The Benefits of Reading to Children, Tested With a Data Pool of One

One of the most controversial small points in Freakonomics was the claim that early childhood test scores are not correlated to the amount a child is read to at home. If you read Carl Bialik‘s “Numbers Guy” column in today’s Wall Street Journal, you’ll learn why so many people have thought otherwise. Here’s an excerpt: […]

A Reluctant Note on the Virginia Tech Shooting

Aside from the actual sadness of events such as this, I am additionally saddened by how they tend to play out in public. They become instant platforms for people with all sorts of motives to opine and rant against their pet targets — media, guns, mental illness, privacy, etc. — when in fact what happened […]

The FREAKest Links

Remember this discussion about the likelihood of a three-way tie on Jeopardy? Everyone agreed that the estimate of 1-in-25 million was absurdly high. So too does Carl Bialik, the Wall Street Journal‘s “Numbers Guy.” Men outnumber women on the Internet, by a long shot … right? Wrong. takes a brief look at the stocks […]

This Isn’t Cheating, Is It?

Here’s an interesting Wall Street Journal article by Carl Bialik (“The Numbers Guy”) on how authors (and their public-relations firms) try to push a book to No. 1 on or Barnes& For $10,000 to $15,000, you, too, can be a best-selling author. New York public-relations firm Ruder Finn says it can propel unknown titles […]