Choose Math

Via Boing Boing, Choose Math.

Choose math because you will make more money. Winners of American Idol and other "celebrities" may make money, but only a tiny number of people have enough celebrity to make money, and most of them get stale after a few years. Then it is back to school, or to less rewarding careers ("Would you like fries with that?"). If you skip auditions and the sports channels and instead do your homework -- especially math -- you can go on to get an education that will get you a well-paid job. Much more than what pop singers and sports stars make -- perhaps not right away, but certainly if you look at averages and calculate it over a lifetime.

Yours truly,
Mr. X



The New Yorker has an excellent review of "The Playmate Book: Six Decades of Centerfolds". Like most New Yorker reviews, there is a brief discussion of the book and then a long and winding road into the context from which it comes. Joan Acocella examines the background and later works of the various centerfolds, the history of Playboy, and the unchanging nature of Hugh Hefner.

"That, in the end, is the most striking thing about Playboy’s centerfolds: how old-fashioned they seem. This whole “bachelor” world, with the brandy snifters and the attractive guest arriving for the night: did it ever exist? Yes, as a fantasy. Now, however, it is the property of homosexuals. (A more modern-looking avatar of the Playmates’ pneumatic breasts is Robert Mapplethorpe’s Mr. 10 ½.) Today, if you try to present yourself as a suave middle-aged bachelor, people will assume you’re gay. But though times have changed, Hefner hasn’t."

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...si non oscillas, noli tintinnare...


Creepiest Safety Video Ever

Via Hit & Run, I give you the creepiest safety video ever. Watch the rat-tailed ape-children get hit by cars for failing to use proper bike safety.

Warning: Do not watch under the influence of hallucinogens.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...mourning Tinkerbell McDillingfiddy...

Mohammed Cartoons

Professor Eugene Volokh has a good analysis of the cartoon controversy, complete with illustrations.

Yours truly,
Mr. X



On Folding

I haven't been playing much poker lately, but in preparation for getting back into it, I read Tommy angelo's article, Folding.

After my first taste of big-time folding, I felt that if I could get really good at it, I could quit my job. So I made folding my holy grail, my quest, my mountain to climb. I could see the mountain. I could see my path. I looked at the ground in front of me, and I took a step.

By 1990 I was folding enough to support my food and rent habit. This freed up lots of time for lots more folding. Before long I got so good at folding that I could afford to get stupid at first one flavor of gambling then another and another. My tether line to solvency was always the folding. Anytime I was low on money, all I had to do was stop betting and stop eating and get back to the folding.

It's the money you leave on the table chasing bad hands that makes a losing poker player, not the bad beats.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...aspiring folder...


How To Become Wealthy

While wading through a very bad argument on The Volokh Conspiracy, I (and other critics) were dressed-down in the comment thread by Clayton Cramer. His critiques were of tone, rather than substance, which I take as evidence for the rightness of my opinion.

I clicked on his website, to get a sense of where he was coming from politically, and found the following very valuable essay on How To Become Wealthy. In the midst of good financial advice, there's some funny bits, such as this one from the "Cutting Spending" section:

At the financial planning class I attended in Irvine, the instructor told us a very funny story. One of his new clients was on the edge of bankruptcy; he was unable to raise a family in Orange County, California, on $100,000 a year. (Obviously, the cost of living was a lot lower in 1985 than it is today--substitute $180,000 today.) As he went through this guy's monthly bills, he found one bill for $75 a month made out to some sort of doctor.

"What's this for?"

"That's the dog's psychiatrist."

"Why does your dog need a psychiatrist?"

"If we leave him in the house, he pees on the carpet. If we leave him outside, he barks and the neighbors get upset."

"You're about to go into bankruptcy. Get rid of the dog!"

Learn to distinguish "need" from "want." Shelter, food, transportation to work and school are needs. Vacation, pets, fancy cars, entertainment equipment, a health club, and yes, dog psychiatrists, are wants.

I've seen friends who take this advice and they do well. Others do not and are in constant struggle. The choice is yours.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...becoming more fiscally responsible...


Civil Obedience: A Meditation On the Speed Limit

Some Atlanta students decide to obey the speed limit and video the results.
Watch the video.

Yours truly,
Mr. X


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