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Posts Tagged ‘Bleg’

What Are Your Favorite Blog Posts of All Time?

We are starting to put together an anthology of posts from this blog, which we began in 2005, just before the publication of Freakonomics. It is a lot of fun going through the archives — more than 8,000 posts! — but also a bit overwhelming.

Are you willing to help? Whether you are a longtime reader or a new one, please tell us (in the comments section below) any blog posts that you think should be included (or that shouldn’t be). Maybe it was a post you loved … or hated … or something that changed the way you think … or gave you a good idea. Maybe it was simply something that was memorable for reasons you don’t understand.

Don’t feel that you need to troll through the archives as I’m doing, although you are certainly welcome to!

Many thanks.

Your Singapore Suggestions, Please

I will be in Singapore soon — first visit — with only a little bit of spare time but I’d like to see and learn and do some worthwhile things. Suggestions? Many thanks in advance.

Calling All Bosses for a New Freakonomics Radio Segment

We are working on a short Freakonomics Radio piece about “the value of bosses,” derived from a new working paper of that name (abstract; PDF) by Edward Lazear, Kathryn Shaw, and Christopher Stanton. The paper finds a good boss is indeed considerably more valuable than a mediocre or bad boss, at least in terms of productivity.

What do you think? We’d like to include in the radio piece some real bosses (i.e., not just the anonymized kind that show up in economics papers) so if you’re a boss (in retail or service or I.T. or manufacturing or whatever), let us hear from you via How much do you think bosses matter? What makes a good boss good (and a bad one bad)? Who’s the best (or worse) boss you ever had? And, most important, how are good bosses made?

Our Daily Bleg: Know Any Top-Tier Management Consultants Who Want to Talk About Their Trade?

We are working on a Freakonomics Radio episode about the management-consulting profession. It was inspired in part by a Robin Hanson blog post about the industry and the fact that Steve Levitt worked as a consultant between undergrad and grad school and has lately rekindled the flame, starting up a firm called The Greatest Good.

We are looking to interview an experienced consultant, preferably with a top firm, who can freely talk about the industry broadly and his or her work specifically.

If you are that person or can recommend such a person, please shoot us an e-mail here. Many thanks.

Wanted: Boston and Philadelphia Travel Tips

The boy is entering fifth-grade, which concentrates on American history (finally!). And so we are road-tripping to Boston and then Philadelphia to see what we can see. As you all have given me fantastic advice re Vegas, D.C., and Beijing, I turn to you once again for tips about things to see, do, eat, avoid, and celebrate in these two wonderful American cities. All advice appreciated; no ideas too absurd (or commonplace). I’ll send some swag to whoever supplies the most valuable tip in each city. Thanks!

Our Daily Bleg: How to Fairly Divide an Estate?

A while back, we ran a bleg in which a reader needed help dividing up a loved one’s furniture and other property. Now a reader named M. writes with a trickier and more philosophical estate-dividing problem:

My grandmother is 93 and in decent health. She has 4 biological children, 10 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild is possible (the oldest great-grandchild is married.) She has a decent amount of assets; barring unforeseen circumstances her estate will be a few million dollars.
From the perspective of fairness, one might say the estate should be divided equally between the four children. From a purely biological perspective, an individual wants to see that his or her genetics be passed on to future generations. In our case, while one of the children produced two grandchildren who in turn have only one of the great-grandchildren, another child produced 5 grandchildren and they in turn 10 of the great-grandchildren.

A Freakonomics Radio Bleg: Do You Boo? If So, When and Why?

We’re working on a Freakonomics Radio piece about booing — when it happens (and doesn’t), who does it (and doesn’t), what it means, etc. We’re looking for good stories and insights, so please let us know in the comments section what you’ve got, whether you were the booer, the booee, or a witness. The story might concern politics, sports, the theater or opera, whatever. Did you ever see kids boo a bad clown at a birthday party, e.g.? Am also interested in how booing breaks down along socioeconomic and cultural lines — does more booing really happen in the cheap seats? In a nutshell, we’re looking for the most interesting, surprising, revealing booing stories you’ve got. Many thanks in advance.

Beijing Bleg

I am heading to Beijing today (first time), and will have roughly 36 hours of free time. Eager to hear suggestions of things to see, do, avoid, eat, etc. Thanks in advance.

Bring Us Your Blegs

It’s been a while, but let’s get back in the habit. You send us your “blegs” — that’s when you use a blog to beg for information, a solution to a tough problem, etc. — and we’ll post them here for readers to pitch in to solve your dilemmas.
Here’s an archive of past blegs; they cover everything from firefighter safety to your least favorite songs to settling a loved one’s estate without acrimony. You can leave your blegs in the comments section below or send them to bleg [at] freakonomics [dot] com . Remember, no problem is too hard (or small, or weird) for our readership!

Our Daily Bleg: Naked Dreams in Other Cultures?

My friend was just telling me about a recent dream in which she was naked at a party and it reminded me of my similar dreams of being naked at school. It’s such a common trope in American culture that it made me wonder if people in other cultures have it too. Do more open/less prudish cultures like maybe Brazil have it as a common dream? What about much more conservative cultures, like in the Middle East — do they have a much more reserved version of it?

A Bleg: Ideas for Radio Hong Kong?

