## 1 or 9

Perhaps you’ve seen the problem on Facebook or another forum:

6 ÷ 2(1+2) = ?

It’s one of several similar math problems popping up on social networks recently. Perhaps you, too, thought, “Duh! That’s easy,” and then, as I did, became embroiled in an epically long comment thread while your blood pressure steadily rose because you could not possibly understand why the others doing this problem could not get the right answer.

Perhaps, if you’re a nerd like me, or you teach math as I do, you even fell asleep thinking about this problem, baffled and frustrated about why you were unable to convince intelligent, educated friends that your calculation of this deceptively simple problem was accurate.

So, did you get 1 or 9? We’ll get to the “correct” answer in a moment.

My math came up with 1 while Google calculator comes up with 9.

## on black and decker

Thomas and Decker winning together -- Rick Reilly (ESPN)

They're the same size, same age and both went from Tim Tebow (F-150) to Peyton Manning (F18).

They're both country, both unmarried heartthrobs and both as quiet as a Las Vegas Sunday morning.

They became the youngest teammates in NFL history to go for more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in the same season.

They have the same agent, same marketing guy and once lived together as rookies.

"They're the exact same guy," says Denver Broncos teammate Greg Orton, "just different colors."

Until game days, that is...

Gotta love that Tebow - Manning comparison -- F-150 - F18. That just killed me!

On a related note, SBNation is saying Black and Decker is the best nickname in the league!

Go Broncos!

## a couple of good holiday reads

These where passed along to me and I felt they so embraced the "Happiest Time Of The Year" I just had to pass them along to the 5 people who actually read this blog*.

~ How to drink your way through the Christmas season.
~ How drunk can you get at your office Christmas party. -- Bonus, this article has a nice chart to print out and take with you!

Enjoy the holiday season!

* OK, that number might be a bit of an exaggeration.

## just keep on livin'

People freak out over end-of-the-world scenarios involving everything from resource scarcity to chemicals and disease. Here?s why they should know better.

I found this an interesting article and thought it was worth sharing.

## a dream deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
Or does it explode?

-- Langston Hughes

## a few interesting reads from kevin drum

Does Money Corrupt the Political Process?

In Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruled that the only justification for limiting campaign expenditures was "corruption or the appearance of corruption." And since independent expenditures, including those from corporations and unions, don't have any kind of corrupting influence, there's no justification for limiting them.

Who Actually Benefits From Federal Benefits?

Republican candidates have lately been parroting Charles Murray's argument that our "entitlement society" has created a nation of deadbeats who would rather live off government benefits than find a job. In response, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) released a study earlier this week showing the fraction of government benefits that go to able-bodied workers.

Soaking the Poor, State by State

You have heard, perhaps, that rich people in America are egregiously overtaxed. And the poor? They're the lucky duckies! Why, 47 percent of Americans pay no taxes at all! (This is not true, of course. Many poor and elderly Americans pay no federal income tax, but they pay plenty of other taxes.)

Still and all, it's true that the federal income tax is indeed progressive. Conservatives are right about that—though it's not as progressive as it used to be, back before top marginal rates were lowered and capital gains taxes were slashed in half. But conservatives are a little less excited to talk about other kinds of taxes. Payroll taxes aren't progressive, for example. In fact, they're actively regressive, with the poor and middle class paying higher rates than the rich.

## lmao

How to annoy fanboys -- Demoimedo

Welcome to Trolling, the new strategy by Dr. Kackensprecher aimed at garnering clicks. In this fine article, we will learn all the subtle and not so subtle ways of destabilizing the mental state of people with a high emotional dependence on software. Stockholm Syndrome, in the digital format.

Many a geek worldwide has his/her (mostly his) favorite software. But this goes beyond having the best tool of the trade, the most suitable piece of engineering suited for the task at hand. The feeling transcends into the realm of severe psychological addiction. And so it happens that this addiction creates an instant and violent response to even the slightest manifestation of difference in taste or opinion toward said software. This sounds like a splendid opportunity to have fun. So let's learn the best way to make fanboys angry.

## on yuletide

Yule, is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider.
- Yule Lore

## what happened that night in abbottabad.

Getting Bin Laden -- Nicholas Schmidle / The New Yorker

Shortly after eleven o’clock on the night of May 1st, two MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters lifted off from Jalalabad Air Field, in eastern Afghanistan, and embarked on a covert mission into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden. Inside the aircraft were twenty-three Navy SEALs from Team Six, which is officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU. A Pakistani-American translator, whom I will call Ahmed, and a dog named Cairo—a Belgian Malinois—were also aboard. It was a moonless evening, and the helicopters’ pilots, wearing night-vision goggles, flew without lights over mountains that straddle the border with Pakistan. Radio communications were kept to a minimum, and an eerie calm settled inside the aircraft.