Friday, February 24, 2006

The Monty Hall Problem


Finally got around to reading Mark Haddon's the curious incident of the dog in the night-time today. "Autism" is a word that seems to describe a wide range of symptoms and I don't pretend to know nearly enough to judge whether the novel is in any way realistic but it is an engaging read. It took me a few rereads of the Monty Hall Problem before it finally made sense ... but, if nothing else, the click of that making sense made the book worthwhile.

Sort of related video ...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Don't Cross Dick Cheney If You Know What's Good For You


I hear he's strutting around telling people the last guy that gave him lip got shot in the face.

Quail hunting with multimillionaires, just another day in the life for DC. Imagine, if Gore had done this during Clinton's presidency, how the right wing media would be on the attack, fabricating all kinds of conspiracies ("I hear the guy was sleeping with Hillary and she ordered Gore to do the hit after he threatened to tell all to Bill O'Reilly") and calling for Clinton to be impeached. Oh, and they'd be saying he was 'out of touch' (like Kerry was during the campaign) for engaging in such dandified exploits as quail hunting while working people were home pining for a cut in the capital gains tax, domestic spying programs, and prayer in school.

Update: This via Boing Boing ...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Monorail 451

I know Ray Bradbury is being serious here [L.A.'s future is up in the air - Los Angeles Times] but you have to admit that when you hear "monorail" all you can think of is the Simpsons episode, yeah?

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Rebate Check

All I want to do is deposit the silly little $10 check from Linksys on my lunch break, which is already a little long because I went home and dozed off watching Sportscenter. So I go into scenic downtown Pascoag ("It's safe to drink the water now!") to our local branch. I prefer to use the ATM instead of waiting for a teller and there's only one person at the ATM vs. 4 or so inside. I wait for a minute while the lady hits buttons and stuff, politely staring in other directions, observing the unspoken rule that you give the person at the machine as much privacy as possible ... but it gradually becomes evident she's puzzled. It's like the lady at the gas pump a few weeks ago who couldn't figure out her Stop & Shop card and credit card do different things, but that's neither here nor there. This lady finally turns to me and says "I don't know why I can't get money out."

Well, a number of things tell me I'm going to be late getting back. For one, the machine is at the start screen, indicating a card was never put into it. For another, this woman has two teeth, very far apart. And not many women would leave the house with hair that looked like that: rubber bands in odd places and a wacky part. So she starts telling me how she can't get the money, but she knows the PIN and she'll tell it to me, can I help her?

Look, I don't mind helping out in certain situations, but crazy people (like the one who wanted to use my cellphone outside the convenience store a few weeks back) sometimes forget that they asked for help and start thinking they're being scammed or something and I don't want to touch her card, know her PIN, any of it, so I calmly (but persistently talking over her attempts to give me her PIN and SSN) explain it would be best if a teller helped her, since they're experts at operating the machine. After several minutes of these negoatiations I finally get a teller to come out and help her, and then the real fun starts as we are treated to the story of why she's getting money, how she can't remember whether she is supposed to take from the checking or savings account, demonstrating how she tried to put her card in the deposit envelope drawer, etc... and somehow I'm part of the story as the nice gentleman who tried to help but couldn't figure it out either -- I give the teller a look that says "believe me, I can operate an ATM" -- and several people have come and gone in the meantime, obviously entertained by the proceedings.

The moral of the story is, if you are are going to get gas where you can use your discount card, attempting to deposit a rebate check, or leaving the convenience store with a gallon of milk and an impulse purchase of some Hostess Cupcakes ... don't get behind the car where the person operating the pump is inserting numerous cards and punching buttons seemingly at random, don't let anyone tell you their ATM card PIN, and don't give anyone your phone unless you want it back vaguely sticky and smelling of stale cigarette smoke. Here endeth the lesson.

"Those charts are upside-down, we lost money last quarter..."

They are my favorite commercials and now I can send emails with custom audio using their likeness. Ah, good times. I would have called them Chimp-o-grams instead of Monk-e-mails though. Mine has ipod headphones and is sitting in a cube, just like me!

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Second Wave

Lazy Monday: Didn't take long for the second wave. Maybe rap is a little harder than the SNL guys made it look? (First link is to the Google Video, it's from www.narniarapbattle.com)

Oh boy, the midwest needs a better entrant ... these guys make it look real hard [Lazy River]. But the poker and Chuck Norris refs are ok. People need to stop this now.

Gonna experiment with embedding the Lazy Monday below. Feel free to leave a comment if it blows up your browser. I won't do anything about it, but it may make you feel better to vent.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Monkey vs. Dog

Monkey Vs. Dog - Google Video
I think they're just playing, I mean, if the monkey weren't having fun he could've just climbed the fence.
You'll need the Google Video player to watch it.

Tube Sock: $4.00

MacGyver spot in advance of the Super Bowl from the priceless.com - Film Festival (via digg)

Friday, February 3, 2006

Monkey U

Boing Boing: Helper monkeys for the disabled
When it is time for their training, monkeys come to live at the Monkey College in Boston. During their time at the College, monkeys are taught a wide variety of helping tasks and behaviors they will use to assist their human partners.
Tranghese should be looking into getting Monkey College into the Big East before the America East swoops up the Mighty Capuchins.
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