Random links

Children, Unhappiness and Family Finances: Evidence from One Million Europeans
Basically an argument that increased unhappiness on average for married couples having children is entirely accounted for by the associated financial costs. (HT Matthew Yglesias)
81 percent of Americans can’t name a single living scientist
"Of the 19 percent who could correctly identify a scientist, 27 percent named Stephen Hawking, 19 percent named Neil deGrasse Tyson, and 5 percent named Bill Nye." Strangely both identified were astrophysicists though Hawking passed away since the time of the poll. Also in recent research, "Participants were randomly assigned to watch one of two real TED talks given by a successful astrophysicist ... "whereas liberals were significantly more likely to tweet the black female’s TED talk than they were the white male’s, conservatives showed no significant difference"
Plastic bag bans can backfire if consumers just use other plastics instead
"Using sales data from retail outlets, I found that bag bans in California reduced plastic carryout bag usage by 40 million pounds per year, but that this reduction was offset by a 12 million pound annual increase in trash bag sales. This meant that 30 percent of the plastic eliminated by the ban was coming back in the form of trash bags, which are thicker than typical plastic carryout bags."