How Much Does Your Name Matter? The Quantitative and Qualitative Research

One of the stories Freakonomics is best known for is their research into whether your name has any positive or negative impact on your economic destiny, particularly if you had a rare name, or name associated with cultures discriminated against widely. The study was focused on African-Americans, as heard in the podcast below from some time back.


Data, though, doesn’t always tell the full story. In fact, it doesn’t tell anybody’s story, just a group’s outcomes. Freakonomics recently followed up this story with one where Dr. Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck successfully defended a PhD about what it’s like for African-Americans with almost unique names to go through life, to get the personal stories of real people and see if their names really mattered in their lives. Have a listen to hear how the stories differ from the data, even if they may end up in the same outcome, and why the how makes a huge difference!

What Should We Call a “Corkage” Fee for Weed / Pot / Marijuana?

In some restaurants, you can bring your own wine, but they will likely charge you a corkage or corking fee for it, probably for these reasons.

As marijuana is becoming legal in more places, there’ll be edibles with pot in it. Some of those products will have weed simply added to them, like a spice or flavouring. With quality of pot being rather varied, as much as prices, it won’t be long before many will want to inquire about bringing their own marijuana to restaurants.

If things worked with pot like with wine, restaurants will want to charge something equivalent to a corkage fee for wine.

But what will they call it?

Potting fee? Weeding fee? Rolling fee?

Got any good ideas to suggest?

Whatever the name, though, let’s just hope the fee won’t be too high! πŸ˜‰

[Thanks to a colleague for the idea from which I made this post]

Revolutionary Drug Policy Ideas for 4/20

For 4/20, I’d like to propose some revolutionary drug policies that might be revolutionary enough you’d think I was high or something. Alas, I hate to disappoint you, but getting high doesn’t produce this kind of revolutionary thinking. Besides, reality is by far the best drug around and it’s my drug of choice. But have a read and see what you think.

Continue reading

Favourite Drug Facebook Tagging Survey Meme

This is a concept I had come up with, Facebook surveys using picture tagging the way Facebook tagging memes are done. I created it because there aren’t any Facebook survey tools, at least not applications where everyone would have to sign up for the application to use it. I know those applications are free, but not everyone is keen to giving away their personal info and have all kinds of applications as part of their Facebook navigation.

These survey tagging memes work a bit backwards to those tagging memes. Instead of tagging a character with one of your friends’ names to tell them what you think of them, or incite an action as my Facebook 2.0 action memes encourage users to do, they tag their choice of survey answer on your posted meme. You don’t really need to tell many people about it. As you tag your answer, and a few others tag, notifications are sent out and people will be curious what someone else got tagged for. When they check, they can then decide if they want to tag themselves as well, just like the instruction says on the graphic.

Please note that these surveys are public to a person’s friends, at least, pending their privacy setting. So don’t declare anything you wouldn’t want the world to know!

As for the theme of this survey, drugs, it was the idea that came to my head when I sought out something everyone knows, may have experience with and may not be shy to answer. The “drugs” are not all hard drugs so lots of people could answer things like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and Crackbook (aka Facebook given its addiction to some). Molecular models of the active ingredient, or ingredient which gives a drug effect on you, were used to represent the drug for an interesting look, and so this would not be used as a drug identification guide by anybody. Links are provided after the graphic for more information on the drugs, including impact so people can be well-informed. You can move your mouse over the drug or names tagged to see what lights up and see people’s answers later on.

I think you’d be surprised with this survey and others I plan to have, on the answers some of your friends will give you! I don’t know how many people can tag themselves into a picture, but if you max out, can you let me know? Thanks!

Here’s how to get this Facebook survey meme to suggest a match:

  • Click on the picture to get it at full size.
  • Right click on that picture and save to your computer.
  • Upload it to your Facebook profile.
  • Tag your choice and ask a few friends to tag their choices.
  • Click the Back button on your browser to return to this post.

Please click here for a complete list of Facebook picture tagging memes on this site with which you can use for fun with your friends.

Dedicated to gangstas in da hood, Mexican drug cartel members in da wood-en coffins, Lindsay Lohan and others in detox or retox!

Caffeine – found in pop, coffee, chocolates and other common foods eaten.

Cocaine – also known as rock, freebase, coke, snow, nose candy, flake, blow, big C, lady, white and snowbirds, the crack form is just more brutal of cocaine and crack cocaine.

Codeine – found in codeine Tylenol and some cough medicine, and is probably the most commonly used drug.

Crackbook – also known as Facebook, but as a drug given what it does to some people’s lives.

Crystal Meth – an amphetamine also known as crank, crystal methadrine, and speed.

Ecstasy – also known as MDMA (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), Adam, clarity, ecstasy, Eve, lover’s speed, peace, STP, X, XTC.

Ethanol – the active chemical family of alcohols in much of the alcohol drank around the world.

Heroin – also known as Smack, Horse, Mud, Brown sugar, Junk, Black tar, and Big H.

Marijuana – hashish is a more concentrated form of marijuana, which is commonly referred to as “pot”, among other names like reefer, grass, weed, dope, ganja, Mary Jane or Sinsemilla, with cannabis as the active ingredient.

Nicotine – the infamous active ingredient in cigarettes and aids to quit smoking, although there are plenty of other crap in cigarettes to help kill smokers.

Opium – 90% of the world supply is grown in Afghanistan, funding the Taliban, and includes morphine as one form, with other names as Paregoric, Dover’s Powder, Parepectolin.

Oxycontin – the pharmaceutical tradename of oxycondone.

Ritalin – is one commercial name for a stimulant called methylphenidate or MPH.

Turpentine – various hydrocarbons that also include gasoline, sniffed as a drug.

Valium (diazepam) – one trade name for tranquilizers, with others including Librium, Miltown, Serax, Equanil, Miltown, and Tranxene.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.6


Marijuana Plantation Found with Google Earth

Did you know Google Earth has the resolution power to identify marijuana crops from space? I don’t mean identify by leaf pattern or such small features. Whatever features differentiates marijuana crops from other crops, though, one can apparently tell with Google Earth photos! Makes you wonder what else they can see!

A Google Earth view of a part of Switzerland

A Google Earth view of a part of Switzerland

Swiss police discovered a marijuana plantation in northeastern Switzerland while searching for an address with Google Earth. They were trying to find the address of some local farmers suspected of being involved in a drug ring. However, suspicion doesn’t help any in identifying crops from satellite photos. Something differentiated the 7,500 square meter (1.85 acre) patch in the middle of a corn field from the rest of the corn around it. Something conclusive enough for the police to suspect what it was to come for it. Something the police is not saying, understandably to keep an edge, but not really a real one now that the marijuana crooks know this can be done.

This story is not only novel, of course, but can be eye opening considering what the police was able to find with those Google Earth photos. I think a lot of people are aware of Google Earth, but don’t worry too much about what it can do in terms of privacy invasion. The ones crying out about it are probably viewed as being a little extremist, though they create that image themselves for their tactics, I’d have to say. They tend to be the ones caught, or afraid of being caught, walking out of a strip bar or something embarrassing like that, by some street mapping photos done by Google. They fear some level of constant surveillance by “big brother” in the form of government and such. Well, the only ones afraid or who would have anything about which to be afraid are the guilty ones.

Oh, and don’t forget to update your stereotypes. Google isn’t part of government.

I must say I was glad to hear government is using all this technology with good results. With all the clamoring always going on about how government has to catch up with the times, it’s nice to see how they’re sometimes ahead of the times.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 10.0