God, I Hate Poker so Much

I did some bar poker this week.

Night one: In three hours, I had pocket 7s once, A-2 another time. That was the best I ever saw. Two bluffs did not work out. Blinded to death.
Night two: A-K suited on the third hand. Raise 6x, two callers. Flop is A-9-8. Check to me, I go all in (about 3x the pot). One caller, he has pocket 8s.

Sigh.

Plotholes: The Dark Knight Rises

Since I am constantly complaining at the absurdities that litter movies, this will start a new running feature. We just re-watched The Dark Knight Rises. Like most movies by the Nolan brothers, it is a great movie that should have been chopped down by 10-20%. Anyhow…

Bruce Wayne must escape from the very same prison that Bane grew up in. There is only one way out, to climb up. Many have tried and many have failed. Even Bruce Wayne fails twice. And then somehow heroically doesn’t. But why did he even need any help? He’s attached to a rope. For the rope to function, it must be attached to the top at some point. Just climb the stupid rope!

(Well, dang it — I’m not the first person to beef about this. This makes the same points better.)
And if you desperately need to make a jump long enough to live, maybe you shouldn’t pack up your belongings and bring them along.

It also seems there must be many easier ways to escape. How does food and water and clothing and medicines go back and forth? And prisoners? Where are the actual guards? All of these are opportunities to make other kinds of escape plans. How about a tunnel?

My Latest Favorite Song: #13

This isn’t my latest by a long shot. When Mrs. Muttrox and I were vacationing in France five years ago, this song was on the radio and kept us going. When we got back to the States, it took a long time to track it down because (1) we couldn’t remember the lyrics, and (2) we thought the singer was a girl. Oops.

Links o’ Interest

How to appear smart during meetings

This is great street art in Portland – many days I feel like this. And watching my kids go through the educational system reinforces it.

This Grantland article is a wonderful history and overview of waterparks. The web design is very engaging as well.

This schoolchilds Haiku is spot on.

Here’s a fun way to fix a bad tattoo.

Drummer with no arms. Take that Def Leppard!

Very meta comedy sketch, about a comedy sketch even as it’s going.

A twin interview with the mighty Austin and Lev Grossman. Probably the only joint interview of successful twin novelists ever.

Famous quotes, by other people. It adds a whole new layer of context.

Are you wasting your time right now?

Send off your interns properly

You should be grateful for the amazing kitchen you have, that you take for granted. Look at it with fresh eyes.

All the money in the world, in one image

This is a very interesting cover of Baba O’Riley. A pair of harpists, surprising rocking.

A fantastic meta science fair project. Very trueish.

This geneticist used 23andme.com to accidentally start his parents divorce. A fascinating story of the downside of knowledge.

Harry Potter titles, from the perspective of Hermione

Free football!

Democrats, Republicans, and Lying*

Paul Krugman had the same reaction to this article as I did. The conclusion is obvious, even if the editorial writer didn’t want to say it. The Democrats and Republicans approach truth differently. One side cares about facts, the other doesn’t.

Politifact grades the candidates

Another interpretation is possible. The lying also clusters around the folks who haven’t actually held political office. The longer they’ve served in important positions, the more accurate they are. This doesn’t get the GOP off the hook. When your leading candidates have no experience, and don’t know or care about the facts — that still reflects on the party, it’s voters, it’s priorities, it’s willingness to engage with reality.

* I titled this post lying, but it could be either lying or ignorance. Either is deplorable, and we both know which one it really is.

Muttroxia on Rand Paul on Obama on Trump

So the White House said Trump disqualified himself with this deplorable statements on Muslims. Rand Paul took this as an opportunity to give ten reasons why Obama should be disqualified. I like Rand Paul because he is guided by policy, not politics. And I agree with many of his policies. Sadly, the remaining ones are terrible. Anyhow, I thought I’d give my take on his ten. Most of them are partially true.

1. Tried to take over 1/6 of economy in Obamacare, wrecked the system and hurt patients and taxpayers

I rather doubt healthcare is truly 1/6 of the economy. The math behind claims like that is always shaky. He certainly has tried to influence that share of the economy. He hasn’t hurt patients (who have more access than ever) or taxpayers (the program came in cheaper than expected).

2. Thinks an executive order is legislation and how you make law

There is some truth to this. After six-odd years trying to get bi-partisan legislation, he gave up. The last two years have seen Obama extending the Executive branch powers to get things done. I would agree more were it not for the scorched-earth-never-cooperate strategy from the GOP. He doesn’t think it’s how you make law, but the way you should make law isn’t functioning.

3. Fought an undeclared, unconstitutional war in Libya, turned it into Jihadist wonderland

He has consistently asked Congress to vote on this, Congress has refused to. It’s undeclared because of Congress.

4. Fighting an undeclared, unconstitutional war in Syria, trying to put ISIS in Damascus.

Same as above.

5. Signed into law the indefinite detention of American citizens

Yep. Reprehensible.

6. His copy of the bill of rights obviously goes from 1 to 3, skipping the 2nd amendment.

Terribly false. The idea that any kind of gun control means revoking the Second Amendment is absurd, but sadly common.

7. Court ruled his NSA spying on every American was illegal.

Yep. Of course that program wasn’t born with him, but he continued it and it is still an awful thing. My biggest complaint about the NSA program has been that it is beyond the law. Outside of whether it is a good program or not, nothing should be beyond the law.

8. He has added more debt than anyone in history.

Probably true, thought I haven’t checked the numbers. It also happens that adding debt is the correct response to the recession, per standard economic theory. I believe the first round of stimulus was passed under Bush, not Obama. This chart is a good overview. To add some more context, the GOP has been dogmatic about never raising taxes. Think that might have something to do with it?

9. Appointed an attorney general who thinks speech against Muslims is a bigger threat than terrorism.

Well, that’s just false. And stupid.

10. EPA rules by executive FIAT trying to kill an entire American industry and way of life (coal).

Oh please. Whenever anyone talks about a ‘way of life’, you know they don’t have a real case. It’ll be a great way of life for all of us when all the coal is burned and we’re swimming. Honestly. Remember when the GOP was the environmental party? Honestly, it used to care. Remember when cap and trade was an idea from the right, and made more sense than the Democrats regulatory approach? And remember how when Obama agreed with the GOP, they suddenly decided that cap and trade is evil? If you don’t, I guess you can go stand with Rand Paul.

I Saved a Life Today

Last week, I was checking in on Clash of Clans. In my clans chat, there was a note from a girl who said “Is anyone there?”, “I need advice”. I asked her what she needed. I assumed it was the usual, should I upgrade a tesla or an archer tower, etc. But no, she said she had eaten some strange food. She was having trouble breathing, and there were red areas appearing on her skin, what should she do? I wrote back for her to call 911 or poison control. She started typing something else, I told her to stop typing and call now.

Four hours later, she came back on. She had tried shellfish for the first time and had a severe allergic reaction. Epipens and ambulances and everything. Wow.

Which leads to the more pressing question. Even for a 17-year old girl, even in this age of social media — why on earth would she be asking for help on a Clash of Clans chat window? Ask your best friend, call your parents, a teacher or doctor, don’t turn for help to a bunch of strangers online! Holy cow, there were only four responsible adults in our clan, it was lucky for her that I happened to log in.

Still… saving a life… that’s one for my side on Judgment Day I suppose.