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Posts Tagged ‘SuperFreakonomics’

Harnessing the Volcano

Here’s an energy source you probably haven’t thought about: volcanoes. “Ormat Technologies (ORA) has tapped into the Pacaya volcano in Guatemala,” reports Stockerblog (citing a Reuters article). “The country’s goal is to have 60 percent of its energy generated from volcanoes, along with hydro power.”

Altruism Alert: Just Ask

Altruism is a regular topic on this blog, and had its own chapter in SuperFreakonomics. New research (earlier, ungated version here) looks at one factor that may affect altruism in the real world: communication.

Horse Manure: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

A story told on pp. 8-11 of SuperFreakonomics – about the plague of horse manure, the introduction of the automobile (an “environmental savior”), and the resulting carbon emissions — has been turned into (of all things) a Mercedes-Benz commercial.

Women Who Make More

The first chapter of SuperFreakonomics, and a recent Q&A, addressed the pervasive male-female wage gap, but there does seem to be one subset of women who make more money than their male peers.

TV and Crime

An East Baltimore citizen suggests a freaky explanation for recent violence in the city.

More Unintended Trash Consequences

A family in Sharon Township, Ohio (where residents are charged for their trash), left behind a big mess when they moved out of their home.

"You Should Walk Home"?

There is a brief vignette in the uninspired movie Killers in which an inebriated guest is about to drive away after a wild party at the home of the film’s two leads. One of the film’s leads advises the departing guest to walk home. Readers of SuperFreakonomics will realize this is bad advice.

What Can Economists Tell Us About Teenage Sexual Mores?

One point of our upcoming podcast is that economists — academic economists in particular — are generally free from the political and moral boundaries that restrict most people, and are therefore able to offer analysis or recommendations that politicians, e.g., wouldn’t go near with a ten-foot pole.

The "Sole Purpose" of SuperFreakonomics

Here is a multiple choice question for you.
Read the following passage, taken from SuperFreakonomics:
If you know someone in southeastern Uganda who is having a baby next year, you should hope with all your heart that the baby isn’t born in May. If so, it will be roughly 20 percent more likely to have visual, hearing, or learning disabilities as an adult.

What Bothers People About SuperFreakonomics?

In SuperFreakonomics, far and away the most common subject of emails is drunk walking vs. drunk driving. In particular, every few days someone writes us to tell us that our analysis is wrong because we are comparing the rate of death per mile driven drunk versus the rate of death per mile walked drunk. Sure, they say, drunk walkers get killed more per mile. But since cars travel much faster, per hour, it is safer to drive drunk than to walk drunk.

The Latest in Naked Self-Promotion

If you missed Levitt and Dubner on their U.K. SuperFreakonomics tour, a podcast of their lecture at the London School of Economics is now online. So are their interviews with Reuters TV, Channel 4, and Telegraph TV, as is the BBC’s piece on how SuperFreakonomics fits into the David Cameron book club. Some U.S. tour appearances are available online as well, from the Commonwealth Club, the Motley Fool, and the Philadelphia Free Library.

Introducing the SuperFreakonomics Virtual Book Club: Meet Emily Oster

Welcome to the first installment of the SuperFreakonomics Book Club. We know you’re all busy, and scattered around the globe too. So it wouldn’t be convenient for all of us to regularly gather in someone’s living room and talk about the book while sharing bean dip. So let’s harness this Internet thingy and try something different.
The idea is simple. We’ll start at the beginning of the book and work our way to the end, each week giving you a chance to ask questions or leave comments for some of the researchers and other people we write about in SuperFreakonomics.

The Other Website

The Freakonomics book website has been redesigned and updated to include SuperFreakonomics. We love the new look. (Thanks, Being Wicked, and you too, Sean!) It’s the best place to stay up-to-date on appearances, reviews, and so on. It’s also a great place to sign up for the Freakonomics email list or request an autographed bookplate.