Category: Gambling

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Poem: Seeing Things

this peculiar ability to discern patterns amid chaos is the natural state of the universe or so we say when perfection exceeds our vision of what is possible and what is beyond mere possibility veering into realms explored in sweaty paperbacks and sterile laboratories where the where of who we are in the vastness is...

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Lotteries, Poker, and Other People’s Money

Braving odds of 176 million-to-1, scores of otherwise sensible Americans, including several of our intelligent friends, were infected with Lottery Fever this past week, standing in lines of up to three hours to buy a ticket at “lucky” liquor stores and gas stations. The prospect of a $640 million jackpot and the assurance that some...

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Acceptable Collateral Damage

Every time we get into our car, we die a little. Every time we return safely home, someone else hasn’t. That driving an automobile is a dangerous activity is not open to dispute. We all understand the frequency of accidents, and what happens when cars crash: terrible collisions that ruin (or end) lives.  This specter of...

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The 85% Diet

Facing the physique-softening indignities of middle-age, a friend — call him Chumley, or Chum – adheres to a different diet-and-exercise plan every few weeks or months. He’s done them all, with varying degrees of success. (The old-fashioned “burn more calories than you consume” method doesn’t come with a glossy recipe book or 4-hours-a-month workout plan,...

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Suckers!

Casinos have a term for their customers. It’s not nice, so the term isn’t used in polite company. But the folks who give away their money at slot machines and dice tables and roulette wheels, the folks who tote around their Player’s Card and receive complimentary buffets and tickets to the magic show, are affectionately...

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Where the Money Is

Take a walk around your city’s downtown. Look at the skyline. Note the names on the tallest buildings. See who has the wealth.  In Los Angeles, almost all the skyscrapers bear the names of corporations that handle money: banks, accounting firms, insurance companies. This seems right. These organizations, one reckons, ought to have lots of...

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Unfortunate Misapprehensions

With each day’s news comes further affirmation that it is entirely possible to be reasonably intelligent, highly educated, and specially trained while also being utterly ignorant of what’s commonly understood to be reality.  No, I’m not speaking of the funny folks with advanced degrees who denounce the Theory of Evolution in favor of loopy fairy...

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Asking the Right Question About Lotteries

A nearly destitute rancher, living in one of the ten poorest counties in the United States, in South Dakota, just won $232 million in the inter-state Powerball lottery. He will take home a lump sum of nearly $89 million after taxes.  More important to some — namely, those who market state lotteries and those who...

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Tough Questions

Is it worth keeping millions of Americans employed in an industry that produces products which harm our country? Would those laborers be better utilized making something that’s good for society? Or is it simply more important to provide jobs — to maintain jobs — no matter how pointless and unhelpful they are?  Other than the...

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Department of I Tried to Warn You

One of the most useful tools at a blowhard’s disposal is a search function of his gaseous blatherings. When one is in the business of spouting unsolicited opinions, few of which garner attention or reflection worthy of their profundity, having the means to retrieve long-ignored pronoucements allows the self-annointed know-it-all to remind himself (and anyone...