The Social Upheaval/Zombie Movie Index

Annalee Newitz, editor of the science-fiction blog i09, created a chart showing the number of zombie movies produced annually in the West (mostly the U.S. and Europe) since 1910: Chart design by Stephanie Fox. The chart shows several spikes in zombie-movie production that, according to Newitz, “always seem to happen eerily close to historical events […]

U.S. Troops to Iraqis: Leave Your Lights on at Night

A fascinating U.C.L.A. study challenges the success of the U.S. troop surge using a creative metric: satellite images capturing the amount of light at night in Iraqi neighborhoods. The idea is simple: lights at night are an indication of activity. According to the article, no lights imply that people have fled or have been ethnically […]

My father has a lot of ideas. Some of them are pretty good. Others get me into a lot of trouble. Back in July of 2005, my dad had an idea I thought was interesting enough that I passed it along to the staff of Barack Obama. This is well before Obama was running for […]

War Is …

According to the Yale Book of Quotations (whose future editions are being improved by Freakonomics readers), war is: “hell” (Napoleon Bonaparte), “too serious a matter to entrust to to military men” (Georges Clemenceau), and “a condition of progress” (Ernest Renan). What follows below are 12 replies to the question “What do you think about war […]

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 […]