Non-traffic causes of traffic congestion

Michael Giberson Is this an unpriced external effect of shooting off fireworks on July 4? July 5 tends to have an unusual number of animal-related traffic problems, as pets, spooked by the fireworks on the previous day, have a greater propensity to wander onto freeways. From Eric Morris at the Freakonomicsblog, “Road Blocks: The Strange … More Non-traffic causes of traffic congestion

Singing about pricing (Is it, too, like dancing about architecture?)

Michael Giberson At Knowing and Making, Leigh Caldwell writes about “a charming pop song by the delightful young artist Jessie J” about “the important and neglected issue of pricing.” Initially he is pleased with the song, but ultimately “his faith in humanity is shaken. Shattered, in fact.” A great deal of drama for a short … More Singing about pricing (Is it, too, like dancing about architecture?)

Nate Silver’s Valentine to Huffington Post bloggers…

Michael Giberson Nate Silver runs some numbers on public Huffington Post information to get an idea on how much the posts of unpaid bloggers on the site are worth to the company in gross advertising revenue: “Do the multiplication, and you find … the median blog post, with several hundred views, was worth only $3 … More Nate Silver’s Valentine to Huffington Post bloggers…

Better living through applied statistics: Cracking scratch-off lottery games

Michael Giberson In WIRED, Jonah Lehrer reports on how Toronto geological statistician Mohan Srivastava discovered a flaw in a lottery scratch-off game. As a trained statistician with degrees from MIT and Stanford University, Srivastava was intrigued by the technical problem posed by the lottery ticket. In fact, it reminded him a lot of his day … More Better living through applied statistics: Cracking scratch-off lottery games

Paul Cézanne’s birthday

Lynne Kiesling Today’s Google banner celebrates the 172nd birthday of Paul Cézanne, my favorite artist. I love how he unpacks the underlying layers of geometry in landscapes. When I first saw the painting above, Le lac d’Annecy, in the Courtauld Gallery in London when I was a college student, it literally took my breath away. … More Paul Cézanne’s birthday

Technological developments useful in eventually producing the equivalent of Neal Stephenson’s “Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer”

Michael Giberson As any reader of Neal Stephenson’s book The Diamond Age knows, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer would be quite handy to have. Unfortunately, technology hasn’t quite advanced to the point necessary to actually produce such a thing. A recently published research report seems like one small step in the right direction. From a … More Technological developments useful in eventually producing the equivalent of Neal Stephenson’s “Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer”