April 10, 2014 § Leave a comment
I’m humbled that Fritz and I had the opportunity to run press coverage for Lollapalooza: Argentina this year. You can read up on our formal report of the festival over at Consequence of Sound.
Music festivals aside, I thought I’d put together a short list of the most peculiar, odd, memorable, remarkable aspects of the trip. Some things to do, some things to look for, some things to think about. Sort of a list of reflections, sort of a travel guide.
Here’s my (of course) Top 11:
1. Everyone loves Jamiroquai. He was on the radio, he was in the background at bars, he was on the playlist at house parties, the live band we saw Sunday played a (tremendous) cover, a friend of ours had his logo tattooed onto his arm.
I mean, Jamiroquai’s great. Listen to this. You might also recognize him from Napoleon Dynamite. The thing is, Jamiroquai’s last album came out 4 years ago, and his last worthwhile album I’d argue was A Funk Odyssey which was released in 2001. Not to say that sort of popularity model is impossible—Daft Punk managed to stay highly relevant throughout the twelve muted years between Discovery (2001) and Random Access Memories (2013). It’s just surprising.
2. When you go out, you’re going to start drinking at 8 or 9pm, you’re going to get dinner at 11 or 12, and you’re going to stay out until something like 7am. It’s a lifestyle choice, it’s probably not a healthy one, it’s certainly not a sustainable one, but it’s a thrill and it’s what all the cool kids are doing.
3. Everyone still uses old-school, heavy-duty style keys for their apartments. Like this. These are super cool. Until you’ve left the keys on your host’s kitchen counter upon your departure because you’re switching to your next homestay, and find that for some reason, you need a key to unlock the front door of the apartment building from the inside.
…So we got stuck inside the apartment lobby twice. I don’t know, I thought that was funny.
4. Pizza is a big deal in Buenos Aires—which obviously makes me incredibly happy—but the most prolific chain is called “Kentucky Pizza.”
…What the hell is “Kentucky” pizza? That doesn’t make sense. I know there’s Kentucky bourbon, Kentucky chicken, and Kentucky (Louisville) baseball bats. There’s no such thing as Kentucky pizza. We made Kentucky pizza jokes relentlessly, which all fell flat because none of our local friends could commiserate on how preposterous a concept this was.
In any event, Argentinian pizza most closely resembles Chicago style. Not quite as thick. Very heavy on mozzarella. Reliably delicious, worthy of a meal (especially if you’re hungry at 5am).
5. Speaking of jokes: We found that poking fun at “Paco” was the only joke you can consistently make as a gringo who can barely speak Spanish. And we tried, frequently, to be funny.[ref]Arguably the problem is that I’m actually not very funny in the first place.[/ref]
But Paco, a horrific street drug with ingredients including cocaine waste, rat poison, and kerosene, unified as a concept both mutually understood and utterly ridiculous.
6. Using the Argentine Peso pretty much felt like the equivalent of going to an amusement park and being given Disney Dollars.
- I think we managed to find two restaurants during the entire trip that would accept credit cards. I’m told that businesses don’t want to wait to get paid at the end of the month by the credit cards because the peso will probably be worth less by then.
- Nobody—not Bank of America, not the official exchange companies in the airport whose ONE JOB it is to execute this exact transaction—accepts Argentine Pesos in exchange for USD.
- The stated exchange rate from USD to ARP was about 1:8, but the effective exchange rate was about 20% better if you go to the black market… which, you know, is in the middle of town and out in the open. There’s one street with just a bunch of guys yelling “cambio!” at anyone who walks by.
- My personal favorite: At these currency exchanges, there’s a better exchange rate for $100’s than there is for smaller bills. Come on… that’s just silly, right?
7. Bomba de Tiempo on Monday nights is utterly sublime and exactly the kind of experience you should seek any time you would ever want to go to a foreign country. Oozes with local culture, suitable for pretty much all ages. There’s space in the back if you want to be quieter and less sweaty, no space in the front if you want to get dancy and meet people, and it’s a totally unique spectacle that’s impossible to do justice by sharing a Youtube clip or a photo.
