The Most Embarrassing Thing I’ve Done This Millennium

Dubner puts his foot in his mouth by accidentally insulting a stand-up comedian he met at a New Orleans conference.

If I Had Known the Miss Universe Pageant Would Be This Exciting, I Would Have Watched

Did you happen to catch the Miss Universe pageant on NBC last night? Me neither. It was held in Mexico City. Based on this Reuters report, it sounds like we missed a doozy of a reality show: During the evening gown parade, Miss USA, Rachel Smith, slipped on the runway and landed on her bottom, […]

What happens when a maestro plays the subway?

This piece in the Washington Post is one of the most interesting articles I have read in a newspaper in a long, long time. The Post arranged for Joshua Bell, a world famous violinist, to bring his $3.5 million violin to a subway stop, open up his case for donations, and see how people respond. […]

Freakonomics in the Times Magazine: A Star Is Made

The May 7, 2006, Freakonomics column in the New York Times Magazine asks a fundamental -- but very hard -- question: When someone is very good at a given thing, what is it that actually makes him good? This blog post supplies additional research material.