#puppies #cute #pets #bros

#puppies #cute #pets #bros

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"This afternoon I have an appointment with my dentist (it will mostly consist in the dentist picking my brain on Brazilian bonds). I can state with a certain level of comfort that he knows something about teeth, particularly if I enter his office with a toothache and exit it with some form of relief. It will be difficult for someone who knows literally nothing about teeth to provide me with such relief, except if he is particularly lucky on that day—or has been very lucky in his life to become a dentist while not knowing anything about teeth. Looking at his diploma on the wall, I determine that the odds that he repeatedly gave answers to the exam questions and performed satisfactorily on a few thousand cavities before his graduation—out of plain randomness—are remarkably small.

Later in the evening, I go to Carnegie Hall. I can say little about the pianist; I even forgot her unfamiliar foreign-sounding name. All I know is that she studied in some Muscovite conservatory. But I can expect to get some music out of the piano. It will be rare to have someone who performed brilliantly enough tin the past to get to Carnegie Hall and now turns out to have benefited from luck alone. The expectation of having a fraud who will bang on the piano, producing only cacophonous sounds, is indeed low enough for me to rule it out completely.

I was in London last Saturday. Saturdays in London are magical; bustling but without the mechanical industry of a weekday or the sad resignation of a Sunday. Without a wristwatch or a plan I found myself in front of my favourite carvings by Canova at the Victoria and Albert Museum. My professional bent immediately made me question whether randomness played a large role in the carving of these marble status. The bodies were realistic reproductions of human figures, except that they were more harmonious and finely balanced than anything I have seen mother nature produce on its own (Ovid’s materiam superabat opus comes to mind). Could such finesse be a product of luck?

I can practically make the same statement about anyone operating in the physical world, or in a business in which the degree of randomness is low. But there is a problem in anything related to the business world. I am bothered because tomorrow, unfortunately, I have an appointment with a fund manager seeking my help, and that of my friends, in finding investors. He has what claims is a ‘good track record’. All I can infer is that he has learned to buy and sell. And it is harder to fry and egg than buy and sell. Well… the fact that he made money in the past may have some relevance, but not terribly so. This is not to say that it is always the case; there are some instance in which one can trust a track record, but, alas, there are not too many of these. As the reader now knows, the fund manager can expect to be heckled by me during the presentation, particularly if he does not exhibit the minimum of humility and self-doubt that I would expect from someone practicing randomness. I will probably bombard him with questions that he may not be prepared to answer, blinded by his past results. I will probably lecture him that Machiavelli ascribed to luck at least a 50% role in life (the rest was cunning and bravura), and that was before the creation of modern markets.”

-Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Fooled By Randomness

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NHL predictions 2013-2014


San Jose - 110*
Los Angeles - 100*
Vancouver - 96*
Edmonton - 92*
Anaheim - 88
Phoenix - 86
Calgary - 74

Conference III

Chicago - 104*
St. Louis - 100*
Minnesota - 94*
Dallas - 90*
Nashville - 86
Colorado - 82
Winnipeg - 76


Boston - 110*
Ottawa - 98*
Detroit - 97*
Montreal - 96*
Florida - 90
Toronto - 88
Tampa Bay - 86
Buffalo - 74

Patrick Plus

Pittsburgh - 108*
Washington - 104*
NY Rangers - 100*
NY Islanders - 92*
New Jersey - 88
Philadelphia - 86
Carolina - 85
Columbus - 80

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Who broke the Gretzky trade?

From local Vancouver crazy guy Dan Russell:

From Puck Daddy’s “99 most fascinating things” about the trade:

I’m confused, and these things totally matter.

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A guide to whether the “Let’s go [TEAM NAME]” chant works

Watching San Jose Sharks games can be a chore. For one, in the playoffs they exclusively wear those black jerseys with no vibrant accent colour, which look terrible in a building with such flat lightning. For two, their fans try to chant “Let’s go Sha-arks” with no regard for rhythm.

