March Madness Probabilities

Every year during the NCAA Basketball National Championship, or March Madness, fans make bracket predictions and often make bets on them. Warren Buffet, the billionaire investor of Berkshire Hathaway, once offered one billion dollars for anyone who could predict a perfect bracket. But what exactly are the odds of predicting a perfect bracket? Buffet actually made one of the safest bets he could. First, let’s assume that each team has a 50% chance of winning any given game. The probability is calculated by simply taking the number of outcomes from a game, one team could win or the other team Continue reading

Art Supplies Demand on the Rise?

When looking at a snapshot of the market for art supplies, you’ll find that in January the demand for art supplies when way up. Through the week of Jan. 15, poster and foam board sales went up by 33 and 42 percent, respectively. The sales led to a revenue of $4.1m for these presentation boards. Glue was up 27 percent. Permanent markers saw a 12 percent rise. Why would this be happening? More science fairs? Teachers only grading on physical presentations? A more realistic and impressive reason is behind the surge says Leen Nsouli of NPD (a firm analyzing the Continue reading

Paper Money

Why do people still use paper money? It’s easily lost, stolen, or destroyed, it’s a huge transmitter of disease, and it wears quickly and is a pain to replace. My mother always told me to hide a bit of cash away for emergencies. Although she means well, I feel like a bad cartoon pirate that still relies on my chest of gold every time I hoard pieces of paper. Besides, every time I “hide” money away, I end up handing it over the lady behind the counter at Memos within a week. In almost every way, electronic banking is superior Continue reading

Bad Jokes: Is the Market in Equilibrium?

When I came to the University of Puget Sound, I intended to be a chemistry major. After my first year in chemistry, I decided it wasn’t really what I wanted to do after college. As I scrambled to find out what else I would do with my life, I reflected back on the things I would miss about the department. I knew I would miss the satisfaction of completing an onerous stoichiometry problem, the professors in the department, and of course, the “bad” jokes and puns. Such as: H2O is water and H2O2 is hydrogen peroxide. What is H2O4?   Continue reading

Critique

Microeconomics throughout the years has always been ridiculed by other scientists, such as philosopher of science Alexander Rosenberg, for its seemingly weak ability to create valid empirical predictions or explanations. Although those are outside critiques, truth be told, economists also argue over the validity of each others works more often then one might think. More simply, there is not one universal way that economists look at empirically solving, predicating or explaining questions. Evidently, this generally creates huge competition in the field with inconclusive debates, and also supports the beliefs of critics. A recent article from The Economist provides a clear Continue reading

Spotify Strives to Secure Cheaper Licensing Deals Ahead of Possible IPO Launch

Digital streaming services that provide music and video to their users are becoming more and more commonplace, and as such it is no surprise that content creators are always looking to partner with the service that with give them the most lucrative deal. This leads to fierce competition between streaming services as they vie for the most popular content, while attempting to keep their own costs down. In an age where artists and content creators are somewhat spoiled for choice, the small differences between different services can often make or break a deal. Such is the case for the immensely Continue reading

A Different Perspective on Empathy

Paul Bloom, a psychologist at Yale University, takes a stance against using empathy as a motivational tool for charitable giving in his new book, “Against Empathy.” The definition of empathy used by many focuses on the ability to feel another person’s emotions or feelings in general. Bloom argues that this type of perspective is actually harmful in many different aspects when it comes to making decisions of morality. In a recent episode of Econtalk, Russ Roberts meets with Bloom to discuss this view of empathy that could be seen as controversial to many. Bloom’s main argument focuses on this definition Continue reading

Game Theory of Super Smash Bros. Melee

I’m going to completely nerd out for this post (not that I haven’t been doing that in the past). I’m going to be telling you about my favorite video game, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and more specifically, about some of the Game Theory involved in competitive play. But first, there are a few aspects of the game that I need to talk about first. In Melee, unlike most other fighting games, the characters don’t have life-meters. In order to take a life, a character has to be hit beyond the boundaries of the stage. Each hit that a character takes Continue reading

Thesis Corner: Interview with Alex Shaw on Wages Between Different Countries

This week, I interviewed our own Alex Shaw for our first Thesis Corner of 2017. Take a read! Can you explain to our wonderful readers what your topic is? Yeah, I’ll give it a shot. So, my topic is about comparing wages across countries and essentially using a measure PPP to control those wages their actual buying power within the country that they are in. What made you choose that topic? I originally wanted to do something more along the lines of income by college major but if you Google that you’ll find many articles that have covered that pretty Continue reading

The Drink Exchange

The Drink Exchange is an increasingly popular software being implemented in bars across the world. How it Works Designed to mimic the real-world Stock Market, prices of drinks rise and fall depending on popularity. Television screens across the bar show real time prices of drinks that change by the minute depending on supply and demand. This may be the only market in the world where everyone is hoping for a crash. Promotions As for now, customers are fighting to purchase drinks at the lowest price they can. In the future, however, the company plans to incorporate more Stock Market themed Continue reading