Dear Mike Florio: Um, we don’t need your help.

Profootballfocus’s Mike Florio had this gem of an article today. He’s arguing that, since Bruce Arians (the interim head coach of the Colts) included “faith” in what he looks for in a football player, he’s immediately against atheists.

What? I’m as atheist as the next guy (no, more atheist. Take that, jerk), but when I read the statement he’s quoting, I didn’t even react. (Actually, far stupider is the fact he mentions “football” twice. If you have passion for football, don’t you by definition also care about it? Unless you’re passionately against football, in which case, being a football player is a poor choice of profession.) To use a baseball term, I think all Bruce Arians wants is “make-up”, or players who are less likely to go to prison. Now, I’m not sure faith has anything to do with being a good or bad person, but it’s generally understood that people of faith are “better” people than those without faith. While it’s an unfortunate association, it’s one most Americans would make.

I do understand Florio’s point, kind of, but let’s recap. An interim head coach for a football team, who doesn’t even make hiring decisions, is being criticized for using the word “faith.” Is it a potential legal minefield? In any country but the United States, probably. Of course, nobody would have noticed it if Florio hadn’t pointed it out. And now me, I guess. With my giant blog audience. If we (meaning atheists) don’t want people to think we’re dicks, getting hot and bothered over this isn’t the way to do it, especially since Florio isn’t an atheist either.


Old Card Game: Harvey Dent

Harvey Dent is a game I came up with to mess with people at poker who have had too much to drink and have difficulty focusing.

The game is based on seven-card stud.  After the initial round (2 down, 1 up), a card is placed face-down to the dealer’s left, and a coin is placed on top of that card.  Betting proceeds as normal, and the next face-up card gets dealt out.  After that face-up card is dealt out, the card on the dealer’s left gets flipped up.  Then, the deal flips the coin.  If the result is heads, that card’s rank becomes wild.  If the result is tails, that card’s rank is dead—you cannot use it in your poker hands.

Then there is another round of betting, after which the third face-up card is dealt out.  Next to the first, now face-up, card, the dealer places a second card face-down.  After the next round of betting, the final face-up card is dealt to each player, and the second side card gets turned over.  The rules are the same for this:  heads, wild; tails, dead.  The second result has precedence over the first:  if both side cards are 3s, for example, take only the second result and ignore the first:  3s are either wild or dead based on the outcome of the second coin flip.

A brief update

Haven’t posted in a while, so I thought I’d spend a few moments doing just that. I’ve recently discovered the Saints Row series (although sadly cannot play the first). It’s a much more arcadey version of Grand Theft Auto, but with a surprisingly poignant plot at times. It’s much less realistic (if you can call GTA realistic), and considerably more charming, in many areas. It’s worthwhile if you’ve got a few bucks hanging out, although I do feel like I’ve missed a lot by not playing the first one.

Other than that, not too much is going on.

New Card Game: Gotham

At poker last week, I came up with a new game.  Given that my most successful prior game was also on the theme, I apparently come up with pretty good Batman-related games.  This is probably because Batman is awesome.

This one is entitled Gotham.  It starts out as Low Chicago (7-card stud, with the lowest spade in the hole getting half the pot).  Then, we throw in two characters.

The Jack of Hearts is the Joker.  At the beginning of each round of betting, the player with the Joker may show the card (if face-down, the player turns the card over to show he has the Joker) and collect half of the pot.  If a player with the Joker is all-in and there is a side pot to which the player is not privy, the player gets half of the pot to which he is privy.  After the Joker is played in that way, the player leaves the hand.

The King of Spades is the Batman.  If you have the Batman face-up, you will get half of the pot at the end.  If you have the Batman face-down, you will get the entire pot at the end.  If a player with the Batman is all-in and there is a side pot to which the player is not privy, the player gets the amount to which he is privy.  As soon as the Batman’s presence is made known, the player with the Joker must fold immediately without collecting any of the pot.  If the same player has both the Batman and the Joker in his hand, he must fold.

If the player does not have the Joker steal the pot and the Batman does not show up, the player with Joker will automatically get half of the pot at the end if face-up, or the entire pot if face-down—in other words, the Joker gets the same payout as the Batman would if the Batman is not there to stop him.

As a special note, if the Joker tries to steal half of the pot and another player has the Batman face-down, that player must show the Batman and thwart the Joker (meaning that the player with the Joker must fold and not collect any of the pot).  The Batman is still considered face-down, so that player will get the entire pot at the end of the game.

If the Batman does not make an appearance in Gotham, standard Low Chicago rules apply for dividing the pot (even if the Joker has taken his half):  half of the remaining pot goes to the best poker hand, and the other half goes to the player with the lowest face-down spade.  If no player has a face-down spade, the entire pot goes to the player with the best poker hand.  If the Batman is dealt out face-up, the player with the Batman gets half the pot, the player with the best poker hand gets a quarter of the pot, and the player with the lowest face-down spade gets a quarter of the pot.


  • The Joker may be played at any time, not just after a round of cards has been dealt and before the first bet.
  • The Joker may steal from side pots even if the player is not privy to them.
  • The Batman may earn from side pots even if the player is not privy to them.

Sony’s Security “Not Perfect”

A judge has dismissed a class-action lawsuit against Sony relating to the breaches of 2011.  Sony, apparently anticipating how terrible their development process (from strategy and management down to developers) is, covered their stupidity through a privacy policy that nobody reads.

I would ceteris paribus side with the defendant in an average class-action lawsuit, in part because a lot of those suits really do look for minor failures or one-time events (and quite a few class-action suits are outright frivolous).  But Sony’s track record of failure after failure after failure really does stand out as going well beyond a minor screw-up and into total institutional failure.  And it wasn’t just 2011—they’ve been incompetent for well over a decade now.