2006 Year in Ideas
Celebrity Narcissism: A new study, by Drew Pinsky (of LoveLine fame) and Mark Young, found that celebrities are nearly 20% more narcissistic than the general public, which probably doesn't mean what you think it means.
Tushology: A scientist named David Holmes has developed an equation to examine how perfect (or not) a person's rearend is (the story ran with the above illustration, which I think is brilliant -- in case you can't tell, each of those colored lines in the drawing is a strip of measuring tape)
The Ballot That's Also a Lottery Ticket: Mark Osterloh wants to increase voter turnout by offering a million dollar incentive to show up at the polls.
Publication Probity: Creating the Journal of Spurious Correlations, the first social science journal devoted entirely to publishing negative results.
The assignments I get for the Year in Ideas issue are always some of my favorites -- they're light, fun, and totally fascinating. In previous years, I've covered Why Yawns are Contagious, Celebrity Teeth, Why Some Popcorn Kernels Don't Pop, Creating a Singable National Anthom, and Eyeball Jewelery.
Labels: My Publication News