(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘ornament

“Oh, I am fortune’s fool!”*…

 

poker

 

For many years, my life centered around studying the biases of human decision-making: I was a graduate student in psychology at Columbia, working with that marshmallow-tinted legend, Walter Mischel, to document the foibles of the human mind as people found themselves in situations where risk abounded and uncertainty ran high. Dissertation defended, I thought to myself, that’s that. I’ve got those sorted out. And in the years that followed, I would pride myself on knowing so much about the tools of self-control that would help me distinguish myself from my poor experimental subjects. Placed in a stochastic environment, faced with stress and pressure, I knew how I’d go wrong — and I knew precisely what to do when that happened.

Fast-forward to 2016. I have embarked on my latest book project, which has taken me into foreign territory: the world of No Limit Texas Hold ’em… The biases I know all about in theory, it turns out, are much tougher to fight in practice…

Maria Konnikova. a New York Times bestselling author and contributor to The New Yorker with a doctorate in psychology, decided to learn how to play poker to better understand the role of luck in our lives, examining the game through the lens of psychology and human behavior.  An excerpt is adapted from her new book, The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win: “The Hard Truth Of Poker — And Life: You’re Never ‘Due’ For Good Cards.”

* Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

###

As we ante up, we might spare a thought for Don Featherstone; he died on this date in 2015.  An artist, he is surely best remembered for his creation of the plastic pink flamingo lawn ornament in 1957, while working for Union Products.  It went on sale the following year– and now adorns lawns nationwide.

In 1996, Featherstone was awarded the 1996 Ig Nobel Art Prize for his creation; that same year, he began his tenure as president of Union Products, a position he held until he retired in 2000.

170px-Flamingo_1

A Featherstone flock

source

 

Written by LW

June 22, 2020 at 1:01 am

“The worst gift I was given came when I got out of rehab that Christmas; a bottle of wine. It was delicious.”*…

 

sa_is_salt

 

(Roughly) Daily is headed, after this post, into it’s annual Holiday hiatus; regular service will resume on or around January 2.  So, with best wishes for the New Year, these practical tips for dealing with some of the exigencies of the season…

 

A chemistry-themed spice rack [pictured above]: This one really knocks it out of the park. It’s designed to go on the counter, first of all, and it’s fragile, so if you have badly-behaved cats you’re going to have to stress about them shattering all or part of it. In order to use it, people have to conscientiously funnel bulk spices into teeny tiny flasks, which is a pain in the ass. Nine of the thirteen containers are test tubes with curved bottoms so you can’t put them down on the counter and have them stand upright. They have corks as tops so you need two hands to open them and there’s no shaker. Finally — this is really the icing on the cake — they come with cute chemistry-themed labels but while they look like chemical formulas they’re super wrong, like “Salt” is “Sa” instead of NaCl, so if your recipient is a chemist, it is guaranteed to annoy the hell out of them. This is bulky, difficult to use, difficult to store, and also just stupid for its intended purpose…

Just one of the handy tips in Naomi Kritzer‘s “Gifts for People You Hate, 2019.”

And lest one forget oneself, here’s all one needs to know to make a Christmas cinema classic an integral part of one’s own celebration: step-by-step instructions on “How to make your own Die Hard Christmas tree ornament.”

Die Hard

* Craig Ferguson

###

As we check things off the list, we might recall that it was on this date in 1946 that Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life premiered.  Featuring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a small town banker who has given up his dreams to help others, and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve elicits the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers).  Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched, and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would have been had George never been born.

The film disappointed at the box office on its release; but it was nominated for five Academy Awards, and has gone on to become a classic, recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made,

Its_A_Wonderful_Life_Movie_Poster source

 

Written by LW

December 20, 2019 at 1:01 am

%d bloggers like this: