Numbers Don't Lie

Monday, February 19, 2007

I have started a new blog

I started a new blog, consider it as the Part 2 of 'It is a numeric life'. If you linked to this blog before, and like to link to the new one, please make a small change on the linking URL:

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Employees less productive when paid less

Like many people, I am a strong believer that employees are more productive when they're paid more. Now I found a solid number to back up this believe. In a new paper published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, (no online version yet), researcher Alexandre Mas (Univ. of California-Berkeley, Haas School of Business) examined how police officers' productivity can be affected by how much money they're awarded in arbitration proceedings. Looking at compensation disputes involving New Jersey police unions, Mas found that when the officers' salary demands were met, the number of crimes they solved over the next two years was 12% higher than when they lost.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The benefits of napping

The benefits of napping is well documented. Here are some more numbers:
1) a recent study have found that the good nappers, men and women who napped at least three times per week for an average of at least 30 minutes, had a 37% lower coronary mortality risk than those who took no naps.
2) an earlier NASA sleep researchers have found that a nap of 26 minutes can boost performance by as much as 34%.
Do our bosses know these ?


Valentine's Day by the numbers

According to a recent US consumer survey, 63% planned to celebrate Valentine's Day this year, most between the ages of 25 and 34. On average, "men will spend $154 on their Valentines, nearly double the $85 the average female will spend on her sweetheart".
Based on Hallmark' s number, Valentine's Day is the 2nd biggest card-giving holiday of the year after Christmas.

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Views on global warming

National Journal has released a new poll which surveyed 113 members of Congress about their views on global warming. The results were unbelievable. Although many scientific evidence concluded that human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming, only 13% of congressional Republicans say they believe that human activity is causing global warming, compared to 95% of congressional Democrats.
Well, man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.

Labels: ,

Rates of home price appreciation

We all heard about it, now we can see - rates of home price appreciation are obviously slowing:

Sources: PMI releases Winter 2007 Economic and Real Estate Trends report (pdf)


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder

Ever heard of 'beer-goggling' effect ? - the regrettable effect that alcohol drink, ambient light and smokiness have on our ability to judge attractiveness. 'Beer-goggling' make the aesthetically-challenged more attractive; in fact, a poll showed that 68% of people had regretted giving their phone number to someone to whom they realized was not attractive the morning after. A research project headed by Nathan Efron, Professor of Clinical Optometry(Univ. of Manchester), tried to reduce the "beer goggles effect" down to a interesting equation. Other than the amount of alcohol, room's light level & smokiness, drinker's own eyesight and distance between two people are also factors.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Health statistics

1) Loneliness could boost Alzheimer's risk: a 4-year long study on group of old people (averaging 81 years of age) found 20% increase on the loneliness was associated with about a 51% increased risk of developing Alzheimer's.
2) Children who get more rest less prone to obesity: sleeping 1 extra hour a night reduced the chance of being overweight from 36-30% in young children, and from 34-30% percent in older children. Similar results were also observed for adults before. Researchers don't know exactly why sleep and childhood obesity may be related, one factor is that lack of sleep may disrupt hormones that influence metabolism and hunger.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Are men better chess players than women ?

Currently, there is only 1 woman among the top 100 chess players; and only 8 women among 900 grandmasters. Are men better at playing chess? In a recent study, researchers concluded that the underrepresentation of women in the highest levels of chess can be explained by the low proportion of girls who enter chess at the lowest levels. The researchers looked at the ratings of over 250,000 players over 13 years and found that while men have higher ratings than women on average, in areas where women account for at least 50% of new young players, the initial ratings of boys and girls are not significantly different. Check and mate!


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Math of life (5)

Opportunities always look bigger after they have passed.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Top 10 world's worst sound

A Salford University (in UK) acoustic engineer set up an internet survey where participants rated the unpleasantness of 34 sounds. With over one million votes from around the world, the sound of vomiting (not safe for stomach) made most voters want to hurl. Microphone feedback came in second, and crying babies and scrapes and squeaks of a train were tied for third. My vote - the popularly derided "fingernails on a chalkboard" sound, only came in at low 16th. Below is the top 10 list of world's worst sound:
1. Vomiting
2. Microphone feedback
3. Wailing babies
4. Train scraping on tracks
5. Squeaky seesaw
6. Poorly played violin
7. Whoopee cushion
8. Argument in a soap opera
9. Mains hum
10. Tasmanian devil


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Math of life (4)




(also see Math of life - part 1, part 2, part 3 )


Friday, February 02, 2007

Americans don't save

In 2005, Americans saved -0.5% of their money in their banking accounts; in 2006, Americans saved -1.0 % of their money in banks. In previous years, the only time they saved less than that was 1933, with -1.5%. As you may know, America was in the Great Depression that year.
Source: heard from radio station wbbm780 , Feb 1st, 2007.