alanj: (Default)
Me, July 2011, Nevada legalizes sex discrimination:
Effective October 1, places of public accomodation can "offer differential pricing, discounted pricing or special offers based on sex to promote or market the place of public accommodation" and it will not be considered an unlawful discriminatory practice. [...]

Next year, the WSOP will presumably declare that the Ladies Event is a $50000-buyin event with special promotional pricing of $1000 for women, and the scourge of one or two dozen concealed penises in a field of over 1000 players will be over.

Caesars Entertainment press release, February 2013, 44th Annual World Series of Poker® Schedule Announced:
The Ladies Only No-Limit Hold’em Championship – On Friday, June 28 at 12 p.m., featuring a $10,000 buy-in for the Ladies world championship (Event #51). Men entering this event will be required to buy-in for $10,000, while ladies will enjoy a special discounted buy-in of $1,000 – a discount of $9,000.
Part of me is surprised that they actually had the nerve to go ahead and do it, but I think more of me is surprised that it took them this long.

I don't live in Nevada anymore, and I won't be playing any WSOP events this year, and I'm pretty happy about both of those facts.

alanj: (Default)
Please answer the earlier poll first; I am really curious what people's initial guesses are on this. Read more... )
alanj: (Default)
This isn't meant as political advocacy, just the result of some research on my part, and my surprise at how bad my guesses (and others' guesses) were before doing the research. What would your guesses be? (Check the post on LJ to see most other people's answers, of course...)

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 2


Which is more common in this country, death by firearm homicide, or death by motor vehicle? By how much?

View Answers

Firearm homicide is more common, by a factor of 10 or more
0 (0.0%)

Firearm homicide, factor of 4 or more
0 (0.0%)

Firearm homicide, at least twice as common
0 (0.0%)

Firearm homicide, at least 50% more common
0 (0.0%)

Roughly similar numbers for each
0 (0.0%)

Motor vehicle death, at least 50% more common
1 (50.0%)

Motor vehicle death, at least twice as common
0 (0.0%)

Motor vehicle death, factor of 4 or more
1 (50.0%)

Motor vehicle death is more common, by a factor of 10 or more
0 (0.0%)

Which was higher, the US per-capita firearm homicide rate in 2011, or the same rate in 1991? By how much?

View Answers

2011 was higher, by a factor of 4 or more
0 (0.0%)

2011 was at least twice as high
0 (0.0%)

2011 was at least 50% higher
0 (0.0%)

2011 was at least 20% higher
0 (0.0%)

2011 and 1991 had roughly similar rates
0 (0.0%)

1991 was at least 20% higher
2 (100.0%)

1991 was at least 50% higher
0 (0.0%)

1991 was at least twice as high
0 (0.0%)

1991 was higher, by a factor of 4 or more
0 (0.0%)

Which was higher, the US per-capita motor vehicle death rate in 2011, or the same rate in 1991? By how much?

View Answers

2011 was higher, by a factor of 4 or more
0 (0.0%)

2011 was at least twice as high
0 (0.0%)

2011 was at least 50% higher
0 (0.0%)

2011 was at least 20% higher
0 (0.0%)

2011 and 1991 had roughly similar rates
0 (0.0%)

1991 was at least 20% higher
1 (50.0%)

1991 was at least 50% higher
1 (50.0%)

1991 was at least twice as high
0 (0.0%)

1991 was higher, by a factor of 4 or more
0 (0.0%)

alanj: (Default)
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213

Online poker: Payment processors for a tiny industry "launders money" by miscategorizing credit card transactions to allow Americans to play online poker. Over a dozen people indicted, over a billion dollars in fines and settlements.

HSBC: Third-largest global bank knowingly launders billions of dollars for huge violent Mexican and Columbian drug cartels, and deliberately helps clients in rogue nations evade financial blockades to fund terrorists. No criminal charges, fine of under two billion dollars.

Thank you, Department of "Justice".

Maui

Dec. 10th, 2012 02:14 pm
alanj: (Default)
This gorgeous creature is Maui.

Maui, coming to getcha

Maui is a bronze Egyptian Mau, one of the only spotted breeds of domesticated cat. She's about ten years old, declawed in front, and in perfect health. She is the smartest cat I've ever met, and very affectionate and people-oriented. She wants to be where the people are, and will chirp questioningly as to what they're up to. She loves laps, kneads enthusiastically when she's relaxed and in a good mood (we call her "shiatsu kitty"), and will often curl up by your legs or under the covers at night.

