FREAK-TV: How Are Audiobooks Made?

Video The latest installment of FREAK-TV is an insider look at the making of The Boy With Two Belly Buttons: The Audio Version, read by none other than its author, our own Stephen Dubner (who also provided the voice for the audio version of Freakonomics). To hear a sample of the final product, go to […]

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 […]

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 […]

FREAK-TV: ‘I Like to Answer Questions Well’

Video In an earlier video, Levitt talked about how hard it is for economists to make good predictions about the macroeconomy. He continues that theme in this new piece, explaining why he’d rather tackle a much smaller question and try to answer it well.

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 […]

FREAK-TV: Why Economists Don’t Vote

Video Today is Election Day, albeit a quiet one. There isn’t much at stake in New York. There’s more action in New Jersey, though voter turnout is expected to be low, as it is in California. The irony is that the typical voter is more likely to have an impact in a smaller election than […]

FREAK-TV: What Do Online Daters Lie About?

Video This is a subject we wrote about in Freakonomics, based on a really interesting paper called “What Makes You Click?” by Günter J. Hitsch, Ali Hortaçsu, and Dan Ariely. The story we told in the book was an aggregate one, based on thousands of online daters’ data. But we thought it would make sense […]

FREAK-TV: Stacking the Deck

Video It is fairly well known by now that Levitt has more than a passing interest in poker, and he’s occasionally shown some promise. (His blackjack skills, meanwhile, are subject to debate.) It is also well-established that, as a parent, he’s less interested in reading a standard bedtime story than in teaching his kids to […]

FREAK-TV: Was Alan Greenspan Just Lucky?

Video For the past couple of months, we’ve been regularly posting short FREAK-TV videos, made by resident young genius Nick Graham, in a box on the right-hand column of our home page. The problem was that the video itself couldn’t be housed within a blog post, so you had to scramble over to the right-hand […]

FREAK-TV: Is the Law of Unintended Consequences the Strongest Law Around?

Video The Americans with Disabilities Act was considered landmark legislation. Here’s a summary of the law from the Department of Justice Web site: The Americans with Disabilities Act gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It […]