Saturday, March 24

"I trust those who follow rules they don't entirely believe more than I trust those who believe in rules they don't entirely follow."

I've been doing research on elite private schools and the funniest thing about all of them is that they have the most hilariously random alumni. For example, here's who went to Northfield Mount Hermon, Uma Thurman's alma mater:

* William Ackerman '67, founder of Windham Hill Records
* S. Prestley Blake '34, founder of Friendly Ice Cream
* Natalie Cole '68—Grammy Award-winning vocalist
* Amy Domini '68, the "first lady of social investing"
* Lawrence Ferlinghetti '37, poet
* Lee de Forest 1893, controversial radio pioneer
* David Hartman '52, television host
* Laura Linney '82, actress
* James W. McLamore '43, founder of Burger King
* William G. Morgan 1893, inventor of volleyball
* DeWitt Wallace 1907, founder of Reader's Digest
* Willy Wolfe, founding member of the Symbionese Liberation Army


As with all mash-ups, your enjoyment of this will depend on your enjoyment of the source materials. Having said that, I like this Nelly / Lynard Skynard mash-up:

Sweet Home Country Grammar
[direct link to mp3]

This "cover art" cracks me up, as well.


This New Yorker profile of Karl Lagerfeld achieves the seemingly contradictory goal of making the designer seem:

1. fascinating, admirable, even sympathetic; and
2. ten times crazier than we already suspected.

Seriously, there's a pull-quote in every paragraph.


My favorite new (to me) webcomic is definitely Cat And Girl. Here are some of my favorites:

New Memes For 2007

Marginalized Success
Throwing Money Away

Last Refuges Of Scoundrels
Monkeys Pirates Ninjas

Strummer's Law

Wednesday, March 21

Sixteen K

You may have read a news blip about how, for the first time ever, Jeopardy ended in a three way tie. (In fact, this wasn't true; it was, however, the first time that the three-way tie was a number greater than $0.)

All the stories took a "what are the chances?" tone, and they all quoted a phoney-baloney number of the odds being 1 in 25 million. But that would only be true if the bets were determined randomly...and they're not. In fact, the only thing left to chance was whether or not all three of them would get Final Jeopardy right. As for the tie itself...the current champion, Scott Weiss, THREW THE GAME.

Let me explain. Going into Final Jeopardy, Scott had $13,000. Both of his opponents had $8000. Scott knew that both of his opponents would bet it all because they'd be hoping that Scott and the other guy would both get the question wrong or wouldn't bet enough.

Therefore, the most his opponents could end up with at the end of the game was $16,000 (that is, double $8000). So, to win, all Scott had to bet was $3001, which would leave him with $16,001.

But Scott only bet $3000. Why?

1. A three-way tie for first is suh-weet.
2. On Monday, he'd face two opponents he already knew he could beat.

but mostly:

3. By all accounts, Scott is one of the nicest guys in the world. If he had won the game, his opponents would have each gotten the $2000 second-place prize. But a three-way tie meant that his opponents would also be champions and each of them would get to keep their $16,000.

It's a fascinating story that's being shamefully underreported. In its own way, there's almost something heroic about it: Scott could have walked away that day with $26,000, but he gave it up so that two strangers would each make an additional $14,000.


Scott's Friend:

Scott Himself: