Friday, February 5, 2016

2015-16 NBA Standings Thru Feb. 5

Another amazing season is shaping up - in case you haven't been paying attention!

Here are the NBA standings through Feb. 5, 2016:

Click to enlarge! -- (Source)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Just a RANT about Anti-Smoking Commercials

You know what really makes me SICK?

Several DECADES ago, our government put their foot down, and decided to no longer allow cigarette advertisements on TV. None whatsoever.

So now that it's 2016, why in the hell do I have to watch commercials showing a guy explaining how much it sucks to live his life when he has a hole in his throat? I won't watch, but I also mute the TV, because the last thing anyone wants to hear is a guy having to hold a machine against his larynx to be able to talk, and I don't want to hear it. And it's not only him. This company has launched several anti-smoking advertisements recently, with a few different "victims". Some of them have recently died, and they are sure to let us know that.


Not only that, but now we also have to see tons of new anti-smoking commercials, such as these.

I'm a smoker, and I have been since I was about 21. Most of the past 23 years I enjoyed smoking a few cigarettes a day. Some of those days I smoke wayy tooo much. People enjoy smoking. Cigarettes.. Pipes.. Cigars.. Marijuana.... But I stray from the point.

I used to pay $3.25 for a pack of smokes back in the 90's. These days a pack is at least $6. Sometimes they're $7.50.

You're not allowed to advertise cigarette sales. Please stop advertising only the worst possible scenarios that result from smoking!


We've all been there. Standing in front of the spices in the grocery store.

Why is there no dried mushroom spice/flavor? I mean they can come up with a ton of different stuff, most of which most of us have never heard of. But mushrooms are delicious in everything from spaghetti, pizza, most other pastas, and a ton of other stuff, but we always have to buy mushrooms (which go bad quickly) for this addition. McDonalds even puts freeze-dried onions on some of their "fresh" burgers. Yeah.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Fixing The American Election Process

Image Source

Long-time No-see!

Well, with these stupid cauci going on, I had to bring this up one more time. I'll explain to you later why caucuses (cauci) are stupid, but for right now, I wanna show you how we fix one of the main flaws of our government -- the voting process.

(Aside: Many forms of proof that American elections are, in fact, rigged, have been produced for years. That computer programmers can do it with ease is believable. If you're interested, watch this, or at least acknowledge it for a few minutes.. I just happened to run across that video today.)

Anyway on to the point!

I. First Past The Post

Here is the Wikipedia entry for First-Past-the-Post (FPTP). I'm pretty sure I have posted CGP Grey's explanation of FPTP voting before. The United States and several other nations have exclusively "used" this system for many years. The reason for the parentheses in the prior sentence is that FPTP is more of a phenomenon than a method, much less a chosen or preferred method. (And it's even more far-fetched to claim that it is a GOOD method.) Anyway, ^^^watch it again. It's a great video, and it's only 6:30.

I'll go let the dog out while you do.

II. Gerrymandering

Moving on.. One of the main problems (cheats) with FPTP voting, as he pointed out, is Gerrymandering. "In the process of setting electoral districts, gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan-advantaged districts." (Source)      Continuing: "The resulting district apportionment is known as a gerrymander; however, that word can also refer to the process. When used to allege that a given party is gaining disproportionate power, the term gerrymandering has negative connotations."

A recent Chicago electoral districts map:

(Image Source)     ^^^..A perfect example of bogus alignment.

Here is CGP Grey's awesome explanation of gerrymandering. Once again it is a fantastic video, and is also only 5:26.

III. Shortest Splitline

Now (drumroll), here is how you fix it! But first I must say that in order for this FIX to work, it is imperative that those who draw such lines of electoral districts, do so under absolutely no influence of any party-affiliation. Centrist mathematicians with a strong knowledge of geography (like myself) would be perfect for the job! Seriously though.. it's definitely not rocket surgery, nor brain science, so I'm pretty sure each and every electoral district in the United States, is able to find 1 (ONE) person to perform this task. There are 435 of these districts in the United States!!

This concept is called Shortest Splitline, and it's a concept most of us probably learned before fourth grade. Granted there are some high school freshman level mathematics in progress here, but again, we're talking about just 435 people. The U.S. population (as of 2014) is approximately 320 million people. I would think it would be pretty easy to find these 435 qualified individuals among a population of 320,000,000. Wouldn't you?

Finally, here you go. This is CGP Grey's 3-minute explanation of Shortest Splitline (3:37).

-- By the way, the "Iowa Caucus is an electoral event in which residents of the U.S. state of Iowa meet in precinct caucuses in all of Iowa's 1,681 precincts,* and elect delegates to the corresponding county conventions. There are 99 counties in Iowa, and thus there are 99 conventions. These county conventions then select delegates for both Iowa's Congressional District Convention and the State Convention, which eventually choose the delegates for the presidential nominating conventions. About 1% of the nation's delegates are chosen by the Iowa State Convention." (Source)

* Seriously? The population of Iowa is 3.107 million (again 2014)     ...I wonder how many dozens of these precincts' cauci contain about 11 people?

CGP Grey's Entire YouTube stream