Serious Fun: A Q&A With the Author of Play

Stuart Brown Whether he’s playing tennis with “a convivial group of codgers” or hanging out with his grandkids, Stuart Brown, the author of Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, plays as often as he can. With a background in neuroscience and behavioral medicine, Brown has studied play globally, […]

A Sin Tax on Video Games

| offers a nationwide roundup on (mostly stillborn) efforts at the state level to levy a sin tax on video games. Some proposals aim to tax only violent games (who knows it if would affect the forthcoming adaptation of Dante’s Inferno, in which sinners are the exclusive targets of horrific violence). Seriously, though, one […]

Your Movie Industry Questions Answered

Dan Glickman We recently solicited your questions for Dan Glickman, C.E.O. of the Motion Picture Association of America. In his answers below, he discusses, among other topics, the source of his piracy figures and why the ratings board isn’t the “morality police.” He also tells us what he thinks of the documentary This Film Is […]

New Yorkers Can Really Win Something at the Fair This Summer

I used to love going to the fair as a kid. In the boondocks of upstate New York, the fair was a wonderful big mess of commerce, risk, and excitement. The rides were okay, but it was the games that got your blood going: a chance to win a big beer goblet (even though we […]

What’s the Next Step for an Exotic Dancer?

This is a few months old, but still well worth a listen: an NPR interview with Lia Scholl of Star Light Ministries, an outfit in Springfield, Va., that counsels exotic dancers. Here, from Star Light’s Web site, is its mission statement: Most exotic dancers are young women who come from varied socio-economic backgrounds. Their education […]

What Are the Lessons of the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD Battle? A Freakonomics Quorum

Even if you don’t care one bit — and this probably describes the vast majority of Americans — you have probably heard by now that a Great Format War has been fought, and apparently won. The HD-DVD format for DVDs, backed by Toshiba, has lost out to Sony’s Blu-ray format. To be sure, there are […]

Rocco Landesman Answers Your Broadway Questions

We recently solicited your questions for Broadway producer Rocco Landesman, and threw in a few of our own as well. Reading his answers below, you can see why he is considered not only one of Broadway’s best producers, but also one of the most astute. Thanks to Rocco, and to all of you for the […]

FREAK-TV: What Your Band’s 8″-By-10″ Glossy Says About You

Video My first job in journalism was as an editorial assistant at New York magazine, writing up the back-of-the-book culture listings. This meant that I received a lot of promotional mailings from movie studios, PR firms, etc. I was consistently surprised by the 8-by-10 promo pictures sent out for young female classical musicians: they were […]

Crime, Celebrity, and Kissing On Screen: A Q&A on The King of Bollywood

Anupama Chopra knows first-hand about Bollywood, India’s burgeoning film industry. As a former film writer for India Today magazine and the wife of famed Indian writer/director Vidhu Vinod Chopra, she’s spent more than 15 years watching from the inside as the industry weathered widespread social change, rapid expansion, and economic globalization. Her new book, King […]

Reality TV Show Casting Call: Perfect for Freakonomics Blog Readers

I received the following e-mail today. If you read this, apply, and make the show, we’ll give you a month’s supply of Freakonomics T-shirts and yo-yos, as long as you agree to wear them on the show: Hi, My name is Laina Rose, I’m currently casting a new reality show. You are being contacted because […]