Notes From the Fieldby Martin Weil

Posts Tagged ‘lifestyles’

March 3, 2015

Another Win for Coffee Drinkers

They have cleaner arteries, and thus lower risk of heart disease, according to recent research from South Korea. Guess I can keep at my longstanding addiction to Peets.

February 20, 2015

Waiting In Line

I have never been much of a fan of waiting in (or “on” as the Brits put it) line. But here comes Tyler Cowen with a paean to the value, personal and social, of doing just that. “Interesting throughout,” to use Tyler’s own pet phrase about others. A few extracts:

younger buyers are usually the ones who make places trendy, thus many sellers use lower prices, with lines if need be, to lure in those individuals and cultivate their loyalties…

Waiting a bit can also make people more patient, by removing their attention from the immediate here and now and stretching out their time horizons. ..

The waiting also heightens the value of anticipation and makes the product seem more exciting. A world where there is nothing to wait in line for is arguably a less interesting place.


February 6, 2015


Alex Gregory, from Conde Nast, pointer by The Big Picture

October 21, 2014

Wedding Costs and Divorce

This chart has made the news lately, from a study that appears to show that the cost of one’s wedding is highly positively correlated with the probability of divorce.

21_wedding_small However the same study shows that the more people that attend a wedding, the less likely the marriage will end in divorce.  So it seems that to maximize your likelihood of a long-lasting marriage, forget the expensive gowns and lavishly decorated locales. But do have 200 or more guests, only ask them to bring their own bag lunches.

October 1, 2014

“Stealthy Starbucks” – How Business Adapts to a Different Culture

The new supervisor thought his idea was innocent enough. He wanted the baristas to write the names of customers on their cups to speed up lines and ease confusion, just like other Starbucks do around the world.

But these aren’t just any customers. They are regulars at the CIA Starbucks.

This WaPo article takes a peek at daily life at the “world’s busiest” Starbucks inside the CIA’s Langley, VA HQ.

August 1, 2014

A New Time Management App Worth Looking Into

Dan Ariely is a well-known behavioral economics professor, author and speaker. Rethinking how we can best use the time we have in the day, he has developed Timeful that actively guides users to make the most efficient use of their day. Article here.  Link to the iPhone App here.

July 14, 2014

Great News for Some. Maybe not so Great for the Auto Industry

The Finnish capital has announced plans to transform its existing public transport network into a comprehensive, point-to-point “mobility on demand” system by 2025 – one that, in theory, would be so good nobody would have any reason to own a car.

Helsinki’s extremely ambitious and forward-thinking plan is reported in The Guardian

June 23, 2014

Driverless Cars Are Coming



Full scale implementation may be closer than you think.

As if Uber were not enough already, this NY news station warns that driverless cars may put taxi drivers out of business.

361 Capital offers a surprising list of positives below about the seismic changes driverless cars represent.



  • You can get there faster. People have slow reflexes, which forces them to drive more slowly and further behind other cars. The stop-and-go type of traffic would come to an end. All the cars would go at the same speed!
  • You can get there safer. Driverless cars have already driven 700,000 miles with no accidents. Some people estimate that traffic fatalities will go down 90%. And we’re talking about 30,000 people saved a year.
  • You won’t need to widen roads. You can fit more cars on them!
  • You won’t need auto insurance, or at least, the mandatory kind.
  • It will change health care. A lot of emergency room traffic is from auto accidents.
  • It goes without saying, but you can read or play games or goof off in your car.
  • It will save a lot of gas. Cars will be way more efficient. They can drive inches away from another car, drafting, like the NASCAR drivers do.
  • Cars that don’t wreck will last longer.

May 28, 2014

Offered Without Comment

New York City mommies with money to burn are hiring professional organizers to pack their kids’ trunks for summer camp — because their darlings can’t live without their 1,000-thread-count sheets.

Barbara Reich of Resourceful Consultants says she and other high-paid neat freaks have been inundated with requests — and the job is no small feat.

It takes three to four hours to pack for clients who demand that she fit all of the comforts of home in the luggage, including delicate touches like French-milled soaps and scented candles.

At $250 an hour, the cost for a well-packed kid can run $1,000.

From the NY Post. Pointer by Tyler Cowen

March 5, 2014

What Should You Be Worried About? Health Edition

What Kills US? is an excellent short video on the real threats to our health and lives in the US. This is behavioral economics at its best – and explores how we obsess to our detriment on “headline risks” such as terrorism and airplane crashes when we would be far better off simply getting more exercise.

Thanks to The Big Picture

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