The Mary Sue


USA Today Shames Average Americans for Spending Money on “Nonessentials” Like Lunch

It feels as though every few months another tone-deaf tweet or graph goes out from a major brand about how economically struggling people are in that state because of spending money on, you know, being alive. The latest comes courtesy of USA Today, with a chart connected to an article that warns we're in dire financial straits because of expenses like cable and food.

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Adam Ruins Everything Explains How the Dutch Lost It Over Tulips

The first economic bubble sprang from tulip bulbs in 1630. Why did so many people lose their ability to reason over a flower?

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Elizabeth Warren Is On Fire and Has Zero Time For Bill Maher’s “Pocahontas” Rehash

Last night, Massachusetts senator (and few remaining voices of reason in government) Elizabeth Warren was a guest on Real Time With Bill Maher to promote her new book, This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class.  Check out the full segment after the jump.

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The Rebel Alliance Would’ve Tanked the Star Wars Economy by Destroying the Death Star

When the Rebels blew up the Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope, did they account for the massive economic fall-out that would have resulted? Zachary Feinstein, an assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, published a paper this week about the unintended consequences of destroying this very expensive jewel in the Empire's crown.

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Mo’ Neopoints, Mo’ Problems: How That Website We Liked As Kids Became An Economist’s Nightmare

or, A Brief Overview of Neopets's Economic Woes.

If you're an early twenty-something Internet user with a fair grasp of HTML and an unusual penchant for omelets, odds are you picked up both of those traits from playing Neopets at some point in your life. First launched in 1999, the site was kind of like a beefed up version of Pokémon: you got your own virtual pets and an entire world to explore with them. Fifteen years later, the game is still chugging along—and it's become a lot more complicated than any ten year old could imagine.

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Learn About Video Game Economies Worth Millions of Real Dollars With PBS Off Book

Who said economics couldn't be fun?

Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs) like World of Warcraft have become a huge force in gaming, and many of them foster their own economies that gain real-world value through what players are willing to spend real money on. PBS Off Book asked some experts to share their knowledge on the massive virtual economies.

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How The Beer Aisle Explains Biodiversity [Video]

MinuteEarth tells us how the supermarket is like a forest, with towering oaks of Budweiser and persistent shrubbery of microbrews.

The beer aisle at your local supermarket may have more in common with a forest than you think. Both are dominated by huge examples of what they have to offer -- oaks in the forest, Budweiser in the refrigerated section -- but are also peppered with smaller competitors who have found a way to carve out a niche that works for them. Check out the latest video from the deep thinkers at MinuteEarth to learn what beer markets and capitalism can teach us about biodiversity and ecology. You may even begin to understand the missing link between ferns and a good locally sourced lager, though we can't guarantee it.

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Professors Issue Call For Papers On The Economics Of The Undead

Are there any economists or economics students in our midst? We hope so, because man, do we have the opportunity of a lifetime for you. California State University Northridge economics professors Glen Whitman and James P. Dow are accepting abstracts for an upcoming collection of essays on the economics of the undead. If you've ever sat down and put serious thought into how much blood a vampire needs to survive or exactly how the barter economies that would likely spring up during a zombie apocalypse could be made more efficient, then consider your number called.

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Hip-Hop Battle of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek

A brief perusal of Wikipedia shows that John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek never fought each other on Celebrity Deathmatch. If this is something over which you might mourn, the you'll be interested to know that has a really nicely produced video depicting a rap battle between the two titans of economics.

At first we were worried that we didn't understand enough about economics to post this video. Then we remembered that nobody understands enough about economics, and we felt a little better.

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