8. The McDonald’s downtown serves a hamburger with an egg on it during lunch hours. I don’t even remember what it was called (McTasty? McHuevo?). All I know is it’s exactly what I’ve always wanted from McDonald’s. It’s a favorite travel tradition of mine to explore the local Mickey D’s menu, which consistently surfaces items that are simultaneously home-y and otherworldly.
Though I guess if that’s not your style, go to a parilla—a cheap, hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint—and eat whatever they’re cooking because it’ll be cheap and savory and fun and an extremely local experience.
Though maybe that’s also not your style. In which case…
9. You can go to Cabrera and that’s all well and good, and everybody knows about it including all our friends who’ve visited Buenos Aires and wrote us guide notes, including Fritz’s guidebooks, including the locals, the cab drivers, everyone. And it was good. Worth a trip because it’s a fine steak and it’ll cost you like $15 USD ($30, I suppose, if you want side dishes and want to split an entire bottle of wine).
But for the real deal, for possibly the best steak I’ve ever eaten, you have to go to a place that nobody had even heard of except for one in-the-know friend. The restaurant is called Dada.
You have to eat the Lomo Dada / get it ‘bien Jugoso’ / write all that down / it’s a filet over au gratin potatoes / it’s the best meal on the fucking planet.
And he’s right. He’s absolutely 75% right. Because I’m an idiot and didn’t listen to instructions and didn’t write it down, and once we got there I had to guess which menu item to order, so we wound up with one Lomo Dada and one Ojo de Bife.[ref]Also because I know he reads this and it’s funnier to not give him 100% correctness, just on principle.[/ref] It turns out the Ojo de Bife was equally transcendent.
In any event: Dada is the one completely non-interchangeable thing in my list. No other guide will tell you to go here, and there’s no way you can proxy it by eating something else at a different restaurant. Go here. Better yet, go here at 2am when you and everyone else at the other tables have already had a few drinks.
I’m loathe to give Sacha’s contact info out semi-publicly, but feel free to send royalty checks my way addressed to him and I’ll forward them accordingly.
10. The people are amazing. I occasionally feel like kind of a sap for saying this, but really. The amount of generosity and hospitality we received from nearly complete strangers was utterly ridiculous.
Ben offered to meet us at our hostel on Day 1 to help us get our footing. Celina took out an entire afternoon to offer a guided tour in the footsteps of Borges. We met up with Rocio & her crew four times. Barbie invited us to a show she was performing and also graciously hosted us for an odd night we were left without other housing. Luke gave us an invite and the password to a divinely cool secret house party. Ivi picked us up at the hostel and drove us across town to go out drinking and clubbing. That was within the span of a week, and I’m sure I’m forgetting other acts and actors of kindness. In any event: I send them my deepest, truest thanks.
Also worth calling out my friends Mel, Luciana, Kate, Seth & Steve, Sacha, and Nelly, whose contacts and local insights proved indispensable. Thanks and cheers to you guys, too.
11. To go out with a, erm, punch: Apparently, Captain Falcon has Argentinian heritage—and a history of Captains in his lineage. You can check out his ancestor’s tomb in the Recoleta Cemetery. Here’s a picture. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
November 4, 2013 § Leave a comment
An update: A gif I made last year, Hulk Hogan Plays Guitar On Top of Places, has as of this writing been viewed over 130,000 times and has consumed over 1 Terabyte of internet bandwidth.
I understand the Academy has been in touch with my agent. I’d like to take a moment to thank God, my friends, and my family who all helped make this possible.
