Obesity of Politicians as Indicator of a Country’s Corruption

This new study gives a quick, iffy method to identify which country’s politicians appear to be bigly corrupt, or just plain bigly. The study is: “Obesity of Politicians and Corruption in Post‐Soviet Countries,” Pavlo Blavatskyy, Economic of Transition and Institutional Change, epub 2020. (Thanks to Gabriel Istrate for bringing this to our attention.) The author, […]

Peaceful punching of politicians, by politicians

In 1995, the Ig Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Taiwan National Parliament, for demonstrating that politicians gain more by punching, kicking and gouging each other than by waging war against other nations. In the subsequent two decades, Taiwan has kept up its tradition. Here’s a 2009 Spike TV video highlights reel looking back at some […]

Why was Mrs Thatcher interrupted so often in interviews?

Prime minister Margaret Thatcher‘s masterful way of handling interruptions inspired one psychologist to study, intently, how she did it. As this scholar communicated his findings to the public, other scholars, with different views, interrupted him – and he them. Geoffrey Beattie [pictured here] is now a professorial research fellow of the Sustainable Consumption Institute at the University of Manchester. […]

Election Reminder: Looks Might Matter

As elections near in the USA and elsewhere, it’s time to give a look to the looks of the politicians who will be angling for attention: “Why Do Better-Looking Members of Congress Receive More Television Coverage?” Israel Waismel-Manora and Yariv Tsfati, Political Communication, Volume 28, Issue 4, 2011. The authors, at the Universityof Haifa, Israel, […]

Politicians R 2 Simple, explain 2 Ig Nobel winners

Politicians are too simple. Two Ig Nobel Prize winners — both, as it happens, professors at Stanford University — each gives part of the explanation. (As with many simple facts, the explanation is a bit complex.) Politicians’ simple debates Professor John Perry, a philosopher, looked at politicians’ televised debates. In an essay for the New […]

Math: Advantage of selecting politicians randomly

The Italian research team that received an Ig Nobel Prize in 2010 for demonstrating mathematically that organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random has extended its work (as well as gained some team members). Their new study is: “Accidental Politicians: How Randomly Selected Legislators Can Improve Parliament Efficiency“, A. Pluchino, C. […]

Politicians’ Christmas Lottery Windfall

Christmas randomness can pay off for politicians, implies this new study: “Politicians’ Luck of the Draw: Evidence from the Spanish Christmas Lottery,” Manuel Bagues and Berta Esteve-Volart, FEDEA Working Paper #2011/01, January 2011. The authors, at Universidad Carlos III and FEDEA, Madrid, Spain and at York University, Toronto, Canada, explain: “It is well known that […]