May 10, 2005

It takes a camera  

1. It turns out real estate agents do significantly better on average when they're selling their own homes. This is too bad (we're in the process of selling our condo through a realtor right now) but it's hardly surprising that realtors do better with bigger incentives. An analysis of how realtors selling their own homes do versus other non-realtor owners doing the same would be at least as revealing, I'm guessing.

2. Barrett of TMC reviews Alinea, the new Grant Achatz restaurant here in Chicago that some previewers suggested might be the best news restaurant in the country. Barrett asks (and answers, more or less) the question on everybody's mind: "Is Alinea better than its city rivals Charlie Trotter's and Tru?" (UPDATE: That should read "the best new restaurant in the country" -- although from the sounds of it cooking the news wouldn't be that far afield at Alinea.)

3. In trying to explain just what makes Shakespeare unique, this book review ends up sounding a lot like this aticle I linked to last week.

4. This Wired News piece (via Gapers Block) gives some great police-perspective background on Chicago's surveillance fetish (see also here and here). I have to admit that since I've started working on the west side of Chicago, my attitude toward those flashing cameras has improved somewhat -- they do seem to be reducing crime in the targeted areas, and I usually feel safer around them. But I still don't know how that benefit stacks up against the psychological effect of having to grow up underneath an anti-crime camera.

5. And via Metafilter, here's a cool java applet on the history of sampling that lets you explore the relationships between different albums over the past 50 years or so.

Sarah  {May 10, 2005}

I highly recommend the book "Freakonomics", from which your first item was adapted. Fascinating look at how economics rules more than just our wallets. Co-written, by the way, by a U of Chicago economist.

paul  {May 10, 2005}

Oh thanks -- I forgot to mention that it was from Levitt! I haven't checked out the book yet, but I probably will soon, as many people are recommending it (here is a whole collection of related posts at Crescat, for those who don't know about the book already).

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