Freakanomic tidbits from a tearaway calendar

Just some things from the 2007 Freakonomics tear away calendar which I thought are interesting.

July 24-
In Palto's Republic, when Socrates express a belief in the essential goodness of man, a student named Glaucon counters with the tale of the shepherd Gyges, who discovered a ring that made him invisible. With no one able to monitor his behavior, Gyges proceeded to do wonderful things - seduce the queen, murder the king, and so on. The story poses a moral question: can a person resist the temptation of evil if he knows his acts cannot not be witnessed?

August 1-
On a per capita basis, Switzerland, has more firearms than just about any country, and yet it is one of the safest places in the world.

August 12-
Among the many forms of customer sabotage, one of the most prevalent occurs in bookstores, where customers hide books by certain authors (Ann Coulter and Michael Moore, for instance) out of political protest. Some stores have even eliminated garbage cans, since too many partisan books were ending up in the trash.

August 23-
People often say one thing and do another. This gap represents the difference between what economists call a "declared preference" (what you say you'll do) and an "expressed preference" (what you actually do).

August 29-
Research has shown that when people are given a small stipend for donating blood, they actually tend to give less blood. The money transforms a noble act of charity into a discomfiting way to make a few dollars.

September 1-
Here are four factors strongly correlated with childhood test scores:
  1. The child has highly educated parents
  2. The child's parents have high socioeconomic status
  3. The child's mother was over thirty or older at the time of her first child's birth
  4. The child has many books in his home

September 1-
Here are four factors that are not strongly correlated with childhood test scores:

  1. The child's parents recently moved into a better neighborhood
  2. The child's mother didn't work between birth and kindergarten
  3. The child's parents regularly take him to museums
  4. The child frequently watches television