Monday assorted links

1. Why we like being scared.  More here.

2. If you had only one day to eat in New York City, where should you go?  (New Yorker)  More useful than almost any other restaurant advice you will get.

3. The importance of class ordinal rank.

4. Tractor overturns are the leading cause of farm fatalities.

5. Uber’s secret weapon is its team of economists.  And this bit: “When he married in 2011, a quarter of the wedding guests were economists.”

6. “The race is on toward the first 2,000-pound pumpkin in Canada.


2. Here is Andy Borowitz on the culture at the New Yorker: What does this have to do with food? Andy imitates the writers at the magazine dropping French words and phrases in casual conversation. It's funny. So why would the food critic for the magazine write a piece about NYC restaurants and not mention a single French restaurant? Mise En Place.

I dunno, you've got a NYT video ad equating Donald Trump to fascism, where it's said that fascists succeed by turning groups against one another.

Hey there exceptional website! Does running a blog like this take a large amount of work?
I've virtually no knowledge of computer programming but I had been hoping to start
my own blog in the near future. Anyhow, should you have any recommendations or techniques
for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off subject
but I just needed to ask. Appreciate it!

#4: "2011 cost-effectiveness assessment of a New York State intervention to increase use of ROPS.
These results indicate that the intervention model is effective from both a public health and economic standpoint and should be expanded into other states."

That's nice and all, but New York's a tad hilly-er than, say, Iowa. Let's not over-extrapolate, here, AJPHers.

It is the leading cause of farm worker deaths in Iowa:

Okay, but that still doesn't imply that what's cost effective in New York is going to be cost effective in Iowa, given what I presume is a significant difference in the rate of such accidents.

I can't read the article from my current location, hopefully it explains the cause of those rollover fatalities.

My naive intuition is to wonder what causes those tractors to rollover so frequently, unless they're in hilly NY. But maybe rollover fatalities are a thing in Iowa as well because ... not having any farm background I'm making this up, but I could imagine a tractor pulling a heavy load that tries to make an overly tight turn might experience twisting motion, in which the heavy load stays straight and level and the turning motion of the tractor gets translated into the tractor twisting off the hitch and overturning?

Or is it just a matter of the farmer driving over an unseen ditch or too close to the edge of an irrigation canal?

Looks like a combination of the two factors you mentioned, based on RW's link.

Twisting can occur, particularly with multiple tongues and fishtailing, but I believe backflipping is more commonly fatal. This normally happens with the hitch point being too high on the tractor result in the load torquing the back of the tracker downward.

Other common causes include driving on steep embankments (sideways rolls/backflips), driving into ditches (side rolls and front flips), uneven braking at speed (tractors typically have side independent brakes), and improper clutch release (mechanical or driver error resulting in backflipping).

Pretty much 100% of these are from older tractors that lack roll over protection bars. Even with the older tractors most of these are due to reasonably severe operator error; but that is true of basically every on-the-job-accident that results in people coming to see me.

I can personally attest to the comment about backflips (and operator error). As a research field hand, about forty years ago, I was preparing a field for an experiment when the tractor and disc bogged down. I disconnected the disc but forgot to disconnect the rope used to adjust it. The rope attached to the disc and tractor caused the front wheels to come well off the ground. Shortly after that, I transitioned to a much safer career field as a student pilot in the Air Force.

Thanks for the stories! Now I'm connecting this article about rollovers with the youtube videos of tractors trying to pull a heavy load and doing backflips, or almost doing them.

I'm sure Margee Kerr can provide some good insights into fear, but if you really want to know about the subject you need to consult Dr. Jonathan Crane.

Please don't bring up straw men.

3. That doesn't match my experience at all. I went to NYC private schools, where I was generally at the top of the class, but people's class rankings were not complete stable from first grade through twelfth, and display no particular correlation with later professional success (i.e., many of my classmates with lower ordinal ranking have achieved greater success than I in later life). The same holds true for my family members, who also attended NYC private schools. Admittedly, we are dealing with the very top tier of schools and students, but ordinal ranking does not seem to have much weight in that subset.

As your last sentence says, the explanation may be the elite nature of those schools. These days they sometimes literally decline to disclose individual students' class ranks to college admission offices, saying "all of our students are great". Maybe they are, and the policy is justified?

Just about all studies of incoming college students' records shows their high school GPA to be by far the strongest objective predictor of college GPA (admission officers' subjective judgements turn out to be very important as well, probably more important). Test scores are weak predictors but do have some predictive power.

But even after those have been accounted for, class rank has predictive power, more than the test scores do.

Maybe that's because of the weak predictive power of all of these variables, so adding in practically anything reasonable will add some predictive power. But maybe it's due to what the article says, the power of rank in class.

#2 Luger's steakhouse. Cliché. But not really because I always go there anyway.

#4 This is absolutely true, but not because tractors are inherently dangerous. The issue comes up with military and other offroad vehicles and occurs largely because of failure to appreciate the grade of the terrain. That topographic 10 degree can't gets very very out of control once you have to do anything other than go straight.

#5 Perhaps they can study in closer detail why Uber drivers aren't making more than minimum wage now. Supply side I'll guess, but then I'm not a gaggle of Uber economists.

#6 That things is going to be a real bear to carve.

