Monday, December 22, 2008

The Contractually Obligated Christmas Post

Apparently, this is the 500th post on the B-List blog.  But if you
include email-only posts that pre-dated the blog, this is the 983rd
B-List post.

Best wishes for a happy and safe festive season.

1. "Dear Economist: What's the best Christmas present?"
"All this points to the optimal gift-giving strategy... buying small
gifts and striving for emotional resonance. Look for something
inexpensive, and consider supplementing it with a letter, a photo,
or time spent together."

2. "Researchers explain the science behind bad gift giving"
"Research on product attitude predictions suggests, and this research
confirms, that familiarity with another consumer is not particularly
helpful when predicting the other's product attitudes."

3. "Tips From the Potlatch, Where Giving Knows No Slump"
Suggested strategies from the Kwakwaka'wakw Indians, "the world's
most experienced gift-givers."

4. "The scientific guide to gift wrapping"
"Mathematicians could offer them some help because they have thought
long and hard about how to pack things into the smallest possible

5. Wrapping up 2008
* 2008 Year-End Google Zeitgeist
Based on "billions of search queries that people type into the Google
search box."
* The year according to Wikipedia
2008 is the "International Year of the Potato", among other things.