October 21, 2013 § Leave a comment
Part two of my list of Bad Business ideas. Click here for Part I
Cell Phone Confetti Poppers: Ring tones are lame and the vibrate function doesn’t show off your personal style. Enter cell phone confetti poppers. They look just like the Square credit card reader that plugs into your earphone jack, except confetti poppers make a loud pop and shoot confetti whenever you receive a call or text! Inject some party into your daily life with cell phone confetti poppers.
Iron Chef Catering: Bring the excitement of iron chef to your next backyard party! Iron chef catering serves delicious meals with one catch: the special ingredient is not announced until the food is served! Imagine the excitement of your friends and family as everyone finds out whether each food item is going to contain bean curd… or pork bellies!
Hydrogen Party Balloons: There is a helium crisis in America. We’re low on helium and what we do have is constantly escaping earth to outer space. Hydrogen, in contrast, is abundant, cheap, and fun! Hydrogen party balloons are 8% more buoyant than conventional balloons giving your party that extra kick!
Mini Pencils: Like regular pencils, but they take up less space. The mini pencil is ideal for getting kids excited about learning how to write.
Massage Flippers: For the snorkeling enthusiast who hates foot cramps, introducing massage flippers. These electric flippers are like an electric back massage cushion, but on your feet. Sold exclusively at The Sharper Image.
Mini Smelter: If you’re like most Americans, you use electricity at home in the morning and at night, but almost not at all during the day when you’re away at work. If so, you are wasting a valuable opportunity for a completely passive source of income! A mini aluminum smelter can be turned on to run during the day, just like your dish washer. Except a smelter produces liquid metal gold* enabling you to sell commodity products to your local soda can manufacturer.
Thumb Wrestling TV: Thumb wrestling, also known as “the mini golf of martial arts” is actively played on playgrounds across America. Thumb Wrestling TV uncovers the fierce competition in this underground sport and introduces viewers to the top thumb warriors in the game today.
The Reverse Lottery: Looking for a fun new game where almost everyone is a winner? The reverse lottery is the game for you. Here’s how it works: Everyone who wants to play is given a ticket and $1. (Play as many times as you like!) 99%+ of players win and walk away. One player loses and everything they own is repossessed. Hey, it probably won’t be you!
Microchip Child: Microchip implants for pets have become more and more popular. Microchips allow runaway pets to be identified by pet shelters, saving pet owners from fear and heartbreak. Microchips for children bring you that same comfort and security. A microchip is perfect for the parent who likes the idea of a child leash, but doesn’t want to look like a control freak.
Hello Kitty Airlines: Fact: Most airlines are boring. Sure, they get you from point A to point B, but where is the fun in that? Hello Kitty Airline is similar to previous novelty airlines like Hooters Air, and LasVegas Airlines, except that it caters to the key elementary school girl travel demographic. Oh wait, this one already exists. My mistake.
HEADJAMZ: Dual sided headphones so that you can correctly listen to your music and be a walking boombox. Particularly effective on public transit. Also, the outward-facing speakers will be only tweeters, so that it’s extra tinny. We’ll make it in China from the crappiest materials possible and sell it for $200. Eat your heart out, Beats!
LP-8: Rather than recording LP to MP3, a thing that records LP to an 8 track, for maximum hipster street cred. (And futureproofing!). $400
Phonesnaps: glue snaps to your phone, wear with corresponding belt to keep phone out of the pocket of your super tight/painfully distressed jeans. For people who are a) interested in looking like a business man with a phone holster or b) vain as hell and want to show off their iphone 5. Bonus: it spins, so you can do phone tricks! 1-and-1: totally not a thief magnet! Double Bonus: Basketball jokes. Production Cost: $0.17, MSRP: $15 for 2 if you call in the first 15 minutes, plus we’ll throw in the bonus rhinestone edition for free.
