Shared posts

17 Apr 06:40

Say Red

by Greg Ross

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:OpenClipart_ornamental_playing_cards

Cornell mathematician Robert Connelly devised this intuition-defying card game. I shuffle a standard deck of 52 cards and deal them out in a row before you, one at a time. At some point before the last card is dealt, you must say the word “red.” If the next card I deal is red, you win $1; if it’s black you lose $1. If you play blind, your chance of winning is 1/2. Can you improve on this by devising a strategy that considers the dealt cards?

Surprisingly, the answer is no. Imagine a deck with two red cards and two black. Now there are six equally likely deals:

RRBB
RBBR
BBRR
RBRB
BRBR
BRRB

By counting, we can see that the chance of success remains 1/2 regardless of whether you call red before the first, second, third, or fourth card.

Trying to outsmart the cards doesn’t help. You might resolve to wait and see the first card: If it’s black you’ll call red immediately, and if it’s red you’ll wait until the fourth card. It’s true that this strategy gives you a 2/3 chance of winning if the first card is black — but if it’s red then it has a 2/3 chance of losing.

Similarly, it would seem that if the first two cards are black then you have a sure thing — the next card must be red. This is true, but it will happen only once in six deals; on the other five deals, calling red at the third card wins only 2/5 of the time — so this strategy has an overall success rate of (1/6 × 1) + (5/6 × 2/5) = 1/2, just like the others. The cards conspire to erase every seeming advantage.

The same principle holds for a 52-card deck, or indeed for any deck. In general, if a deck has r red cards and b black ones, then your chance of winning, by any strategy whatsoever, is r/(b + r). Seeing the cards that have already been dealt, surprisingly, is no advantage.

(Robert Connelly, “Say Red,” Pallbearers Review 9 [1974], 702.)

The post Say Red appeared first on Futility Closet.

16 Apr 14:20

"I gotta be honest. You come over here SPEWING whatever it is you’re saying and I just tuned you out."

“I gotta be honest. You come over here SPEWING whatever it is you’re saying and I just tuned you out.”

- A client, after I explained why scanning his phonebook ad would be a poor choice for publication elsewhere 
17 Apr 04:00

Code Quality

I honestly didn't think you could even USE emoji in variable names. Or that there were so many different crying ones.
15 Apr 04:00

Horoscopes

If you live in the Northern hemisphere, anyway. In the southern hemisphere, due to the coriolis effect, babies are born nine months BEFORE they're conceived.
15 Apr 02:42

Why are band aids white people skin color? Because white people are fragile.

This seems incorrect to me, but what do I know.

13 Apr 20:56

Theory vs. practice.

by Jessica Hagy

card4579

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The post Theory vs. practice. appeared first on Indexed.

11 Apr 19:12

silkinsights: We’ve pulled all this information together and...

by joberholtzer
















silkinsights:

We’ve pulled all this information together and set it up here: http://killed-by-police.silk.co/

Take a look at it, explore the data, use it, filter it (race / gender / age / state / cause of death), spread the message.

Follow us for more info, and an updated list.

07 Apr 06:50

Head Trauma

by Greg Ross

Unfortunate newspaper headlines, collected by Robert Goralski for Press Follies, 1983:

TOWN OKS ANIMAL RULE (Asheville Citizen)
TRAVIS MAN DIES AFTER ALTERATION (Sacramento Bee)
INDIAN OCEAN TALKS (The Plain Dealer)
JUVENILE COURT TO TRY SHOOTING DEFENDANT (Deseret News)
TRAIN ROLLS 0 MILES WITH NO ONE ABOARD (New York Times)
LAWMEN FROM MEXICO BARBECUE GUESTS (San Benito [Texas] News)
FLIES TO RECEIVE NOBEL PRIZE (New York Times)
CARTER TICKS OFF BLACK HELP (San Francisco Examiner)
MAULING BY BEAR LEAVES WOMAN GRATEFUL FOR LIFE (Herald-Dispatch, Huntington, W.Va.)
SILENT TEAMSTER GETS CRUEL PUNISHMENT: LAWYER (The Home News, Brunswick, N.J.)
MANCHESTER MAN BURSTS, HALTS TRAFFIC (Hartford Times)
SKELETON TIED TO MISSING DIPLOMAT (Philadelphia Evening Bulletin)
POET DOESN’T WANT AUDIENCE OF ILLERATES (Raleigh Times)
GLASS EYE IS NO HELP IN IDENTIFYING CORPSE (Deseret News)
FORMER MAN DIES IN CALIFORNIA (Freemont County [Calif.] Chronicle News)
MATH IMPROVEMENT INDICATES LEARNING IS TIED TO TEACHING (New York Times)
PAIR CHARGED WITH BATTERY (Denver Post)
TUNA RECALLED AFTER DEATH (Chicago Daily News)
TWO CONVICTS EVADE NOOSE; JURY HUNG (Oakland Tribune)
JERK INJURES NECK, WINS AWARD (Buffalo News)
TEACHERS’ HEAD GOES OFF TO JAIL (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
SIX SENTENCED TO LIFE IN CLARKSVILLE (Nashville Banner)
POPE LAUNCHES TALKS TO END LONG DIVISION (Pomono Progress Bulletin)
A GRATEFUL NATION BURIES SAM RAYBURN (New York Herald Tribune)
SHOUTING MATCH ENDS TEACHER’S HEARING (Newsday)
DOCTOR TESTIFIES IN HORSE SUIT (Waterbury Republican)

Some are inspired: When the New York Times reported that a mansion-hunting Aristotle Onassis had visited Buster Keaton’s former estate, it chose the headline ARISTOTLE CONTEMPLATING THE HOME OF BUSTER.

