— A detailed, graph-heavy explanation of why Spain’s such a mess.
— Myths and facts about the American energy boom.
— Shrimps would find human vision “unbearably dull,” and other insights from the science of how we observe color.
— Why China’s taking it slow with its space program.
— The BBC tracks down the women involved in the Watergate scandal.
— The 25-year history of animated GIFs told ... in GIFs.
— What Facebook knows (it’s a lot more than you think).
— Photographs of a struggling generation.
— Watch out, Oregonians: Your state might have the plague.
— The high priest of “Moneyball” turns to politics.
— Adam Kushner on the decline of the Times-Picayune.
— Cabbage for $28 and other insanely high food prices in Northern Canada.
— A broken freezer at Harvard’s “brain bank,” where research brains get stored, could set back autism research by decades.
— Why product prices often end in 99 cent increments.
— Ryan Lizza on what Obama’s second term would look like.
— Free the tacocopter!
— David Grann explains how he put together his (truly amazing) recent New Yorker story, “The Yankee Comandante.”
— The U.S. economy, pre- and post-stimulus, in a million charts (pdf).
— The (marginal) upsides of Greece’s slow bank run.
— Portugal shrugs at austerity.
— Entertaining Q&A with Bill Murray.
— Fax machines are still very popular in Japan.
— When was the last time a speech by a Federal Reserve official contained a full-length poem?
— What’s really behind Europe’s decline? It’s the birth rates, stupid.
— Today in odd Kickstarter projects.
— Now that the Prius is the world’s third best-selling car, a look back at predictions that hybrids would never take off.
— The Greek Drachma makes a quick, unexpected appearance on Bloomberg terminals.
— The Economist on how doctors could get squeezed out of the health-care system.
— From the archives: A 1967 interview with Nabokov.
— Exciting career opportunities at Apple.
— “It’s 7:30 a.m., and already the congressman and I are covered in blood.”
— New hope for spinal injuries.
— The first zombie-proof house.
— Potential flaws in a European banking union.
— The Cold War origins of Google Translate.
— Does math prove that literary classics are obsolete? Not if Laura Miller has anything to say about it.
— A 6-year-old is currently turning in a very impressive performance at the National Spelling Bee.
— Sunlight Foundation launches Politiwoops, a collection of politicians’ deleted tweets.
— The world’s largest pool is the size of 6,000 normal pools.
— The average person has 9,762 minor injuries in a lifetime.
— “There isn’t a single state in the country where it’s possible to work 40 hours per week at minimum wage and afford a two-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent.”
— War-gaming a Greek exit from the euro.
— This defense of Business Insider SMASHES expectations.
— Twenty-five words that simply don’t exist in English.
— The auto industry invented the term “jaywalking” as an insult to shame pedestrians off the streets.
— Ten science concepts that could spawn excellent movie villains.
— It’s possible that New Orleans will soon no longer have a daily newspaper.
- The largest-ever study of coffee drinkers find those who imbibe to have a lower risk of death.
- Canada discovers one downside to being an oil exporter--Dutch disease.
- Good details on the new cap-and-trade system in South Korea, one of the world’s top-10 carbon emitters.
- “Evan Soltas, likely winner of the 2030 John Bates Clark award.”
- How common is your birthday? This chart will tell you.
- Is death bad for you?
— Four scenarios for an end game in Greece.
— A five-year investigation concludes that a man was wrongfully executed in Texas.
— Study: 29 percent of Americans will sleepwalk in their lifetime. (Seriously?)
— The NRCC is banking on an openly gay Republican to win in Massachusetts.
— A weirdly moving short film about plywood.
— The Guardian brings you the key charts you need to understand the euro zone crisis.
— “Simply stated, once you are the market, you are no longer a hedge.”
— Bet you’ll never guess the world’s busiest airline route.
— An investigation into how Louisiana built the world’s prison capital.
— The economics of NHL teams in the Sun Belt.
— An interview with a safecracker.
— Exploding the myths of manufacturing.
— FT Alphaville Tumblr.
— The National Zoo’s new otters are named “Pork Chop, Pickles, Saffron, Olive, Peaches, Turnip, Radish, Rutabaga and ... Kevin.”
— The stresses of undercover police work.
— How economics can help if you’ve been kidnapped by a pirate.
— Rare photos of Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City, which was perhaps the most densely populated place on Earth before being razed in 1993.
— How an angler and two government bureaucrats may have saved the Atlantic Ocean.
— “He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”
— Roll Call’s John Stanton tracks down Congress’s tattooed members.
— In 1981, desperate for cash, American Airlines sold lifetime first-class passes for $350,000. Now the company’s desperately trying to revoke them.
— Alec MacGillis on why Caro’s Great Man Theory is bad for Washington.
— Go behind the scenes with the New York Times’ chart-makers.
— McDonald’s advertising budget is equal in size to Aruba’s GDP.
— Kevin Drum asks: When was the last time we elected a president whose main experience was in business?
— Women gained 73 percent of the 115,000 jobs added to the economy in April.
— Two brain research institutes got into a bidding war over who would use Junior Seau’s brain for research (Boston University won).
— The best way to transport a live panda? While wearing panda costumes, obviously.
— Massachusetts continues to move forward on health-care payment reform.
— Age and the recession, in one chart.
