When Those Pesky Blogs Undermine NPR News

The appeal of the blogs? Humor seems to be the biggest attraction. Ironic detachment from the news, an ability to deflate egos and refreshing, undisguised opinion are also valued. All are antithetical to most news organizations. American newspapers traditionally and scrupulously segregate fact-based reporting from opinion by designating pages for each. Radio and television try to ensure that opinion remains secondary to reporting. Conclusions should be drawn warily. Bloggers tend…

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Do Parents Matter?

Parenting technique is highly overrated. When it comes to early test scores, it’s not so much what you do as a parent, it’s who you are. It is obvious that children of successful, well-educated parents have a built-in advantage over the children of struggling, poorly educated parents. Call it a privilege gap. –Dubner and Levitt –Do Parents Matter? (USA Today (will expire))

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Cracking the Real Estate Code

An analysis of the language used in real estate ads shows that certain words are powerfully correlated with the final sale price of a house. This doesn’t necessarily mean that labeling a house “well maintained” causes it to sell for less than an equivalent house. It does, however, indicate that when an agent labels a house “well maintained,” she is subtly encouraging a buyer to bid low. So consider the…