Thursday, January 22, 2009

Retaking the moral high ground

Of all the disasters and embarrassments of the Dubya years, the worst will be rolled back within the year. With the sweep of a pen President Obama has ordered the Guantanamo Bay prison, as well as all of the CIA secret prisons, closed within that time.

And more importantly, all interrogations are now to conform with the US Army Field Manual, ending the use of torture of any kind. Thus we begin the long, slow climb back to the moral high ground.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I never thought it would happen

No, I'm not on the topic of Dubya finally leaving office next week (though it seemed that day would never come either), but rather a successful water landing of an airliner.

By successful I mean virtually everyone on board doesn't die. But yesterday it happened and not only were there zero deaths, but apparently only one serious injury.

Big kudos to that pilot.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thoughts on my football thoughts

My last post looked at the NFL playoff teams in light of the strength of their schedule through the regular season. After posting the AFC chart I made up a similar one for the NFC teams out of curiosity. This weekend they both seem to have been more accurate than I initially expected.

The charts (stronger teams sit on "higher" lines):


That gives a nice visual representation of who should win, a bit of statistics can give us a level of confidence as well. Graphically, this model predicted for the four games of this past weekend:

It got it right in three out of four. No real surprise since only one game was an upset, but interesting. Note that the only prediction to fall short was the Indianapolis-San Diego game, but that was also the smallest confidence level (56% Colts vs. 44% Chargers).

Had I placed bets according to this model I would have won three and lost one (all point-lines were covered), for a payout of 190% after juice. Not bad, but again it was probably more luck than anything else.

Either way, that was too much fun, so I'm going to take a look at this week's games as well.

If we take a hint from last week we ignore the Giants-Eagles game since it is so close. It will be interesting to see if the other three games go as predicted, since they all seem very favorable at over 75% confidence (i.e. 3:1 odds or better).

This is particularly true for the Ravens' game since, along with having the highest confidence level, when the betting lines come out for this week it will probably be the only "upset" of the bunch.