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Off To Las Vegas

I plan on playing the HORSE tournaments at Golden Nugget, Venetian and the Horseshoe on the 11th, 12th and 13th respectively. Probably the Seniors WSOP NL on the 14th.

Who Said It?

... meritocracies may be fairer and more efficient than some alternatives. But fair in an absolute sense? Think about it. A meritocracy is a system in which the people who are the luckiest in their health and genetic endowment; luckiest in terms of family support, encouragement, and, probably, income; luckiest in their educational and career opportunities; and luckiest in so many other ways difficult to enumerate--these are the folks who reap the largest rewards.

The only way for even a putative meritocracy to hope to pass ethical muster, to be considered fair, is if those who are the luckiest in all of those respects also have the greatest responsibility to work hard, to contribute to the betterment of the world, and to share their luck with others. As the Gospel of Luke says "From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded"

Who just said it?

Ben Bernanke (Chairman, Federal Reserve)
Bernie Sanders (Senator, VT, Socialist Party)
Paul Ryan (R US Rep - Wisconsin)
Chris Christie (R Governor, New Jersey,
Paul Krugman (NY Times Economic columnist)

A battalion of bees.

Yesterday we had a swarm of bees in our back yard. And when I saw a swarm, I mean something pretty damned impressive looking. Not like a mile wide swarm of locusts devouring everything in their path, but still, not just a few bees hanging out together either.

This swarm must have been about 20 feet in diameter in a semisphere, and must have encompassed thousands of bees. It was centered around some kind of hive in some dense trees and brush at the back of our back yard. If you were geeky enough, it was kind of what you might imagine an electron cloud would look like - the bees were that dense, and moving really rapidly.

We had no idea what to do, but fortunately Google was our friend. Seems like there's someone in Berkeley who will just come over to your house and take the bees away at nightfall once they've coalesced into and immediately around the hive. For free. I think he had to come, knock the hive down, then come back at night and take the whole thing away. Maybe he's accumulating enough bees to take over the world once he mind-melds with them. Who knows.

This morning there were a few leftover bees, but the yard seems once again safe for butterflies and humans.

Who Said It?

The minute we start stifling our speech, we might as well go home, roll up our sleeves and get our guns out.

Who just said it?

Governor Rick Scott (R-Florida)
Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas)
Governor Jan Brewer (R-Arizona)
Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin)
Governor Paul LePage (R-Maine)
Looks like I'll be in town for that week, concentrating on the HORSE tournaments going on around town (unfortunately, I can't make the WSOP HORSE event which is earlier) and maybe one or two WSOP events.

Who Knew?

Two days ago I discovered "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries", a vlog adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Whomever put this together is a genius. Warning: if you start watching, you may not be able to stop, and there are like 100 episodes (not including the Lydia Bennet vlogs, and likely other spinoffs).

I am befuddled how this could have escaped my notice for more than a year. I am out of it, but not THAT out of it! I discovered it via an Andrew Sullivan post. It had been going on for more than a year without me seeing a single tweet or other reference to the series.

Statistic of the Day

87% of republicans have negative assessments on moral values in the country.

Gallup poll via PolicyMic


...after the president's supposed worst week ever, with Republicans jumping in glee at the scandals, we find that the president's popularity has inched up, the Democratic Party's popularity is significantly up, and Republicans, at 59 percent unfavorable, are at their highest unpopularity level since CNN started polling the question in 1992.

Via Daily Kos.

Yes, yes. Lies, damned lies, and statistics. But there's nothing I've seen to indicate that Obama has been hurt by the AP, IRS and Benghazi affairs, aside from rantings by the MSM and Republican politicians. No data, in other words.

Not that he shouldn't have been hurt (at least by the AP and IRS stuff), IMHO. My guess is that a sense of an improving economy is heavily trumping all of this stuff.

Who Knew?

A species of frog... was used from the 1930s to the 1950s in human pregnancy tests... The species, the African clawed frog, was shipped across the world for use in human pregnancy tests...

New York Times

How Much is That Deficit in the Window?

What do you think the per capita amount of interest people in the US would have to pay on this year's deficit amounts to (assuming borrowing is at current 10 year Treasury bond rates):

How much per capita, approximately?


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pretzel, sleeping

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