It’s clunky. The only teams that that works for are two-or-three syllable team names, where the stressed syllable is not the last one in the word. This is why “Let’s go PAN-thers!” works but not “Let’s go Ca-NUCKS!” or “Let’s go Is-LAN-ders!” and not “Let’s go Av-a-LANCHE!”.

Here are a list of teams for which “Let’s go [TEAM NAME]” works, following that criteria:

-Blue Jackets (or Jackets)
-Red Wings
-Maple Leafs

You may notice the omission of the Coyotes, despite the second syllable being the stressed syllable in that word. This is because there are no fans with which to test that theory.

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My NHL Awards ballot

I don’t get an NHL Awards ballot, but James convinced me to put one together and influence the masses.

I’ll steal the format used by Jesse Spector over at The Sporting News. He has all the definitions listed as well.


“To the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team”

Hart Trophy discussions often degrade into some wrangling over the definition of the word “value”. I think that “value” can also refer to things like jersey sales, ticket revenue and TV viewers, so if I did have a ballot, I’d see it more as a “Most Outstanding Player” award rather than one with a silly definition.

Otherwise a goaltender would win every year. No player was more instrumental in his team’s victories than Sergei Bobrovsky in the West or James Reimer in the East. Why should other players be punished for playing around better players?

1 - Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

2 - John Tavares, New York Islanders

3 - Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

4 - Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning

5 - Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs



"To the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position"

Well this excludes P.K. Subban, who plays defence as a player on a Canadian team. Jokes about American spelling aside, the Boston Bruins have remained a competitive defensive team even with the best goaltender in the last seven years deciding to bolt the sport after deciding he was having too much fun.

1 - Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins

2 - P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens

3 - Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues

4 - Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings

5 - Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins


"To the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition"

*Googles definition of ‘proficient’*

Competent or skilled in doing or using something.”

Well if it were possible to find a definition more vague than “valuable” we found it in “proficient”. Tyson Barrie was very competent or skilled at what he did, or at least I thought so, but the Colorado Avalanche didn’t because they kept scratching him and sending him to the minors.

1 - Nail Yakupov, Edmonton Oilers

2 - Mika Zibanejad, Ottawa Senators

3 - Jake Muzzin, Los Angeles Kings

4 - Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers

5 - Brandon Saad, Chicago Blackhawks


“To the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability”

The “don’t get penalty minutes Trophy”. I think the referees should get to vote on this one. Instead I’ll just copy Jesse:

1 - Matt Moulson, New York Islanders

2 - Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning

3 - Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

4 - Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

5 - Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks


"To the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game"

I find Shane Doan usually gets quite defensive, but that’s to officials and not usually on the ice.

1 - David Backes, St. Louis Blues

2 - Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

3 - Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

4 - Andrew Cogliano, Anaheim Ducks

5 - Loui Eriksson, Dallas Stars

I couldn’t find a fifth there, so consider it the beginning of my quest to replace Jere Lehtinen in the hearts and minds of NHL fans with Loui Eriksson. They’ve both been at some point “the most underrated player in hockey” and in three years, nobody will be able to tell the difference.

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If regions in Westeros were regions in Canada…

The North: The North

Sending convicted criminals to serve to defend the Northwest Passage against the cold and cruel “Others” (chiefly, Danish people and Americans) has been shown to have little effect in deterring would-be criminals in the Crownlands.

The Crownlands: Eastern Ontario

Dragonstone, however, seems harsher than Algonquin Island.

The Iron Islands: Québec

The comparison falls apart when looking at geography, although both have popular political figures fighting primarily for sovereignty. Also, the ancient infrastructure of Pike is much sturdier than Montreal’s.

The Westerlands: Alberta

An oil baron always pays his debts.

The Riverlands: Southern Manitoba

The swampy and watery region connecting two sides of the kingdom makes this a natural fit, although Robert Barathneon’s famous rebellion on the Red Fork worked out worse for the crown than Louis Riel’s on the Red River.

The Reach: Lower Mainland & Vancouver Island

Come on. Why else would they call it “Highgarden”?

