FREAK-est Links

1. In Nashville, Tenn., homicide is at a historic low. (HT: Wesley Hartline)

2. We investigated suicide in our podcast "The Suicide Paradox"; The New York Times profiles  Matthew K. Nock, Harvard's "suicide detective."

3. Does price affect adoption? NPR reports that black babies are cheaper to adopt. (HT: Eric Samuelson)

4. Why do theater tickets cost so much? A comparison of "Death of a Salesman" ticket prices in 1949 and 2012.

5. In India, proof of toilet is necessary for a marriage license. (HT: Tony Pappas)

How I Know I Love My Wife

A year ago, my wife said to me, “I need you to do me a favor.” I knew that was bad news. A charity she is heavily involved with, Half the Sky, was planning an event in Chicago and she had volunteered me to be the speaker.

In principle, this was no big deal. I speak in front of groups all the time. I can talk about Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics, and my academic research in my sleep.

I knew immediately, however, that this speech would be completely different. Although I often tell stories about myself and my life, they are never stories about emotions. I am one of the most closed off people you’ll ever find when it comes to emotional topics. I have never learned, or really even tried to learn how to express emotions. I’m not proud of this, it just is the truth.

There was no way, however, that I could speak at a Half the Sky event without opening up my emotions. Half the Sky is an amazing charity – perhaps one of the world’s best – doing incredible work with Chinese orphanages. The only events that ever fully penetrated my emotional wall were the death of my son Andrew and the subsequent, deeply moving process of adopting a daughter (eventually two daughters) from China. More than a decade later, the emotions associated with these two events remain shockingly raw, hiding just below the surface.

Putting Together a "World Baby"

Tamara Audi and Arlene Chang of the Wall Street Journal dissect the global baby industry, which is growing thanks to increasingly restrictive international adoption laws.

Adoption Biases

Boys and African-American babies are less likely to match with parents.

The FREAK-est Links

How much influence do the primaries really have? Despite the “War on Drugs,” illegal drugs still a multi-billion dollar business. Holiday gifts for data addicts. (HT: Consumerist) Guatemala’s government moves to regulate baby trade.

Adopt and Prosper?

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal about online lending reports that Zopa, a British person-to-person lending market, is starting operations in the U.S. It will join, among others, Prosper.com, which the WSJ reports will issue $100 million in person-to-person loans this year, with future loan originations projected to be $1 billion in 2010 and […]