This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here’s how each of them begins: May your daze be merry — A recent study builds on more than half a century of experiments to see whether people think they hear Bing Crosby crooning White Christmas. Crosby’s recording of the song, released in […]
Goal Scoring and Birth Control
The search continues, to find timely meaning in soccer (football) and childbirth: “More Goals, Fewer Babies? On National Teams’ Performance and Birth Rates,” Luca Fumarco and Francesco Principe, IZA DP No. 14448, June 2021 The authors, at Tulane University, IZA, the Tinbergen Institute, and ECASE, explain: “Does national team performance boost birth rates? We compiled […]
No Baby Boom Following Fifty Shades of Grey
Anticipation caused by the book Fifty Shades of Grey (and its sequels) may have led to disappointment, suggests this new medical report: “No baby booms or birth sex ratio changes following Fifty Shades of Grey in the United States,” Victor Grech, Early Human Development, vol. 110, July 2017, pp. 16-20. The author, at Mater Dei Hospital, Malta, […]
Layoffs and male births: Handwaving?
At first glance, this abstract appears to involve lots of handwaving and guesswork. Is that the case? Or does the abstract misrepresent the actual study? (Thanks to investigator Scott Langill for bringing this to our attention.) “Selection in utero: A biological response to mass layoffs,” Ralph Catalano, Claire E. Margerison Zilko, Katherine B. Saxton, Tim […]