January 22, 2008

Why some of you really do have bad luck....

It's a statistical improbability that you have bad "luck", that bad things will inevitably happen to you just because.

However, since there are so many people on Earth, it's also a statistical probability that many of those people will actually experience something akin to having an unfair share of bad luck.

Let's say that each year in your life contains one (on average) highly impacting event. This event could wind up being a positive or negative thing. Statistically, this means that over the course of 30 years, only 1 person in about a billion will have all 30 events turn out to be negative. It's highly unlikely that this will be you, but...there are over 6 billion people on the planet, so it's likely that at least six people experience such bad luck.

So, six people on the planet are walking around with extremely bad luck, and that doesn't even cover the variants. If you consider 29 negative events out of 30 extremely bad luck (and I do), then you will accept that there are even more people walking around with extremely bad luck. And so forth. In fact, I'd say anyone who experiences bad luck around 75 to 80 per cent of the time can go in the "I have the right to complain" pile.

And I don't know how many people that is, because I don't want to review my combinations and polynomials or whatever this kind of problem would be. But some of them could be you. I'm so sorry.

Incidentally, this article blew my mind. Such a simple solution to a problem I deal with whenever I have time:

How to organize your LEGO bricks for efficient building

January 17, 2008

Etymology of "Fuck a duck"

A difficult phrase to trace, as its very existence has been routinely edited out of dictionaries since at least the 1940s.

Earliest known recorded reference comes from "Animal Euphemisms of the English Language", a college essay written by Avanti Rishi in 1937.

While in the beginning the phrase was considered a brash equivalent of "what the hell?", now it is used most often as a substitution for any exclamation of disappointment (c.1980).

January 11, 2008

Roadnotes: New York City 3

The following is based on events that happened on December 29th through the 31st.

After absolutely awesome stays in Manhattan and Queens, one of our party escapes to Pittsburgh while the rest of us move on to Brooklyn. There, we experience many fine things while we are hosts to Fumie and Andrew, including a Japanese restaurant that isn't marked on the outside and a bar that plays indie films.

Mighty Rex meets us for brunch the next day. His eyes are red. He has partied harder than we have, for sure, and it's just hours before New Year's Eve. He convinces us to hit Central Park before we head to Jersey for the airport. He sees us all the way to Penn Street Station, like a walking six-foot-four bookend to our journey.

The airtrain at Jersey is pretty cool, so we take pictures of ourselves crying, which doesn't really make sense but then again it does.

New York City. What? New York City. What? New York City. We are gone.

January 05, 2008

January 01, 2008

Roadnotes: New York City 1

The following is based on events that happened on December 26th through the 29th.

Mighty Rex meets us at Penn Street Station, then takes us on a Subway tour to la casa de erin. We have drinks and snacks there (Erin, throughout our stay, materializes a continuous supply of crackers, breads, cheeses, and wine, as if by magic), then we head to some fine vegetarian dining at Caravan of Dreams. SO good.

The next morning, Mighty Rex guides me to the A train so we can pick up the last member of our traveling party (because, Mighty Rex is nice, in case you didn't know).

Over the next few days, we have many fantastic experiences involving tea, karaoke, broken Internet, bagels, good directions given by New Yorkers all over the place, late night dining, Van Gogh, Monet, contemporary photography, the Kerouac scroll, and interesting architecture.

We also meet up with a ton of people, including )@~3773, Shawna Mouser, and Sherry.