I have a brief visit to Hong Kong soon (my first!) and would like to bring back some material for our Freakonomics Radio podcast. Suggestions?

Time for the Kids? A Teaser and a Bleg

Today’s parents are spending dramatically more time on childcare than their parents did. What’s more, this rise has disproportionately occurred among those with the most education.

Our Daily Bleg: Name That Team!

I have been participating in a fantasy football league for the last few years with many former college econ majors as well as two econ Ph.D. students. We are all still very plugged in to economic policy debate too. Anyway, we all pride ourselves on having amusing or clever team names. This year, with the current economic crisis, I thought a team name related to economics (in the academic or popular sense) would be appropriate.

We're Blegging You: How Has Freakonomics Changed the World?

Next week, after more than four years in, Freakonomics is being published in the U.S. in paperback. We’ve been asked to go on TV to talk about the effects (if any) the book has had, whether in the realm of crime-fighting or baby-naming or book-writing. We need your help in gathering good examples to talk about. Nothing is too large or too small, in your life or the lives of others. Thanks in advance.

Our Daily Bleg: The Old Roommate/Rent Dilemma

Conor Hunt, an I.T. consultant in Chicago, writes with a dilemma that, while common, seems to be always unsatisfactorily solved. Two friends — a merchandising analyst and a law student — and I are attempting to split up rent of a three-bedroom apartment with two common bathrooms. All rooms have their pros and cons, with the major differentiators being closet . . .

Our Daily Bleg: How to Manage a Sales Floor?

A reader named Eric Eilberg writes with the following bleg: My family has run Marlen Jewelers since 1914. Over the years a lot of things have changed, and the business has survived and prospered. We’re a freestanding building in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. We employ six full-time and one part-time sales associates. Dad is the third generation to run . . .

Our Daily Bleg: What's a Responsible American to Do?

The average responsible, fiscally prudent, law-abiding American can be forgiven for feeling not just battered by the recession but also confused. In recent months, she has simultaneously been frightened into tightening her purse strings while also being scolded for not buying more things so that people can keep their jobs. She is also told that the recession isn’t her fault . . .

Our Daily Bleg: A Way to Show Employers What You Can Do Before You Get the Job

Here’s an interesting concept from blog reader Todd Palmer, who wants reader opinions as to whether his concept can work in the marketplace; and he also needs a good domain name. Todd’s idea: The site would function as a recruiting network, giving students and corporations an entirely new dimension of access to one another. Corporations would post tasks, real or . . .

Our Daily Bleg: More Quotation Authors Uncovered

Five weeks ago, I invited readers to submit quotations for which they wanted me to try to trace the origins, using The Yale Book of Quotations and more recent research by me. Dozens responded via comments or e-mails. I am responding as best I can, a couple per week. Authors Uncovered Here are more quote authors Shapiro’s tracked down recently. . . .

Our Daily Bleg: More Quote Authors Uncovered

Four weeks ago I invited readers to submit quotations for which they wanted me to try to trace the origins, using The Yale Book of Quotations and more recent research by me. Dozens responded via comments or e-mails. I am responding as best I can, a couple per week. Bill asks: I think that this is from Ambrose Bierce, but . . .

Our Daily Bleg: Happy Meal Toys

Photo: flavouz Here’s a bleg asking what happened the last time you ordered a Happy Meal at McDonald’s. I’m particularly interested in whether you were asked a toy question and how it was framed. Here in Connecticut, when I drive through, I’m sometimes asked whether the toy is for a boy or a girl. Sometimes they ask “Do you want . . .

Our Daily Bleg: A Real-Estate Dilemma

Mike, a 30-year-old engineer, writes in with a real-estate dilemma in which he’s considering a tricky tradeoff: is it worth sabotaging his own credit rating in order to walk away from a house that’s worth far less than his mortgage? Already Been Blegged Here’s what Freakonomics readers have been blegging for lately. How to Handicap a Multi-Race Challenge? Book-Club Questions . . .

Our Daily Bleg: How to Handicap a Multi-Race Challenge?

From a reader named Kevin O’Toole comes a bleg that needs input from people with experience in the realms of running, races, and maybe Olympic competition. (We tussled with Olympic medal counts here; and Justin Wolfers harnessed your collective wisdom when he ran the Stockholm Marathon.) Here’s Kevin’s story: For the past few years, I’ve had some ongoing bets with . . .

Our Daily Bleg: Let Me Trace Your Quotes

Two weeks ago, I invited readers to submit quotations for which they wanted me to try to trace the origins, using The Yale Book of Quotations and more recent research by me. Dozens responded via comments or e-mails. I am responding as best I can, a couple per week.

Our Daily Bleg: Book-Club Questions Needed

A reader named Jacquilynne Schlesier writes: My book club is reading Freakonomics as our selection of the month and we’re meeting on Wednesday. It’s my selection, so I’m responsible for bringing 10 questions that’ll prompt discussion about the book. Based on the argument that broke out at our last meeting when I merely mentioned the idea behind the abortion/crime bits . . .

Answering Your Blegs for a Change

Our resident quote bleggar Fred Shapiro, editor of The Yale Book of Quotations, is back, but this time he answers your quotation blegs. If you have a bleg of your own — it needn’t have anything to do with quotations — send it along here. Last week I invited readers to submit quotations for which they wanted me to try . . .