Monday, March 26, 2007

March Madness

In case you have not already seen, this is Barton's incredible comeback to defeat Winona State for the Division II National Championship, on Saturday. Winona State was the heavy favorite, riding a 57 game win streak. Anthony Atkinson scored 10 points in the final 39 seconds, including a layup at the buzzer for the win. This is as good of a comeback as I have ever seen, and most certainly the best comeback in a TITLE game. Watch and enjoy.

ESPN's article, here.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Quote of the Day

“When I refer to myself as Southern, I am talking about the part of myself that is most deeply human and deeply feeling. It is the part of me that connects most intimately and cordially with the family of man. There are qualities of grace and friendship and courtesy that will always seem essentially Southern to me no matter where I encounter them on the road.”

- Pat Conroy

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Baseball Economist

Last night I drove down to Altanta for for a book signing of The Baseball Economist, by J.C. Bradbury. This is J.C.'s first book. J.C runs Sabernomics and is a leader in the field of Baseball Economics. I have not yet had time to read any of his book, but the buzz on the street is that it is filled with good stuff, and some suprising findings.

A snippet of a review:

Freakonomics meets Moneyball in this provocative exposé of baseball's mostfiercely debated controversies and some of its oldest, most dearly held myths—explained through the language of numbers and cool cash.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

appurtenance \uh-PUR-tn-un(t)s\, noun:

1. An adjunct; an accessory; something added to another, more important thing.
2. [Plural]. Accessory objects; gear; apparatus.
3. [Law]. An incidental right attached to a principal property right for purposes such as passage of title, conveyance, or inheritance.

The inauguration of presidents, the coronation of monarchs, the celebration of national holidays--these events require everywhere the presence of the soldier as a "ceremonial appurtenance."
-- Barbara Ehrenreich, Blood Rites

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March Madness

This is the requisite NCAA Tourney post. The match-ups have been set and game times determined. Everyone now has to make their picks. This is something I always love doing, yet historically, am very poor at.

This year I have been reading a handfulof different blogs and websites which talk about the various odds involved in the tournament. A professor at St. Joseph's has a terrific website where he ran a Monte Carlo simulation to determine the most statistically likely bracket. Monte Carlo is a type of statistical simulation where you take small random events and simulate these events over long periods of time within the context of a larger system. For the purposes of this tournament, the game outcomes are the small events and the overall bracket is the larger system.

Gene Wojciechowski from shadowed odds makers at Las Vegas Sports Consultants. The guys at LVSC are the ones who set the initial spreads on all the tournament games, which are then dispersed to all the casinos. His behind the scenes account is particularly interesting.

Additionally, Doug Drinen who runs Pro-Football-Reference, has a good article on how to fill out your office pool, from a mathematical perspective. His results will surprise you.

I will be traveling to Lexington, KY tomorrow to catch the 1st and 2nd rounds which will be held in Rupp Arena. Highlights will include Greg Oden and Mike Conley from Ohio St, Acie Law from Texas A&M, and Rick Pitino leading Louisville against Stanford.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

PlayStation Home

Several months ago I posted about Second Life - a virtual reality on the internet where users create characters of themselves, called avatars, and can interact with other users. This was becoming such a phenomenon that companies such as Nike and General Electric were buying online "real estate" and holding virtual conferences.

In much the same vein, PlayStation is coming out with "Home," a virtual world accessible via the PlayStation 3. Like with Second Life, users will have their own avatars and can interact with other users in the virtual community.

Here is a preview:

And here is a good article discussing Home.

'Some pig!' muttered Lurvy in a low voice.
'Some pig!' whispered Mr. Zuckerman.
They stared and stared for a long time at Wilbur.
Then they stared at Charlotte.

-E.B. White

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Happy March Madness, Everyone

With UK kicking off the post-season by playing Alabama in the SEC Tournament tomorrow, I've gotta post this video, which is a sweet introduction that is played in Rupp Arena before all home games.

indefatigable \in-dih-FAT-ih-guh-bul\, adjective:

Incapable of being fatigued; not readily exhausted; untiring; unwearying; not yielding to fatigue.

She was always seeking to add to her collection and was an indefatigable first-nighter at Broadway shows.
-- Meryle Secrest, Stephen Sondheim: A Life