Colleges Are Offering Scholarships To Professional Gamers

Colleges are paying attention to esports wrote Collin Binkley: Esports is big business – the bigge

In Stock Images Women Are Now More Than Just Sex Objects

Claire Cain Miller wrote about the top image result for “woman” (pictured) on Getty̵

“Market Price” In Restaurants Is Mostly A Sham

Ever seen “MP” listed on a menu instead of the actual price? It’s probably a trick


Colleges Are Offering Scholarships To Professional Gamers

September 19, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Colleges are paying attention to esports wrote Collin Binkley:

  • Esports is big business – the biggest tournament in the world has a $20 million prize pool.
  • Colleges are taking notice. They’re offering scholarships to gaming athletes who can spread the college’s name.
  • Specialized coaches and other support staff help to ensure gamers reach their full potential.
  • The University of California, Irvine, even drummed up $250,000 for an eSports arena.
  • The NCAA – a nonprofit that works with college sporting programs – has taken note and is considering getting involved.

Read more on AP.

In Stock Images Women Are Now More Than Just Sex Objects

September 18, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Claire Cain Miller wrote about the top image result for “woman” (pictured) on Getty’s stock image library:

  • In contrast to the rugged woman hiking on the rocks today, a decade ago, in 2007, the top-selling picture for “woman” showed a half-naked person lying on a bed draped in a towel looking alluringly at the camera.
  • The change is driven in part by the Lean In photo collection developed in by Getty in collaboration with Shery Sandberg, to provide the media with more gender-positive stock images.
  • In addition to changing what ‘woman’ represented, Getty has also seen a 47% increase in searches for pictures of “female CEO”.
  • There’s still some ways to go. The typical woman in the Lean In collection is young, white, and has long brown hair.
  • Those that show women in science are rarely used in general science stories – they’re typically only trotted out in stories related to the difficulties women face in science fields.
  • Gender positive photos of men – for example those where they’re taking care of a baby – can have troubling subtext too. The men often have beards and are muscled, in an apparent attempt to emphasize their masculinity.

Read more in The New York Times.

“Market Price” In Restaurants Is Mostly A Sham

September 15, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Ever seen “MP” listed on a menu instead of the actual price? It’s probably a trick, wrote Kate Krader:

  • Shielding diners from prices on menus began with freshly caught seafood. Supply is erratic and prices can swing between extremes, making it difficult to print a set price on a menu.
  • But chefs liked the air of exclusivity it added to menus and so began to use the label on their proudest creations.
  • Hiding prices also helps prevent sticker shock and artificially lowers the average menu price, making it more popular on sites like Yelp.
  • This is just one strategy that restaurants have pursued to improve margins. Overall restaurant food prices rose 2.6% last year, while the cost of ingredients fell 1.3%.

Read more on Bloomberg.

Fear The Dragons

September 14, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

The Economist wrote about how the Chinese zodiac calendar can affect life outcomes:

  • Dragons are a respected symbol in China and those born in the year of the dragon are thought to have a bright future.
  • Chinese births dramatically increased in 2000 and 2012 – the two most recent dragon years. This is particularly remarkable since China’s one child policy makes it difficult to time births.
  • Dragon children get higher grades and are 11 percentage points more likely to go to university.
  • This seems to be because parents invest more in dragon children by educating them, giving them more pocket money, and reducing their chores.
  • This self-fulfilling prophecy effect demonstrates the power of expectations in driving success.

Read more on The Economist.

The Economics Of Friends…A Decade Later

September 13, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

It’s been a decade since Friends was on the air yet the show remains popular. Arienne Thompson looked at just how popular:

  • Warner Brothers, the studio behind Friends, continues to syndicate the show around the world – and earns $1 billion a year doing so.
  • Each of the six main characters get royalties of 2% a year from that syndication revenue.
  • All in all that’s $20 million a year each for Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer.

Read more on USA Today.

A Netflix For Movies. Wait, What?