— The case of the missing manufacturing workers.
— “Politics is weird. And creepy. And now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality.”
— The backstory on how the White House press pool kept secret President Obama’s 36-hour visit to Afghanistan.
— Atul Gawande succintly summarizes 200 years of surgery in the New England Journal of Medicine.
— Why recipe writers lie.
— Summer jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds are at their lowest level since at least 1948.
— “No designer has ever made a good chair, because it is impossible.”
— Matt Yglesias on the problem with the euro zone being a lack of actual European identity.
- “A second customer in less than a year has collapsed at the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas (yes, that’s its real name).”
- IMF forecasts suggest that South Koreans could be richer than the Japanese within five years.
- 25 million people ride electric bikes in China. How come they never caught on in the U.S.?
- “The number of Britons naming their children after knives has dropped dramatically in the past decade.”
- The New Yorker copydesk reveals why it has so many (what we thought were) umlauts.
- Reuters probes how Washington went soft on childhood obesity.
— Research finds that company team-building exercises are very effective... at breeding disconnection and mistrust.
— A good update on where things stand in the House-Senate stand-off over a new transportation bill.
— Is Africa growing much faster than we think?
— The decline of venture capital.
— The Food and Drug Administration now spends as much money monitoring already approved drugs as it does scrutinizing new ones.
— Sen. Tom Harkin’s crusade to kill the dollar bill.
— A 9-year-old boy who created a makeshift arcade out of cardboard boxes.
— Lessons learned from visiting New York City 100 years ago.
— Japanese researchers are developing an exoskeleton to help people lift heavy things.
— How 3-D printing will revolutionize manufacturing.
— America’s dumbest tax loophole involves renting cattle.
— India flips on the world’s largest solar power plant.
— If you spent all your time collecting dinosaur fossils, this is what your living room would look like.
— “When Rob Portman says he’ll leave his office at 5 PM, he gets home at 4:58 PM.”
— The new Senate farm bill is out, and it’s not getting rave reviews.
— Researchers will go through every 2008 article published in three psychology journals, redo the experiments, and see if they hold up.
— Is it possible to copyright magic tricks? Teller of Penn & Teller sure hopes so.
— Why urban development in Washington, D.C., is so awful.
— A tire fire so big it can be seen from space.
— Did Einstein’s wife secretly help co-author his 1905 paper on relativity?
— The untold tale of how NASA almost lost the Discovery shuttle in 2005.
— The Congressional Budget Office has a slew of new infographics about the federal budget.
— No Pulitzer Prizes awarded for editorial writing or fiction this year.
— “[D]octors should not stereotype individuals with tattoos as heavy drinkers, the researchers cautioned.”
— El Salvador celebrates its first murder-free day in almost three years.
— “[T]he total defeat and withdrawal of Democrats on guns has affected NRA rhetoric not at all.”
— Is it impossible to clean up the oil contamination in Nigeria’s Delta?
— “Controlling the border is a problem that Brazil never thought it would have to face ... and it’s forcing us to do some uncomfortable things.”
— Is Facebook making us lonelier?
— Alec MacGillis is truly outraged at a wave of fake umbrage.
— Meanwhile, Ann Romney was talked about a lot on Twitter today — twice as much as Justin Bieber.
— Robert Caro “now spending more time writing the years of Lyndon Johnson than Johnson spent living them.”
— Toyota is rolling out a single-seat electric vehicle that charges as quickly as an iPad.
— 18-year-old Keith Richards remembers meeting Mick Jagger.
— American Prospect editor Gabe Arana shares his experience going to ex-gay therapy.
— Inside the medical billing arms race.
— The science of New York City’s new taxis, which absorb smells and horn honking.
— The U.S. has the highest share of employees in low-wage work.
— Japan is getting ready to restart its first reactors since Fukushima.
— A very cool visualization of conducting music.
— Jack White apparently stores the master recordings of his music in a climate-controlled vault with a biometric scanner.
— Jonathan Chait takes on “pseudo-outrage.”
— Jon Stewart, meanwhile, takes on President Obama’s “bro-mails.”
— Recent uptick in U.S. earthquakes “almost certainly” linked to oil and gas drilling.
— Inventions we want: SushiBot makes 3,600 pieces of sushi per hour.
— Dartmouth will name its medical school after the much-esteemed physician, Dr. Suess.
— “It’s the color of mucus. It’s the color of infection. It’s the color of old piano keys.”
— A dispatch from the New York City Toy Fair.
— The link that launched a thousand neuroses.
— A powerful shot from the Military Photographer of the Year slideshow.
— Reihan Salam responds to Ezra’s column on the effect Ryan’s budget will have on social mobility.
— Speaking of which, the party reactions to Obama’s budget speech seem like more evidence in favor of Ezra’s thesis on presidential polarization.
— A closer look at Rahm Emanuel’s plan to spend $7.2 billion on infrastructure in Chicago.
— “So we have New York entrenched as America’s first city, and Washington, DC increasingly its new ‘Second City.’ ”
— Annie Lowrey interviews Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala about why she wants to run the World Bank.
— How mass migration cushioned the Great Depression.
— Congrats to Ta-Nehesi Coates for winning the Hillman Prize in opinion and analysis.
— Every now and again, Earth gets a second (tiny) moon, scientists discover.
