February 23, 2010

Nuts Allergy

These are particularly fine examples of the cake wreck genre.

Hat tip to my wife.

February 22, 2010

One is the Loneliest Number, Silver is the Saddest Medal

If you can't win gold, go for bronze:
"On average, bronze medalists are happier than silver medalists," said Victoria Medvec, a psychologist and professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Managementv in Illinois.

The phenomenon is a case of counterfactual thinking - thoughts about "what might have been," she explained.

Third-place winners have upward thoughts ("at least I won") that increase satisfaction, researchers have found, whereas those who come in second tend to have downward "if only" thoughts that decrease happiness.

Ignore Your Food's Expiration Dates?

I heard Nadia Arumugan on Talk of the Nation today talking about her piece in Slate on the very thin evidence for the usefulness of food expiration dates.
These dates have no real legal meaning, either. Only last year, 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner reversed the conviction of a wily entrepreneur who'd relabeled 1.6 million bottles of Henri's salad dressing with a new "Best when purchased by" date. Posner decided that the prosecutor had unjustly condemned the dressing as rancid, rotten, and harmful, when in fact there was no evidence to suggest that the mature product posed a safety threat.
In the world of hunger relief work, however, food expiration dates give us quite a bit of pause, mostly because the food supply chain is so long and winding (not to mention unknown in some cases) by the time an item ends up in our hands. If you're curious, here's what the USDA has to say on the issue.

Unhappy Hipsters

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