Sunday, April 27, 2008


In Da Jeopardy pool

I have nearly completed the academic competition hajj.1 Today I got entered into the contestant pool for Jeopardy. Ken Jennings willing, I'll get selected for a taping sometime later this year, which I won't be able to tell anyone anything interesting about until 3 months after the taping (when it airs).

So if I get on, Polyscifi will be 2 for 4. Matt, Jeremy - come on slackers, you're holding down the blog average. ;)

A little background - Jeopardy held an open audition in Charlottesville as part of its "Brain Bus" tour yesterday from 5-7. Preethi heard about it on the radio on the way home from a doggy agility competition; told me at 3; we booked it up to Charlottesville. I passed the 10 question intro test yesterday, and then passed the 50 question test today and took part in the mock game (I think I won my group which is pretty good as I was matched up against a $500k winner from Millionaire and a Jeopardy contestant from before Trebek).

Random comments:


1. Do you think Alex would appreciate it if I circled him seven times, threw some rocks at Johnny Gilbert, all the while praising Ken Jennings? I'm not shaving my head afterwards though. I'll be bald soon enough and there's no need to hurry it along.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008


The conservative in me

was just appalled to see a National Guard recruiting ad in all Spanish....

The libertarian in me says, you go where the market is....

I'm going to go eat some late-night Frosted Mini Wheats.


Academic Awesomeness

I think this ranks up there with PhD Comics. (h/t mankiw)

Stronger from ticoneva on Vimeo.


Polyscifi Bracket Results

First: Steven (Hungarian Horntail) 147 points (Kansas)
Second: David (Kelvin's 3-way winner) 133 points (Kansas)
Third: Nick (xthecritic) 91 points (UCLA)

I was ninth (out of 11) with 69 points - a score somehow appropriate for my entry name (Client #2). The maximum possible was 32x6 = 192.


Monday, April 07, 2008


On the phone with the IRS

I knew I had a complicated tax question to answer (reason numero uno I would prefer a consumption tax to an income tax - a consumption tax is soooo much simpler), but I've now been kicked up the IRS response chain two three times when the representatives had no idea how to answer my question.

While complicated to answer, it's pretty easy question to state - I have a sole proprietership with a couple employees1 from which I also paid myself wages. I filed W2s on all my employees (including me). Given that I have a W2 on my wages from my sole proprietership, should the wages paid to me be reported on the main 1040 form or on the Schedule C (business)?

What makes it complicated is as a sole-proprietership, I'm apparently not supposed to file a W2 on wages I pay to myself and that really screws up the IRS instructions.

Fourth person eventually (long phone call just to explain the issue) suggested I handle it exactly as I had done which is the following.

Report the W2 income on Line 7 of the 1040 (W2 income)
Report the wages paid to myself on line 26 of Sched C (business expense) and the company taxes paid on Sched C.


Friday, April 04, 2008


Darth Mauling

If Star Wars had been set in the real world, this is what would've happened between Episodes III and IV.
Jedi Master Jonba Hehol - known to family and friends as Barney Jones, 36,
of Holyhead - was giving a TV interview in his back garden for a documentary
when a man, dressed in a black bin-bag and wearing Darth Vader's trademark shiny
black helmet, leapt over his garden fence.

Wielding a metal crutch - his lightsaber presumably being in for repairs -
the Sith Lord proceeded to lay about his opponent, whose Jedi powers proved
inadequate for the task of defending himself.
This is why bans on light sabers are so counter-productive. It disarms the innocent Jedi while the Sith arm themselves with crutches.


Thursday, April 03, 2008


Why I'll be one the first up against the wall when the revolution comes

I remember too much.

Like this earlier study from 2002 which "proved" exactly the same thing as this more recent study. Both claim that there's been no scientific study that recommends 8 glasses of water a day and no recommendation by any governmental body to that effect (that's how ABC read it last night).

Except while googling down the memory hole today (a problem with remembering things that everyone else seems to have forgotten is you're always wondering if you're going crazy), I stumbed across this (pdf).

For adults whose energy expenditure and environmental exposure are average, the
Food and Nutrition Board recommends 1 ml of water per kilocalorie expenditure
(or, at 237 ml per eight fluid ounces, 4.2 glasses per 1,000 kilocalories) as a
general guideline for total water consumption.

Hmmm. On a 2,000 kilocalorie diet, that's about 8 glasses of water per day.

(FYI, that's referenced to "2. National Research Council. 1989. Food and Nutrition Board. National Academy of Science, National Academy Press, Washington, DC.")


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