Fine tastings of last week (#3)

1. Priya Raju and I were wondering why humans don’t come in green color, or blue color or other fancy colors like the birds. We noted that human eyes can have some of these colors but not the skin? We decided to investigate. Since our searches on the Net did not turn up anything interesting when we looked for green humans, we decided to see if there are other mammals that are green or blue. Bingo ! We found this great Q&A with the answer provided by Alexey Veraksa.  Originally we thought that humans simply didn’t possess the pigments that are needed for blue and green and other colors. But it turns out birds produce these colors not from pigments! read on.

2. I always used to wonder about the relationship between age and genius. Most of the geniuses that we come across are usually young prodigies.  David Galenson has done extensive research on this subject and talks about the late bloomers as well. His work is covered in this fantastic article “What kind of genius are you” by Daniel Pink in the Wired magazine.

3. Thanks to an anonymous comment on this blog to Sibu’s review of Freakanomics, I decided to read the book. I should say I quite liked the unusual approach. On the whole I am not able to say it is a great book, but it is definitely worth reading. It also makes for a fast read. For those that have read Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point, Freakonomics gives an entirely different and startling rationale for why crime fell in New York City – abortion laws and the consequent drop in teenage pregnancies! I guess Gladwell couldn’t take this lying down, so Levitt & Gladwell sparred over it –
Gladwell’s opening salvo, Levitt-dubner rebuttal, Gladwell’s counter. Make sure you read all three and enjoy.


  1. Anonymous said October 22, 2006, 1:26 pm:

    wow..good links boss.No wonder they call u CKO 🙂 I liked reading ‘what kind of genius are you’ .

    As for frekonomics ,i did like the book a lot.One good take away is that it kind of motivates you to uncover hidden things in your day to day life too…

    I am almost getting bashed up on a daily basis by my friends after I try to apply levitt’s logic to seemingly simpler things in life.

    I just sometimes wonder if I should even take the number of kicks and blows I get everyday and try to find some patterns in it.Levitt wud be a happy man then.

  2. Anonymous said October 22, 2006, 11:49 pm:

    Thanks for stopping by Ranjit. Yes, the Freakonomics approach seems a bit infectious. The other day i linked to a research that measures corruption in countries based on the number of unpaid parking tickets near the U.N in Manhattan. Kind of neat.

  3. Anonymous said November 4, 2007, 4:54 am:

    Very interesting arguements Sukumar. Galdwell made some really valid points. Thanks for pointing it to me.

  4. Anonymous said November 4, 2007, 10:38 am:

    Thanks Archana.