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!

TED 2011 Ads Worth Spreading, Part 2 of 3

This is part 2 of 3 posts showing all the ads TED deemed worth spreading. (Part 1)

The TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) community just released its 2011 Ads Worth Spreading contest winners, and the ads are better than the ones I have seen for the Super Bowl in any year! But what did you expect from a brilliant group who’s moniker is “Ideas Worth Spreading”?

Now these ads aren’t like ones in the Super Bowl lasting 30-60 seconds. These ads are much longer, often being the full version of the shortened ads for TV time slots. However, with ads like these, I could watch commercials in place of TV shows because I don’t notice how long or short they are. I’m actually a little sad once it’s over, alongside whatever mood the commercials left me in.

I have posted a bunch of the ads here because I have found higher quality versions of the ads than the ones available on the TED website. Otherwise, I’d have just posted links to them all on TED’s site.

The link for Part 3 is at the end of the post.

Enjoy and be prepared to be wowwed!!!

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Watch Us Weekly’s New Video of Michael Jackson’s Hair Catching on Fire During 1984 Pepsi Video Commercial Shoot

US Weekly has just released never before seen footage of the 1984 accident where Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire during filming of a Pepsi commercial.

The story goes something like this, extracted from text in the video at bottom. I typed it out because you’ll probably want to be looking at what happened rather than reading the text. It is stunningly tragic!

On January 27 1984, Michael Jackson filmed a Pepsi commercial at LA’s Shrine Auditorium in front of 3,000 fans. On the first take, the pyrotechnics exploded as planned after Michael descended the stairs. The sixth take went horribly wrong. The explosion went off too early. Michael suffered second and third-degree burns on his face and scalp.

According to Michael, the recovery from this was what led him to be addicted to painkillers. You see, he had no idea his hair had caught on fire. He just went on with the script and danced with his brothers after descending the stairs while his hair burned and people suddenly jumped all over him to douse the fire. I’m sure he knew it then, but it was a little too late. Stuff in his hair would definitely have fueled the fire more aggressively.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

It has been argued by some that this event and Michael had to do to recover from it was the start of a lot of his troubles in life, and equally arguably to be the start of his downfall. I would buy some of that. Put that much heat near your brain for a while and see if that doesn’t damage any brain cells! Detractors of the connection just seem to have think it was burns to any other part of the body and had no influence on Michael’s state of mind afterward.

Whether there was any causality or not from the accident, Pepsi settled the suit for $1.5 million dollars with Michael. To his credit, he donated it all to the burn unit of the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, CA (EW.com).

Michael Jackson was also prescribed to some painkillers during the surgery and recovery, which some sources also told US Weekly started his addictions to, both, painkillers and plastic surgery. If he were addicted to painkillers, and he got it from surgery, might additional surgery have also been a convenient excuse to fix a little imperfection as well as get a little more without raising any alarms?

Rest in peace, Michael.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.3

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