Darwin as Economist?

One session at the recent AEA meetings addressed "popular economics," with a panel including Diane Coyle, Robert Frank, Steve Levitt, and Robert Shiller. (Shiller wrote a bit about it on Slate.) Many interesting things were said. To me, the most interesting was that Frank is writing a book arguing that Charles Darwin, more so than Adam Smith, is the true forefather of modern economics. (He has already written a Times column on the topic.)

Witches to Be Held Accountable for Bad Predictions; Why Only Them?

In Romania, life has gotten even harder for practicing witches, as spelled out in a recent A.P. article: "A month after Romanian authorities began taxing them for their trade, the country's soothsayers and fortune tellers are cursing a new bill that threatens fines or even prison if their predictions don't come true."

We Need Your Questions for the Paperback Edition of SuperFreakonomics

Sometime in the late spring, our second book, SuperFreakonomics, will be published in paperback. As with Freakonomics, we're going to add some bonus matter to the back of this edition. And, as with Freakonomics, one thing we'll include is a Q&A in which we answer questions from readers. And where do these questions come from? You! So ask away in the comments section; here's your chance to be a published (albeit unpaid) author. Posted below is the Table of Contents from SuperFreak, but feel free to ask questions unrelated to the content as well. Thanks in advance.

Yes, This Blog Is Leaving NYTimes.com

As reported in Forbes on Friday, the Freakonomics blog will be leaving NYTimes.com on or around March 1 and returning to its indie roots.

"If You Must Be Hospitalized, Television Is Not the Place"

I ran into an old friend the other day whose actor husband is a regular on the TV show House. We caught up on friends and family, etc., including a few mutual acquaintances who have died since we last spoke. As we parted, I couldn't help but laugh: at least these unfortunate deaths, I thought, were nowhere near as numerous as those on the kind of TV show her husband appears on.

Beef or Chicken? A Look at U.S. Meat Trends in the Last Century

A lot of meat and poultry gets eaten during the holiday season. Did you ever find yourself wondering: Hmm, what's the trend line over the past 100 years for U.S. per-capita consumption of beef vs. chicken vs. pork vs. turkey?

Beware the Melting Permafrost

What happens if and when Siberia's permafrost melts away? Behold the release of methane.

Get Your Copy of SuperFreakonomics: The Illustrated Edition Signed

It's that time of year again - ChristmaHanuKwanzaa, that is - and if you're reading this blog, there's an obvious gift to be thinking about: the new illustrated edition of SuperFreakonomics. It will not fit in a stocking (it is quite large - a "coffee-table book," some people call it), but otherwise it is giftable to the max.

Follow the Gary Becker Decision Tree

One of my favorite images from the new Illustrated SuperFreakonomics (beautifully designed by No. 17) is a decision tree showing how Gary Becker, a young man who was better at handball than math, nevertheless chose math and became the Nobel-winning economist whose research made possible books like ours.

Announcing SuperFreakonomics: The Illustrated Edition

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new book: SuperFreakonomics: The Illustrated Edition. It's a large-format book built around the original text of SuperFreakonomics, with hundreds of new visual elements and quite a bit of new text as well.