— The collapse of the Soviet Union was terrible for American mathematicians.
— “Newt Gingrich does not eat sandwiches; he fundamentally transforms them.”
— Ikea is getting into the urban planning business.
— A mall built in Dongguan, China, in 2005 is twice as big as the Mall of America — and totally empty.
— Kurt Vonnegut’s 1973 letter to a North Dakota school board chair who burned his books.
— How Apple could use the controversy over its labor practices to hurt its competitors.
— These guys indexed all of Infinite Jest.
- Former Senator - and, more importantly, former lottery winner - Judd Gregg has some Mega Millions tips to share.
- Meanwhile, residents of Georgia spend 1 percent of their personal income on lottery tickets.
- Jonathan Chait on what to do if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare.
- The federal government is seeking ways to measure “gross national happiness.”
- For anyone with visiting relatives this weekend, a very-DC scavenger hunt.
- An animated history of April’s Fools Day.
— The future of nuclear power: small reactors?
— The rules that govern Roadrunner/Wile E. Coyote cartoons.
— Geraldo Rivera delivers the ultimate non-apology.
— TacoCopter and the failure of robots to deliver our food.
— The differences between working for Apple and Facebook.
— J.K. Rowling has transformed book publishing.
— Interesting close read of the Obamacare hearings from Philip Klein.
— “Non-prescription ‘hipster’ glasses are...something of a sensation in the District’s courthouse scene.”
— Can stimulus pay for itself?
— The economics of “The Hunger Games.”
— Neat media map of what outlets are popular where, based on Twitter shares. The Onion’s readership seems to be concentrated in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
— Some more nominees for World Bank president.
— Why iced coffee costs more than hot coffee.
— Every Murakami novel ever, in one chart.
— How to determine whether a lab mouse is depressed or not.
— Greece is getting an upgrade rather than a downgrade for a change.
— A bad trailer can doom a movie (it happened to “John Carter,” apparently).
— Is it time to get rid of urban freeways?
— “But until recently, there has been relatively little news of bee rustling in the United States.”
— Recent jobs reports have been great, but many economists still expect jobs growth to slow in 2012. Why? (There’s an answer at the link; this isn’t just rhetorical.)
— Fukushima’s last remaining resident.
— Student loan delinquencies are worse than you think.
— What is critical race theory, anyway?
— A good roundup of this Kony 2012 business.
— The QWERTY keyboard is warping our minds.
— How to ship a horse by Fed-Ex.
— Terrific story by Eli Saslow on how official Washington prepares for “jobs day.”
— The economics of “no kill” animal shelters.
— “Sloths can barely pull themselves across the road and yet they’re easily gliding their way towards world domination.”
— A North Dakota woman’s Olive Garden review takes the Internet by storm
— The United States has just added the Vatican to a list of money-laundering countries.
— How El Paso ended up with the country’s best smart growth plan.
— Researchers discover that more people will ride mass transit if it’s made more convenient.
— Robotic snakes on a plane.
— A letter from Helen Keller describing what she ‘saw’ at the top of the Empire State Building.
— Seattle’s getting a public food forest.
— The Chinese view of Super Tuesday.
— “The Rent Is Too Damn High!” Matt Yglesias’ excellent new e-book, argues, among other things, that anti-density laws might be at least partly responsible for America’s stagnating median wages. Definitely worth checking out.
— Dave Weigel has the backstory on the Koch-Cato struggle.
— Nate Silver handicaps Super Tuesday. (Spoiler alert: It looks good for Romney.)
— The mother of a boy dying from Tay-Sachs disease writes a moving essay on the ethics of prenatal testing.
— Jose Andres’s forthcoming food truck, Pepe, will feature a $20 sandwich.
— Could Facebook avoid paying taxes?
— What intersections might look like in a world of driverless cars.
— Bad movies are a dying breed — and that’s not necessarily a good thing.
— Mike Konczal sees excellent news in today’s auto sales data (and auditions for a job at Business Insider while he’s at it).
— Wearing a lab coat makes people feel smart.
— China has boosted 660 million people out of poverty since the early 1980s, accounting for half the global decline.
— Yet another chart on Romney’s new tax plan.
— The latest WikiLeaks revelations on the private intelligence firm Stratfor don’t sound all that thrilling.
— Josh Barro gives another reason that the White House might have been reluctant to embrace Bowles-Simpson.
— Are microfinance lenders pushing Indians into suicide?
— Dana Goldstein says Rick Santorum would do well to actually read President Obama’s education plan.
— Embedded in Antarctica.
— The odd world of Greek regulations: “I was in a bookstore/café that could neither sell books nor make coffee.”
— Are academic journals coercing authors to cite them?
— GQ’s excellent Gary Oldman profile comes with a 3,100 word preface explaining why the piece took three years to get published.
— The Economist posts its style guide.
— A $77 million Medicare fraud detection system bought by the government last year has caught... $7,591 worth of actual fraud.
— Slovakia names a bridge after Chuck Norris.
— The one and only way to make an Old Fashioned. Supposedly. Maybe.
— BP’s big trial over the Deepwater Horizon disaster is set to begin on Monday.
— Why do sources leak to the press?
— Josh Barro likes Obama’s corporate tax proposal.
— Where the term “dude” came from.
