A Beet Paradox

Photo: Darwin Bell Beets are the new broccoli. Or at least they will be after Obama takes office on January 20, as the president-elect recently revealed his distaste for this vitamin-laden root vegetable. And Obama is not alone: Even as beet salads have become popular in trendy eateries, most American kids I know also reject […]

FREAK-TV: An Economic History of … Abs?

Video Today’s installment of FREAK-TV traces the history of male abs in culture and media, from the unveiling of Michelangelo’s “David” to James Dean‘s shirtless pose in Rebel Without a Cause to the Calvin Klein abs bonanza of the 1990s that made “six-packs” the norm (and turned an often-unattainable level of fitness into an anti-fat […]

EULA Wars: The Customer Is Always Right … to Lodge a Protest

Here’s another good post from our new guest blogger Ian Ayres; here are some previous Ayres items. My friend and Peabody Award-winning journalist Jack Hitt is irked by EULAs (End User Licensing Agreements). They are the ubiquitous terms and conditions on the Web that no one ever reads. Jack can’t understand why, if he has […]

FREAK-TV: Ill-Conceived Promotional Merchandise

Video It is important to never underestimate the power of free — of free anything, it seems. I have been to conferences where the typical attendee makes at least low six figures and yet is willing to stand in line to get his schwag bag. What’s in it? Some suntan lotion, a paperweight, boutique vinegar […]

E. Coli Advertising Campaign?

Evidence that any publicity can be good publicity: Reading this story about an E. coli outbreak in the pepperoni on Totino’s pizzas reminded me of my 20-year love affair with Totino’s. Why haven’t I been eating them lately? I will have to get some immediately. Maybe I’ll start with the sausage pizza, though.

Maybe This Guy Should Be Running Delta Air Lines

I recently blogged about a suboptimal customer service experience with Delta Air Lines. (As a couple of commenters pointed out — see Nos. 28, 36, and 44 — one of my assumptions was probably wrong, but that doesn’t change the thrust of the story very much.) So it’s nice to report a really good customer […]

Salvation for a Chronically Late Adopter

Two weeks ago, I blogged about my inability to recognize how new technologies would change my life for the better. I typically wait years to adopt things, then do so grudgingly, only to find within days that I don’t know how I ever lived without them. I asked our readers to offer suggestions about my […]

Here’s Why Richard Branson Should Be Delta Airlines’ Biggest Fan

Last week, Passenger X arrived at the Orlando airport with a first-class e-ticket for New York City. At the airport, the ticket machine spat out a boarding pass for a seat in the back of coach. Why? The plane, he was told, had been “downsized” from a large jet to a smaller one. There was […]

Should Apple Burn Its Economics Textbooks?

If you ask an economist how to price a new product that is just being introduced, the response you will get is that you should charge a very high price at first and then steadily reduce that price over time. There are two reasons for doing this. First, it generally gets cheaper to produce things […]

Diet Coke is 99% Water (And That Is Now a Good Thing)

Back in the day, when people noted that Diet Coke was 99% water, it was an insult. The point was that water was free, and Diet Coke was just free water plus a little bit of artificial this and that — so you would have to be a fool to pay so much for it. […]