Stuff Worth Reading

Almost all this stuff comes via Freakonomics.

Fixing bank embezzlement; Frank Abagnale style.

The evolutionary psychology behind elevator rides.

Amazing sulfur mine photos.

I started to write about the backlash against macroeconomists but the stuff I say just isn't that relevant. Alas, someone smarter than me wrote about it.

And finally - a real plug-in hybrid car will hit the market later this year (only 500 of them, but it's a start). And it's a Toyota Prius (50 city/49 highway).

Honda released a new version of it's hybrid car called the Insight (40 city/43 highway). I've been telling people for a while now that hybrids are actually a bad buy. You never recoup in gas savings the money that you originally spent on the more expensive car. Instead you can go out and buy a Corrolla, Focus, Fit, Civic, Etc. for $16,000-$20,000 and get around 35 mpg no problem. Priuses are supposed to cost $22,000, but they're scarce so buyers tend to pay a few grand above sticker price. The Insight is supposed to cost less than $20,000. It also features an eco drive mode and an eco assist which is basically an interactive dashboard that makes hypermiling a game. The testers in the Wired article were able to get over 65 mpg while using both.

And here's a fun video of a smart car ($12,000-$21,000 31 city/41 highway) crashing at over 70 mph into a concrete wall.