November 26, 2012 archive

Opportunity Society!

Millions chase record $425M Powerball jackpot

By JEFF McMURRAY, Associated Press

18 minutes ago

It’s the gambler’s mantra: Somebody’s gotta win, so why not me?

It’s true to say that you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than winning the Powerball. But that woefully understates the danger of lightning.

Tim Norfolk, a University of Akron mathematics professor who teaches a course on gambling, puts the odds of a lightning strike in a person’s lifetime at 1 in 5,000 (or 1 in 9 million on one particular day). The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot: 1 in 175 million – with no assurances that you won’t have to split the prize with others.

While it may seem counterintuitive, Barrow (Clyde Barrow, professor director of the Center for Policy Analysis at UMass-Dartmouth) says gambling activity often increases as the economy gets worse and people have less disposable income. However, his research – which focused mainly on New England – found the trend reversed in the latest downturn.

“The Great Recession has been so deep and so long, it’s suppressed any kind of discretionary spending across the board,” said Barrow, who added about the same percentage of people are playing the lottery – they’re just buying fewer tickets.

“For 2 bucks, it’s worth a chance,” he said. “What else am I going to do with that $2? I’ll just waste it on something else.”

The Election Industrial Complex


Originally posted August 18, 2011.

Ducking the Devil

On This Day In History November 26

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

November 26 is the 330th day of the year (331st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 35 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1942, Casablanca, a World War II-era drama starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, premieres in New York City; it will go on to become one of the most beloved Hollywood movies in history.

n the film, Bogart played Rick Blaine, a former freedom fighter and the owner of a swanky North African nightclub, who is reunited with the beautiful, enigmatic Ilsa Lund (Bergman), the woman who loved and left him. Directed by Michael Curtiz, Casablanca opened in theaters across America on January 23, 1943, and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Bogart. It took home three Oscars, for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film featured a number of now-iconic quotes, including Rick’s line to Ilsa: “Here’s looking at you, kid,” as well as “Round up the usual suspects,” “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” and “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Ogle 3

Packers @ Giants

8:30 pm NBC.  A more familiar kind of Throwball.

I’ve often wished these two teams would play in the Super Bowl every year since they are my favorites, but that would make it too hard to root.

Unlike most of my neighbors I’m definitely a New York market fan and have little use for the Sox or Patsies and notwithstanding Broadway Joe, Gang Green has always been flashy feckless collection of not quite good enoughs too lowly for even a Mets fan.

Woody Johnson and Tim Tebow are no improvement.

The Giants on the other hand have very, very occasionally put together a team that actually knows how to run and pass and control the clock so their usually ordinary Defense doesn’t look so bad (I remember LT with great fondness).  As one of the originals it’s a storied franchise that remembers its traditions of greatness.

They are my team of proximity.  The Packers are the team of my heart, The People’s Team.

I defy you to read their story and not get a little misty eyed about much better things could be if we had a system that rewarded its professed values of hard work and sacrifice for the collective good instead of Mammon worship in pursuit of a new feudalism.

I seldom notice Throwball until the last lingering leaf is brown on the ground.  Should, as frequently happens, the Giants not be a part of the post season at that point I sigh a little sigh and say- wait ’til next year.

If the Packers are not in the hunt I am reminded of the wisdom of Moonlight Graham.

(F)or five minutes you came within… y-you came this close. It would KILL some men to get so close to their dream and not touch it. God, they’d consider it a tragedy.

Son, if I’d only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes… now that would have been a tragedy.

The 100th Grey Cup

6 pm Vs.Grey Cup, Stampeders v. Argonauts.

La Coupe Grey was conceived as a Hockey Trophy and, like Lord Stanley’s Cup, has the name of each winning team enscribed on it.  It’s been broken several times and stolen twice.  The difference between the date of it’s anniversary (1909) and this year is because the Cup was not awarded during The Great War or the year after.  It’s been won by a US based team, the Baltimore Stallions, exactly once.

Canadian Football is a little different in the details from NFL and Collegiate rules but not as much as Rugby.  It’s recognizably North American Throwball and shouldn’t confuse the casual viewer.  There are 12 Players per side (Offense/Defense) and only 3 downs.

But it is a very different style of play which, like International Ice Hockey, is a function of being played in a much larger area- 110 yards (101m) long by 65 yards (59m) wide.  This extra space as well as the missing down favor wide open passing attacks (just as International Arenas favor a passing game over NHL-style checking).  Notable players who have been successful in both Leagues include Doug Flutie and Warren Moon.

This Centennial contest is being held at the home field of the Toronto Argonauts who are also the Yankees of Canadian Football with 15 Cup victories in 21 appearances (as opposed to the Stampeders who are only 6 of 12).  Still, true fans may have mixed feelings about an Argonaut win since the Cup almost melted to slag while in their care in 1947.

The year after that marked the first official Grey Cup party (also known as Canada’s “Grand National Drunk”).

It is said the two events are unrelated but you couldn’t prove it by me.


Grey Cup: Trophy survives parade from Varsity Stadium to Rogers Centre

Daniel Girard, Toronto Star

Sunday November 25, 2012

For the first time in its century of existence, hundreds of fans were able to carry the Grey Cup through the streets of Toronto.

“It was a feeling that can’t ever be replicated,” Kyle Dunn of Surrey, B.C., said moments after being one of the first fans to carry the CFL’s prized trophy as it made its way from Varsity Stadium, site of many early title games, to the Rogers Centre, site of the 100th.

“It’s like holding the most expensive thing you could,” said Dunn, 30, bedecked in Lions paraphernalia, his face painted orange. “It’s like holding the Canadian crown jewels.”

CFL commissioner Mark Cohon told hundreds of fans at Varsity Stadium he was hoping to make this inaugural parade of the trophy to the stadium on game day a regular event. But he implored those who got hold of the goblet to make that possible.

“It will only become a new tradition if you guys don’t drop it,” Cohon told the crowd. “Treat it with the respect it deserves.”