— Yes, you can patent recipes. No, it’s not a good idea in practice.
— Pawnshops for the 1 percent accept wine as collateral.
— Building a Death Star would cost $852 quadrillion. Worth it?
— Political scientists aren’t wholly convinced by evidence that negative political ads actually work.
- Get excited, wonks: the CBO has launched its new Web site.
- The forgetting pill erases painful memories forever.
- The ultimate Barack Obama video timeline.
- “They’re talking about how to end racism, I bet.”
- Using statistics to predict which criminals will be repeat offenders.
- What it looks like when you blow up a bridge in Ohio.
- Timothy Noah holds court on Reddit.
— The economics of Jeremy Lin.
— How Target learns all your deep, dark secrets.
— A lot of foreign companies are keen on investing in North Korea.
— A depressing choose-your-own-adventure for Greece. Not a whole lot of good solutions here.
— Citigroup thinks (pdf) we’ve licked this peak oil business.
— A map of countries that were never colonized. Lots of quibbling in comments.
— Ideas for tackling inequality from 100 years ago.
— Global toilet-paper demand is rising, which is good news for one New Hampshire mill.
— The Charles Dickens novels that students read in school today were the least popular back when the author was alive.
— Letting nurses do more doesn’t affect doctor pay.
— Has copyright enforcement failed because we haven’t tried hard enough? Or is it inherently impossible?
- Conor Clarke thinks the structure of the online dating market makes it destined to fail.
- A real marriage proposal, in one infographic.
- Five places where Valentine’s Day is banned.
- Fourteen ways economists say “I love you.”
- Dan Ariely on the supply and demand of dating.
— Ezra’s guest-hosting the Rachel Maddow Show tonight at 9:00 pm EST. Tune in.
— James Fallows takes a crack at explaining Obama’s first term.
— The neuroscience of Adele’s “Someone Like You.”
— How much of the federal budget goes toward helping the non-working poor? About 5 percent.
— The Jeremy Lin bull market.
— The world’s fastest elevator goes about 36 kilometers per hour. For now.
— A Justin Bieber endorsement almost broke Instagram. Just wait until he starts touting Wonkblog.
— A theory of why companies pay so much for consultants.
— New York’s abandoned leper colony.
— “Mr. Zuckerberg thus stands alone in exercising this degree of control over a very public technology company.”
— The worst polar exploration ever.
— Why prices for Super Bowl ads are rising at a shocking rate.
— The secret of ant transportation networks.
— Time to start paying attention to Portgual.
— What our sun will look like when it dies.
— The most annoying business jargon of all time.
— Previewing Katherine Boo’s new book on life in a Mumbai slum.
— Thanks to a protracted economic slump, Japan has become “the most culturally cosmopolitan country on Earth.”
— The housing bubble didn’t do much to increase homeownership.
— Did the anti-SOPA protests change how Washington works? Not really.
— The Mormon welfare state.
— Not a typo: Advertising by outside groups is up 1,600 percent in this election cycle.
— Josh Barro’s case against the Buffett rule.
— New York City agencies still use typewriters.
— CBS just bought a recession-themed sitcom pilot from Louis C.K.
— 998,001 is a wildly underrated number.
— Residential segregation in the U.S. is on the wane.
— The Pentagon’s budget will shrink for the first time since 1998.
— A New York Sports Club ad campaign isn’t getting rave reviews.
— Portraits of the homeless, by Lee Jeffries.
— McDonald’s biggest market is the United States. It’s second-biggest? France.
— “If you can’t scare a wolf away and you don’t have a viable weapon, you might try to wrestle it into submission.”
— Annie Lowrey profiles America’s top economic diplomat.
— Want laws for how a space colony would be governed? Newt Gingrich has got them .
— George Washington’s very first State of the Union.
— How the current recovery compares historically.
— A good primer on how climate models work.
— Why were Republicans quicker to abandon SOPA than Democrats?
— Employer lockouts are no longer rare.
— A flow chart on how to choose the best chart.
— “Bondholders’ best hope is that the GOP will lose power from time to time, opening brief windows for ... tax increases.”
— Robert Draper’s 2005 profile of Newt Gingrich.
— How to make cheap whiskey taste like fancy whiskey (dubious but nifty).
— Why do tons of cow brains keep getting seized at Cairo airport?
— Just how resilient is the Amazon?
— Revisiting the auto industry bailout, three years later.
— Do warning labels do the opposite of what they’re supposed to do?
— A guide to euphemisms around the world.
— We’re most creative when we are at our groggiest. At least that’s what science is claiming.
— The online piracy wars are getting ugly.
— How our brains navigate the city.
— Why China can’t put together a dominant soccer team.
— Is the Internet killing off serendipity?
— In 1977, the Chicago Sun-Times set up its very own fake bar to expose corruption.
— Opposites don’t attract after all (though they should).
— Scott Winship critiques Alan Krueger’s speech on inequality.
- Sports Center breaks its own record, mentions Tim Tebow 160 times in a one-hour broadcast.
- Via HuffPost, a few of Mitt Romney’s favorite things.
- “Every year, JSTOR turns away 150 million attempts to read its articles.”
- New York Magazine’s Dan Amira chats with Ron Paul’s giant supporter (who, incidentially, has not been asked to crush the Fed).