Favorilunch: Food truck that just drives around and buys lunch from other places, then sells said food at a premium. Also, there are no coolers/heaters on board, so your cold stuff gets warm, and your warm stuff gets cold. Who doesn’t want 3-hour-old Big Macs? Sadly, I think this is actually a viable (and likely already executed) business plan. $5 per delivery
Overseers, Inc.: Company of consultant “watchers” to physically walk around and make sure people are productive. Big brother is guaranteed to increase productivity and worker well-being! Oh, and they won’t actually DO anything. They’ll just oversee. No reports, no telling people to get to work. Maybe they can wear the Ordinator Masks from Morrowind to instill respect. $100/hr
Lightsavers: – Company that you can pay to strip your house of 20th (and 21st) century creature comforts in the sake of eco-friendly behavior. You’ll be the envy of all your crunchy friends when they find out you not only culled the TV from your life, but also electricity, running water, and air conditioning. $morethanyoucanaffordasrippingelectricalandplumbingoutofwallsisreallyexpensive
Tepid Travelers: Travel agency to take people on tours of culturally devoid (but highly representative) parts of a city/country. Think bus tours of chintzy strip malls and outdated amusement parks. Again, for the hipster crowd (who are all pretending this wasn’t their childhood). This also would make a really great photo portfolio. $500 for a bus trip that lasts for 1 weekend, lodging and food not included, and driving to/from takes up the vast majority of the trip. Oh, and the bathrooms will all be broken and never to be repaired.
Choose your tandem adventure:
Pedalcab: – Rather than the traditional pedicab, just hop on the back of a tandem! It’s got all the convenience of a pedicab, but only 1 person can ride it, and it’s really uncomfortable. And you have to work. $Sameasacab
It Takes Two to Tandem: tandem bikes dropped off throughout the city, for when you want to use a bike, but want to split the cost with someone. What are the chances someone DOESN’T want to join you at your destination? Bonus: awkward time with strangers! $Halfthepriceofacab + yourdignity (This would probably actually work really well at a music festival)
OptionalOffice: an office that folds down into a briefcase for easy travel. (Sadly, they did a similar skit this week on SNL where they had a bathroom desk that you could set up in a stall, and collapse down into a heavy suitcase) Pulled from market due to copyright infringement.
EZ Bake Dresser: Get that just-out-of-the-dryer warmth every morning with a warming drawer in your dresser! Definitely not a fire hazard or an incredible waste of energy! Covert your old dresser for $300+installation, or buy our custom dressers with multiple warming drawers for only $2000. Also, every drawer has its own plug, so BYO power strip(s).
The Snap-on-Sipper: Snap-on lid for a soup bowl so you can drink the broth without worrying about spilling it all over your face. Because, you know, tipping is dangerous. Production cost: $0.12, MSRP: $6 for 2 if you call within the next 15 minutes.
The Comfort of Digital Security: A filing cabinet that unlocks with an app. Because cellphones and apps will forever be used, supported, and/or culturally relevant. But when that forever ends, all your shit is trapped for the next ever. $249.99 (from Skymall only)
EcoBeans: An eco-friendly company that only sells its coffee to people who bring their own mug. If you don’t you get it served to you in one of those super-crappy paper cups you get at the golf course. Spills and burns will teach you, treehater! $Priceless
HandHolders: A (customizable!) strap to put on your laptop so that you can carry it with one hand. Since you can’t carry it with one hand already. This will be all the rage with kids because a) it’s pointless and b) it’s a status symbol. We’ll sell this for $80 to generate maximum strife between middle school kids and their hard-working parents.
1) Moving Buddy — just like a real friend who “helps” you move, you pay for an expert with a crossover SUV whose car can only carry half of your stuff to come watch you struggle to fit your couch through the door, occasionally encouraging you to “back it out, and try it sideways.”
2) Junk Mail Disposal — a technician comes by your house every morning and throws away your junk mail. And maybe some of your other mail.
3) E-mail answering service — I spend about 70% of my time answering emails, and most of the time the recipients couldn’t care less what I say. So why not pay an up-and-coming comedian to practice their one-liners on my behalf?
4) Notification notifier — A subscription-based notification service that notifies you when you have unread notifications.
