Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pick #326

Tommy Tutone - "867-5309/Jenny"

When a friend asks for me to text them Billy Bob's phone number, I like to write "for a good time call Billy Bob at 867-5309" but I use actual phone #

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Whiskey Air Freshener

I like the smell of whiskey.  I think it would make a great air freshener...but it would be a bad idea to use it in a car.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Parents are Economists #1: Honesty is the Best Policy

I think I might start a new blog series called My Parents are Economists.  It's true that neither of them are professional economists and that they might not think like economists sometimes, but they taught me a lot about the economic way of thinking when I was growing up even if they didn't call it that.

So, economists (especially game theorists) will tell you that honesty is not always the best policy depending on the payoff structure of the game you are playing.  My parents careful to make sure to structure payoffs such that truth telling led to higher payoffs than lying.  I would always get in more trouble if they found out I was lying than if I told the truth initially.  Since I'm a bad liar that raised the probability that they would sooner or later catch me in a lie to nearly 1.

As parents, you want to have an honest line of communication with your children.  If you want them to be straightforward with you, then you can't chastise them for telling you things like when they had a few beers the other night.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Power Grips on MKS Pedals

You can put Power Grips on MKS pedals.  I was looking for an upgrade to the stock setup on my fixed gear so I went with Power Grips.  I later had an accident because my left crank arm snapped in half and the left pedal was damaged in the crash.  I really liked the Power Grips because I could wear just about any shoe instead of being limited to my clipless shoes and still get good power out of the setup.

When I replaced the pedals, I wanted something a bit nicer than the Power Grips stock pedals.  I went with the MKS Sylvan Touring pedals after deciding that I didn't like the 1-sided MKS Sylvan Road pedals.  In fact, you can use any pedal as long as it has a place to put the 3 screws pictured in this post.  The Power Grips come with mounting hardware and I think the spacing between screws is fairly standard.

Riding my fixie in Tallahassee would be nearly impossible without a foot retention system.  I have some hills around here with a 10%+ grade and although they are not very long, it would be impossible to get up them with my 48/15 gear ratio.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I was teaching about doomsday predictions about a week ago.  I used global predictions of disaster to set up my talk about panic over running out of resources.  As specific examples, I used the Family Radio prediction about the end of the world in May of 2011 and the timely Mayan Calendar example.  I also mentioned the Y2K thing and almost none of my students knew what that was.  I had to explain that people freaked out about 12-31-99 rolling over to 1-1-00 would throw off computers and how early computer programmers didn't have the space to put 12-31-1999.

I guess most of my students were 6 when this happened.  I feel like it's a relatively current event, but I didn't think about my audience enough when using that example.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Four Way Tie

Tonight was officer election night at the Golden Key meeting.  There are about 10 officer positions.  A few of them didn't need elections because people ran unopposed.  The historian spot was fairly highly sought after with 4 candidates.  Each of them gave a great speech about their qualifications and vision for GK.  They were all so good and just about as good as each other that I could not decide for whom to vote.  Turns out that everyone else (on average) must have felt the same way because there was a 4 way tie.  Oh, and I abstained! (Someone else voted for a fictional name)  I could have been the deciding vote...but I don't think that would have been very fair since I don't have a strong preference.  Now they are all going to have to put together a portfolio and the person who produces the best quality work gets the job.  In a room with ~30 other people, I'm surprised that it came down to the wire like that.  A 2 way tie would not have surprised me, but the 4 way was pretty interesting.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Similar Sounding Songs

I was watching this Vsauce video about if we will ever run out of music when I followed a link to a website that lets you play two similar sounding songs side by side.  I've had a few thoughts about some songs that sound similar or have similar words.  I think this might be a good theme for a mix tape.  Speaking of mixes, another relevant site shows that "everything is a remix."

Monday, December 3, 2012

Birthday Heat Map

This interactive heat map shows how common your birthday is.  Looks like people make New Year's resolutions to make babies.  It also looks like there's some preference to have a baby a few days before Christmas or a couple days after.  I'm sure you can see some patterns I missed.

This is a great data vizualization tool.  I've been thinking more and more about data viz.  I ended up doing some of it for my experiment just so I could see what was going on behind those spreadsheets full of numbers.