- Meet Baltimore high school basketball sensation Aquille Carr, a.k.a. “The Crimestopper.”
- Science says: Pets do not need booties to keep their feet warm.
- The decline of old-school NBA logos.
— Shorter Fed’s Beige Book: Holiday sales at the end of 2011 were okay, but the housing market’s still holding us back. Oh, and chicken slaughtering in St. Louis is down. Just FYI.
— Excerpt from a new book on Mitt Romney.
— Why the Twinkie will never die.
— Coming soon to America: whiskey in a can.
— Volcano appears out of nowhere in the Red Sea.
— This winter’s weirdly warm weather explained. (And no, global warming isn’t one of the answers.)
— Why do well-off people shoplift?
— Engineer from 1900 made a bunch of predictions about what the world would be like a century later. He got ten of them right.
— The geometry of pasta, math equations edition.
— WSJ: The New Republic explores sale.
— “Four out of five Haitians who have escaped destitution have done so by leaving the country."
— FDR had only six staffers working for him — and he had to fight for even that.
— Under international law, the U.S. still owns the urine bags left on the moon.
— How Mr. Rogers saved the VCR.
— Study: “A higher educational level may be associated with an increased risk of food allergy.”
— New Apple CEO Tim Cook will receive compensation worth $378 million for 2011, which Bloomberg calls “one of the biggest pay packages on record.”
— Calvin Trillin imagines Mitt Romney meeting world leaders; hilarity ensues.
— Noam Scheiber says that Jack Lew was the guy who “snookered” John Boehner during last year’s shutdown fight.
— A graph that accurately reflects how most people feel about graphs.
— Uh-oh: India reports 12 cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis.
— War photographers discuss the photos that nearly killed them.
— How career paths are evolving for younger workers.
— Wells Tower reports from the new goldbug-fueled gold rush in the Klondike.
— David Remnick’s not convinced that analyzing the Obamas’ marriage is the best way to judge the Obama presidency.
— Should we erase painful memories?
- Kid literary characters and their grown-up counterparts.
- The Rube Goldberg way to groom a cat.
- Slate’s Sasha Issenberg probes how Romney’s Iowa win was five years in the making.
- A Dallas teen, missing since 2010, was mistakenly deported to Colombia.
- Faces of rejected bachelorettes.
- Coca-Cola is responsible for roughly 22 percent of Swaziland’s GDP.
- Two South Korean architects want to enlist robot bees to build a skyscraper.
— Did Mitt Romney really create 100,000 jobs at Bain Capital? Evidence is hard to come by.
— A few things we learned on the way to the moon.
— When will we reach peak text message?
— The most-Googled economists of 2011.
— Jon Cohn and Paul Starr debate whether the individual mandate was a mistake.
— Mark Schmitt sees common ground between liberals and Rep. Paul Ryan.
— Jupiter’s rocky core is dissolving.
— President Obama could’ve made some recess appointments today. He declined.
— For just $1,300, you too can celebrate New Years Eve . . . at the TGI Friday’s in Times Square.
— The reality of reality TV.
— Food gets hyper-local: Seattle woman traps squirrels in her front yard and then makes risotto with them.
— New Year’s Eve pro tip: Drunk walking can be more dangerous than drunk driving.
— Interviews with North Korean defectors.
— How the hashtag is ruining the English language.
— Charts are good. We love charts. But infographics? Infographics are a menace.
— Ryan Grim delves deep into the ongoing feud at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
— Why China can build rail networks so quickly.
— Figuring out how much shale gas the United States actually has.
— How to eliminate robocalls once and for all.
— The myth of anti-incumbent elections.
- Megabus asks regulators to break up competing bus line Bolt Bus.
- After 123 years, Manischewitz goes mainstream.
- More bad news for cat ladies: Getting a cat as an adult doubles the probability of developing animal-related allergies.
- New Yorkers now have something else to feel superior about: They have a life expectancy 2.4 years longer than the rest of the country.
- “Christmas tweets from the world’s most spoiled humans.”
— Mother Jones digs up 10 weird gems from the United States Patent Office, including a banana-shaped cellphone cover and “the portable burrito.”
— The many political tech failures of 2011.
— Scientists find that pigeons are actually pretty good at math.
— Pretty much the worst action figures ever.
— Via Neil Irwin, why the good news about the labor market isn’t all that good.
- Dave Weigel wins with his payroll tax cut deal headline.
- Where are all the teenage first sons?
- The Awl picks the 15 most delightful Internet films of 2011.
- There is a bug called the diamond weevil and it is, in fact, covered in diamonds.
- Meet Al Foer: anti-trust warrior, father of famous writers.
- Another year-in-graphs round up, this one from Planet Money.
- Newt Gingrich will soon campaign with “pets and music.”
— Europeans are migrating to Angola, Australia and Brazil as the debt crisis has deepened.
— But perhaps they’re jumping the gun. Here’s one take on why the Euro crisis might be over.
— More graphs! Mesmerizing charts of flavor networks and food pairing
— Texas lost somewhere between 2 and 10 percent of its trees in this year’s drought.
— Doctors remove a pen stuck in a woman’s stomach for 25 years and find that it still writes.
— The nicest place on the Internet.
— Death rates actually rise when the economy’s booming, thanks to more auto accidents, fewer nursing assistants.
