Tagged: smart

Betting

Betting on the stock market is not illegal. Indeed, it’s a venerated pastime, and those who are good at it are celebrated on magazine covers and given honorary doctorates. What these luminaries do, though, is essentially what good sports bettors do: Find an undervalued team (in this case, a company) and bet on it with...

Golf Abides

A couple of days after watching Jack Nicklaus play his last round of competitive major championship golf , we got a letter from an 83-year-old woman we’d met on a golf course. She reminded us that her regular foursome, composed of friends from high school, met every week to hack it around. “We really love...

Nothing But the Blues

Not long ago, a knowledgeable musicologist we know declared that jazz was dead — and had been for more than 30 years. We recall circa 1978 Johnny Rotten (nee Lydon) of the spectacular punk band the Sex Pistols announcing that rock and roll was dead. Opera, of course, has been consigned to the cemetery for...

The Appeal of Obsessives

Each week at the local library, where I serve as a volunteer literacy tutor, a man comes in and sits down at the table across from ours. I assume he’s homeless, because his skin and clothes are dirty, and his hair unkempt. (Since he has a full beard and lacks an iPod, he’s probably not...

Fishbowl or Shroud?

You may hate your job, husband, car, wardrobe, and neighbors. You may bridle at the indignities of waiting in lines, dealing with low-wage clerks, negotiating traffic, and cleaning up after the dog. You may wish your life wasn’t your life. But you don’t want to be famous. Not really famous. The money’s good, and having...

The Word Fuck

At the World Series of Poker, which is happening in Las Vegas now, players may say anything they like, no matter how distasteful or rude. They may not, however, say the word fuck, either as a noun or verb. Those that do incur a ten-minute penalty away from the table, where they may reflect on...

The Abortion Quandary

The spectacularly enlightening exhibit “Bodies,” which has been shown around the world and is currently on display in Las Vegas, features dissected and preserved human beings and their various body systems. Amid all the exposed muscles and nerves, intestines and livers, bones and brains, is a section devoted to complete embryos and fetuses in various...

Doing the Right Thing

In a world that increasingly seems to lack absolute values, where right and wrong have constantly shifting shades of meaning interpreted by courts, church pulpits, and the vicissitudes of public whim, “doing the right thing” can be problematic. How can anyone be sure he’s acting righteously if the notion of righteousness is constantly in flux?...

Poker.net

The most disingenuous television advertisements of the moment are for online poker Web sites, many of which market themselves during broadcasts of professional poker tournaments, such as the ones I commentate on for FoxSports. The last two World Series of Poker champions, Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer, play at (and endorse) a site called PokerStars.com....

Working Hard for Indolence

We’re taught that indolence, if not an outright sin, is an unattractive quality that ambitious strivers should abhor. The byproduct of laziness — i.e., nothing — doesn’t enrich the world in any way, whereas effort and action, even when fruitless or irrelevant, keeps the turbines of consumption pumping. Work: good. Indolence: bad. Yet, for many...