Bag of Randomness for Tuesday, January 29, 2019

  • The story behind the photo
    • Looking at the design of the empty windows, an idea struck me: put a woman wearing colourful clothes in each of the openings. I sent over someone from my staff to talk to the demolition supervisor. He agreed to let us go ahead – provided we used his wife in the photograph. We could shoot the next day during their lunch hour, he said. After that, the building would be gone.
    • I also found this note on the interview insightful as I didn’t know the first floor is referenced differently across the pond.
      • The references to floors in this article are in US English; in the photograph, Ormond’s wife was on what would usually be known as the first floor in British English, and the supervisor’s wife on the second floor.
  • The Equator passes through 13 countries. The Greenwich Prime Meridian goes through 8 countries. Why was Greenwich chosen as the center of the world’s time? A few reasons, but mainly because it would be advantageous to the largest number of people.
  • The average tenure for a White House press secretary is about 2.9 years. I expect the current occupant to last longer since she seems to love her job and doesn’t hold daily briefings like most of her predecessors, and they are nowhere as long. Her last time at the podium was 41 days ago, and President Trump has encouraged her not to be bothered having them, at least he tweeted so. My brief research shows she has served as press secretary for 551 days after her promotion from being the deputy press secretary.
  • The one-year anniversary of my back surgery was nine days ago. Yesterday, I received a $350 check in the mail from the hospital for an overcharge. I’m not complaining about getting a surprise check, it’s just odd it took so long for them to notice the over-charge. I tried to keep track of the charges myself but it got pretty complicated when you try to track who all was billed separately: the surgeon, endocrinologist, anesthesiologist, hospital, and the lab. It’s all a headache, and my heart goes out to those who have to deal with this sort of thing because of a chronic or drastic condition.
  • Texas lawmaker wants pricey cars exempt from front plate rule
    • But in requiring two plates, we’re only unique in our neck of the nation. None of our neighboring states requires front license plates. But we’re among 31 states that do.
    • I always thought the plates looked out of place on something like a Corvette, but don’t think they should be exempt.
  • I loved this ’60 Minutes’ story on how an old man in retirement used “basic arithmetic” to crack the code on certain state lottery games – “$26 million winning various state lottery games dozens of times.” And in case they were ever audited, they kept every losing lottery ticket – $18 million worth and built a shed to store them all in big plastic totes.
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5 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Tuesday, January 29, 2019

  1. RPM says:

    First off, congrats on surviving Year 1. Hope it’s twice as good at Year 2. Never give up, never surrender!

    That is an awesome pic! I thought it was scale.

    I sympathize with the no front plate crowd. It really ruins the looks of any vehicle, much less a high end one. I owned a C300 that had no front plate mount when I bought it. Felt like like drilling my own tooth screwing one onto the virgin front bumper. But, after being pulled over 5 times I chose to capitulate. No reason to give police a free offside play. You never know what can happen at a stop. Plus, they changed the law and could start enforcing fines instead of just issuing warnings.

    That 60 Minutes story was great! I hope the movie gets produced and they make even more than they won. Nobody told him there would be no math.

    Sorry for writing a 5 paragraph comment, but sometimes I get blabby. A really good blog post seems to trigger that.

  2. Ben W. says:

    That’s a great photo and a great story to go with it. And, like you, I had no idea the Brits referred to floors differently.

  3. Bryan B. says:

    Congrats on the one year milestone following your surgery.

    I don’t really have an overwhelming opinion on front license plates, but when we purchased a new car at the end of last year, I found the salesman’s statement on plates interesting. When he was telling us that our plates would be mailed to us in a certain timeframe, he said that front plates are legally required, but it’s up to us if we want to leave it off. I thought that was an odd comment.

  4. Towski says:

    Wouldn’t the equator be kind of useless for a starting point for time zones?

  5. Bizarro Big Tex says:

    Your post on license plates got me thinking along a parallel path. I wonder if front, side, and rear windows in vehicles will completely disappear in our lifetime? Just a steel capsule for the seated car occupants with cameras and video screens proving the external views in all direction in place of the missing glass windows. Notice how much the roof line has dropped and the rear window has shrunk in the last twenty years.

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