— Kids on the phone with Santa, circa 1947.
— There have been about 100,000 years when humans could have been considered an endangered species.
— The world is replete with angry, sputtering volcanoes.
— A riveting 2008 Washington Post article about a North Korean prison camp escapee.
— Foreign Policy convenes a panel of economists to dream up ways to salvage the euro.
— How the brain perceives art.
— Government R&D was pivotal to the development of shale-gas fracking.
— Fred Kaplan bangs out the definitive “We haven’t the slightest idea what’ll happen next with North Korea” piece.
— Claims about Kim Jong Il that are too good to check.
— The D.C. taxi reform bill, in all its checkered glory.
— Medical researchers still struggling to get a handle on causation.
— “The word OK looks like a sideways person. I’ve said OK my whole life and never noticed him. What’s up little guy?”
— A short, simple proof of Godel’s First Incompleteness Theorem.
— “Much of the leading work in understanding water risk has come from Coca-Cola.”
— Everything you need to know about the (controversial) new defense authorization bill, in one post.
— “Flattery inflation” in the Roman Empire.
— The Swedish government hands over control of its official Twitter account to its citizens. Guess the results.
— Under the GOP deal, the efficient lightbulb standards will still be law, they just won’t be enforced.
— Santa Claus in one Venn diagram.
— Productivity tips from Jerry Seinfeld.
— Can the study of fish explain the behavior of uninformed voters? Note that the political scientists quoted in this piece sound rather skeptical.
— Autopsies are becoming less and less common. That’s not always a good thing.
— When NHL games resemble chess.
— How would regulators respond to a Lehman-style collapse today?
— Who pioneered the zombie novel? A case for Daniel Defoe.
— The case against Santa Claus.
— If you need just one chart to explain the European debt crisis...
— Wonderful post by Ta-Nehisi Coates on “muscular empathy.”
— Medical researchers discover that swearing makes you feel better.
— Daron Acemoglu recommends five books on inequality.
— A look at Saudi Arabia’s Anti-Witchcraft Unit.
— Do Republican voters care about electability? Seems so.
— Mathematicians take all the fun out of “Where’s Waldo?”
— A technological history of the U.S. Postal Service.
— Do universities over-invest in literary research?
— Reinventing debtors’ prisons for the 21st century.
- The Army develops a sandwich that lasts for two years.
- Top economists reveal their favorite graphs of 2011.
- “We do the cleaning. Then the rabbis do the super-cleaning.”
- USGS lets you survey San Francisco in ruins after its 1906 earthquake.
- Jeffrey Goldberg thinks Alice Walton’s new art museum is a moral blight.
- Felix Salmon disagrees.
- Teachers don’t like creative students.
— Occupy Wall Street gets meta: Occupy protesters occupy the set of a “Law and Order” fake occupy protest.
— Comic Sans, the much-maligned font, fights back.
— The richest cat in the world.
— The recession has been good for the cremation industry.
— In the 1950s, the federal government had regulations governing the search for Yetis.
— “ESP proponents claim that ESP skeptics are psychic, and use their powers to suppress ESP.”
— Connie Bruck’s expansive 1995 NewYorker profile of Newt Gingrich.
— One recipe from Ron Paul’s new cookbook: “Cream cheese, Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut, and corned beef all baked together”
— “Needless to say, I find you less appealing now than I did at our first date.”
— NPR reporters’ caricatured by one artist, based on what their voices conjure in his head.
— Kevin Drum explains how the EuroMess came to be, in seven easy steps (with graphs!).
— Contrary to conventional wisdom, ATM machines have not replaced bank tellers.
— Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers are retooling their European concert tours around the debt crisis.
— Eight Lamborghinis, Ferraris create a $4 million pileup in Japan.
— Why doctors hate instant soup (hint: it burns).
— “Further reflection revealed that it’s quite impractical — nearly impossible — to make a cheeseburger from scratch.”
— Twitter’s top hashtags of 2011.
— Why a la carte cable television wouldn’t work.
— The trailer for the new Snow White is heavy on action, light on dwarfs.
— Can Ambien wake the near-dead?
— Soylent green energy.
— A refresher course on how to interpret the margin of error in polls.
— People and the fish they look like.
— The IRS can’t find 99,123 Americans who owed $153 million in tax returns.
— The science of why we don’t believe science.
— TV ownership is declining for the first time ever.
— Now this is a vicious takedown.
— The psychology of nakedness.
— Americans waste 220 pounds of food per person each year.
— Has America reached peak lawyer?
— Ron Paul is releasing a cookbook.
— A lovely map of the European debt crisis.
— Medical marijuana laws reduce highway deaths.
— Is it Burma or Myanmar? For Hillary Clinton, there’s no easy answer.
— Poll: Germans strongly against Eurobonds.
— Dahlia Lithwick profiles Elena Kagan.
— Why the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on the health reform law probably won’t be broadcast live.
— Coors Water and other bad ideas from successful companies.
— Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman answers a bunch of really interesting questions.
— The International Fragrance Association of North America lobbies to keep perfume ingredient lists secret.
-The new, convoluted life cycle of a newspaper story.
- Why airports stick with inefficient baggage-claim systems.
- Spiders give gifts, too.
- Can a technocrat save the Michigan city that democracy failed?
