Chinese Basketball and Adam Smith

It is called the “womb to tomb model.” Selected as young children because of their exceptional height, future Chinese basketball players are educated separately. Whereas traditional Chinese schools have few, if any, extracurricular activities, their sports schools focus on athletics.…

Green Signals

When “green” is valued, hybrid car sales will be high. But here is the interesting part. When green is valued, looking “green” sometimes can be more important than being “green.” As a result, people buy more Priuses than Honda Civic…

Smog-Eaters

What if someone had invented “smog-eating” concrete roof tiles? And, what if these tiles consumed enough smog to offset one car’s nitrous oxide emissions during one year (10,800 miles of driving)? Telling us that a firm in California has them…

Do You Approve of Profits?

Two Questions: 1.How do you feel about profit? In their paper, “Is Profit Evil? Associations of Profit With Social Harm,” 3 University of Pennsylvania researchers discuss two studies that display people’s negative response to profit seeking activity. Ultimately, they conclude…

Big Boxes

What we ship things in makes a difference. Take the banana, for example. In 1876, at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, the banana was a delicacy (and very black). Millions of bunches could only be sent to U.S. shores if they…

Powerful Women

Lady Gaga is #7. Yes, according to a 2010 Forbes list of the most powerful women in the world, Lady Gaga’s power is surpassed by just 6 other women: Michelle Obama, Irene Rosenfeld (Kraft Foods CEO), Oprah, Angela Merkel (Germany’s Chancellor), Hillary…

A Phone Call From Adam Smith

The phone rings. The caller says he is Adam Smith and you have won the Nobel Prize in Economics. Your response? As you know, the 18th century author of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, is perhaps the greatest economic…

Nantucket’s Traffic Lights

Located 30 miles from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the island of Nantucket has no traffic lights. Instead, drivers respond to stop signs, rotaries, and courtesy. More often than not, if a pedestrian, a walker, or a biker needs to cross the…

Common Markets

Kenyan coffee exporters have a problem at the Tanzanian border. “On the Kenyan side they operate 24 hours a day, but on the Tanzanian side it’s 12 …We have had drivers standing at the border for 4 days. These things…

Trivial Pursuits

Playing Scrabble in a bar, Canadian journalist Chris Haney and a sports reporter friend thought they could do better. Within an hour, during December, 1979, the two created the idea for Trivial Pursuit and drew an initial version of the…