Pursuit of Happiness

Increasing fuel costs, bad stock market, bad housing market, global credit crunch, fear of terrorist attack – with all these going on, one would think that the world has become an unhappy place to stay in. However, a new study by University of Michigan researchers show that the world is actually becoming a happier place.

[Copenhagen, Denmark – Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elsa11/184974078/%5D

Denmark is the happiest place in the world, US ranks 16th and Britain on 21st. Zimbabwe, not surprisingly, is the least happy place to stay in.

Interesting, eh? – I couldn’t find out where does India stand on this list – anyone knows?

— Thyaga


Couple of snaps from our garden

When I returned home today, I noticed some of the flowers in our garden in full bloom – I couldn’t resist taking a couple of snaps of them. I wanted to share it with you all:

Red Gerberas


How do you like them? – write in.

— Thyaga

Book Review – Freakonomics

Thanks to my recent experiments in travel on public transport, I managed to read a good book – Freakonomics by Steven Levitt, a University of Chicago Economics professor and Steven Dubner, a NYT journalist . This book is all about statistics and data and how the author manages to bring out hidden facts that could be the actual cause of a few incidents that have happened in the past. Instead of I providing a book review, I am quoting an excerpt from the Amazon Editorial review:

For example, Levitt traces the drop in violent crime rates to a drop in violent criminals and, digging further, to the Roe v. Wade decision that preempted the existence of some people who would be born to poverty and hardship. Elsewhere, by analyzing data gathered from inner-city Chicago drug-dealing gangs, Levitt outlines a corporate structure much like McDonald’s, where the top bosses make great money while scores of underlings make something below minimum wage. And in a section that may alarm or relieve worried parents, Levitt argues that parenting methods don’t really matter much and that a backyard swimming pool is much more dangerous than a gun.

I really enjoyed reading this book – it offers a fresh perspective on a lot of known issues. Most importantly, from now on, I hope I will be more willing to question some incident or event and depend on data to make any conclusions or correlation or causality.

Have you guys read it? – if yes, what did you feel about it?

— Thyaga