5) “No-fly list? No problem!” Airlines — A budget airline that doesn’t hire any security personnel. It’s cheaper, and faster — no lines, no metal detectors, no pesky bomb-sniffing dogs. Carry all the liquids you want.
6) If Lenscrafters can put an optometrist in every WalMart, I don’t see why we can’t have walk-in plastic surgery shops in shopping malls.
7) Opposite Day — A restaurant that serves the opposite of whatever you order. “I’ll just have a salad.” ? Hope you like 3 lbs of flank steak. ” Can you make that without tomatoes?” What about making it with ONLY tomatoes? Of course, you can try to game the system, but there’s a catch — every 100th order the kitchen receives is taken at face value.
8) The Napp Store — Retail outlets like coffee shops, where you can buy a nap. Naps come in Small, Medium, or Large. Remember, for whatever you need, “There’s a Nap for that.”
9) Ummmmeter — Like a pedometer, only it counts the number of times you say “ummmm …” or any variant thereof. Allows you to share this statistic on Facebook or twitter.
10) A service to have people come and do odd jobs for you, but only to 95% completion. This way, you feel incredibly accomplished (“I did 3 loads of laundry, mowed my lawn, walked my dog, and washed my car today!”) without having to actually do any of the hard work.
October 14, 2013 § 1 Comment
I felt like it’d be productive to have a big list of bad business ideas. I asked a handful of friends to pitch in.
Send me an email if you’d like to contribute. Part II is coming next week.
1. The Blackout Movie Theater — Do you enjoy listening to movies, but hate watching them? The Blackout Movie Theater brings all the comfort and joy of going to the movies, without being able to watch a thing. Our theaters are equipped with Full Dolby Surround Sound, but no visual projection systems. Now playing Silent Films only. Blind customers not admitted.
2. The Youputer — Do you have an overwhelming desire to process and express information through binary code? Then the Youputer might be right for you. After six month long surgery and recuperation process (with up to an extra month for defragmentation), you can replace your human brain with a used, nineties Dell Computer processor (sorry Mac Fanboys, Windows OS ONLY!). Be wary of those windows updates, however — you might have to restart in safe mode.
3. The Reverse Urinal – Just use your imagination. R. Kelly maybe already owns three. Coming Soon: The Reverse Toilet.
4. The Offline Social Network — Inspired by Taco from “The League,” the offline social network brings you all the joy of finding out what your friends are up to, without the benefit of instant updates and with the added obligation of criminal charges for all of the stalking that you do. Your profile page is a large piece of recylcled poster board (From a 7th grade science fair), which comes with sticky adhesive so that you can put it on your apartment door, or a string so that you can wear it around your neck like a sandwich board.
5. The Personal WiFi Hotspot — Annoyed that you can never get internet service when you really need it? The Personal WiFi Hotspot is a surrogate that follows you around holding a 100-foot antenna, at all times! Available in hardwire version only — so you must be plugged into your surrogate when you want to use the internet; we swear we’re working on a wireless version….
6. The Smoke Enhancer — Are you the type of person that enjoys annoying non-smokers with the stench of your addictive habit? Do you get off on giving as many babies and children second hand smoke as you possibly can? Then you should invest in the smoke enhancer. Shaped like a megaphone, this device guarantees that the smell and impact radius of your cigarette will be increased tenfold.
7. The Guess the Last Ingredient Cookbook (“GLIC”) — Are you a food connoisseur, or just the type who likes to combine things you find in the pantry in order to see what happens? The GLIC comes fully equipped with all of your favorite recipes, but intentionally leaves the last one out. It’s up to you to figure out what is missing and should be included. Think that chocolate is the missing link to making your culinary take on Pizza? Go for it. Emeril Lagasse called this “The Where’s Waldo of Cookbooks.” (Hint: The missing ingredient was cheese; it’s always cheese).
