Statistics And Other Lies

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.

5th-grader finds mistake at Smithsonian

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Thu, 2008-04-03 10:55.

ALLEGAN, Mich. - Is fifth-grader Kenton Stufflebeam smarter than the Smithsonian? The 11-year-old boy, who lives in Allegan but attends Alamo Elementary School near Kalamazoo, went with his family during winter break to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington.

Regular use of text messages and e-mails can lower the IQ more than twice as much as smoking marijuana.

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Wed, 2008-04-02 19:06.

That is the claim of psychologists who have found that tapping away on a mobile phone or computer keypad or checking them for electronic messages temporarily knocks up to 10 points off the user’s IQ.

This rate of decline in intelligence compares unfavourably with the four-point drop in IQ associated with smoking marijuana, according to British researchers, who have labelled the fleeting phenomenon of enhanced stupidity as “infomania”.

Research on sleep deprivation suggests that the IQ drop caused by electronic obsession is also equivalent to a wakeful night.

Market Rises Sharply On April Fool's Joke

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Tue, 2008-04-01 17:20.

Traders woke up to a pleasant surprise on Tuesday morning, with equity Futures strongly higher. CNBC anchors were exuberant as previous earnings and credit fears melted away.

The cause? An internet April Fool's hoax that backfired.

Private Equity: "Nothing More than a Clumsy Trick"?

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Tue, 2008-04-01 12:03.
It's remarkable how otherwise sophisticated individuals want to believe in magic bullets. If they get a horrific illness, surely there must be a treatment somewhere that will restore them to health. Similarly, some investors know how to tease superior returns on a consistent basis out of highly efficient markets.

Is Poverty Caused by Irrational Behavior?

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Sun, 2008-03-30 18:33.

Site of the day -, world's first risk free naming agency

In the community of people dedicated to analyzing poverty, one of the sharpest debates is over why some poor people act in ways that ensure their continued indigence. Compared with the middle class or the wealthy, the poor are disproportionately likely to drop out of school, to have children while in their teens, to abuse drugs, to commit crimes, to not save when extra money comes their way, to not work.

The Profits Of Foreclosures

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Sun, 2008-03-30 13:00.

NOBODY wins when a home enters foreclosure — neither the borrower, who is evicted, nor the lender, who takes a loss when the home is resold. That’s the conventional wisdom, anyway.

The reality is very different. Behind the scenes in these dramas, a small army of law firms and default servicing companies, who represent mortgage lenders, have been raking in mounting profits. These little-known firms assess legal fees and a host of other charges, calculate what the borrowers owe and draw up the documents required to remove them from their homes.

Winner of Oddest Book Title award goes to self-help book

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Sat, 2008-03-29 10:47.

LONDON - Good advice? Maybe. Oddest book title of 2007 - that's official.

Millionaire goes back to McDonald's job

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Thu, 2008-03-27 19:27.

A lottery winner has gone back to his old job serving burgers at McDonald's.

Restaurant gives 25 percent discount for bugs found in food

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Tue, 2008-03-25 19:21.

DUBAI (Reuters) - A group celebrating a birthday at a Dubai diner were cheered by a 25 percent discount but not necessarily the reason: "Bug on food."

The restaurant cut the bill for seven customers at a birthday dinner after they found four insects crawling around their meals, the Gulf News reported on Tuesday.

"We were surprised when the receipt said 'bug on food' as a reason for the discount. I think they were trying to be funny," it quoted one of the disgruntled customers as saying.

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