Turtles Crossing The Road – Or Trying To Anyway

December 31, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

David DiSalvo wrote about the plight of turtles trying to cross roads:

  • In an experiment with a rubber turtle, one researcher found that a surprising number of motorists would specifically swerve their vehicle to run over the turtle.
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests that the majority of people who engage in this practice are male.
  • The need to run over small defenceless animals with thousand pound motor vehicles is likely why some species of turtles are endangered.

Read more about the experiment, its findings, and what experts have to say about it, over here.

Source: Forbes

Centives In 2012

December 30, 2012 in Announcement

As 2012 comes to an end, it’s time to take a quick look at the most popular articles of the year. You can find out what each of the categories mean over here.

The top editorials of 2012

#6 – The Cost Of A Supervillain Lair

Centives helping potential evil masterminds understand their financial needs will be a constant theme throughout this list. In this article we found that if we ever suspect an evil overlord is behind the miseries of our world, then we can narrow the list of villains to just 35 people.

#5 – How Much Does The Batmobile Cost?

Batman has no superpowers or special capabilities. Yet he is still able to hold his own against the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman. How? We believe it has everything to do with the car. In the comics Batman keeps several spare ones as they have a general propensity to get destroyed. An in-depth analysis found that Batman’s taste for cars has become more refined over the years…and that his car preferences show why American automakers have struggled in recent times.

#4 – The Cost Of Being An Unbeatable Evil Overlord

We’re fairly certain that there will soon be a demand for consultants that help evil overlords more effectively do their jobs. When that time comes we’ll have that market cornered. Centives’ great insight was that being an unbeatable evil overlord involves some measures that could actually save you money. Overall protagonist-proofing your dastardly plans is surprisingly affordable.

#3 – How Much Does It Cost To Be Batman?

Experts say that the reason why people like us are so obsessed with Batman is because it helps us deal with our insecurities. That sounds…about right. In sum it’ll cost $2.8 million to strike terror into the hearts of our enemies.

#2 – Forrest Gump’s Running Route

An important part of the Forrest Gump movie depicts the titular character running across the United States observing its beauty. Centives was able to trace his running route to figure out what path Gump took in his run across the United States.

#1 – How Much Would It Cost To Build The Death Star?

We must admit, the fact that our most popular article in 2012 was about the cost of building a weapon that can decimate entire planets kind of makes us terrified of our readers. We can only hope that if any of you should use our article as a guide, that you take mercy on us, and perhaps even bring us on board. We can help to sort out the logistics of things.

The top bulletins of 2012

#6 – Emma Watson: The Most Dangerous Celebrity On Earth

It’s ironic because we think a fair amount of people found this article while searching for “Emma Watson”. The article was about how putting the term “Emma Watson” into a search engine was fairly dangerous.

#5 – Perfectionism In Japan

Recession has meant that Japanese culture is beginning to shine through. And it turns out that Japanese culture involves paying crazy attention to detail.

#4 – Bizarre Fast Food Locations Around The World

Were you aware that you can now find a McDonald’s at Prague’s museum of communism? And other bizarre locations where you can find fast food.

#3 – Chess Introduces A Cleavage Rule

Sigh. We’d like to believe that this was popular because of the ‘chess’ part of the title.

#2 – Myths About Creativity

For better or for worse, creativity isn’t something you’re born with. It’s something you have to develop. Also, it’s important to criticize bad ideas.

#1 – Avengers Assemble…at a Shawarma Joint?

It’s only fitting that a record-breaking movie would also break records here at Centives. One small mention in the movie made the life of Shawarma joints across the United States.

The top snip of 2012

Snips…too short to be editorials…too interesting to not publish. Here’s the most popular one this year:

How Much Is The Mockingjay Pin Worth?

Katniss’ pin is an iconic symbol in the world of The Hunger Games. Centives figured out how much it was worth.


Have a very happy new year everybody! This website runs entirely on your viewership and we always appreciate messages and feedback from readers. You can always reach us at Voice@Centives.net. Best wishes for 2013.

Would Falling Off The Fiscal Cliff Really Be So Bad?

December 30, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Centives has stayed away from the economics of the fiscal cliff – that’s the serious side of economics that we leave to more distinguished individuals. But Zachary Karabell’s article about why falling off the cliff wouldn’t be the end of the world caught our eye:

  • While falling off the cliff is projected to create a recession in the first half of 2013; GDP is expected to rebound and grow by 2% in the second half.
  • This short term pain will mean that over the longer term America’s debt and deficit issues will be mitigated to some extent.
  • Additional legislation would also likely be introduced after America rolls off the cliff, to prevent the worst parts of the cliff from affecting the American populace.

Read more about the future of America, how the cliff plays into it, and an attempt to put the cliff in a greater global context over here.

Source: The Atlantic

The Life Expectancy Of Rock-Stars

December 30, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

John Timmer reported on a study done of the life expectancy of rock-stars:

  • In general, richer people have longer life expectancies than the general population; and rock-stars are quite rich.
  • However the data shows that being a rock-star completely negates the benefits of being rich, and in fact, lowers your life expectancy when compared to the general population.
  • European rock-stars have a longer life expectancy than American ones, but European rock-stars still have a lower average life-expectancy than the general European population for the first few decades of their life.
  • However, after 35 years of fame, European rock-stars had the same life expectancy as average Europeans.
  • In general difficult childhood circumstances led to a greater likelihood of rock-stars dying of substance abuse or other risky behaviour.
  • This suggests that being a rock-star isn’t what leads famous musicians to engage in excessive drinking, drug abuse, or suicide. Rather it’s traumatic childhoods that causes it.