We love Maui very much. However, Maui has to be an only cat. When she sees other cats, she becomes agitated and aggressive. We have four other cats, and so Maui has to stay cooped up in one bedroom, usually alone except at night. (Alone even at night when we're traveling, which is not uncommon.) This is not a good situation for her at all, and it's awkward for the humans too. We want to find a better home for her.

Maui has had pee problems in the past, which makes it hard to place her. We have every reason to believe this is territorial behavior caused by stress from being around other cats. In the year we've had her, as long as she's been kept separate from other cats, we've had no problems with pee.

We will deliver Maui anywhere in Nevada or California, or possibly fly her elsewhere, if we can find an appropriate home for her. We can also help with initial supplies, and advice on introducing her to the home. She really is an awesome cat.

(Please forward this message to anyone who you think might be interested.)
alanj: (Default)
Mitt Romney last week: “We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”

What planet is this man from?

If I could make every voter in America read one article, this would be it: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/opinion/krugman-death-by-ideology.html. It's short. Read the featured comments, too.

According to this study, over 40000 American deaths per year can be attributed to lack of health insurance. The exact number can be questioned, but I would be amazed if it weren't in the five figures.
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OK, I am not generally a fan of "let's go laugh at the stupid people" humor, but this is fucking hilarious. I was doubled over laughing. The copy on YouTube got DMCA'd away, but the copy on gloria.tv ("the more catholic the better", no I am not joking) is still there.

Let the tightly-wound man in the purple shirt explain to you Planned Parenthood's sinister plot to get kids hooked on sex and pornography so that they can later sell them birth control, STD tests, and (best of all) abortions! Masturbation is their gateway drug! It's all part of their diabolical scheme to control society! Step 3: Profit!



(If that copy gets taken down, just google for "hooking kids on sex", maybe adding "american life league". Insist on the man with the purple shirt! He is your sign of nutjobbery!)
alanj: (Default)
It's amazing what you can get with casino comps.
Read more... )
Really, [personal profile] trelana?

(For those unfamiliar with the backstory: the saga begins)

who, me?

Jan. 8th, 2012 09:08 am
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Observed in the Concierge Lounge, in the Summit Suites at Harrah's Lake Tahoe:

ASSHOLE

Someone went to a lot of effort to put that card under the table's glass top. I wonder who. Probably not the butler.

If you received this card, it's because you are an inconsiderate piece of shit!

I'm also curious if there's an explanation on the other side, but not enough to remove the glass top and find out. It's about 10 square feet and looks awkward and heavy.
alanj: (Default)
I don't play next to many little old ladies anymore, so tonight was a change of pace. She was probably about 70, quite friendly and only a little daffy. Asked me where I was from, volunteered that she was visiting from Beaverton, OR. I almost asked if it was to gamble or if she was visiting family, but caught myself, realizing I didn't really want to give her an opening to talk about her grandkids.

She clearly wasn't too familiar with video poker. She had the basics of strategy down, but was fumbling a bit with operating the machine. Getting mixed up about when she was in the middle of a hand vs between hands, having to double-check the number of credits she was playing, stuff like that. But she seemed to be enjoying herself, savoring her small wins and muttering at the machine when it wouldn't give her that fourth deuce and so on.

Then she got dealt Qd Ad Kd 5s Jd. Four to the royal. Naturally this was very exciting and she had to point it out to me. She pushed the buttons to hold the AKQJ of diamonds, and leaned forward and rubbed the spot where she wanted the ten of diamonds to appear, for good luck, and with her other hand pressed draw.

...before I could stop her, that is. Video poker machines have touchscreens. When she rubbed the five of spades, it marked that card as being held, which she didn't notice with her hand still over the screen. She drew no cards and ended with the same worthless AKQJ5 she started with.

I had to struggle really hard to not visibly cringe at that. If I'd had a moment, I would have suggested she call over a slot attendant - sometimes in the case of a clearly mistaken hold they can replay the hand for you.

But she didn't pause for more than a moment. Once she realized what happened, she said "oh, shucks", and then "I guess I'll never know...", and kept on playing. I decided it wouldn't really be doing her a favor to suggest she interrupt her fun, and left her to it.

Anyway, it didn't matter. Twenty minutes later, she got dealt KQJT of spades. This time she managed to successfully draw a card, and of course it was the ace of spades.

Congratulations, ma'am. I cashed out and drifted over to the cafe to get a hot fudge sundae. Mmmm, hot fudge.
alanj: (Default)
We celebrate Carolstice every December 26th. Beginning this day, there will be fewer and fewer Christmas carols every day. The dark days of saccharine pretense and treacly nostalgia and semi-enforced religious observance are over; the warm dawn of a full range of genuine human emotion awaits us. The Christmas season has been long, and grows longer every year, but as always we shall emerge into the light! Hallelujah.
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One of us gets off on 5. One of us gets off on 8. The remaining four of us are all, apparently independently, going to 14.

