The $29 fee that cost Bank of America so much more …

Dec 12, 2008
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I once had a credit card through MBNA. I loved this card. It was an alumni card that proudly displayed my alma mater. Then, Bank of America bought MBNA. Suddenly, things got bad. The web site functions no longer worked like they should. In particular, paying the card online became much more difficult. Many times, […]

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Blago / Replacing a member of congress

Dec 12, 2008
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The whole situation with the Illinois governor makes me wonder … when a member of congress leaves his/her seat for a better job (President, Vice President, cabinet, etc) why don’t we simply let them pick their successor? After all, if I voted for Senator X, I want a person who very closely fits Senator X’s […]

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Abuse of statistics – transitive property

Dec 08, 2008
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This will likely become a mini-series … statistics are great, but can be abused. Today’s focus is on the “transitive” property of statistics. My example will be an issue that many people are well aware of. The issue is important and is a problematic societal issue. I am definitely not suggesting that the problem doesn’t […]

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Oregon votes are in!

Nov 17, 2008
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[Note: this is intended to be a humorous parody of the relatively short delay in declaring a winner in the Oregon senate race. It is not intended to be an accurate representation of the state’s election process.] As we trot toward the festivities of Thanksgiving, the diligent election workers in the state of Oregon continue […]

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Alternative voting strategy

Nov 17, 2008
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This is geared more toward moderates rather than partisan voters. Let’s say that you care about five issues (listed in order of importance) Issue 1: Candidate A agrees with you. 90% of congress is on your side.Issue 2: Candidate A agrees with you. 80% of congress is on your side.Issue 3: Candidate B agrees with […]

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Soy Sauce

Nov 17, 2008
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I got a call from a telemarketer last week. It was one of those calls where you can chop the interest rate on your credit card. I decided to tell the caller that they were in violation of the “Do not call” list and that I would refer subsequent calls to the attorney general’s office […]

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Rest in peace, Michael Crichton

Nov 06, 2008
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A literary icon of our generation has passed away. The great writer Michael Crichton ended his battle with cancer at the age of 66 on November 4. Crichton is best known for his masterpiece, Jurassic Park. As a bit of a dinophile, this became one of my favorite books. Over the years, I read many […]

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