Votes, that is. It's clear that a plug from the daytime diva can turn a book into a best seller (Anna Karenina & Love in the Time of Cholera increased 100% immediately after their selection into Oprah's Book Club). And she can turn any movie into a blockbuster. But academics are now asking if she can help decide the presidency?
This study of celebrity endorsements by two economists suggests yes. It claims that Oprah's plug was responsible for delivering approximately 1,000,000 additional votes to Obama,... READ ON
"We're not this young, beloved, entrepreneurial enterprise anymore"¦ We have to do business in a different way." "“ Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz
And that's exactly what he's doing "“ business in a different way. And then in a different way. And then in a way that's different from that. In early January, Schultz reclaimed the CEO torch he passed on back in 2000 and has since been making some pretty drastic and rather disparate changes. So far we've seen:
1. The Mystery Concoction/Game... READ ON
A recent study shows that ads featuring thin models make women feel worse about themselves, but better about the brands featured. A sample of 194 college students, ages 18-24, expressed more negative feelings about themselves when shown thin models than when shown "regular-sized" models. However, the thin models give them a "higher evaluation of the brands," per Jeremy Kees, a professor and researcher at Villanova University.
As a researcher put it, "The really interesting result we're seeing across... READ ON
"I was taking a drink just now at Andy Parle's, when I overheard an individual denouncing you in the vilest manner. He said you loafed on your friends, borrowed money and never returned it, owed bills in every quarter of the city, and were the biggest beat he knew. I inquired who he was and he said his name was Tom Collins. He can be found at Parle's."And so began The Great Tom Collins Hoax of 1874, which begat The King of Cooling Drinks, the Tom Collins. The hoax kicked off with a prankster telling a... READ ON
Want a 100 billion dollar bill? Well it's yours for $199, $49.72, or as low as $25 if you act fast. The only problem "“ these Zimbabwean banknotes can't even buy a loaf of bread, and are only worth about $1 US dollar each.
But hyper-inflated bills aren't even the most outrageous banknotes in history. The Economist lists the highest-denomination national banknotes since 1900. They are:
1,000,000,000,000,000,000 Hungary Pengo, 1946
100,000,000,000,000 Germany Papiermark, 1923
500,000,000,000... READ ON
Are they really right for you? Don't leave it to your heart to decide... let the math do the judging! Here are three mathematical theories to help determine if your marriage will last (or if it should happen at all).
1. The Mathematics of Marriage
In their book, The Mathematics of Marriage, mathematician James D. Murray and psychologist John Gottman describe their use of calculus to study interactions between couples. Using a model Gottman developed in 1979, the pair surveyed 700 newly married couples in... READ ON
Commodities are up, oil is extremely volatile, and you want in. Who doesn't? Well, perhaps you should get in, but only if you follow one rule "“ no change.
According to a working paper entitled "What Do We Learn From the Price of Crude Oil Futures?", the most accurate way to forecast future oil prices is to use today's oil price.
The authors, Ron Alquist and Lutz Kilian, economists at Michigan, explored the various different ways of forecasting oil prices: oil futures (an agreement for the seller... READ ON
Last week I went to go see The Dark Knight. As if the eleven dollar ticket fee wasn't bad enough, the concession stand made my stomach drop. Six dollars for popcorn? Five dollars for a soda? While taking out a loan or making a pre-theater pawn shop run may seem like the only way to get past those high prices "“ the strange truth is that those pricey snacks are the only reason there are still movies to experience. Here's... READ ON
Torn between wines from Napa and Bordeaux? Well, if Dr. Tyler Colman had his way, you wouldn't be selecting your alcohol solely based on your palette anymore. Instead, he'd have you refer to the "Green Line," or the Mason Dixon Line for Wine, wine's national carbon footprint line that runs through Ohio all the way down to... READ ON
Did you put on perfume or cologne this morning? Well if you did, you might not be attracting Mr. or Ms. Right. In fact, you may actually be attracting the wrong person. That's because attraction has scientifically been linked to smell. In fact, our response to olfactory cues actually helps us narrow down our choices of potential partners.
MHC (the major histocompatibility complex), a set of genes that controls the immune system and influences tissue rejection is especially critical. You are most... READ ON
Above the Supreme Court is a basketball court—"The Highest Court in the Land."