Friday, December 09, 2005

Big Brain = Small Balls?

Female behavior and its influence on males:
... where the females were promiscuous, the males had evolved larger testes but had relatively small brains. ... where the females were monogamous, the situation was reversed. Male fidelity appeared to have no influence over testes or brain size.
Don't get excited, we're talking about bat species here.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Talmudic Cab Ride

Carl Bialik devotes his The Numbers Guy column in today's WSJ to an interesting problem:
Three economists get into a cab. They're each getting off at different places along the route. How should they split the bill?

It's not a joke but an everyday numbers dilemma, and it highlights some important economic principles. I asked several economists to solve the problem, and they came up with some unique approaches. One called on the work of game-theory pioneer John Nash (the inspiration for "A Beautiful Mind") to divide up the bill. Another referenced the ancient Jewish legal text, the Talmud.

Answers were all over the place and reflected different notions of fairness and approaches to bargaining. I may use it as an interview question :-)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

FedEx - What's in a Logo?

It was designed in 1994, and I must have seen it hundreds of times, but until a friend pointed it out to me, I hadn't noticed a subliminal message in the logo of FedEx.

Do you see it?

In any case, you can learn about it here.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Land of Calamities?

Allstate launched an advocacy campaign "aimed at waking Americans up to catastrophes". This drawing, used to illustrate a full page ad in the WSJ, caught my eye:

USA map

The ad is titled: What if while Katrina was pounding New Orleans, California had been hit by an earthquake?