Even More Good User Interface

A year ago, I enthused over my Acura’s windshield wiper controls. Specifically, that the intermittent wipers fastest setting was the same as having them on continuously. I discovered it’s even better than that. First it senses whether the car is moving. If it is, it puts them on continuous wiping. If it’s not, it leaves them with a small pause between wipes.

That’s clever!

Lunch Follies

I had lunch with some new people. I sat at a different people so I could get to know some co-workers I usually don’t associate with. Lunch was delicious: meatloaf and mashed potatoes.*

I was wiping up some of the sauce on a piece of roll. As I bit into it, it somehow fell out of my hand and back on the plate. I picked it up again. As I put it in my mouth it slipped out again and fell into my lap.

I looked up. One person had seen the whoel thing. I said to her, “You saw that, right? I just missed my mouth. Twice!”

I have a feeling I did not impress these new people.

(*Dan Quayle was right. Potatoes is a valid spelling.)

Links o’ Interest

A very pointless machine. If you turn it on, it turns itself off.

Insider trading

Surely, this economic correlation is a coincidence. Right?

People still do this? Oh, I get it now.

Daddy’s Girl

New business meeting

Best riot picture

All kinds of non-prejudice

World’s worst glamour shot. Or something.

Geek love

The English go to redneck country

Hitler vs. Stalin: The surprisingly literate comic book

Caricaturist is robbed. Draws perfect picture of attacker in 15 seconds, the police make an easy arrest.

The real villain of Star Wars

Banned copier commercial

Perfect Pitch demo. The other suggested links are neat also.

Dinosaurs visit a German TV talk show.

Pascal’s Wager revisited

The king of ball-hawking

Talking piano. Really. That is cool.

A glorious dawn: Sagan and Hawking sing with some help from autotune

Coming out:
the diary of an 18-year old telling his parents he’s gay. (Start with the plain text, then move to the updates)

The accidental warlord

Unexpected psychology lessons from porn users

Democrats Demand Public Option

30 Senate Democrats stand up for a public option.

We have spent the better part of this year fighting for health reform that would provide insurance access and continuity to every American in a fiscally responsible manner,” the 30 Democratic Senators wrote in the Oct. 8 letter. “We are concerned that — absent a competitive and continuous public insurance option — health reform legislation will not produce nationwide access and ongoing cost containment. For that reason, we are asking for your leadership on ensuring that the merged health reform bill contains a public insurance option.

It’s about time.

The 3 Best Poker Shows on TV

  • World Series of Poker:The obvious choice for the number one poker show. The tournament itself is so interesting that ESPN would really have to blow it to not make this entertaining. They have not blown it. In fact, the growth of poker can be traced to this tournament and program. They have synergistically supported each other in the best way.

    Norman Chad is a great announcer. Sit back and think what he does. Poker is not an easy game to naturally make commentary for. But he does. There’s something like 25 hours of coverage this year, he’s been doing it for at least seven years, and still comes up with things to say. That’s quite impressive

  • Poker After Dark:Since it’s on the early mornings, you need to have TiVO to watch this. They start with six players who play each other throughout the week until there is one winner. The best part is that they show every hand. Watching the World Series of Poker you can easily be deceived into thinking every hand has Aces or hitting flushes on the river. Here you get to see the less flashy hands also. Stealing blinds, everyone folding to a pre-flop raise, etc. Because you see every hand, you get a much better feel for how the game is really played at the highest level.

    The players are usually arranged around a theme. On-line vs off-line, USA vs Foreign (or USA vs Italy), Amater vs. Pro, etc. The best ones are the cash games. Watching someone raise $200,000 with absolutely nothing is riveting.

  • Learn Poker from the Pros: This show is fairly obscure. It is a training course, sponsored by FullTilt.com and hosted by Howard “The Professor” Lederer. Each week they select one topic (examples: playing big stack, pot odds, heads up play) and talk through it from a professionals point of view. They have a round table with many of the biggest names in poker where the pros discuss and argue their perspectives. It’s great for helping your game to the next level.

Runners up: Best Damn Poker Show (Phil Helmuth vs. Annie Duke reality show) and I Bet You (which I’ve never seen but guarantee it’s entertaining.)

P.S. This post has one sentence that ends in a preposition and has a split infinitive. Nice.

Poker Update: Omaha

We mixed it up tonight with a little Omaha. Omaha is identical to Hold ’em, except for two things.

  • You have four hold cards instead of two.
  • You must use exactly two of your hole cards. No more, no less.

That last one is really hard to wrap your mind around. For example, having four aces isn’t so great. You have a pair of aces and you can’t improve it.

It was like going back to being a poker rookie again. I wasn’t trying to read people’s hands. I wasn’t trying to figure out when I could push people around. I was just trying to figure out if I had something good or not. And so was everyone else. In a typical hand tonight, most of the players limped in pre-flop. The flop came out and every player started looking at their cards, mentally deciding if they had a playable hand. 75% of the hands went all the way to the river. With four cards, you always have a draw. Winning hands were sets or better. A straight was, well, it was ok.

I misread two of my own hands. I lost two huge pots because I messed up the second rule. That was enough, I was knocked out in 7th place out of 8 people. Ah well, it was a lot of fun.

Tonight: -$20

Why Does Chicago Want to Host the Olympics?

This article from 2005 is probably still relevant:

STATE and local officials may be hanging their heads about the announcement that London, and not New York City, will be playing host to the 2012 Summer Olympics, but New Yorkers should be breathing a sigh of relief that the Games are now somebody else’s worry

I think there are good reasons to host if you are a second tier city, and can show the world that you are really a first tier city. It will drive long-term growth to your area. It’s brand building. Atlanta’s boom coincides with the Olympics, this is not a coincidence.

On the other hand, Montreal is still paying off the debt from hosting in the 1970s. And Chicago doesn’t need to show the world it’s a great place, everyone knows that Chicago is a great place. What do they get out of it? Nothing.

(Thanks to LilBro for the link.)