The post Head Trauma appeared first on Futility Closet.

10 Apr 06:22

Me, a Name I Call Myself

by Greg Ross

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_030513-N-2069B-001_Students_and_faculty_from_both_Akers_and_R.J._Neutra_Elementary_Schools_aboard_the_Naval_Air_Station_Lemoore,_Calif.,_show_their_appreciation_for_the_members_of_the_U.S._military.jpg

It seems a bit arrogant that those of us in the United States refer to ourselves as “Americans” when more than half a billion other people live in the Americas. But what should we call ourselves instead?

“You have properly observed that we can no longer be called Anglo-Americans,” noted Thomas Jefferson in a letter after the Revolution. “That appellation describes now only the inhabitants of Nova Scotia, Canada, &c. I had applied that of Federo Americans to our citizens, as it would not be so decent for us to assume to ourselves the flattering appellation of free Americans.”

What’s a better term? In 1992 Columbia University etymologist Allen Walker Read compiled a list of suggestions that have been made over the years:

  • United Statesards
  • United Statesese
  • Unisians
  • United Statesians
  • Columbards
  • United Statesmen
  • United Statesers
  • Statesmen
  • Staters
  • Unistaters
  • Usarians
  • U.S. men
  • Usonians
  • Usonans
  • Ustatians
  • Uessians
  • Unessians
  • Statesiders
  • Statunitensi
  • United Stateans
  • Unistatians
  • Unitedstatians

Perhaps we’re all counterfeit: In early usage “Americans” applied not to European colonists but to the native Indians whose territory they were invading. John Locke wrote in 1671: “So if you should ask an American how old his son is, i.e., what the length of duration was between his birth and this moment, he would … tell you his son was 30 or 40 moons old as it happened.”

(Allen Walker Read, “Derivative Forms From the Name United States,” paper read at the 31st annual Names Institute sponsored by The American Name Society, Baruch College of The City University of New York, May 2, 1992.)

The post Me, a Name I Call Myself appeared first on Futility Closet.

08 Apr 22:09

kenyatta:How Fast, How Furious?Original

by joberholtzer
03 Apr 14:20

"Our goal is to develop a thing that does a clearly defined set of some stuff that customers will be..."

“Our goal is to develop a thing that does a clearly defined set of some stuff that customers will be willing to pay for.”
06 Apr 17:44

todaysdocument:usnatarchives:In honor of the Washington...

by joberholtzer


todaysdocument:

usnatarchives:

In honor of the Washington Nationals​ opening day here in Washington, DC, here’s one of our most bizarre baseball-related patents.

James E. Bennett patented the “baseball catcher” on March 22, 1904. This contraption replaced the catcher’s mitt with a wire cage on the catcher’s chest.

The “baseball catcher” was a rectangular open-wire frame body reinforced by slotted walls of wood. The impact of the ball on the catcher’s chest is protected by springs on the rear wall of the device.

After the ball has passed through the open front end, it closes automatically. At the bottom of the device is an opening where the ball passes into a pocket where it is retrieved by the catcher. The device also includes a wire mesh on the top to protect the catcher’s face.

Image: Patent for “baseball catcher” by James Bennett. Patent 755,209, records of the Patent and Trademark Office (Record Group 241).

Read about more baseball patents at The Text Message » Baseball Patents

07 Apr 14:20

I’ve spent yearshelping university professors redesign their lecture slides to be more effective....

I’ve spent yearshelping university professors redesign their lecture slides to be more effective. Despite this effort, the majority of professors still resort to default PowerPoint templates for their lectures. Nothing compares to what I recently witnessed: the professor created a slide deck in PowerPoint, printed it 6 slides to page, photocopied it to a transparency, and then lectured using an overhead projector.

08 Apr 05:01

micdotcom:BREAKING: Shocking video shows a SC officer fatally...















micdotcom:

BREAKING: Shocking video shows a SC officer fatally shooting a black man

A South Carolina police officer has been charged with murder following the release of a graphic video, which appears to show the officer fatally shooting a black man in the back as he runs away. The incident occurred after a routine traffic stop.

After reading the times article and watching the video (a kind of torture and trauma, but truth) it seems that neither the police officer who shot Walter Scott or the other first responder even checked if he was dead for several minutes.

07 Apr 20:30

Photo



04 Apr 14:33

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Realistic Adultery Parameters

by admin@smbc-comics.com

Hovertext: Adultery for NASA! Let's start a movement!


New comic!
Today's News:

 Nerd dreams *do* come true.

