This Week I Learned #9 – 13 August 2013


  1. A currency is anything that two people agree is a currency, a short but thought-provoking read.
  2. Are animals also getting fatter? The evidence is unclear, but as Alex Tabarrok points out, “this is intriguing and important research”.
  3. In the US, employment in print journalism is down, but the number of help wanted ads for journos is up since 2010.
  4. This book is being hailed as “a work of such importance that it should be compulsory reading at every level of the military”. Here is an interview with its author (reg’n required).
  5. “Likes” and other upvotes create a herding effect.
  6. Social media and the French language.
  7. Travelling the Rhine on a freight barge; the piece ends abruptly, but is still worth a glance.
  8. Forecasting elections based on tweets.
  9. The Prime Minister of Norway turns incognito as a cabbie. Incidentally, the passengers were recruited specially for the exercise, and were paid.


  1. Colourful octopi made from recycled newspaper!
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