"That topographic 10 degree can't gets very very out of control once you have to do anything other than go straight."

You need to add in the unexpected soft spot/pot hole or the unexpected rock/limb sticking up, that both jerks the tractor and suddenly changes the tilt.

That's also correct. I have direct experience with rollover accidents. My driver rolled our Humvee in Afghanistan because of just this type of failure to pay attention to the grade. And that's with 4 wheels and a wide wheel base as opposed to a tractors high-center-grav and narrow front base (usually). Everyone was fine, but there is nothing quite so terrifying as feeling one side of a multi-ton vehicle levitate slowly into an inverted position giving you time to think about what could be impending doom.

So the roll over drills do work after all? Glad the gunner was pulled in time.

I much preferred being on my own two feet. The MRAPs are basically designed to roll over at the slightest pitch.

Wasn't one that time otherwise he most certainly would've been killed. Heard that when you got an MRAP rolling there was no stopping it.

The first American death in the second battle of Falllujah was a rollover.

2) Go to Flushing. Type 'Chinese' into Yelp. Go to the highest rated place.

#2. From the photo caption: "Russ & Daughters deli ... whitefish and baked-salmon salad..." That would make it an appetizing store and not a deli.

#3 Interesting, but given the rise of public universities accepting all students who rank above X in their high school, wouldn't you expect there to be a more robust literature on the subject?

5. RIP Uber. Lately they've been more in need of lawayers, than economists.

2: This is a much better question than the desert island album question, because we often face something like this in real life.

But it still doesn't quite capture the true nature of the problem of deciding where to eat. In my last visit to Manhattan, I pretty much did eat just one day's worth of meals. But my choices were affected by items that the theoretical abstract approach in the article cannot account for. In particular I wanted to try one of David Chang's restaurants so for lunch I went to one of his Momofuku places (arrived about 20 minutes before it opened and there was already a line -- maybe this is something only the hick tourists do, but the guy in front of me though from out of town had moved from NYC just a year or two before). And I had dinner with a niece and her friends so we went to a place that was one of her favorites as well as geographically convenient.

A quote to help us with number 1:

Endorphins: Natural Pain and Stress Fighters. ... Stress and pain are the two most common factors leading to the release of endorphins. Endorphins interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain and act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine.


Endorphins explains why some folks cut themselves.

And best of all is when the risk is simulated, as in a haunted house, roller coaster ride, bungee jump, etc.? Because the experience can be designed to maximize the intensity and/or duration of the fear?

Whereas actual risk (e.g., a tractor overturn, sudden car crash) wouldn't be so much fun even if you could remove the actual risk?

5: Good article.

The documentary "Inside Job" was a little too paranoid and cynical about economists' being beholden to corporate interests, but the article shows how it does happen to some extent. Uber doesn't directly tell the economists what to say, but it decides who to hire and who gets access to its data.

I had not heard of the Varian Rule before reading the article. I presume Varian is talking about newly invented goods, not Bentleys or weekend homes in the Hamptons.

My sister married an economist, but I don't remember how many of the guests were economists. Could've easily been a quarter, like most economists who I know, he seems to mainly hang out with other economists.

The Varian rule clearly doesn't apply to positional goods.

6. A NH grower, Steve Geddes, of Boscawen, New Hampshire, set a new US record of 2,528 pounds.

"The Guinness World Records website lists the world's heaviest pumpkin as weighing 2,624 lbs. It was grown by a Belgium man in 2016."

Ironically, this year's is a bad year for pumpkins in New England. Last year produced high yields of acorns and other feed preferred by rodents like squirrels and mice, so record populations have been going after crops of all sorts, with pumpkins getting hit hard. Pumpkin farms normally harvest the best for commerccial sale with lots left over for "pick your own Pumpkin", but not this year.

Not sure that 2000-pounders would be a winning business model for a pick-you-own patch

2: Jersey. Much cheaper. New York is overrated.

Right, we'd skip NYC and keep on driving until we got to Newark's Ironbound for Portuguese


There is an error in the piece about Uber and economics.
Bronwyn Hall was married to Robert Hall until about 1982. Then they divorced, and Bob married Donna, the mother of Jonathan and Andy in about 1985. Then they divorced in 1991, and in 1995, Robert Hall married me, Susan Woodward. I'm an economist too! We are still married. To each other.

So Bronwyn is not, and never was, Jonathan's stepmother.

When we were all at Jonathan's wedding in 2011, Bronwyn was feeling shy and kept near me. People would ask us who we were, and I would report "we are the good-natured odd-numbered wives of the groom's father" (as per a comment of Bobhall's that he sort of regrets, he is a bit autistic and tends to give things numbers).

I refer to Bronwyn as my ex-wife-in-law.

If TV programming were done by economists, there would be a soap opera about the creation of TSP and MicroTSP/Eviews, complete with plot twists such as divorces and wedding scenes featuring the line about odd-numbered wives. I don't know Robert Hall personally, but it's exactly the type of thing an economist would say.

And then in Season Two, Uber appears on the scene.

Does anyone make a chicken pot pie without peas?

#2: The food recommendations lost all credibility for me when I saw the first recommendation, for bagels, was Russ & Daughters rather than Kossar's Bakery & Deli.

#3 The actual paper and not some teaser.

Comments for this post are closed