Articles by Sonny Liston

Writes Thomas H. Maugh II on the LA Times Science Now:

Crime doesn’t pay, at least not very well, when it comes to robbing banks, a new study finds. With unprecedented access to financial data from British banks, economists have shown that bank robbers don’t make a lot of money, certainly not enough to justify the risks involved in such an armed robbery.

“The return on an average bank robbery is, frankly, rubbish,” the researchers wrote in the statistics journal Significance. “It is not unimaginable wealth.” It is so low, in fact, that it is not financially worthwhile for banks to install screens that could further reduce robberies.

Economist Neil Rickman of the University of Surrey and his colleagues were given unusual access to financial data from the British Bankers’ Assn. Such data about robberies are not normally disclosed to the public because it is commercially sensitive and could potentially encourage copycat robbers. Treating bank robbery as a business like any other, they used normal statistical measures to calculate profitability…


We invented Democracy (with a capital “D”). Writes Derek Thompson in the Atlantic:

Greece is the hardest-working country in the EU! According to Greece. And only Greece.

According to Britain, Germany, Spain, Poland, and the Czech Republic, it’s the laziest country in Europe.

Meanwhile, Germany is the most respected EU country, according to the Pew Global report, European Unity on the Rocks. And Greece appears to be living in a bizarro universe where 78% of its respondents held negative views of Germany. Three in five Greeks said their country had Europe’s hardest working citizens. Half of the rest of the respondents from the other seven nations said Greece had the laziest workforce in Europe…


Writes Jacqueline Howard on the Huffington Post:

Did the 20th century make us big-headed? Maybe so, since forensic anthropologists at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville found that white Americans’ heads are getting bigger and bigger … in size, that is.

The researchers studied about 1,500 skulls that dated from the mid-1800s through the 1980s. They noticed that the skulls gradually became larger, taller, and narrower. As a result, faces have become longer.

“The surprising thing is the skull size increase has not been documented in modern Americans,” researcher Dr. Richard Jantz told the Huffington Post. “We might have suspected that that was happening but this documents it … The shape of the skull has also changed rather dramatically. In fact, shape change has been more dramatic than size change.”…







First, finally admits the illegitimate kid, now this. Via Gawker: Sources have told us that, in the throes of their affair, John Edwards and Rielle Hunter made a sex tape that contains…


BBC News reports: When it comes to choosing a mate, female toads may have more control than previously thought, say scientists. A report in the Royal Society’s Biology Letters journal describes how…


NarayanDuttTiwariOn the Boston Herald via Associated Press:

HYDERABAD, India — The 86-year-old governor of a southern Indian state resigned Saturday, a day after a television news channel broadcast a tape allegedly showing him in bed with three women, an official said.

Gov. Narain Dutt Tiwari’s office has denied the allegation, denouncing the tape as fabricated.

Tiwari, a veteran governing Congress party leader in Andhra Pradesh state, sent his resignation letter to the Indian president on Saturday, citing health reasons, a state official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

The scandal hit as Andhra Pradesh is engulfed in social unrest. Outrage over a delay in creating a new state there erupted into violent demonstrations in several cities earlier this week.


Rich Benjamin: Between 2007 and 2009, I packed my bags and embarked on a 26,909-mile journey throughout the heart of white America — some of the fastest-growing and whitest locales in our…











DENVER (UPI) — Breastfeeding was associated with an increase in high school grade point average and an increase in the odds of attending college, U.S. researchers said. The study, published in the…