Friday, February 17, 2012

Bob Solow versus Pythagoras

Some theories in physics posit that anything that possibly can happen, will happen, somewhere in the Multiverse. My colleague Denvil Duncan and I argue in a new 1.25 page essay that there must be a universe where Nobel prize winning economist Bob Solow discovers the Pythagorean Theorem. Abstract:
This essay demonstrates the full range and potential contributions economists have to offer many academic disciplines. We argue that in the absence of a formula which identifies the length of the hypotenuse on a right-triangle, known today as the Pythagorean theorem, economists would have eventually discovered it. In the absence of the traditional mathematical proof, chances are good that it would have become known as Solow's theorem, an equation which would have predicted the hypotenuse without residual.
Economists who have ever rolled their eyes at charges of economic imperialism will enjoy.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fed Valentines

I love this new meme. And it is just in time for Valentine's day.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Propapalooza V

We're running up against it, time-wise, but nonetheless, it's time for this year's Super Bowl prop battle. You can check out Propapaloozas I, II, III, and IV if you so desire. Like Kim Jong-il and his North Korean soccer squad, I've won every single Propapalooza by a score of 432-1.

You can find this year's props here.

Generally, longtime TPS supporter Rob Holub and I go toe-to-toe, though you are more than welcome to take your five and post them in the comments (paging Will Luther). The general idea is to take bets that are roughly 50/50 in nature (or worse-- that means you want to be finding any line around -120 or higher.) Thus, feel free to take the Giants giving 10.5 to the Patriots at +475...but taking the Patriots on the flip side of that wager at -750 isn't fair game. Winner is who hits the most of their 5!

Matt's picks:

Will first kickoff of Super Bowl XLVI result in a touchback - No: +115

Will the game be tied after 0-0 - Yes: Even (+/-100)

Stephen Gostkowski - Total Field Goals Made 1.5 - Over: -105

Big 10 team points (-63.5) vs. Tom Brady passing yards: -115

Victor Cruz - Will he score a TD? - Yes: +120

Rob's picks:

- Team to score first - New York Giants: -115

- New England rushing yards 102.5 - Under: -115

- Tom Brady 4th Q TD pass – Yes: -115

- Aaron Hernandez over 5.5 receptions: -115

- LeBron James points/rebs/assists (-3.5) vs. Deion Branch rec yards: -115

As an aside, the novelty props are always enjoyable. I don't believe there is a linkable pdf for the novelty props, but if you click here and then find "Novelty Props" in the right column, there's a whole section of fun things to wager on. Some of my favorites:

- Kelly Clarkson - How Long Will it Take Her to Sing the National Anthem (From first note starts until she completes saying Brave), over/under 1:35. I think that's a bit long-- last year, Christina Aguilera sang the national anthem and I'd say she has a tendency to lengthen it out. I say Clarkson keeps it crisp. Under.

- Who will the Super Bowl MVP of the Game Thank First:

Coaches/Owner +400
Does not Thank Anyone +250
Family +500
God +125
Teammates +200

I think there's a large chance that either Tom Brady or Eli Manning end up at the MVP here. And I think both of them go right for the teammates first. Teammates, +200. Great value here in my opinion.

What Color will the Gatorade (or Liquid) be that is dumped on the Head Coach of the Winning Team:

Blue +1000
Clear/Water even
Lime Green +550
Orange +250
Red +800
Yellow +200

It could be a crapshoot, certainly, and maybe I'm looking too much into it...but aren't both teams prominently blue and red? And who drinks blue Gatorade? Red at 8:1...similarly great value here.