Dorne: Southern Interior British Columbia

The Okanagan region is known for its exotic fruits and fine wines. The Thompson region is known for its desert climate. The mysterious, regionally-distinct populace from the Kootenay’s are known for being the last to bend the knee to Her Majesty the Queen (we think).

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Goaltending in a playoff series that happened 9 years ago

TSN had a Top 10 a couple of nights ago of Jarome Iginla’s moments as a Calgary Flame. One of the moments was Game Seven against the Vancouver Canucks in 2004, when he scored two goals and an assist in a 3-2 overtime win against a heavily-favoured Vancouver team.

I remember vague parts of that series. What I didn’t remember is just how awkward Alex Auld looked on the three Flames goals in that game. They weren’t bad goals, but Auld mostly falls over when allowing goals and looks worse than most goalies.

2004 the Canucks won the Northwest Division with a six-game win streak and it was a pretty big deal since it was the first time since the NHL went to geographical divisions that a team other than Colorado won this particular one. Anyway they came into the playoffs favoured against the No. 6 Flames. Cloutier got hurt in Game Three, and the Canucks lost Games Four, Five and Seven with Johan Hedberg and Alex Auld splitting duties.

Wanted to see exactly how his goaltending stacked up versus Hedberg and Auld in that series. I went back and looked at even strength shots against each goalie. Here are the tables against Canuck goalies:

And tables against Flames goalies:

Shots per team per game:

And team shooting percentages. Even strength only:

Hedberg was pulled for Game Five after a pretty lousy Game Four, but he had a pretty good game it looks. He allowed two goals on the powerplay and the Canucks lost 4-0 on an empty netter. Not sure why they decided to bring in Auld but it looks like a crummy decision in retrospect. That said, it’s tough to beat a team when you’re being out-shot at even strength and the other goalie is stopping 94.2% of pucks. My hypothesis that the Canucks would have won the series if Cloutier stayed healthy doesn’t hold because the game that’s weighing Auld’s numbers down is a game that the Canucks won anyway.

But… Cloutier got hurt in November of 2006 as well. At the time of his injury, the Canucks were 13-6-2 and a point back of four other teams for second place in the league. The team finished in 9th and Alex Auld was voted Team MVP by the fans, presumably because Vancouverites are awful at judging goaltenders. Always go with the French Canadian.

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Gary, Donald and the League (Watching Baseball)

*sung to the tune of Terry Cashman’s Talkin’ Softball**
**sung to the tune of Terry Cashman’s Talkin’ Baseball

Well Bettman he had done it
All we could do was shun it
With Donald Fehr clucking all the while
Fans on the corner were forlorn
The season openers we would mourn
But now it seemed that hockey
Was no longer in style

We’re watching baseball
Talking Mike Trout and Cabrera
We’re talking baseball
Coco’s fielding error
Hockey on the shelf it’s all we can do
I’ll retweet this funny A-Rod joke for you
No love for Gary, 
And the League

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Ranking the James Bond title songs

Adele’s Skyfall theme dropped last night. I think it’s pretty solid. I ranked it “better than Carly Simon”, which puts it somewhere in the top half of overall James Bond theme songs. I’ve ranked them here for convenience. Keep in mind Dr. No did not have a traditional title track.

  1. Live And Let Die
  2. The World Is Not Enough
  3. Goldfinger
  4. Another Way To Die (Quantum of Solace)
  5. You Know My Name (Casino Royale)
  6. Diamonds Are Forever
  7. For Your Eyes Only
  8. Moonraker
  9. Thunderball
  10. GoldenEye
  11. Tomorrow Never Dies
  12. Nobody Does It Better (The Spy Who Loved Me)
  13. You Only Live Twice
  14. From Russia With Love
  15. We Have All The Time In The World (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)
  16. Die Another Day
  17. The Man With The Golden Gun
  18. License To Kill
  19. The Living Daylights
  20. A View To A Kill
  21. All-Time High (Octopussy)

Just upon first glance, it doesn’t appear that theme song correlates with film quality.

And before you say it, screw you, You Know My Name is a solid track.

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