Wednesday, May 11, 2005

What's the big deal?

Another Round Robin of opinions, this taken from the Angry Twins: ""List five things that people in your circle of friends or peer group are wild about, but you can't really understand the fuss over. To use the words of Caesar (from History of the World Part I), 'Nice. Nice. Not thrilling . . . but nice.'"

1. Manicures. I like nice nails as much as any girl, but I manage just fine with a bottle of polish, a nail file, a big iced tea and a rerun of Law & Order. My friends seem to feel actually refreshed when they come back from a lunchtime manicure. A massage I get, but a manicure?

2. Rolex watches. Or any expensive watch. Here's something that gets whacked against things, rained on, shaken, scratched on the desk, dunked in the sink...and costs two grand! If I had one, I'd have to have a velvet pillow in my other hand to rest my wrist upon it as I walked around.

3. Reality TV. People say that they get "caught up in it" without meaning to, and lots of thoughtful people include the Kick-Off Of The Week in their blogs. And I appreciate the interest and connection with a favorite TV show. But in my disgruntled opinion, Reality TV is two lies in one: it isn't reality and it sure ain't TV.

4. The Powerball Lotto. Every time the prize gets past $10 million ($3 million is apparently chump change), some of my office compatriots lose no time in collecting $5 from everyone in the office and driving to the border with Indiana and buying strings of tickets. I can't seem to convince anyone that the chances of winning are not improved by purchasing more tickets! That would be a raffle, not a lotto. Of course, wuss that I am, I put my $5 in every time.

5. A closet full of shoes. Black, brown, navy blue, sandals, sneakers, a pair of black patent leather pumps for fancy. I'm set. What else do you need?
UPDATE: And one white pair, just so I can wear them only between Memorial Day and Labor Day and feel shoe-ly superior.



Julie D. said...

I agree on all counts ... I am able to do this on the "reality TV" front only because I rarely remember that The Amazing Race and Wife Swap would come under that category. The former is the best game show ever and the latter is the best televised sociological experiment ever ...

Rosalind said...

Caveat reader.I'll draw from lots of circles of friends, including former colleagues, etc. None of my nearest and dearest should be insulted.

Las Vegas Never been, never want to. Eeeuuwww.

Pointed-toe shoes. My foot? In there? Who are you kidding?

Traditional Mass forms. I love Latin, I love tradition, I'm all for holding on to what is good. But holding on solely because it's "traditional" doesn't make sense to me. My measure is, "Is it worshipful?" Some new stuff is great. Some old stuff is heavenly. I'll take it all.

Shopping for fun. Shopping is rarely fun. It has to be with exactly the right friend in exactly the right venue. So why would you spoil that wonderful set-up by standing in line at a cashier?

Going to bed early. Just call me "Owl."

Bob the Ape said...

If your co-workers are buying multiple tickets with the same numbers on each, then no, the chance of winning doesn't go up. However, if each ticket has a different set of numbers, then the chance of winning does go up. Details available on request.

Therese Z said...

If there are 8 million number combos and I buy 1 of them vs buying 10 of them, do I measurably change my chances of winning?

Yes, please explain. I never was good at this stuff. It's very close to statistics, and those make me mean.

Bob the Ape said...

Dear Therese,

Sorry for the delay. The question, as you asked in your comment, pretty much answers itself: 10 chances of winning is a tenfold increase over 1 chance of winning. The flip side is that the chances of losing drop from 7,999,999 to 7,999,990, a decrease of about 0.0001125%; and people tend to focus more on the chance of losing than on the chance of winning. So, yes, your chance of winning goes up; no, you probably won't feel like it does, because your chance of losing goes down hardly at all. It's a matter of psychology more than mathematics.




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