September 12, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Netflix revolutionized watching movies at home. MoviePass is trying to do the same for watching movies in the theater:

  • MoviePass users pay a monthly fee to watch as many movies as they want at the theater (though they’re limited to one movie a day for the cheapest package).
  • MoviePass sends them a credit card which they use to pay for the movie tickets.
  • The company operated for six years and managed to get 20,000 subscribers to its service.
  • Then it cut prices from $14.95 a month to $9.95 a month and the resulting media blitz increased the number of subscribers to 150,000.
  • MoviePass may be losing money if the new subscribers are frequent moviegoers. But over the long run it hopes to negotiate deals with the industry to reduce theater prices and boost attendance – especially for non-blockbusters.
  • Movie theaters, for their part, aren’t thrilled at the prospect of MoviePass getting a lot of subscribers and then using its bargaining power to force them to accept lower prices.

Read more on Deadline.

Oyster Vending Machines

September 11, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

The French are selling oysters in vending machine wrote The Guardian:

  • Oyster vending machines are an evolution of the manned stalls that oyster farmers used to have on the roads along France’s coast.
  • For oyster connoisseurs the ability to satisfy an oyster craving at all hours is a tantalizing prospect.
  • It is especially appealing to a younger generation familiar with buying things on the internet, without a shopkeeper guiding them.
  • For sellers it’s a way to cut out the middle man – like a grocery store – and boost margins.
  • The machines are a triumph of food safety laws. Live oysters that aren’t stored the right way could lead to food poisoning – something few are concerned about.

Read more on The Guardian.

Why Is Blue The World’s Favourite Colour?

September 8, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Abigail Cain wrote about the blues:

  • Across countries and genders surveys show that blue is the world’s favourite colour.
  • This seems to be because there are few negative things that are blue. Even bruises are more purple than blue.
  • Meanwhile the positive things associated with blue – sky and water – are globally appreciated and experienced.
  • This also explains why dark yellows are typically the least popular– they remind us mostly of unpleasant things.
  • Yet colour preferences have been found to change with time. The striking hues of autumn lead to a greater appreciation of shades of maroon.
  • On election day Republicans express a preference for red – the colour associated with their party – even though most of the year they like the democrats’ blue.

Read more on Artsy.

Via: Marginal Revolution

Uber Is Damaging The Airport Business

September 7, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

The Economist delved into airport revenues:

  • In 2015 airports across the world made 40% of their revenue from “non-aeronautical” services like duty free shopping.
  • In America about 20% of airport revenue comes from parking and rental car fees.
  • The rise of Uber has meant that fewer people are using these services blowing a hole in airport budgets.
  • Some airports have tried to ban Uber but travelers just opt to get dropped off close to the airport to circumvent the ban.
  • Airports could try to increase revenues from airport malls but a more frugal demographic has taken to the sky in recent years.
  • Travelers from China used to be lavish spenders but a crackdown on corruption has limited spending on expensive gift shopping.
  • And anyway, an extended security process leaves precious little time for passengers to spend at airport malls.

Read more on The Economist.

The History Of Barbed Wire

September 6, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

In a series on 50 things that made the modern economy Tim Harford wrote about barbed wire:

  • When barbed wire was patented in 1874 it was marketed as “the greatest discovery of the age” and “lighter than air, stronger than whiskey, cheaper than dust”.
  • Just six years after it was patented 423,000 kilometers of it – enough to circle the world ten times over – was produced.
  • Farmers had long tried to stake out claims to their property. But wood was too expensive, smooth wire was quickly trampled over by cattle, and thorn bush hedges took too long to grow.
  • Barbed wire allowed them to mark their territory – much to the consternation of the Native Americans – who called it the devil’s rope – and whose lands would sometimes be fenced off.
  • Cowboys who were used to cattle being able to graze freely across the landscape weren’t too happy either.
  • Rival farmers had disagreement and masked gangs took to cutting up fences and leaving threatening notes telling their owners not to rebuild them. People died.
  • Some would argue that the establishment of property rights created an incentive for farmers to invest in the land and help grow America into the largest economy in the world.

Read more on the BBC.