- An argument that the world needs more, not less, U.S. debt.
- John McDonough on why CMS administrator Berwick matters.
- ProPublica’s guide to why Congress is so dysfunctional.
- Students have been paying an increasingly large portion of their college tution, as states pay less.
- Thanksgiving vs. Congress, in one graph.
- A campaign fails to overturn Massachusetts’ individual mandate.
- Cities have spent $13 million on police overtime and other municipal services related to Occupy protests.
- Fun with statistics: A new calculator estimates the likelihood of an individual getting divorced.
- Competitive moustache and beard grooming is, well, very competitive.
- Businessweek questions whether college degrees help crack into the 1 percent.
— US road accident casualties: every one mapped across America
— Can the bulldog be saved?
— The other birth control battle: Could contraceptives protect the country’s last continuously wild herd of bison?
— The physics of wine-swirling.
— London is trying to reduce pollution with ... glue.
— Inside the sketchbooks of famous artists
— “Why is Tina Brown so ill-at-ease at Newsweek?”
●Matt Yglesias is now writing Slate’s Moneybox blog.
●How billionaires avoid reporting cash to the IRS.
●Americans have surprisingly little aversion to using nuclear weapons.
●Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi is releasing an album of love songs.
●Are state borders obsolete?
●Ordinary Germans, like Americans, are not very financially literate.
●Jon Chait on whether liberals have unreasonable expectations of Democratic presidents.
— How to convince doctors to wash their hands.
— A survey of moon maps since the 17th century.
— British readers of the Economist vote on which Americanisms they’re most likely to use.
— Is psychological research being tarnished by the quest for splashy New York Times headlines?
— How polarization killed the balanced budget amendment.
— The Occupy Wall Street protests are getting rough.
— Why doesn’t Britain make things anymore?
— Old but still great: Ken Silverstein on the secret world of oil fixers.
— What students plagiarize.
— A terrifying Hulk Hogan recursion.
— A short history of the deficit reduction wars, 2009-11.
— The national debt passed the arbitrary figure of $15 trillion.
— Out of Australia: “Books and documentaries are coming out about this group, exploring the country’s unease with the thought that conspicuous consumption by undereducated people is what is helping to keep the country afloat.”
— Health wonk, unleashed: MIT’s Jon Gruber has some not-so-kind words for Mitt Romney on health reform.
— The economics of the McRib.
— A brief history of massive screw-ups in paleontology.
— Samuel Beckett’s reading list — he was a big fan of “The Catcher in the Rye.”
— Alabama’s got plenty of jobs available. But Americans don’t want to do them.
— Growing up with home-schooling anarchists.
— Why are Republicans so obsessed with Calvin Coolidge?
-A blooper reel of astronauts falling.
-Great profile of Herman Cain: “By being just fine with the rattlesnake, he gets a pass on the quiche.”
-A helpful flowchart of insults traded among European leaders.
-Occupy Wall Street protesters brace for winter weather.
-The neuroscience of Barbie.
-The strange, curious history of lobotomy.
-The rise and fall of “Space Madness.”
-Europe’s last experience with a single currency ... 2,000 years ago.
— How good are nations at keeping their promises at G20 summits?
— A statistical analysis of Michael Bay.
— Does inequality make us unhappy?
— Baseball teams with more married team members win more often.
— After three failed rapture predictions, Harold Camping is retiring.
— A brief history of unemployment.
- Could the Greek referendum spell the end of the euro?
- 15 percent of the U.S. now uses food stamps.
- Auto loans are being packaged into securities — much like subprime mortgages.
- An investigation into how Ringling Bros. treats its elephants.
- How the German postal service is reinventing itself.
— Things that lasted longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage.
— Where the 1 percent live.
— Speaking of which, Cartman is the 1 percent.
— A modern history of feminist blogs.
— Halloween pro tip: “In case of a zombie apocalypse, remember to stay calm like Rahm.”
— Mind-controlling parasites are invading D.C.
— What are the best ways to combat homelessness?
— Strangely enough, rating agencies tend to give the highest ratings to companies that pay the most for their services.
— “It is now possible to scan someone’s brain and get a reasonable idea of what is going through his mind.”
— Imagining a world without the tea party.
— Jon Huntsman’s daughters parody Herman Cain’s “Smokin’” campaign ad.
— The fastest-growing occupations in the United States.
— The FBI’s newest obsession: Juggalos.
— Pro tip: dress nicely for a doctor’s appointment if you want to receive better care.
— Siri can’t understand the Scots.
— Man gets smartphone dock built into prosthetic arm.
— Why don’t gas prices fall when oil prices do?
— Rick Perry pledges to create fewer jobs in his first term than President Obama has.
— “Euro armageddon is approaching, but it’s too boring and complicated to explain.”
— David Frum imagines a different future for the anti-abortion movement.
— Self-reported gun ownership is reaching new highs.
— House Democrats aren’t happy that Medicare cuts appear to be back in play with the supercommittee.
— The advantages and disadvantages of electric cars in the zombie apocalypse.
— How the potato changed the world.
— The Economist charts how our spending habits have shifted during the recession.
— How do you lose $266.5 million in 35 days? Become Netflix’s largest shareholder.
— What percent are you? The Wall Street Journal has a calculator for that.
— The future of punctuation.
