I got a shout-out from my elder son Dan Riskin on a recent episode of his podcast Recent Paper, Decent Puzzle. I’ve enjoyed listening to this new series of podcasts – and I’m not saying that just because I am the father of the podcaster. Each episode starts out with Dan (aka Daniel Riskin, PhD, whose day job is co-host of Daily Planet on the Discovery Channel in Canada) explaining a scientific paper that intrigues him, in language that the rest of us can understand. Each concludes with a mind-boggling puzzle – usually involving math and logic – that is almost impossible to solve. At least for me.
The paper to which he calls my particular attention (at about 1.02) is called “Air Rage and Class Warfare.” In it, Dan discusses a paper by two professors who have studied the causes of air rage and come to the conclusion that one major contributor is the awareness by people sitting in economy class that there are people on the plane who are having a much better experience than they are – namely those in business class.
I’m not sure how to take the shout-out, since I am a regular user of business class myself, but I have to admit that the paper presents some very interesting points that the airline industry might find it worthwhile to consider.
You can subscribe to Recent Paper Decent Puzzle. Previous episodes have included discussions about secretary birds – which kick snakes in the face. Who knew? – the resonance of the solar system, and whether animals are adapting to the radiation near Chernobyl.
And with that bit of nepotism out of the way, next week I shall return to regular programming. In the meantime, I invite your comments about this or any other matter, either in the comments section below or directly via email.