8. The Inkless Pen — Do you enjoy scratching on paper for hours on end, and struggling to write down the notes that you’re professor is moving too fast for you to take anyway? The inkless pen allows you to scratch whatever you want to write onto your paper, and comes equipped with a magnifying glass so that you can decipher your caveman markings later. Perfect for writing secret notes to friends, the pen is equipped with a sharp point at the end in order to maximize effectiveness.
WARNING FOR TEENAGE GIRLS: NOT RECOMMENDED FOR AMATEUR BODY HENNA WHILE BORED IN CLASS
9. The Dog Petter — Tired of petting your dog? Those pesky animals demand so much attention, so what if you could get a proxy for your hand? After all, the purpose of having a dog isn’t to pet it. It’s to feed it and clean up its poop. So take all the joy out of owning a dog, and buy the pet petter. Available in white, black, and all shades in between.
10. Sand Paper Dispenser — From the makers of the “The Reverse Urinal” and “The Reverse Toilet”, we present: The Sandpaper Dispenser. Tired of having course paper towels that you can barely get out of the dispenser after trying not to touch absolutely anything in the public bathroom? Well if you do accidentally make contact with something, decontaminate yourself by taking off the top layer of your skin, with the Sandpaper Dispenser. Available in 2 textures: “Mild Irritation”, and “Oh God No WHYYYY”
1. U-neck t-shirts. Actually…everything-neck t-shirts.
2. Two-sided dice.
3. Soda/beer cans with a pull tab at the top AND the bottom.
4. odorless cologne
5. stickless popsicles
6. non-alcoholic vodka
7. gravel shoes
8. nonstick lint rollers
9. cook-it-yourself restaurants
10. solar powered flashlight
11. liquid ice cream
Bio: He runs this ship
- Chlorine flavored soda.
- Escalators with handrails that run in the wrong direction.
- Rotatable t-shirts with long sleeves one way and short sleeves the other. So if you walk outside and find the weather is not to your liking, pull your arms out of the sleeves, rotate the shirt 90 degrees around the neckline, and you’re good to go.
- Reversible shoes.
- Airbnb for restaurants, where people can use the restaurant’s kitchens and equipment during off-hours.
- An analog clock or watch that goes from 1-6 so you have to count AM1, AM2, PM1, PM2.
- Extendable fork & knife so you don’t have to move your hands as far while eating.
- A TV Remote with a fork attachment at the end of it so it’s more convenient to eat and watch TV at the same time.
- The Forker – a fork adhesive/attachment so that you can use the everyday object of your choice (the TV remote, your favorite pet, your other silverware) as a fork.
- The “Crazy Straw” concept applied to other straight things. For example:
- Crazy forks
- Crazy pens
- Crazy phones
- Crazy matches
- Crazy walking sticks
- Crazy Twizzlers
- Crazy fan blades
- Crazy swords
- Crazy rulers
- A smartphone app or attachment that intentionally drains the phone battery as fast as possible.
- A smartphone app that converts text messages into snail mail and delivers them via post.
- A smartphone poison pill / fart bomb. Hard-installed behind the phone motherboard. In the event your phone gets stolen, you activate this remotely and it makes the phone stink to holy hell. The thief is frustrated and will have a hard time re-selling your wares at the local pawn shop, and his thief-friends won’t want to hang out near him.
- Car crash safety rating measurement company, but for cell phones and cell phone cases. Gives phones and cases different safety ratings for “Front impact,” “Side impact,” “dropped clumsily,” “thrown across the room in drunken rage,” and “rollover.”
- Baby’s First Industrial Strength Band Saw.
- Captcha security, but for the door of your house. That way, robots can’t break in and steal your stuff.
- Gesture controlled everything, so you never have to actually interact with everyday objects. Instead, more conveniently, you can mime interacting with everything. For example:
- Gesture-controlled window shades
- Gesture-controlled light switch
- Gesture-controlled steering wheel
- Gesture-controlled toothbrush
- Kickstarter: Copyright infringement version. Crowd funding for Chinese companies to make illegal knockoffs of old, beloved products that no longer exist, like Surge, Dr. Pepper Red Fusion, Ecto Cooler, and so on.