Woman 1: "What are the odds of that, huh?"
Woman 2: "Yeah, what does that pay out?"
Woman 1: "We should go bet on 14 somewhere."

The doors open, we walk out.

Me, doing my best croupier voice: "Fourteen... black... even."
Woman 2: "Yeah, bet it all on 14 at roulette."
Man: "There's probably a horse race where you could bet #14."
Me: "Just don't bet on 14 at craps."
Woman 1: "Why? Is that unlucky?"

*facepalm*
alanj: (Default)
All these comps are turning me into such a prissy little bitch. I walk into my complimentary 35th-floor suite and my first reaction is LOL only a 32" CRT. Of course then I laugh at myself and flop on the bed because really after the last couple of days I wouldn't give a shit if it were a Motel 6, or the semi-abandoned roach-infested ghost hotel I slept in a couple weeks ago. Just as long as it has working heat. Which our new house doesn't. God I hate moving.

I stopped in the gift/sundries shop before coming up to get a $3 20oz soda and a $7 bag of Doritos. Imaginary money, of course... The employees there have nametags which also list where they're from, as with most casino employees. "Eritrea? Don't see that every day." "It's in Africa", they helpfully inform me. They then notice that the white boy is carrying a couple of Cantonese-language newspapers. "Where are you from?" I smile. "California."
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[personal profile] dubhain, [personal profile] trelana, and I went to look at a house today. If the owner doesn't freak at our occupation, or our cats, we'll probably end up renting it.

The view from the backyard is interesting. Very Vegas. Numerous homes descending to the left, Black Mountain looming to the right, and a never-to-be-completed condo building lying in tatters straight ahead. Even within the very nice gated community, once you drive past a certain point, you have a road ending in nothingness and lots with half-built walls and nothing more.

Coincidentally, I happened across this passage today.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
Looks like some developers weren't reading their Gospels. I now have this intense urge to head down to the Strip and spraypaint "LUKE 14:28" all over the Fontainebleau.
alanj: (Default)
From Salon: When Reagan was (much) less popular than Carter

It's been widely observed that Reagan, a radical conservative in his day, would be considered far too liberal to be nominated by today's GOP, despite the extent to which current Republicans genuflect before his memory. Raised taxes, grew government, borrowed and spent, amnesty to illegals, pulled out of Lebanon, you know (or should know) it all.

What I hadn't fully appreciated before reading this article is just how recent the revisionism of his record and deification of his memory is. Only 46% of Americans viewed him favorably in 1992? While Carter's favorables were over 60%? Wow.

The long illness during which everyone was reluctant to say anything negative about him, combined with Clinton's success in erasing the huge Reagan/Bush deficits, and a systematic right-wing PR campaign on his behalf, did one hell of a job scrubbing away everything but the warm smile and the anti-government rhetoric in record time.
alanj: (Default)
Effective October 1, places of public accomodation can "offer differential pricing, discounted pricing or special offers based on sex to promote or market the place of public accommodation" and it will not be considered an unlawful discriminatory practice. So if Good Ol' Boys Golf Club wants to charge a $50000 membership fee for all new members, but offer a special discount allowing men to sign up for $100, that's just fine! Not discriminatory at all!

Obviously this will be a great step forward in "clarifying" what many describe as a "loophole" in our current anti-discrimination law.
Read more... )
alanj: (Default)
Another friend of mine is on Jeopardy! today, which seems like an appropriate occasion to post some other thoughts on J! strategy I've had recently.

Everyone knows that it's important to enter Final Jeopardy with the lead - if you have the lead, and you wager enough, and you get it right, you win. Almost everyone knows that it's very good to be in the lead with at least double the score of second place, what Alex calls a "runaway" and the rest of us call a "lock" - you can wager zero and win no matter what your opponents do.

Most people do not understand the relative importance of these two factors, and that there's a third threshold which is as important as either of them. Read more... )

alanj: (Default)
I just went through the security checkpoint at McCarran. Three of the four lines were being sent through the strip-search machines. The fourth line was being sent through a standard metal detector. I didn't want to go through the strip-search machine, so I went to the fourth line, and only had to go through the metal detector.

I swear, I am not making this up.

I feel very secure knowing that a self-selected 75% of passengers were scanned using Advanced Imaging Technologies.
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