-A request from Ezra: “I’m headed to Hanoi, Singapore and Hong Kong next week. Any advice on places to eat or things to do?”
-Blind taste test: Godfather’s pizza is gross.
-Researchers find “social phobia” is a legitimate psychiatric diagnosis, distinct from shyness.
-Washington, D.C. has edged out San Jose as America’s richest city.
-Could a $2 trillion pyramid save the economy?
-...And, via Vanity Fair, how the media will cover the Ohio zoo escape.
— How a private detective arranged for men to be arrested for drunk driving at the behest of their ex-wives.
— Using CAT scans to measure a city’s energy-efficiency.
— Initial trial results look good for the world’s first malaria vaccine.
— United States ranks low among developed countries in bottled-water use.
— Through some unknown magic, the world ends up eating more bluefin tuna than fisherman are legally allowed to catch.
— Republicans in Congress aren’t huge fans of Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan.
— Alec MacGillis digs into Newt Gingrich’s history on “death panels.”
— The physics of coin flips.
— Those faster-than-light neutrinos? Not so fast.
— Washington’s most-powerful, least-famous people.
— In Dubai, a dramatic fall in traffic accidents was directly linked to the three-day disruption in BlackBerry services.
— A program in China aims to cultivate “an army of Steve Jobs-style leaders.”
— Why dog women get more respect than cat ladies.
— An Occupy Wall Street marriage proposal: “Will you occupy my life?”
— Climate change is causing sheep, toads, squirrels and other animals to shrink.
— The real fat cats of Wall Street, Tumblr edition.
— The science of hipsters.
— How to make your way out of a corn maze.
— Do too many kids go to college? A debate.
— Felix Salmon on the Obama administration’s biggest macroeconomic mistake.
— How Lewis Carroll predicted Google Maps.
— What it’s like to be a weather forecaster.
— Pictures of joggers, before and after.
— “I am the 2 percent.”
— Public support for the death penalty falls to a 39-year low.
— How the failure of bugs to be cute, warm and cuddly could kill them.
— A 100-year-old man hopes to become the first centenarian to complete a marathon.
— North Korea opens “the worst building in the world.”
— Occupy Wall Streeters get wonky with it.
— The case against book reviews.
— What today’s economic Nobel Prize winners can tell us about oil and recessions.
— Google asks users to spot political trends.
— Legalizing poker and online gambling could raise $42 billion in tax revenue over 10 years.
— What it’s like to fly with Rick Santorum.
— Headline of the day: “Giant prehistoric krakens may have sculpted self-portraits using ichthyosaur bones.”
— There are now just 11 gas stations left in Manhattan south of 96th Street.
— Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! There’s some debate about when the holiday actually started.
— Ideas for building space colonies.
— There are plans afoot to kidnap an asteroid, drag it back to Earth’s orbit and use it as a launching pad for future space endeavors.
— Colorado, the nation’s thinnest state, is getting fatter.
— Children think carrots taste better when they’re wrapped in McDonald’s packaging.
— Scientists have devised an invisibility cloak.
— Why do Americans rarely win the Nobel Prize in Literature?
— I’m still trying to figure out how Uganda became such a hotbed of innovation.
— Doug Holtz-Eakin is quietly trying to push Republicans to care about climate change:
— Editors should end the war on the passive voice. (Or at least let up a bit.)
— The official U.S. kilogram seems to be losing mass, prompting alarm at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.
— Why sandwiches taste better when someone else makes them?
— Rural Oklahoma faces looming physician shortage.
— After a lengthy battle over music copyrights, “The Wonder Years” is finally coming to Netflix Instant.
— The logistics of occupying Wall Street.
— There are only two white female rhinos left on the planet, and they’re not in the mood for love.
— Glenn Greenwald fends off a Brazilian opossum (video).
— Forbes compiles the weirdest insurance claims ever.
— “In recent decades, Congress has repeatedly crafted laws that weaken or disregard the notion of criminal intent.”
— Explaining the “Ikea effect”: We value things we’ve built ourselves more.
-A veteran reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution on why she witnesses executions.
-Economist Justin Wolfers is assembling his fantasy central banking team.
-An excellent history of the butter/margarine wars, which help explain why butter is now dyed yellow.
-Fear of bedbugs may be worse than actual bedbugs.
-In the future, brain scanners will be able to reconstruct your dreams.
-Worst graph of the year?
-Why financial reform hasn’t stopped rogue traders.
-Brad DeLong takes stock of the Obama administration’s first two-and-three-quarters years of economic policy:
-Five questions for Steve Coll.
-John Judis on why we’re all doomed.
-How the CIA’s Hollywood liaison tries to influence film scripts.
-Freaked out after seeing “Contagion”? Here’s how to make your own hazmat suit.
-HuffPo reports: In the age of Bill Daley, some Democrats miss Rahm Emanuel.
-Politico reports: In the age of Bill Daley, some Democrats miss Rahm Emanuel.
(Those two stories, coming on the same day, can’t be good news for Daley.)
-The Atlantic’s new cities blog.
-Public health care costs less than private health care.
-The moon has slowed Earth’s rotation over time. If it didn’t exist, our days would be just 7 to 12 hours long.
-How much bands make from Spotify vs. iTunes vs. CDs.
-Here’s why return trips feel shorter.