- Replacement halves of scissors.
September 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
September 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
I once made a list of my favorite South Park episodes because a friend of mine wanted to watch the show and didn’t know where to start.
Another friend asked recently, and I now find my list to be hopelessly outdated — even though all that’s changed is just the addition of three new seasons.
So here’s a revised list. Removed episodes in
strikethru. New episodes in Italics. Especially important episodes in bold.
- S01: Cartman gets an anal probe
- Cartman’s Mom is a Dirty Slut
- S02: Chickenlover
- Big Gay Al’s Big Gay Boatride
- S03: Chinpokomon
Sexual Harassment Panda
- Starvin Mavin in Space
World Wide Recorder Concert
- S04: 4th Grade
- S05: It Hits the Fan
- Scott Tenorman Must Die
How to Eat with Your Butt
- Butters’ Very Own Episode
- S06: Jared Has Aides
- Simpsons Already Did It
- Bebe’s Boobs Destroy Society
A Ladder to Heaven
- The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers
- S07: Krazy Kripples
- Red Man’s Greed
- Casa Bonita
- S08: Good Times With Weapons
- Up the Down Steroid
- Douche and Turd
- Quest for Ratings
- Woodland Critter Christmas
- S09: The Losing Edge
- Ginger Kids
Mr. Garrison’s Fancy New Vagina
- Make Love, Not Warcraft
Go God Go
Go God Go XII
- Stanley’s Cup
- S11: With Apoligies to Jesse Jackson
- Imaginationland II
- Imaginationland III
- S12: Over Logging
- S13: The Coon
- Butters’ Bottom Bitch
- The F Word
- S14: Medicinal Fried Chicken
- You have 0 Friends
- 200 [note: watch second-to-last.]
- 201 [note: watch this last.]
- Coon 2: Hindsight (Part I)
- Mysterion Rises (Part II)
- Coon vs. Coon and Friends (Part III)
- Crème Fraiche
- S15: You’re Getting Old
- Ass Burgers [note: to be watched right after You’re Getting Old]
- Broadway Bro Down
- S16: Reverse Cowgirl
- Raising the Bar
- A Scause for Applause
June 3, 2013 § Leave a comment
Any math textbook will tell you that if you flip a fair coin 100 times, you’ll probably get results of just about 50 heads and 50 tails. This, by now, is common knowledge.
Specifically, textbooks all use the word “fair.” I don’t think that makes sense in today’s society. Every coin minted in the modern world, as far as my preliminary Google searches could tell, is fair. So in other words, the above sentence is pretty much like saying “In all ‘fair’ NHL games, a goal is worth 1 point.” Nobody would ever say that. So why the distinction for coins?
And now that I think about it: What’s the deal with all coins being “fair” coins in the first place? There are plenty of things in my life on which I need help deciding, and many of them I don’t want to leave up to a 50/50 shot. Whose turn is it to take out the trash? Which captain gets the first draft choice in the pickup softball game? Should you go talk to the attractive stranger at the other end of the bar?
Maybe you’re Two-Face and you want to use the unfair coin for your own unsavory motives. A typical reaction to a biased coin is that it’s a trick used to cheat unsuspecting strangers (or casinos) out of gambling monies. That’s not what I’m proposing. (Although I guess, I could see the issue of educating the masses about a newly weighted nickel. Shut up. Work with me here.)
I say that the biased coin would still be useful even if everyone knew about it. I took out the trash last time, so we’ll flip with the biased coin and it’ll probably be your turn this time. I’m a little better at softball, so you should probably get the first pick. You should almost definitely go talk to the attractive stranger at the other end of the bar (this coin should probably just have two heads).
At the very least, we thus justify the otherwise redundant diction in all those schoolbooks.