December 31, 2002

Today's Fun Quote - "Christmas

Today's Fun Quote - "Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want?and their kids pay for it.- Richard Lamm, Governor of Colorado

Posted by James at 1:22 PM

December 30, 2002

Coming of the Beast(s) -

Coming of the Beast(s) - This article in a publication called "The Beast" aims to identify the 50 most loathsome people in America. They use a pretty broad brush, but you might get a chuckle out of one or two of their comments. The Beast 50.
My personal favorite:

"1. ANN COULTER [...] The phenomenon we all should have seen coming; the merger of bimbo sex appeal and neo-fascist vituperation."

Posted by James at 5:31 PM

December 19, 2002

A Little Dickens - Original

A Little Dickens - Original readers of Charles Dickens's Great Expectaitons read that work in serialized form. Now you can experience the same story as they experienced it. Discovering Dickens - A Community Reading Project will deliver the story to you on newsprint, bit by bit, each week!

Posted by James at 12:47 PM

December 18, 2002

Stress - All In Your

Stress - All In Your Head? - Years ago, people believed it was so. But as time goes by it becomes more and more clear that there are very real physical effects of stress on the body. These effects can adversely effect both the quality of our lives and our health. For details, read:The Heavy Cost of Chronic Stress (from NYT, free registraiton required)

Posted by James at 10:54 AM

December 17, 2002

PSA for the Holidays -

PSA for the Holidays - 'Tis the season when people forget themselves. Her'es a handy animation that reminds you og the dangers of alcohol consumption. Just in time : Alcohol Warnings (requires flash)

Posted by James at 10:46 AM

Church and State, together at

Church and State, together at last! - Secret meetings, political graft for religious organizations, bible-thumping policy... it gives me a warm fuzzy just thinking about our current administration.

And the influence of the religious right spreads much further. The Internet commentator Atrios, who played a key role in bringing Mr. Lott's past to light, now urges us to look into the secretive Council for National Policy. This blandly named organization was founded by Tim LaHaye, co-author of the apocalyptic "Left Behind" novels, and is in effect a fundamentalist pressure group. [...] George W. Bush gave a closed-door speech to the council in 1999, after which the religious right in effect endorsed his candidacy.
Paul Krugman writes in :Gotta Have Faith ( from NYT, requires free registration)
Posted by James at 10:19 AM

December 16, 2002

Technical Difficulties - Next time,

Technical Difficulties - Next time, vote.

I know this expresses the sentiments of many of my fellow Americans. There are those of us who feel that the effort to protect ourselves has been hijacked by an overzealous and power drunk administration. Please stand by...

Posted by James at 1:48 PM

December 11, 2002

We will not learn how

We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each others children. -Jimmy Carter - Nobel Lecture

Posted by James at 12:04 PM

December 9, 2002

Poker Hand Comparisons - For

Poker Hand Comparisons - For an avid poker player, this is a cool thing. It's a web-based poker hand comparison calculator (to tell you who is the "favorite" when two hands go up against each other). By favorite, I mean which hand wil statistically take the pot the most times. If you are holding a "favorite" you are not guaranteed to win, sinc ethe other person could draw out on you (catch a card that gives him a better hand) but in the long run that hand will win vs. the other hand.

Check it out: Poker Hand Analyzer

They also allow you to look at the logs - what hands visitors are comparing.

Here is a sample hand:

Holdem Hi: 990 enumerated boards containing 9d 8d 4d
cards win %win lose %lose tie %tie EV
Ah Kh 249 25.15 696 70.30 45 4.55 0.274
2s 2c 696 70.30 249 25.15 45 4.55 0.726

We see a pair of deuces going up against AK suited when the flop is 3 garbage cards of a suit not held by either opponent. The game, of course, is Texas Hold'em. The pair, even though it is deuces, is the favorite by far because the AK needs to pair his ace or king to win. They tie if the next two cards are diamonds (if you eliminate this chance of a board flush, the 22 looks even better).

Compare that to this flop:

Holdem Hi: 990 enumerated boards containing 8d 9h 4h
cards win %win lose %lose tie %tie EV
Ah Kh 557 56.26 433 43.74 0 0.00 0.563
2s 2c 433 43.74 557 56.26 0 0.00 0.437

Now two of the board cards are suited with the AK, so he is on a flush draw. However, he has so many outs now that he's the slight favorite. If he gets raised by the pair (unlikely) it would be correct to reraise. The reraise could also work as a semibluff, since any pair would have the deuces beat at this point, he might be smart to fold.

Finally, compare that to:

Holdem Hi: 990 enumerated boards containing 8d 9h 4h
cards win %win lose %lose tie %tie EV
Ah Kh 536 54.14 454 45.86 0 0.00 0.541
Ts Tc 454 45.86 536 54.14 0 0.00 0.459

..instead of deuces, we've given one player tens. It hasn't changed the odds much, but now he would be a lot less likely to raise, and less likely to fold a reraise semi-bluff. Cool!

Posted by James at 4:03 PM

December 4, 2002

Norah Jones to appear on

Norah Jones to appear on SNL - Norah Jones is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this weekend, Dec 7. Who is Norah Jones? She's a musician that has recently caught my attention with her ecclectic style and beautiful voice. Her keyboard skills are quite nice, too. Norah Jones - News. Check out her album Come Away With Me.

Posted by James at 4:34 PM

Passing the Primes - What

Passing the Primes - What do they feed this bear? I don't know, but whatever it is that's passing through his digestive tract, it comes out prime. Alkulukuja Paskova Karhu

Posted by James at 10:29 AM