Read more about the limitations of the study, other findings from it, and the pool or rock-stars that were used over here.

Source: ArsTechnica

What Would Dinosaur Meat Taste Like?

December 29, 2012 in Daily Bulletin, Signature

In any self-respecting dinosaur movie there’s a scene where the fearsome predators try to eat humans. But, let’s be honest, if we ever managed to clone dinosaurs it’d be us eating them. What would they taste like?

  • The taste of meat depends largely on the type of diet the animal had. Humans generally prefer the meat of herbivores since it tastes less ‘gamey’.
  • Thus carnivorous animals such as the Tyrannosaurus Rex likely wouldn’t find a place on our dining tables.
  • Despite their close genetic relationship with birds, dinosaurs are unlikely to taste like chicken. They’re more likely to taste like beef because of the type of activity they engaged in.

Read more about dinosaur meat, the unique cuts you could get, and the things to look out for if you’re ever trying to determine which dinosaur you should eat, over here.

Source: PopSci

How Often Can Paper Be Recycled?

December 29, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

How often can paper be recycled? The always excellent Brian Palmer had the answer:

  • In theory paper can survive dozens of rounds of the recycling process.
  • However each time paper is recycled the fibres that make it up are cut – quite often into pieces that are too small to use. This means that more realistically paper can be recycled up to about five times.
  • Each time it is recycled, paper loses some of its quality. Therefore it goes from being writing paper to facial tissues, milk cartons, and, finally, cereal boxes.
  • Most of the recycled paper is sent to China which doesn’t have enough forestland to feed its demand for paper.
  • In fact, waste-paper might be America’s biggest export to China.

Read more about where your paper might end up, how paper is recycled, and why the United States should be thankful for China over here.

Source: Slate

Hollywood’s Most Profitable Stars

December 28, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Dorothy Pomerantz took a look at which stars bring in the most box-office revenue for every dollar they are paid. Highlights of the article include:

  • Natalie Portman is at the top of the list. For every dollar she is paid, her movies return $42.70.
  • Eddie Murphy, on the other hand, is the most overpaid star. For every dollar he earns, his films only make $2.30.
  • Portman’s success is, in part, due to Black Swan, which had a very small budget, but did incredibly well at the Box Office.
  • Kristen Stewart has the distinction of being both among the highest paid actors in Hollywood and one of the best investments.
  • In fact, all of the main stars of the Twilight series make it onto the list of most profitable actors.
  • Daniel Radcliffe, the star of Harry Potter, also makes the list although he is expected to drop off it as the franchise has come to an end.

Find the entire list, and read the methodology of the study over here.

Source: Forbes

The Economics Of Cashmere

December 28, 2012 in Daily Bulletin, Signature

With winter coming to the northern hemisphere, a cashmere sweater is on the wish-list of many. But why is it so expensive? Aisha Harris had the answer:

  • Cashmere has long been associated with class. Ever since the 1500s Indian Emperors used the material to signify status.
  • In the present day there is a lot of demand for the material. It is eight times warmer than sheep’s wool despite its light weight.
  • However supply is a problem. Cashmere comes from the undercoat of goats specifically bred to produce the wool.
  • It takes the wool from two goats to produce enough material for a single sweater.
  • Producing the wool is a costly process. The undercoat needs to be separated from the coarser top coat by hand.
  • All of this means that only 30,000 pounds of cashmere is produced every year…while 3 billion pounds of sheep’s wool is.

Read more about where the material is produced, when it first appeared in Europe, and where the name ‘cashmere’ comes from over here.

Source: Slate

Comparing Credit Scores On A Date

December 27, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

After exchanging phone numbers with the pretty person you met at the office, you might also want to exchange credit scores writes Jessica Silver-Greenberg:

  • Credit scores can affect the rates of interest you get on cars, homes, or other big purchases you might decide to make as a couple.
  • To this end it has become increasingly common for dates to ask each other about their credit history to see if they are a good match.
  • There are even online dating sites which allow you to find somebody with a credit score that meets your requirements.

Read more about how a credit check report is like a test for STDs, the stories of couples who are having difficulties in their relationship due to their credit scores, and the merits of how romantic a question it is to ask on a first date over here.

Source: The New York Times

Via: Marginal Revolution

Weather Prediction In The United States And Europe

December 27, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

The Europeans were able to predict that Hurricane Sandy would make landfall in the United States several days before the Americans were writes Scott K. Johnson. Here’s why:

  • The European weather forecast model runs on one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, while the American one runs on a less impressive one.
  • The American system is also based on snapshots of data while the European system is based on continuous observation.
  • The future for the American system looks bleak. Even though it has received some additional funding in recent years, it is not enough to put it on the same competitive plane as the European system.

Read more about weather forecast models and the differences between the United States and Europe, as well as one time when the Europeans got it wrong over here.

Source: ArsTechnica