Who’s the World’s Fastest Runner?

Justin Wolfers’s excellent post on Usain Bolt‘s extraordinary 200-meter race mentions in passing that “it is only a fairly recent phenomenon that the 200-meter typically yields a faster average speed than the 100-meter sprint.” We’re living in a topsy-turvy world where the world-record pace is faster on a longer distance than a shorter distance. When […]

Usain Bolt: It’s Just Not Normal

Usain Bolt‘s wonderful run in the Olympic 200-meter sprint reminds us that the normal distribution — the familiar bell curve beloved by economists and statisticians — can be wildly inappropriate when analyzing extremely selected samples. This morning’s New York Times shows Usain Bolt’s new world record, relative to the 250 greatest 200-meter sprints ever. Not […]

The Guinness Book of World Records Editor Answers Your Questions

Craig Glenday with Lucky Diamond Rich, the most tattooed person. (c) Guinness World Records. Last week we solicited your questions for Guinness Book of World Records editor Craig Glenday. Among other interesting queries, you asked: Is Barry Bonds in this year’s book? What (besides being in the book) is in it for the record breaker? […]

Bring Your Questions for the Guinness Book of World Records Editor

Craig Glenday with Lucky Diamond Rich, the most tattooed person. (c) Guinness World Records. As a kid, not only did I love The Guinness Book of World Records but I was dead set on getting into the book myself. The record: world’s longest gum-wrapper chain. I don’t remember how it got started, but somehow Judy […]

Was Yesterday a Good Day or a Bad One for Mike Bacsik?

After announcing our "Who will pitch home run No. 756 to Barry Bonds" contest winner, Dubner muses on whether the fateful pitch will prove good or bad for Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik's career.

A Barry Bonds Contest

Who will give up Barry Bonds’s 756th home run? The first person who correctly identifies the pitcher who winds up surrendering Bonds’s record-breaker will get a signed copy of Freakonomics. One guess per comment, please. And a related question: for all the talk about not wanting to be the pitcher who gives up Bonds’s 756th, […]