Tag Archives: Lifestyle

How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang:

methlab

Alexandre Afonso

In 2000, economist Steven Levitt and sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh published an article in the Quarterly Journal of Economics about the internal wage structure of a Chicago drug gang. This piece would later serve as a basis for a chapter in Levitt’s (and Dubner’s) best seller Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (P.S.) The title of the chapter, “Why drug dealers still live with their moms”, was based on the finding that the income distribution within gangs was extremely skewed in favor  of those at the top, while the rank-and-file street sellers earned even less than employees in legitimate low-skilled activities, let’s say at McDonald’s. They calculated 3.30 dollars as the hourly rate, that is, well below a living wage (that’s why they still live with their moms). [2]

If you take into account the risk of being shot by rival gangs, ending up in jail or…

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an ode to new york city

Nowhere To Go But Everywhere

I find myself wandering down the Chelsea Highline as the sun falls over the Hudson, turning the city a peculiar shade of orange.

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Maybe it isn’t the sunset that’s particularly eerie tonight, though. Maybe, just maybe, it is the realization that washes over me as I watch my city fade into darkness…

In a few weeks, this place will no longer be my home. 

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My two best friends and I look at each other knowingly.

Nostalgia. Heartsickness. Excitement and worry about the future. The mixture of emotions fills our guts as the sun finally dips below the skyline of Hoboken.

But tonight is about celebrating the city that has given us so much, not about mourning the end of an era.

We grab a couple beers, find a secluded spot, and stare up at the Manhattan sky as stars begin to pop up, competing for attention with the sparkling lights of…

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Extreme Plane Spotting at Maho Beach, Saint Martin

maho-beach-saint-martin-planes-flying-overhead

TwistedSifter

Located on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin (i.e., Sint Maarten) is the famous Maho Beach. While it has the characteristic white sand and turquoise water of a Caribbean paradise that is not what makes Maho Beach such a popular tourist destination.

Rather, it has much to do with the Princess Juliana International Airport directly adjacent to Maho.

Arriving aircraft must touch down as close as possible to the beginning of Runway 10 due to the short runway length of 2,180 meters (7,150 ft), resulting in aircraft on their final approach flying over the beach at minimal altitude.

Watching airliners pass over the beach is such a popular activity that daily arrivals and departures airline timetables are displayed on a board in most bars and restaurants on the beach, and one bar even has a speaker on its outside deck that broadcasts the radio transmissions…

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