Why Baseball Umpires Are Like Wine Tasters

Whether looking a the strikes called by an umpire or the scores from wine tasters, we would see inconsistent decisions that are called noisy.

How Shrinkflation Makes More Become Less

When a producer is concerned that a price increase will diminish sales and increase consumers’ ire, the other alternative is shrinkflation.

Where Soda Pop Means More Than a Carbonated Drink

When some of us say “soda” and others “pop,” we are asking for a carbonated soft drink and also, perhaps, signaling our cultural differences.

How to Select the Best Countries

Instead of collecting a massive volume of statistics, iU.S. News uses people’s perceptions to rank the world’s 78 best countries.

The Feminine Side of City Streets

A headline in the Brooklyn Eagle asks us to imagine a New York where most of the streets are named for women. As they describe their alternative world, we could have Barbra Streisand Lane and Ethel Merman Boulevard. Female names…

How Free Stock Trades Can Be Expensive

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely demonstrated the impact of “free” in an experiment that he described in Predictably Irrational. At first, participants could choose a Hershey’s Kiss for a penny or a Lindt Truffle for 15 cents. Selected by 73%, the…

COVID’s Divorce Rate Surprises

I suspect that you (as did I) will  find the newest numbers on the divorce rate rather surprising. Six Facts: Covid Divorce Rates 1. Pre-Pandemic for the U.S. Before the pandemic began, divorce rates had been trending downward:   2.…

How Legos Helped to Build a Vaccination Center

Albrecht Broemme had to figure out the design of Germany’s Covid-19 vaccination centers at two airport terminals, a concert venue, a velodrome, an ice rink, and a convention hall. So, he used Legos. Below, Mr. Broemme is holding a picture…

When Does Money Make Us Feel Good?

In 1974, a University of Pennsylvania economist concluded that there was a happiness plateau. Yes, we feel increasingly good as our income grows. But not beyond $75,000. Called the Easterlin Paradox, even if your earnings continue upward, they don’t bring…

Why a New Year’s Resolution Needs a Staircase

Pondering how to keep our New Year’s resolutions, we can look at the staircase in a Seattle office building.