Yo! Yo! Yo-Yo!

A few months ago, I attended yet another boring Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. This time, at least something good came of it. I met a guy named Weber Hsu, one of two young Merrill Lynch employees who left finance to start a yo-yo company, Yo-Yo Nation.

Weber asked if we wanted them to create a special promotional Freakonomics yo-yo. Of course!

The yo-yos are now ready, and we’ll be giving them away as contest prizes. There’s one contest currently running, asking that you guess the pitcher who’ll give up Barry Bonds‘s 756th home run. We promised the winner a signed book, but in this case we’ll throw in a yo-yo as well.

We got the yo-yos just in time for the upcoming 1st Annual New York State Yo-Yo Contest and International Yo-Yo Open. I am still trying to untangle the string, so don’t look for me to finish anywhere near the top.


I'll be a freakonomics yo-yo ambassador! Here's a pic of me yo-yoing at 13,000 feet.



97 guesses on the Bond pitcher. No thanks. Can't wait til your next one!

Shawn Fumo

Umm.. they just mean the first year of this particular contest. It's happening a week after the World Yo-yo Contest in Orlando, and so some of the international players can stay a bit longer an participate. That's where the "international" part of the name comes from.

It's been a while since the last major public "boom" for yo-yoing, but it's had quite a thriving subculture for the last couple of years due to the internet and rise of new technologies. It's a world away from where it was in 1998, let alone in the 60s.. If you search around online, you'll find plenty of crazy videos.


It's not the first yo-yo constest ever, but it is the first New York state yo-yo contest. I think.


Just FYI: "blasé" means unimpressed, not unimpressive.


Credible intelligence reports indicated that an already-set-in-motion plan coordinating simultaneous terrorist strikes against US landmarks (Brooklyn Bridge, Midtown Tunnel, Golden Gate Bridge, Disney World, Lincoln Memorial, etc.) was called off by Osama bin Laden because he wanted al Qaeda's next major attack inside the US to be more "spectacular" than 9/11. (The plot kind of rips apart the "fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here" mantra, doesn't it?)

That being said, a single lone-wolf sniper, whether self initiated or planted into the population with marching orders, is capable of terrorizing an entire metropolitan region for an extended period of time at a very low cost. (Son of Sam, DC Sniper, Manson, etc.) Ten anonymous lone wolves operating in ten large cities can potentially induce mass panic magnified many times out of proportion to their true number. As individual snipers fail to act or are captured/killed, the remaining wolves continue attacking until they too are eliminated.



There is no such thing as a "First Annual." It does not become an annual event until the second year of the event.


Well, this entry would be based on the assumption that the gentleman of mention suffers from some sort of unfortunate condition, but I'd have to go with Nascar driver "Dick Trickle."

I look forward to that yo-yo.