02 Apr 20:23

skye-yote:stimmyabby:Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and...

skye-yote:

stimmyabby:

Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority”

and sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person”

and they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay.

Oh god this makes so much sense.

02 Apr 23:00

A Texas state trooper is being forced to undergo 'sensitivity' training by his department. His crime: posing for a photo with Snoop Dogg (for Snoop Dogg's instagram), because he is apparently "a public figure who has a well-known criminal background" (i.e., drugs). What do you bet this officer could have posed with Cliven Bundy and it'd have been okay? Shoutout to the Officer tho!

If posing in a picture with Snoop Dogg is a crime, only criminals will be extremely fresh.

02 Apr 19:05

TBT



TBT

01 Apr 18:59

#drunkjcrew #AprilFools  @drunkjcrewuguys



#drunkjcrew #AprilFools  @drunkjcrewuguys

01 Apr 04:00

xkcloud

Hpecker

click through if you actually want to "help recover"

01 Apr 04:34

unregardless:data analysis 

by joberholtzer
Hpecker

the numbers check out



unregardless:

data analysis 

31 Mar 06:46

Flux

by Greg Ross

vivant, green and yellow

Artist Pierre Vivant performed a sort of typographical sleight of hand in an Oxfordshire field in 1990. In early summer oilseed rape changes from green to yellow as its flowers open. Vivant cut the words GREEN and YELLOW into the flowering field so that each word bore the color it named. Over the ensuing month, the flowers faded and the field reverted to green while the plants in the areas that Vivant had cut grew and flowered. The end result was the reverse of what you see here: a green field in which the word GREEN is yellow and the word YELLOW is green.

The post Flux appeared first on Futility Closet.

31 Mar 03:59

Extreme thumb wrestling

by joberholtzer


Extreme thumb wrestling

31 Mar 14:20

I had a potential client that asked me to stop by their office for a consultation on redesigning...

I had a potential client that asked me to stop by their office for a consultation on redesigning their current website. When she offered to show me her current site this is what she did (and I wish I was exaggerating): opened Internet Explorer which defaulted to google.com, and in the Google search field, she typed in “Yahoo.com”, clicked search, and in the results, clicked the Yahoo.com paid ad, then, in Yahoo’s search box, entered her website’s URL, clicked search, and in Yahoo’s results, clicked the third link from the top.

Me: Do you do this every time?

Client: How else do you expect me to find my website!?

30 Mar 12:10

Poltergeist.

by Jessica Hagy

card4568

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The post Poltergeist. appeared first on Indexed.

30 Mar 01:50

Setting Up & Supporting Volunteer Teams

by Jason Rosenbaum
Hpecker

Not sure if everyone heard about the fallout over at NOI, but I thought this was... interesting.

sdfdsfds
sdfsdf

sdfdsdf

The post Setting Up & Supporting Volunteer Teams appeared first on New Organizing Institute.

30 Mar 18:08

The High Road

by Greg Ross

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spicy_Detective_Stories_May_1935.jpg

Editorial guidelines from Spicy Detective magazine, 1935:

  1. In describing breasts of a female character, avoid anatomical descriptions.
  2. If it is necessary for the story to have the girl give herself to a man, or be taken by him, do not go too carefully into details. …
  3. Whenever possible, avoid complete nudity of the female characters. You can have a girl strip to her underwear or transparent negligee or nightgown, or the thin torn shred of her garments, but while the girl is alive and in contact with a man, we do not want complete nudity.
  4. A nude female corpse is allowable, of course.
  5. Also a girl undressing in the privacy of her own room, but when men are in the action try to keep at least a shred of something on the girls.
  6. Do not have men in underwear in scenes with women, and no nude men at all.

“The idea is to have a very strong sex element in these stories without anything that might be intrepreted as being vulgar or obscene.”

(From Nicholas Parsons, The Book of Literary Lists, 1987.)

The post The High Road appeared first on Futility Closet.

30 Mar 15:28

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Robot Horror

by admin@smbc-comics.com

Hovertext: In Robot romantic comedies, everyone finds their perfect mate with no difficulty. The humor comes from imagining doing that without a digital brain.


New comic!
Today's News:

 Cards Against Humanity Science Packs are funding a scholarship!

29 Mar 12:40

Client: We would like a fully interactive website for our members. We have already created a lot of...

Client: We would like a fully interactive website for our members. We have already created a lot of the content and we have put together a couple of CDs full of images from our archives for you to choose from. However, one thing that annoys me about websites is this whole ‘scrolling’ thing. I find scrolling really annoying. Would it be possible for you to build a side that doesn’t scroll?

Me: … Um, I’m not sure I understand. Do you mean when the page is too wide and you have to scroll right to read all the text?

Client: No, I mean scrolling down the page.

I wasn’t sure how to respond. At this point, the client’s secretary interjects to point out to the client that websites have to scroll, or they don’t really work.

Client: Yes, but our brochures don’t scroll and they contain lots of information.

The secretary and I stared, speechless.

Client: Well OK, we can come back to that later.

The client finally got the new site, and even though you had to scroll, was very pleased with it.