before the publication of Freakonomics. It is a lot of fun going through the archives — more than 8,000 posts! — but also a bit overwhelming.
Are you willing to help? Whether you are a longtime reader or a new one, please tell us (in the comments section below) any blog posts that you think should be included (or that shouldn’t be). Maybe it was a post you loved … or hated … or something that changed the way you think … or gave you a good idea. Maybe it was simply something that was memorable for reasons you don’t understand.
Don’t feel that you need to troll through the archives as I’m doing, although you are certainly welcome to!
This week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio is called “There’s No Such Thing As A Free Appetizer.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.)
It was inspired by an e-mail from a listener named Larry Tingen, a college math instructor:
Read More »
My fiancee and I are avid listeners and lovers of Freakonomics. We were at a Mexican restaurant this weekend and the first thing that happens is we are given chips and salsa — even before drink orders. Kelli asked me why I thought so many restaurants serve you free food (e.g. chips and salsa, bread, etc.) prior to taking your order? I couldn’t come up with a good reason. To me, it seems to go against the restaurant’s financial interest because most people will “fill up” on the free food, then order a smaller/cheaper meal. … Does the free food make customers more likely to order meals that have a better profit margin? What’s going on here?
In Think Like a Freak, we touch briefly on paying schoolkids for good grades — which, much of the time, isn’t successful. This inspired a note from a reader named Gary Crowley, who describes himself as “an economics major in college many years ago”:
Loved Think Like a Freak.
One thought: Why don’t we trying paying parents for kids getting good grades??? If the parents are motivated to make money, from someone else’s hard work, then they’ll make the kids work harder and want them to stay in school. I think paying the kids doesn’t take advantage of the leverage of a parent over their child. Just a thought.
As a child in the feudal system of a blue-collar Irish-Catholic East Coast family, my Dad took great pride in and took the credit for his beautiful lawn. This would be the same lawn that his children did all the work on. Haha. Don’t see why it wouldn’t work for grades. And I’m sure the parents would be just as proud, even if they’re getting paid.
Gary’s note may also be referring to a brief passage in Think about the parents of schoolkids: Read More »
One great example is the book’s second chapter, “The Three Hardest Words in the English Language,” which is about how people are reluctant to say “I don’t know” when in fact they don’t know the answer to a question or the solution to a problem.