- Get your daily doze of odd news and weird stories that relate to numbers.

Small firm airs Wal-Mart's unguarded video moments

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Thu, 2008-04-10 10:04.
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Wal-Mart's internal meetings are on display in three decades worth of videos made by a Kansas production company scrambling to stay in business after Wal-Mart stopped using the firm.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. dropped longtime contractor Flagler Productions in 2006. In response to losing its biggest customer, the small company has opened its archive, for a fee, to researchers who include plaintiffs' lawyers and union critics seeking clips of unguarded moments at the world's largest retailer.

Why Things Cost $19.95

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Wed, 2008-04-09 18:45.

Ever wondered why retailers price goods at $4.99 rather than $5.00? Here is the best scientific explanation I read:

Why Things Cost $19.95, by Wray Herbert, SciAm Mind Matters: ...[M]ost of us are motivated by the desire for a fair deal, and we employ some sophisticated cognitive tools to weigh offers, fashion responses, and so forth—all the to-and-fro in getting to an agreement.

Bank safety box termites eat up trader's life savings

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Tue, 2008-04-08 11:02.
Dwarika Prasad (Pic: Prashant Ravi)
Mr Prasad had saved up for his old age (Pictures: Prashant Ravi)

A trader in the Indian state of Bihar has lost his life savings after ter

School bans birthday cake

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Mon, 2008-04-07 09:37.
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WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Children in a New Zealand school have been banned from bringing cakes to share on their birthdays, due to new government healthy eating guidelines.

Pupils at Oteha Valley primary school north of Auckland have been told they are allowed to celebrate their birthdays, but the cake must stay at home, the New Zealand Herald newspaper reported.

The Ministry of Education has been on a fat-busting crusade, introducing sweeping guidelines against unhealthy food in New Zealand schools.

Blogger Dies From Blogging Too Much. And No, It's Not A Joke.

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Sun, 2008-04-06 10:48.

SAN FRANCISCO — They work long hours, often to exhaustion. Many are paid by the piece — not garments, but blog posts. This is the digital-era sweatshop. You may know it by a different name: home.

A growing work force of home-office laborers and entrepreneurs, armed with computers and smartphones and wired to the hilt, are toiling under great physical and emotional stress created by the around-the-clock Internet economy that demands a constant stream of news and comment.

Is Voting Rational? Yes, Scientists Say.

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Sat, 2008-04-05 19:17.

Voting as a rational decision, by Andrew Gelman and Noah Kaplan, Vox EU: About fifteen years ago, I attended a lecture by venerable pollster Mervyn Field, who told us that when he started in the business in the 1950s, there was a lot of concern about nonvoters. What was going on with these people who were too alienated to participate in society in this most basic way? But, recently, Field continued, the question has become, Who are these “voters”? What makes them tick?

Globalizing Soccer

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Fri, 2008-04-04 20:48.

How does globalization reshape wealth and opportunity around the world? Is it mainly a force for good, enabling poor nations to lift themselves up from poverty by taking part in global markets? Or does it create vast opportunities only for a small minority?

To answer these questions, look no farther than soccer. Ever since European clubs loosened restrictions on the number of foreign players, the game has become truly global. can be sued for violating fair housing laws, court rules

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Fri, 2008-04-04 18:45.
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The law may temper the freewheeling nature of the Internet after all.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided Thursday that a website may be found liable for violating fair housing laws by matching roommates according to gender, sexual orientation and parenthood.

Federal law protecting websites "was not meant to create a lawless, no-man's land on the Internet," the court in San Francisco said in an 8-3 ruling.

Researchers crack Aztec symbol code

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Fri, 2008-04-04 12:49.

It has long been a mystery of Aztec arithmetic: What is three arms plus five bones?

Now researchers know: Five hearts.

The odd symbols had been noted for centuries - thousands of them appear in Aztec property registries that were created around 1540. But no one knew value of the symbols or how they were used to represent the size of land plots for tax assessment and other purposes.


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