Something you should know

Living on a farm during pregnancy may help reduce the chance of the child developing asthma, eczema and even hayfever, say scientists.

by datacharmer | Sunday, August 31, 2008
  | 0 comments | | Something you should know @bluematterblogtwitter

Laffer Curve: The second derivative

Recent research on President Bush's tax relief in 2001 and 2003 has found that the lower tax rates induced taxpayers to report more taxable income. In particular, the reduction in the top two tax rates induced taxpayers to report more taxable income—an increase in the size of the tax base—to such an extent that this positive behavioral response likely offset roughly 25 percent to 40 percent of the static revenue loss of lowering the top two tax rates.

HT Greg Mankiw.

Your eyes, your hands, your back

Visual artists Fernanda ViƩgas and Martin Wattenberg analyzed over 10,000 songs to find out which parts of the human body were mentioned the most and broke down the resulting data by genre. The result: An interactive graphic work called "Listen" that correlates musical genres with the body parts they mention the most, as part of their ongoing Fleshmap project.

As for the genre that talks about body parts the most, hip hop takes the honors with more references than any other genre. Meanwhile, gospel refers to the body the least.

I really like this, definitely worth clicking through. Here's heavy metal, as hip hop might have disturbed readers of this family blog:
Hat tip MR.

by datacharmer | Wednesday, August 27, 2008
  , | 1 comments | | Your eyes, your hands, your back @bluematterblogtwitter

Friday Special 69

Best moments in pictures of the Beijing Olympics 2008

Australia. A Baz Luhrmann Film

by mendoza | Wednesday, August 27, 2008
  , , | 0 comments | | Friday Special 69 @bluematterblogtwitter

Could you be, the most beautiful church in the world

Informally known as Ronchamp, the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp (French: Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Haut de Ronchamp), France completed in 1954 is considered one of the finest examples of architecture by the late French/Swiss architect Le Corbusier.

Le Corbusier at first refused the commission, not wanting, he said, to be associated with a 'dead institution'.

What a poorer place the world would have been!

More pictures here, the Wikipedia entry with yet more eye-candy is here.

For economists and everyone that hates them, David Galenson takes a look at the greatest architects of the 20th century. You can find the paper at the NBER website - for some reason I can't access it right now. Find out who was the - objectively measured, naturally - greatest architect of the 20th century, the greatest building, as well as what Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright have in common with Howard Roark, the most amusingly one-sided character in all of fiction.

More Galenson here and here.

Bluematter. is back!

Sorry for being away for so long, and thank you for your emails - I never realised so many people would notice, let alone mind, my absence.

The reasons that kept me from the keyboard have not quite gone away, so posting will probably be slow for a while. In any case, I'm back to stay. I missed blogging.

by datacharmer | Tuesday, August 26, 2008
| 0 comments | | Bluematter. is back! @bluematterblogtwitter

Friday Special 68

Friday Special 67

Total Borrowings of Depository Institutions from the Federal Reserve

Exactitudes: a contraction of exact and attitude

Friday Special 66

More on Mike, the headless chicken: Wikipedia & Website

Excellent wealth management tool

Britain seen from above

Incredible trees

Best sentence I've read today:

The Guardian described the (Russian) oligarchs as "about as popular with your average Russian as a man idly burning bundles of £50s outside an orphanage".

Friday Special 65

Can you guess where my accent is from?

It's time for some campaigning 2008

Impressive pictures from outer space