Cool Stuff


Game Theory at the Super Bowl

Super Bowl grab-2015-02-01-22h01m34s214

Check out this post by a well known economist about how the economic field of game theory (the study of strategic interactions) helps explain that crazy (or was it?) play call at the end of the Super Bowl.

Also, notice how Butler (the Patriot’s player #21 who made the interception) seemed to anticipate that exact play and the timing and location of the pass – in the photo above he is breaking toward the spot of the throw even before the quarterback released the ball. You see how information influences the outcome of strategic interactions!


Disruption in the Chocolate Market!

You know what would be cool? A supply and demand chart made out of chocolate.

 

Here is a fascinating article about how drought and fungus are threatening the world chocolate supply. (source: The Atlantic)

As you read through, think of how the supply and demand curves for chocolate move in response to each of the factors the article lists.

Special bonus:  Watch cocoa farmers from Ivory Coast taste chocolate for the first time:

YouTube Preview Image

 


Absolute Monarchs were into Grand Gestures

The largest stone ever moved by man?

 

Check out this really interesting short post  about the huge monument that Catherine the Great set up in St. Petersburg to honor Peter the Great.  (source: Futility Closet)

Is it common to absolutist governments that they undertake enormous, expensive projects to glorify their leaders? Or do all governments do that?


20 Things You Didn’t Know About Pencils

This isn’t where pencils come from.

 

Here are a bunch of cool facts about that miracle of the modern world – the pencil.

 

My favorite:  “The mechanical pencil was patented in 1822.  The company founded by its British developers prospered until 1941, when the factory was bombed, presumably by pencil-hating Nazis.”

Hat tip to Mr. Austin for the link.

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