Blog Archives

True Neighbors

May 17, 2006 | 10 comments

Suppose that you splurged for the $6 version of the Church’s scriptures on CDROM. It has various ancient language toys that I am in no position to evaluate but am happy to play with. It also has a fun little tool such that when you do a search, you can click on a tab “Sort by Neighbors”. Ever wonder what that did? Read more »

Correlation Gone Mad!

April 18, 2006 | 52 comments

BCC is hosting an all-star panel of academics on questions relating to correlation. Talking about correlation reminds me of a time from our history when doctrinal correlation efforts were incredibly restrictive. Read more »

I don’t know why you say goodbye

April 13, 2006 | 16 comments

We give many thanks and a fond farewell to both John Fowles and John Payne. We were happy to have them around and enjoyed their posts. In an effort to keep up our streak of powerful yet ubiquitous names, we welcome Ed Johnson as a guest blogger. Read more »

But what’s worse, is this Payne in here

March 27, 2006 | 23 comments

We are pleased to present to you John David Payne as a guest blogger. Read more »

Jacob Laurence

March 14, 2006 | 16 comments

Born 11 days ago, Jacob is happy and healthy as is his (sleep-deprived) mother. A picture of him in the hospital is available here for a few more days. Read more »

The Mormon Bankrupt

February 25, 2006 | 76 comments

Utah has a very high rate of bankruptcy. In 2000 it hovered at around 7 filings per thousand people– twice the national average. This lonely fact has launched a thousand explanations for why Mormons have such a problem with defaulting on their creditors. Clearly, the thinking seems to be, this shows some of the rot in the Kingdom. Just as clearly, this view has very little support in the data. Read more »

It is a truth universally acknowledged…

January 10, 2006 | 21 comments

The setting: An experiment using speed-dates to determine what people want in a first date. These are brief, four minute interactions, after which you write down whether or not you’d be willing to go on a date with that person. The subjects: Columbia University grad students The results: Read more »

Book of the Mormons

January 2, 2006 | 28 comments

OK, you finished it, or got close. Maybe you were done months ago, maybe you read 100 pages in the last day.* Read more »

Give to the Beautiful

November 28, 2005 | 67 comments

We had a seminar recently from an experimental economist out of the University of Chicago. He has done a variety of cool things using field experiments. Let me mention the one he presented. The experiment involved sending people door to door to do fund raising for a (real) charity. The fundraisers (who were college students) were paid $10/hour. Men averaged about $9/hour in donations. There was little correlation between their productivity and their appearance. Pretty women got about $17/hour in donations. Read more »

Choose Your Own Adventure

November 18, 2005 | 114 comments

Let’s play a game. You can choose between two jobs. One pays $50,000 and the other pays $100,000. You know, or can guess, that if you take the first you will give about $5,000/yr in fast offerings and other gifts to the poor. If you make $100,000 you will give about $15,000. You will also pay several thousand more dollars in taxes, but we’ll set that aside. So in one case, you consume about $45,000 and in the other, you consume about $85,000. Which do you take? Read more »

Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten

November 11, 2005 | 38 comments

Clearly, were there to be a famine, a one year food supply in the basement would look really good. What may be slightly less obvious is that the presence of food storage, even if nobody ever uses any of it for an emergency, can stop a famine from ever actually happening. Read more »

Someone’s got it in for me, they’re planting stories in the press

October 26, 2005 | 15 comments

I see that Slate now puts the odds of Harriet Miers confirmation at 70%. Silly Slate, don’t they know that niche is taken? As I’ve mentioned before, the best bet, literally, is to follow the gamblers. And as of press time, they are betting that Miers has a 3 in 10 chance of making it to the Big Bench. Want a second opinion? It’s pretty much the same as the first. Read more »

Anne comes home

October 24, 2005 | 12 comments

I read and enjoyed Orson Scott Card’s book Sarah. In fact, that book sparked an interest in me to find out more about what exactly we knew of ancient times, both New and Old World. Read more »

Did Nephites ride horses?

September 30, 2005 | 63 comments

In our recent tirades about the obvious evils of deer, it was noted , once again, that some scholars think that the horses mentioned in the Book of Mormon may not have been horses, but another hoofed animal. The common one that lives in the right place is similar to a deer. Unfortunately, such comments often are made in the context of how funny it is to think of riding deer into battle. Read more »

Military Fatalities in Iraq

August 26, 2005 | 45 comments

Take a look at this state ranking. It ranks states by Iraqi-war casualties per 100,000 residents. The chart was made as part of a rather silly debate about red states and blue states that doesn’t interest me. What interests me is Utah. Read more »

Kim Clark and the Book of Mormon

August 8, 2005 | 35 comments

A couple quick thoughts on recent prophetic moves. Read more »

I Shall Be Free

July 19, 2005 | 25 comments

I got my bill today and it turns out that there really is something cheaper than a Germanist these days. Read more »

The happiest place on Earth

June 24, 2005 | 31 comments

is Ireland.* Really. Read more »

Think, Brethren, Think!

June 14, 2005 | 22 comments

Brigham Young has many wonderful tidbits scattered throughout his years as prophet. A friend pointed out the following snippet: Read more »

Mormons and Markets, II.A: Information and the Failure of the United Order, an Addendum

May 23, 2005 | 6 comments

Consider this an addendum to Nate’s post on the catastrophically large amounts of information needed to plan an economy. Read more »

Temples: Service, Education, Ward, or Remembrance?

May 20, 2005 | 16 comments

Recently I’ve made some effort to go to the temple more often. The goal is to go multiple times a month, either to an endowment or initiatories. Since I live about 7 minutes away, this is actually a do-able goal. Read more »

Statistics on Missionaries and Baptisms

April 25, 2005 | no comments
Statistics on Missionaries and Baptisms

Blake’s post prompts me to share some information I culled while listening to conference last month. First up are the raw numbers of missionaries and converts. Read more »

Fat Makes a Comeback

April 20, 2005 | 13 comments

The CDC is airing its dirty laundry this week, as a new report comes out claiming that last year’s CDC report on obesity is basically hogwash. In the old numbers, obesity was this bomb descending on America that was going to wipe us out. It claimed that obesity caused 400,000 deaths/year, making it the number two cause of death. Thus, obesity wipes out the equivalent of Utah Valley every year. Read more »

6.6 Billion

April 19, 2005 | 21 comments

According to the IRS, the federal tax code uses up 6.6 billion hours of time for people and businesses to fill out their tax forms. Now, to tell the truth, I sort of like doing my taxes. The numbers are easy to deal with, I often get money back, and it convinces my wife that I am still a net benefit to the household. Read more »